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Labour AM Fiona Twycross asks Mayor of London Boris Johnson for extension to 15 year age limit.

16/10/2012

With 300 plus cabs off the road because of the TX4 steering box recall, Labour Assembly Member Fiona Twycross  has written to Boris Johnson and echoing Unite’s call for a  moratorium on the 15 year age limit rule.

Dear Mayor

I am writing with an urgent request relating to issues relating to licensing of cabs following the recent issues that have come to light regarding the power steering boxes of cabs produced by the London Taxi Company.

I understand from Jim Kelly and Mike Hedges from the Cab Branch of Unite the Union that up to as many as 300 cabs have had to be withdrawn from service as a result of this issue. The pressure this has caused on vehicles for cab drivers to rent has meant that many of the affected cab drivers have not been able to hire cabs in order to continue work. This is having a detrimental effect on their income. It is not clear when the issue with be resolved and so this will continue to affect the ability of the cab drivers concerned to earn a living until the issue is resolved.

This issue will only be exacerbated as 15 year old cabs are taken out of service over coming weeks and potentially months. Along with a number of other organisations representing cab drivers, Unite is proposing that a temporary moratorium is put in place to allow those 15 year old cabs coming to the end of their service but which are still able to pass the stringent environmental test required of other cabs to continue to be licensed until the matter is resolved by the London Taxi Company. This would allow those cab drivers affected to continue to trade and ensure that Londoners do not see a reduced service in the meantime. It seems unlikely that all those cab drivers whose taxis are coming to the end of the 15 year age limit will be able to rent or buy alternative vehicles and in the run up to Christmas, there could be a negative impact both on their livelihood and the safety and travel needs of Londoners reliantimage on cabs.

I understand from Unite that you have the authority to authorise this and would urge you to consider introducing a moratorium with the utmost urgency and to arrange a meeting with representatives of the cab trade as soon as possible to resolve this matter

Yours sincerely

Fiona Twycross AM

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