Licensing Service Update
We would like to apologise for the delays people have recently been experiencing when using the TfL taxi and private hire licensing service and are sorry for any inconvenience this has caused.
This notice provides an update on the steps we have taken to address these delays.
The Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) changes introduced by the Home Office last summer led to a large increase in the number and type of phone calls we received from September 2013 and affected the processing time of other ‘non-urgent’ applications. While we introduced a number of measures to help minimise the impact that these changes would have, including issuing licence renewal packs four months before expiry, it has still had a significant impact on our licensing service.
We also introduced our new licensing IT system in late September 2013. This had been planned for several years to replace the paper-based processes and systems that had been in place and which were no longer fit for purpose. We anticipated a short term fall in service levels while we fixed any issues with the new system and staff became familiar with it. However, the impact of the new system, combined with the DBS changes, have had a much more serious effect than we anticipated.
A number of measures have now been put in place to help address the situation and return the service to acceptable levels, including:
The recruitment of additional staff who are helping to deal with the backlog of applications
Additional temporary staff have also been hired to help answer phone calls, to reduce call waiting times. Training is currently underway and we hope you will see an improvement in our call answering times within the next few weeks.
We are working closely with NSL, the provider of the new IT system, to address any problems with the system, including any issues with receiving and scanning applications.
We have changed the way we process licences to prioritise those that are due to expire in the near future. This will help to ensure drivers will have their new licence before their old licence expires.
Improvements to your service will start to happen over the next few weeks. We are grateful for your continued patience.
Once the backlog of applications has been addressed and the service is back working within acceptable levels, we will introduce the previously promised on-line application process. This will give you the ability to apply and renew for your licence on line, and to track the progress of your application.
Once again please accept my sincere apologies for any difficulties you may have experienced in contacting us or making licence applications in the last few months. Please rest assured we are doing everything we can to address the problems you have been experiencing, and once the new system is working to its full potential I am confident you will experience a much improved level of service, including the ability to apply on-line.
28 March 2014 Interim General Manager
For previous TPH Notices visit tfl.gov.uk/tph London Taxi and Private Hire