The Truth Is Out There


The London Cab Drivers Club (LCDC) are mounting a strong  campaign to stop the further licensing of all Mercedes Vianio and Vitos from being used by the private hire sector. We believe that with the current legislation in place ( see below ) Our main concerns regarding their licensing, is the safety to the unsuspecting travelling public, bearing in mind a large amount of taxi users in London come here as tourists, and may not be able to differentiate between the two types of vehicles and may fall  into the hands of a unlicensed tout.

Chapter 34 of the 1998 Private Hire Vehicles (London) Act) clearly states:

 (A) that the vehicle


 We at the LCDC have now acquired the figures from L.T.&P.H and we believe that they fully endorse the Clubs view. The figures now show that the Mercedes Vito Taxi is now seen more by the public as a taxi than a Private Hire Vehicle and within  a year or so,  we feel it would have out licensed the P.H Vinao.

But the most curious thing about these figures are that they show there are no Fiat Sucdos licensed as a Private Hire Vehicle?. Well either they misunderstood the Freedom of information (FOI) request,  or is someone within the licensing authority trying to mislead us? If it is the latter, then they (TFL) are making a big mistake because we have all seen them driving about in town as a (PHV), maybe we will have to submit a new (FOI) request to see what they come back with.

The number of Scudos, Vianos and Vitos licensed over the last three years is:

  2008/09 2009/10 2010 – 23 August 2010
PHVs Mercedes Vianos 749 912 475
PHVs Mercedes Vitos 218 314 112
PHVs Fiat Scudos – 6 seater 0 0 0
Taxis Mercedes Vitos 231 671 338

 The Fiat Scudo TW200 used by Airport Direct.

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12 thoughts on “The Truth Is Out There

  1. While I agree with the principle of your argument, I believe it will fail. You are effectively taking on Mercedes here, along with any company that produces adapted versions of these vehicles for private hire use. While it only applies to a small number of vehicles, there is a principle at stake and also many local authorities still use London’s criteria.

    The PCO will be too afraid of a “restraint of trade” action, that they’d probably lose, to back this proposal.

    The solution lies elsewhere and that is in licensing only black coloured vehicles as taxis on their first plating and thereafter. If this were implemented and a year’s notice given of the intention, there would be little need for retrospective action. Perhaps a moratorium of 8 years to follow before every taxi has to be black. This would mean that only cabs older than 9 years would require a respray. However, before the time limit expired, most owners would already have sprayed their cabs voluntarily as customers would have already ceased to recognise them as cabs.

    The same criteria should then be applied to private hire vehicles, perhaps white. Not only would this prevent a PH operator deliberately choosing vehicles and colour to look similar to a taxi, Addison Lee for example, this would also obviate the need for any outward signage on a PH veicle other than a licence. Additionally, it would make it very easy for the PCO to embark on a public awareness campaign to let people know that if the vehicle is black or white if pre-booked, they are safe. If it is any other colour than black when hailed on the street, they are not safe.

  2. We have been lied to by TFL who said in 2008 that no knew licenses would be issued for PHV vitos
    Now we find 644 in 2 1/2 years have been given PHV roundals.
    Mason says he knew nothing about the taxi rank suspension on Monday night and Gillis says Mason has the last word with rank Suspensions
    We now can’t trust a word they say!

    • r.vygus could please supply evidence when TFL made this stamement as this is the first we have heard of this.

      As for your comments about Mr Mason after the fiasco at the Dorcheher Hotel.Mr Mason has now decided that he will have the final say on suspension of all taxi ranks in future. This was not the case with last Monday nights suspension.

      • Can you supply evidence that Mason never knew about the suspension on Monday as he has a history if not tell the complete truth?

        Also why has he deleted his account on the LTDF forum, could he no longer pull the wool over drivers eyes?

        Has he asked his PA to keep an eye on the forum ?

        You suddenly seemed to be able to answer for Mason, so how about answering these.

  3. I agree with the clubs views 100%. I have a vito taxi and the punters love it, and so do i, not mega dead time at garages etc.
    But we have seen from outside every hotel the \PH have these vitos and the viannos and the public are prepared to pay a premium to use these vehicles.
    we are the worlds best taxi drivers and if we had exclusive use of the mercedes, then we could ( I believe ) have a very bright future.

    • The group of Vito taxi drivers working Chelsea harbour, paying £15 bungs to porters for airports are worse than scabs

      They are stealing work from their own

      • And your points is…….?????
        what… owners of LTI vehicles have been ” at it ” for the 27 years I have driven my taxi at all the hotels.
        You sound like a idiot mate, does your mum know you are on her computer?

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