Infrastructure Minister Chris Hazzard has announced that a full and comprehensive review of the current taxi legislation is set to get underway.
The Minister took the opportunity to make the announcement at his first meeting with representatives of the recently formed Northern Ireland Taxis (NIT) group.
Minister Chris Hazzard said: “Much work has already been carried out to help build a safe and professional taxi industry that benefits the hundreds of operators, drivers and administrative staff who work in the industry and to the hundreds of thousands of people who use taxis regularly.
“There are still many challenges ahead, however, I am determined to support and grow the industry through legislation that protects the industry itself and its customers.
“Metering remains a central plank of how taxis will be regulated in the future and current requirements remain in place.”
The Minister is aware of concerns around licensing classifications for taxis and reiterated that Class C is intended for use by, for example wedding, funeral and novelty vehicles and not as a general taxi class. He made it clear that he will be moving promptly to resolve the matter.
The Minister continued: “To help inform and develop this work I have asked officials to establish a Taxi Advisory Group as soon as possible.”
The review will take into account the views of local operators and drivers, as well as those of the general public and other key stakeholders. New proposals are expected to be brought forward for public consultation in spring next year.
Notes to Editors:
1. The Taxis Act (NI) 2008 set out legislative changes to how the taxi Industry in the North will operate. Major changes included:
· Four new classes of Taxi Licence, A, B, C, and D to replace the existing PSV licence categories
· a better service for people with disabilities;
· Class A and B taxis will need a new roof sign, taximeters and printers;
· Class C taxis are not permitted to display a roofsign or advertise and are not required to have a meter or printer;
· Class D relates to taxi buses which operate under a road service permit and
· a new style taxi driver test
3. See photos from the Department for Infrastructure in our Flickr collection: https://www.flickr.com/photos/niexecutive/collections/72157669044006236/