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UNITE’s Cab Section today welcomes the Mayor’s long awaited announcement on his Air Quality strategy as it relates to the Licensed Taxi Trade in London.

UNITE negotiators have been in discussion with the Mayor’s advisors and TfL over many long months on the way forward. While committed to ensuring that the Trade continues to play its part in cleaning up the quality of London’s air, UNITE argued that the Mayor’s original proposal to introduce 10 year age limits to taxis was too onerous and failed to acknowledge sufficiently  the beneficial effects of the various initiatives introduced in recent years.

Jim Kelly, Chair of the Cab Trade Committee, said ” Cab drivers have made significant investment in recent years in order to comply with the increasingly regulated system which has already led to a considerable reduction in harmful emissions. UNITE has been involved every step of the way, and has always adopted a progressive approach to the issue. Air quality is of course a huge Health and Safety issue for our members who spend their working day in congested areas of our city. This has to be balanced  however with the reality of the economic situation affecting the Trade.”

The Mayor will today announce that there will be the introduction of a

15 year age limit, something that UNITE, along with the other drivers’ and Trade organisations, argued for. This will be accompanied by the introduction of twice yearly testing.

Mr Kelly continued : “At a time when cab drivers are affected as much by the difficult economic climate as any other working person, we welcome the final conclusion of the consultation. Introducing a 10 year limit would have turned the economics of the Trade upside down, and many would be have been forced out of work. We now look forward to TfL’s “London Taxi & Private Hire” (LTPH)  turning its focus fully onto ensuring that the licensed taxi Trade is able to serve the people of London without having to contend with the endemic flouting of the laws by sections of the minicab trade.”

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