TaxiPoint December 2022 Edition 44

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TheUK’s#1TaxiNewsSource Edition 44 | DECEMBER 2022 OVER4millionmagazinereadsandcounting...

TaxiPoint Chief Editor: Perry Richardson

TaxiPoint Publishing & Advertising Manager: Lindsey Richardson

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Welcome to the latest edition.

After two challenging years in the taxi industry, 2022 has been one about resetting and growth. Don’t get me wrong, this year has thrown up its own problems with rising energy costs and inflation, but at least demand has bounced back and remains stable heading into 2023. This year has seen several key legislative decisions that have helped provide a long term direction for the industry. No more so than the VAT paid on all PHV journeys in the capital and we wait with baited breath to see if that stance will extend to the whole of England soon.

What will 2023 hold? More of the same when it comes to tariff rises and the problems recruiting new taxi driver applicants. We could also see

frustrations escalate in regions where Clean Air Zones (CAZ) are set to begin. This in turn could send taxi vehicle numbers into free fall due to a squeeze in investment during a recession and cost of living crisis. However, finishing on a high, we should see the finalised DfT Best Practice Guidance...

We certainly continue to live in strange times!

As we end the year, we want to thank you for your support. If you haven’t already, make sure you take advantage of our TaxiPoint PRO offer which allows users a month’s free trial. This offer will close in the New Year.

Many thanks and Merry Christmas,

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TaxiPoint Editor and Founder


Under the guise of ‘disruption’, the taxi and private hire vehicle (PHV) industry has seen many a new buzzword emerge.

Some were used to introduce new technology, some to re invent the wheel and others to negotiate long standing regulation. The latest that has begun appearing, or in some cases re emerging, describes the role of a PHV driver as a ‘Driver Partner’.

Several UK PHV operators, including Veezu and Addison Lee, have started to use this new terminology in recent months to describe the drivers appearing on their platforms.

According to Veezu this definition is important. It specifically means Driver Partners are independent businesses in their own right and, crucially for Veezu, are not employees nor their workers. This new terminology could have an impact on the ongoing industry row as to who should pay VAT on rides booked and whether operators should be offering drivers workers’ rights.

So, if a Driver Partner is independent, how do they deliver a service on a PHV platform? It is now claimed that the passenger makes TWO bookings when they book a cab via the platform. According to Veezu, the passengers ‘are not Veezu’s customer’ and ‘technically’ they are the customer of the Driver Partner.

In that case what does the word ‘booking’ now mean for a Driver Partner? Well, that describes the number of rides the Driver Partner chooses to accept.

And finally, it now seems recruitment for drivers is a thing of the past moving into 2023. Operators are now looking at ‘Driver Partner Attraction’ instead of recruitment to boost the platform’s coverage. Driver Partners are not recruited as they are ‘self employed’ and simply partner the operator. Expect to see plenty more of this buzzword moving forwards.


The Government has acknowledged the ‘challenges out of area working’ presents to taxi and private hire vehicle (PHV) licensing authorities, but has also argued in favour of the ‘value’ cross border hiring can bring.

Transport Minister Richard Holden described the value cross border provides in helping to meet

unmet demand in areas where drivers might not be readily available.

Gill Furniss, Labour MP for Sheffield, Brightside and Hillsborough, asked the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps he was taking to address cross border working by private hire vehicles.

Richard Holden replied: “Taxis and private hire vehicles (PHVs) are permitted to undertake


pre booked work outside of the area in which they are licensed. PHVs are subject to a triple licensing lock; the operator fulfilling the request, the driver and vehicle must all be licensed by the same local authority. The Government is aware of the challenges out of area working can present to licensing authorities, but also sees the value this system provides in meeting otherwise unmet demand in areas where drivers might not be immediately available.

The Government is responsible for setting the regulatory structure within which local licensing authorities in England license the taxi and private hire vehicle trades. The Department for Transport Statutory Taxi and Private Hire Vehicle Standards recommends enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks for taxi and private hire vehicle drivers. All licensing authorities require these checks.”

This summer, Transport for London (TfL) urged the Government to ‘address problems caused by cross border hiring’ as part of its response to new taxi and PHV guidance proposals.

