The London Assembly Transport Committee has launched an investigation to consider how to raise standards in the taxi and private hire industries and are asking for the views of Disabled and older people. There are many going on right now. It is important that we get Disabled and older people’s voice heard for each of them.
Taxi and private hire services represent a vital part of London’s transport network. Many Disabled and older people who cannot use buses or Tube, heavily rely on Taxi and PHVs services.
Back in 2014/15, an investigation found there were serious challenges for the taxi and private hire industries that Transport for London had not adequately addressed. The London Assembly Transport Committee has now launched an investigation to consider how to raise standards in this sector.
There are a number of key questions to be answered:
- To what extent does London have a thriving taxi and private hire sector, and how does performance vary among different parts of these industries (defined by types of service, operator size, geography and so on)?
- What have the Mayor and TfL done to improve the safety of these services for passengers, including enforcement against illegal operators, and what else needs to be done?
- Are the entry requirements for drivers in the taxi and private hire trades appropriate, or how should they be improved?
- What have the Mayor and TfL done to reduce the impact of this sector on London’s traffic congestion problem, and what else needs to be done?
- What have the Mayor and TfL done to improve the accessibility to these services for disabled people, and what else needs to be done?
- What progress has TfL made reducing harmful emissions from taxi and private hire vehicles?
Over the past years, there have been some improvements, especially towards the issues of Taxis or PHVs drivers refusing to take Disabled and older people (especially guide dog users and wheelchair and mobility scooter users). But our Advice Line still hear from Disabled and older people facing issues.
TfA has a few demands regarding the Taxis and PHVs sector. We want:
- All taxis and PHVs drivers to receive proper Disability Equality Training so that they can best support (safely and with respect) their Disabled and older customers.
- More Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles (WAV); unfortunately black cabs are not accessible to many electric wheelchair users. The provision of wheelchair-accessible vehicles available in outer London boroughs is also very poor. Whilst all black taxis are now fully-accessible, Disabled passengers travelling in other boroughs continue to experience problems due to the lack of accessibility within other private hire vehicles.
- Incentivise the provision of wheelchair-accessible private hire vehicles by reducing vehicle licensing fees for example.
- Keep Zero-tolerance approach on Taxis and PHVs drivers refusing to take Disabled passengers, or charging additional costs because of the extra time it might take them to get into the cab safely and securely.
- Ensure that Taxis and PHVs carrying Disabled or older people (including Disabled people with an invisible impairment) have access to areas otherwise restricted.
Take action – Respond to the consultation
TfA will respond to this consultation in order to share our concerns. If you would like to contribute to our answer, please email us your feedback by Friday 23nd November:
- By email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- By post: Transport for All, 336 Brixton Road, London, SW9 7AA
It is important that you share your own views. If you would like to contribute to this investigation please send your submission to the Committee by the Friday 30th November 2018:
- By email: email@example.com
- By post: Scrutiny team, Transport Committee, Post Point 10, City Hall, The Queen’s Walk, London SE1 2AA
Please note that unless clearly marked confidential, all submissions sent to the London Assembly Transport Committee will be published on their website. All contributions are subject to the Freedom of Information Act 2000 and we may be required to provide a submission if requested, even if it has been marked confidential.