There is more than one way of skinning a cat. All the tougher regs.might not have gone through, but as Steve McNamara explains in TAXI, the ones that have gone through contain some significant improvemts.
Steve says: “The best of the bunch is that TfL intends to remove the Congestion Charge fee exemption for minicabs. This will add another £11.50 per day to their meagre running costs. This was prettymuch a no brainer: the increasing number of empty minicabs is causing the congestion so they should pay the cost of reducing it.”
Mimicab satellite offices have been scrapped.
Steve continues: “Other good sensible measures to be adopted include, a requirement for all minicab operators to offer the facility for a customer to be able to talk by telephone with someone at all times. The argument put forward by a certain app company that this would involve extra cost burdens in employing call centre staff were rightly dismissed on the grounds of passenger safety.
The same app company is also unhappy with the new requirement to provide a fixed fare at the time of booking, possibly because it will lead to greater transparency of its surge pricing scheme. Passengers will see the intended fare immediately, rather than in the current system, which simply advises it will be X% higher without specifying what X is. Likewise, its objections to having to record the destination on all bookings, as unnecessary red tape were rightly dismissed.
Like many Londoners, we are puzzled why so many in the minicab industry are unhappy about the new requirement for minicab drivers to supply a National Insurance number, undergo a mandatory English language test and for criminal record checks to be compulsory for all minicab control room staff?”
The biggest problems yet to be tackled, is lack of insurance and plying for hire. Read Steve’s comments on these issues here.
Doing something about these two issues is not within the jurisdiction of the Mayor. That, as confirmed by the Secretary of State, when the Gov. refused to cap PHVs, is clearly not now up to Boris. Government agreement is needed to cap PHVs. Osbo is handling the issue of Uber. The same applies to insurance and touting for trade. Rightly, the LTDA intends to tackle these issues legally.
All these regs. seem sensible and a big step forward. It is hard not to feel sorry for Uber drivers, nothing more than slaves, struggling to survive on less than the minimum wage plus tax credits. They are already paying 25% to Uber, and now have to pay an extra £11.50 a day on the congestion charge.How can they possibly survive? Surely they will be jacking in Uber, and packing in the job in droves?
See first comment – Uber lobbyist says new regs. might mean Uber leaves London! Oh boo hoo hoo!