Transport for London’s Taxi and Private Hire compliance officers have been granted powers to carry out road stops without a police presence and check whether drivers have valid insurance, verify their licence and inspect the vehicle for any defects.
In addition, officers will have the power to stop drivers working if they’re breaching their license.
TfL says the powers, conferred on officers by the Metropolitan Police, will make it easier to take enforcement action against taxi and private hire drivers who flout the rules.
Mayor Sadiq Khan said: “The majority of taxi and private hire drivers provide a good and safe service for Londoners, but drivers who haven’t got a valid licence or are breaching the terms of their licence shouldn’t be on London’s streets.”
“Having increased the number of compliance officers across London last year, I’m delighted they will now have the powers to pull over vehicles and take action against drivers breaking the rules and putting the safety of Londoners at risk.”
Steve Burton, TfL’s Director of Enforcement and On-Street Operations, added: “These new powers will allow officers to stop and check vehicles without the police present, which will significantly increase levels of enforcement so we can robustly deal with dangerous drivers and vehicles.”
Today’s announcement has been welcomed by Caroline Pidgeon AM, Chair of the London Assembly Transport Committee, who pointed out the committee called for “compliance officers to have stronger powers, including the ability to charge higher fines for touting and vehicle seizure powers” back in 2014.
AM Pidgeon added: “There has also been confusion about the respective powers of the Met police and TfL compliance officers to tackle touting, so this will help to clarify the issue.
“However, more needs to be done. Further measures are needed to protect London’s passengers, including making it easier for them to identify whether a minicab is licensed.
“For this reason, the Transport Committee will begin another investigation into the Taxi and Private Hire industry later in the year.”