Boris Johnson tells black cabbies the truth and doesn’t sugar coat it

At the London Assembly today,Boris Johnson did the kindest thing he could do. He told a conference hall full of black cab drivers the truth and he didn’t sugarcoat it.Boris JohnsonBoris intends to limit the number of minicabs in the capital. He “sees no reason” why he should meet with Uber so will go ahead with seeking legislation to do this anyway.  There is too much congestion, pollution,and illegal parking in this city.  Boris would like to see quantity licencing.

He will seek legislation to ban pedicabs in the capital in their present form.

The court case regarding the smartphone that Boris believes is a meter is in progress.  Boris hopes that a decision will be passed down in a couple of months.  But even if TfL wins,  Boris said modern technology means it will be replaced with something that is legal.

He is certainly prepared to look at the questions raised by Caroline Pidgeon regarding broken regulations.  But it requires proper evidence to ban Uber, not just hearsay.  Sufficient evidence must be provided for a case to ban Uber to succeed and they must be banned by the High Court.  Boris has been advised he alone cannot ban Uber, they would immediately sue and win the case.

A million customers and counting have the free Uber app.  There has been a sea change in consumer preference. In a free market, it is right to support consumer choice, and technology is marching on. Boris Johnson obviously did not enjoy laying the truth on the line to a roomful of understandably upset black cab drivers, but the fairest thing was to level with them,  even though it was not what his audience wanted to hear.

Webcam of Mayor’s Question Time here.  It is quite clear on the webcam that Boris says repeatedly he intends to take action on the lack of regulation of Uber.

9 responses to “Boris Johnson tells black cabbies the truth and doesn’t sugar coat it

  1. Boris is right to level with the cab drivers, then they can look at their options and work out the way forward.

  2. Boris makes it very clear he intends to act on lack of regulation Uber. Black cabs cannot disallow competition in the trade. Very sad though.

  3. AttillatheHun

    Truth goes down at the London Assembly like a lead balloon at an orgy. Boris Johnson was a brave man yesterday, he told the truth, but no support from London Assembly members. Easier to court popularity by blaming the Mayor and insist he should have banned Uber.

  4. Pingback: If Caroline Pidgeon really wanted to help the black cab trade, she would help them to modernise | CYBERBORISjohnson

  5. If one offered the public a drunk junkie paedophile driver for a 1£ discount some would readily jump straight in the back of the car.
    If we lose the London cab trade, which is admired by every other country in the world, we will lose a very important part of Londons history.
    The quality of the drivers is unparalleled, the 3+ years knowledge test sorts out the good from the bad. The ones that fail or are just not good enough often become mini-cabs drivers. The knowledge is not only a skills test, but also a character test, where the applicant is pushed to the limit.
    Certain things make London a special city, the licenced taxi trade is without doubt one of them. Without protection against Uber, and support from Londons licensing authority, and government the trade will without doubt very soon die.

    • I do agree that black cab drivers are the gold standard, as Boris Johnson said. I love black cabs and their drivers, I would never take a minicab. Sadly, over a million passengers have the Uber app and they obviously don’t appreciate quality over cheap travel. They also like the Uber app. As Mayor, Boris has to consider consumer choice. I agree also that black cabs make London special, but modern technlogy is a very powerful force. I would urge black cab drivers to get an app of their own – I understand TfL has something for you, that hopefully all black cab drivers could use.

  6. Jon Reinertsen

    We had something opposite this week in Perth. Our Lord Mayor, Lisa (queen of all she surveys, now including Kings Park and the more attractive bits of Subiaco and Nedlands.) was heard on radio, boosting the Taxi industry on the basis of being on the taxi control board for fifteen years. In the next breath she was telling us how uber was absolutely brilliant, and why wouldn’t you use it!

    • There was a similar comment by Simon Nixon of the Wall Street Journal. @Simon_Nixon
      Simon Nixon retweeted Ryan Bourne

      “Disappointing to see @MayorofLondon taken captive by vested interests of black cab closed shop. ”
      Simon Nixon also tweeted:
      @ElGrouty @MayorofLondon @MrRBourne little sympathy for black cabs – fares are highest in world and most refuse credit cards to evade tax.

  7. It’s quite repelling of you to even re-tweet that. Driver tax is based on the cost index of running TFL’s prescribed vehicle, who also, incidentally, set the tariff. Vehicle mileage is tallied with Fuel receipts. Anyone with rudimentary economic sense calculates virtually no wiggle room whatsoever. Further, Martin Cordell accountants- which most cab drivers employ- are scrupulous. I’d hate to think there was inference that they are complicit in driver evasion. It’s rich too, considering Uber pay ZERO corporation tax in the UK, despite their liquid claims

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