Has the Taxi Industry become persona non-grata with TFL as it was revealed yesterday that Mike Brown will not be attending a meeting with Taxi Industry representives. This is the third such cancellation in succession. Mike Brown was appointed Commissioner in September 2015 overseeing the largest integrated Transport Authority in the world, an authority which includes the Licensed London Taxi Industry and the Private Hire Industry. The next meeting is scheduled for September, approximately the same time as Ubers license extention reaches its conclusion.
There has been a deafening silence from TFL in recent months regarding the Taxi Industry, it is true that there may be discussions taking place behind closed doors but ultimately there has been a dirth of information emanating from TFL. Mike Brown, as stated earlier has failed to attend any sort of meeting for over 6 months, to be fair to Mike Brown the last meeting was cancelled due to health issues, this however needs to be put into some kind of perspective because allied to the Mayors lack of input there seems to be a serious communication problem. One could be forgiven in thinking that the Mayor had taken a vow of silence where the Taxi Industry is concerned. Then we have Val Shawcross, the Deputy Mayor of London For Transport, where is Vals voice? Val Shawcross has been a strong campaigner for a sustainable and flourishing Taxi Industry but right now she seems to have disappeared completely off of the radar and into the Bermondsey Triangle, a slightly less exotic version of its Bermudan counterpart where nobody is ever to be seen or heard from again......and what of the Futureproof document published in 2014, Val Shawcross had major input into this document, has the document been shelved?
There are certainly more questions than answers at this moment in time and as a result of the current situation surrounding Mike Brown cancelling again a demonstration/drive-in has been called for.
Conventional wisdom should dictate that representatives from both TFL and the Taxi Industry should be sitting around a table as a matter of urgency to prevent an exacerbation of an already fractious situation, with a strong public statement at the end of such a meeting. At the moment the Taxi Industry looks as though it is incommunicado, a bizarre situation to be in given that the opposing party is its' own regulator.
Then again when has conventional wisdom ever really dictated any sensible course of action?
We await the next move with anticipation.