HC Deb 27 May 1908 vol 189 cc1065-6
MR. COOPER (Southwark, Bermondsey)

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he is aware that the London motor cab companies are requiring their drivers, before accepting a fare to outlying suburban districts, to endeavour to enter into a bargain with the passenger, before accepting a fare, to pay 6d. per mile back-mileage, and failing which, if the driver is unable to secure a fare back, to charge the driver 6d. per mile back-mileage; and whether such a demand in any way infringes the terms on which the licence is issued.

(Answered by Mr. Secretary Gladstone.) Motor-cab drivers are not entitled to demand return fares inside the Metropolitan Police district. Outside the district the Secretary of State has no authority to prevent a driver making an arrangement with the hirer for the payment of a return fare, and I understand that the drivers have been instructed not to accept fares outside the district except in consideration of some return fare.


To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether his attention has been directed to the action of the Metropolitan Police in allowing taximeter motor cabs, licensed to carry two passengers, to carry with impunity four, and occasionally five passengers; and whether he will consider the advisability, in the interest of other licensed drivers, of directing the police to secure a stricter compliance with the terms of the licence.

(Answered by Mr. Secretary Gladstone.) The rule that a cab should not carry more passengers than it is licensed for applies equally to horse-drawn cabs and to motor cabs. In either case, it would cause great inconvenience to the public if it were enforced rigidly or without discretion; and I do not propose to direct the police to interfere except in cases of serious overcrowding.