From Sadiq Khan.
London’s black cabs are one of the most familiar sights on the city’s streets. Along with red buses, Big Ben and Tower Bridge, they’re iconic symbols of London the world over.
I’ve met many black cab drivers over recent months and I know what a crucial service you provide to Londoners – without YOU, many people wouldn’t be able to get to work or to visit family and friends. Many disabled Londoners would find getting around all but impossible.
But I’ve also heard your concerns loud and clear. I know that many of you are worried about the impact on your livelihoods of the upheaval over recent years in London’s taxi and private hire. What’s more, I also know how you feel let down by the inaction of the current Mayor.
I want to be clear upfront – if I become Mayor, things will change. I won’t bury my head in the sand like Boris has done. I’ll sit down with black cab drivers, listen to your concerns, and do what is necessary to keep a vibrant black cab service in London.
But I can’t uninvent technology, and we need to find ways to embrace the way many people today book cabs and private hire using their smart phones and the internet. However, this makes it all the more important that Transport for London does its job properly of licensing and regulating cabs and private hire. After all, this isn’t just some unnecessary red tape – it’s regulation for a very good reason. It’s about protecting Londoners and keeping them safe.
As Mayor, I won’t ignore your concerns. I’ll ensure standards are maintained and I’ll clamp down on unscrupulous firms and providers. And I’ll work closely with London’s black cab drivers to make sure we maintain this important service for our city.
This article is published in the Winter 2015 issue of Cab Trade News. #CTNLDN