London taxi reps set to meet DfT to discuss latest statutory guidance and future support needed

Updated: Aug 23

Image credit: LEVC

London’s taxi driver representatives are set to meet the Department for Transport (DfT) to discuss how the Government can best support the cab industry following the devastating impact of COVID-19.

The Licensed Taxi Drivers’ Association (LTDA) have arranged a meeting in September with Baroness Vere, Minister Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the DfT. The LTDA are likely to discuss issues surrounding the latest taxi and private hire statutory guidance released, alongside other ways the Government can support the trade in the wake of the pandemic.

Steve McNamara, LTDA General Secretary, said in TAXI magazine: “I have been speaking to Daniel Zeichner MP, one of the Vice Chairs of the APPG on Taxis, regarding the missed opportunity that is the Department for Transport’s new ‘statutory standards’ for the taxi and private hire vehicle trades.

“While a step in the right direction, this statutory guidance falls far short of what is needed to keep passengers safe. We need national minimum standards across the board. Daniel has agreed that Parliament should take up this matter on its return in September and the APPG, will continue to push for proper legislation to address the concerns that the taxi trade still has.

“We have repeatedly told the Department that only legislation will enforce higher standards and this guidance will do little to end to the practices of cross-border hiring and licence shopping.

“Equally, there is nothing in this guidance that will ensure that licensed taxis are the only vehicles allowed to ply-for-hire, with the guidance doing nothing to clarify the lines that unscrupulous ride-hailing apps like Uber have blurred.

“This is particularly concerning given Uber’s recent acquisition of Autocab, which I think we can all recognise as a ploy to expand their operations into new areas and avoid licensing issues. They are clearly hedging their bets should the upcoming appeal of TfL’s licensing decision not go their way.”

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