“Without government support, there is little prospect of a private bill being enacted” to cap the number of private hire vehicles operating in the capital admits the Mayor of London.
There are currently a whopping 104,620 private hire drivers licensed in the capital. The amount of minicab drivers has nearly doubled since 2010 when 59,191 drivers where recorded as private hire drivers.
The introduction of ride-hailing apps has seen the numbers boom over the last ten years.
As it stands, Transport for London (TfL) are legally obliged to issue a licence to all applicants meeting the statutory eligibility criteria. This process is in place despite long-standing concerns around the number of vehicles having a negative impact on congestion and air quality in London.
Assembly Member Elly Baker asked the Mayor of London via a recent written question: “Section 167 of the GLA Act permits TfL to promote private bills in Parliament. What consideration, if any, have you given to using such a bill to change the legislation to allow TfL to regulate the number of private hire vehicles that operate in London?”
Sadiq Khan responded: “In delivering the commitment in my Taxi & Private Hire Action Plan, I have lobbied Government for a considerable period of time seeking important changes to primary legislation, including the ability for Transport for London to regulate the number of private hire vehicles it licenses, subject to a public interest test.
“In its response to the Task and Finish Group recommendations and the subsequent publication of Statutory Standards for taxi and private hire licensing, the Government has consistently indicated it is not minded to legislate on this specific issue.
“Without government support, there is little prospect of a private bill being enacted.”