Updated: Jun 25
Mayor of London has discussed proposed dedicated taxi and private hire vehicle (PHV) ‘TOUT SQUAD’ at Heathrow Airport.
Heathrow Airport representatives and representatives of the London Cab Drivers Club (LCDC) have discussed the possibility of a dedicated tout squad being funded for the airport. The potential for such a collaboration was raised in a question posed by Assembly Member Caroline Pidgeon, who asked Mayor of London Sadiq Khan whether he would support the initiative.
The mayor confirmed that taxi and private hire compliance at Heathrow is a high priority for Transport for London (TfL), and that regular attention is given to this area by TfL’s enforcement officers, in addition to the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) Cab Enforcement Unit. While unlicensed touts are primarily dealt with by the police under criminal justice legislation, TfL’s enforcement officers are working in partnership with the police to deter illegal activities at the airport and to ensure that licensed drivers and vehicles are complying with the law.
Mayor Khan also revealed that discussions are ongoing with Heathrow Airport to designate TfL enforcement officers with authority under the Heathrow Byelaws, which would empower them to do more to keep the public safe and to deter illegal activities.
Nevertheless, TfL is not currently aware of the discussions between Heathrow Airport and the taxi trade, concerning the proposal for a dedicated team.
The mayor encouraged airport representatives and the trade to discuss the proposal with TfL and the MPS so that collective efforts can be implemented to effectively deter, detect and disrupt illegal and non-compliant activity that may undermine the law-abiding taxi and private hire trades.
Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London, said: “Taxi and private hire compliance at Heathrow is a high priority for Transport for London (TfL) and receives regular attention from TfL’s enforcement officers and the MPS Cab Enforcement Unit. TfL’s enforcement officers work alongside the police to deter illegal activities at Heathrow and ensure that licensed drivers and vehicles comply with the law. Unlicensed touts are predominantly dealt with by the Police under the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 “TfL is in discussion with Heathrow Airport to designate TfL enforcement officers with authority under the Heathrow Byelaws to further improve the safety of the public at Heathrow, including the power to request taxi and private hire drivers and/or vehicles suspected of an illegal activity to leave the airport and to prevent their re-entry. “TfL is not aware of the discussions between Heathrow Airport and the taxi trade about a proposal to introduce and fund a dedicated team. I would encourage Airport representatives and the trade to discuss the proposal with TfL and the MPS to ensure that collective efforts between the Airport, TfL, and the police are effective in deterring, detecting and disrupting illegal and non-compliant activity that puts passengers at risk and undermines the law-abiding taxi and private hire trades.”