For far too long the Taxi trade has had to sit back and watch our work being stolen by a succession of different TfL initiatives.
After suggestions made in the STaN report, we saw the introduction of the late night PH satellite office, fully licensed by LTPH. These ranged from Hotel lobbies, club and restaurant foyers, supermarkets, 24-hour tobacconists and progressed to roped off areas outside premises and eventually, any old alleyway and in one case, a disused phone box.
Clip board johnnies standing outside, shepherding passengers into a succession of illegally plying for hire minicabs, allowed by LTPH, the Met Police and local traffic wardens to form ranks outside venues,
The sale of licence variations is a profitable market, which TfL prop up, by reduced enforcement and compliance. With the need for planning permission removed, cab enforcement officers were seconded to tube and bus ticket fraud duties.
After the introduction of the satellite office licences, chief Inspector Joe Royal resigned from Cab Enforcement saying the new TfL initiatives were total unenforceable.
TfL have continued to feed the ever increasing satellite office culture with trade. Work that should have been going in Taxis has been allowed to be stolen by clipboard men and put into cars as licensed Taxi ranks were removed wholesale.
Sixty years ago, there was 1 rank space to every licensed Taxi, but now we've reached a stage where there is only 1 rank space per 66 Taxis.
TfL's commissioner, Sir Peter Hendy is a bus man through and through. Under his watch, he has put more buses on the road than at any other time in London's transport history.
Over the last few years, TfL have been removing rank spaces outside tube stations in the suburbs. Licence variations have been sold to operators who are opening offices either inside the station forecourt or very close to the station exits. Suburban driver licences have been totally over sold, flooding some sectors with an abundance of local Taxis, with no where near enough rank spaces to operate from. This has caused some drivers to work out of sector.
We are now told that TfL intend to run the tube 24 hrs over the week end. Suburban drivers should be benefiting from an increased footfall at stations around the outskirts of London, but will loose out heavily to the minicab offices at the station who have their cars right outside the exits, (where there once were licensed Taxi ranks)
Passengers on the 24hr tube will be in the same sorry state as late night bus riders. Everyone knows just how bad going home on a night bus can be. To add insult, LUL will be removing most of the station staff, leaving the late night tube a very dangerous place to be.
If TfL want to fight dirty,
then we must fight dirtier.
If they go after our work,
then we must go after there's.
Maaxi cab has been designed to go after Bus and Tube passengers who wouldn't normally consider using a Taxi. The app offers shared rides, with passengers sharing the cost, offering Taxis to a market thought to be outside of our reach.
A completely new market.
If you are interested but have questions, please come along to the question and answer meet up at Millwall football ground on a Monday 29th September at 7 pm.
Every driver who has been involved in the recent Flash Mob drive ins, will know how great it feels to actually fight and take back work.
Fight back now, take Hendy's work, the way he has taken yours.