Crony Chauffeur Services

Friday, 18 October 2013

Private Hire Operators Bends Regulation

It's too easy to bend the licensing regulations for a number of deceiving operators that are around.

One widely known operator that takes pride in professionalism sent some agitated and frustrated emails. This business functions very near to Stansted Airport, and when it comes to their service level they want it to reflect their costs. Furthermore, they really want their service to really be useful for any visiting business traveler or visitor.

However, some other "operator" that is behaving more like a broking service has been taking business from them during the last three years. These people register other operators from all of the primary UK airports like Gatwick, Heathrow, and Stansted. There after these guys concentrate on a very general pricing technique and the "partner" operator will either accept the booking or refuse the payment offered by the broker. Pretty much the most cost effective rate.

Once the fee is charged to the driver or operator this price normally will be £20- £30 less expensive than that operator would charge any other time. If they don't take the job, just go down the list and offer it to the next company.
                                                             [Private Hire Transfers]

I learned after I called and briefly talked to them that the only thing they ask for is a copy of your operator's license when dealing with "partners". These guys never do any type of check, never visited the "partner companies", and never asked for any driver documentation. Non-VAT register drivers is what I was told they would rather use, which is even more interesting.

Moreover, they report that customers could pay a "meet and greet" cost, which means they're met up with in the airport terminal. If people choose not to pay that in order to keep costs reduced it's possible for them to be met and picked up on the outside of the terminal, which we all know now a days is against the law at many airports.

When it comes to this company the most interesting thing about it is the fact that it's located in Somerset and nowhere close to Heathrow, Stansted, Gatwick, Luton, or any other airports. Seemingly, the firm’s licensing authority (Sedgemoor District Council) is completely happy for them to function in this fashion and is actually - through the key phrases from the chap spoke to Mr Ed Halil -“very much taken care of".

This highlights once again that local licensing authorities don't have a clue when it comes to their own rules. How is it possible for operators situated in Somerset to ply for business from Stansted airport, when other authorities will not even let operators get bookings from outside their own jurisdiction?

It's very common these days to find little kingdoms where licensing officers enjoy waving around their authority and creating their own rules whenever they please. This makes it much easier for the corrupt operators to keep working unchecked, while the more respected and responsible operators have a harder time trying to work.

They try to say it's because they lack manpower, which might be the truth. As an example, take Surrey. We've got 11 area boroughs and 18 neighbouring boroughs and districts and each and every one has distinctive guidelines, rules and expenses regarding Private Hire or Hackney Carriage licensing.

Even so the school managed contracts for Surrey are monitored and operated by Surrey County Council-one department, one enormous group for the whole area. Why isn't it a good idea to do the same thing with the PHV licensing and taxi? Join your resources and just have one license given by the County. In order to get the admin done and to be out there checking drivers and operators, making it tougher for illegal drivers and operators to keep doing what they're doing, it should be just one cost and the same rules for everybody and a much larger team.

These County Licensing Departments will then be able to liaise and work together with their counterparts around the UK to help guarantee that our industry is functioning on an acceptable and fair platform for every person.

The National License won't work despite the LPHCA's efforts campaigning it, simply because far too many individuals will wish to run the thing and it'll promptly succumb to politics and infighting. However county licensing would get the job done and those county licensing departments can also communicate with one another to establish standardisation with regards to cross-border guidelines.