Whether in our towns and cities, or in our rural communities, taxis and private hire cars are a vital part of transport networks for citizens, businesses, and visitors across Scotland. As Minister for Victims and Community Safety I have portfolio responsibility for the licensing regime for taxis and private hire cars. The aim of the licensing regime, as set out in the Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982, continues to be to ensure that taxi and private hire car customers have a safe, reliable and accessible service.
The day to day administration of the licensing regime rest with independent local licensing authorities – in effect the 32 Scottish local authorities – who are best placed to take local circumstances into account in the decision making process to ensure that they provide safe and appropriate services for members of the public. Requirements may of course differ across local authorities and vary considerably between our urban and more rural communities.
I am pleased to issue this updated best practice guidance document. Those of you who have read the previous versions of the guidance will note that the Scottish Government has updated the title of the guidance document to highlight that as well as being for Licensing Authorities, this document will also be of use to taxi and private hire car operators.
I would like to place on record my sincere thanks and take the opportunity to recognise the valued contribution from all the members of the working group that was established by the Scottish Government to review the previous guidance document, and inform and shape the updated guidance. I know from discussions with my officials in the Scottish Government Criminal Law, Practice and Licensing Unit that the work undertaken by all of the group members has been greatly appreciated. Looking ahead, my officials have also committed to on-going engagement with working group members to ensure that the best practice guidance remains up to date and fit for purpose.
I hope you find this guidance helpful.
Siobhian Brown MSP
Minister for Victims and Community Safety
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