After a long wait and much lobbying, the Government closed a 12 week consultation to update vital Taxi and PHV guidance supplied to local


authorities to better cope with new digital ways of working following the boom in ride hailing services.

in the latest update in guidance. Cross border hiring is a common term used to describe when a taxi is lawfully used for PHV purposes in a district outside which it has been licensed to operate. This is a problem in many areas because there are disparities in conditions on licences; a prospective driver in one council district may apply to be licensed as a driver in another district because there are lower standards in driver testing, cheaper licence fees or less rigorous/fewer pre licence checks.

A raft of new recommendations have been made, covering pretty much every hot topic impacting the taxi and PHV sector right now, ranging from enhanced driving standard requirements to better signage on taxis.

One of the big issues within the taxi and PHV industry, cross border hiring, was however ignored

The term ‘cross border’ is also used when a PHV in one district picks up a passenger from another district. This is legal, provided either that the driver, vehicle, and operator are all licensed by the first district; or that the operator sub contracts the booking to an operator licensed in another council area. This practice has become increasingly commonplace with the growth of app based operator models.


A significant number of drivers left the taxi industry during the coronavirus pandemic, rightly prompting a call for more cabbies to apply and literally join the

That call was made even more urgent when demand for taxis rocketed after the final covid restrictions were eased during spring 2022. However, just as one crisis of living spiralling and the war in Ukraine unfolding. Demand for taxis has remained strong in most UK cities despite the squeeze on the economy, but the bite of another recession remains lurking around the corner

Historically the taxi industry has been used as a barometer to gauge the economy. As a result, any downturns and upturns in spending are usually quickly

s different due to the imbalance in taxi supply and passenger demand in many cities. In cities that thrive off foreign tourism the weak pound is still inviting high levels of overseas visitors. The recession is also expected to be shallower when compared to some of the more devastating

With all this in mind, many are expecting the taxi industry to ride this one out better than previous years. With taxi driver numbers remaining low it can afford to lose some of the oversubscribed demand. If taxi driver


numbers were however to rise over the next two years and demand falls, that’s when problems will be felt. We polled our readers asking them whether the taxi industry needed more taxi drivers. Nearly two thirds of those who responded thought we already had enough, while the other third (35%) surveyed thought we still needed more new cabbies onboard.

In many cities the next few years are seen as important ones for the taxi industry due to incoming Clean Air Zones (CAZ) and changes to rules surrounding the vehicles that can be driven. Investment will be key and any squeeze felt will impact that. The demand imbalance tipping in favour of the taxi driver this time round is no bad thing in the short term, but there needs to be a plan ready for when the upturn begins.


We’ve all seen the films set in a busy London or New York where a pedestrian is desperately searching for a taxi. There’ll be the custom waving of hands in an attempt to attract attention, but there’ll also be something else a loud piercing whistle. But how does this transcend to real life? Will a whistle from the crowded streets instantly see a taxi spinning around to pick up the stricken passenger?

customer and some commented ‘you’re in the wrong job if this bothers you’. Others pointed out that it is a good way of getting your attention in crowded areas.

However, the main argument for cabbies that didn’t like the action was the link to a submissive command usually aimed at dogs.

Tony Barker said: “I just ignore them. I’m not a



A trip to the airport for a taxi driver used to be a lucrative staple fare. However, over the last decade the price of short term parking and drop off fees have spiralled, pushing the overall cost for the passenger up in the process.

Not all airports around the UK are charging the same amounts to drop off passengers. In fact, when comparing the UK's most expensive airport to the cheapest, the price differs wildly by £6.

Around two thirds of travel hubs across the UK have bumped up their car parking fees since the pandemic began in Spring 2020. Inflation is likely to push prices higher when current tariffs are reviewed next.

London Stansted continues to top the drop off charges table with a whopping initial fee of £7 for 15 minutes (in summer 2019 it was £4 for 10 minutes), but travellers will not find other London airports much cheaper.

