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Court finds in favour of Khan minicab charge.

Byline: ALEXANDRA ROGERS @city_amrogers

SADIQ Khan's decision to impose a congestion charge on private hire vehicles (PHVs) was lawful and appropriate, the High Court ruled yesterday. The Independent Workers' Union of Great Britain (IWGB) challenged the London mayor's decision to lift the exemption on the congestion charge for PHVs, arguing that the policy disproportionately affects female and black and ethnic minority drivers.

The congestion charge exemption remains in place for black taxis.

In his judgment, Mr Justice Lewis ruled Khan's decision to lift the exemption from the congestion charge for minicabs was "an appropriate and suitable method of reducing the number of vehicles in the congestion charge zone".

"The aim that the defendant sought to pursue, namely achieving a reduction in the number of private hire vehicles in the congestion charge zone, is a legitimate one adopted as a measure of economic, social and environmental policy," he added.

"There are no other less-intrusive measures which could realistically achieve the same aim."

The union said it would appeal against the ruling.

Yaseen Aslam of the IWGB said: "Large ride-share firms will pick up a strategic advantage while precarious workers are saddled with the environmental costs which should rightly be borne by corporations and their consumers."

A mayoral spokesperson said: "We are pleased with the judge's decision.

"Removing the congestion charge exemption for private hire vehicles, apart from those that are wheelchairaccessible, is an important part of our plans both to reduce traffic volumes and congestion in London, with the additional benefits of reduced air pollution."

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Publication:City AM (London, England)
Date:Jul 25, 2019
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