Today, TFL contacted the LCDC with their latest Taxi & PH Stakeholder Engagement Policy, it is worth all taxi drivers reading this from our regulator.
Further to recent discussion, and as a result of feedback provided by you (our stakeholders), we have made some amendments to the TPH Engagement Policy<https://content.tfl.gov.uk/tph-engagement-policy-april-2022.pdf>.
Our regular joint taxi and private hire meetings will continue – moving to a monthly basis – in the form of a Licensing and Regulatory Forum. We find these meeting invaluable to deal with emerging or time-critical issues and to keep you informed of important licensing and regulatory matters that are relevant to both trades.
We have also made some changes to the quarterly meetings to reflect your desire for trade-specific engagement. As such, there will be:
* Quarterly meetings with senior taxi stakeholders – twice
annually chaired by the Deputy Mayor and the Transport Commissioner (or their nominated representative) and twice annually chaired by the Director of Licensing, Regulation and Charging.
We have also received a request from the App Drivers and Couriers Union (ADCU) to enter the formal engagement process. The ADCU has provided evidence that it meets the principles of engagement and, as such, it will be invited to join the (monthly) Licensing and Regulatory Forum and the senior PHV stakeholder meetings.
Taxi & Private Hire
Stakeholder Engagement Policy
Transport for London (TfL) recognises the important role associations, unions and trade bodies representing taxi and private hire (TPH) industries play for licensees, customers and TfL itself.
We place a high value on the input of TPH stakeholders and want to maintain an open and productive dialogue.
Engagement with the PHV trade, although not formally published as a policy, has followed a parallel and equitable model.
This document replaces the Taxi Engagement Policy and sets out how TfL will engage with TPH stakeholders.
Meeting structure during the coronavirus pandemic
During the pandemic we met regularly with two distinct groups:
- Taxi and private hire vehicle (PHV) driver and PHV operator representatives
- Large PHV operators / taxi booking platforms
These fortnightly, TfL-chaired forums were a useful tool enabling us to understand the issues being faced by licensees and an opportunity to discuss the most up-to- date Government guidance.
These meetings also provided an opportunity to provide important regulatory information and practical safety advice and guidance for licensees.
These meetings – in the form of a Licensing and Regulatory Forum for taxi and PHV driver and operator representatives – and a Technology Forum for large PHV operators / taxi booking platforms – will continue on a monthly frequency. These meetings provide a regular touch point for stakeholders to raise and resolve emerging issues in a timely manner.
Given the success of the recent engagement model, TfL has updated its engagement policy and extended it to include taxi, private hire driver and operator representatives, along with large PHV operators and taxi booking platforms.
The meetings referred to below will take a hybrid form (using Microsoft Teams) allowing people to attend in person or virtually.
The meetings will be suitably scheduled so actions and policy issues can be progressed in the intervening periods. Please see Appendix A.
Taxi driver, PHV driver and PHV operator representative engagement meetings
From April 2022, a revised plan for regular engagement with taxi driver representatives and PHV driver and PHV operator representatives will be adopted. The driver representative meetings will continue to be trade specific, rather than combined, so that trade specific items can be discussed in more detail e.g. taxi fares; PHV operator fees.
The following meetings/engagements will take place on a rolling annual basis:
- Six-monthly meetings with the Deputy Mayor for Transport and the Transport Commissioner (or their nominated representative) and Senior Taxi Trade Representatives to discuss high-level strategic issues (e.g. Healthy Streets, Vision Zero, Air Quality, etc). The senior representative from each of the major taxi trade bodies will be invited, along with the Director of Licensing, Regulation and Charging, the General Manager for London Taxi and Private Hire and the TPH Stakeholder Lead.
- Six-monthly meetings with Senior Taxi Trade representatives, to discuss strategic issues and regulatory matters, to be chaired by the Director of Licensing, Regulation and Charging (or a suitable deputy). These will also be attended by TPH General Manager and TPH Stakeholder Lead.
- Six-monthly meetings with the Deputy Mayor for Transport and the Transport Commissioner (or their nominated representative) and Senior PHV Industry Representatives to discuss high-level strategic issues (as above). The senior representative from PHV driver and PHV operator bodies will be invited, along with the Director of Licensing, Regulation and Charging, the General Manager for London Taxi and Private Hire and the TPH Stakeholder Lead.
- Six-monthly meetings with Senior PHV Industry Representatives, to discuss strategic issues and regulatory matters, to be chaired by the Director of Licensing, Regulation and Charging (or a suitable deputy). They will also be attended by TPH General Manager and TPH Stakeholder Lead.
- Ad-hoc meetings will also take place with TPH stakeholders to discuss issues relevant to that industry. The chairing of these meetings and TfL attendees will be determined by the topic(s) being discussed.