London Luton has increased its initial drop off charges to £5 for 10 minutes (2019 £4

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for 13 minutes) while Britain’s two busiest airports, Heathrow and Gatwick, have finally succumbed to introducing drop off fees with both charging £5, which will get you just 10 minutes at Gatwick and an unspecified number of minutes at Heathrow. Dropping off passengers at these two airports was free in 2019.

Across other parts of the country, sky high charges are also prevalent. Manchester Airport gives drivers just five minutes for dropping off at a cost of £5 (an increase from £3 in 2019), while Liverpool John Lennon has raised its fees to £4 for 10 minutes (an increase from £3 for 20 minutes). Bristol and East Midlands airports have both put up their charges to £5 for 10 minutes and 15 minutes respectively Bristol airport’s hike is especially galling as it was charging £1 for 10 minutes in 2019. Those using the three largest airports in Scotland fair little better. Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Glasgow

airports have all doubled their drop off fees to £4 for 10 minutes.

Both Belfast airports, International and City, are the stars of the main airport drop offs. Northern Ireland’s International hub charges just £1 to drop their passengers off, a £6 difference when compared to London Stansted. Belfast City can go one better by not charging anything.

Outside of the main cities, the islands of Jersey, Guernsey and Isle of Man are yet to succumb to the

Age is just a number so they say. But for taxis in certain regions, the age of a vehicle can literally mean the end of the road regardless of the fantastic condition they could be in.

A black cab can move with the times and meet all the required regulations, whether it be onboard technology like contactless payments or even the more in vogue Euro 6 emissions standards. But crucially if it’s deemed too old by a licensing authority it has to be shifted to either another city that deems the vehicle perfect for their fleet or moved to the scrap heap.

Having just come out of an economically tough period during the coronavirus pandemic and now entering a whole new cost of living crisis, taxi drivers like any other small businesses, are finding it hard to invest at this moment in time. Recently the Government put forward the idea of removing age limits for licensed taxis and Private Hire Vehicles (PHV) nationwide.



Transport for London (TfL) however responded to the 12 week consultation saying taxi age limits ‘are not arbitrary or inappropriate’, thus rejecting the Government’s idea.

Each licensing authority responded to proposals made by the Department for Transport (DfT). Within TfL’s response, made available via a Freedom of Information request, the London regulator said the ‘one size fits all’ approach to vehicle age limits is ‘not recommended’. TfL argued the limits set ‘ensure quality standards in the taxi and PHV industry, improve air quality in London, and are easy to understand for both the industry and vehicle manufacturers’.

Other benefits included additional safety features entering the industry on newer vehicles and those with the greatest wear and tear removed.

All valid arguments But what if the vehicle literally moved with the times? There is retrofit technology that can convert diesel taxis into fully electric black cabs. Wear and tear can be replaced when required.

Instead of the age being the deciding factor, why is it not the standard of vehicle presented?

In a bid to keep more taxis on the road, Telford & Wrekin Council has recently given the green light to extend the age limit of taxi vehicles by an extra three years if proprietors keep standards high.

Licensed purpose built vehicles in the area would now require a six monthly MOT and compliance test after the age of twelve years, and multi purpose vehicles would require a six monthly MOT and compliance test after five years.

Interestingly Telford & Wrekin Council benchmarked themselves against four other authorities. Two were found to have no vehicle age limits, one had a sixteen year limit for hackney carriages and the remaining authority had similar vehicle ages.

We all want to do good for the environment and world we live in. A ‘throw away’ culture is often frowned upon, but not when it comes to taxi vehicle licensing. Reducing our carbon footprint is key and much emphasis has been put on what comes out of the exhaust pipe. However, your vehicle affects the environment way before the first mile is driven. Huge amounts of energy is pumped into extracting raw materials, refining them and then constructing it all into what resembles a working taxi.

Age is just a number. Standards are set to be achieved.


Fuel prices for both petrol and diesel are expected to fall sharply in the run up to Christmas due to a falling wholesale market.

Whilst fuel prices remain high, motorists have welcomed the latest drop in pump prices in what has been a volatile market in 2022.

