In the April edition of the Badge page 17, there was a small story at the very bottom of the page headed Regent St.... Touts......NO ENFORCEMENT!!!
FOLLOWING, complaint after complaint about the touts on Regent St and Swallow St, we seem to be at a standstill with regards to who’s supposed to be issuing tickets to the illegally parked vehicles on double yellow lines and a Bus Lane that is operational from 11:00am to 12:00pm.
The RMT placed a Freedom of Information request to TfL as to the number of complaints made about the illegally plying for hire and Touting at the junction of Swallow and Regent between Feb 2012-August 2013.
We were eventually told TfL/LTPH received just the one complaint regarding Private Hire vehicles parked at the junction of Regent Street and Swallow Street.
The LCDC claimed to have made complaint after complaint. I am left wondering where and how these complaints were made and why they were not formally recorded.
Surely LCDC wouldn't exaggerate?
This week we've been told, that owning to the number of complaints about touting at Swallow Street, a new kerbside rank is to be appointed.
What number of complaints would this be?
In our FOI request, TfL said there had only been the one and that was on the 11 July 2013.
Someone is telling porkies...either complaints are being made...or they are not.
Both the RMT and LCDC have placed Freedom of Information Requests as to how many tickets have been issued to illegally parked cars during the hours of 21:00 to 24:00hrs.
TFL told us both, “we only enforce Bus Lane parking restrictions on red routes (a play on words) which make up the Transport For London Road Network (TLRN), as Regent Street is not part of the TLRN , TFL haven't issued any penalty charge notices on this road.
Any such penalties would be issued by the Highway Authority, or The City Of Westminster".
Westminster said “under the criteria requested, there are no PCNs issued by the city council to vehicles parked in the Transport for London Bus Lanes. Not a surprise really as if tickets were being issued, the touts wouldn't keep returning, night after night.
At Last, Common Sense And The TaG Hit Squad.
Yes at last, we are about to see common sense prevail.
It is yet to be announced by LTPH but we are told by an impecable source, a kerbside rank for Swallow Street has been agreed in principle (in the same fashion as the new Heddon Street Rank) and will be marked out when that part of the street is refurbished.
After years of non enforcement from TfL, LTPH compliance and Westminster City Council, the ordinary drivers in the a Taxi trade, took it upon themselves to organise the TaG Hit Squad on twitter and with over 500 members, have proceeded to take the work back from the scabs.
Nobus, Heddon Street and now Swallow Street, are the direct result of ordinary driver action.
Well done to all those who put themselves out. It just goes to show what can be done when you don't give up and keep fighting.
Slight Set Back
Unfortunately we are told that the rank will operate outside the times of the bus lane, which means after midnight. Upto now, no tickets have been issue to Private Hire Vehicles parked in the bus lane...it will be interesting to see if Taxis who use the rank early will be penalised or in fact, if the PHVs will continue to own this space till midnight.