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From: The Socialist issue 887, 3 February 2016: Solidarity with health workers

Search site for keywords: Tories - London - Drivers - Boris Johnson - RMT

Hackney carriage, photo James Barratt/Creative Commons

Hackney carriage, photo James Barratt/Creative Commons   (Click to enlarge)

Tories are taking London taxi drivers for a ride

Dave Wallis Vice chair, RMT London taxi branch

Transport for London (TfL) has in the last four years registered another 40,000 mini cabs to drive around London allowing them to ply for hire using smart phone technology.

Under existing legislation only London taxis can show availability, but mini cabs are circumventing the law by using taxi apps making them available for immediate hire.

This is plying for hire which London mayor Boris Johnson admits is breaking the law. But he fails to push for legislation change to protect the Hackney carriage trade in London.

Pre-booked fares

Mini cabs licensed under the 1998 private hire act are only allowed to take pre-booked fares which means having an office and a land line for a customer to call.

We know that David Cameron, George Osborne and Boris Johnson have an unhealthy relationship with taxi app Uber and are constantly lobbying for them by telling the regulator TfL to leave them alone.

Boris Johnson's 'super cycle highway' has also affected taxi drivers. The taxi trade is not against cyclist safety but in my opinion a five year old with an etch-a-sketch could have designed and implemented the works better.

TfL sent out surveys and consulted with the public and drivers but no results from these were released.

My first port of call in the mornings is Waterloo which, living in Wapping, should take about 15 minutes but the same journey is now taking 45 minutes to an hour.

We will fight to the end just like the dockers and the miners did but know that we are not in the Tory government's thoughts and there has been a long term plan to deregulate.

Boris Johnson received a text from Osborne on the day of the mayoral question time lobbying for Uber and when asked about it he said: "I don't deny it!"

So there you have it the Tory party telling the Greater London Authority and TfL they will leave Uber alone.

We have a taxi protest on 10 February at Whitehall from 2pm to 4.30pm to demonstrate our disgust at this unhealthy cover up by Cameron, Osborne and Johnson. Please support us.






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