In the ongoing monthly TaxiPoint Fuel Report, we use our unique formula to analyse the rapidly changing fuel cost landscape facing cabbies. In the review we look at some of the UK’s most popular cabs which includes the diesel TX4, the electric LEVC TX, and Skoda Octavia.


At the beginning of November, TaxiPoint reported a black pump fuel price standing at an eye watering £1.90 per litre. Thankfully for cabbies that price has begun dropping in the last fortnight of November to currently sit at £1.85 moving into December. This price ‘should fall sharply’ according to RAC sources.


In mid November the price gap between a litre of diesel and petrol hit a new high with diesel now almost 25p more expensive.

Despite the drop in diesel prices, that gap remains. Petrol prices currently sit at £1.61 per litre, which represents a 6p drop in the month of November.

That downward trend in price is likely to continue over December too.


This remains the biggest lottery when it comes to fuelling your vehicle. Rapid charging is expensive, however some good deals can still be found on fast charger networks. A 22kWh charge using Source London can still represent

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decent value in today’s market, with a full charge coming in just shy of the £10 mark.

There are also some deals to be had for those with home chargers. Some providers can offer cheaper tariffs to EV owners if they charge their vehicles off peak in the dead of night. If, however, you are a night driver or your house uses a lot of energy during the day it might be worth doing the calculations before changing to such tariffs.

Electric taxi vehicle owners with access to off street charging are definitely the winners here. The 44% of people who do not have home charging facilities are the ones most affected.

Because of the wide gap between petrol and diesel, there are however still savings to be had between the TX and TX4 using just their Internal Combustion Engine (ICE).


LTC TX4 (Diesel)

Ford Tourneo Custom (Diesel)

Perry Richardson, TaxiPoint Founder, said: “A drop in price is always a good thing, but more could be done by retailers to pass on those savings.

“Costco have recently broken ranks by offering cheaper fuel. This will hopefully push supermarkets and the big fuel giants to act accordingly.

“December should see less volatility and a steady decease in the prices at the pump.”

£37.99 £189.93 £759.71 £9,116.58 £45,582.89

£31.22 £156.08 £624.32 £7,491.84 £37,459.20

Peugeot Premier (Diesel) £24.44 £122.20 £488.81 £5,865.70 £29,328.52

Mercedes Benz Vito (Diesel) £33.99 £169.96 £679.85 £8,158.23 £40,791.15

Skoda Octavia (Diesel) £23.79 £118.97 £475.90 £5,710.76 £28,553.81

Skoda Octavia (Petrol) £25.52 £127.62 £510.47 £6,125.70 £30,628.49

LEVC TX (Petrol range extender only) £29.91 £149.53 £598.10 £7,177.25 £35,886.24



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Weekly Monthly Annual
2022 Daily
LEVC TX (1 EV Home charge then petrol range extender) £24.94 £124.70 £498.80 £5,985.59
LEVC TX (1 EV home charge, 1 EV public charge, then petrol range extender) £24.97 £124.87 £499.49 £5,993.93
LEVC TX (1 EV home charge, 2 EV public charges) £25.00 £125.00 £500.00 £6,000.00 £30,000.00
Nissan Dynamo (Fully electric home charge and public charge) £14.78 £73.92 £295.68 £3,548.13 £17,740.65 MG5 (Fully electric 150 miles home charge) £10.81 £54.06 £216.24 £2,594.88 £12,974.40 MG5 (Fully electric 150 miles public charge) £16.13 £80.64 £322.56 £3,870.72 £19,353.60

The DBS Update Service is still a relatively new phenomenon in the taxi and private hire industry. To try and help clarify things, we’ve collated the most common questions we receive from drivers about the DBS Update Service. Below you’ll find the top 5 questions we receive.

How do I Register for the DBS Update Service?

Signing up for the Update Service is really easy. You can sign up once you have received your DBS Certificate or you can do it before your DBS certificate is issued using your tracking details (e Reference number). All you need to do is go to this page and enter the details requested. All you need is your basic personal information and either your DBS Certificate number or e Reference number. Once you’ve entered this information, you will be taken to a checkout to pay for your subscription. You have the option for your subscription to ‘Auto

Renew’. We always recommend selecting this option. The DBS will then automatically take payment for your subscription every year.

Can I use an existing Update Service subscription for my licence application?

There are a couple of answers to this question.

If you registered a DBS Certificate to the Update Service, that was issued for the purpose of being a taxi or private hire driver, then you could potentially use an existing subscription. However, it would be down to the licensing authority’s discretion whether or not they would accept this.

If you registered a DBS Certificate to the Update Service that was issued for any other job role, then you would not be able to use that subscription for your licence application. This is because the DBS Certificate may not contain all the relevant information that a licensing authority needs to see.

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What happens if my DBS application is withdrawn but I’ve already registered to the Update Service?

If you subscribe to the Update Service with your e reference number but your DBS application is then withdrawn, you will receive a refund. The refund will be initiated by the DBS at the point that the DBS application is withdrawn.

If your application has been withdrawn but you haven’t received your refund, you need to contact the DBS directly to resolve this. You can contact the DBS by emailing to request a refund.

Can you set up Auto-Renew for the DBS Update Service?

Automatic renewals are available for your Update Service subscription. This option can be selected when you initially register for the Update Service or changed in your account settings.

If you select 'auto renew' every year you will receive an email from the DBS 30 days before the subscription renewal is due. This email will explain that £13 will be taken for the next year’s subscription. When you receive this email, we advise logging in and checking your payment details are up to date.

If your details are incorrect or have expired, your auto renew will fail. If this happens the DBS will email you again advising they will try to take the payment again. You will need to update your payment details immediately.

If the payment fails for a second time, the subscription will not be renewed, and you will need to apply for a new DBS Certificate.

How do I make payment for the DBS Update Service?

If you choose not to 'auto renew' your Update Service subscription, you will need to manually make payment.

30 days before the subscription ends the DBS will send you an email advising that payment is due. You will need to log into your Update Service account to process payment for your next year’s subscription.

The DBS will also send you a reminder letter 14 days before the end of the subscription date if you still haven't made payment.

If you do not make the payment before the expiry date, then you would need to apply for a new DBS Certificate.

TaxiPlus was created for the taxi licensing industry. We realised early that drivers and licensing authorities have enough on their plates without having to worry about background checks. We offer a complete screening solution including DBS and DVLA checks, e Knowledge Tests and Safeguarding Training.

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Ford Pro have revealed the all new E Tourneo Custom which will spearhead the next generation Tourneo and feature an advanced all electric powertrain.

E Tourneo Custom aims to raise the bar in the multi activity vehicle segment, combining a new platform engineered to deliver maximum versatility and comfort with a high efficiency battery electric drivetrain that can deliver a targeted driving range of up to 230 miles (370 km).

One of four new all electric Ford Pro models being launched in Europe by 2024, E targets both personal use and business customers, offering spacious accommodation for up to eight occupants.

The new model introduces a full suite of premium features including ultra flexible track seating, hands free power side doors, B&O audio system, 2 digital key cards, panoramic glass roof and an innovative tilting steering wheel.

Comfort levels are further enhanced by the superior refinement and vehicle dynamics delivered by the next generation vehicle design.

Quiet electric propulsion and a new level of ride comfort and stability are offered by the optimised

chassis architecture with independent rear suspension.

Hans Schep, General Manager at Ford Pro Europe, said: “Whether it’s an active family trip at the weekend or shuttling execs to the airport in style, comfort and refinement, E Tourneo Custom’s all electric powertrain, advanced connectivity, cutting edge design and new luxury features make it a compelling choice.

The Tourneo brand has always stood for space and versatility ’re extending the appeal to a



As part of the most comprehensive Tourneo Custom range ever, customers can also choose an all new Plug In Hybrid (PHEV) version for applications where additional flexibility is required. In addition, the new model can be specified with the latest generation of Ford EcoBlue diesel engines, available with a new high efficiency eight speed automatic gearbox, and for the first time an intelligent all wheel drive system.

All next generation Tourneo Custom vehicles are fully integrated with the Ford Pro platform of software and connected services including end to end charging solutions, management tools from Ford Pro Telematics, the FordPass Pro app, and the FORDLiive connected uptime system.

