According to his recent press release, the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has heralded a new era for London’s taxi and private hire markets as he set out “an unprecedented programme of far-reaching improvements that will drive up standards, boost the quality of service for Londoners and protect the future of London’s iconic black cabs”. According to the release: “The Mayor is determined to create a vibrant taxi and private hire market, with space for all providers to flourish. The Taxi and Private Hire Action Plan, launched today by the Mayor alongside Transport for London (TfL), includes specific new measures to support licensed taxi drivers, and sets out ambitious plans to enhance public safety, and also improve London’s air quality.”
Okay, vibrant and flourishing is good. And who would argue against public safety or improvements to air quality? Unfortunately, this otherwise very wonderful and worthy range of measures includes a formal English language requirement for all private hire drivers.
Taxi drivers with years of experience will be compelled to pay for an English test which may result in them forfeiting their jobs. Surely they only need to be able to communicate verbally with passengers to discuss routes and fares?
If penguins were judged by their ability to climb trees, they would go through their lives believing they were useless.
If you agree with me, please consider signing this petition to get Sadiq Khan to change his mind: