Raising the standards for the Taxi & Private Hire industry
The number of licensed private hire vehicles has increased by over 65 per cent since 2014, from 52,811 to 87,921.
The Mayor and TfL are proposing to remove the exemption for private hire vehicles from the Congestion Charge, in order to help tackle congestion.
Licensed taxi drivers continue to express grave concern over the future of the black cab industry. Trade representatives told us that the lack of robust primary legislation was the key challenge facing the trade.
The Mayor has previously proposed that Parliament provides TfL with new powers to cap the number of private hire licences it issues, and has lobbied the Government to bring forward legislation on this, citing the negative impact of the rapid growth in the number of vehicles on congestion and air quality.
TfL needs to bring in higher standards in the industry and the London Assembly is proposing a Charter Mark scheme to give passengers confidence.
The current approach to regulating the private hire market in London needs to adapt to reflect changes in the sector and give TfL the ability to raise standards.
The impact of taxi and private hire services on congestion and pollution must be addressed.
Other recommendations include:
- The taxi action plan should be refreshed, and clear targets set; for example, for the wider and accelerated provision of rapid charging infrastructure across London and the establishment of ranks at all Crossrail stations.
- The criteria for fit and proper tests for private hire operators should be reviewed.
- The Mayor should bring forward a more comprehensive analysis of the potential benefits and risks of ride sharing for drivers and passengers, with a view to developing appropriate regulation.
The report can be read below.