Taxi drivers demonstrate against regulator TfL
Event date: 
Wednesday, 10th of February '16

On Wednesday 10 February taxi drivers re-dedicate themselves to a campaign of protests to highlight their sorrow and now rage at the regulatory capture of taxi authority Transport for London.

The first of a series of steadily escalating demonstrations will see RMT and other bodies representing taxis stage a ‘go slow’ outside No.10 Downing Street, with activities focused between 2:30 - 4pm.

Transport for London was entrusted with enacting and defending measures designed to safeguard the travelling public. Yet, despite this mandate, Transport for London has singularly failed to protect and update existing rules governing the taxi trade.

From bitter experience, regulations were put in place to restrict the people and vehicles that can pick passengers up off the street and from ranks. Minicabs (private hire vehicles) have to be pre-booked, meaning recording the details of the driver and vehicle transporting often vulnerable people.

The enforcement of these necessary rules have been thrown out of the window. Those bureaucrats at Transport for London who did stand up for protecting taxi regulations, found themselves hamstrung by politicians mesmerised by the glitter of global corporations.

The politicisation of reforms to London’s taxi and private hire industry should have been checked by the collective power of Transport for London, the Greater London Assembly and the Department for Transport. That they have thus far declined to exercise their collective authority heralds a seismic failure of governance.

We have seen a 20% downturn in applicants becoming licensed taxi drivers and a 40% upturn in PHV applicants (substantially motivated to work for Uber). This has impacted on London’s traffic congestion and air pollution as the total number of private hire vehicles has reached record levels – roughly 1 in 10 of cars navigating London’s traffic.

Where rogue minicab operators have failed, predatory corporations such as Uber have succeeded – with the viability of London’s historic black cab trade hanging by a thread.

Mick Cash, RMT General Secretary said:

“This sorry saga provides ones of the clearest examples of the lofty indifference of the Tories to the travails of ordinary working people. Boris Johnson in particular has stood idly by as Uber have ridden roughshod over 185 years of legislation, greedily exploiting both drivers and passengers.

“The news that Deputy Mayor for Transport Isabel Dedring is departing is scant consolation. She will be reappearing in a new role with controversial public sector contract dependent firm Arup – ironically advising the company on how to navigate regulatory hurdles.

“The fightback begins here.”

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
29
30
31
1
2
3
4
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
 
 
 
 
 
 
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
26
27
28
29
30
1
2
 
 
 
 
 
 

> RMT National News

Monday, 6th April
RMT on Stena Line announcement to furlough staff and issue redundancies
Friday, 3rd April
Bus union RMT responds to Government Covid-19 announcement on bus industry funding
Friday, 3rd April
RMT demands full protection of jobs and wages as Arriva Grand Central confirms it is suspending services from tonight
Friday, 3rd April
RMT appalled at bus and rail giant FirstGroup plans to “maximise substantial returns to shareholders” and profit from Coronavirus crisis
Thursday, 2nd April
RAIL UNION RMT today welcomed new plans for Britain’s rail network, published by the Labour Party, that proposes a single, unified national railway that would provide the stability and governance that our railways need to keep Britain moving beyond the Coronavirus crisis.