Minicab Union V TfL: Battle of the Congestion Charge set to be heard in court on 30 June

Updated: Jun 30, 2020

The Independent Workers of Great Britain Union (IWGB) are set to face-off against Transport for London (TfL) once again, as the union which represents private hire drivers in the capital argue that the Congestion Charge imposed on its members is discriminatory.

In July of 2019, a court ruled in favour of TfL’s decision to include private hire drivers in London‘s Congestion Charge - a decision that was appealed by the IWGB.

Almost twelve months on, the two will once again go toe-to-toe as a judge will hear why the union believes minicab drivers should be exempt from all Congestion Charges.

The appeal will be heard during an online hearing on 30 June and 1 July.

The IWGB had argued during the first hearing that Mayor of London Sadiq Khan's decision to introduce a Congestion Charge on minicabs discriminates against and breaches the human rights of a mainly BAME workforce.

The IWGB sought a judicial review of Khan's decision to introduce the £11.50 charge (which has since risen to £15 since COVID-19 almost pushed TfL out of business) on the grounds that it is a case of indirect discrimination under the Equality Act.

The charge is being imposed on a workforce that is mainly BAME (94% of London's 107,000 minicab drivers are BAME according to TFL), while black cab drivers, who are mostly white, continue to be exempt, the IWGB claimed.

The union also claimed that the policy is also in breach of a number of articles of the European Convention on Human Rights that cover discrimination, property rights, right to a family life and ability to carry out a profession.

A minicab driver and former IWGB BAME officer, who spoke prior to the first hearing, said: “For years we have been asking Mayor Sadiq Khan and Transport for London to do their job and regulate rogue minicab operators such as Uber. Instead of challenging these multinational companies, the Mayor has decided to lay the cost of out of control licensing on precarious drivers on poverty pay. Now it is up to us to make sure this discriminatory policy is scrapped.”

Image credit: Pixabay/TaxiPoint

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