The Anonymous Widower

Minicab Drivers Claim Discrimination Over New London Charge

The title of this post is the same as that of this article on The Guardian.

This is the first paragraph.

Minicab drivers are launching a legal action against the London mayor, Sadiq Khan, accusing him of discrimination against a largely ethnic minority workforce by making them pay the congestion charge while black cab drivers, who are overwhelmingly white, will be exempt.

Black cab drivers may or may not be overwhelmingly white, but I have certainly never seen a South Asian black cab driver.

But Central London is getting increasingly polluted and congested and this slows the buses, that I regularly use through the centre.

I am no legal expert, but I have a feeling, that the Ultra Low Emission Zone, which will extend to the North and South Circular Roads will be a very big factor in the next Mayoral Election.

The lawyers, who will be big winners in this debate, have surely been sharpening their pencils.

March 1, 2019 - Posted by | Transport | , ,


  1. I really hope they don’t push the Ultra Low Emission Zone, which will extend to the North and South Circular Roads. I am wholly against the charge. We were told by Government years ago that diesels were cheaper and better for the environment. Now people have bought them we’re told they are worse and we have to get rid or be charged MORE money. Disgraceful. Some of us cannot afford to buy new cars or even afford a part ex to get a car.

    Maybe the ivory towers lot should put their hands in their pockets and compensate us for our losses.

    I’m sure the MP with £77k pays can afford new card regularly and then claim it back via travel costs.

    When I vote it will be for anyone that gets rid of this horrible charge!

    Comment by Part Time Spotter | March 1, 2019 | Reply

    • I don’t drive these days, as my eyesight was damaged by a stroke. But I do have a garage and my doctor feels my eyesight could be good enough to get my licence back. But I have no desire to drive myself again. It is getting to be such a pain and every day I meet more and more people who have given up driving or young people in London who feel that there is no point in learning.
      I will not be voting for any candidate who will abolish the ULEZ. I do think though that an independent who ran an abolish the ULEZ campaign could get a surprising number of votes.

      Comment by AnonW | March 1, 2019 | Reply

      • Agreed. The charge is only a money making scheme. If they push to the A406/A206 then it will just push the vehicles to other local routes and the M25 … how long before the ivory towers lot push it to the M25?

        I am a advocate of Public transport having working on the railways for 30+ years but they NEED to be nationalised. I have work for BR and Private railways … I know which worked better and was a happier place to work.

        My son is 21 and wants to learn and I fully encourage him and I am encouraging my daughter to drive when she is old enough. It is a “string to their bow” for the future.

        Comment by Part Time Spotter | March 1, 2019

      • I spent the first four or five years of my working life in automation and some of the ideas we talked about in the pub after work in the late 1960s still haven’t happened. We knew though that trains could drive themselves as Dear Old Vicky did in 1967. Aircraft now run in a similar driver/pilot- monitored way. Cars and trucks will go that way too, but will it ever mean electric driverless taxis? Some places will go that way, but if everybody wanted one, the congestion would be terrible.
        I do think though that the technology will mean city-dwellers will increasingly not be getting licences.
        As to rail nationalisation, I’m generally against, as politicians can’t stop meddling to get votes in their area. It’s like our South London Mayor has cut more buses in the North than the South. I also yhink he has let the Goblin situation run and run. It looks to me like TfL or Arrival had a dig round and realised that they could use their three spare trains to get the Goblin out of trouble.
        London and Merseyside aeem to have got their model right, so oerhaps regionalisation is a better idea. I’ll be interested to see what Williams says.

        Comment by AnonW | March 1, 2019

  2. Congestion charges are not actually popular. Stockholm voted for it, but the franchise excluded some of the suburbs.

    In the UK Edinburgh voted 3:1 against, despite those eligible being only those in the city itself and less than half having access to a car. In Greater Manchester the margin, which I expected to be only 2:1, was 4:1 against.

    Even in London, IMO one of the key reasons Boris defeated red Ken, was his plan to extend the congestion zone far into west London and renege on the concessions for those who live within its boundary.

    Now the mayors’ money making plan is to impose it by stealth on ‘big dirty lorries’ and private hire drivers.

    PS here in Manchester a substantial proportion of hackney carriage (aka black cab) drivers are Asian, probably similar to the general population.

    Comment by R. Mark Clayton | March 1, 2019 | Reply

    • As a pedestrian, I find Mancunian drivers speed round a lot more aggressively than they do in London

      Comment by AnonW | March 1, 2019 | Reply

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