Identifiers Tags – London Taxis
from General Secretary Bob Crow - TFL (RT/14/2)
Further to my circular dated 14th December (IR/608/11) I write to update branches on the TfL scheme to introduce Identifier tags from March 2012 for all Taxi driver members (Taxis and Private hire).This would distinguish between those drivers licensed for hire in all of Metropolitan London (green badge) and those who were licensed for particular sectors outside the centre (yellow badge). Yellow badge drivers might be typically licensed for the London Boroughs of Redbridge, Greenwich, Merton, Harrow, Hillingdon and so on.
Following a meeting with our London Taxi Branch Representatives and Lead Officer, I have now written to TfL to demand that the introduction of identifier tags for London taxis be reconsidered. I am also in the process of seeking legal advice from our solicitors on the issues below as your Union firmly believes:-
- That the implementation of this scheme has not been subject to meaningful consultation with all parties concerned (According to information obtained under Freedom of Information Act only 13 organisations have been consulted, which we believe is flawed. A clear indication that the process has been flawed is the fact that the first time the vast majority of the tens of thousands of London taxi drivers heard about the scheme was when they received a letter about it post-consultation. The exclusion of RMT, a bona-fide organisation which represents a substantial proportion of London taxi drivers, from the consultation process is another clear indication of the flawed process. The consultation also did not deal with the enforcement process or the rights and responsibilities of drivers.
- According to documents submitted TfL plan to enforce this scheme using paragraph 28A of the London Cab Order 1934 (as amended by the new Cab order). However correspondence dated 21st October 2011 from TfL states they intend to use Metropolitan Public Carriage Act 1869 sections 6 and 8. We believe that TfL have not been consistent in this matter.
- Access to drivers personal information would be easier obtained once the identifier tags are displayed, which we believe breach data protection act and puts our taxi members at risk.
I will of course update branches on any further developments.