Whitehall has been urged to reform 'outdated and flawed' taxi laws by the Local Government Association (LGA) after the number of licensed drivers and vehicles hit a record high.
Numbers have increased by 58% since 2005.
Chair of the LGA’s safer and stronger communities board, Cllr Simon Blackburn, said: 'Reforms are needed to reflect the increasing use of mobile phone apps to book taxis and private hire vehicles, and to give councils national enforcement powers so they can take action against any vehicles operating in their areas irrespective of where they are licensed.
'Safeguarding legislation needs to be strengthened following well-documented child exploitation cases where taxi and private hire vehicle drivers have abused the trust placed in them.
'Undue delay risks public safety.'