2014 has been the most productive year so far for Taxi Leaks. In November, we surpassed a one million hits benchmark.
The contributors and editorial staff would like to thank all our readers, for making us the most popular news portal in the Taxi trade.
The most talked about issue in the trade this year, was undoubtedly the GLA report into the running of Taxis and Private Hire by TfL.
Although many Taxi drivers have for years been complaining to their assembly members, MPs and in certain cases members of the House of Lords, very few encouraging responses ever came back. In most cases complaints were sent to TfL to deal with and standard letters were past back to the driver, but with no substance or solution to resolve issues.
John Kennedy wrote to every member of the GLA as Chair of the LTCPR back in 2007/8, which resulted in a line of communication being set up with many GLA members. These links were carried over by John when he became Chair of the RMT in 2010.
In January this year, Taxi Leaks roving reporter wrote to Baroness Jenny Jones >See Here< outlining issues the trade faced from the lack of TfL enforcement in regards to PH drivers illegally plying for hire and touting. This one email sparked a chain reaction that saw a reply asking for evidence regarding these issues.
With the help of the RMT's press officer, a formal letter was drafted to the GLA transport committee laying out all aspects of the grievances drivers had with TfL as a licensing authority.
We then received confirmation, that on the back of the evidence supplied, the GLA would be setting up an investigation in which the whole trade would be asked to contribute using an open consultation involving both Taxi and Private Hire. >See Here<
The subsequent inquiry which took place, involved every branch of the trade including individual drivers. Evidence was supplied in both oral and written presentations. The result was a massive victory with TfL being branded as "Woefully inadequate".
Many drivers were amazed how quiet our largest representative org became during the investigation process. It's been alleged that Bob Oddy's connection to the board of TfL, seriously compromised the LTDA's contribution to the inquiry.
But it didn't go unnoticed that one member of the United Trade Group, almost broke their arms patting themselves on the back.
What ever happened to their call for trade unity?
As a byproduct, our simple blog has had four victories on behalf of the trade, victories that could have easily been achieved by any group large or small. Unfortunately, the triumvirate that is the UTG, have struggled to do anything other than squabble over bits of glory, well after the fact.
The two LTDA inspired mass trade demos achieved absolutely nothing, other than bad press.
The Shard Flash Mod demo appeared to be successful but you would be naive to think if ever you wanted a new rank, all you had to do was demonstrate outside a venue.
If that were true, we would have ranks all over the capital.
Without the email sent by Taxi Leaks to Sir Peter Hendy >See Here< and his susiquent short but sweet apology, the Shard forward rank may never have emerged. >Click Here for Apology<.
To be continued!