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Clampdown on taxi industry with removal of certain criminals from the sector

MORE than 40 new changes are being proposed in a new report on the taxi industry including the extension of garda powers and the removal of certain criminals from the sector.

Taxi drivers could also be required to accept credit cards and Leap travel cards, according to the main proposals of the Department of Transport Taxi Review.

Those with certain criminal convictions would have to apply to the courts to maintain their licences.

“Those convicted of serious crimes will no longer be able to operate taxis, and that will be retrospective,” said junior transport minister Alan Kelly.

He added that many could leave the industry as a result of the moves.

The renting of licences would not be allowed and it would be compulsory to notify the Department of the rental of vehicles.

The report also proposes annual social welfare and revenue checks for drivers and vehicles owners.

There are also plans for a smartphone app, which would allow customers to check if their driver is licensed and operating within regulations.

Mr Kelly, said he is also considering the possibility of taxi drivers being trained in hospitality - because they are the first point of contact for foreign visitors.