Screenshot from Save Taxi Demo video
We wholeheartedly support the efforts of the Save Taxi and Action for Cabbies groups to preserve the black cab trade. The effort has been incredible and should be applauded.
However we do have concern over the unpredictable and costly nature of legal court cases. As the old saying goes, “When things go to court there is only ever one sure winner, the lawyers!”
For reasons unbeknown to most the powers that be are not sympathetic to the plight of the taxi trade. We have seen many times that being morally right or logical does not necessarily mean the law will find in your favour.
In recent times we have seen the following high profile legal decisions go against the cab trade:
- Cycle Super Highways
- Iconic Status of the black cab
- Uber’s use of Meters.
The trade currently awaits an update on the status of the LTDA’s legal case/s against TfL. It is for the reasons outlined above that we have serious concerns that the hard earned money donated by cabbies, their loving families and fellow industry service providers may be swallowed up by Britain’s legal system.
At Plan we fully back London’s black taxi trade. We have attended numerous protests in support and in the last year we have given generously to the following black taxi charities:
- Save Taxi homeless appeal
- The Magical Children’s Taxi Tour
- Taxi Benevolent London Association for War Disabled Taxi diary
- Albany Taxi Charity
- ELCO children’s funbook
- Save Black Taxi Xmas Appeal
The easy option in the current circumstances would be for us to provide financial support and to sit back quietly and watch how the Save Taxi campaign gets on. However, we feel we owe the trade a debt of duty and will take the risk of putting our head above the parapet to provide what we truly feel is constructive feedback. We hope it is viewed as such and rather than criticism.
We’re prepared to pledge and will gladly amend our views if new information and clarification on the grounds status of the legal case emerges. But dare we say it, our gut feeling is that the money raised would be best spent on initiatives designed to win the “Hearts and minds of the public.”
Back in April last year we outlined plans for a positive PR campaign. Its focus is on establishing a Cab Man Charter that would need to be adopted by the entire black cab community. We feel it would empower hard working cabbies to stand toe to toe with any new entrants into the market.
We still believe in those sentiments and would encourage Action for Cabbies to point at least some of their efforts and/or funds in this direction. With a positive campaign financially and enthusiastically backed by their fantastic effort levels cabbies will have to tools to tackle all comers.
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