Traffic in central London was once again brought to a standstill last week, as members of the United Cabbies Group (UGC) coordinated a protest outside of Transport for London’s headquarters in Victoria Street and in Westminster.
The protest came as a result of UGC’s continued dissatisfaction with TfL’s efforts to crack down on the number of taxi operators that are allegedly operating illegally. UGC claims that TfL should be doing more to regulate private hire drivers and minicab offices, and believes that sufficient background checks are not being carried out on those applying for licenses to drive for private firms such as Uber. Drivers of the iconic London black cabs also allege that some private hire firms are picking up passengers from the street, despite only being legally allowed to take those.
Chairman of the UCG, Len Martin, said: “We have continually complained of a lack of enforcement creating a real and present threat to lone females at night.” TfL had urged UGC to call off the protest, claiming that it has already launched an operation to clamp down on illegal activity from minicabs and private taxis. It stated that 331 private hire drivers had been reported since the launch of the new initiative in an effort to ensure that every London taxi driver compiles with regulations.