top of page

New TfL SIX POINT TAXI BAN policy will ‘undermine’ Knowledge of London recruitment, says trade rep

Updated: Jul 3, 2022

Transport for London’s (TfL) new six point taxi licence ban will undermine efforts to replenish dwindling driver numbers, says cab driver representatives.

Taxi drivers in the capital have roundly displayed their disdain at new driver policy changes that could see their licences SUSPENDED or REVOKED for toting up just 6 driver’s licence penalty points.

TfL’s latest Taxi and Private Hire Driver Policy includes new policies on how TfL will treat licensed drivers and prospective licensees who receive penalty points and convictions for driving offences.

Under new rules, drivers who receive convictions for certain offences such as using a mobile phone or who tot up 12-penalty points on their DVLA driving licence will be at risk of having their TfL taxi licence revoked.

The changes include:

  • For an offence of driving without reasonable consideration, if the courts award 6 or more points, the penalty from TfL could be a licence revocation. If the courts gave less than 6 points TfL could issue a three-month licence suspension.

  • For an offence of using a handheld mobile phone, which carries a mandatory 6 points TfL could revoke a licence.

  • More than one conviction for a major driving offence within the last five years would merit a licence refusal and no further application would be considered until at least seven years after the most recent conviction.

  • Any driver accumulating nine or more penalty points will receive a warning that incurring additional points is likely to result in the loss of their taxi licence.

  • Licensed taxi drivers who accumulate 12 penalty points on or after 20 December 2021 will have their taxi licence suspended for six months regardless of whether they are disqualified from driving and lose their DVLA driving licence or not.

Alarm bells have been ringing in the cabbie community after data last year revealed the number of students currently being tested to become London taxi drivers has fallen to its lowest level yet, to just 552.

In November 2019 the number of candidates studying the Knowledge of London (KoL) at the testing stages, otherwise known as ‘Appearances’, dropped below 1,000 for the first time and stood at 943. In addition, there were 714 candidates that had not yet reached the testing stages, but were signed on to the KoL and learning the capital’s road network.

Fast forward post-pandemic restrictions to August 2021 and the number of KoL candidates at the testing stages tumbles further to just 552, and worryingly only a further 363 candidates are currently waiting to reach the testing stages.

The KoL taxi driver test has recently come under scrutiny as industry representatives look for ways to increase the number of students undertaking the training.

It has however been argued that introducing new overly strict policies, like the six point licence bans, will DETER new applicants from applying to become a taxi driver.

Paul Brennan, LTDA Chairman, said via TAXI Newspaper: “It will likely not matter to the higher ups (senior TfL officials), that this will no doubt discourage some potential candidates from now doing the Knowledge. Or that it will undermine efforts to replenish our dwindling driver pool and ensure taxi availability for our great city, its inhabitants, and visitors, which is an issue their colleagues elsewhere in TfL are trying to solve. I also doubt anyone will consider how this one decision could put the brakes on the quite remarkable uptake and replenishing of our fleet from diesel to clean ZEC taxis – a goal they supposedly say they want.

“They won’t see the irony that whilst pushing the Safer Travel at Night (STaN) message, they are introducing policy that will have a knock-on effect on our numbers. They will also probably fail to recognise the hypocrisy of another division of TfL advertising for someone to drive a 15 plus tonne bus that carries upwards of 60 people, with a job description stating that the applicant should have no more than six

points on their licence, whilst simultaneously threatening to take away a taxi driver’s licence for having the exact same amount.

“I am sure they will also continue to claim the changes are "all about safety", despite the fact that for more than half a decade they have fails to re-establish the taxi driving test, to make sure those who get behind the wheel of a taxi, or for that matter

a private hire vehicle, have the necessary skills and can exhibit a higher standard of driving than joe public. They also won’t acknowledge the fact (after years of muddying the water by issuing joint accident statistics for the taxi and PHV trades) that we have a remarkable safety record, which puts all others to shame.

“This will not stand I know anyone reading this will know all of the above, but let me make this very clear, the LTDA will not stand by and let any of our members face this disgraceful attack without fighting back. The LTDA’s legal team is already on the case. We are also contacting MPs and other decision makers at the London and national level to get their support.

“Let me also reassure you that if I have anything to do with it, we will be doing all we can to ensure that we also work with the other trade organisations and put up a united front. To that end, we’ve already hosted a meeting to discuss this with the UCG and LCDC and will be having further discussions along with RMT and Unite to see what can be done jointly.”


Subscribe to our newsletter. Receive all the latest news

Thanks for subscribing!

thumbnail_phonto (1).jpg
bottom of page