Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Mayors Statement To The Taxi Trade

Sadiq Khan heralds new era for London’s taxi and private hire trades
·         Far-reaching measures announced to protect the capital’s iconic black cab trade and drive up standards across the private hire industry
·         New Action Plan will deliver greenest taxi fleet in the world
·         Plans will help deliver a ‘truly world-class service for Londoners’
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, today heralded a new era for the capital’s taxi and private hire markets as he set out an unprecedented programme of far-reaching improvements that will drive up standards, boost the quality of service for Londoners and protect the future of London’s iconic black cabs.
The Mayor is determined to create a vibrant taxi and private hire market, with space for all providers to flourish. The Taxi and Private Hire Action Plan, launched today by the Mayor alongside Transport for London (TfL), includes specific new measures to support licensed taxi drivers, and sets out ambitious plans to enhance public safety, and also improve London’s air quality.  
Special new measures being introduced to help London’s black cab industry to continue to flourish include:
·         TfL will open up an extra 20 bus lanes for use by taxis this year and is asking London Boroughs to consider access for taxis to a further 40 on roads they control. 
·         The number of taxi ranks will also be increased by at least 20 per cent by 2020
·         The use of new  technology to provide customers with information to help connect them with taxis more quickly and easily  - adding taxi information to TfL’s journey planner by summer 2017
The iconic black cab trade – already recognised as the finest service of its type in any city – will also be helped to become the greenest in the world.
From next year, up to £5,000 will be available to drivers who scrap the oldest and most polluting taxis.  A grant of £3,000 will be provided towards the first 9,000 Zero Emission Capable (ZEC) taxis and TfL is asking the Government to guarantee the ‘plug-in car grant’ for these vehicles, which would take the total grant to £7,500.
From 1 January 2018 no more new diesel taxis will be licensed – helping to address London’s poor air quality and tackle the unacceptably high number of people dying each year because of air pollution.  
The new plans include new ‘zero emission’ ranks for drivers who pioneer green technology alongside a network of rapid electric charge points.
New technology is changing the way many Londoners access taxis and private hire vehicles, and the New Action Plan also addresses how regulation can be used to ensure safety standards are applied across the taxi and private hire markets.
A range of measures are also being introduced to enhance public safety, many of these were outlined in the recent Private Hire Regulations review. These include:
·         A formal English language requirement for all private hire drivers
·         The provision of driver and vehicle details to customers, including a photo of the driver, before the start of each journey
·         Even more robust insurance requirements
Other new initiatives to further drive up standards are now also underway, including quadrupling the number of on-street Compliance Officers, with 250 more dedicated officers on the streets by summer 2017.
By summer next year, TfL will also require that private hire drivers pass an advanced driving test before they can be licensed or relicensed.
Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said:
“Our new Taxi and Private Hire Action Plan will help us deliver a truly world-class service for Londoners and create a vibrant taxi and private hire market where all providers can continue to flourish.
“From my first day at City Hall I have been determined to drive up standards and improve safety for every passenger in London, while protecting the future of our iconic black cabs that provide a unique and invaluable service for Londoners.”
Val Shawcross, Deputy Mayor for Transport, said:
“New measures such as opening up extra bus lanes and increasing the number of taxi ranks will help ensure our black cabs continue to thrive, and our proposals also include ground-breaking incentives to create the greenest taxi fleet in the world.
“A key part of our plan is to push ahead with important new measures to enhance public safety, including quadrupling the number of on-street Compliance Officers and requiring that private hire drivers pass an advanced driving test before they’re licensed. We must ensure every Londoner feels safe getting around our city, while creating a taxi and private hire market where all providers are able to thrive.”
Helen Chapman, TfL’s General Manager of Taxi and Private Hire, said:
“London’s iconic taxi trade is famous around the world and is a fundamental part of our public transport system. We need to support it and also ensure that standards in the private hire industry continue to rise so that both trades can flourish.  Passengers deserve the very best, professional service when they choose to travel in either a taxi or a private hire vehicle.
“Through this comprehensive action plan we will improve public safety by driving up standards across the private hire industry, provide the support black cab drivers need and deliver the world’s greenest taxi fleet.”
Steve McNamara, LTDA General Secretary said:
“The taxi trade welcomes this plan and recognises its commitment to raising safety standards in the Private Hire (PH) industry. We particularly welcome the Mayor’s decision to re-visit the requirement for Operator Insurance for PH vehicles and his request that Central Government define ‘Plying for Hire’ in statute.”
As part of the Action Plan, TfL has set aside £40 million to help drivers 'scrap' the oldest, most polluting taxis. This is in addition to £25 million funding for the £3,000 top-up grants.
From next year, owners of vehicles older than 10 years will have the option to receive a one-off 'scrap' payment of up to £5,000, depending on the age of the taxi, in return for no longer licensing it in London. The Mayor is calling on Government to support this initiative with a national diesel scrappage scheme to help drivers dispose of the vehicles and ensure they aren't used elsewhere in the UK.
As well as the measures that the Mayor and TfL can implement, there are a number of improvements that require agreement from the Government.  
TfL is lobbying the Government for powers to address cross-border hiring – when private hire journeys are made in the Capital in vehicles that are licensed elsewhere in the country. Powers are also being sought to deal with pedicabs, seize uninsured vehicles and automatically disqualify from driving anyone convicted of touting.


