Research Output
Taxi Licensing, Regulation and Control: An analysis of taxi supply in medium sized UK cities
  The primary objective of this thesis is to provide a new approach to optimizing the supply of taxis as applied in UK cities. Taxi supply, both in the UK and elsewhere, is controlled by a series of regulations (defined in relation to controls affecting Quantity, Quality and Economics - QQE) that influence the ability of the market to respond structurally - in terms of access to the market, and operationally - affecting the ability to provide services within the market. This thesis identifies the existing structures in taxi regulation. It explores legislative disagreement and differences in both academic and practitioner literature and perspectives.
The thesis provides both a new approach to, and a new model of, taxi regulation, which accommodates existing differences in regulatory structures. The thesis builds on existing methods applied in determining individual elements of control - which may be appropriate to some elements of control but fail to address a full cross section of impacts - and provides an enhanced approach and new modelling framework for taxi regulation.
In constructing this approach use has been made of both survey and case study methodologies. Survey data has been collected from two surveys, of 52 cities and 21 licensing authorities respectively. The case studies used are of Glasgow(1) and West Dunbartonshire(2). The thesis concludes that existing approaches to regulation are conducted in separate regulatory domains without sufficient comprehension of the impacts of action in one regulatory domain on another. It also concludes that the instruments used in the assessment of the impacts of regulation on taxi supply are insufficiently specified and inadequately coordinated. It is possible to identify issues across regulatory domains that can be improved to better optimize supply appropriate in any given circumstance to the benefit of existing and potential passengers - this includes those with particular access needs. In optimizing supply, awareness of the needs of the taxi industry and its regulators has been an important element of consideration. The thesis makes recommendations for alterations in the application of standard methods of assessment of taxi supply.
1 Although central to the Strathclyde conurbation, the Glasgow licensing area relates to the central city area only (Clydebank, Paisley, etc. being included in separate council licensing areas). The city is thus defined as medium sized location.
2 Further focus city material has been collected from Belfast and Edinburgh, which is included in comparison within the text, and summarised in the appendices of this document.

  • Type:


  • Date:

    30 November 2007

  • Publication Status:


  • Library of Congress:

    HE Transportation and Communications

  • Dewey Decimal Classification:

    388 Transportation; ground transportation


Cooper, J. M. Taxi Licensing, Regulation and Control: An analysis of taxi supply in medium sized UK cities. (Thesis). Edinburgh Napier University. Retrieved from



Taxi supply; taxi regulation; taxi industry;

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