black cabs strike

As more than a thousand black-cab taxi drivers blocked traffic in central London on Wednesday in the latest of a series of protests across the continent against Uber, Cyril Bouquet, Professor of Business Strategy at IMD, said London’s black-cab drivers are campaigning to “prevent reform of an outdated, often monopolistic and over-regulated system”.

Is preferential treatment for expensive Birmingham and Solihull black cabs discriminating against affordable private hire cars?

A local private hire driver alleges that though he pays far more for the privilege of operating than a black cab driver his opportunities are restricted.

He told the writer that he pays £350 for his licence, MOT and badge, compared with the black cab charge of £260-270.

  • He cannot pick up fares on the street like the black cabs.
  • He cannot used lanes designated ‘bus and taxi’.
  • He may not wait at the airport, the railway station and the coach station.

The private hire driver charges for the distance travelled, whereas the black cab starts with £3 on the clock before it has travelled a metre.

As policy-makers on expense accounts accede to the demands of the powerful Birmingham Hackney Drivers Union and the lobbying of the Birmingham and Solihull Taxi Association, the ordinary person appreciates the more affordable private hire service and cannot see why it should be treated unfairly.