TfL protects Taxi & Private Hire trade - combating illegal activity

26 May 2015 03:35 PM

TfL announces early results of Operation Neon, launched to clamp down on illegal minicab activity.

Transport for London (TfL) has announced that over the first five evenings of 'Operation Neon', a high visibility, multi-agency operation to clamp down and disrupt illegal activity by minicab and taxis, a total of 331 private hire drivers have been reported for failing to comply with regulations.

Eight drivers have been reported for plying for hire offences, plus 30 drivers for parking on taxi ranks, and 73 tickets have been issued for parking offences. Around 600 vehicles have also been moved on from outside clubs and late night venues. Priority locations such as Swallow Street, Dover Street and Berkeley Street in Mayfair have also been kept clear of such vehicles. This action will continue throughout May and June.

Operation Neon involves TfL enforcement and compliance officials, Metropolitan Police Service officers and Westminster City Council parking attendants, and has substantially increased the levels of visible enforcement in central London, combating touting and other illegal activity. It is keeping ranks clear to support legitimate taxi and private hire drivers and has received positive feedback from the trade associations.

Operation Neon is just one element of TfL's robust enforcement action with police colleagues, which continues to attack touting and bogus cabs.

As a result, the proportion of women approached by touts at the end of a night out in London has reduced by 77% since 2003. Since April 2013, the TfL funded Cab Enforcement Unit has reported 148 drivers for unlawfully plying for hire, resulting in a 97% conviction rate of those that have gone to court.

Garrett Emmerson, TfL's Chief Operating Officer for Surface Transport, said: `We are determined to protect the livelihoods of all legitimate taxi and private hire drivers through robust enforcement action. Following engagement with the main trade associations (The Licensed Taxi Drivers Association, the London Cab Drivers Club and UNITE), we will continue to be relentless in enforcing the law through action such as Operation Neon to protect the legitimate trade, improve public safety, promote high levels of compliance and tackle illegality'

TfL has also yesterday urged the United Cabbies group (UCG) to call off its protest organised by a small group of taxi drivers outside of the main recognised taxi associations.

According to the UCG, their primary aim is to highlight the 'Future Proof' report that was published in February by the Greater London Authority (GLA).

However, TfL provided a full response to 'Future Proof' in February making clear that all of the main recommendations either have been, or are in the process of, being implemented. Of the 19 recommendations, 13 were planned or already underway before the report was published. The remainder are now being delivered against specific implementation dates, with the exception of one that is a matter for Government.

Garrett Emmerson added: `There is absolutely no justification for this protest because we are already doing the very things they are calling for. Just like the previous protest on Oxford Street, it will achieve nothing other than to disrupt life and business in London.'

Note to Editors:

Transport for London is doing a number of things to support the taxi trade including: