Christian Wolmar today pledged to look into the state of the capital’s cab trade, in particular the impact of Uber, if he is selected as Labour’s candidate to run for London Mayor.
Christian Wolmar is the only non-career politician short-listed by the major political parties as a potential candidate for Mayor in next year’s London elections, having worked for the past 30 years as a journalist specialising in transport.
Christian Wolmar said, “London’s black taxis are a world-famous symbol of our city, just like red double deckers and phone boxes. Yet we have been sleep-walking towards the black cab’s demise while undermining key policies on air quality at the same time.
“The cab trade is a vital part of our city’s economy, providing work for thousands. But taxi drivers’ livelihoods are under threat through being under-cut by cheaper services. The cheaper service is often being provided by undermining the working conditions of drivers.
“The Mayor of London needs to ensure that the service levels provided to passengers in hire cars – driver training and safety, insurance cover and The Knowledge - are of comparable standard to that demanded of our city’s black cabs.
“As Mayor, I also aim to reduce the amount of traffic in the centre of the city to help to improve air quality.
“We have a Congestion Zone in central London, yet London’s Tory Mayor has allowed it to become a Congested Zone, handing out hire car licences to thousands of private vehicles which escape having to pay the congestion charge.
“As Mayor of London, I will hold an urgent review of the licensing system, and seek ways to reduce or cap the number of hire vehicles which enjoy free access to the Congestion Zone. We want less motor traffic on our roads, and public transport, including black cabs, are an essential part that improvement.”
Wolmar is a lifelong Labour member, a journalist and author, who has been campaigning for three years to be selected as his party’s candidate in next year’s City Hall elections.