Mr Leon Daniels Managing Director Surface Transport TFL.
I write without affiliation, but share the sentiments of many licensed taxi drivers, who are continually subjected to your abject failure in fulfilling your duties prescribed to you as Managing Director of Surface Transport.
During your tenure, you have overseen, and wilfully enabled the destabilisation of the licensed taxi industry by issuing in excess of 30,000 Private Hire licenses over a 3 year period. It is indefensible that you are complicit in facilitating the en-mass infiltration of off-shore corporations that are decimating legitimate taxi businesses by providing the same (instant) public-hire service.
As Director for surface transport, part of your brief is to recommend and endorse legitimacy as defined in the Private Hire Amendments Act 1998. I believe that you have overstepped your brief by allowing e.hailing apps such as Uber to over saturate an already well served market. The result has seen the total collapse of the regulated trades.
As it stands, the running costs of maintaining the compulsory purpose built vehicle, will be no longer financially viable. I believe this constitutes the breaking of a prevailing trade agreement, as no negotiations or consultations, were to my knowledge entered into. This also applies even if discussions were of an implicit nature.
This is nothing short of unethical, covert political and business practise with a total disregard for 24,000 individual sole traders. As you play a significant role responsible for maintaining the cost index ratio, it is of my firm opinion that you are not suitable to represent the licensed taxi trade, either as individuals, or as a collective.
Furthermore, I believe this constitutes the breaking of a prevailing trade agreement, as no negotiations or consultations were- to my knowledge- entered into. This also applies if discussions were of an implicit nature.
The contempt that you have shown for the industry means you are incapable of applying objectivity in matters concerning taxis and their integration into the wider transport network and highway infrastructure. Because you have worked in contrary to the interests of taxi drivers and as a consequence, put members of the public at an unprecedented risk, it's inconceivable that drivers would want to align themselves with you as their regulator or arbiter.
The taxi trade has seen no attempt by your office to address the ‘future proof’ report submitted by members of GLA, therefore I have made recommendations to the local Government ombudsman - as you are an appointed official, and therefore do not serve with advocacy- to investigate inconsistencies with a view to you offering significant reparations to the taxi trade or standing down from your position as Director Manager for Surface Transport. If this is not your intention, then I will make appeals to the European Court of Justice to question TFL’s accountability as a publicly funded institution.
Currently, I am intolerant to your justifications in haemorrhaging PH licenses at an alarming rate when no law compels you to do so. There are only two primary positions that would determine your adherence to the prevailing legislation on the issuing of licenses.
The position is either ignorance of amendments to the cab order, or maleficence with intent to destabilise the market via the back door. If we are dealing with ignorance, then allow me to highlight that several mitigating circumstances entitle you to halt the issuing of PH licenses.
If that's something that confounds you, then you also have the authority to amend secondary legislation devolved to City Hall regarding license issuing. I hope that solves a degree of duress involved in having oblige an already non existent law. If non of these points are addressed, I will petition relevant bodies to be unhesitating in no longer recognising you as regulator, and absolve you of having jurisdiction over drivers, either, as a whole or part there-of.
Please treat this letter as a means of resolving the septic chasm that exists between you and the trade. Considering the inescapable dire financial position you have put me in, and the detrimental impact on me and my family as a consequence, I steadfastly expect you to respond, proposing a way forward. If it is not your intention to seek resolution, then now is a timely reminder that you are not above the law, and I will be left with no alternative but to seek alternative options.
Note: after seeking advice, I state taxi drivers meet all the necessary licensing requirements re: conditions of fitness, and their ability to work under normal practices remain unaffected.
(Licensed Taxi Driver/ Proprietor)
Editorial Comment :
At present, TfL are approving an extra 2,500 new private hire licenses every month.
These new vehicles are adding to London's congestion emmisions
This is causing a significant rise in the number of unnecessary deaths caused by traffic pollution (currently over 9,000 p a)
London has now been named as Europe’s most congested city for the first time. Motorists are said to be spending four whole days on average stuck in traffic each year.