• Splyt Technologies fined and ordered to pay costs
• Another example of TfL acting in the interest of lawful private hire and taxi tradesTransport for London (TfL) has taken enforcement activity against an app-based minicab company that was operating illegally without a private hire licence.
In its role as a responsible regulator of the Capital’s taxi and private hire trades, last week TfL successfully prosecuted Splyt Technologies Ltd for breaching the requirement for a London private hire operator’s licence.
Splyt, which offered private hire journeys through an app, launched their service in April this year without an operator’s licence. TfL believed this to be in breach of legislation and Splyt ceased their operation following correspondence. Earlier this week, Splyt pleaded guilty to the charge.
Splyt were fined £1,750 at Westminster Magistrates’ Court, as well as being ordered to pay TfL’s claimed costs in full, a further £5,217.50.
The District Judge remarked that it had been a complex case, and that there had been extensive correspondence between TfL and Splyt to try to resolve the matter.
Garrett Emmerson, TfL’s Chief Operating Officer for Surface Transport, said: “This is a very positive result, and one that shows our commitment to tackling illegality in the private hire trade in order to protect the rights of the legitimate private hire and taxi trades in London.
“We will continue to bear down on illegal activity of this kind, and as this result shows we will take action through the courts if necessary.”
Another aspect of the work being undertaken with private hire is the current consultation into the regulations governing the trade. The wide-ranging proposals seek to bring up to date the regulations governing London’s private hire sector to ensure they take into account recent developments in technology and are fit for the future.
TfL wants to hear the views of passengers, members of both trades and all other interested parties on the proposals, so that the regulations can be shaped in a way that benefits both drivers and passengers.
The number of private hire drivers in the Capital has risen rapidly in recent years – there are now 92,049 licenced private hire drivers, up from 76,249 in March 2015. This rapid growth has given rise to a number of wider issues, including rising traffic congestion, illegal parking and impacts on air quality. This is why the Mayor is calling for the Government to bring forward primary legislation to give TfL the power to cap minicab numbers.