The London Mayor says he has taken numerous steps to “help the taxi industry thrive” as the future of the London taxi industry was discussed this week.
Speaking at a public meeting on 5 March, both the London Mayor Sadiq Khan and Transport for London’s (TfL) Commissioner Mike Brown, were questioned by City Hall’s London Assembly.
The Mayor backed up his support for the under pressure taxi industry claiming “I’ve had the most pro-black taxi policies of any mayor that has served our city”, and admitted that the trade plays a “key role in providing accessible travel for all”.
The answers came after Assembly Member David Kurten probed Khan on what his plans were for the future of the black cab trade in the capital.
The London Mayor, Sadiq Khan, said: “London’s taxis are well known and well loved. They are a London icon and have for many years provided a reliable and trusted service to the city. Black cabs offer passengers both safety and convenience, playing a key role in providing accessible travel for all.
“Under my mayoralty taxis have been an important part of London’s transport offer. I made this clear both in my transport strategy and in my taxi and private hire action plan published shortly after I was elected. I have taken a number of steps to help the taxi industry thrive.
“TfL have introduced mandatory card and contactless payment, I’ve ensured that taxis continue to have access to bus lanes enabling taxis access to a further eighteen lanes at key locations on its road network.
“TfL have also written to the Boroughs requesting taxi access to the bus lanes and roads that they control.
“I have increased the number of taxi ranks across London with the total increasing to around 600, an increase of 160 since 2015, and we continue to press local authorities for additional rank locations.
“TfL is promoting the benefits of being a London taxi driver by raising the profile of the Knowledge, and TfL have opened up a further 20 bus lanes to taxis on the transport for London road network, meaning taxis can now access 95% of bus lanes on the TLRN and 93% of all bus lanes across London.
“The support of the London taxi trade to tackle the toxic air crisis we are facing has been vital. London cabbies are at the vanguard of adopting zero emission capable vehicles with more than 3,200 new licensed and every vehicle entering the fleet since January 2018 is now zero emission capable.
“We continue to contribute towards the £7,500 grant off the purchase of a new zero emission capable taxi, and we have installed more than 232 rapid charging points across London, with 73 of these dedicated to taxis only.
“My track record of supporting the trade, and its transformation to a modern environmentally sustainable part of our transport offer speaks for itself. I’ve checked what previous mayors did for taxis and its clear that I’ve had the most pro-black taxi policies of any mayor that has served our city.”
Image credits: LEVC