A fare shake

Think tank: Adam Smith Institute

Author(s): Maxwell Marlow

May 4, 2022

This report from UK think tank the Adam Smith Institute looks at reforming taxis for the 21st century.

The Adam Smith Institute’s latest paper, written by Maxwell Marlow, outlines how the UK can improve regulation of taxis and private hire vehicles. The Private Hire Vehicles Act (1998) and Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act (1976) should be overhauled to provide a clear regulatory framework for modern ride-hailing services. New legislation should be brought forward; Licensure for taxis, Private Hire Vehicles (PHVs), and ride-sourcing drivers should be reviewed to allow for street-hailing across platforms. A single-tier of licensing should exist to create an equal market which is truly dynamic in function; The Knowledge, and other topographical tests, should be removed as requirements with the advent of regularly-updated GPS and traffic-mapping systems; The Government should review and remove a number of surplus regulations regarding Taxi and PHV operation due to a ‘regulatory overload’ causing drivers to leave the profession, or not join in the first place; Licensing authorities should permit the licensing of ‘paratransit light vehicles’ for cheaper, greener, and higher capacity travel, as a supplement to bus networks; The Government could do more to encourage transfer to electric vehicles (EVs) and hybrids by creating a subsidy fund, providing tax incentives, and travel cards for green travel by taxis and PHVs.