London Mayor accused of “caving” to cabbies | Smart Highways Magazine: Industry News

London Mayor accused of “caving” to cabbies

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The Political blogger Guido Fawkes says that London’s taxi drivers have forced mayor Sadiq Khan of “caving” to their demands for regulation of businesses such as Uber.

The Mayor has announced new measures which, a statement says are  “to help London’s black cab industry to continue to flourish” and include:

  • TfL will open up an extra 20 bus lanes for use by taxis this year and is asking London Boroughs to consider access for taxis to a further 40 on roads they control.
  • The number of taxi ranks will also be increased by at least 20 per cent by 2020
  • The use of new  technology to provide customers with information to help connect them with taxis more quickly and easily  – adding taxi information to TfL’s journey planner by summer 2017

“The iconic black cab trade – already recognised as the finest service of its type in any city – will also be helped to become the greenest in the world,” the statement reads.

But the blog site claims, “Sadiq Khan has caved in to the taxi unions and awarded black cab drivers a staggering £65 million taxpayer subsidy, 100 new taxi ranks across London and the installation of 90 highly expensive rapid chargers, which electric private hire vehicles will not be allowed to use.”  It adds, “at the same time the Mayor is forcing new red tape on private hire drivers, including “advanced driving” and written English tests which black cab drivers will not have to take. So how did the taxi unions end up getting everything they wanted?

It adds that the mayor’s “action plan” contains 27 measures, almost identical to the 28 measures in the Licensed Taxi Drivers Association manifesto.  It says that Mr Khan himself met the head of the LTDA on his hundreth day in office, but, “by contrast Uber has not been consulted on any of the new measures – indeed the Deputy Mayor for Transport has ignored two invitations to meet Uber drivers.  It’s notable that the LTDA are the only people outside City Hall and TfL in today’s press release – it’s clear that they have been heavily involved in drawing this up while private hire firms have been shunned.”

In another post, Guido claims, “Militant cabbies who vowed to blockade Trafalgar Square have boasted how their threats forced Sadiq Khan to give them everything they wanted.  What might explain the timing?  Well, the militant United Cabbies Group were threatening to bring London to a standstill this week unless Khan caved in.”

 
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