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DfT instructs London ‘cycle taxi’ service to REMOVE all references to ‘taxi’ from their project



The Department for Transport (DfT) has instructed a ‘Cycle taxi’ service operating in London to remove all references to the word ‘taxi’ from their project.

The United Cabbies Group (UCG) originally raised concerns around the use of the term ‘cycle taxi’ by Bikeworks CIC's Ride Side By Side project with London regulators Transport for London (TfL).

With no resolution, Trevor Merralls, General Secretary of UCG then contacted the DfT, stating concerns around taxi licensing regulations and that the term could be misleading the public.


In response, the DfT instructed Bikeworks CIC to remove all references to the word ‘taxi’ from their project, in line with regulations under the Private Hire Vehicles (London) Act 1998. The pilot project will be completed by the end of July 2023 and all Tackling Loneliness with Transport pilots funded by DfT will cease delivery on the same date.

In the full written response from the DfT a spokesperson wrote: “Thank you for your query regarding Bikeworks CIC and their use of the term "cycle taxi” in a project funded by the Department's Tackling Loneliness with Transport Fund.

“Bikeworks CIC Ride Side By Side project received funding for one year of pilot delivery. Delivery of all Tackling Loneliness with Transport pilots funded by DfT will cease on 31 July 2023.


“Bikeworks CIC are a charity aiming to help people at risk of loneliness and are delivering trips to users free of charge. The pilot being delivered by Bikeworks CIC is limited in geographical location, days of operation and distances of trips offered. All trips must be pre-booked. Hail and ride is not an option for service users. There is no element of hire and reward taking place in the delivery of the scheme.

“After reviewing Section 31 of the Private Hire Vehicles (London) Act 1998, specifically section 31(1) and 31(2), D/T will instruct Bikeworks CIC to remove all references to the word "taxi" in their Ride Side By Side pilot.


“To give you and your members assurance, we have informed Bikeworks CIC that upon cessation of the project if they wish to continue offering Ride Side By Side project in the form of hire and reward, then they must seek full legal advice from the local licensing authority to ensure they comply with any necessary taxi, private hire vehicle and public service vehicle legislation that would be relevant to them in that type of operation.”


TaxiPoint requested comment from the Mayor’s office on the topic at the turn of the year and have not received a response.

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