13 Sep Mayor of London criticised for “slight” of entire PHV market
The Mayor of London has been criticised for his apparent slight of an entire industry when he said in a national radio interview that he does not allow his two teenage daughters to take minicabs.
The comment was made in an interview with LBC’s presenter James O’Brien where the Mayor was discussing whether Transport for London will grant Uber a five year license.
The tech and transport company has repeatedly come under fire over questions of tax, workers’ rights and passenger safety.
Fareed Baloch, chief operating officer of zoom.taxi said the comments “appear to be a slight of the entire private hire vehicle industry” and called on Mr Khan to “confirm whether or not he thinks there is a problem with all private hire vehicles in London.”
“As a company who work with private hire companies at all levels I found these comments worrying,” said Mr Baloch.
“It seemed to imply that Mr Khan did not believe minicabs were good enough for his family and given that he is the Chairman of Transport for London, the licensing authority for private hire vehicles in the Capital, I think he needs to clarify his position.
“I am not for one moment suggesting that a parent doesn’t have the right not to use any method of public transport for their children; what I am saying is that as the most senior politician in London his comments have raised more questions than they have answered and it is irresponsible for him to try to shut down the conversation by refusing to either confirm or deny if he thinks there is an issue within the sector.
“We believe that the companies we work with are decent, hard working people who want the best for their passengers and their companies and it is a shame that recent news stories regarding Uber drivers in particular have once again dragged the industry into a negative light.
“But if Mr Khan believes that the current licensing schemes for all drivers in London are insufficient to ensure the safety of people – which is what people will assume from his comments – then he needs to state that and lay out what his reforms are.
“Other people may not have the luxury of being able to drive their children everywhere: if he perceives that there is a problem then people have a right to know.”
Mr Khan’s office was contacted for comment but declined to say anything further.