Following agreement by both Houses on the text of the Bill it received Royal Assent on 31 March to become the Taxis and Private Hire Vehicles (Safeguarding and Road Safety) Act 2022 (c. 14).
This Bill sought to improve the safety of taxi passengers. The problem the Bill sought to resolve is one of where licensing authorities might revoke the licences of drivers for wrongdoing, only for the driver to obtain a licence from another authority, and then be able to continue working, potentially in the former licensing authority area.
It aims to address this problem in two ways. First, it would mandate local licensing authorities to record taxi licence refusals, revocations and suspensions on a national database, which other local licensing authorities would be required to consult before making licence decisions about the same driver. This would create a statutory footing for the ‘National Register of Taxi and Private Hire Licence Revocations and Refusals’ (NR3), which was commissioned by the Local Government Association and introduced July 2018, and is already used by many licensing authorities on a voluntary basis.
Second, it would allow local authority enforcement teams to report instances of wrongdoing by taxi drivers to the authority in which the offender is licensed. The licensing authority must then have regard to such a report and respond to it.