I'm Spartacus said...

No mention of a PH cap,
An attempt to get PFH defined in law (well done and to those who proposed it), before that though we nee the 'exhibition and availably' of PH taken off the smartphone screen, it's already illegal.

Looks like the intent to reduce us to under 10k is on course, low many will take the scrapple money & retire?

It's effectively a redundancy payment as no older driver is going to shell out 58k are they?

Pity no mention of an enquiry in Daniels & co , small beer really.

Anonymous said...

I dont think they are going to give you £5k cash for scrapping your cab unless your buying a new one, it will be equivalent to a 5K px surely? Which only really is relevant if you have a years plate on your old cab thats probably only worth 2/3k.
The manufacturers will have already accounted for the grant scrappage and bunged up the price, so what ever way you look at it running a new cab will be more expensive than ever, and not viable unless you like the idea of working for peanuts.

Anonymous said...

Scrap older more polluting taxis.
Khan obviously hasn't read the findings of the DEFRA report; or he's in complete denial of the facts.

Londons air quality problems have been exasperated by years of piss poor poor traffic management systems that DON'T WORK !
If Khan wants to improve air quality he needs to look closer to home and stop playing politics acusing London taxis for the appalling pollution his own organisation is causing!

Anonymous said...

What a load crap!! Cop out! Major is just panicking that drivers will not invest in buying new green taxis for the capital, even after grants new cabs will be in excess of £38000 , no mention off P/H caps DONT BE FOOLED !!

Anonymous said...

Very well put, every Taxi Driver knows only too well how we are overburdened with our increased running costs & lowered income due to fraudulent below competitive market level pricing of UBER, who clearly run an operating platform pricing plan to drive all competition into financial ruin whilst themselves simply rely on being paid their pieces of silver in % terms and perversely know this policy is also having enormous popularity with their users who's own costs are reduced (without realising the enormously decreased safety cover they've lost) in the battle with a service techno supplier who vie for their business at any cost be it within regulation law or not, and still remained licensed.

But, when it comes to market levels of statutory safety procedures supposedly there for public transportation protections, UBER complains the necessity of many of those laws & safeguards unnecessary on the basis of simple costs analysis and tries to make their own argument on a different cause of dissent which is clearly nonsense.

All taxi drivers (and many private hire businesses) are like sheep being herded into a singular field where a big TFL lorry is waiting to take them all to the Abattior and the sight of any new 'smoke free' taxi coming to save us is so far adrift of reality it is completely absurd, who on earth can now afford to run a new taxi as a musher?.... Maybe that is the reason?

We will all wait & see the price set tags on the new Metrocab or TX5 & see what will happen then to our business by then, but hold on... that is all another year away so lets firstly, see how our licensing authority deals with the power of a corporate under-miming system which is totally un-protecting the travelling consumer by way of fraudulently cutting costs to allow an unfair and under priced race to the bottom to operate in the first place.

Keep watching your Licensing Authority as it is they who hold the future of this trade and that being said, be very aware more smoke & mirrors.

Be Lucky