Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Willy Wonka And The Swallow Street Golden Ticket.

Saturday night was a complete nightmare in London's WestEnd, most of which became a car park for most of the night. 
Stuff happens!
This, hopefully was a one off, something that we can't avoid.

But in spite of the gridlock, the touts at Swallow Street managed to have a field day (in between visits from NSL wardens). 

Every time I managed to fight my way to the Rank (via Vigo Street), I was greeted by the site of dozens of minicabs illegally parked, illegally plying for hire, servicing the three self appointed minicab controllers inside the Swallow Street Archway. Not content with parking in the bus lane, they now park on the licensed Taxi rank at Heddon Street and also on the rank/loading bay in Vigo Street.

We have to remember, LTPH have helped and encouraged certain PH operators to evade TfL policy. 

There have been many untrue misleading statements from our licensing authority over the passed eighteen months, culminating in the moving of goal posts and a cover up concerning licence variations. 

TfL's on-line PH licence checker has been revised to only show operator and driver licence details. Licence variations have been removed, possibly over the RD2 scandal. It is now impossible to ascertain how many licences each company holds, or when they were issued.

Why would TfL do this if it wasn't to cover up dubious activities?
Last year (2012) saw RD2 issued with 18 licence variations, within a few days of the company first registering as a completely new operator. New company, new director, new premises.
The issuing of the new licences was at that time, totally contra to TfL policy, which states an operator must be in business for a minimum of one year before they can apply for licence variation.
When asked why this company had received special treatment, both John Mason and Helen Chapman statements proved to be misleading and untrue. Let's not forget that this company has since been granted a licence variation for New a Change, even after an application for a Licensed Taxi Rank was refused.

RD2 has a satellite office licence for the Goucho Club in Swallow Street. Is this the major factor in the lack of enforcement at this location?
We have been informed by LTPH that in the last year, Swallow street has been visited some 320 times by compliance officers. Yet the touting and illegal plying for hire problem is now worse than ever, with regular confrontation of Civil Enforcement Officers from NSL taking place nightly.

Drivers and controllers openly tout on the pavement and there is as much evidence as you would need to revoke the operator's licence, issued in this location.

Why has nothing been done at Swallow Street?
Is there some sort of Willy Wonka at TfL, giving out golden tickets...or has there just plain old wongalust at Palestra?

Unless drivers literally put themselves out and make a concerted effort to service this rank and the rank at Heddon street, all the hard work already put in, will be for nothing. No one from our licensing authority seems the least bit interested in resolving our problems with the touts.

"Why should I drive passed hands up in the street to put on a rank?"
Every driver has to do whatever they feel is best to earn their living, no one can tell you what to do and that's the beauty of this job.
Sitting on the Swallow street rank at night, I see Taxi after Taxi drive by me with their light on, circulating.
Surely drivers can spare a few minutes on the rank. 
You don't have to sit there for ages, if you don't get off in five minutes, pull away and just continue up Regent Street, but at least you will be helping to providing a presence.

A few minutes sat on the rank could present you with a job, a job a tout won't be putting in his car.

It took the RMT over a year to get meetings through Westminster's Martin Lowe, with top officers within NSL and City Parking Marshals, which resulted in a warden based operation at Swallow and Heddon Street.
The fight is still ongoing as we now look to get action from the Met and GLA. 

Still dancing to Daniels tune.
The massive workload put in by members of the RMT could have been made much easier and more productive if the Joint Ranks Committee of the United Trade Group would work with us instead of against us.


Anonymous said...

The rides2 saga is probably the reason Mason was removed from his position snd finally sacked. It's pretty damned obvious that Mason's farewell to the trade published in the Badge was s smokescreen. It's my belief and opinion he was sacked for improper conduct.

Anonymous said...

1 sfosmell a rat there,some one had there back sides greased, have not heard any thing from lover-boy hendy,must have a new hooker,one day this lot will get there come up,the sun thought they could not be found out,they should be looked into,vetted,Chapman hope your good at making the tea,your times coming

Rev V Haldady said...

We can all speculate about why anyone left, the issues remain UNRESOLVED.

Good point about us as a trade duplicating effort on issues such as these, surely the joint ranks committee needs all the help it can get and should liaise. With other driver groups trying their best. It can only benefit us all.

TfL are not interested in the cab trades welfare except where it coincides with some positive publicity for them.

I am astounded that they allow their beloved sacred buses to be impeded though.

'Seek the Lord whilst he may be found'

Anonymous said...

Within 2 years PH will be aloud to ply for hire in london that's what boris wants clear streets at night

Hülye Picsák said...

The writing is on the wall for this bunch of incompudants
Chapman is all but gone, bye bye Helen!
Daniels thinks he's untouchable because of the details he has on the Racheal Grundy saga. Not so Leroy!

And Sir peter thinks now he can get away with murder. Lolololol!

Believe me, the whistle blowers will soon be queuing up to throw this lot to the wolves.

Look for Gareth Emmerson hitting the headlines in the New Years.

There is going to be a lot of back stabbing as they try to protect there good name.

Anonymous said...

The Rev sure can preach. Unfortunately he's a non-combatant pacifist who wants to slurp tea anf eat biscuits . He wants us alll to forget about the corruption within TfL - just as long as he gets his place at the tea table... The Carlyle group will take over station ranks and Heathrow airport - does a gambler go all in on a blnd hand ? I don't think so !
The Carlyle group have spent £300 million acquiring Addison Lee... they have a business plan to get a return on their investment... whatever their plan may be it will be detrimental to the London tsxi trade - sitting down with those who have damaged our trade beyond recognition will achieve NOTHING .!

Anonymous said...

Wake up and smell the coffee anon, there is no more seats at the table
The engagement trick is dead in the water
Daniels had them all over

Now all that's left is the secret meetings with Oddy

Old Bill said...

Anon 3:02
Are you on crack
Read his post again and stop talking bolloxs

Anonymous said...

We don't stand a chance with Bob Oddy in office!

I have spoken to drivers who have never heard of Oddy,McNamara, UNITE, LCDC, Taxileaks, nothing. Mention Hendy & Daniels they probably think your talking about a group of folk singers.
We have selfish, unintelligent drivers who think that the trade owes them aliving and expect others to fight the fight while they earn their money and worry where their football team is in the league! So many just have their heads up their backsides.
Most people who read this site care about the trade even if they don't agree with each others politics. The drivers I have mentioned above I am embarrassed to be associated with and bracketed as their colleague.
Sorry to be so gloomy but the future for this trade don't look good!! OMPA LOOMPA

Anonymous said...

The Carlyle Group, soon to be taking bookings at 35, 000 feet for fixed price jobs and airport transfers.... thus bypassing any existing legislation. Meanwhile the feeder park stays rammed to the hilt with taxis.

Anonymous said...

Morning campers, I have assurances from the chairman of my trade organisation the LCDC, that when the Carlisle group get going the wait at Heathrow will not exceed 5 hours. If it does every airport member will be supplied with a free memory foam off cut for the floor in the rear of their cab....Furthermore, the LTDA will be opening a food bank, open to anyone carrying a LTDA diary and wearing a LTDA lanyard . Unite the Union are rumoured to have bought 3 park benches in Brockwell Park to accommodate their members should they fall on hard times, be lucky.