HL Deb 20 July 1998 vol 592 cc80-1WA
Baroness Jeger

asked Her Majesty's Government:

How many licensed taxis operating in London do not have passenger seat belts; and whether, to avoid further injuries, they will consider bringing forward from the year 2000 the requirement to fit passenger seat belts in all such vehicles. [HL2729]

Baroness Hayman

According to the Public Carriage Office's records, of the 19,082 licensed taxis in London, 2,525 are not equipped with seat belts. Of these taxis without seat belts, 473 were manufactured before 1 April 1982, and are not legally required to have rear seat belt anchorages; the remainder were built between 1 April 1982 and 31 March 1987 and are not legally required to have rear seatbelts. This legal position is the same for taxis as for cars.

There is no requirement that all licensed taxis in London shall have seatbelts by 1 January 2000; there is, however, a requirement that all London taxis shall be wheelchair accessible by that date. That means that London taxis which are not accessible will not have their licences renewed after the end of this year, since taxi licences last for a year. The effect of the accessibility requirement will be further to reduce the number of taxis without passenger seat belts.