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Ilford North MP Wes Streeting calls for number of minicab drivers on London roads to be capped

PUBLISHED: 17:01 14 July 2017

Black cab driver, Evan Walters of Sackville Gardens, Ilford driving Ilford North MP Wes streeting

Black cab driver, Evan Walters of Sackville Gardens, Ilford driving Ilford North MP Wes streeting

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The Mayor of London should be allowed to cap the number of minicabs in the capital over congestion and pollution fears, a new report says.

The report by the all-party parliamentary group (APPG) on taxis says Mayor Sadiq Khan and TfL need the power to limit the number of private hire vehicles in London.

Chairman Wes Streeting, Ilford North MP, said London’s streets are being “clogged up with empty minicabs” which were adding to “toxic air pollution”.

He said: “The explosion in the number of private hire vehicles on the streets of London is causing serious congestion and pumping out fumes contributing to the toxic air that is killing more than 9,000 Londoners each year.

“We’ve also found evidence that some drivers are flouting London’s more robust licensing regulations by obtaining their licence from authorities with weaker standards before operating in London.

“We’re calling on the government to grant the Mayor the powers he needs to cap the number of private hire vehicles in London and to close the loophole that allows drivers to avoid TFL’s tougher licensing regime, which is designed to keep Londoners safe.

“Londoners should be able take a taxi or a minicab with the confidence that their driver has a licence issued in London in line with our tough safety standards.”

Mr Streeting added that TfL representatives said they would welcome the power to cap the number of licences issued each year.

The report also calls for the closing of a loophole that it says allows minicab drivers to acquire licences in areas with less stringent conditions.

In response to the report, a spokesman for Uber disputed its effectiveness.

He said: “Capping consumer choice is not the way to tackle congestion and air pollution, but new technology can be part of the answer.

“More than half the miles travelled with uberX in London are in hybrid or fully electric cars and our car-sharing option uberPOOL is saving mileage and emissions too.

“It’s a shame this report doesn’t address why black cabs are the only vehicles exempt from the Mayor’s new Ultra Low Emissions Zone.

“This is particularly surprising since Transport for London figures show black taxis are responsible for 18 per cent of road transport Nitrogen Oxide emissions in central London.”


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