I have just come across this quote from the Licensed Private Hire Car Association (LPHCA) which states in "Private Hire News (Edition 49)";
"We will be seeking compliance across the board and expect prosecutions and action where compliance is not being met by Local Authorities everywhere. They have a duty of care to the public and a moral obligation to those who comply."
Are the LPHCA as keen to see an end to the illegal activities within their own industry as the Licensed Taxi Trade?
There is no doubt that satellite offices are seen as a good thing by the PHV industry, but to what extent does the "respectable" side of PHV want to see enforcement at these sites? Is the LPHCA as concerned about the lack of proper enforcement as we are?
There is no doubt that enforcement and compliance are major issues for the taxi trade, and the theft of legitimate work by uncontrolled touts and "clip-board Johnnies" is undermining the taxi trade's right to offer their services to the general public. So with all this in mind, how does this affect the respectable side of the PHV industry?
For instance, Addison Lee has sponsored ash trays outside many bars and clubs with a view to encourage people to phone them when they may want a ride home. So how much work is Addison Lee losing because many of these venues have "clip-board Johnnies" outside, so reducing the chances of anyone phoning Addi Lee?
Licensed taxi drivers see the blatant touting by minicab drivers and clip-board Johnnies as a major threat to their livelihood, and they are constantly lobbying the authorities to do something about the problem, without much success. But what effect does this all have on members of the LPHCA?
If the PHV industry is to be taken seriously, they must take full responsibility for the concessions and benefits that a licensing system gives them, and they have a duty to ensure that their industry is not undermined by the lack of control that has been allowed to flourish amongst their own fraternity.
If the PHV industry is to be accepted as a legitimate partner in the drive to attract customers, and gain respectability, they must accept that the licensed taxi trade's calls for enforcement are met, and that illegal touting damages them also.