MPs call for new rules to control the licensing of drivers in UK

A group of over two dozen cross-party MPs have asked the government to introduce new rules to control the licensing of drivers for Uber and other minicab services with new national standards.

Twenty-five MPs have signed a letter to transport secretary, Chris Grayling, calling for a new definition of cross-border hiring, along with taxi companies Gett and MyTaxi, the LTDA taxi union and the company that makes London's newest electric black cabs.

Labour's Wes Streeting and Jess Philips and Green Party leader Caroline Lucas are among the MPs who signed the letter.

Currently drivers can get a licence in one area and work in another, something the MP's claim is putting passengers at risk.

According to Transport for London (TfL) 177 drivers licensed in London are registered to postcodes in Sheffield earlier this year. Also, drivers in Southend who had their licence revoked were found to be using ones from TfL.

The MPs, part of the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on taxis, wants national standards for drivers that would bring an end to the practice.

''The current system where a driver can lose a licence in one part of the country and simply get one by tapping up another council is playing fast and loose with passenger safety," said Streeting.

Meanwhile, York has followed London by refusing to grant ride-hailing app Uber a licence to operate in the city.

Transport for London (TfL) refused to renew Uber's licence due to ''public safety and security implications'' in September.

Also, Sheffield suspended the company's licence last week.

A committee at the City of York Council pointed to the complaints it had received about the service and a recent well-publicised data protection breach as reasons for the decision.

The 7-3 vote of the Gambling, Licensing and Regulatory Committee came amid cheers from the public gallery, last night.