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Public Transport: Sexual Harassment

Question for Department for Transport

UIN 137312, tabled on 9 March 2022

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether his Department has made an assessment of the potential merits of requiring (a) bus, (b) taxi and (c) private hire drivers to undertake gender equality training to include training on sexual harassment on public transport.

Answered on

16 March 2022

Everyone has the right to feel safe when travelling and using public spaces and we are determined to improve the safety of our transport network. The Department is working closely with the Home Office on the cross-departmental strategy to address Violence Against Women and Girls.

Our National Bus Strategy made clear that the sector should strive for the highest safety standards, upheld by the Traffic Commissioners. The Department was clear that Bus Service Improvement Plans should also demonstrate how Local Transport Authorities and bus operators will work together to ensure that bus services are safe and perceived to be safe by all.

Taxi and private hire vehicle drivers are licensed by local licensing authorities who are responsible for determining the criteria that must be met in order for them to decide whether a person is 'fit and proper' to hold a licence, including a requirement to pay regard to the need to eliminate conduct prohibited by the Equality Act 2010. The Department will shortly consult on revised best practice guidance to assist licensing authorities in carrying out their licensing function.

We need to ensure that everyone who works on the transport network, particularly front-line staff, knows how to identify and respond to unacceptable behaviour. We will continue working with transport partners to ensure appropriate training is in place and that best practice is shared