MPs and Taxi Drivers win Police
Local Taxi drivers were
celebrating this month after local MPs persuaded the
Metropolitan Police to allow taxis to work across London
and Surrey boundaries. This hard-fought victory will help
protect the black cab service for local people and
The difficulties arose as a result of police boundaries
being redrawn and authority for regulating black cabs
transferring from the Metropolitan police to the new
Transport for London on April 1st. Unfortunately, under
the original plans, local cabbies were set to loose the
right to ply for hire in Epsom & Ewell.
However, after receiving pleas from local drivers for
help, two local Liberal Democrat MPs, Edward Davey and
Paul Burstow joined forces and held a high level
delegation meeting with Ministers, Council officials and
the Public Carriage Office to ensure that they would be
allowed to continue to work in Epsom & Ewell.
As a result of the meeting, the Public Carriage Office
for the first time in its history, has allowed Epsom
& Ewell to issue a second licence plate for black cab
drivers who would like to continue working in the area.
Commenting on the campaign success, Edward Davey said,
"This is a
great victory for the many local cabbies that live and
work in my constituency and for local people who depend
on the black cab service. The bureaucrats had simply
wanted to redraw the boundaries for their own benefit
without consulting local drivers. That would lead to a
poorer taxi service for local people"
"Faced by the
massed ranks of the Public Carriage Office and the DETR,
local taxi leaders felt they didn't have a chance.
However, they didn't give up and with a little help from
me and Paul Burstow MP we've managed to change the minds
of ministers and the police."
New Malden taxi driver Les Hoath said,
"Many of us
cabbies thought that no one cared and our livelihoods
were at stake, so as a last resort some of us went to see
Paul and Ed. The two of them took on board our concerns
straight away and stood by us in taking on the
job-worth's at the DETR and at the Public Carriage
Office. Thanks to their efforts both local drivers and
passengers will benefit from this historic ruling."
The Epsom &
Ewell's new licensing plate has been given pride
of place in the entrance of the Taxi Museum in
If local cabbies
would like to obtain a dual licence from Epsom
& Ewell they should contact, Kevin Lally, the
licensing officer on 01372 732000.