Saturday, April 05, 2014

Minicabs Take Over New Taxi Rank In Clapham. By Jim Thomas.

Friday the 4th of April 2014, 7pm: 
The new licensed Taxi rank in Clapham High Street went live.
The rank has now been painted out and runs from 7 pm to 7 am. 

But just minutes after the rank went live, it was full of minicabs belonging to the TfL favoured, Greyhound Cars.

As predicted the rank was full of minicab touts for most of the evening, with no visible compliance enforcement from either TfL or the Police. 
West London minicab firm Greyhound cars blocked the new rank and carried on in their usual manner. 

Over the past year or so, compliance officers have been a regular occurrence, checking badge and bills of licensed Taxi drivers using the rank outside Clapham Common Station. Funny, they were nowhere to be found in Clapham last night.

We predicted that this would happen as TfL have shown in the past they have no appetite to take on this company who openly tout outside Embargo's on the Kings Road and have been doing so for many years. 

In the past, successive undercover compliance teams from TfL, have been regularly touted outside. Two years ago licensed Taxi drivers held a demostation outside this venue and violence was used against several drivers. The secretary of the UCG, was held by security staff and assaulted by the clip board Johnny, but no action was ever taken by either TfL or the Police.

Some time ago, former deputy director of TPH, Helen Chapman went to Embargo's with a small delegation from the Law Commission Committee. As they left the club, they were approached by door staff outside in the street and illegally offered minicabs. 

As with other instances of touting regarding officers from TPH, nothing came of this visit and Greyhound Cars can still be found most evenings, openly touting on the Corner of Kings Road and Lotts Road.

Back to Clapham 
After being ushered into a minicab by door staff at Inferno, the daughter of Chris Huhne head-butted the driver in an attempt to fight him off, as he tried to sexually assault her.

Actress Lydia Huhne, 24, was terrified when the man locked the car doors, climbed into the back and began touching her.

She managed to fight him off and screamed at him that she had a knife until he let her out of the car. 

She said she was left ‘retching from shock’ afterwards.

How many rapes have to take place before the Police step in to protect the public.
Must we wait till an MP's Daughter in murdered?

Police and TfL are still turning their backs on the safety of the public and are allowing these unlawful practises of illegal plying for hire and touting to continue. Rapes and sexual assaults are seen as just collateral damage.

Last night, Prescott place, completely blocked by minicabs illegally plying for hire and touting at the Two Brewers pub. 

It's time operators had their licenses revoke when drivers who work for them break the terms and conditions of the licence variation. There should be zero tolerance to help stamp out these sexual attacks.

It would seem in TfLs eyes, certain PH operators are:
 * Above the law
 * Get special treatment regarding licence variations
 * Never have compliance contraventions enforced. 

Greyhound cars appear to be just one of these companies.

Photos by StockyCabbie.


Anonymous said...

I think and it is only an observation but the TFL/Police contingent seem to work 08-00 to 16-00. This does not fit into the requirements of LTPH. The resources are needed during the evenings and weekends unless someone picks this up and "actions" it then it will not match the expectations the public need and indeed pay for. One for the GLA

Anonymous said...

Why no taxis on this new rank seems to loads outside the station,is that because it,s a green badge rank.Yet again union and drivers fight for a new rank and greens don,t use it.

Just a thought. said...

What happens if there's a fire in one of the houses in Prescott Place?
Surely lives could be lost as access to fire engine is completely blocked.

This situation needs to be addressed before some one dies, not after.
A tragedy is avoidable!

Just a thought. said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Jim the green badge boys won't work it to many jobs in town !! give it over now as an island rank and let the yellows sort the touts out :)

Editorial said...

Not my place to say who can and can't use it :)

Anonymous said...

This new rank in Clapham is about the same distance from the Station Rank as the Shard is from the rank in St Thomas Street.
I bet a pound to a penny that Grant Steve And Peter won't be down there with the Advan and shouting the odds.

Unless of course the suburban drivers start using it
Then expect all hell to brake lose.
Green badges will be there every night.
Not working it, that's to frightening
They will be there with their cameras taking photos for twitter saying look another yellow picking up out of sector.

As good old Steve said, you couldn't make it up.

Anonymous said...

Just look at the ranks we have lost because we don,t work them.TFL are waiting to give them to minicabs bring in the YB,S to place,s like clapham and elephant to push out the 85,000 minicab driver,s trying kill us off.

Cab in Brixton said...

Surely lives could be lost as access to fire engine is completely blocked.

Straight said...

Yes and the complete U turn from the LTDA and LCDC really takes the biscuit.

What happened to the drivers living in blocks of flats etc?


Anonymous said...

This is a misleading piece because it suggests that the miniscab touts have moved in on this rank, and its just not so.

They have been touing in this spot, unchecked, for years and then the inconsiderate ranks department decide to paint a few yellow lines around their patch and decide to label them invaders!!

The audacity is breathtaking!!

Please can you leave these unfortunate criminals to continue going about their illegal buisness of robbery, rape and pillage, unchallenged and unhindered by law or morallity........or bloody stupid yellow lines!!

If Tfl cant be bothered, what buisness is it of ours?

Anonymous said...

Turn it into an island rank. touts won't have a chance. problem solved

LCY Len said...

The enforcement team were in Stratford on friday night, hassling yellow badges sitting meridian square, even though touts were as usual blatantly taking jobs on the Westfield rank.The punters are so used to it, they walk through the line of black cabs to get into the open doors of the touts.
It seems it doesn't matter what the issue is, if it's one that upsets black cab drivers, then to tfl, it's not an issue at all.