Dear Public Carriage Office,
Can you tell me why a private hire driver has to have proof of English but a PH Operator doesn’t

Yours faithfully,


FOI, Public Carriage Office

Dear Peter

Thank you for your email. As your request does not constitute a request for recorded information under the terms of the Freedom of Information Act, we have passed your enquiry to our Taxi and Private Hire support team who are best placed to assist you. They will respond to you directly in due course.

Yours sincerely

FOI Case Management team
Transport for London

show quoted sections

TPH Licensing Support, Public Carriage Office

Dear Mr Douglas,


Thank you for your request dated 4 December 2018.


The English language requirement is for all private hire drivers. It is
essential for public safety that all licensed private hire drivers are
able to communicate in English at an appropriate level. Drivers need to be
able to communicate with passengers to discuss a route or fare, as well as
read, understand and respond to important regulatory, safety and travel
information sent by TfL.


All licensed operators are required to make a person available for
passengers to speak to at all times during operating hours and when a
journey is being undertaken in the event that a passenger wants to make a
complaint to the operator, or discuss any other matter about the carrying
out of a booking. This requirement is called the voice contact
requirement. All personnel handling calls are expected to be at least 18
years of age and have a level of English that allows them to communicate
adequately with passengers, particularly in cases of emergency or other
situations requiring an immediate or urgent response. TfL will contact the
operator if we believe that it is not complying with the requirement and
TfL will take appropriate licensing action in the event of any breach.
Further information is available at this link:


Kind regards,


Ashley Rose


Ashley Rose | Licensing Administrator | TPH Licensing Support Team |
London Taxi and Private Hire | Transport for London

* [2][email address] ( 0343 222 4444  |8
[3]  [4][email address]


TPH Licensing Support | Taxi and Private Hire TfL | 6^th Floor | 230
Blackfriars Road | London | SE1 8NW




show quoted sections