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BLACK CABS MATTER: New campaign to help London taxi drivers fight congestion, fuel prices and more

Updated: Apr 13, 2022

Frustrated London taxi drivers will be ‘Tooting In Tooting’ at 8am on Thursday 14 April for the launch of the ‘BLACK CABS MATTER’ campaign.

Opposite to a one minute silence, the campaign is set to begin in south-west London with a one-minute deafening drone of black cab tooting. Taxi drivers have been asked to congregate fifteen minutes before the launch starts on Thursday at the junction of Tooting Broadway Station. The first 200 cabbies to attend will also get a free McDonald's Breakfast say organisers.

The Black Cabs Matter campaign will look to fight back on and highlight unfair policies that have hit the London taxi trade in recent years.

Lembit Öpik from Transport Reality, Howard Cox from FairFuelUK and CAR26 Director Lois Perry have united with London’s cabbies to help highlight a long list of concerns from the sector. The issues range from unworkable road congestion which has reduced turnover, cycle lanes, and now the rising cost of fuel.

A straw poll of 366 LTDA drivers conducted between February and March 2022 by the FairFuelUK and CAR26 highlighted the main grievances:

  • Congestion reducing income 72%

  • Lack of customers generally 69%%

  • Cycle Lanes 68%

  • Income down 66%

  • Sadiq Khan 63%

  • Pointless diversions 60%

  • Cost of diesel (Fuel) 60%

  • Cost of EV Cabs 45%

  • Fare prices legislation 41%

Keith Prince, Deputy Chairman of the London Assembly Transport Committee, said: “It’s about time someone spoke up as the 'common-sense voice of the streets.’ London’s cabbies have been on the front line of poor policies that simply harm their trade and the city’s economy. I expect that taxi drivers across the city - and the people who depend on their services - will regard this as a welcome sign of political fresh air in a stale policy environment where anyone with a car seems to be treated as evil.”

Lembit Öpik, from the Transport Reality Group, said: “Cabbies are suffering the same fate as all other road users. Why scrap perfectly serviceable machines for emissions policies based on virtue signalling, not practicality? The climate change agenda looks like an economic iron curtain around Central London.”

Howard Cox, from FairFuelUK, said: “The salt of the earth London cabbie faces obstacles that would in many other vocations mean choosing an alternative livelihood. Why would anyone now take a career in driving a black cab in London? Up against an ego-driven clueless bankrupt Mayoral regime, an anti-driver transport administration, pricing restraint, congested roads through inept political doctrine, high taxation, crippling fuel costs and dogmatic edicts to use expensive less than cost effective electric vehicles. The London cabbie signifies traveller security, reliability, and the beating heart of the commercial success of our capital. Time our local and elected officials woke up and allow our vital shrinking black taxi fleet to breathe and flourish once again.”

Lois Perry, of climate realism group CAR26.ORG, said: “As a woman, I want to go out at night, knowing I can get a black cab home afterwards. The way these policies affect me is that I simply won’t bother spending the evening in London, because I can’t stand around waiting and hoping for an electric cab with the range to get me home, and I don’t necessarily want to have to spend the night in a hotel waiting for the morning train. For me, no ordinary black cabs equals no safety. Like a lot of women, I only feel completely safe in Black cabs.”


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