Friday, April 28, 2017

GMB Announce Uber To Get A One Year Licence Renewal And Good Law Project Ready To Issue Proceedings


At 5:41am this morning 28April 2017, the Branch Secretary of the GMB Union made this statement about the relicensing issue concerning instant the hail app company Uber:

He was then asked by a respect trade voice if this was a fact, or just a prediction, to which he made this further reply. 

Although Steve has said that Uber will be granted a one year operators licence, this has nothing to do with the scandalous controversy, which alleges members of a previous government administration and their friends and colleagues, were implicated in putting pressure on the former Mayor of London Boris Johnson, to go easy on Uber. 

The one year operators licence is actually a stop gap measure by TfL while the consultation for a massive increase in licence fees take its course. 

If the consultation goes TfL's way, which consultations seem to have a habit of doing, then it could get very expensive to be a PHV operator in London. The largest companies (Uber included in this bracket) will have to find £1.6m plus £68 per mobile vehicle. 

But all this to one side, according to the GMB branch secretary, Uber's relicensing is already a done deal.

Funny how our trade has to turn to a minicab Union to get this type of information !

Other news released today:
The Good Law Project has today stated that their Uber claim has been drafted and is ready to go. 
The say they are currently taking advice from a specialist costs QC and will issue proceedings shortly. 

As McDonald's Make Uber Announcement : Taxi Drivers And Their Families Announce Boycott Of McDonalds.

TfL CO's standard fare, big Mc and fries can now be delivered to a rank while badge and billing Taxi drivers. It's not like they need the exercise!

London's Taxi drivers (and their extended families) have just vowed never to walk through the Golden Arches again, after McDonalds announce they are to partner with Uber to have their food delivered. 

The fast-food chain is currently riding a wave of success founded on several prosperous initiatives, including all-day breakfast, aggressive soft-drink promotions, and a makeover of the Big Mac.

This killer combination (possible killed more Americans than bullets) has led to exceptionally strong first-quarter sales, shooting the stock up to an all-time high. 

But in London, they will soon see a loss of well over 100,000 customers as cabbies boycott the store after the announcement.

The move was reported yesterday by Crain's Chicago Business, which broke the story on its website:

McDonald's plans to expand its relationship with Uber Technologies as it seeks to offer delivery of its food to customers in more U.S. cities.

The Oak Brook-based burger chain, which has been testing delivery through the UberEats mobile app in about 200 restaurants in Florida since December, said today it will launch delivery in several cities by the end of June.

"We're encouraged about the start we've had," CEO Steve Easterbrook said on a conference call with analysts and investors. "We are not in test mode, we are expanding."

I know what you're thinking:

Who in the world wants McDonald's fast food delivered? It's not even that great when it's fresh.

And it's not just in London.....
Taxi social media pages from around the world are announcing similar bans.

At present, just go to any a Taxi rank in London and you will find many drivers with McD coffee cups in their drinks holders. Taxi cabs can be seen constantly day and night in the queues at drive throughs. 

Last night, I spoke to drivers on ranks and in a main Taxi restaurant and the drivers appear to be wholly united in their ban on big Mcs, coffees and soft drinks. 

One driver remarked:
"We announced a boycott of Mansies Pie and Mash Shops and next day they announced they would drop the Ubereats contract and the same with the Bagel shop in Brick a Lane"

He went on to say:
"Our families health can only improve by a Maccy D's ban. Now you don't even have to ge up off the sofa and make an effort to get there, they'll come to you (probably stone cold). You ever tried their fries cold ?"

Set to profit from this major commercial mistake will be the company who has shown more support to the London Taxi trade than any other, Pret A Manger. Twice a year they give free coffees out to cab drivers who only have to show their badge to get the free refreshment (which is also the best coffee on the market). 

So the London Taxi trade, and going by social media many Taxi trades around the world say fair well to the ginger headed clown, as another American firm joins the circus of fools.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Counter Terrorism operation in Willesden - Four arrested and woman shot

During an ongoing counter terrorism investigation this evening, Thursday, 27 April, armed officers entered an address in Harlesden Road, NW10, shortly before 1900hrs.

