HC Deb 29 June 1972 vol 839 cc1642-3
7. Mr. O'Halloran

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what is his estimate of the number of private cars that are now used for minicab purposes in the greater London area.

Mr. Lane

I have no reliable information on which to base such an estimate.

Mr. O'Halloran

Can the hon. Gentleman assure us that he will introduce legislation to amend the London Cab Act, 1968, to eliminate the ruthless exploitation of the public by these so-called private operators?

Mr. Lane

My right hon. Friend is very aware of the feeling in the trade that Section 4 of that Act in particular needs amending and he has already undertaken to consider any proposals that may be made to him.

Mr. Mudd

Does my hon. Friend accept that in the use of private vehicles there is an additional danger to the public since they are not automatically covered by insurance, and that any pedestrian or other vehicle involved in an accident with these illegal vehicles is similarly not covered by insurance?

Mr. Lane

Yes, Sir, and I am grateful to my hon. Friend for drawing the attention of the House to that fact, which we shall keep in mind.

Mr. Bidwell

Does the hon. Gentleman agree that even where insurance arrangements may be in order there appears to be a growing practice of agencies advertising a taxi service, which turns out to be provided by private people of all sorts, sometimes even middle class women making pin money by using their own private vehicles? I ask the hon. Gentleman to look at this very carefully. Taxi cab drivers and owners of taxis operating under the hackney carriage licensing system are right to be gravely anxious about this developing situation.

Mr. Lane

Nobody is satisfied with the present situation. We shall try to bear all these points, grievances and complaints in mind in reviewing the situation.