First Great Western has successfully upheld the legality of a permit scheme introduced at Temple Meads station in 2012 following the Court of Appeal’s confirmation of the High Court decision on which we commented in April 2013 Confirmation of Taxi Permit Scheme on Private Land.
The Court of Appeal’s judgment of 18 March 2014 upholds the previous findings of the High Court confirming that private landowners can enforce permit schemes for taxi drivers who want to ply for hire from their land, despite their consent having been given to the designation of a taxi stand on their land.
The local branch of the National Taxi Association disputed the landowner's right to control its land in this way and had argued that consent to the designation of a taxi stand on private land under byelaw necessarily implied with it a consent to permit free access across land for all licensed taxis.
The Court of Appeal unanimously found that:
- The requirement for landowner consent to the designation of a taxi stand on its property recognised expressly the rights of landowners to control the location of and taxi numbers on stands on their property and that that was sufficient to explain the need for consent
- It was not necessary and there was no evidence to imply an additional and onerous requirement that such consent necessarily granted to all licensed taxis unrestricted access over private land to reach a stand. If that had been intended, Parliament would have said so.
Consequently, the appeal of the taxi drivers was dismissed in its entirety. The case now provides welcome certainty for those private landowners either with existing designated taxi stands on their property or those who may be considering consenting to designation of stands in future.