London’s businesses overwhelmingly support Mayor Sadiq Khan’s policy of requiring all mini cab drivers to take an English test, according to a poll commissioned by the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI).
The policy is one of several changes to mini cab rules announced by the Mayor and Transport for London in order to improve passenger experience, but is currently subject to a legal challenge brought by Uber.
While the app-based cab service says it supports the general aim of ensuring drivers can speak English, it argues that the £200 test TfL wants each driver to sit exceeds what’s necessary to achieve this.
In response to Uber’s challenge the start date for the policy has been pushed back to July 2018.
LCCI’s poll, which was carried out by ComRes, found that 83% of respondents support the policy.
The organisation says the recent growth in the number of private hire operators and competition with the taxi trade has raised questions about how to ensure “a consistent quality of service” across the sector.
Chief Executive Colin Stanbridge said: “Over the years, there have been fundamental changes in the way Londoners use the transport network.
“Nowhere is such a shift more evident than the taxi and private hire industry which has changed considerably since technology impacted the way services can be bought and supplied.
“The general expectation for London business people using a private hire vehicle is to get from A to B in a safe and timely manner at a reasonable cost.
“A fundamental part of this that is overwhelmingly backed by businesses is the view that private hire drivers should be able to speak a reasonable amount of English.”