It wasn't all bad news on Wednesday.
After the Mayors Question Time resumed, Val Shawcross asked Boris if he would instruct TfL/The Met to resume temporary licenses to those drivers waiting for their DBS checks to clear.
She explained in great detail that drivers she knew personally had been waiting 3 months and that it wasn't just Taxi drivers affected. A reverent vicar in the borough of Southwark had been waiting for 18 weeks and couldn't serve her community.
Assembly member Shawcross read out part of the press statement she had received that morning, from the Support Black Taxis Group who had organised an international day of protest.
She read out in part, demand number 4;
Temporary licenses (Bill renewal) to be issued to taxi drivers, if the delay is due to inept and inconsistent administration, that is of no fault of the driver.
To not issue the driver who has completed the necessary paperwork, has had the money deducted from his/ her account and is of previous good character, denies him/ her of the fundamental right to earn a living.
Boris admitted it was a shocking state of affairs saying he had been told the reason for the backlog was a deficit of 20 staff members. He said he was shocked at the 37,000 backlog of applications and said this was partially the result of the unprecedented rise in new Private Hire drivers applications. He gave an assurance he would act on this immediately.
Of course, legally there is no need for a piece of paper saying you can work, because it's already there in the legislature. Transport Act 1985 section 17(7) says when you apply for a licence renewal, before the expiry of your present licence, you are covered until the new licence is issued or a suspension or revocation is put in place.
Temporary licenses had been issued to Taxi drivers experiencing problems with renewals for many decades. But the practise was suddenly stopped without warning on Peter Hendy's bequest.
Taxi Leaks wrote to Peter Hendy on many occasion asking for the reinstatement of temporary licenses pointing out the desperate hardship being experienced by some unfortunate drivers, but always received the same pre-scripted reply that TfL felt it was a matter of protecting the public from drivers who may commit serious crimes between licence periods ...yes he actually said this!
This situation should never have been aloud to get as bad as it has. It should have been addressed by those who had Boris's ear at closed Cabbies Cabinet meetings, when it became apparent just how many drivers were being denied the right to work.
There are a few ifs and buts, but it looks more promising now than for a very long time.
I have seen unconfirmed reports on social media over the weekend, that TfL have already issued some temporary licenses this week. So fingers crossed.