By Peter J Rose @peterjrose1
Unite the union Cab Section would like to congratulate Sadiq Khan on becoming London’s third Mayor.
The son of a London bus driver, sadiq the South Londoner has pledged to be a “Mayor for all Londoners”. Writing to supporters today Sadiq said:
“Yesterday was an amazing victory for hope over fear and for unity over division – and it simply would not have been possible without your help”.
“This victory is not about me. It’s about the millions of Londoners whose lives we can improve by building more affordable homes, freezing fares, restoring community policing and cleaning up our toxic air”.
“Thanks to the time, money and support you gave, we were able to overcome a desperate and nasty Tory campaign. We’ve sent a strong message that the politics of fear are not welcome in London”.
“Now the hard work starts. Let’s make London even better for all Londoners”.
On the subject of London’s taxi service, Sadiq writing in Cab Trade News had this message:
London’s taxis are essential to London: I will keep it this way
During my campaign to be the next Mayor of London, I’ve met many black cab drivers. I know how important a service you provide to Londoners, and I also know how worried you are about your future livelihoods.
London’s black cabs are as iconic as red buses, Tower Bridge and Big Ben. Our streets would be a lot poorer if black cabs disappeared.
But this is about more than just London’s famous sights. Black cabs perform a crucial role in getting Londoners about. In particular, the disabled and those with mobility problems depend on black cabs. If they were to disappear, many Londoners would find getting about very difficult if not impossible.
Over recent years, there’s been considerable upheaval in London’s taxi and private hire market. And many of you feel let down by the current Mayor, whose inaction and confusion have contributed to the current situation.
My guarantee to you is that if I become Mayor, things will change. Instead of botched consultations, and hoping the problem will go away, I’ll sit down with black cab drivers, listen to your very real concerns, and make sure I do what I can to maintain a vibrant black cab service in London.
What I can’t do is uninvent new technology or hold back the tide of how Londoners increasingly use smart phones and the internet. And I welcome the progress there’s been in embracing these new ways of working. But this doesn’t mean regulation doesn’t continue to be important. The reason Transport for London licenses cabs and private hire isn’t just for the sake of unnecessary red tape, it about protecting Londoners and keeping them safe.
But the facts are that London would be poorer if we didn’t continue to have the best and most qualified cabbies in the world. Highly trained drivers, in wheelchair accessible vehicles, with an extraordinary geographical recall and sense of direction are an asset we need to preserve.
That’s why, in my manifesto, I have committed to ensure that markets for licensed taxi and private hire drivers are fair, maintaining special privileges for those who are licensed London taxi drivers. I’ll ensure driver safety standards are rigorously enforced across the whole black cab and private hire industries, clamping down on unscrupulous firms and providers. And I’ll make sure licensed black taxi drivers retain their exclusive right to use bus lanes and ply for hire.
As Mayor, I won’t ignore your concerns. It’s time for a new relationship between the black cab industry and City Hall, and I’ll be the Mayor that ensures we maintain this important service for our city.
Sadiq’s full Manifesto for London cab be found at www.sadiq.london