Updated: Jul 16
Transport for London (TfL) have ‘twisted the fit and proper test beyond what Government intended’ says London taxi representatives.
The United Cabbies Group (UCG), a prominent representative body for London taxi drivers, expressed dismay over TfL's decision, highlighting a lack of consistency when compared to the requirements for bus drivers employed by companies like Go-Ahead London.
For individuals aspiring to become apprentice bus drivers, Go-Ahead London stipulates that applicants must hold a UK driving licence (category B) for a minimum of 6 months, with no more than 6 penalty points on their record.
Under TfL's new regulations, taxi drivers who receive convictions for certain offenses, such as using a mobile phone while driving, or who accumulate 12 penalty points on their DVLA driving licence, are at risk of having their TfL taxi licence revoked.
Trevor Merrells, General Secretary of the United Cabbies Group (UCG), voiced his concerns on social media, questioning the logic and consistency of TfL's implementation of the fit and proper test. Merrells pointed out that under the new rules, taxi drivers with just 6 points are considered a risk when transporting 5 or 6 passengers, while bus drivers with the same number of penalty points can operate buses carrying up to 70 passengers, the majority of whom are seated and require no seatbelt.
Merrells said via social media: “It is clear what the actual intentions of the National Standards were as outlined by Dame Casey and in the UCG’s view the poor and inconsistent implementation by TfL of these now presents the ridiculous situation where drivers are deemed a risk when carrying 5/6 passengers on 6 points yet a bus driver can have the same number and drive up to 70 passengers of which 59 are seated and require no seatbelt.
“In closing the UCG manifestly disagree with how Tfl are choosing to applying these standards we will continue to defend our members at reconsideration hearings and at Magistrates Court.
“The UCG’s view is TfL have twisted the fit and proper test beyond what Government intended.“