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PostPosted: Sat Apr 28, 2018 12:04 pm 
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Opposition to increased minicab licence fee

http://www.guardian-series.co.uk/news/1 ... cence_fee/

Transport for London (TfL) is in court today over a minicab trade body's objection to the increase in operator licence fees.

Today, TfL is facing Licensed Private Hire Car Association (LPHCA) in London High Court which is campaigning against increased fees for minicabs in the city.

In September 2017 TfL confirmed a change in the fees Private Hire operators are charged in order to manage the cost of licensing, compliance and enforcement activity.

TfL said that London’s private hire industry has grown from 65,000 licensed drivers in 2013/14 to around 114,000 today.

It argued that with this growth there was has been a substantial increase in the costs of ensuring operators fulfil their licensing obligations and in tackling illegal activity to keep passengers safe.

Previously private hire vehicle operators were divided into two categories a ‘small’ operator -with no more than two vehicles, and a ‘standard’ operator, operators with more than two vehicles, regardless of the size of their taxi fleet.

A so called ‘small’ operator would pay £1,488 licencing fee, lasting five years and ‘standard’ operator would pay £2,826 for a licencing fee, lasting for the same period of time.

The new TfL fee structure replaced this system and separated charges for private hire vehicles into eight different categories.

Licensing charges now range from £2,000 for a five-year licence for those with 10 vehicles or fewer, to £464,000 per year for the largest operator.

TfL said that this would ensure the licence fee structure for private hire operators reflected the costs of compliance activity according to the scale of each operator.

Defending the decision, a spokesperson for TfL said: “The licence fee changes reflect the increased cost of regulation and associated enforcement activity that has been driven by the huge growth in the private hire industry.”

However, LPHCA said increased operating fees would see London private hire operators with over 11 vehicles facing increased costs between £3,174 and £2,897,174 for a 5-year licence, which had previously cost just £2,826.

The spokes person for TfL added: “The changes will fund an additional 250 compliance officers who do a crucial job in driving up standards and ensuring Londoners remain safe. After listening to the views of stakeholders during consultation we amended the fees structure to take into account the potential impact on small and medium-sized operators.

“We consider the changes to fees to be proportionate and will be defending our position.”


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 28, 2018 12:10 pm 
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The UPHD's view:

A union has waded in on a battle between taxi cab firms and Transport for London (TfL) over licence fees saying it “discriminates minority minicab drivers.”

Licenced Private Hire Car Association (LPHCA) took TfL to judicial review yesterday after the transport body increased licence fees for taxi operators in September 2017.

Union for Private Higher Drivers (UPHD) had wanted to get involved with the court proceedings – but were told last year they could not by a judge.

It believes operator costs should not be increased so steeply.

James Farrar, chairman of the United Private Hire Driver's branch of the Independent Workers Union of Great Britian, said: "It's not surprising that gig economy bosses represented by the LPHCA are fighting tooth and nail to pass their cost and regulatory burden on to drivers. But it's dismaying to see TfL work so hard to avoid answering some troubling questions about how it discriminates against 117,000 mostly minority minicab drivers.

“We will be watching this case very carefully and we'll continue to pursue other avenues to challenge institutional racism at Transport for London.

“The operator is the principal in the business. It can't pan off its responsibilities.”


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 28, 2018 12:54 pm 
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James Farrar, UPHD wrote:

It's not surprising that gig economy bosses represented by the LPHCA are fighting tooth and nail to pass their cost and regulatory burden on to drivers. But it's dismaying to see TfL work so hard to avoid answering some troubling questions about how it discriminates against 117,000 mostly minority minicab drivers.

We will be watching this case very carefully and we'll continue to pursue other avenues to challenge institutional racism at Transport for London.


#-o


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 28, 2018 2:09 pm 
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TfL said that London’s private hire industry has grown from 65,000 licensed drivers in 2013/14 to around 114,000 today.

James Farrar, . But it's dismaying to see TfL work so hard to avoid answering some troubling questions about how it discriminates against 117,000 mostly minority minicab drivers.

clearly Mr farrar didn't pay attention in maths classes at school then :roll:

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 28, 2018 6:53 pm 
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It's right that operator's should bear the costs of extra enforcement.

For too long they have had it easy.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 28, 2018 9:29 pm 
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From another article it appears Addison Lee are not supporting their fellow operators.

An Addison Lee spokesman said: “We fully support TfL’s efforts to improve safety in the private hire sector through better regulation and more enforcement officers. Addison Lee recognises that these measures need to be paid for and we are happy to play our part through the increase to our licence fee.”

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 29, 2018 7:06 am 
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AL have already paid their huge licensing fee but most of their competitors haven't maybe they think that it might wipe out some of the opposition :wink:

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 29, 2018 5:22 pm 
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edders23 wrote:
AL have already paid their huge licensing fee but most of their competitors haven't maybe they think that it might wipe out some of the opposition :wink:

Could well be.

But I suspect TfL will mention it during the hearing.

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