Mini Cab and courier firm Addison Lee who have just opened an operations centre in Peterborough to manage their London operations, had some unwelcome news as they found out their London operating licence has been extended for just six months as Transport for London considers increasing the cost of operating in the capital for mincab firms.
London's transport regulator is mulling an increase of costs for private hire vehicles with the rising number on the road and the increasing resources needed to regulate them since the arrival of Uber in the city.
Addison Lee's five year licence was up for renewal at the end of August and has now been granted for six months, until the end of February. Uber's licence was extended for four months earlier this year.
“Addison Lee’s licence has been routinely renewed as part of the usual course of business. The length of the licence is at the discretion of Transport for London," a spokesperson for the cab company said.
"We have been informed by the licensing authority that the six-month duration is purely to allow TfL time to consider the results from a public consultation on licence fees.”
Transport for London is holding off on renewing private hire vehicle (PHV) licences for the usual five-year term as it works on proposals for new rules that would drastically increase the cost of operating for such companies.
It expects the costs of enforcing rules on minicabs, the number of which has jumped by 74 per cent since 2014, to leap to £30m over the next five years, up from previous estimates of £4m. TfL is looking to increase the cost of the licence for firms to plug that hole as it seeks to become self-sufficient by 2019 with cuts to government funding.
The industry is awaiting the results of a public consultation on the matter.
TfL is also under pressure from black cab drivers, who argue Uber's license should not be renewed. The Licensed Taxi Drivers Association (LTDA) earlier this year set out what it believes is a legal argument against the renewal. Uber's renewed license lasts until the end of September.
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