Friday, April 21, 2017

We've Said It Before And We'll Say It Again, Follow The Money...Did You Really Think TfL Wouldn't Relicense Uber.

Uber could pay up to £2.1 million for a five-year licence under proposed changes to minicab fees announced by Transport for London today. 

The car hire app, which has around 30,000 drivers in the capital, faces higher fees to reflect the transport body’s increased licensing and enforcement costs. 

Up till now TfL enforcement has been woefully inadequate. 

A new five-tier structure, which will apply to all minicab firms, will help fund the 250 extra compliance officers being hired to check insurance and other paperwork in a bid to raise industry standards.

TfL, launched a consultation into the fees yesterday, said the charges would make sure operators paid according to the resources required to regulate their operations. 

It would mean that the smallest minicab firms, those with fewer than 10 vehicles, pay £2,500 for a five-year licence. Currently those with more than two cars pay £2,826 regardless of the size of their fleet.

Uber and Addison Lee (which has almost 5,000 drivers), would pay £166,000 for a five-year licence, plus £68 for every vehicle registered.

In both cases the number of vehicles is thought to be lower than the number of drivers in operation.

The capital’s minicab industry has grown dramatically from 65,000 licensed drivers in 2013/14 to more than 117,000 today. The number of vehicles has increased from 50,000 to 87,000 over the same period.

TfL estimates that its enforcement costs alone over the next five years will reach £30 million, up from a previous estimate of £4 million.

The total projected cost for licensing, enforcement and compliance — to crack down on illegal and dangerous activity — for taxis and minicabs over five years is £209 million.

Editorial Comment :

Up till now, TfL's enforcement has been no more than a joke. With COs spending most of their time harassing working Taxi drivers forced to over-rank because of the shortage of rank spaces to accomadate 21,000 Taxis.

TfL’s Helen Chapman said: “The operator fees system is no longer fit for purpose.”

That's funny Helen, we know something else that's not fit for purpose....