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‘ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM’: Lack of new taxi vehicle choice frustrates cab driver representative

Updated: May 2, 2022

The number of Black Cab journeys in London remain at high levels since COVID measures were dropped, but one taxi representative says an ‘elephant in the room’ remains, that being the lack of new vehicle choice available to drivers.

Just recently LEVC (London Electric Vehicle Company) announced a significant milestone after its 5,000th electric TX taxi sold in the capital since first introduced in 2018.

That milestone means over a third of the taxi fleet in the capital is made up by the TX. Since the change in vehicle licensing in 2018, which only allows Zero Emission Capable (ZEC) taxis to enter the industry, only one other vehicle has joined the ranks; the Nissan Dynamo.

The London Cab Drivers Club (LCDC) say that the lack of vehicle choice has created a ‘monopoly’ within the trade which is something that needs changing.

Grant Davis, LCDC Chairman, said in The Badge: “There is much talk of work levels picking up, which is great news and hopefully it will remain so. But, beneath the good news of work levels, there is an ‘elephant in the room’ that needs addressing if the trade has any longevity and that is the monopoly of vehicles that we have to endure. Now I like the TXE, it looks nice, I’m told it drives lovely and importantly, the public love it too… so what's the problem?

“This all stems from having a Regulator that doesn’t know ‘our’ business. During the ULEZ meetings, we were promised 5 taxis… we have one. We was also promised ‘so many charge points, you would fall over them’.

“Neither have materialised and as the LCDC stated more than once to TfL ‘You cant make policy on promises’. But they did and did not care about the repercussions for the cab trade as it was all to fulfil the Mayors green credentials. We should have been allowed to carry on buying diesel E6 taxis until 2020 and in that time TfL should have increased charge point numbers, instead they put the ‘cart before the horse’.”


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