When it comes to bending the licensing regulations it is way too easy for some fraudulent private hire operators to do.
Some frustrated email messages were sent from one successful and expert licensed operator out of dissatisfaction. In the vicinity of London Stansted Airport is where this business is positioned, and when it comes to ensuring that its rates are reflective of its service levels it has worked quite hard. This corporation likes to believe that any visitor or business traveler that visits will see value in that service.
However, just lately they've been losing a large amount of business to a different "operator" that's behaving a bit like a broking service, which is our old favorite. These guys register other operators from all of the primary Uk uk london airports including Gatwick airport, Heathrow airport, and Stansted. Then these people work on a very general pricing strategy and the "partner" licensed operator will either take the booking or decline the payment provided by the broker. Generally the cost-effective rate. Once the fee is charged to the private hire or licensed operator this price normally will be £20- £26 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.
I quickly discovered while talking to them on a phone call that when taking on "partners" these people failed to do any kind of check, failed to ask for private hire documentation, and failed to go to the "partner companies". The truth is, the only thing they request is a copy of your operator's license. Non-VAT register drivers is what I was told they would rather use, which is even more interesting.
Also, they claim that clients are able to pay a "meet and greet" fee, which means it's within the terminal where they're met. 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 international airports. The fact that it's based in Somerset and not near Luton Airport, Stansted, Gatwick airport, London Heathrow, or any other airports is definitely the most interesting thing about this organization. Seemingly, the firm's licensing authority (Sedgemoor District Council) is very happy for them to operate in this way and is actually - through the sayings from the fellow spoke to Mr Halil -"very much protected".
Yet again, this illustrates that when it comes to their own rules local accreditation authorities lack the necessary understanding. If other authorities won't let private hire operators accept bookings from outside their own jurisdiction, then why are private transfers operators in Somerset allowed to ply for business from London Stansted airport? Right now we have got way too many small kingdoms where accreditation officers love to design their own policies as they go and wave their authority around. As you can imagine, this makes it much more difficult for trusted private hire operators to function and a whole lot easier for the shady operators to keep working without having to be checked. They blame it on the fact that they don't have the manpower, which is probably true. For instance, take Sussex. We've got 11 area boroughs and 18 neighbouring boroughs and districts and each and every one has distinct policies, rules and expenses pertaining to Private Transfers or Hackney Carriage licensing.
Even so the college managed legal contracts for Sussex are maintained and operated by Sussex County Council-one department, one big staff for the whole area. When it comes to PHV accreditation and the taxi why not do the same thing? Bring together your resources and have a single license issued by the County. In order to get the admin done and to be out there checking drivers and private hire operators, making it tougher for illegal drivers and private transfers 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 will not work in spite of the LPHCA's efforts campaigning it, merely because lots of people will wish to run the thing and it will immediately fall into politics and infighting. However county accreditation would do the trick and those county licensing departments may also consult one another to ascertain standardisation in regard to cross-border guidelines.