Fraudulently obtained minicab licences “raises serious questions” for Transport for London (TfL), says taxi association chief.
Last night the BBC aired an investigation into private hire vehicle drivers in London fraudulently obtaining licences.
The program, Inside Out, revealed hundreds of minicab drivers could be working fraudulently after purchasing the required qualifications to become a private hire driver.
Researchers on the show were seen to buy qualifications at one east London college, which included BTecs, for fees of £500.
Steve McNamara, General Secretary of the Licensed Taxi Drivers’ Association, said: “The fact so many drivers have been able to operate private hire vehicles with illegally obtained licences raises serious questions for TfL. Add this to the recent revelations regarding Uber operating uninsured vehicles with unlicensed drivers, and it’s clear that the public are not safe in many private hire vehicles.”
In a BBC interview, the London Mayor, Sadiq Khan, said: “This is a very serious breach and TfL and the police take it very seriously.“
The Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation (Ofqual), who regulates qualifications, examinations and assessments in England, said: “We take all allegations of qualifications fraud extremely seriously. Those reported by the BBC today in relation to some BTEC awards underline the importance of our work to expose and address weaknesses in the way some awarding organisations manage and oversee centre assessments.
“We have contacted relevant awarding organisations in respect of these specific allegations, and we expect them to be investigated quickly and thoroughly.”