BBC London reports:

Hundreds of black cabs in London are to undergo safety checks over fears they may burst into flames.

About 500 vehicles have been recalled after seven engine fires were reported in London in the past three months.

[A TfL] spokeswoman said TfL had written to all affected taxi owners and advised them their vehicle must pass the inspection by the deadline or have their licence suspended.

"The safety of London’s black cab drivers and their passengers is our top priority," she said.

So where does this leave Boris’s pledge to cut down the ‘red tape’ of black cab safety inspections?

London’s mayor has been accused by opposition politicians of putting the safety of black cab passengers at risk.

Boris Johnson has announced plans to reduce taxi inspections from twice to once a year.

The new Conservative mayor said he would cut red tape and make the lives of cab drivers easier.

That article was written a couple of weeks after he won the election in May. If TfL’s ‘top priority’ is now being publicly proclaimed as the safety of black cabs, it’s pretty hard to see him pushing through a change which – regardless of any perceived red tape-cutting potential – clearly works against maintaining the highest possible safety standards.

Mind you, we all know how seriously Boris takes ‘top priorities’, don’t we?

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