Taxis drive slower to rack up fares

A transport minister sparked a storm among black cab drivers today by suggesting some trundle along slowly to rack up fares.

Cycling minister Norman Baker‘s quip was met with anger at the taxi rank. Cab meters add a charge based on time when the speed falls below 10.4mph.

Appearing at the Commons transport committee, the Liberal Democrat was highlighting how his department was seeking to axe unnecessary and ancient legislation.

He told MPs: “I think there is an offence of furious driving which only applies to taxi drivers because they used to be Hackney Carriage drivers, from about 1847.

“I must admit I have not seen any taxi drivers driving furiously; they drive rather slowly in my experience, to keep the clock ticking over.” He later told the Standard: “It was a light-hearted comment which I think some people will see a grain of truth in.”

He also stressed many cabbies would struggle to go faster because of congestion.
But Steve McNamara, spokesman for the Licensed Taxi Drivers’ Association, which represents 10,000 drivers, said: “Sometimes they say it’s best to keep your mouth shut in case people think you are stupid rather than open it and confirm their belief. It’s not just scandalous, it’s slanderous.

“I might only be a taxi driver but I’d be embarrassed to have to tell people, ‘I’m the minister for cycling.’ He will be riding everywhere in future because no cab driver will pick him up.”

He insisted drivers made their best money by distance travelled rather than by time

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4 thoughts on “Taxis drive slower to rack up fares

  1. Has no one pointed out to this idiot that we earn more money when the meter runs on mileage rather than on what is effectively waiting time if we drive slowly. Just shows the ill researched comments that some of these jumped up MPs offer!

  2. Yet another politician who don’t know his arse from his elbow.
    Why would we want to go slower,we can’t go any faster because of all the roadworks in London causing massive congestion.
    London is a car park at the moment and you can park mr bakers comment along side the councilors comment from Camden last month in the I haven’t got a clue what I’m saying!

  3. The timed part of our meter is losing us jobs . It makes the fares well over the top . Make it come on only after waiting for 5 mins or more . Only way to save our trade

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