Keep maximum taxi licence age at 15 years

05 September 2019

The London Assembly has today called for the Mayor to maintain the maximum taxi licence age at 15 years.   

Under current plans, the Mayor wants to gradually introduce taxis that have a maximum age of 12 years.

 

David Kurten AM, who proposed the motion said:  

“My motion calls upon the Mayor not to reduce the maximum age of a taxi from 15 years as this will hurt taxi drivers. 

“It also calls on him to restore the Mercedes Vito as there has been no competition in the taxi sales market for nearly 2 years. This will also be of great benefit to London's taxi drivers.”

 

Keith Prince AM, who seconded the motion said:

“London’s black cabs are a great national institution which the Mayor should be going to great lengths to protect and preserve.

 “But the sad reality is that the black cab industry is being weakened through a series of measures, including the perverse plan to reduce the maximum age of an older licenced taxi from 15 to 12 years. Make no mistake, the Mayor’s approach will force taxi drivers out of work and cause untold damage.

“It is now incumbent on the Mayor to go back to the drawing board and re-think these illogical and harmful proposals.

 

The full text of the motion is:

This Assembly notes that the Mayor plans a phased reduction of the maximum age of a licenced taxi from 15 years to 12 years. He also plans to change the criteria for annual registration by mandating the maximum age, meaning that, from November 2019, a taxi will longer be registered unless it has one whole year left before its maximum age, rather than one day as at present.

This will, at a stroke, remove approximately 3,000 taxis from service in the year beginning November 2019, as well as another 1,500 in the year beginning November 2020, and a further 1,500 in the year beginning November 2021.

The Assembly notes that the Mayor currently allows only one model to be licenced new: the LEVC ZEC TX, but production levels of the LEVC ZEC TX are nowhere near high enough to replace the 6,000 taxis which will be removed from service over the next 3 years.

The effect of this will cause real hardship and disruption to many London taxi drivers who simply will not be able to purchase or hire a new taxi due to lack of supply. Thus at least 6,000 taxi drivers will be unable to work which will cause financial, emotional and mental hardship to them and their families.

The Assembly therefore calls upon the Mayor to reconsider his plans and to maintain the maximum taxi licence age at 15 years.

We also call upon the Mayor to restore the Mercedes Vito as an approved vehicle for first time taxi registrations until such time as there is greater supply and competition in the market for new taxis, and more electric charging points are available in Central London which can be accessed easily by taxi drivers.

Notes to editors

  1. Watch the full webcast
  2. The motion was agreed by 6 votes and 3 against.
  3. David Kurten AM, who proposed the motion, is available for interviews. 
  4. As well as investigating issues that matter to Londoners, the London Assembly acts as a check and a balance on the Mayor.

For media enquiries, please contact Alison Bell on 020 7983 4228.  For out of hours media enquiries, call 020 7983 4000 and ask for the London Assembly duty press officer.  Non-media enquiries should be directed to the Public Liaison Unit on 020 7983 4100.

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