Sunday, April 20, 2014

TfL...Totally Failing London. Public Safety Put At Jim Thomas.

Tiger Tiger has now reverted back to a free for all at weekends. Drivers from Diamond Chauffeurs Ltd, who have the licence variation to operate the satellite office at the Nightclub/bar, are parking their vehicles in the 24 hour bus lane, both on the Bus Stand and also on the licensed Taxi rank.

Diamond Chauffeurs also use the Taxi rank on the corner of Jermaine Street and Haymarket, as well as parking on the double yellow lines and loading bay opposite the club.

Private hire vehicles are not allowed, by law, to illegally park and wait to become hired. This constitutes illegal plying for hire. It carries the same penalty as Touting, plus if a fare is achieved in this manner, the vehicles insurance is void and the passengers are not legally covered by the drivers policy. 
(As seen with Birmingham Taxi police's twitter postings. In Birmingham the driver is arrested and the vehicle impounded).

Unfortunately our licensing authority take no action against these new breed of operating centres, concentrating their efforts only on over-ranking of licensed Taxis at certain stations, plus badge & bill checks on Taxi ranks. PH are left to do what ever they like, regardless of the law.

Good Friday night, PHVs from Diamond were parked both sides of the Haymarket. I decided to park up and flag down a passing police car. The first car told me it was not a priority and sped off before I could answer. The second was a van. The driver explained they were carrying a prisoner on board so couldn't help. 

The third was a minibus with a half-dozen officers onboard. After speaking to the female driver, she told me "it's not police business". 
I then explained it was a police matter as the cars were In fact committing a number of criminal acts, namely illegally plying for hire, criminal obstruction on a bus stand and Taxi rank. By the time I got half way through explaining about insurance contraventions, she gave in and said she would get them moved.

The officers were extremely polite to the minicab drivers who were reluctant to move but did eventually go. When I tried to speak to an officer to tell him the cars on the right hand side were also breaking the law he shot me a look and said "we've already heard from you sir, we don't need to be told our job".

I also spoke with Diamond Chauffeurs booking agent, who was standing outside the club, illegally taking bookings on the pavement and he told me this:
"We need to park outside as touts are nicking our work".

As I walked back towards my Taxi, aware that the police were about to leave, I was approached by a group of touts who were shouting obscenities at me and one said if you return again I will stab you. 

So there you have it.

Even after a car bomb was placed outside

Even though the rate of minicab related serious sexual assaults are running at an all time high of 25 per week (Met a Police Statistics)

The Met Police, Local Council and the Licensing Authority are all turning a blind eye and facilitating these PHV operators to break the law. 

The publics safety is being compromised on a nightly basis. 
This cannot be right. 

We need a parliamentary review of the way TfL administer Taxis and Private Hire. 

And we need it now.


Anonymous said...

Mate i totally agree with you, someone has to stop this vermin taking our work.

If the authorities won't do it, we will have to do it ourselves

Mark1967 said...

All that is needed for evil to prevail is for good men to do nothing....

Keep up the good work Jim.

One day the charlatans at TfL will be held to account

Stephen Mulligan said...

This is the policy of deferment that is rife at Tfl too. On reporting such an incident of obstructing a taxi rank I received a reply telling me that obstruction was a police matter and Tfl can only take action when hackney carriage law is being broken.

I replied quoting from the abstract laws that cover ranks and also from the Tfl staff manual that outlines the penalties for these contravention a of cab law, but as yet have received no reply.

Strange that, innit?

I would have thought that if I could find out whether this was contrary to hackney carriage law and also the company's policy to deal with it, on google, in fifteen minutes, that the employee of Tfl who is being paid to know this or at least find it out, could do so before claiming it was not a matter for Tfl, but a Police matter.

Anonymous said...

Jim, you've got to be careful mate, we can't afford to lose the amazing work you do for us.

The situation in the Haymarket is disgusting and TfL and the met need to hang their heads in shame.

Bring back the Tag Hit Squad
We did it before and we can do it again.
Block them in don't kept them out. Form a rolling rank and stop them nicking our work

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Haymarket will be two lanes soon as part of the St James' project. I would like to see them park on both sides of the road then???? Buses would be severely impeded!! Perhaps something would be done then???

Anonymous said...

you quote met police stats but I can find no such stats could you show these stats as bull doesn't help the cause

Anonymous said...

need more taxi s out of a night up the limit from 23k to 40 k then you won't have touts out side clubs just taxis .it will false drivers to work nights

Anonymous said...

Worse in the burbs -
Drivers have been ranking outside a suburban station during busy periods (there is a rank at this station but guess what it's in the wrong position) - this has upset the mini cab firm who operate next to the station and illegally form a rank outside - Last night PCO appear billing and badging drivers telling them they can't rank up!!!!
It's ok for the mini cabs!!!
You can only conclude that the mini cab firm has complained and the PCO have taken action!!! So scabs complain about us and it's sorted!! You couldn't make it up!!

Meanwhile at other night spots in our sector this weekend scabs are openly touting and no enforcement action is

It is plain for all to see that whilst the authorities turn a blind eye to touting and mini cab ranking we are bang in trouble - because Joe Public is getting a real taste for just turning up at X Y & Z and just getting in a mini cab and off they go - as far as they are concerned - brilliant. Our unique selling point - get in and go is being lost and we are doing nothing about it.

The French drivers are fiercely protecting the " it's fifteen minutes between a booking and getting in a scab rule" for precisely this reason to protect thier and our unique selling point.

We need direct action, campaigns and might not be a bad idea to campaign for the 15 minute rule here - we need to protect ourselves and the public from the thieving vermin that proper taxi drivers witness every Friday and Saturday night - because if we don't Joe Public will find the idea of mini cab ranks a really good idea. Then we really are finished.

Anonymous said...

Further to my last post above is increasingly apparent that TFL 's enforcement team is only equipped to police us - Taxi's - as demonstrated by the previous post's example - so we need a proper private hire enforcement team - if we were still controlled by the met we would certainly have a very eager sergeant on the team keen to make a name for themselves by feeling a load of scabs collars ... We need a private hire enforcement team properly clued up and supported by the met to clear this lot of our streets

Editorial said...

Anon 3:06
Stats come from the award winning Problem Orientated Policing report on touting.
The Met admit only 10% of assaults are recorded and that the real number of minicab related assaults is closer to 25 per week.

Anonymous said...

Jim you are correct mate, but don't forget that most attackers, as they are never caught, are chalked up as unlicensed minicab drivers. The true facts do not show this assumption to be correct.
Of minicab drivers caught and convicted show, most attacker at in fact licensed TfL drivers. The police have been exposed in the media over the last 6 years for massaging the figures to show a much lower rate.

The problem being that unlicensed driver attacks are not recorded as cab related and so statistics don't show the real number, which is much higher.

Dizzy said...

Just make sure you all support the Shard demo, any other action that is called against TfL.

These incompetents are destroying us and the world needs to know about it, and Leon Daniels in particular!

Anonymous said...

Steve MacNamara has said he will protect and defend his members from intimidation by the police and authorities - I am not a member of a trade organisation and want to attend the shard demo . Will the Utg extend this protection to everyone that attends? The reason I ask is because I was threatened by a copper at Hyde Park corner during the Olympics demo he said I would be arrested under anti terrorist laws. Please could drivers get some assurances???