Tourneo Custom models with EcoBlue diesel engines are scheduled to reach customers from mid 2023, with additional variants available from later in the year.

Let’s talk electric

Utilising the same high density battery cell technology as the Ford F 150 Lightning pickup in a 74 kWh useable battery, with a 160 kW electric motor, E Tourneo Custom will deliver performance and refinement. The multi activity vehicle’s all electric powertrain also offers one pedal drive capability for even greater energy efficiency, and a more relaxed and comfortable driving experience.

An onboard 11 kW AC three phase charger is capable of fully recharging the battery in less than eight hours, and a 15 80 per cent recharge takes around 41 minutes using a 125 kW DC fast charger. E

Tourneo Custom’s charge profile front loads the energy to enable quick top ups; in lab testing, using a 125 kW DC fast charger added almost 38 km of range in just five minutes.

E Tourneo Custom offers a maximum towing capacity of 2,000 kg along with a generous payload allowance, helping adventurous owners carry friends, family and sports equipment with ease, and business operators transport customers and their luggage efficiently.

Pro Power Onboard technology also enables customers to fully utilise the potential of Tourneo Custom’s electrified variants, delivering up to 2.3 kW through sockets in the front cabin ideal for powering digital devices, tools or sports and camping equipment when off grid.

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Imagecredit:FORD Imagecredit:FORD

Showcased in the South Hall at the Los Angeles Convention Center, visitors viewed the popular private hire and taxi vehicle between 18 27 November.

According to Toyota, the all new model is the most fuel efficient Prius ever, with a manufacturer estimated 57 combined MPG, featuring a fresh new sporty exterior design and fifth gen hybrid powertrain with up to 196 horsepower. Following suit, the 2023 Toyota Prius Prime notably boasts a larger lithium ion battery, increasing its EV range by over 50%.

There are now more LEVC TX electric taxis on s roads than any other model of black cab.

According to the latest figures from Transport for London, 43% of London’s black taxis are now zero emission capable (ZEC) or electric, with 6,352 TXe and Dynamo taxis now licensed in the capital.

Individual drivers and small businesses, which make up the trade, have invested more than £400,000,000 in these new, green vehicles.

LEVC, the manufacturer of the TXe, estimates that since its launch in 2018, the new model of the iconic black cab has saved more than 144,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions globally. With the vast majority of the vehicles sold to date operating in London, this represents a significant environmental benefit, which should be celebrated by decision makers in City Hall, the London boroughs and national government.

This positive news comes at a time of change for LEVC, which recently announced a voluntary redundancy programme designed to reduce its UK staff by 140. This is part of a broader plan to restructure the organisation and to "focus on operational efficiencies and greater cash flow generation". Like most in the automotive industry, the manufacturer was hit hard by the pandemic and has continued to face challenges due to the disruption in supply chains and other global economic challenges.

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Imagecredit:Toyota Imagecredit:Toyota

Taxi drivers are being warned to avoid scammers looking to exchange FAKE £20 banknotes for short taxi rides.

The fraudsters are targeting cabbies in London by hailing black cabs and making short £5 fare journeys. On completion, the passenger would hand over a counterfeit banknote in the hope that they would receive £15 back in real money.

Frustrated cabbies have taken to social media to warn others following a spate of imitation notes in recent weeks.

The polymer £20 banknote entered circulation back in February 2020 and features artist JMW Turner.

The polymer £20 is said to be the most secure Bank of England banknote yet. It includes two see through windows and a two colour foil which make it very difficult to counterfeit. The note has joined the Churchill £5 and the Austen £10 in the first series of polymer notes. A new polymer £50 featuring Alan Turing has also been introduced.

The recent batch of fake £20 banknotes are said to have no raised brail bumps on the corner of the note and no ‘20’ numerals displayed in the bottom corner window.

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Taxi fares in Moray are to increase by 10% from 10 December 2022.

Fouling charges will also rise from £120 to £200 at the same time to ensure taxi drivers are compensated correctly for the inconvenience.

There are currently 94 licensed taxi operators in Moray, all of whom were contacted by licensing officers as part of the consultation on changes to fares. Following six responses being received, members of the Licensing Committee agreed to increase the fares. Taxi operators are still able to negotiate a lower off meter price.

