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.