TfL’s Plan to Impose Congestion Charge on Private Hire Taxis Slammed by GMB Union

Photo by Mark Warner/Flickr

A proposal from Transport for London (TfL) to re-open a consultation regarding whether private hire vehicles should be required to pay the congestion charge was slammed by the GMB union.

The union has warned that if private hire companies will be required to pay the said charge, firms will be prompted to leave London. The plans of the TfL first came to light in October of 2017.

GMB has argued that the taxi services of London should be exempted since they are a form of public transport.

The GMB regional officer, Steve Garelick, stated: “Mayor Ken Livingstone brought in the exemption for private hire based on the widely-held view that this was a public transportation medium.

“A charge would primarily affect drivers who in effect would face a further tax on their incomes…This plan that is claimed to be another ‘consultation’ will cause more damage to traffic and emission levels. It will also force private hire companies out of London costing jobs.”

The general manager of road user charging at TfL, Paul Cowperthwaite, stated: “We are currently undertaking further analysis on the impact of removing the exemption from the congestion charge for private hire vehicles.

“Depending on the outcome of this work, a consultation could follow later this year.”

Ride-hailing company Uber has resulted in a massive drop in the use of night buses, with the use on some of its routes dropping by as much as 20 percent. The plans from TfL come as the future of Uber remains under threat in the capital, after its licence to operate was revoked.