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TfL crackdown on over 2,000 non-compliant taxis and PHVs at Heathrow Airport in 12 months



The Mayor of London revealed that Transport for London (TfL) conducted 2,183 non-compliant checks in the past year, highlighting a concerted effort to tackle illegal activities at Heathrow Airport.


The revelation came in response to concerns raised by London Assembly Member Caroline Pidgeon, following reports from taxi drivers at Heathrow about touting activities. Drivers had been reporting incidents by sending pictures and business cards of individuals to the police.


Mayor Sadiq Khan emphasised Heathrow's significance to TfL, outlining the ongoing commitment to addressing illegal activities at the airport. Operation Departure, a joint initiative between TfL's Roads and Vehicles function and the Police, involves plain clothes officers focusing on detecting illegal touts as they leave the airport terminals.


TfL's approach is intelligence-led, with officers maintaining a regular presence at Heathrow Airport, the terminal forecourt, Feeder Park, and surrounding local roads. The collaboration between TfL, the Police, and Heathrow Airport officials aims to deter and detect taxi and private hire-related issues.


From February 2023 to February 2024, intelligence led to TfL officers being deployed to Heathrow on 247 occasions, conducting 18 Operation Departures. Out of 12,568 checks, 2,183 were found non-compliant, for issues such as illegal activities, lack of badges being worn, no Hire and Reward Insurance, tyres failing to meet the legal requirements, MOT failure and vehicle body work issues.

Furthermore, ten drivers were reported for touting, highlighting the importance of TfL's operations in ensuring compliance and safety in London's taxi and private hire sectors.


Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London, said: “Heathrow remains a high priority for Transport for London (TfL), and it continues to focus on the issue of illegal activity there. TfL’s Operations Officers in the Roads and Vehicles function are regularly deployed at Heathrow working on Operation Departure – a plain clothes operation, in collaboration with the Police, focused on detecting illegal touts as they exit departures within the airport terminals.


“Enforcement activity is intelligence-led, and TfL’s Operations Officers have a regular presence at Heathrow Airport, the terminal forecourt and Feeder Park as well as the local roads around the airport. TfL works collaboratively with the Police and Heathrow Airport officials to deter and detect taxi and private hire-related issues in and around the airport. All contact from the public provides vital intel which helps TfL deploy Operations Officers.”

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