The Licensed Private Hire Car Association has pledged to continue fighting for fairer private hire operators’ fees in London after the High Court ruled against the trade body’s challenge to Transport for London’s new licence fee structure.
LPHCA chairman Steve Wright [pictured] said: “It is regrettable the LPHCA has needed to ask the High Court to determine the legality, or otherwise, of TfL’s new private hire operator licence fees. Our challenge was founded on questions surrounding the sufficiency of information during the consultation and whether fees were set for an improper purpose.”
Wright continued: “In handing-down its judgement today, we are disappointed the court has found in favour of Transport for London. In light of the decision, and the ongoing impact on the wider trade, the LPHCA will focus its efforts elsewhere, by firstly seeking an open dialogue with TfL on a potential review of the current fees, now the overall regulatory impact is much clearer.”
Helen Chapman, TfL’s director of licensing, regulation and charging, said in a statement: “Our number one priority is the safety of the public, which is why when faced with the huge growth of the private hire industry it was appropriate to ensure our regulatory and enforcement capabilities grew too.”
She continued: “We robustly defended our position in court and welcome the court’s decision that the changes we made to the licence fee structure for private hire operators are lawful. The changes to the fees fund an additional 250 compliance officers who do a crucial job in driving up standards and ensuring Londoners remain safe.”
LPHCA is meeting Transport Commissioner Mike Brown on June 5, and has requested that the subject of private hire operator licence fees is on the agenda. “We intend to invite the Transport Commissioner to facilitate open trade discussions with TfL regarding post implementation issues following the conclusion of the legal process,” said Wright.
The LPHCA will now write to, then consult with, members and fighting fund contributors to discuss next steps.
Professional Driver is hosting a special open session for the LPHCA at our Congress London 2018 event on Tuesday, June 12, at the Renaissance Hotel, Heathrow. The LPHCA session takes place immediately after the main Congress programme, at 2pm.
Steve Wright is also participating in the main Congress programme, where the license fees will be one of the major topics, along with language tests, employment issues and mobility.
To register for the event, please follow the link below. Registration is free to all licensed private hire operators, and entry to Congress includes access to the LPHCA session.
LPHCA members attending the special session are most welcome to spend the day with us at ProDriver Congress. Full details are available on the Congress link on the website.