Transport Lawyers for the Passenger Sector
Woodfines Solicitors' Legal 500 nationally recognised Transport Law team provides legal services to a wide range of road transport businesses in the passenger sector.
Our clients include businesses using private-hire vehicles, hackney carriage, minibuses, coaches and buses both within and outside the scope of PSV / PCV Operator Licensing. If you would like advice or information on how we may be able to assist your passenger transport business, please contact road transport lawyers Mike Hayward, Michelle O'Garro or Nathan Taylor-Allkins.
Our team of specialist transport solicitors can advise and support your business in areas related to compliance, crime and regulatory matters, including:
- Operator licensing
- Carriage of passenger and related contracts or disputes
- Representation in Court and at Public Inquiry
- Road traffic offences
- Road transport compliance including drivers’ hours offences, construction and use, and driver licensing
- Compliance auditing
- Health and safety regulatory
- Waste and environmental regulatory.
We also offer a broad range of core legal services tailored to the needs of transport businesses that include:
- Company commercial including mergers, sales and disposals of transport businesses or operating centres
- Commercial property
- Employment law including including Road Transport Working Time, agency drivers and driver contracts
- Dispute resolution including commercial litigation and alternative dispute resolution
- Debt recovery
- International services.
Woodfines are members of the Institute of Licensing and the Confederation of Passenger Transport.
Case Study: A successful outcome for a PHV business
Crime and regulatory solicitor Mike Hayward was instructed by a Private Hire Vehicle business to advise on a council decision not to grant them an exemption from having to have vehicle signage (including a roof mounted sign). PHV operators are permitted to apply to the local council’s licensing team to seek an exemption from having this type of signage.
In this case, the business had been operating within the exemption for over 14 years and have a client base who seek to use their vehicles due to the discreet nature of their vehicles. The council had refused the exemption on the basis that the vehicles being used did not fall within the exemption regulations i.e. they were not luxurious enough.
Our client appealed this decision to the licensing sub-committee where we successfully argued that the exemption should be permitted. Had the original decision been upheld, our client’s business would have been in jeopardy.
Examples of our support to the passenger sector:
Plying for Hire
Operator prosecuted by local County Council for Plying for Hire. Acquitted following trial at Magistrates Court. Our team successfully challenged the evidence of Licensing Officers and their interpretation of Council Policy.
Taxi driver was unrepresented at trial and convicted of assault, and as a result had his taxi licence revoked. The appeal was upheld at Luton Magistrates Court. We successfully argued that the Council had not correctly applied its own convictions policy and that our client was still a “fit and proper person”. The Council appealed to the Crown Court, but our team argued that the appeal was out of time and it was dismissed.
Revocation of Operators' Licence
The Operator was in jeopardy of revocation of Operators' Licence. Representations and undertakings were offered to the Council's Licensing department and Taxi Licensing sub-committee, leading to no further action.
Plying for Hire & No Insurance
Driver was convicted of plying for hire and having no insurance, and disqualified from driving. There was a consideration that his taxi licence should also be revoked. We enabled a successful appeal to Cambridge Crown Court that disqualification would cause exceptional hardship and the disqualification was removed. We also provided representations to the taxi licensing sub-committee that revocation of the licence was disproportionate on the facts, and a two-week period of suspension was instead imposed.
Revocation of Operators' Licence
Operators' Licence revoked by Bedford Borough Council following conviction for permitting no insurance. The revocation was overturned following detailed representations coupled with mitigating factors and “special reasons” argument that the revocation was disproportionate.