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Dagenham and Rainham MP Jon Cruddas calls for number of minicab drivers on London roads to be capped

PUBLISHED: 12:08 20 July 2017 | UPDATED: 12:08 20 July 2017

London taxi stock. Picture: Nick Ansell/PA Archive/PA Images

London taxi stock. Picture: Nick Ansell/PA Archive/PA Images

PA Archive/PA Images/Nick Ansell

The Mayor of London should be allowed to cap the number of minicabs in the capital to tackle congestion and pollution fears, a new report says.

The report by the all-party parliamentary group (APPG) on taxis says mayor Sadiq Khan and TfL need the power to limit the number of private hire vehicles in London.

In Parliament, Jon Cruddas, MP for Dagenham and Rainham and a member of the APPG, said: “I have many constituents who are black cab drivers,

and there is frustration about the effects of deregulation

and the lack of effective licensing.

“There are implications for passenger safety in this city and across the country.

“There has been a dramatic effect on the livelihoods of many of my constituents and their families.

“Many cab drivers I know have had their income slashed in the past few years, and many are considering leaving the trade for good.

“That is tragic for some of the most qualified taxi drivers on the planet, and for the iconic black hackney carriage in this city. This is a big debate.”

It was also mentioned by chairman of the APPG, Ilford North MP Wes Streeting, that TfL representatives said they would welcome the power to cap the number of licences issued each year.

He added: “We’ve also found evidence that some drivers are flouting London’s more robust licensing regulations by obtaining their licence from authorities with weaker standards before operating in London.

In response to the report, a spokesman for Uber disputed its effectiveness.

He said: “Capping consumer choice is not the way to tackle congestion and air pollution, but new technology can be part of the answer. More than half the miles travelled with uberX in London are in hybrid or fully electric cars and our car-sharing option uberPOOL is saving mileage and emissions too.

“It’s a shame this report doesn’t address why black cabs are the only vehicles exempt from the mayor’s new Ultra Low Emissions Zone.

“This is particularly surprising since Transport for London figures show black taxis are responsible for 18 per cent of road transport nitrogen oxide emissions in central London.”

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