During the operation, a female, who is one of the subjects of the investigation, was shot by police. The woman, aged in her twenties, has been taken to hospital by London Ambulance Service. 

Due to her condition, she has not been arrested at this time and remains under police guard at hospital. We await an update on her condition.

Four people have now been arrested. The first, a 20-year-old man was arrested near to the address. A male aged 16 and woman aged 20 were arrested at the address. 

A 43-year-old woman was arrested in Kent a short while later.

All four have been arrested on suspicion of the commission, preparation and instigation of terrorist acts under section 41 of the terrorism act 2000.

They are currently in custody at a south London Police station. 

The address and persons connected with it had been under observation by counter terrorism officers as part of an ongoing intelligence led operation.

This incident is not connected to the arrest in Whitehall earlier today. 

In line with established post incident procedures, the incident has been referred to the Met’s Directorate of Professional Standards. 

This matter has also been referred to the Independent Police Complaints Commission as a matter of course.
There are no other reported injuries. Enquiries continue. 

Searches at the address are ongoing, as well as further searches at linked addresses across London.

Romania: Hundreds Of Taxis And Buses Protest Against Uber.

BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) - Hundreds of taxi and bus drivers protested outside Romania's government offices on Wednesday to demand that Uber and other online ride service be outlawed.

Drivers parked some 200 taxis and buses outside the office buildings in the capital, disrupting transport in the already crowded city, and blew vuvuzela horns.

The protest, which had been planned to last all day, ended early after the government agreed to pass an ordinance within days better regulating taxi services.

Minister for Public Consultation and Social Dialogue Gabriel Petrea met with some of the protesters and the two sides signed a protocol where the government pledged to pass the ordinance within 30 days.

There were no details immediately available how Uber would be affected.

The Confederation of Licensed Transport Operators says it wants "online technology platforms that provide unauthorized taxi services to be outlawed," to protect licensed carriers.

Uber says it is a ride-sharing service with transparent costs and its drivers pay taxes. It says some 250,000 clients have used its services in the Romanian capital and other major cities in the past two years.

Taxi drivers blow into vuvuzelas during a protest outside the government headquarters in Bucharest, Romania, Wednesday, April 26, 2017. Some 200 taxis and buses have parked outside the government offices in Romania's capital, Bucharest, demanding that Uber and other online taxi services be outlawed in the country. 

Source : Daily Mail 

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Whats On The Horizon : A New Greener Horizon, Or Project Horizon By Jim Thomas.

   After six demos and two all party engagements, the signs are still going up

I remember, many years ago, the Metirpolitan Public Carriage Office, writing to every licensed Taxi driver saying "their must be no, 'no go areas' in London for Taxis". 
"You will be expected to go to any destination anywhere within a six mile radius or within one hour in duration and their must be no exceptions". 

Now we have a Mayor, in charge of a Transport body (TfL), bent on the destruction of our 360 year old trade by creating 'no go areas' for London Taxis.

We've had 8 years of protest, demonstration, consultation after consultation, engagement and negotiation. Apart from the killer on the knowledge protests, which saw top TfL directors moved sideways, we've had little or no success. 

Now, after six demonstrations and two bouts of negotiations, we are about to lose access through the Bank Junction, financed by TfL to speed up bus times. 
This is about to be followed by a complete ban from Tottenham Court Road, then Oxford Street and possibly Baker Street.

But caught up in the middle of this attack on our trade, are the unfortunates, and they are the disabled and less mobile members of the public. Mayor Khan is about to steal the freedom of the disabled, to shop wherever they like, in order to give way and make more room for the able bodied shoppers who he hopes will travel forwards and backwards on the Tubes new Elizabeth line. 

The most scandalous aspect of these plans being, there are two wheelchair users on the board of TfL who have said nothing in defence of the disabled's right of access and to shop on Oxford Street.

There is as always a hidden agenda and Khan obviously feels he can supply many extra passengers to the new line by making it as difficult as possible for taxis to get to popular destinations around central London. 

Taxi Leaks spoke of Project Horizon several years ago and TfL flatly denied it ever existed.

We predicted back then, that under this agenda, there would be Taxi no go areas, followed by Private Hire rest ranks where drivers could wait to be hired and PH WAVs rank spaces at mainline stations. 

