Taxi drivers  

19/04/00

Local MPs and Taxi Drivers win Police
U turn

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 cabbies alike.

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."

Notes

  • The Epsom & Ewell's new licensing plate has been given pride of place in the entrance of the Taxi Museum in London.

  • If local cabbies would like to obtain a dual licence from Epsom & Ewell they should contact, Kevin Lally, the licensing officer on 01372 732000.

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