§ 18. Mr. Awbery
asked the Minister of Transport if he is aware that minibuses and omnicoaches which convey twelve passengers, because of their structure, do not come within the public service 425 vehicle category and therefore do not need a licence as do other passenger carrying vehicles; and what steps are being taken to bring about uniformity.
§ Mr. Hay
Under the Road Traffic Act, 1960, any vehicle adapted to carry twelve passengers must have a public service vehicle licence if it is carrying them for hire or reward. Structure does not affect the matter.
§ Mr. Awbery
Does it not appear that there is a difference between the taxi licence and the public vehicle licence, and that these minibuses come between the two? They do the work of the public service vehicle and the work of the taxi, and there is nothing to prevent them doing so because there is no special licence for them. Will the hon. Gentleman look into the matter?
§ Mr. Hay
With respect, I do not think that it needs to be looked into. There is a clear distinction between the hackney carriage licence—the taxi licence—and the public service vehicle licence. The rules for the latter are contained in the Road Traffic Act. If the hon. Gentleman would find it helpful, I will get my Department to write to him fully, explaining what the differences are.