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London Operator Licensing Fees Update

08/02/2018 UPDATE

On Tuesday 6th February 2018 in the High Court in London, the Licensed Private Hire Car Association challenged TfL’s operator fees structure introduced in October 2017, following an 8-week consultation. This meant that London Operators would see massive fee increases and Operators with over 11 vehicles were facing increased costs between £3,174 and £2,897,174 for a 5-year licence, which had previously cost just £2,826.

The purpose of this first hearing was to challenge TfL’s Operator fees increases, in the hope to seek a judicial review, which is a court proceeding in which a judge reviews the lawfulness of a decision or action made by a public body.

The session lasted all day, so judgment was handed down at 10:00 on Wednesday 7th February.  Mr Justice Dingemans stated orally that he granted permission to the LPHCA to apply for judicial review on the grounds of ‘improper purpose’ and ‘sufficiency of information relating to the consultation’.

The ‘improper purpose’ ground was TfL using operator fees for other areas of licensing not associated with operator licensing & compliance and the ‘sufficiency of information relating to the consultation’ ground was the fact that we stated to TfL that we needed figures from them to understand the rationality of the fee increases, which were not provided, so consultees could not make a rational decision.

The LPHCA team are very pleased that there were grounds for a judicial review hearing to be undertaken as TfL’s own figures obtained via a freedom of information act request, showed operators were going out of business since the introduction of new fees, something TfL had accepted would happen.

The LPHCA’s application for ‘interim relief’ to try and stop the fee increases immediately was not granted, although the Judge accepted that there was a matter of urgency for early Judicial Review.  The hearing was therefore scheduled for Wednesday 25th April 2018 in the High Court., which was readily agreed to by the LPHCA and TfL.

The LPHCA started a campaign and set up a fighting fund to help towards running the legal challenge, there has been a great deal of hard work to get us to this point, although there is still an incredible amount of work to follow.
Our fighting fund appeal reached the ‘phase one’ target of £100,000 as it rose to cover the £115,000 approximate spend / costs so far. Over 50 generous LPHCA Members, Operators and Industry Suppliers kindly donated to help us challenge these fees and once again the fundraising process continues as our legal costs are about to dramatically increase.

The target for ‘phase two’ of the fighting fund sits at £150,000 and the LPHCA are imploring anyone within the industry who can donate to the cause, to do so now, which can be done via the LPHCA website.

The LPHCA have also launched an Emergency Meeting, which is free-to-attend for Private Hire Operators and Industry Suppliers. An update on the fighting fund, alongside a host of other important industry topics, will be discussed and if you wish to attend the meeting, pre-registration is required which can be done by clicking here.

[End of update - current campaign information below]

LPHCA Fighting Fund

The Licensed Private Hire Car Association (LPHCA) are a Trade Association that represents Licensed Private Hire Operators and have set up a ‘Fighting Fund’ to raise money towards vital political & legal work, alongside various other work for the campaigns we are undertaking.

We are calling on the entire Private Hire Industry to unite against measures that could wipe out many, many Operators, leaving the futures of many drivers, industry suppliers and others connected to the industry in jeopardy too.

The fighting fund is currently geared around the extortionate Operator fees structure implemented by TfL TPH. We feel these fees must reflect the cost of licensing Operators and the cost should be appropriate to the license issuing costs, therefore we believe the new operator fees structure exposes an illogical range of increases and decreases (shown in the table below).

We believe the new fee structure for Private Hire Operator licensing introduced by TfL is unreasonable, unnecessary and unfair, as having just one extra vehicle make fees go from £30,000 to £150,000.

We have launched the fighting fund and will be asking every one of London’s thousands of Operators to contribute towards the Judicial Review as we believe that this is a 'David verses Goliath' battle that must be won.

Campaign Video

Fighting Fund - How to Donate / Help

So far, we have received donations from Operators and Suppliers in the Private Hire Industry and we are seeking further donations from anyone that would like to support us. We would like to thank those that are able to make donations as your contributions will significantly help us.

There are several ways you can pledge your support, please see below:

  1. Support us by becoming an LPHCA Member (Licensed Private Hire Operators only)

  2. Click here to donate to the fighting fund now

  3. Click here if you’d like to drop us an e-mail

  4. To chat to one of our team on the phone, please call the office on 01442 833464

Fighting Fund - Current Donations

A massive thank you to everyone who has donated to the fighting fund so far, a list of the company names can be seen below:

* These companies have kindly made multiple donations