Mayor writes to private hire drivers and passengers

23 September 2016

The Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has written to private hire drivers and their passengers to outline his determination to create a vibrant market with space for all providers to flourish.


The Mayor has responded to an Uber email campaign about the future of the capital’s taxi and private hire trades by outlining his efforts to drive up standards, enforce regulations fairly and improve safety for every passenger and driver in London.


His response comes after Uber asked their passengers to email the Mayor after he published a new Taxi and Private Hire Action Plan.


In his letter, the Mayor explains that:


  • The industry has experienced a period of phenomenal change in recent years, in particular the role of new technology in enabling more private hire journeys. This new technology has proved popular with customers, while the number of private hire licensees has almost doubled, leading to concerns around congestion, air quality and safety. His plan will ensure that the private hire trade is of the highest standard, both in terms of safety and quality, for the benefit of customers.


  • The new requirement for hire-and-reward insurance to be in place at all times a private hire vehicle is licensed will help ensure that all vehicles and drivers have the correct insurance, meaning that both the passenger and driver are properly covered should an accident occur. This received overwhelming support during TfL’s consultation and is already a requirement for all black cab drivers.


  • The English language requirement – of a similar standard to that achieved in the early years of secondary school – will improve passenger safety and communication with drivers, for example when a passenger requires medical assistance or needs to direct a driver to take an alternative route. This received overwhelming support in the consultation with 80pc consultees in favour of it.


  • The introduction of an advanced driving assessment will raise the standard of driving across the private hire industry, improving safety and customer service standards while ensuring that private hire drivers are offered a secure working environment with a pathway to appropriate vocational and educational training.


  • TfL requires taxis to be purpose designed for London’s unique street network and to be fully accessible to wheelchair users. From 2018, TfL will no longer license new diesel taxis and black cab drivers will need to have a Zero Emission Capable taxi instead to help clean up the city’s killer air. A £65m fund will help drivers to buy cleaner vehicles and rid the oldest, most polluting taxis from our streets much sooner than planned.


The Mayor said: “London deserves the best taxi and private hire services available and I am determined to create a vibrant market, with space for all providers to flourish.


“I have made clear my intention to maintain and reinforce the two-tier system between taxis and private hire services. Each trade provides an important and unique service in London and I am determined to ensure that standards across both industries reflect the level of safety and quality that passengers expect and desire.”

Notes to editors

The Taxi and Private Hire Action Plan can be seen here:

The Mayor's letter is attached

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