Remember the Gold, Silver and Bronze PH ranking system? It's still there in the background as TfL never fully scrap an idea, they just shelve it till the time is right. 

With Country Boy Rett Russell in charge of London's Ambulance service, it's only a matter of time before we see NHS Uber ranks at hospitals around Greater going on TfL's present form, outside Greater London too. 

As Harry Wall said, "History is there to learn from".
Seems our trade has learned nothing

After years of negativity and deterioration, fighting the unfair and elitist United Trade Group, did we not all cheer when Val Shawcross announced the UTG would be scrapped and the gagging order known as the engagement policy would be assigned to the shredder. 

So what is plan B.
It seems the old United Trade Group is to be replaced by the new United Trade group, and the old gagging order known as the engagement policy, is to be replaced by a new gagging order called the new engagement policy. Again the right to exclude any group they see fit to exclude.

And the price for signing away the right to criticise TfL in print or on social media, is a seat at the old fold up table.

Towards the end of this year, the Taxi trade will be expected to purchase the new electric TX5, even though neither TfL, the GLA, the Mayor or our trade Orgs, have bothered to explore the health risks associated with the radiation given off from the bank of batteries inside the vehicle. 

Not only has TfL put us in the predicament of not being able to afford this vehicle by selling our work to a NonDomicile company that pays little to no tax, we now learn this week that the government is likely to scrap the subsidy they were going to give Taxis and private hire to go electric.

But tell me this Sadiq, will the new electric Taxis be allowed to use all these no go areas and eventually replace the dirty buses that are running round, 100% on diesel, as replacement batteries proved to be too expensive ?  

A blast from Taxi Leaks past December 2013
          DEATH BY DESIGN 

    And no one took a blind bit of notice 


             PCS boss John Murphy 

Remember PCS the Tfl Registered PH Outfit who have a contract with Emirates Airport ?

A couple of years back I was asked  to investigate their Lewisham Office.

There was absolutely no sign of activity at that address, which was alleged to be no more than a front for the company who work mainly in Manchester and Newcastle.

This was reported to TfL who never answered the emails. 

We've been informed that TfL's Operators Licence has finally been revoked, since five Directors were convicted of Fraud at Chester Crown Court and receiving prison sentences totalling nine and a half years. 

Surprisingly, Emirates have continued to use PCS Events, even though the TfL operators licence has been revoked and gone so far as to issue a statement defending the company. 
PCS has been serving our passengers since 2007 and currently handles around 85,000 trips a year, without any incident on record,”

Acting upon further Information from a licensed Taxi drivers association in Manchester, Photo's have been taken showing TfL registered PCD cars still working, still picking up at Manchester Airport in the VIP pick up area.

TfL Licensed Vehicles photographed on Friday 21-4-17, picking up passengers in the VIP area Manchester Airport.

Other vehicles seen licensed by TfL and working from the VIP pick up area are:

If these vehicles are no longer registered with an Operator, they are in fact not Licensed to Pick up anywhere.

This matter has now been reported to TfL.
Plus, our contacts in Manchester have reported the matter there and at Newcastle Airport, where I believe vehicles from PCS are also Operating.

If these cars are operating illegally, then their TfL licence must be revoked, which means they will also be uninsurable to use for hire and reward anywhere in the country.

We have to ask ourselves why a company based up north, would go to the trouble of registering an operating centre in London, then drive it's vehicles all the way down to NSL passing stations in the capital, when they can get vehicles licensed in the cities where they operate. 

Why are they coming to London to get the vehicles licensed?
What incentives are there to be licensed at NSL?
Are these vehicles being given an easy time at NSL centres?

We've seen in the past a case -when TfL was under the directorship of John Mason- where a West London private hire company, produced an envelope full of roundels, when police officers turned up at the operators address. It later transpired that none of their vehicles had attended TfL passing stations and the roundels had been sent out by one was ever prosecuted for this either.

Could it be that this practise is still wide spread and vehicles from around the country are being licensed by post?

After the recent private hire medical and topographical tests scandal, anything is possible as time and time again, TfL have shown they are not fit for purpose in respect of being a licensing authority.

For a more in-depth report published by Licensed Transport Undercover, click on this link below