In a major boost for passenger safety, Mayor Sadiq Khan appears on track to deliver his pledge to recruit an additional 250 taxi and minicab enforcement officers by the end of September.
The officers, who are funded by fees levied on minicab firms, are responsible for cracking down on illegal activity by drivers, as well as carrying out vehicle checks and ensuring drivers are properly licensed and have the correct paperwork.
Last August Mr Khan promised to boost numbers to a total of 332, a significant increase on the 65 officers in post when he became Mayor.
The extra numbers are needed to ensure TfL can properly enforce licensing regulations in the wake of a dramatic increase in the number of minicabs operating in London.
In 2014 the London Assembly branded the agency’s efforts “woefully inadequate”.
Figures released to MayorWatch in response to a Freedom of Information response show that 280 fully trained officers were in post as of the end of July this year, with a further 25 in training, taking total headcount to 305.
With recruitment and training continuing throughout the summer, it seems likely the entire promised uplift will be delivered on or very close to target.
Steve Burton, TfL’s Director of Enforcement, said: “As part of our drive to combat unsafe and unlicensed taxi and private hire drivers we’ve hired an additional 250 new Compliance Officers.
“As with many large scale recruitment drives some new officers failed to complete training and a number of existing officers have left the organisation.
“But work is well underway and we are continuing our work to quadruple the number of Taxi and Private Hire Compliance Officers to meet the Mayor’s commitment.”
Table: Enforcement officers in post and training: