Sadiq Khan wins battle with minicabs over congestion charge

Private hire cars are charged but black cabs are not

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has won a High Court battle over whether the city congestion charge discriminates against black and minority minicab drivers.

The Independent Workers Union of Great Britain said charging private hire vehicles the £11.50 daily fee to enter central London disproportionately affects BAME drivers.

It said minicab drivers - who are a 94 per cent black and minority workforce – are forced to pay the charge, while taxi drivers are exempt.

The trade union also said the decision affected disabled passengers, who they claimed would be affected by a reduction in the number of available private hire vehicles.

The High Court ruled the Mayor’s decision was an “an appropriate and suitable method of reducing the number of vehicles in the congestion charge zone”.

Mr Justice Lewis said: “There are no other less-intrusive measures which could realistically achieve the same aim.”

Mr Khan tweeted he was “pleased” with the decision and it will “reduce traffic volumes and congestion” in London.

IWGB general secretary Jason Moyer-Lee said the union plans to take its case to the Court of Appeal.

“The judge, defendant Sadiq Khan, and we all agreed that this charge is bad for ethnic minority and female drivers,” he said.

“The question is whether or not the mayor can legally justify it by showing it's reasonable and there were no better alternative measures to reduce congestion.”

Taxis can be hailed, whereas minicabs - or private hire vehicles - must be booked.

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