On January 18th 2016 Action For Cabbies embarked on a crowdfunding campaign to try and raise an initial £600,000 so as to obtain permission from the court to launch a judicial review against Transport For London for alledgedly wrongly and potentially illegally issuing Uber with a Private Hire Vehicle Operators License. The initial deadline for raising the funds was set for March 18th, after several extensions the final deadline was on April 7th. The extensions were given so as to see if we could still make the original target and to give the LTDA time to match the £300,000 as was originally agreed. Despite our best efforts we failed to reach the £600,000 target, we managed to raise in excess of £350,000. Nobody in the history of the Licensed London Taxi Trade had ever managed to raise funds to this level before but sadly the original plan was not to be.
Anticipating that we may need to adopt an alternative plan a consultation was undertaken on March 3rd by AskPOB. This consultation was to find out if those who contributed to the original fund would back an alternative plan to try and launch a judicial review against Transport For London with regard to certain aspects surrounding how TFL were implementing the impending mandatory credit card initiative. To that effect we asked Taxi Drivers to decide whether this would be a route that they would like us to examine and potentially undertake. The majority voted in favour to proceed with seeking permission for a Judicial Review in regards to the driver paying the transaction charge.
Upon realising that we would not reach the £600,000 target and with a majority vote from the consultation it was decided on March 31st 2016 to switch from trying to obtain permission for a judicial review in relation to Uber being licensed to attempting to obtain a judicial review in relation to how the credit card initiative was being invoked. Everybody who pledged through the crowdfunding initiative was given the opportunity to withdraw their pledge by 5pm on April 5th.Numerous announcements were made over various platforms including e-mail, Facebook and Twitter and it was made clear that any uncancelled pledges would be used for attempting to obtain permission for the judicial review surrounding credit cards.
Certain aspects of the alternative judicial review had to be altered as there would have been no prospect of getting a positive result as well as aspects that were not unreasonable such as objecting to fixed payment machines, the mandated requirement to accept credit cards, the list of suppliers to name but 3.
An application for a judicial review was lodged with the court on May 3rd and some of the monies that had been collected were paid to Rosenblatts Solicitors as a retainer, all remaining monies are being dealt with via our accountants Raffingers and will be paid to Rosenblatts Solicitors upon receiving a full and final costing.
On July 17th we received informal notification from our solicitors that the attempt to obtain a judicial review had failed, we would not be given leave to challenge Transport For London in court. We received the official notification several days later.
Naturally we are very disappointed with this outcome as we feel that there is a strong enough case. We would like to thank every single person that believed in this cause. We may have failed on this occasion however the positives that have come from this are enormous.....the biggest positive being that we have proved that we CAN galvanise ourselves and fight back as an industry.
Moving forward we are going to continue fighting tooth and nail to help protect this industry and help it to flourish. We may have lost this battle but we aim to help win this war.
Once again we wish to thank each and every one of you for your support.
Action For Cabbies