Tower Hamlets July 20 Composite 600

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Court of Appeal hears challenge to introduction of congestion charge for minicab drivers

The Court of Appeal will this week hear an appeal by the Independent Workers Union of Great Britain (IWGB) over Mayor of London Sadiq Khan’s decision to introduce a congestion charge on minicab drivers.

Ahead of the hearing on 30 June and 1 July, the IWGB said it would argue that the decision to introduce the charge for minicab drivers, while black cab drivers continue to be exempt, constitutes a case of indirect discrimination under the Equality Act.

It added that 94% of minicab drivers are from Black and Ethnic Minority (BAME) backgrounds, while 88% of black cab drivers are white.

The union will also argue that the charge discriminates against women, who are more likely to work part time, and disabled or elderly passengers, “who have fewer transport options as a result of the charge”.

The case is being heard by Chancellor of the High Court Lord Justice Vos, Lord Justice Singh and Lady Justice Simler.

In July 2019 the High Court concluded that the congestion charge on minicabs was a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim.

IWGB General Secretary Jason Moyer-Lee says: "Faced with the greatest economic crisis in 300 years, it is now more important than ever that London's low paid minicab drivers don't face a discriminatory tax on the poor. It is a shame that the Mayor has forced drivers to litigate in order to protect their livelihoods."

The IWGB’s legal team includes Ben Collins QC, Nadia Motraghi and Tara O'Halloran of Old Square Chambers, and TMP Solicitors founding partner Jacqueline McGuigan.

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