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Number of TfL PHV Operators with compliant contractual agreements in place remains guarded

Transport for London (TfL) remain coy on the number of Private Hire Vehicle (PHV) Operators that have moved over to new compliant contractual agreements.

The Mayor of London recently said ALL 1,675 London PHV operators should have reviewed their contractual terms by now, but the regulators are yet to reveal what percentage are now compliant in the capital.

The changes follow a recent High Court judgment which ruled London PHV operators should contract directly with passengers rather than through its drivers. Operators were also told they must ensure that passengers have appropriate legal recourse in the event that something goes wrong during a private hire journey.

In the landmark December 2021 ruling, the High Court Administrative Court refused Uber’s application declaring its gig-economy business model must change.

The ruling followed Uber seeking a declaration from the High Court that it is lawful for Uber’s drivers to continue to contract directly with Uber’s passengers for transport services. Uber had argued that its role was confined merely to that of an internet booking agent and that it was not party to any contract for the provision of transport.

Ella Brown, a Labour London Assembly Member, asked the Mayor of London: “Given the decision in December from the High Court that Private Hire operators in London have a contractual relationship with passengers once a booking is made, what steps are you taking to ensure the whole sector in the Capital complies with the ruling?”

Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London, replied on 14 June: “It is the responsibility of all London PHV operators to ensure they are compliant with the Court’s judgment. By now, all London PHV operators should have reviewed their contractual terms and ways of working and made any necessary changes.

“Operators should be prepared to demonstrate compliance, upon request, at any time.

“Following the Court’s ruling, Transport for London (TfL) has prescribed a licence condition and published several TPH Notices as well as detailed guidance for PHV operators.

“There are 1,675 licensed PHV operators in London. TfL is working through the contractual terms, where they exist, of each operator. The first tranche commenced in January 2022 with a focus on the largest operators and those with imminent licence renewal dates. TfL has also amended its application forms and processes to ensure that all PHV operators applying for, and renewing, a licence are aware of their obligations. TfL will continue to review operators’ contractual terms as part of the licensing process and on an ad hoc basis to ensure the Divisional Court ruling is being complied with.

“TfL has also raised awareness of this issue with PHV trade representatives in its regular meetings and continues to liaise with individual operators who have enquiries relating to their compliance.”

TaxiPoint has regularly contacted TfL since mid-May 2022 asking for an update on the number of operators that have signed over to the new compliant contractual agreements. There has been no number provided so far.

TaxiPoint additionally asked what enforcement would be taken if any PHV Operators were still not compliant. TaxiPoint are awaiting a response.


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