Monday, May 30, 2016

Addison Lee, Arrive In Greater Manchester.

Addison Lee arrives in Manchester. 

London PH Giant Addison Lee arrives in Manchester, EXCEPT, they missed it on their Sat Nav and instead set up in a nearby Town, usually the case with PH drivers, but not the Companies. 

Addison Lee are however owned by U.S. Equity group Carlyle and it must be remembered that Mark Twain (another Yank) once said of Manchester.

“I would like to live in Manchester, England. The transition between Manchester and death would be unnoticeable.”

However , for whatever reason, locating near Manchester but licensing with a more efficient authority is no doubt a wise one.

Lets hope they can give UBERK a run for their money. It is not a coincidence that UBERK have an 'Office' in Stockport as well.

Read more: >mcrblackcab.proboards<

TfL Caught Bang To Rights Issuing PH licence Without CRB Check.

This tweet appeared on Twitter yesterday afternoon.

It followed this alleged TfL document which was posted earlier in the day.

We have been told repeatedly by TfL that Private Hire drivers go through the exact same process as Licensed Taxi Drivers when applying for or renewing their licenses. 

Last April we were warned in the media 
'Criminal record checks BANNED on foreign murderers and rapists who want to be minicab drivers if they have applied for asylum or refugees status'

TfL brushed these claims under the carpet and  repeatedly stated on Twitter, Private Hire Licenses are not issued, unless the driver has first completed an enhanced DBS check. 

At other times, we were told 'people that have lived in a foreign country and haven't lived here long enough, could be licensed subject to a letter of good conduct from the last country they lived in'. 

Well it seems they lied.....again!
Lies such as;
• They have switch on, switch off insurance.
• They complied with all the regulations when they first applied for their licence.
• They definitely have a land line for bookings

And now this;
Many Licensed Taxi drivers have been put out of work, some for many months, after Peter Hendy decided to scrap the temporary licence system that had been in use, with absolutely no trouble for decades. He said he could trust Taxi drivers to receive renewals just incase they had committed serious offences while waiting for their new licence to be processed. 

Now we find out that TfL have allegedly been issuing new and renewals to Private Hire drivers, without first receiving back DBS criminal record checks....One rule for us, and yet a completely deferent rule for PH.

A driver asked the question on Twitter, why are the orgs not all over this

He was told by a certain political lobbyist, that they had been silenced by TfL's gagging policy. 

At this, the same tired trolls rolled out to defend the engagement policy, but were told 'call it what you like, but the engagement policy clearly prohibits criticism of TfL'.

We have been informed the Mayor will be looking into this issue. 

This situation is unacceptable. TfL can no longer be trusted.


Saturday, May 28, 2016

New PH Feeder Park At Heathrow : A letter to the editor, from Tom Scullion

HAL / BAA have fast tracked a feeder park to a company who do not comply with tfl's rules or regulations a company who have been exposed and expelled all around the World for non compliance with the regulations of the particular City, County or Country.

How will HAL implement this mini cab feeder park? 

Are the car park charges be in line with the Taxi feeder park ?

 I am also interested on the Civil aviation authority's views on allowing cars to operate at airports in the UK ? I am pretty sure it breaks their own rules.

According to a leading insurance brokerage company there are 183,000 PHV drivers in the UK who do not have the correct insurance are BAA going to allow PHV drivers a permit or RFID readers without checking that they are correctly insured to pick up HAL's passengers ?

This back door deal with Uber seems to me, to be rushed through without consultation with the taxi trade and all of the other stakeholders including the trusting passengers who use and work at Heathrow airport.

The minimum requirement for registration must be a full audit including identity checks with finger prints, CRB checks, fleet management controls for MOT,  vehicle maintenance records and Full hire and reward insurance displayed in the vehicle at all times.

Tfl and the Police should have inspectors working with HAL to have daily vehicle inspections to make sure the vehicle are road worthy and are interrogated  with ANPR systems on every terminal 24/7 including searches for rape kits.

Is it true that HAL signed off the uber mini cab feeder over three months ago without any dialogue with the Taxi trade and other stakeholders like the trusting public it would be interesting to review HAL's  detailed data on this invisible review.

Will other PHV companies like Addison Lee be allowed to use this VIP car park? 

If not why not?

All seems dark to me.....

The only trade organisation to pick up the baton is The UCG well done Guys.

I feel really sorry for the local residents around the Heathrow area who have been subjected to the plague of filthy  drivers and I agree something has to be done, but HAL's decision to reward bad behavior and to cosy  up to a company who has no control or responsibility for their drivers is outrageous, imagine the costs of refurbishing our old feeder park then hand it over to a PHV company who do not have the ability to pre booked a job, which is against tfl's rules is nonsensical.

Is HAL's secret agenda to allow uninsured unchecked private hire drivers to force the London Taxi trade out of the airport ?  

