A London taxi representative has been impressed by the understanding shown by the new Shadow Minister for Taxis and Buses on issues facing the industry.
During a first meeting with Simon Lightwood MP, topics like the controversial cross-border hiring and national licensing standards were discussed.
There were also concerns shown around Transport for London’s (TfL) ‘disproportionate’ licensing policy changes that could see cabbies lose their licence due to obtaining six penalty points, but retain their DVLA driving licence.
Steve McNamara, LTDA General Secretary, said in TAXI Newspaper: “Last week, I met with the new Shadow Minister for Taxis and Buses, Simon Lightwood MP. He’s a relatively new Labour MP for Wakefield in West Yorkshire, and shortly after he arrived in Parliament, he was appointed to Labour’s shadow transport team.
“He seemed very supportive and onside on the big issues. He recognises the need for action on cross-border hiring and proper national licensing standards.
“We also discussed the damaging impact of the new driver suitability and licensing policy on the treatment of drivers with penalty points and the impact that TfL’s implementation of this is having on drivers. He agreed that it seemed disproportionate and asked that we keep him in the loop and let him know if he can help with anything.
“At the last General Election in 2019, the Labour Party’s manifesto committed to reforming the taxi and PHV sector including, undertaking: ‘a review of licensing authority jurisdictions, setting national minimum standards of safety and accessibility, updating regulations to keep pace with technological change and to close loopholes to ensure a level playing field.’
“With Labour still way ahead in the polls, it’s nice to know that the Party waiting in the wings might actually get what we need. 2024 is still a way off, and if the last couple of years have shown us anything, it’s that things can change a lot in a short space of time.”