Travel in London expected to grind to halt in taxi driver slowdown against Uber

TFL say 'there is absolutely no justification for this protest because we are already doing the very things they are calling for'

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The Independent Travel

Taxi strikes are expected to cause delays in London as a slowdown against Uber is planned for 2pm today.

Thousands of taxi drivers, organised by the United Cabbie's Group (UCG), will drive slowly between Transport for London’s (TFL) headquarters and nearby  Victoria station to highlight the ‘Future Proof’ report that was published by the Greater London Authority.

Tfl have urged the drivers to call off the strike, claiming it will "unnecessarily disrupt Londoners and visitors to the Capital."

Garrett Emmerson, TfL’s Chief Operating Officer for Surface Transport, said: "There is absolutely no justification for this protest because we are already doing the very things they are calling for.

"Just like the previous protest on Oxford Street, it will achieve nothing other than to disrupt life and business in London."

"We are determined to protect the livelihoods of all legitimate taxi and private hire drivers through robust enforcement action."

A spokesperson from UCG described the situation as "ludicrous."

The spokesperson told The Independent: "Our action today is entirely against TFLs lack of enforcement regarding their own rules. Touting is rife and growing.

"Sir Peter Hendy told the GLA Transport Committee on Feb 25th that he did not want his enforcement officers to approach suspected Private Hire touts without police presence. He seems happy however to allow the same drivers to pick up the public without a care.

"It was also revealed by TFL that asylum seekers and refugees need no background checks whatsoever when applying for a PHV licence.

"This is madness and puts the public at risk.

"These are just a couple of a myriad of problems that beset us. The GLA found TFL to be “woefully inadequate” -  So far they continue to live up to that soubriquet.

"I would ask the Head of Surface Transport to please email me and set out exactly what you have done to right this situation. As far as we and Phv can see it is precious little."

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