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Taxi rules in Leeds and West Yorkshire ‘should be harmonised’

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Plans to standardise rules for taxi drivers across the region will go before councillors next week.

A report is set to go before the council’s licensing committee which lists West Yorkshire Combined Authority’s proposals to “harmonise” taxi and private hire vehicles across West Yorkshire and York.

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Plans include standardising driver training and CCTV rules. They also propose to make it more difficult for taxi drivers to get a private hire licence if they’ve committed past offences.

The council says it is hoped the proposed measures will improve passenger safety.

A report going before councillors stated: “The council has made good progress in improving and maintaining the safety of the travelling public in Leeds. However, because of taxi and private hire issues which span local authority borders, we will only make further improvements if we work more closely with neighbouring authorities. ”

While CCTV in vehicles is not mandatory, the report adds there is more it can do to simplify rules and encourage drivers to take up installation.

The proposed policy also includes a table which indicates the length of time which would normally be required to have elapsed between a conviction and an individual being granted a taxi licence.

It suggests increasing the length of time for violence from eight to 10 years, and for drugs supply from nine to 10 years.

The report concluded: “The officers and members at the West Yorkshire and York licensing group have identified two policies which, if we can deliver them, will improve the safety of the travelling public. The policies focus on driver training and on convictions and suitability of people to hold a licence.”

A consultation on the proposed policies is set to last until December this year.