Black cab drivers think 10 minute Bill won’t change anything

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 - Credit: Archant

Black cab drivers have welcomed proposals for new laws regulating private hire vehicles, but said they doubted anything would change.

Last week Ilford North MP Wes Streeting presented a 10-minute Rule Bill to parliament on the future of the Taxi and Private Hire Industry.

The bill proposed all operators of private hire vehicles are required to insure their drivers, provide training and pay taxes in the UK in order to gain a licence to operate.

While drivers were pleased to see issues of unfair conditions brough up before a packed pre–budget House of Commons (HOC), many feared the bill would not be far reaching enough.

Black cab driver Danny Fresco, 41, of Katherine Gardens, Hainault, said: “I think it’s brilliant that he has done this and I take a small part of the glory as I met up with Wes to talk about it.

“I want to be positive but I don’t think it will change anything.

“He is trying and I give him all the credit in the world and you never know, a person might listen and see how unfair it is.”

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Cab drivers have been protesting since private hire company Uber was given a licence to operate in the capital in 2012.

They claim regulations placed on black cabs by Transport for London (TfL) make it impossible for them to compete.

Mr Fresco said business had become so dire he was considering other trades.

“The way things are going I don’t know what I’m going to do,” he said.

Cabbie Tony Klein, from Barkingside, also doubted the bill – which must go through several more stages before being passed into law – would change anything.

“It probably won’t get further than a second reading,” he said.

“Anything that brings it to light is a good thing and if people take notice it will start levelling up the playing field.”

Mr Streeting said: “The HoC was rowdy and packed ahead of the budget and we had a really good audience, from the Chancellor to the Transport Secretary.

“The next stage is to persuade ministers and TfL.

“Change is urgently needed to keep Londoners safe and prevent the iconic black taxi from being driven off London’s roads by ‘wild west’ conditions.”

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