Sunday, September 27, 2015

Letter To Editor Part 2 : Lack of LUL night service taxi ranks just part of the overall problem.

The problem that was put to us at the LSTC way back when TfL first took over the day to day running of the London taxi industry was that there was a lack of taxi supply within the 6 mile radius of Charing Cross. 

A meeting was set up on the 9th September 2002, at the Angel/Morris Suite, The Hilton Hotel, Islington, London. The meeting was chaired by Roy Ellis who introduced 8 of his staff that were sitting on the top table with him. This meeting was attended by 30 suburban drivers from and representing all of the 22 outer London boroughs.

It was pointed out at that meeting that the London suburbs were oversubscribed with taxis along with a lack of taxi ranks to support the demand that there was in areas within the 6 mile radius of Charing Cross. The boundary changes that took place on the 1st April 2000 did address this in parts, where some of the outer London borough adjacent to the inner London boroughs were in fact well within the 6 mile radius of Charing Cross. In fact 2 of these borough boundaries Brent and Lewisham came with 3¼ miles of Charing Cross. 

So it’s not a problem for the LCDC, LTDA and Unite the Union to do deals privately with the authorities without the need to consult with their members, but forbidden should a suburban group make suggestions on how to alleviate some of the supply problems in areas within the 6 mile radius of Charing Cross.  

As most of this had been suggested and some of those suggestions implemented such as the 2 suburban extensions long before the Suburban Review meetings, I fail to see where or how all this came about after the review document was published. Perhaps the problem lies with the LCDC, LTDA and Unite the Union not forwarding this information to its members as and when it happened.  

As for this so called "land grab" of GB territory by suburban drivers. TfL asked for a solution, we gave our views but the GB’s blocked it and thus allowed the lack of supply to be taken up by private hire, which then opened it up to the American App to fill the demand gap with TfL rubbing its hands at the increased revenue it has produced for them. TfL have always said that it the GB’s can’t/won’t fill the void then they at some stage will.

I also have a copy and have no intension of dragging you through it all again and re-kindle the enmity it brought to YBs and GBs as history has now proven the point. London is overrun with incompetent private hire drivers nicking your work wholesale.  

Did the LSTC submit a response! They sure did, not only submitting it beforehand in writing, but giving it verbally and photos of those 2 representatives at the City Hall meeting have been posted on this sight to prove it.  

As I said before, the ranks were asked for long before there was even talk of having a 24 hour tube service, but now you want to spin it round that all concerned are working to achieve that end when you know that that is not true. 

What we were after in the suburban review was what was stated in PCO Notice 26/03: The PCO has been aware for some time that there are areas between four and six miles from the centre of London which are not well served by All-London drivers but are not available to Suburban drivers. There have been a number of attempts to resolve this by the use of ‘island’ ranks but these have not been entirely successful. Following consultation with trade representatives, an alternative scheme is now to be piloted in south London, the principle of which could, if successful, be extended to other areas.
So the idea of more island ranks, extensions and going home ranks was being discussed and in part implemented as far back as 2003.  

So what has happened regarding the last Suburban Review meeting in December 2014, not a lot as it has been kept under wraps by the LCDC, LTDA and Unite the Union because they don’t want to waste time discussing suburban issues with the TfL. That is a fact that TFL have told us.