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Mayor of London REJECTS idea that PHV driver standards and regulation too low in the capital

Updated: Mar 20, 2023

Sadiq Khan image credit: Greater London Authority

The Mayor of London has REJECTED the idea that private hire vehicle (PHV) driver standards and regulation is too low in the capital.

London Assembly Member Keith Prince asked the Mayor of London whether the current standards and regulations of PHV drivers are too low.

Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London, responded: “No. Transport for London (TfL) has introduced a raft of measures to improve safety and standards across the private hire vehicle (PHV) industry in recent years.

“In addition to the measures introduced in its review of private hire regulations in October 2016, TfL introduced a Safety, Equality and Regulatory Understanding (SERU) requirement and online safeguarding awareness course so that drivers are equipped with the knowledge and understanding of how to help identify and protect the most vulnerable members of our society.

“TfL will also shortly be launching a consultation focused on delivering the remaining Department for Transport Statutory Standards, which includes a number of proposals to further improve safety within the taxi and private hire industries.”

TaxiPoint reported last week that TfL revoked 327 PHV driver's licences in 2022 for non-medical related reasons.

In that total, 39 licences were revoked for serious sexual offences and a further 26 for ‘other’ sexual offences.

Other reasons for minicab drivers losing their licences in London include drink or drug driving (19), driving disqualification (122), dishonesty (46), non-sexual abuse or behaviour towards passenger (12), arrested or charged for a serious offence (9), fraudulent identifiers (14) and violence (7).

Regulators TfL can immediately suspend or revoke a driver's licence prior to charge or conviction, if they believe that it is in the interests of public safety. In some cases, TfL may take licensing action immediately, irrespective of the results of the police investigation and subsequent court proceedings.

TfL are currently reviewing taxi and PHV licensing in London to improve passenger safety. The regulators are proposing 19 changes to improve safety and safeguarding for all passengers, especially children and vulnerable adults.

The GMB union said that they were ‘hugely disappointed’ that taxi and PHV drivers have not been invited to contribute with their own experiences and concerns in the latest consultation which is primarily centred on passenger protection.

The union said London’s PHV and taxi drivers are routinely the objects of verbal and physical abuse and theft, some of which can be brutal.

The union added TfL should not be prioritising passenger safety before the driver’s safety and operators should not ignore their responsibility for drivers' health and safety.


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