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London Assembly details EIGHT taxi sector recommendations for the Mayor of London and TfL to act on

Updated: Mar 19


Image credit: LEVC

In a decisive move aimed at sparking long-term life into London's taxi and private hire vehicle (PHV) landscape, the London Assembly Transport Committee has issued a comprehensive set of recommendations to the Mayor of London.


The letter, outlining eight key proposals, seeks to modernise and improve the industry, ensuring it is allowed to better serve the needs of Londoners.

Central to the committee's recommendations is the call for Transport for London (TfL) to develop a new Taxi and Private Hire Vision through a collaborative engagement plan. This strategy emphasises the inclusion of Assembly Members and the Transport Committee in the process, ensuring a wide range of perspectives are considered.


The committee has also suggested that the Mayor and TfL should expand their strategy to include Pedicabs and other emerging forms of transport.


Legislative changes are on the agenda, with the committee urging the Mayor to engage with the Government to explore potential reforms. These could include revisiting the idea of capping PHV numbers, addressing cross-border hiring issues, and possibly licensing taxi apps to increase competition and ensure a level playing field.


Financial incentives are also a focal point, with the Mayor encouraged to secure extended support for the Plug-In Taxi Grant (PiTG) beyond its current April 2025 expiration. Additionally, the committee advocates for VAT exemption for all accessible vehicles, including taxis and wheelchair-accessible PHVs.

In an effort to increase driver numbers in the sector, TfL is urged to make the Knowledge test more accessible, allowing candidates to study part-time and encouraging a broader demographic to participate.


The committee has also called for a reassessment of TfL's approach to enforcing 20mph speed limits, advocating for a strategy that prioritises behavior change and fairness. This includes a transparent review of the appeals process for new drivers, ensuring it is independent and just.

 

Mariusz Zabrocki, General Manager at FREENOW UK, said: “FREENOW welcomes the findings of London’s Transport Committee's report on the future of the Taxi and Private Hire Vehicle sector. We support the Committee’s recommendations, particularly those regarding improving competition in the London taxi vehicles market and making the Knowledge of London more accessible while encouraging more women and people from diverse backgrounds to enrol.

 

“As a private company, we took the first step to tackle the lack of cab drivers by launching an industry-first Knowledge subsidy that supports drivers so they don't have to worry about the costs associated with the Knowledge and can progress in their careers and become black cab drivers. To date, through this FREENOW initiative, over 200 drivers are already enrolled with the Knowledge Schools.”


The EIGHT London Assembly Recommendations:


  • TfL should set out an engagement plan for developing the updated Taxi and Private Hire Vision. This should be a participatory process, including engaging with Assembly Members and the London Assembly Transport Committee.

  • The Mayor and TfL should consult around including Pedicabs, and other forms of transport, in the new Taxi PHV strategy.

  • The Mayor should work with Government on any legislative changes required to achieve the vision. This could include re-visiting discussions around capping PHV numbers and cross-border hiring, the content of pedicab legislation, and the potential to license taxi apps.

  • The Mayor should look at what steps he can take to increase competition in the approved London taxi market.

  • The Mayor should continue to liaise with the Government around support for the Plug-In Taxi Grant, and push for the Grant to be extended beyond April 2025. The Mayor should also continue to make the case to Government that all accessible vehicles, including taxis and wheelchair accessible PHVs, should be VAT-exempt.

  • The Mayor and TfL should further explore making the Knowledge more modular, allowing people to complete the programme alongside their jobs. In response to this letter, the Mayor and TfL should set out what steps it is taking to encourage and support more women and people from a diverse range of backgrounds to enrol in the Knowledge.

  • TfL should review its approach to how it deals with breaches of 20mph speed limits, to focus on behaviour change and achieve safe speeds and remove perceptions of unfairness. It should monitor the number of cases and trends over time and review awareness of 20mph limits and see if more can be done to reduce offending. TfL should write to the Committee with an update on this and how it has changed the tone of correspondence to drivers.

  • TfL should assess their new driver policy and reorganisation of the appeals process to ensure it is fair, independent and transparent.

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