Leeds licensing bosses are being asked to back proposals for stronger measures to tackle a “marked increase” in cross-border taxis.
A new report drafted for Leeds City Council’s licensing committee explains how recent deregulation nationally and a rise in smartphone apps has increased the number of drivers being licensed in one area, but working “predominantly” in another. Under current law, licensing officers are unable to take action against vehicles, drivers and operators permitted in another area – something the report says “is a regular occurrence in Leeds, particularly at nights, linked to the large night time economy”.
Transport for London (TfL) is seeking support from local authorities for new legislation to tackle such operations and members of the committee will discuss the report tomorrow at Leeds Civic Hall. The document says there is a council database containing information on 700 “out of district” vehicles operating in Leeds. TfL found 85 of its licensed drivers lived at Leeds postcodes. There are concerns that cross-border hiring has implications for public safety, as a driver who has had their licence revoked or suspended in one area can apply to be licensed by another authority which is unlikely to have information on their history, the report says.