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Transport for London / PCO Licence no 08004/01/01
4 - Mar - 2019

Private Hire Taxi Drivers Sue London Mayor over Congestion Charge

London private hire cabbies including Uber drivers are taking legal action against the London Mayor Sadiq Khan, over what they term as racial discrimination due to a plan to remove their congestion charge exemption.

The drivers will have to pay a daily charge of £11.50 from April 8, an amount they were previously exempt from paying.

London has roughly 114,000 private hire (PHV) drivers with a majority of the drivers coming from Black, Asian and Minority ethnic backgrounds. This is according to a report entitled “Changes to the Congestion Charge”.

The report says: “As the majority of PHV drivers (about 94%) are from black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds (BAME) and many are from deprived areas, there is a disproportionate impact on these groups.”

The drivers say that the charge is discriminatory as 94% of them come from minority ethnic groups.

Black Cab drivers will remain exempt.

Transport for London and the Mayor’s office say the rise in the number of taxis entering the zone is up from 4,000 in 2003 to 18,000 today hence the new charge.

A spokesperson from the Mayor’s office in an emailed statement said, “(The mayor) simply isn’t prepared to ignore the damaging impact this has on congestion and increasing air pollution. Congestion has a crippling impact on businesses across the capital.

“Most other motorists, from private cars to small business owners, are liable for the congestion charge. Removing the exemption for private hire vehicles is a key part of our plans to both reduce congestion and to protect Londoners from harmful emissions from polluting vehicles.”

IWGB general secretary Dr Jason Moyer-Lee told the BBC that plans to remove the congestion exemption for PHV drivers was “regressive” and “both discriminatory and fundamentally unfair”.

He said: “We would urge the mayor to adopt one of the many alternative policies which would actually address congestion, instead of just penalising low-paid ethnic minority workers.”

By Airport Pickups London