HAL recent decision to permit Private Hire Vehicles to wait within the airports boundaries highlights yet again, the deficiencies in enforcing the distinction between taxis and PHVs.
RMT LTDB firmly believe that the ongoing issue in surrounding areas of Heathrow airport can be attributed to Transport For London’s failure in exercising due diligence when licensing smartphone app. Uber. As PHVs via the technology, exhibit availability of their vehicles to perspective passengers. This has led to drivers ‘clustering’ around the airport in hope of an immediate hiring. In other words, illegally plying for hire.
The issue has become somewhat unmanageable for Hillingdon Council resulting in the solution being that BAA/HAL allocate a ‘holding’ area for PHV’s within the site. The announcement on April 1st was coupled with the revelation that BAA/HAL had been in discussions with Uber for the last 3 months.
Put simply. Uber are to be allocated a feeder park.
If this practice is permitted then it will signify a precedent. A precedent that PHV’s will be able to ‘wait in anticipation of a booking’.
With Network Rail looking to sell off land to the highest bidder, the case may be not for licensed taxis to be charged to rank, but PHV’s to be charged to wait!
It is therefor important the proposals by BAA/HAL be resisted by the licensed taxi trade at all cost.
Unity is Strength.