Recent reports claim there are only four Police enforcement officers at Heathrow and by contrast Gatwick have over 90 if HAL want a third runway they need to step up big time, here is another example of lawlessness the Hilton on T4 has an illegal Uber rank plying for hire, it's all got out of control.

Not a word from TfL's new enforcement officers who stand around Edgware Road traffic lights shooting the breeze what's that all about ?

When are they going to be employed at Heathrow airport?

The whole issue of E plying for hire must be addressed by  the government, MP's and the courts in great detail as this current Wild West do as you like minicabs free for all has to stop.

Be lucky 

Tom Scullion.


There is a UCG demo on 8th June, between 2pm and 4pm, Victoria Street and Windsor House.
It is a protest to highlight the corrupt state of Transport for London to a wider audience; with a call for Leon Daniels to go.

It is not aimed at the new Mayor. How could it be? His seat is not yet warm.

I am not a UCG member.
I understand the insignificance of replacing one corrupt official with another.
But the public, whose support we want, need to be informed of our struggle.
The whole of TfL needs to be reviewed.
London needs a Public Enquiry, looking into TfL's unhealthy relationship with rich disruptive organisations, from management level up to Johnson, Osborne and Cameron.

My union, the RMT do not support the demo. They also believe that Daniels will not be sacked, but promoted; re Hendy.

I personally do not care if Daniels is beatified.
This is not a tit for tat vendetta against Daniels. It is a public statement that we believe Leon Daniels is not fit to serve in his existing position.

Officially the RMT feels it deflects from real issues. But I believe this is an issue that needs public airing.

The LTDA do everything to undermine the UCG and any other trade organisation.
They did the same last time out, with an 'all fur coat and no knickers' lobby come photo opportunity at Parliament, the day before a demo.

The LTDA and TfL are too cosy. So cosy in fact it is hard to discern one from the other.

The LTDA boast about their relationship with MPs and officials. Look where that got us.
We are in this state because of the LTDA's cosy, ineffectual relationship with MPs and officials.
The LTDA are poodles.

Unite are more like a political party than a union. I am still waiting for that grand conjuring trick they and Tom Watson promised us, a year ago.
Luckily I did not hold my breath.

This lack of urgency, and my feeling that the Taxi Branch seemed to be of no real consequence to the largest union in the land, were my main reasons for leaving.

The LCDC are more a taxi newspaper than a taxi movement.

They released embarrassing emails between Daniels and Jo Bertrum, showing collusion between TfLTPH and Uber. But the readership of The Badge are only cab drivers.
It is the public who need to be informed.

The LCDC supply the bullets for others to fire, but are nowhere to be seen, for fear of upsetting the new Mayor or anyone else they might photobomb to raise their profile.

A refusal to 'out' Daniels in public, by Orgs who refused to sit at the same table as him, smacks of grandstanding.

This demo will not inconvenience the public too much. It is occurring during a convenient time the Metropolitan Police agreed was not overly disruptive.

TfL hierarchy must be rolling in the aisles watching this division.

Whenever we need to show unity, an enemy within throws a spanner.
If we die, it will be due to Machiavellian ambition and driver apathy.

I for one will be on that demo calling for Daniels's head. And why not? He conspired to take ours.

I will also be calling for a public enquiry, and highlighting how the rape and sexual assault of vulnerable Londoners, by TfL Licensed Private Hire drivers, has gone through the roof, on Daniels's watch.

So if you need an excuse not to attend, you can always use that old chestnut "My Org told me not to.", that is your perogative, your conscience.

If you work during the demo, any Taxi demo, then you are crossing a picket line. And you know what that makes you.

by Lenny Etheridge


Friday, May 27, 2016

I owe my soul to the company I'm Spartacus

So goes the old song, the Paul Robeson version being the finest and most moving.

So vehicle manufacturers are teaming up with PH and Taxi apps.
all talking about driverless cars so let's deal with that first then last.

Will there be a robot to load wheelchairs, luggage or deal with those who's language skills aren't great or not exactly sure of their destination?

We can imagine what will happen to those who have had one or twenty too many Cream Sodas and who might leave a parting gift for the next punter.

Back to the present, let's see all this for what it is, nothing more than a set of finance deals to tie in drivers to a app and a manufacturer over the longest possible time, they might as well install handcuffs to fit the steering wheel and a Benzedrine drip!

Some are already offering 'Payday' loan style arrangements so the suckers who work for those outfits are effectively driving today for yesterday's money, so we have now got financial manacles on the pedals as well.

This isn't the future it's slavery and that's nothing new.

Back to driverless cars, why bother at all? 

Those beloved tax avoiding multinationals can get mugs to drive for less than the minimum wage subsidised by another set of mugs called the taxpayer who fund the tax credit and housing benefit system.

