Saturday, April 23, 2016

Wes Streeting Says "I'll Continue To Fight To Save Taxi Trade".

MP Wes Streeting has vowed to keep up the pressure to save the taxi trade after calling for better regulation of private hire cars in the House of Commons.

The MP for Ilford North, wants stricter laws governing the private hire car trade, which includes minicab drivers working for Uber.

He had tabled a private member’s bill but a second reading scheduled for Yesterday, will not be going ahead.

Mr Streeting said: “Unfortunately, because Parliament has run out of time, my bill will not get a second reading this time, but the campaign goes on.

“Having put the issue on the agenda in Parliament in front of the Chancellor, the focus will now shift onto working with the Licensed Taxi Drivers Association (LTDA), the London Cab Drivers Club and others to keep up the pressure on the government and the next Mayor of London to take real action to save the taxi trade.”

Drivers of London’s black taxis have a long-standing feud with Uber, which allows users to speedily hire a cab through a smartphone app. Many believe the drivers are not being regulated properly over insurance, taxes, plying for trade and driving ability. 

Mr Streeting introduced the Taxi and Private Hire Vehicle Operators Regulation bill with a short speech, known as a 10-minute rule, last month. He called for all drivers of private hire vehicles (PHVs) to take additional tests that show they have the necessary skills and knowledge, as well for regulation around taxes and insurance.

Mr Streeting has also raised concerns that Uber drivers often choose not to pick up blind people with guide dogs after a survey said this was “all too common an issue with private hire vehicles”, adding that passengers had faced sexual discrimination from some drivers. 

In response to accusations about drivers not having adequate insurance, an Uber spokesman said: “Every driver that partners with Uber has the correct full commercial insurance and Uber keeps a record of every policy. When a policy expires the driver can’t take trips until a new policy is in place.”

On the guide dog accusations, they added: “Uber celebrates diversity and does not tolerate any form of discrimination whatsoever.”

Also in Parliament this week, Andrew Jones, Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport) said:

"We have regular meetings with the Mayor of London and discuss a range of topics including the Private Hire Vehicle trade.

"The respective standards between taxis and private hire veh"icles are a matter for the Mayor and Transport for London (TfL)".