TfL have launched an important consultation on safety improvements for the London Private Hire and Taxi trades.
1. PHV/Taxi Driver 48hr self reporting
The consultation is intended to help implement all changes published by the Department for Transport back in July 2020
These changes will affect PHV drivers and operators as well as Taxi drivers.
Some of these changes were already implemented and we will describe the remaining 10 changes below:
1. PHV/Taxi Driver 48hr self reporting
TfL are looking to introduce a new condition on all PHV driver licence holders which will require any Private Hire Driver who has been arrested & released, charged or convicted of any offence to report to TfL within 48 hours.
2. Complaints procedure
All PHV drivers will be required to display information in their vehicles on how a passenger can make a complaint directly to TfL as well as statutory and safety information.
3. Overseas convictions / Living abroad
Currently if you are applying for a PCO Licence and you have lived abroad for 3 months or more within the last 3 years, you are required to fill out the TPH/205 Living and Working Abroad Form and provide a Certificate of Good Conduct with translation.
The proposed changes will require any applicant who falls into this category to provide a Certificate of Good Conduct to cover any periods of living and working abroad since the age of 18.
4. DBS Check every 6 months
At present only drivers who are applying or renewing their PHV driver's licence are required to complete a DBS check. Going forward TfL plan to make it mandatory for all new applicants and existing PHV drivers to register with the DBS Update service. Once implemented TfL will automatically complete DBS checks on the drivers every 6 months.
5. SERU Assessment Requirement
SERU assessment has already been implemented. All existing and new PHV driver licence applicants must complete the SERU assessment. TfL may invite you at any time to sit the SERU assessment. Transport for London will continue to update the Private Hire Driver’s handbook as new rules are implemented for example the 48 hour self-reporting requirement. The consultation also suggests that Black Cab drivers will also be required to take the SERU assessment at some stage.
6. PHV Vehicle owners DBS checks
This change would require an owner of a PHV vehicle to complete a DBS check however TfL have chosen not to go ahead with it despite Department for Transport's recommendation. The need for the owner of the vehicle to also complete a DBS check doesn’t make much sense but TfL are also looking for comments on this.
7. Basic DBS checks for PHV Operators
All PHV operators will be required to complete a basic DBS check annually. This may raise the operating costs for London operators which could also have an impact on PHV drivers.
8. PHV Operator Dispatch Staff Records
All London PHV operators will be required to keep and maintain a register of booking and dispatch staff, and will be required to retain entries in the register for 12 months from the date any individual was last available to take bookings or dispatch vehicles as well as provide policy on employing ex-offenders with their new or renewal Operator applications.
9. Booking Records Changes
PHV operators will be required to collect more information from passengers and PHV drivers. For PHV drivers the operator will have to keep a record of their vehicle registration number along with any bookings they have completed.
10. DBS certificate retention
TfL will be required to retain driver's DBS certificates so they can re-assess their fitness to remain licensed as and when requirements or policies. For example if you had a conviction on your DBS certificate which didn’t ban you from becoming a PHV driver when you applied but then a new policy or requirement comes in that means you are no longer fit to be licensed then TfL would refer to the retained DBS certificate and take required action.
Click HERE to read the whole consultation and have your say before 12/05/2023