Private hire driver representatives have launched an astonishing attack on Transport for London for showing a perceived bias towards the taxi industry over minicabs.
In tweets made by the United Private Hire Drivers (UPHD) they suggest the regulators impartiality is being brought in to question by their support in the world renowned taxi examination “The Knowledge of London”.
Showing an FOI between the Licensed Taxi Drivers’ Association and the regulators the UPHD wrote: “Extremely dodgy territory for @TfLTPH (Transport for London Taxi Private Hire). One minute TfL supposed to be impartially regulating and enforcing competing elements of the trade. The next minute, in smoky backrooms, TfL is secretly promoting one side of the industry and pouring in marketing resources from public funds”
Sadiq Khan, London Mayor, has publicly said that it will be in the regulators remit to raise the profile of The Knowledge of London and work with the taxi trade to help promote any ongoing or future initiatives.
Responding to a question made by Assembly Member David Kurten surrounding predictions over future new entrant levels to the taxi trade by 2022, the London Mayor said: “It is not possible to predict with any certainty how many taxi or private hire drivers Transport for London will license during the coming years.
“As I made clear in my Taxi and Private Hire Action Plan, I am committed to raising the profile of The Knowledge of London. TfL’s Knowledge team attended a number of events, including a range of careers fairs and school career events, in order to promote the Knowledge as a career option. You may have seen that the team recently attended a TfL careers army event for candidates who have left or are in the process of leaving the armed forces, where the Knowledge received a lot of positive attention.
“TfL has also finalised a brochure entitled How to Become a London Taxi Driver. The brochure includes specific case studies of a variety of Knowledge students from different backgrounds who have successfully gone through the Knowledge of London process. It also explains the benefits of becoming a London taxi driver and provides information on why our taxi drivers are considered the best in the world. This brochure has been made available to view and download on TfL’s website.
“TfL’s Knowledge team will be handing out the brochure at future careers events, and I encourage anyone else who has an interest in promoting our taxi trade to do the same.
“It is important that everyone within the taxi trade plays their part in helping to promote the benefits of being a London taxi driver to those looking for a new career. TfL is keen to work with the trade to help promote any ongoing or future initiatives.”