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The Public Carriage Office was set up in 2004 to oversee the private hire industry in London. All 32 London boroughs fall under the responsibility of the Public Carriage Office.

The Private Hire Vehicles (London) Act 1998 provides the legal power for licensing and regulation of private hire operators, drivers and vehicles. Private Hire vehicles in London include minicabs, executive cars and chauffeur services.

Transport for London is responsible for licensing the private hire trade. The purpose of the regulation is to give passengers confidence when using a licensed PHV operator that they are dealing with a regulated, professional organization with safe, honest drivers and safe vehicles.

On the 8th April 2004, Ken Livingstone announced the final stage to introducing licensing to London