The Joint Radio Taxi Association (JRTA) - which represents London
licensed radio circuit operators such as RadioTaxis and Computercab -
has brought in AS Biss and Co to advise on a Government bill which
threatens the future of the radio taxi industry.
AS Biss, which already advises the London Taxi Board was hired to lobby
on the Wireless Telegraphy Bill at the end of last month.
Through the bill the Government aims to bring market forces to bear on
allocation of radio frequencies. Radio frequency licences would be
auctioned, adding significant costs to the fees that taxi operators
already pay to use the frequencies. JRTA is worried that the frequencies
will be distributed without proper consideration of efficiency of
AS Biss will provide input to the radio agency responsible for drafting
the bill. The account will be reviewed on a quarterly basis as the bill
passes through the House.
The second reading is expected to take place before the House goes into
recess on 31 July and Royal Assent is expected by the end of the
Geoff Riesel, chairman of Radio Taxis and secretary of JRTA says: ’AS
Biss’s remit is to assist in ensuring that the radio circuits have
security of tenure and that we are not subjected to auctioning against
the likes of Hutchinson, Vodafone and huge public networks.’