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TfL abandons ‘3 points and out’ taxi driver policy, but concerns still exist say black cab reps

Transport for London’s (TfL) ‘3 points and out’ taxi driver enforcement policy has been abandoned, but concerns still exist for cabbies receiving 6 points, says trade representatives.

In a recent meeting with TfL, representatives from the taxi and private hire sectors voiced significant concerns over the new driver policy’s impact on their members.

The meeting, pushed on by heightened attention from a Greater London Authority (GLA) transport committee meeting and complaints by industry stakeholders that included the Licensed Taxi Drivers’ Association (LTDA), aimed to address these growing tensions.

Steve McNamara, General Secretary of LTDA, shared insight of the meeting with TAXI Newspaper, revealing that the contentious ‘3 points and out’ policy had now been abandoned. However, the ‘6 points and you’re out’ rule continues to stir unease within the industry. McNamara expressed the collective frustration over the policy’s repercussions on drivers, emphasising the need for TfL to adopt a more reasonable approach towards licensing decisions.

McNamara said: “I recently attended a TfL meeting of all the taxi trade groups and various representatives from the private hire trade to discuss the impact on the new driver policy. We've been pushing TfL for action on this for a while now. The meeting was called following the exposure given to the policy at the recent GLA transport committee meeting and complaints raised by the LTDA.

“I had already been informed that the ‘3 points and out’ policy, which related to what TfL deemed to be ‘serious offences’ had been scrapped, but our concerns over the ‘6 points and you’re out’ policy remain as relevant as ever, and I was able to once again highlight the impact the policy is having on our members.

“It came as no surprise that the other trade groups both taxi and PHV were experiencing similar problems.

“My main ask was first and foremost that TfL return to a more sensible policy and throw out these new rules or that at the very least (or an important starting point) that they reintroduce discretion and common sense into all licensing decisions. I explained the need to consider a driver’s previous history, personal circumstances and the specific details of the offence and not apply the blanket ‘computer says no’ type decision making we have seen recently, harshly penalising drivers many of whom have never previously put a foot wrong.

“I think there seems to be an acceptance at TfL, that they have been overzealous and have interpreted their own guidelines and those set out by the government and the Institute of Licensing, too rigidly, resulting in some very draconian and unfair decisions.

“We will be keeping a close eye on what happens next and continue to pressure TfL to deliver on this. I hope to be able to report some further news on this shortly but for now I can say we are already starting to see a shift in some of the most recent licensing and appeal decisions.”


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