You may have read the headline and thought what the hell is he on about now?
But if the cab trade is going to flourish and grow, the trade needs to be treated a lot better by our regulator and properly engage with us and not the “Teacher / Pupil” situation we have had to endure for years.
The number of drivers have fallen, the number of vehicles have fallen and the number of KOL students have fallen and the only common denominator in all of this is that TFL has the final say on everything.
The knowledge has slumped as Tfl allowed PH in London to not only operate in our marketplace but literally work as a “ghost” taxi fleet without the costs and training involved, so it’s no wonder being faced with a three year slog, you can stick a iphone to your windscreen and earn money from the get go.
Secondly, the vehicles, we are having to endure a monopoly situation with LEVC and after the Mayor slashed three years from our E4 / E5 taxis to promote his green agenda, the shortage of cabs on the streets and the cries from the stranded public are plain to see.
Only a blind man would not see the impending crisis coming. So what can TFL do about this?
I currently drive a E5 Vito, yes, Euro 5 the same taxi that has just had three years taken off my plate due to a change in our Mayor’s clean air strategy, that was nice of him. In this hot weather and with fresh air an issue in Vito taxis, Tfl will not even allow the passengers the pleasure of having a sunroof device fitted to help and keep the passengers cool, it seems the threat of a child standing up and putting their heads through it deemed it unpassable…. It really is unreal.
In 2022 the trade needs a wider choice of vehicles if we are to survive, my older members tell me that the cost of buying a new TXe or renting one is the main reason they cannot return to the trade, imagine that, TFL policies are making self-employed drivers unemployed.
In the middle of a massive cab shortage, drivers are watching daytime TV whilst the public call out for more cabs, as a trade colleague often says.. “you couldn’t make it up”
With the green agenda at the front of everything, we will need a wider choice at different prices to keep everyone happy, and also enable the second hand market to boom and help drivers to come back into the game.
TTL needs to listen to our concerns and start to be more flexible in their attitude towards us, we know our trade inside out, so our views should be taken onboard and not just dismissed because that’s not how things were done in the past.
Allowing a sunroof in a Vito and fixing the TXe hire light would be a good place to start.