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Minicab drivers to sue Sadiq Khan over new London congestion charge


London Mayor Sadiq Khan.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan.

A UNION is considering legal action against London mayor Sadiq Khan after he proposed new rules that would require minicab and Uber drivers to pay the city’s congestion charge.

The Independent Workers Union of Great Britain (IWGB) believes that the new rule discriminates against and breaches the human rights of ethnic minority drivers.
Private hire vehicle drivers are currently exempt from paying the congestion charge while travelling in central London. 
 
However, under new rules, they will have to pay a charge of £11.50 daily.
Black cab drivers, however, are exempt from paying the charge.
“The IWGB today issued a pre-action letter giving the Mayor until 6 March to reverse the policy before the union launches a judicial review in the High Court,” a spokesperson for the union said.
“The introduction of the £11.50 congestion charge on minicab drivers is a case of indirect discrimination under the Equality Act.
“The charge is being imposed on a workforce that is mainly BAME… while black cab drivers, who are mostly white, continue to be exempt.”
According to Transport for London, about 94 per cent of London’s minicab drivers are from ethnic minority backgrounds.
A spokeswoman for the mayor said: “The number of private hire vehicles entering the congestion charge zone has shot up from 4,000 a day in 2003 to more than 18,000 now.
“Sadiq simply isn’t prepared to ignore the damaging impact this has on congestion and increasing air pollution. Congestion has a crippling impact on businesses across the capital. 

“At the same time, our toxic air in London is a major public health crisis that is stunting the lung development of our children, leading to thousands of premature deaths, and increases the risk of asthma and dementia.”