The Scottish Government is undertaking a variety of work in relation to taxis and private hire cars. This consultation is particularly focussed on the impact of modern technology on the licensing regime for taxis and private hire cars and will cover the taking of bookings, booking offices and fares . Modern technology, such as the advent of smartphone apps allowing the booking of a taxi or private hire car directly from a mobile phone, is already having a major impact on the way that taxis and private hire cars operate. The consultation will seek views on the relevant points bearing in mind that the interests of public safety need to be balanced with the need for regulations that are proportionate.
During the Parliamentary passage of the Air Weapons and Licensing (Scotland) Act 2015 (the “ 2015 Act”), concerns were raised about the impact of modern technology such as smartphone apps on the licensing regime for taxis and private hires, and the Scottish Government made a commitment to undertake further work to address these matters. Scottish Government officials have carefully considered the issues raised during the passage of the 2015 Act, and have met with stakeholders to seek their views. It was agreed a consultation should be issued to address these concerns given the changing technological environment, which will challenge existing businesses and regulatory models.