TfL press release: 11/07/11
Following a positive response to last year’s Taxi consultation, London Taxi and Private Hire (LTPH) has announced that taxi badge identifiers are to be introduced in the next few months.
Taxi badge identifiers, which will be affixed to the front and rear windscreens, will show which type of licence the taxi driver holds – green for an “All London” driver and yellow for a “Suburban” driver. In the case of Suburban drivers it will also list the areas in which they are licensed for.
The identifiers, which will also contain the driver’s badge number, are being introduced primarily as a deterrent to drivers plying for hire outside their licensed area. However, they will also assist TPH Compliance Officers and the police with on street enforcement and compliance activities.
Drivers should be aware that there are a number of reasons why Suburban drivers may be in central London or another suburban sector. These reasons include:
- Dropping off fares that started in their sector but ended outside it;
- Picking up fares that were pre-booked when the driver was in their sector;
- The driver is licensed for one of the two extension areas;
- The driver is plying for hire at a designated ‘island rank’.
This is not a scheme for other taxi drivers to enforce and LTPH expects drivers to act in a professional manner at all times and will not tolerate drivers confronting one another. Any driver found confronting another driver for any reason risks having their suitability to be licensed reviewed which may ultimately lead to their licence being suspended or revoked.
Every licensed taxi driver will be issued with two identifiers, one for the front windscreen and one for the rear. These should be displayed in their vehicle at all times.
The identifiers will be supplied with adhesive wallets that can be affixed to the vehicle. This will enable the identifiers to be removed by those drivers who lease vehicles.
The identifiers will be introduced in two phases with the All London version introduced first and then the Suburban version. Full guidance on the use of the identifiers will be provided at the same time as the identifiers are issued to taxi drivers.
Helen Chapman, Deputy Director for London Taxi & Private Hire, said: “These identifiers will bring London into line with many other Licensing Authorities by providing information on where a driver is licensed to ply for hire.
“Following a public consultation in 2009 it became clear that there is strong support from the taxi trade to introduce these identifiers and we are pleased that we will shortly be in a position to start providing these to taxi drivers.
“We have spent considerable time over the past year listening to the views of the trade, whether strongly for or against the scheme which has enabled us to develop clear guidelines around use. Further details will be announced before the identifiers are supplied to drivers.”
Since Transport for London started licensing Taxis there has always been a distinction between the All London licence, which allows drivers to ply for hire anywhere in the Greater London area, and the Suburban licence where drivers can ply for hire only within the sector(s) for which they are licensed.