The Mayor of London has asked Government for powers to cap the number of private hire drivers working in the capital following from similar action taken in New York City.
In a letter sent today to the transport secretary Chris Grayling, Sadiq Khan again asks for powers to place a cap as the increasing number of minicabs, working for firms like Uber, leave “many drivers struggling to make enough money to support themselves and their families.”
The Mayor, who also chairs and oversees regulators Transport for London, also highlights the increase in private hire drivers from 60,000 in 2011 to over 110,000 at present.
In the letter obtained by TaxiPoint, the London Mayor writes:
“I am determined to create a vibrant taxi and private hire market in the capital, with space for all providers to flourish. However, as we have previously discussed, the huge increase in private hire drivers on London’s roads in recent years is causing increased congestion, polluting our air and leaving many drivers struggling to make enough money to support themselves and their families.
“In 2011 there were around 60,000 private hire drivers in London. This has now risen to more than 110,000 actively licensed drivers – a massive increase over this period. This rise in numbers is unsustainable and urgent action is needed to address it.
“Last week New York - which is facing similar problems with the significant increase in private hire vehicles on their roads - took the necessary step of instituting a year-long cap on app-based private hire companies. Unlike New York, I don’t have the power to cap the number of private hire vehicles in London.
“I am writing to again urge the Government to grant me that power as the Mayor of London - alongside appropriate restrictions on cross-border hiring, to enable Londoners, like New Yorkers, to breathe better air and live in a less congested city.
I know the Department for Transport has instigated a Task and Finish Group on private hire regulation which is due to report shortly. I urge you to publish this report as quickly as possible and act on its recommendations – including introducing any primary legislation that is required.”