- Quarterly online publication of TPH licensing, compliance and enforcement statistics. Trade representatives can review the statistics and raise or highlight any queries via day-to-day engagement with the TPH Stakeholder Management team.
Additional stakeholder engagement opportunities
- If stakeholders also wish to meet on a one-to-one basis from time to time, to discuss issues specific to their organisation or that cannot be discussed in the wider forums (i.e. due to commercially sensitive) – then requests will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
- Regular meetings between TfL’s operator licensing team and large PHV operators to discuss important regulatory matters will continue to be scheduled.
- Other stakeholder engagement opportunities include: an annual Suburban Taxi Forum; taxi fare and tariff discussions and occasional workshops on key issues (for example, Health and Wellbeing, ULEZ, EV charging infrastructure, Healthy Streets, etc.). The latter may require specialist attendees from across TfL or by additional trade bodies.
- In addition, TfL attendance, by request from the trade, at regular and ad hoc trade-led meetings such as the LPHCA Roadshow, London Cab Ranks Committee or the Heathrow Compliance Meeting (CPOS to attend the latter, unless there is a Heathrow-specific licensing or operational matter to discuss).
- Ad hoc meetings between TfL and smaller organisations or TPH stakeholders who are not part of the formal engagement process will also take place, on request, to discuss specific TPH topics.
Principles of TPH Engagement
TfL is committed to formal engagement with existing TPH stakeholders through structured, regular meetings.
New TPH stakeholders can apply to join the formal engagement groups by providing information to satisfy TfL that:
- The organisation is formally established, a registered friendly society or trade union
- The organisation represents no less than five per cent of licensed drivers in the industry
Requests can be made by emailing SMBTPHSeniorRelation@tfl.gov.uk
Principles for formal engagement:
- Agendas: agenda items to be agreed prior to meetings.
- Chairing: meetings will be chaired by the organisation hosting and administering the meeting. The chair will work to ensure appropriate time is
given to all meeting attendees, and that they respect each other’s right to talk and share the views of their organisation.
- Conduct: We are fully committed to open and honest dialogue with all parties involved in formal engagement. However, meeting attendees are expected to conduct themselves in a courteous and respectful manner.
As is the case with all business meeting, there will be a zero tolerance approach to any derogatory comments made in meetings and for any breaches of confidentiality, harassment (including sexual harassment, racial harassment, harassment on grounds of disability, age, religion or belief/non- religion or non-belief, and homophobic bullying/harassment on grounds of sexual orientation), or comments of a personal nature, including comments made either in meetings or externally (such as on social media or in blogs), will be dealt with by exclusion from meetings and the engagement process.
- Confidentiality: confidential information should always be treated as such. Meeting attendees, including TfL representatives, will always be clear if information is being provided in confidence. Personal information or queries about licensing actions or applications won’t be discussed in these forums.
- Exclusion from meetings: in any instance where it becomes necessary for an individual to be excluded from a meeting, the following process will be followed:
- In meetings: If a representative’s behaviour becomes a cause for concern in the meeting, they will be alerted as such by the meeting chair. If the behaviour continues, they will be excluded from that meeting, future meetings and the senior representative of their organisation will be contacted by TfL to discuss appropriate future representation.
- Outside of meetings: If a representative’s behaviour becomes a cause for concern outside of the meeting (for example, on social media or in a blog), the senior representative of their organisation will be contacted by TfL to discuss appropriate future representation.
- Meeting representatives: stakeholder organisations to put forward one representative per meeting.
- Summary notes and actions: TfL will provide summary notes and actions for each meeting they chair. The notes will reflect the views of an organisation on key points. At no time must audio or visual recordings be made of meetings by any attendee.
Stakeholder Engagement – other TfL channels
- In addition to the meeting schedule, any TPH stakeholder is welcome to contact the TPH Stakeholder Relations team with any issues that may arise outside of the formal meeting process (including licensing queries), via email
or phone. In the first instance, it is helpful to direct your enquiries to the TPH Stakeholder Lead, who will coordinate a response on behalf of TfL.
- We will continue to communicate with licensees through other established channels, such as TPH web pages, the weekly email to licensees, TPH Notices, OnRoute magazine and Twitter.
Stakeholder Engagement – trade channels
- We understand that stakeholders communicate with their members and licensees through a wide range of channels, including trade publications, printed and online material, driver bulletins and social media. We ask that stakeholders carefully consider the substance and accuracy of articles in such media and would be happy to provide a comment or right to reply.
- We understand and respect stakeholders’ rights to free speech and protest, in the event of a dispute. However, we ask that you carefully consider the need for such demonstrations and offer TfL the opportunity and time to address or resolve any issues of concern prior to taking such action.