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RISKY POLICY: London taxi fleet owner reveals cabbie lost £20,000 on new cab due to TfL suspension

A London taxi fleet owner has questioned why anyone would commit to investing in a new taxi as driver licences hang on a constant knife edge due to Transport for London (TfL) licensing policy.

London taxi industry concerns grow over Transport for London's (TfL) stringent licensing policy, particularly the rule that could see drivers suspended for accruing just three penalty points.

The policy has drawn criticism from Colts Cabs, a prominent taxi fleet owner in London, questioning the viability of long-term investments in new taxis under such precarious licensing conditions.

The issue was brought into sharp focus following a distressing incident where a taxi owner was forced to sell their nearly new vehicle at a substantial loss after being banned from working under the controversial three-point rule. The owner, who had reportedly invested in a new taxi, faced a £20,000 loss when he had to part with his 4,000-mile, 73 plate model cab due to a licence suspension.

The Licensed Taxi Drivers’ Association (LTDA) has echoed these concerns, highlighting the severity of TfL's enforcement policy on the livelihoods of London cabbies. The LTDA has been vocal in warning drivers about the risks posed by even minor traffic infractions under the current regulatory framework.

In a recent TAXI Newspaper article Anthony Street, LTDA Executive,  explains the precarious situation facing taxi drivers, who are at a heightened risk of losing their licence for offences as minor as exceeding speed limits slightly or using a mobile phone while driving. He criticises TfL for its lack of support and consistency in applying discretion in licensing matters, noting the undue stress and potential mental health impacts on drivers.

The LTDA has reported numerous calls from worried drivers, apprehensive about the possibility of licence suspension for seemingly minor violations. While TfL maintains that it may exercise discretion based on the driver's history and the specifics of the case, the perceived lack of consistency in these decisions has fueled discontent within the taxi community.

This contentious policy not only threatens the financial stability of individual drivers but also raises broader questions about the future of taxi operations in London. The industry is calling for a more balanced approach from TfL, one that considers the unique pressures faced by taxi drivers and ensures fair and consistent application of licensing rules that makes investing nearly £100,000 in a new black taxi less risky.


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