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cityguru, Solicitor
Category: Scots Law
Satisfied Customers: 13329
Experience:  solicitor
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I am a self-employed Taxi Driver working under the umbrella

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I am a self-employed Taxi Driver working under the umbrella of a Taxi Company. We have a mixture of Taxi “Hackney” Licences and Taxi Private Hire. As you will know, under the Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982 a Taxi (Hackney License) can be hired immediately, directly with the driver, at ranks, on the street or via a Radio/Data head. On the other hand Private Hire Taxis are not legally available for immediate hiring in the
same way as Taxis and must be pre-booked. For this reason the Private Hire Driver has an opportunity to check the details of a route before starting a journey. Which is why the Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982 makes no provision for private hire car drivers to undergo a Taxi or Topographical Knowledge Test of the area in which they operate?

The umbrella Taxi Company I work with, allows Private Hire Taxis to use Data heads to receive work exactly the same as Taxis (Hackney License). They state that if someone phones the office for a Taxi and they then give that job to a Private Hire Taxi that is deemed as being Pre-Booked.

My Q is: Legally what is Pre-Booked. Is there an accepted time limit that quantifies a Pre-booked period? And does this practice of giving jobs out via a data head or phone etc not contravene what the Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982 means in so much a third party is involved as well as the Private Hire non- requirement to sit a Topographical Knowledge Test..

Thank you for your question. I am sorry to say the answer to your questions fairly clear and not the one you want! under the Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982 a Taxi as opposed to a private hire is defined as " a hire car which is engaged, by arrangements made in a public place between the person to be conveyed in it (or a person acting on his behalf) and its driver for a journey beginning there and then". So this means that it is hire in the street direct between the taxi and the passenger( or someone arranging it for the passenger). So by definition any hire by telephone does not fall within the definition. The expression pre booked is misleading - it is really booked by arrangement other than directly in the street. I am afraid almost all mini cab operations work in this way.

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Customer: replied 4 years ago.

By giving a Private Hire Taxi a job directly, by whatever means, suggests that in most circumstances, they would not have the time or opportunity to check the details of a route before starting a journey. Therefore contravening the definition of Private Hire with regards XXXXX XXXXX Taxi or Topographical Knowledge Test as per the Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982?



No it does not contravene the definition. The definition requires the passenger to make the arrangement direst with the driver not through a third party such as a controller or telephone operator.

Sorry but the wording of the act is very clear as I quoted to you above .