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TfL’s taxi driver policy must be “fair and take drivers’ livelihoods into account” says FREENOW boss


Transport for London’s (TfL) taxi driver policy must be ‘fair and take drivers’ livelihoods into account’ says taxi booking app UK boss.


Mariusz Zabrocki, General Manager of FREENOW UK, highlighted growing concerns among drivers about Transport for London's (TfL) stringent driving policy. Under current regulations, drivers face the risk of losing their licence—and consequently, their livelihood—after accumulating just six points on their DVLA driving licence. This policy has sparked anxiety among the driving community, many of whom depend solely on their income from driving to support their families.

The situation is deemed even more worrying for drivers who, with only three points on their DVLA licence, are subjected to a three-month suspension. In the midst of a surging cost of living crisis, such suspensions threaten drivers' ability to meet their financial obligations, exerting immense pressure both financially and mentally. Many drivers, passionate about their profession, find themselves in a precarious situation, struggling to navigate the implications of these policies.


Zabrocki highlights the indispensable role of black cab drivers in London's urban ecosystem. These drivers, he asserts, are vital in ferrying residents and visitors alike across the city safely and efficiently, thereby bolstering other businesses and contributing significantly to the economy. Given the current challenges, including a shortage of drivers and vehicles that adversely affect service availability for passengers, especially the vulnerable ones, there's a pressing need for a balanced approach to policy enforcement.


The industry as a whole are calling for TfL to swiftly readdress concerns around its controversial policy. A more balanced policy can maintain long-term public safety and high professional standards among drivers, without unduly jeopardising their financial stability and passion for the job.

Zabrocki said: "Many drivers working with FREENOW have expressed their concerns regarding the TfL's driver policy - six points on their  DVLA driving licence can now result in drivers losing their licence- as this means that drivers can also lose their only source of income to support their families.

 

"However, they are even more concerned with the fact that many drivers with three points only on their DVLA are facing a three-month suspension of their licence, which, on top of the already harsh cost of living crisis, leaves drivers unable to pay their bills, putting them under enormous pressure financially, but also emotionally as they are passionate about their job.

 

"Black cab drivers play a key role in the fabric of our city; they move people around in an efficient and safe way, and by doing so, they support many other businesses and the overall economy. While all drivers should uphold the highest professional driver standards to ensure public safety at all times, it's crucial to ensure that the policies in place are fair and take drivers' livelihoods into account without causing further damage to the trade, which is already facing challenging times with driver and vehicle, shortage, negatively impacting passengers, particularly vulnerable ones."

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