The fact is, the taxi trade is the recipient of a closed government that continues to offer a free pass to a 50 billion dollar international conglomerate . Enforcement is non-existent, and licensed taxi drivers, all of which have to meet the conditions of fitness laid out by TfL, are being unduly targeted by a covert government agenda.
This policy is being steadfastly upheld by TFL, who continue to issue Private Hire licenses at an unsustainable rate, whilst keeping the licensed trade strangulated with their own stringently enforced regulations.
September 16th, we call upon the Mayor and Chair of TfL to issue a Statement of Intention that day, if not, subsequent protests will escalate. The statement of intention will require affirmative answers to the following requests:
1) TfL will clearly and firmly uphold its policy on transparency, by opening up the cabbie cabinet meetings to relevant members of the GLA and Trade Representatives. Minutes from the meeting will be available for the industry to read.
2) The high court case seeking a ruling on what constitutes a taxi meter to be a public hearing. It cannot, in any conceivable terms, be conducted in private. The taxi trade is highly suspicious- with good reason- of the financial clout of certain lobbyists, and TfL are using public money to defend the working model of an app based product. The case is of public interest, and again, for transparency reasons, the court proceedings should be open. Whichever side the Judge sees fit to rule on, the democratic right pertaining to ‘justice should be seen to be done’ has to be upheld by TFL
3) An immediate cap placed on the issuing of private hire licenses. There is no law that compels or prevents TfL from issuing licenses. The guidelines clearly state that if a person meets the criteria listed then they can apply for a license. Applying for a licence is not make getting a license mandatory. Indeed, mitigating circumstances such as the inexorable increase in motor traffic congestion, and subsequent Pollution implications, should be deterministic factors for capping licenses.
4) Temporary licenses (Bill renewal) issued to taxi drivers if there is a delay due to inept and inconsistent administration, that is of no fault of the driver. To not issue the driver has completed the necessary paperwork, has had the money deducted from his/ her account and is of previous good character, denies him/ her of the fundamental right to earn a living.
5) Finally, the undeniable and corroborable contempt that Mr Leon Daniels has for the licensed taxi trade brings into question his ability to act with discernment when making trade associated decisions. Primarily, the unmethodical issuing 30,000 private hire licenses over a two year period (most of which facilitated the en-mass infiltration of smart phone instant hire car services) was reckless in the extreme. In doing so, we openly accuse Mr Daniels of overstepping his brief by intentionally derestricting a market that already satisfied demand with supply. It is of my informed opinion also, that the stress level of those within the trade is becoming infective, to the degree that depression could elevate to a serious organisational matter.
The fact that many decisions lack rudimentary economic sense is a failing by someone who’s duty it is, at the behest of the current mayor, to comply with prevailing legislature (or modify it by legitimate means). From an observant position, the taxi trade’s relationship with Leon Daniels TPH is beyond reparation. We therefore request his immediate removal.
Editorial Comment: Breaking News.
Just as we were in the process of posting this item, we heard the fantastic news that after Sean Paul's online petition, mayor Boris Johnson has decided to override TfLs decision to hold their high court action in private.