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Taxi and Private Hire Vehicles

We advise and represent private hire operators, licensing authorities (including the Public Carriage Office/Transport for London) and individual licensees on all issues associated with taxi licensing. We appear in policy review sessions, the Magistrates’ Court, High Court and Court of Appeal.

Recent examples of work include

  • Advising local authorities on taxi licensing policies
  • Advising and representing licensed taxi and PHV operators in applications and appeals
  • Representing a major ‘Black Cab’ association as an interested party in the refusal by TfL to renew Uber’s licence
  • Representing members of the Brighton Taxi Forum as an interested party in the refusal by Brighton Council to renew Uber’s licence
  • Advising and representing licensing authorities on appeals

Recent news flashes

Uber Refused Renewal of Licence in Brighton - The licensing panel of Brighton and Hove have unanimously refused to renew Uber’s licence.

Calderdale Council Fight off Crown Court Challenge to Hackney Carriage Cap - In a relatively rare Crown Court appeal, Calderdale Metropolitan Borough Council has successfully defended their policy of capping the number of hackney carriage licences permitted to operate in Halifax at 37.

Knowsley Council’s Private Hire Vehicle Policy is Unlawful - The High Court has ruled that a policy requiring Private Hire Drivers to work “predominantly” in the area of the Knowsley licensing authority is unlawful.

TfL Shut Down Taxify in London - In what may be one of the more short-lived ride hailing start-ups in the capital, Transport for London have instructed the Estonia-based global entity “Taxify” to cease operating in London less than a week after its launch there. Taxify have agreed to suspend its service.

TfL Refuses to Renew Uber’s Licence - Transport for London has today refused to renew the operating licence for Uber London Limited (“ULL”), the UK off-shoot of the global “technology platform” Uber Technologies Inc. A dual licensing system exists in the capital. Only hackney carriages may stand and ply for hire. Other vehicles, known as private hire vehicles or “minicabs”, have to be booked through a licensed private hire operator, with the booking accepted at a London based operating centre.

Double taxi licensing success in London - Transport for London has suffered a double set back in two important appeals in front of Westminster Magistrates’ Court. It lost both appeals against operators KV Cars and Couriers Ltd and Diamond Chauffeurs Ltd. James Rankin, a specialist licensing barrister from Francis Taylor Building successfully appealed against two decisions made by TfL. In all, the court awarded costs of £26,000 against TfL.

Taxi Emissions Judicial Review Struck Out - The High Court has struck out a claim for judicial review brought by the Bristol Blue Licensed Taxi Association against Bristol City Council's decision to introduce a new policy that imposes more stringent emissions standards on licensed vehicles. 

Recent Articles

Uber Britannia Limited Withdraws York Licence Appeal - Uber Britannia Limited (UBL) today (14/3/2018) withdrew its appeal against the decision by York City Council (December 12 2017) refusing to renew its PHV operator’s licence.

Storm Clouds Over Uber - Uber is under attack. Last week the London Assembly voted unanimously to ask Sadiq Khan not to renew Uber’s licence. And today (June 11) Labour’s business spokeswoman, Rebecca Long-Bailey, told Sky Television: “Using Uber is not morally acceptable”. To paraphrase ‘Hamlet’ – When troubles come, they come not single spies, but in battalions. The following are thumb-nail sketches of just a few of the slings and arrows currently pointing in Uber’s direction.

The Burden of Kaivanpor  - Charles Holland of FTB Chambers argues that the Divisional Court’s ruling in Kaivanpor v. DPP was wrongly decided. In this taxi licensing case, the Court overruled dicta in Canterbury v. Ali to answer in the negative the question as to whether the burden of proof was on the driver to establish that he was a fit and proper person in an appeal against revocation. Charles argues that the Divisional Court answered the wrong question, and should have focused on the approach to licensing appeals found in Hope and Glory.

Recent clients include:

Private hire operators

  • Addison lee
  • Star Cars (Birmingham)
  • Rossendale Taxi Association (Greater Manchester)
  • London Taxi Drivers’ Association (LDTA)
  • KV Cars and Couriers LTD
  • Diamond Chauffeurs

Local authorities

  • Bristol City Council          
  • Coventry City Council
  • Babergh District Council