‘THREATENED LIVELIHOODS’: Labour MP shares concerns with Mayor of London over new taxi driver policy
Updated: Jul 3, 2022
A concerned London MP has contacted Sadiq Khan to express concerns over ‘extreme changes in policy’ which is claimed to threaten the livelihoods of taxi and private hire vehicle (PHV) drivers.
Jon Cruddas, Labour MP and Chair of Transport for London, wrote to the Mayor of London earlier this month after taxi drivers in the capital became FURIOUS at new driver policy changes that could see their licences SUSPENDED or REVOKED for toting up just 6 driver’s licence penalty points.
Under new rules, drivers who receive convictions for certain offences such as using a mobile phone or who tot up 12-penalty points on their DVLA driving licence will be at risk of having their TfL taxi licence revoked.
In the letter made public by Cruddas MP it reads: “Concerns have been raised with me about recent changes to the Taxi and Private Hire Driver Policy. My constituents explain that new policies brought in at the end of 2021 on how TfL will treat licensed drivers who receive penalty points and convictions for driving offences, are extreme and could cost many cabbies their livelihoods.
“Having looked at the policy, the changes of most concern are as follows:
For an offence of driving without reasonable consideration, if the courts award 6 or more points, the penalty from TfL could be a licence revocation. If the courts gave less than 6 points Tf could issue a three-month licence suspension.
For an offence of using a handheld mobile phone, which carries a mandatory 6 points TfL could revoke a licence.
Any driver accumulating nine or more penalty points will receive a warning that incurring additional points is likely to result in the loss of their taxi licence.
Licensed taxi drivers who accumulate 12 penalty points on or after 20 December 2021 will have their taxi licence suspended for six months regardless of whether they are disqualified from driving and lose their DVLA driving licence or not.
“My concern as the Member of Parliament for Dagenham and Rainham, is that there seems to have been little to no public consultation or knowledge of these changes prior to their implementation. A policy change of such significance should have involved stakeholders such as the LTDA.
“In a recent press release Transport for London argued that these changes are part of further professionalisation of the trade, to hold taxi drivers to a higher standard and ensure the safety of passengers. However, I would strongly argue that if an experienced magistrate believes a driver to be roadworthy that should be acceptable to TfL without need for further action.”
Jon Cruddas MP posted the letter via social media also saying: “Written to Mayor of London today on behalf of Black Cab and other Private Hire drivers in Dagenham & Rainham regarding extreme changes in policy which threaten their livelihoods.”
The Licensed Taxi Drivers’ Association (LTDA) replied: “Thanks Jon, as you say no consultation at any stage, even though TfL regularly consult us on endless minutiae such as bus stop moves!”
London Taxi PR said: “We hope that more clarification as to why these extreme measures have been announced. Especially as we noticed that you can still become a London Bus driver and carry multiple passengers with 6 points on your licence!”
Paul Bond, RMT London Taxi Chairman, said today: “Many will be aware of the TaxiPoint article and the letter sent by Jon Cruddas MP on these draconian, unjust policies incepted by TfL.
“Last week the orgs and unions met to discuss a response.
“Today (Wednesday 29 June) the trade is due to meet the TfL Commissioner & Deputy Mayor for Transport, the RMT is of the view that when matters of such importance are discussed then such meetings should be fully minuted, this was communicated to the TfL Commissioner and MP’s etc copied in.
“Yesterday we received a response from LTPH (TfL Taxi and Private Hire) stating they were not departing from their policy of taking ‘action points’ and refuse to formally minute, so unless there’s a high level intervention today from City Hall, the RMT will not attend. We pursue the matters politically.”