I could write to my MP but their very busy filling in expense claims for 40p, I could call Uber and complain but the landline isn't there. I could email Leon Daniels but he's busy corresponding with Jo.

AlI I do know is ' St Peter don't you call me cos' I can't go, I owe my soul to the company store'.

I'm Spartacus.

P.S 'The EU protects worker rights' .... really????

Uber Do Not Actually Accept Bookings, But The Drivers Do... An Open Letter To Chief Licensing Officer (Head of Licensing) Sheffield From Lee Ward.


To Stephen Lonnia, Chief Licensing Officer (Head of Licensing) Sheffield

I bring to your attention several drivers that had their badges revoked and are currently going through the court process of illegally plying for hire, and no doubt afterwards for then driving without insurance. 

I am sure that you are aware that these drivers had their licenses revoked and or suspended with immediate effect due to them being classed as a danger to the public by the Sheffield Licensing Committee and therefore the licenses were revoked/suspended under section 61(2)(a) of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976

I am now going to ask why, if this is the case of the drivers, have Uber not also been dealt with in the same manner for the exact same reasons?

Uber are a peer to peer company (P2P), they openly admit that they are not a transport provider. Section 3 of the Users Terms and Conditions states;

Uber UK accepts PHV Bookings acting as disclosed agent for the Transportation Provider (as principal). Such acceptance by Uber UK as agent for the Transportation Provider gives rise to a contract for the provision to you of transportation services between you and the Transportation Provider (the "Transportation Contract"). For the avoidance of doubt: Uber UK does not itself provide transportation services, and is not a Transportation Provider. Uber UK acts as intermediary between you and the Transportation Provider. You acknowledge and agree that the provision to you of transportation services by the Transportation Provider is pursuant to the Transportation Contract and that Uber UK accepts your booking as agent for the Transportation Provider, but is not a party to that contract.

For the sake of clarity, your PHV Booking will be accepted and allocated to a Transportation Provider by Uber UK as holder of the relevant operator's licence. You should be aware that the Transportation Provider to which your PHV Booking is allocated and who provides the Transportation Services may be licensed in an area other than where the booking is requested or the Transportation Services are provided.

And as I am sure you are aware that the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976 Section 56(1) states that;

For the purposes of this Part of this Act every contract for the hire of a private hire vehicle licensed under this Part of this Act shall be deemed to be made with the operator who accepted the booking for that vehicle whether or not he himself provided that vehicle.

After reading the summary of Judge Sean F Dunphy in the Ontario Court of State Justice in 2015 which can be located here

It was very clear that a P2P service such as Uber do not actually accept the booking, but the driver does. This has been proven quite easily by myself and a friend who is an Uber driver. We drove to the outskirts of Sheffield to ensure that no other Uber driver was close by and I requested a trip from the Uber App, which I could not make because no Uber cars were available and therefore Uber could not and did not accept my booking. 

I then asked my friend to log into his Uber drivers App and make himself available for work, which he did. Sure enough I could now link myself to a driver on the Uber circuit, so I therefore requested a journey, but, I asked my friend to not accept the booking. Because he did not accept the booking the Uber App then told me to try again later, which is quite obvious that the booking was never accepted in the first place by Uber even though a driver and vehicle was in the area. 

Again, this simply proves that what Judge Dunphy identified that it is the driver who accepts the booking and not Uber or any of its servers, companies registered under its umbrella or an employee of Uber that accepts the booking as an operator of private hire vehicles is by law required to do. The driver quite clearly accepts the booking and Uber then link the P2P request of the customer with the driver. Even if the driver accepts the booking and then chooses to decline the booking, the customer is  then still without a booking being accepted because they have to try and get another driver to accept the booking by repeating the process.

This then means that every driver who accepts a booking by a user of the Uber App is actually plying for hire and as such is doing nothing legally different than the drivers who had their licenses suspended/revoked back in late 2015. 

This then therefore leads me to request that Sheffield City Council revoke the Private Hire Operators license issued to Uber on the grounds that every journey that the public think is fully legal and therefore insured is in fact no different than plying for hire which will as you are aware, cancel the Private Hire insurance of the driver who collects them and takes them to the destination unknowingly breaking the law.

Another scenario that would support this action is that if a friend of mine has an operators license and puts his phone on divert to my mobile so that I can take calls and then cover the work I would also, as a driver, be accepting the work and not him himself who is a licensed operator.

I must advise you and the Sheffield City Council that ALPHA see this matter of such a high importance to the safety of the public travelling in Sheffield that if no action is taken by yourselves by the close of business on Friday the 28th of May 2016 then we will have no option other than to take this information both locally and nationally to the the media and other bodies that will find this information relevant.

Please respond to this email as soon as possible and not like previous emails that I have sent to yourself. 


Lee Ward

ALPHA Chairman