This should not be recorded as a Taxi and Private Hire incident?
This petition is to request the Metropolitan Police Service (MET) record evidence that identifies Taxis as a separate mode of transport to PHV's.
The (Metropolitan) Borough Councils and Transport for London (TfL) do not distinguish between taxis and private hire vehicles (PHV) when assessing collision statistics and the potential to cause serious injury to cyclists.
London is being forced to sustain a massive influx of PHVs- mainly working on the instant hire market- and the number of collisions caused by PHVs reflect this increase.
On this basis, data that is recorded by the MET is used by Borough Councils and the Mayor of London’s Cycle Safety Action Group to determine whether or not to include / exclude taxis from road safety schemes. Currently, there is no discernible difference between Taxis and PHV.
For example, Camden Council collated data on collision statistics which were used to inform the recommendations limiting taxis and PHV's from the redevelopment of Tottenham Court Road (TCR) and road traffic restrictions recently implemented to Tavistock Place The TCR / Gower Street location is one of the worst ten locations in the borough for collisions, with 259 casualties in the three year period from 1 August 2011 to 31 July 2014.
The MET also responded to a public consultation to the effect that permitting taxis to use TCR during daytime hours would increase the collision risk. Both The MET and Camden Council referred to data that did not identify Taxis separately from PHVs.
London's highly trained licensed taxi drivers suffering the consequences brought about by untrained PHV drivers' operating on the instant hire market. Presently, there are 600 - 700 PH licenses per week are being sold by TfL (50,000 in 3 years).
In the interest of public safety, licensed taxi drivers (and those effected), request that the MET obtain and record a comprehensive breakdown that identifies taxis as separate from PHVs- when recording/ referencing accidents and inappropriate driver behaviour.
Additionally, the recent conviction of an Uber driver who sexually assaulted his female passenger cannot go without reproach. The barrier to working for the Uber platform is astonishingly low, and with 700+ new drivers registering every day, Uber and other ride sharing apps are likely to attract nefarious characters.
Even by the law of averages, driver impropriety should be a concern. To be clear, no licensed London taxi driver- individual or collective- should be deemed indistinguishable from an industry with such a discreditable reputation
It remains an injustice that an individual who is extensively vetted over a long period of time, who has invested their time and money developing a skill that is a prerequisite of a mandatory licensing requirement, and whose service is consistently voted the best in the world should be burdened by the consequences of those who have chosen NOT to undertake any such training.
Yours Sincerely Sean Day
Extra Comment from Sean Day:
A document from Camden's Lawyers' to the LTDA re: Tottenham Court Road taxi exclusion, made grave reading.
Camden did consider the inclusion of taxis in their redevelopment scheme, but research data showed taxis as the main cause of serious accidents in the area. When the findings were challenged, Camden produced evidence that they had exhausted all avenues and could not locate data that identified taxis from PH.
So, as of now, we are considered the most dangerous vehicle on the road- because of THEM! Whether Camden wanted us or not isn't relevant, at least let us know the real reason
I cannot stress enough the importance of this. Years of TFL blurring the boundaries between taxis and PH; actively recruiting staff to big up so called similarities (as opposed to highlighting differences) has left the trade wide open to assault.
We remain the only legitimate alternative to the minicab swamp that swills around us, and the public NEED to know that there is an option.
First and foremost, we should to be recognised by officialdom for what we are, and that is, the safest transport choice in London!