Plan Insurance Blog

Mayoral Election Looms & Cabbies Support Anyone But Mayor Khan

As Londoners gear up for the upcoming mayoral election on May 2, the city finds itself at a crossroads of transportation policies. One leading black cab association has made its opinion on the debate very clear. The London Cab Drivers Club (LCDC) wants anyone but Mayor Sadiq Khan.

Writing in the associations’ regular publication, The Badge, editor Grant Davis explains that he believes feelings of discontent amongst London’s cabbies are strong. Speaking of the eventual mayoral election winner he says,

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“I really think we need to sit down with them on day one and demand root and branch reform in the way we are treated by TFL. And were Khan to be re-elected, he should also accept that our trade is being driven towards extinction, purely on the back of poor political decisions.”

Davis outlines a perceived lack of a substantial action to support the viability of the black cab service under Khan’s leadership. Despite what he believes to have been promises made prior to his assumption of office, the reality for black cab drivers has been disappointing, with little meaningful change materialising.

Under Khan’s tenure, the black cab industry has faced numerous challenges, including the sustained rise of private hire vehicle numbers (PHVs) and the implementation of policies that have increased operating costs without what the LCDC deem to be commensurate benefits. The Badge summarises how an apparent failure to level the playing field between traditional black cabs and PHVs has left many drivers feeling marginalised and their livelihoods threatened.

One of the primary grievances the LCDC holds against is Khan’s handling of transportation regulations, which they argue continue to favour PHVs, leading to unfair competition and exacerbating the decline of the black cab industry. The journal cites regulatory arbitrage, wherein PHVs are felt to have exploited loopholes to gain advantages, which has served to further compound the issue, distorting competition and externalising costs onto the public.

The LCDC’s opposition to Khan’s potential re-election is also fueled by a sense of broken promises and mistrust. Khan’s track record, they argue, is marred by a series of unfulfilled commitments and policy flip-flops, such as the extension of the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) and the rumoured potential introduction of Pay-per-Mile road use charging.

In contrast, the Conservative party’s candidate, Susan Hall, has emerged as a promising alternative for the black cab industry. With pledges to scrap the ULEZ extension, remove unused cycle lanes, and address congestion-causing Low Traffic Neighborhoods (LTNs), Hall’s platform resonates strongly with cabbies seeking relief from Khan’s policies.

The Private Hire industry are likely to argue their case equally vehemently. Chair of the Licensed Private Hire Car Association (LPHCA) Steve Wright MBE, has in fact had two face to face meetings with the conservative candidate. He subsequently called into question, with the Greater London Authority (GLA) Transport Committee, what he feels is an undue influence exerted by the black cab trade. Susan Hall will be aware that Mr Wright has, “made a formal complaint about the fact that Private Hire is 85% of the industry in London and taxi is 15%” yet in discussions there is a “unjustifiable imbalance and bias.”

Though the two sides of the industry do share common ground. Those being concerns regarding the impact of Low Emission Zones, cost of vehicles, lack of charging infrastructure, cost of electricity and the want to provide disabled and Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) transport vehicles. Also the “chaos and congestion” caused by Low Traffic Neighbourhoods is a shared grievance.

As Londoners prepare to cast their votes, the message from the LCDC is clear: Khan’s re-election would spell further hardship for the black cab industry, while a new administration offers hope for much-needed reform and support. The stakes are high, and for cabbies, the choice is crystal clear – anyone but Mayor Khan. Whether they’ll get their wish, and if it does come true whether the successful candidate will deliver on their pledges, remains to be seen.

The order that candidates will appear on the ballot paper is as follows:

  1. Femy AMIN, Animal Welfare Party – People, Animals, Environment
  2. Count BINFACE, Count Binface for Mayor of London
  3. Rob BLACKIE, Liberal Democrat
  4. Natalie CAMPBELL, Denise Independent
  5. Howard COX, ReformUK – London Deserves Better
  6. Amy GALLAGHER, Social Democratic Party
  7. Zoë GARBETT, Green Party Tarun GHULATI, Independent
  8. Susan HALL, The Conservative Party Candidate
  9. Sadiq KHAN, Labour Party
  10. Andreas MICHLI, Christoffi Independent
  11. Brian ROSE, London Real Party – Transform London
  12. Nick SCANLON, Britain First – No To Immigration

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