Heathrow Gatwick Cars

Monday, 21 October 2013

Bending the licensing policies is extremely easy for a lot of deceitful operators to do.

One renowned operator that takes pride in professionalism sent some annoyed and frustrated emails. Located right by Stansted Airport, this corporation has put in a great deal of effort to make its prices indicative of its level of service, and guarantees that any business traveler or vacationer will benefit significantly from that service.

However, over the past 3 years another "operator" that's acting much like our old favorite, a broking service, has been consistently taking their business. These guys will go around to various airports in the United Kingdom like Heathrow, Gatwick, and Stansted and implement a very general pricing technique where the "partner" operator either approves the booking at the cost given by the operator or doesn't. Essentially the most affordable fee.

From time to time this charge might be £20- £30 less costly after the fee charged to the operator or driver, which is much less expensive than that operator would ordinarily charge, If they don't take the job, just go down the list and offer it to the next company.

I soon discovered while talking to them on a phone call that when taking on "partners" these people failed to do any kind of check, failed to ask for driver documentation, and failed to go to the "partner companies". The truth is, the only thing they request is a copy of your operator's license. Non-VAT register drivers is what I was told they would rather use, which is even more interesting.

Moreover, they claim that customers could pay a "meet and greet" fee, which means they're met in the terminal. If people choose not to pay that in order to keep costs reduced it's possible for them to be met and picked up on the outside of the terminal, which we all know now a days is against the law at many airports.

The fact that it is not located in close proximity to Heathrow, Luton, Gatwick, Stansted or any other airports is the most fascinating thing regarding this business. Somerset is the place where it is actually found. Seemingly, the firm’s licensing authority (Sedgemoor District Council) is thrilled for them to work in this fashion and is actually - through the key phrases from the chap spoke to Mr Ed Halil -“very much taken care of". 

This highlights once again that local licensing authorities don't have a clue when it comes to their own rules. How is it possible for operators located in Somerset to ply for business from Stansted airport, when other authorities won't even let operators get bookings from outside their own jurisdiction?
It's very common these days to find little kingdoms where licensing officers enjoy waving around their authority and creating their own rules whenever they please. This makes it much easier for the corrupt operators to keep working unchecked, while the more respected and responsible operators have a harder time trying to work.

They blame it on the fact that they don't have the manpower, which is probably true. As an example, take Surrey. We've got 11 area boroughs and 18 neighbouring boroughs and districts and each and every one has distinctive policies, rules and prices relating to Private Hire or Hackney Carriage licensing.

Even so the school managed contracts for Surrey are monitored and operated by Surrey County Council-one department, one enormous workforce for the whole area. Wouldn't doing the same with the PHV licensing and taxi be a smart thing to do? Bring together your resources and have a single license issued by the County. It should just be one cost, the same exact rules for every person and a much more bigger team on a whole to get the admin done and to be out there checking operators and drivers, which will make it harder for illegal drivers and operators to continue.

In order to make certain out industry is operating on a honest and appropriate platform for everybody these County Licensing Departments can then liaise and work with their counterparts all around the United Kingdom.

The National License won't work in spite of the LPHCA's efforts campaigning it, mainly because too many people will wish to run the thing and it'll quickly fall into politics and infighting. However county licensing would do the trick and those county licensing departments may also speak to one another to establish standardisation concerning cross-border protocols.