Private hire taxi drivers briefly distracted audience members at Mayor’s Question Time when they staged a silent protest at City Hall yesterday.
The drivers, who are part of the United Private Hire Drivers (UPHD) association, were protesting against Transport for London’s private hire vehicles regulation proposals that call for mandatory English language tests.
The GCSE level tests will be applied retrospectively to all private hire drivers, both independent and working with larger operators.
Driver Crystal Yasir from Norwood Junction said: “There are great difficulties surrounding these proposals and we all stand to suffer.
“We are here because something must be done.”
Protest organiser and UPHD co-founder Yaseen Aslam said: “TfL’s own analysis shows the test is of no interest or benefit to transport users yet piles cost and misery onto drivers.
“The decision to retrospectively apply the test is especially cruel as drivers may face years of worry and eventual unemployment.”
A London Assembly spokesperson said: “The chairman of the assembly thanks the protesters for maintaining a peaceful protest in the chambers throughout.”
The group also staged protests outside software company and major Uber supporter, Salesforce.
In a statement on their website TfL said: “These changes were introduced to raise standards in London’s private hire industry, and improve the safety, customer service experience and convenience of customers and drivers.”