A leading figure in the London taxi industry has said taxis and private hire should be removed from Transport for London (TfL) after recent licensing failures.
Grant Davis, the London Cab Drivers Club (LCDC) Chairman, said via an editorial in trade newspaper The Badge, that the industry “in an ideal world” should leave the control of its current regulators.
Davis was writing on the topic of the recently aired BBC investigation, which revealed hundreds of minicab drivers could be working fraudulently, after purchasing the required qualifications to become a private hire driver.
Researchers on the BBC show were seen to buy qualifications at one east London college, which included BTecs, for fees of £500.
He described the findings as “even more galling” due to past fraudulent private hire licensing. In 2016 GPs were alleged to have accepted cash payments from prospective private hire drivers to pass medicals needed to obtain a minicab licence.
Soon after the BBC investigation aired another leading taxi representative, Steve McNamara, General Secretary of the Licensed Taxi Drivers’ Association, said: “The fact so many drivers have been able to operate private hire vehicles with illegally obtained licences raises serious questions for TfL.”
Grant Davis went even further in his editorial, calling for the industry to leave TfL, saying: “In an ideal world we should be removed from Transport for London and a new independent Taxi and Private Hire Authority would be set up under the Metropolitan Police.
“Unfortunately, this is never going to happen as the current Mayor is running a deficit close to £1bn this year and he needs every penny from the Private Hire licence fees and Private Hire Congestion Charge he can lay his hands on.”