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Union boss begins lobbying government to oppose Khan's proposals to cap minicab licenses

17 Aug 2018

 

 

Chairman of the Licensed Private Hire Car Association (LPHCA), Steve Wright has told the Times Series, that they have begun lobbying the government to make sure the Mayor of London's proposals to cap the amount of minicab drivers in London does not go through.

This week TaxiPoint published a letter sent from the Mayor, Sadiq Khan, to the transport secretary Chris Grayling, highlighting his desire to cap the amount of PHV drivers in the capital which is currently at over 110,000, up from 60,000 in 2011.

According to the Times Series report, Mr Wright now thinks that the proposed plans discriminate against minicab drivers in favour of Hackney Carriage drivers because they don't currently have a cap on the amount of licences which are issued.

London black taxi drivers have to pass the "knowledge of London" which normally takes anywhere between 3 to 5 years to complete, before they are issued a licence, so it is a much slower process to obtain a working licence. There are currently around 23,000 licensed black taxi drivers in London.

Wright said in his statement: "Black cabs are a lot more expensive than minicabs, for elderly and disabled people minicabs are their cheap form of transport".

Wright believes a cap on the amount of minicab drivers would be bad for the trade as a whole and would push prices up for passengers and make it harder for companies to recruit drivers.

Wright branded the proposal as "an absolutely ridiculous" one.

Chief editor of TaxiPoint, Perry Richardson, was approached by the Times Series for comment on Khan's new proposals and in contrast to Mr Wright, Mr Richardson believes the plans are good for the industry.

He added “The number of minicabs is far too high and has diluted the market pushing many drivers into working excessive hours just to cover costs. London doesn't need this number of vehicles to give good coverage to the public".  

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