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A report by a cross-party group of MPs wants Mayor Sadiq Khan and Transport for London to be given the power to limit the number of private hire vehicles in London.
The call comes amid concerns over toxic air and gridlocked roads raised by the Department for Transport.
The number of private hire vehicles in London has doubled to 120,000 since 2010, according to the report. Uber disputes this, however, and says the figure is nearer 87,000.
Wes Streeting MP, Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Taxis and Labour Member of Parliament for Ilford North, said: “The explosion in the number of private hire vehicles on the streets of London is causing serious congestion and pumping out fumes contributing to the toxic air that is killing more than 9,000 Londoners each year.
“We’re calling on the government to grant the Mayor the powers he needs to cap the number of private hire vehicles in London and close the loophole that allows drivers to avoid TfL’s tougher licensing regime, which is designed to keep Londoners safe.”
The report, ‘Lessons from London: the future of the UK Taxi Trade’, which will be launched on Wednesday has the backing of London black cab drivers, who have regularly held anti-Uber rallies outside Westminster.
Mr Streeting said senior representatives from TfL would welcome the power to cap the number of licences issued each year.
An Uber spokesperson said that according to TfL, black cabs are responsible for 18 per cent of total road transport Nitrogen Oxide emissions within the Congestion Zone.
He said: “Capping consumer choice is not the way to tackle congestion and air pollution, but new technology can be part of the answer. More than half the miles travelled with uberX in London are in hybrid or fully electric cars and our car-sharing option uberPOOL is saving mileage and emissions too.
“It’s a shame this report doesn’t address why black cabs are the only vehicles exempt from the Mayor’s new Ultra Low Emissions Zone. This is particularly surprising since Transport for London figures show black taxis are responsible for 18 per cent of road transport Nitrogen Oxide emissions in central London.”
London News & Search