Sadiq Khan to face legal action over 'racist' congestion charge

Sadiq Khan

Minicab drivers have protested against the mayor's changes to the congestion charge.

Friday, March 1, 2019

Sadiq Khan is facing legal action on the grounds that the soon-to-be-introduced minicab congestion charge is racially discriminatory.

The Independent Workers Union of Great Britain has warned the mayor of London to reverse the policy or face legal action on the basis that it breaches the Equality Act.

The union claims the charge is being imposed on the predominantly black and ethnic minority minicab drivers, while exempting the predominantly white drivers of London’s traditional black cabs.


Minicab driver and union member Muhumed Ali said: "It is completely discriminatory that we have to pay this charge while black cabs continue to be exempt.

"If Sadiq Khan doesn't reverse this policy we will continue to fight it in the courts and in the streets."


'Damaging impact' of minicabs

From April 2019, private minicabs will be required to pay a £11.50 congestion charge when driving through the capital.

Minicab drivers have been holding protests in London for several weeks against the charge, and are seeking crowdfunding to finance the legal action.

A spokesperson for the Mayor said the number of private hire vehicles entering the congestion charge zone has risen by more than 14,000 a day since 2003.

The spokesperson added: “Sadiq simply isn’t prepared to ignore the damaging impact this has on congestion and increasing air pollution.

“Removing the congestion charge exemption for private hire vehicles is a key part o plans to both reduce congestion and to protect Londoners from harmful emissions from polluting vehicles.”