Jacobs Report (2)

MQT on 2017-09-14
Session date: 
September 14, 2017
Question By: 
David Kurten
Asked Of: 
The Mayor


Was it TfL TPH's intended policy to drive taxi drivers out of business, given that a table in the Jacobs Report shows that the number of PH Drivers has grown by 67% in the period between 2005 when PH Licensing was completed (and TfL took over running the Taxi & PH Industry from the Met. Police) whilst taxi drivers have only grown by 4%, and the report states: "If data on the number of registered drivers is a good indicator of relevant market share, it would appear that taxis have been challenged by PHVs in London over the last decade. With the growing use of mobile apps to pre-book PHVs, the pressure on taxis is likely to continue, although nearly half of all taxi trips start from being hailed on-street. Outside central London, the suburban taxi market, where earnings tend to be lower and competition from PHVs higher, could see the biggest decline in taxi availability, if drivers decide that the ability to make a reasonable return on a substantial investment declines."


Answer for Jacobs Report (2)

Answer for Jacobs Report (2)

Answered By: 
The Mayor

I am aware of the challenges that are facing the taxi trade, which is why I have committed to the measures that I have laid out in my Taxi and Private Hire Action Plan.

Working with taxi drivers, Transport for London is putting my plan into action. All of London's taxis now accept card payments making them as convenient as possible for customers. TfL is allowing taxis access to additional bus lanes in key locations to improve journeys.

TfL is on course to increase rank space by 20 per cent by 2020 for taxis to make sure they  are widely available in busy locations throughout London, including suburban areas.. TfL has recently added rank locations to the 'nearby' section of Journey Planner. This information has also been made available to app developers; notably the Apple Maps app is now using London's taxi rank data, making it easier than ever to connect passengers to taxis. 

I am concerned with the growing number of private hire drivers on our streets. As you will be aware, TfL is legally obliged to issue a licence to any driver that meets the criteria for licensing. As a result, we have seen the number of London licensed drivers double in recent years. My Deputy Mayor for Transport, Val Shawcross, the TfL Commissioner and I have raised this issue with Government Ministers and the Department for Transport. We have also raised the broader issue of cross-border hiring which, if not addressed, will make any new powers to cap private hire vehicle numbers ineffective.

I would urge Assembly Members to support our efforts to push for these important changes.