The Mayor’s new Transport Strategy ‘falls well short’ of the promises he made to London’s taxi drivers before he was elected, according to London Assembly member Keith Prince and the industry’s main representative body.
Mr Prince, along with General Secretary of the Licensed Taxi Drivers’ Association (LTDA) are calling on Sadiq Khan to urgently address the shortfalls and make good on the pledges he made in 2016.
Among the concerns being voiced are:
A lack of electric charging infrastructure for the taxi trade – TfL failed to meet its commitment of having 75 chargers in the ground by the end of 2017
No move to increase the number of bus lanes in which black cabs can travel - the LTDA has identified around 60 new routes for consideration in total
Little progress in increasing the number of taxi ranks in London by at least 20 per cent by 2020 – the LTDA wants to see the number of ranks raised from 500 to 600
No acceptance of quarterly meetings with the LTDA and TfL - the Mayor last met with the LTDA in August 2016
London Assembly member Keith Prince said: “The black cab industry is under increasing pressure and badly needs the help of the incumbent Mayor.
“Unfortunately, despite warm promises before he was elected, there has been slow progress on things like increased taxi ranks and greater use of bus routes.
“Sadiq Khan’s new Transport Strategy appears to completely neglect the needs of our important taxi drivers and he risks obliterating one of London’s most iconic trades.
“The government has led the way this week by exempting cabbies from Vehicle Excise Duty. It is time for Sadiq Khan to follow suit and back our hard-working cabbies.”
Steve McNamara, General Secretary of the LTDA, said: "The Mayor was elected in 2016 on a manifesto that promised to support the taxi trade. This included accelerating the installation of rapid charging points, opening up bus lanes to taxis, levelling the playing field with private hire vehicles and holding regular meetings with the trade. Yet nearly two years later it seems London is stuck in neutral and we are here to help.
“In addition to this, our trade – the only 100% wheelchair accessible part of London’s transport network – is increasingly being denied access to key roads and junctions such as Tottenham Court Road, Oxford Street, and crucially, Bank Junction”.