Taxi drivers working in Corby are set for a substantial 39% taxi tariff rise, as multiple licensing authorities ‘harmonise’ rates in Northamptonshire.

The mammoth fares increase comes despite Corby Council receiving more than 500 objections from the industry and local residents. There are also concerns from the taxi industry that the rise is too much.


was refused a licence after serving five years in prison for armed robbery.

Bolton Council’s Licensing and Environmental Regulation Committee came to the decision during a meeting on 11 October. Notes from the meeting have only just been released.

The PHV applicant was considered a ‘not fit and proper person’ to hold a licence after concerns surrounding a conviction for armed robbery and possessing an imitation firearm in 2004 arose. The applicant was jailed for five years in prison.

A former taxi driver has been ordered to pay almost £2,000 after admitting to driving an unsafe taxi vehicle while his own taxi licence had expired.

On Friday 18 November at Oxford Magistrates’ Court, Mr Saqib Zamaan, 50, pleaded guilty to illegally driving a licensed hackney carriage vehicle when his own hackney carriage driver’s licence had expired. He was also found guilty of driving the unsafe vehicle, which had a serious defect and no valid MOT.

The court heard how South Oxfordshire District Council received a complaint about a taxi driver and an unsafe vehicle after a member of the public took a journey from the taxi rank in Wallingford on 11 February. The passenger was so concerned about the noise the coming from the vehicle when braking that they got out of the car before reaching their destination.

During the council’s investigations, they found that the vehicle had failed its MOT in February due to worn rear brake pads. Investigators also discovered that Mr Zamaan’s hackney carriage/ private hire driver’s licence had expired on 7 January, which meant he was not permitted to drive it or pick up fare paying passengers. Despite not having a roadworthy car or an official driver’s licence, he was spotted around 180 times displaying a roof sign and taxi plate.

In sentencing, the court took into account Mr Zamaan’s early guilty plea for the two offences and fined him £400 for each, as well as awarding costs to the council of £1,100.

Cllr Maggie Filipova Rivers, Cabinet Member for Community Wellbeing at South Oxfordshire District Council, said: “Our licensing team investigate all complaints made about licensed vehicles and drivers, and we appreciate the time taken by the resident to make us aware of his concerns.”


Thousands of Paddington Bears left by those who paid tribute to The Queen across the Royal Parks and residences in September have been given new homes at a special picnic attended by the Queen Consort.

The bears were given a police escort from Clarence House to the venue by Claire Zazzara, Tony Moore and Michael Son BEM from the London Taxi Drivers’ Charity for Children.

The Special Teddy Bear Picnic at the Barnardo’s Nursery in Bromley was attended by Queen Consort alongside actors Hugh Bonneville and Madeleine Harris who play Mr Brown and Judy Brown in the film, Paddington.

Hugh Bonneville said: “It is a great initiative, where the label says, this teddy bear was left at a Royal Park or residence in memory of her majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second.

“All the children here have received one of these bears here today, they might not get the impact of it quite now but in years to come it will be something quite special.”

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Electric chargepoint firm Co Charger has set their sights on the taxi and private hire vehicle (PHV) industry, as they aim to provide a solution to widespread taxi charging access.

Community charging is now beginning to arrive at the forefront of the electric vehicle (EV) charging industry after the concept broke just three years ago.

Having invented the concept of community charging, Co Charger has already become the third biggest charging network in the UK in just under two years. The network are now using that success to help the

taxi and private hire industry to accelerate their own transition to electric.

The concept of the platform is a simple one. It enables those with private electric vehicle chargers to rent them out to neighbours on a regular, dependable and affordable basis making money and helping their communities in the process.

It is estimated that there are over 400,000 under utilised private chargers in the UK, which is ten times the number of public chargers available.

Uber has announced the launch of Local Cab in FIVE more cities and regions, which will give passengers the option to book trips with a local taxi operator via the Uber app.

