Frustrated London taxi drivers will be ‘Tooting In Tooting’ at 8am on Thursday April 14, 2022 for the launch of the ‘BLACK CABS MATTER’ campaign.
Opposite a minute’s silence campaign is set to begin in south-west London with the deafening buzz of a black cab minute. Taxi drivers were asked to congregate fifteen minutes before the start of the launch on Thursday at the junction of Tooting Broadway station.
The Black Cabs Matter campaign will seek to fight back and shine a light on the unfair policies that have plagued the London taxi business in recent years.
Lembit Öpik from Transport Reality, Howard Cox from FairFuelUK and Lois Perry, director of CAR26, have joined forces with London taxi drivers to help highlight a long list of industry concerns. The problems range from impassable traffic congestion which has reduced turnover, cycle lanes and now the rising cost of fuel.
A mock survey of 366 LTDA drivers conducted between February and March 2022 by FairFuelUK and CAR26 highlighted the main grievances:
Congestion reducing revenue by 72%
Lack of customers in general 69%%
Bike paths 68%
Revenue down 66%
Sadiq Khan 63%
Unnecessary diversions 60%
Cost of Diesel (Fuel) 60%
Cost of electric cabins 45%
Tariff legislation 41%
Keith Prince, Deputy Chairman of the London Assembly Transport Committee, said: “It’s time someone spoke up as the ‘voice of common sense of the streets’. London taxi drivers have been on the front lines of bad policies that simply hurt their business and the city’s economy. I expect taxi drivers across the city – and the people who depend on their services – will take this as a welcome sign of political fresh air in an antiquated political environment where anyone who owns a car seems to be treated as an evil.
Lembit Öpik, from the Transport Reality Group, said: “Taxi drivers suffer the same fate as all other road users. Why scrap machines that are perfectly usable for emissions policies based on virtuous signaling, not practicality? The climate change agenda resembles an economic iron curtain around central London.
Howard Cox of FairFuelUK, said: “The salt of the earth London taxi driver faces obstacles that in many other vocations would mean choosing another livelihood. Why would anyone now want to make a career out of driving a black cab in London? In the face of a bankrupt, ego-driven mayoral regime, an anti-driver transportation administration, price restriction, roads clogged with inane political doctrine, high taxation, crippling fuel costs and dogmatic decrees to use expensive and less profitable electric vehicles. The London Taxi Driver is synonymous with traveler safety, reliability and the beating heart of our capital’s business success. It’s time for our local and elected officials to wake up and allow our vital fleet of dwindling black cabs to breathe and thrive again.
Lois Perry of the Climate Realism Group CAR26.ORG, said: “As a woman, I want to go out at night, knowing that then I can bring a black cab home. The way these policies affect me is that I just won’t bother spending the evening in London, because I can’t wait and hope for an electric taxi with autonomy to take me home, and I don’t necessarily want to have to spend the night in a hotel while waiting for the morning train. For me, no ordinary black taxi is synonymous with safety. Like many women, I only feel completely safe in black cabs.