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Bailey will ‘not be terrifying’ Uber drivers and will do ‘everything’ he can to defend their income


Shaun Bailey will ‘not be terrifying’ Uber drivers and will do ‘everything’ he can to defend the livelihood of thousands of Uber workers, says the mayoral candidate.


In a promotional video shared via social media the Conservative mayoral candidate is seen booking an Uber vehicle and discussing topics relating to the private hire industry in the capital.

As part of the discussion the unnamed Uber driver says to Bailey: “They tried twice to take Uber’s licence already, I hope you are not going to do that Sir?”


Bailey, masked and sitting in the back of the Uber vehicle, responded saying: “How the Mayor behaved around the licensing was politically motivated. I will not be terrifying people by saying I’m taking away their livelihood, I won’t do that.


“There’s 40,000 odd drivers and that’s their main income, and I’ll do everything I can to defend that income.”

Ride-hailing operator Uber were twice forced to go to court to defend its right to operate in the capital.

In November 2019 London’s regulators Transport for London (TfL) announced that it would not grant the minicab firm a new private hire operator’s licence following its latest application.


A key issue identified by the London regulators was that a change to Uber’s systems allowed unauthorised drivers to upload their photos to other Uber driver accounts. This allowed them to pick up passengers as though they were the booked driver, which occurred in at least 14,000 trips - putting passenger safety and security at risk.


This meant all the journeys were uninsured and some passenger journeys took place with unlicensed drivers, one of which had previously had their licence revoked by TfL.


However on appeal Uber were declared 'fit and proper', despite the Magistrate acknowledging their ‘historical failings’, following a hearing at Westminster Magistrates' Court in September 2020.

Shaun Bailey has also promised to drop the Congestion Charge for all 100,000 minicab drivers licensed in the capital. In the video Bailey says: “What I’m going to do is remove the congestion charge for you. Because in this time when we’re trying to rebuild our economy, we need you to be able to make some money as well.


“It’s created a division, drivers who can afford to do it and drivers who can’t. And that means we have lots of people now struggling to afford to pay for the car that they’ve leased.


“Of course if people can’t go to the city to enjoy the bars, the restaurants, the cinema, London will die.”


Away from the private hire sector, the taxi industry forms a key part of Bailey’s plans too where he will offer interest-free loans to every single taxi driver with a diesel black cab in London to help them move over to modern electric vehicles.


This equates to 15,000 cabbies getting financial support equal to 10% of the total value of the new zero-emission taxi in order to incentivise rapid uptake and ensure that all taxis will be electric by the end of Shaun’s first term.


The plans would see just under £6,000 handed to every taxi driver, which would be funded through a new ten-year sponsorship deal running along similar lines to the Santander cycle-hire scheme. Santander contracted to TfL in 2015 for £44m over seven years, which equates to £6.3m per year. A similar deal for London’s cabs would be for £84m over ten years, equating to £8.4m per year.


Improving access to taxis and recognising the industry as a key part of the Mayor’s Transport Strategy is also featured highly in Bailey’s plans.


Speaking to TaxiPoint, Shaun Bailey said: "London’s black cabs are iconic, an integral part of London’s identity. But like too many issues in London, they've been ignored over the last five years.


“Licensed taxis should take a key role in the Mayor’s Transport Strategy. So as Mayor, I’ll offer every single cabbie an interest-free loan to buy an electric cab - helping more cabbies make the switch and clean up London’s air.


“And given how important black cabs are to those with disabilities, we should make it easier for cabs to keep people moving by giving them access to more of London’s roads.


“This May, London's black cabs can get a fresh start. And I'll work with cab drivers to deliver it."

Opmerkingen


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