The latest batch of operators joining Local Cab follows previous launches in over 60 locations across the UK. The five new regions and operators joining the platform are:

• Domino Hire, Rutherglen & Cambuslang, South Lanarkshire

• DG Cars, Nottingham

• Western Cars, Derby

• Arrow Cars, Leeds

• Middleton Cars, Middleton.

Electric taxi firm Sherbet won Hackney Company of the Year at the Taxi Summit Awards in Liverpool.

This award follows a year of significant growth for Sherbet, with 100 new LEVC taxis commissioned to the tune of £5,000,000, growth in the advertising side of the business, and groundwork laid for Sherbet to play a significant role in the future of London.

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Electric vehicle (EV) company Weev has announced a partnership with Geotab, a global player in IoT and connected transportation, to provide insights into the benefits of switching to EV technology.

Geotab uses advanced analytics to help fleets improve driver safety, reduce fuel or energy consumption, and monitor vehicle health to improve overall fleet sustainability.

It can analyse traditional vehicles to supply a comprehensive overview on the benefits of switching to electric to produce real time data that tracks usage, efficiency and vehicle health.

Geotab’s latest Electric Vehicle Suitability Assessment (EVSA) study found 60 per cent of light duty fleet vehicles in Europe could be switched to fully electric vehicles at a lower total cost of ownership, with average savings amounting to £7,960 per vehicle across seven years.

The results also showed an average saving of five tonnes in carbon emissions per vehicle.

Irish private hire and taxi technology startup iCabbi surpasses one billion rides on its dispatch platform. iCabbi disrupted the traditional taxi industry with the first fully cloud based software and SaaS solution in the UK over a decade ago. It has helped transform companies across the UK by allowing them to automate, optimise and grow their fleets, and holds a sizeable chunk of the market.

While taxi bookings took a major downturn during Covid, recovery is now well and truly back on track. On average, bookings for individual firms are at 90% of pre Covid levels. The collective evidence of this is iCabbi crossing a billion bookings.

Gavan Walsh, CEO & Founder, said: “The momentum is back. Fleets are leaving Covid behind and looking to expand by pursuing new markets and moving away from traditional taxi companies.

“We’re lucky to work with a customer base that is very entrepreneurial and resilient. Our success is intrinsically linked with the success of our customers, so the billion bookings milestone is very much a shared win. It’s a combination of the hard work of our customers servicing their cities and towns day after day with quality taxi and private hire services, and the efforts of the iCabbi team who are driving product and business innovation to allow taxi companies to automate, optimise and grow their businesses.”


Helbiz, Inc has signed a partnership with WeTaxi, a leading taxi operator in Italy. The partnership will allow Helbiz users to book taxis directly from the app, knowing the maximum price they could be required to pay before booking rides.

In 2020, WeTaxi supplied 23% of Italian taxi demand and is projected to rise to half of the market within the next two years. WeTaxi’s service is available in 20 cities in Italy including Rome, Milan, Napoli, and Turin. Riders

using the Helbiz app will see a maximum price when booking a taxi which allows for easy planning. Furthermore, users can use multiple payment methods and book shared routes with friends.

There are currently 6,000 drivers signed up to WeTaxi. To book, users will be able to use their current Helbiz account to order a taxi and pay for the service using the method of their choice. The integration into the app will be released in the coming month.

Bolt has announced a new feature which will allow people to rent out their car on their mobility app and earn a guaranteed monthly income.

The ‘share your car’ feature will be available via Bolt Drive, the company’s car sharing product, which was launched in 2021 during the pandemic and is currently live in Estonia and Latvia, with expansion plans to other European countries before the end of the year.

At a time when the cost of living is rising across Europe, users of the ‘share your car’ feature could earn €112 to over €1000 in additional income every month depending on the car’s make, model and mileage and the length of the rental period.

For example, for sharing a smaller vehicle, like a Toyota Yaris or a Ford Fiesta, owners will receive up

to €510 monthly. In case of bigger car models, such as Volkswagen Passat, the earnings would reach up to €720 per month. For premium cars, owners would be guaranteed €1230 for a rental period of one month and also €8000 if they rent the car for six months.

34 DECEMBER 2022 - Edition 44 GLOBALNEWS

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