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When and why did the London taxi trade move away from the Met Police regulation to TfL?

Updated: Jan 7



London's famous black taxis have an interesting history that goes back over 400 years. One of the most significant changes in recent history involved the transition from the Metropolitan Police to Transport for London (TfL) as the regulator of the taxi trade.


The move away from Metropolitan Police control began in the late 1990s, when the Greater London Authority Act 1999 created the position of Mayor of London. The legislation granted the Mayor powers over key transport functions, including taxis and private hire vehicles, which were previously under the jurisdiction of the Metropolitan Police.

In 2000, the Mayor's office established a new regulatory body, the Public Carriage Office (PCO), to oversee the taxi and private hire industry. The PCO was responsible for licensing and regulating all licensed London taxis and private hire vehicles.

In 2008, the PCO was disbanded and its functions were absorbed by TfL, which now regulates and licenses all taxi and private hire operations in London.


TfL's Taxi and Private Hire department (TfLTPH) is responsible for enforcing rules and regulations, licensing drivers and operating companies, and ensuring the safety and well-being of both passengers and drivers.

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