PCO, Partitioned PH Vehicles. By Tony Mc

The Secretary of State shall grant a a London PHV licence for a vehicle if he is satisfied-

(a) that the vehicle-

(1) is suitable in type, size and design for use as a private hire vehicle-

(2) Is safe, comfortable and in a suitable mechanical condition for that use; and


Chapter  34 of the 1998 Private Hire Vehicles  (London) Act) clearly states:

Take a close look at section (3)

Surely minicabs installed with partitions are clearly contravening the act.

The Public Carriage Office (PCO) has seen fit to license PH vehicles with partitions installed, also vehicles that resemble licensed taxis in appearance. They have been either neglectful. Or, are interpreting the law the way they see fit!

The PCO keep reiterating there are many things that differentiate a licensed taxi from mini-cab. Take for instance the “for hire sign”, or the rear license plate. These and many other things are present on a licensed taxi, but not on a mini-cab. All this tells us is what most people already know; licensed taxis have certain attributes that mini-cabs do not, and there is a very good reason:

The 1998 PH act makes it clear there must be a clear distinction between licensed taxis and private hire vehicles. There is nothing ambiguous about chapter 34 of the 1998 PH act 1, 2, 3 above. However, it does appear that the PCO have been adding amendments to the vehicle inspection manual in an attempt to circumnavigate the current legislation!

See section 13 of the manual to see the amendment that has been created to allow PH vehicles to be modified to come closer to resembling a London taxi, aiding PH to move closer and encroach into an area outside of the original legislation!

Click here to read the amended inspection manual Page removed by PCO

We now have the Mercedes Vito taxi. Versions of this vehicle are available to both the licensed taxi trade and PH. Late at night or to an unsuspecting tourist, or even someone more vulnerable; a version of this vehicle fitted with a partition could easily be mistaken for a licensed taxi!

Private hire, as has been emphasised many times in the past, do not do the same type of work as licensed taxis. Licensed taxis and their drivers are trained and equipped with a vehicle to service the general public with instantaneous transportation.

Private hire are not, and never have been. The 1998 PH act (London) provides all of the necessary legislation and regulations, and if adhered to, PH would not be facing the current problems they have today! PH of its own accord has decided to encroach into a territory their vehicles were never meant to be equipped for by either design or purpose!

The PCO are a licensing authority, responsible for maintaining required standards as laid out by legislation and law! It seems some see themselves as mini barristers and a law unto themselves; they have personal agendas, and forget what they are actually there to do.

It might be a good idea for the PCO to add to their list of courses; one to familiarise themselves with the legislation they are there to enforce as the licensing authority!

16 thoughts on “PCO, Partitioned PH Vehicles. By Tony Mc

  1. There soon will be not much left to identify us and PH. All mercs at night look the same ESP when the Vito has got it light off.
    The pco has to start drawing a line as to which vehicles the private sector can use.
    Let see if Mary has got the BALLS to stand up to mr wright and the PH mob !

  2. The scabs had the vito first, so surley we tried to make a cab look like a mini-cab!!! And if your stupid enough to buy a silver one then you might as well be a mini cab driver. All cabs in London should be black, with only door adverts allowed, end of.

    • Dont matter if the scabs had a vito first,the fact being it’s a taxi now.The PCO have to stop licensing Vito’s as PHV by law because the Vito van and the Vito six seater and the taxi are all made from the same body design mould, and when they do it wont matter what colour you have because no minicabs will be vito’s.

      • I can’t see it happening, but you never know. I’m not anti vito, I just think all cabs should be black and mini-cabs silver. Then Addison lee couldn’t advertise on the web as being ‘black cabs’. Sorry for any offence caused, not slagging anyone off.

  3. I’m sorry i don’t understand, why do Mini Cabs need a partition when they are pre booked only and the fare can always be traced ?

    It’s not as if they are picking up of the street blind … is it.

  4. Last week/Friday my Taxi failed an SGS test because of a 3mm split in the shock Absorber Rubber. I lost Four days work. When I took it back for a re-test the following Tuesday I had all my personal belongings back in the Cab ready for work. In the front, pointing towards the windscreen I have a wooden cross with a poppy stuck onto it saying: In remembrance. I was told that it should not be there and if it was in the Cab when it was tested prior, then it should have failed?

    When’s the next demo in Trafalgar Sq? Sooner the better…


  5. Dear All,
    I would like to say two things to all you that have taken the time to post on here.

    1. I will not have people come on this site to just attack other trade bodies or Individuals. It is devisive and negative and helps no one. There are other sites for this, if that is what you want to do.

    2. As I have said before, the Club,LTDA,T&G, RMT, all represent us, Cab drivers.To waste all our energy attacking each other is pointless. Wake up and focus on ALL OUR ENEMIES !
    thank you.

    Grant Davis.

  6. Grant,

    I will get back to you when I have more time to think about your proposal.

    Also, in the next few days I will be working, so can’t respond in-depth at present. My internet access is limited to my PDA when I am in London working.

    Be sure, I will contact you on Monday.


  7. EC, I am dealing with a cab stop today ( Sat ) . I have just got of the phone to John Mason regarding a members cab which failed yesterday over a new tax disc being fitted.!!
    This behaviour will no longer be tolerated. John Mason has also asked me if my member has suffered any loss of earnings as he is livid.
    This will be resolved to the benefit of my member on Monday morning.

  8. I am totally against the P.H in London having shields fitted. If you are out of town and get in a black vito PH with a partition then you would easily think it is a vito taxi.
    If the PH get the bus lanes then what is the difference eh ?
    I will be seeking a meeting with the PCO regarding this most urgent of issues.

  9. Hi Grant,

    Thank you for your suggestion to contact John Mason regarding my recent experience at the SGS centre in Deptford.

    I am grateful for your concerns. However, in retrospect I feel that if I were intending to take this matter further then as a member or the RMT I would have to take the matter up with them firstly. Nonetheless thank you for your concerns, they are very much appreciated.

    Furthermore, I would like to point out that my comment was intended to show the vast divide between what is acceptable for P/H in comparison of what is non-acceptable to Licensed London Taxis.

    Regards, and thank you once again for your concerns.


  10. I agree, all mini cabs should be white or silver, and all cabs should be black. Like in New York with their famous yellow chequer cabs, companies pay fortunes for a world famous brand, we got one and want to buy cabs that look like the P.H .?????????

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s