Friday, October 09, 2015

Letter to Editor: Regarding Legal Action...by Sean Day.


I have always considered the best approach would be for the Orgs to use a one person, as a catalyst, to file a case against TfL for breaking a trade agreement. It is TfL's responsibility, as regulator and arbiter, to uphold laws that Parliament (for now) deem fit to keep in place. Instead, TfL has overseen, and wilfully facilitated the devastating destabilisation of the licensed taxi industry. 

More than 30,000 Private Hire licenses issued in 2 years is deterministic of their intent to enable an off-shore corporation, to elbow it's way, en- masse, into a well organised, well established, stingently regulated industry. TFL also granted them concessions that fall outside of TFL's own Private Hire Act 1998 in order to do so (something they still won't admit to). By doing so, TfL permits a rogue operation (if it was Dalston cabs they'd have been shut down in a second) to infract upon the instant hire market. This rapid onslaught is severely effecting the sustainability of the licensed taxi trade

The near destruction 24,000 hard working, individual businesses is nothing short of political and business abuse. As we speak Leon Daniels is still granting legitimacy to the heavily invested corporation, which continues to overwhelm an already saturated market. The ensuing result has detrimentally impacted on the ability to meet the running costs of maintaining a compulsory purpose built vehicle. As it is part of TfL's remit to maintain potential earnings to meet said running costs, and because they have failed to do so, TfL are in breach of their role of regulator. 

A regulators position is not so dissimilar to that of an employer. Effectively, TfL have irreparably fractured a long standing trade agreement. Not once did they enter into negotiations with any relevant trade bodies, not once did they communicate with the workforce, and in an organisation that is drowning under the sheer weight of consultation management b******t, not once did they consult about imminent sweeping changes to prevailing standards. 

Like I say, the trade needs to indemnify a catalyst, just one person is all they need to take out litigation against TFL for reneging on a trade agreement. Whether explicitly or implicitly, written, verbal or non- verbal matters not, as TfL dictate the fare we charge and the vehicle we use. A precedent could be set for the tsunami flood gates to be opened......any takers? 

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

Bob Oddy could redeem himself and stand up to the mark here I think!

Paul Challis said...

There's more chance Buddy Holly doing it than Bob Oddy

Anonymous said...

If it is that easy surely it would have been taken on by now!Another great letter though.

Steve8829 said...

The bones of the idea are sound, Sean. However, the players in this are TFL and us, The London Taxi Trade. They would eat us alive ! They know they can bully us and get away with it, as they do all the time. The way that they would do it would be to deny contractual employment responsibility, and insist that they were in no way responsible for the massive river of PHV Licences issued, blaming Central Government instead.
Even if we were to put our representation up, TFL would ensure years of drawn out litigation, court process, consultations and reform research. With 600 PHV licences being issued every week in the meantime, we would be dead and buried before our first hearing !

You had a perfect example of how they take the piss out of our trade and what fears they have of us, by the deplorable treatment of our Demo by the Metropolitan Police, last week ! That was illegal and wilful obstruction of that Demo, under Section 10 and 11 of the Human Rights Act. They got clean away with it ! The Chief Inspector even rubbed salt in it by congratulating us for our exemplary behaviour. In other words Sean, bending over and taking it ! Just as we always do and always have done ! I'm glad he didn't say it to me ! I would have given him a mouthful !
Unless we start taking the leading whip hand by organised heavy disruption with this lot, we will perish mate. Just as we had them panicking, we are going to give them some breathing space again. Its no good doing that, we have to keep them under pressure or we will lose. Doing it the democratic legal way via the courts will result in a whitewash for us. The system is too corrupt. Tick, tock, tick, tock, tick...........
Be lucky Sean.
Semtex.

Anonymous said...

When the hell is everybody gonna realise that Oddy is , was, and always will be the problem in this trade.

Whilst he's alive...We will die!

Anonymous said...

Beat them with their own stick... A mass Boris bike ride causing chaos on an unprecedented scale.

He wants everyone on his bikes, well lets give the fat prick simething to get excited about!

Anonymous said...

Won't be long before the met is up for sale who will stop them demoing !

Anonymous said...

Well said Semtex, .....Sean, the only thing TfL and the police understand is DEMO, we have to now have FLASH DEMO'S and plenty of them.

Anonymous said...

"As it is part of TfL's remit to maintain potential earnings to meet said running costs"

My main concern is that the courts may disagree with this fundamental point in the argument. TFL certainly will. They claim their role is to regulate in the interests of public safety. Not to protect the trade in any way.

Anonymous said...

How about next demo is to get Oddy out so we can be sure he is aware we don't want him!?

Anonymous said...

Forget Sir Bob, flash demo St Pancras Stn.

Sean Day said...

Re: comments

Every point made is valid. What I am not doing Is advocating an "either, or" situation with regards to direct action and litigation. I advocate that both can be pertinent. Direct action especially for keeping up the pressure prior to amendments being made to existing legislation.

I am of the opinion that the safety of the travelling public is intrinsically linked to the health and viability of the licensed taxi industry. Whilst I take on board Semtex's point that going to court with a behermouth like TfL is daunting in the extreme, but I believe there is a case to be had. I am preaching to the already converted but the existing Conditions of Fitness (CoF) retained by TFL specifies all taxis are equipped with features to suit the diverse needs of passengers. This severely limits the choice of vehicle that enables drivers to work. TfL sets the maximum fare that may be charged, drivers have no say in this. The fare is displayed of course on the taximeter in each vehicle. This provides financial transparency and safeguards for the passenger TFL themselves state that:

"Fares remain regulated to protect passengers"

Because fares are calculated using a cost index model which looks at the expenditure associated with maintaining the prescribed vehicle. and have to be approved by the TfL Board, mitigating circumstances have to be taken into consideration. TFL have literally turned their back!

Licensed taxis play a vital role in providing safer transport late at night. Secondary legislation which regulates PH trade demands that they meet certain requirements, but the capacity for them to adapt to changes in circumstances is far greater than that afforded the licensed taxi trade, simply because the same stringent requirements are not made of them regarding vehicle options or pricing structure,
Therefore, TfL once again are responsible for ensuring that taxi drivers are encouraged to work late at night to provide the public with viable, safe transportation. Certainly, the public should not perceive taxis as unaffordable, ultimately influencing them to see illegal, unsafe ‘cabs’ as a preferable option. But if the constraints on our business imposed by TFL result in drivers compromising on maintainence costs then that is a serious public health concern.

The invested time and money in completing the Knowledge of London alone has proven a demonstrable contribution to the safety of the travelling public. No viable business, no KoL, no long term investment. Ensuring that the supply of licensed taxis, especially at key times such as late at night, is not affected by drivers leaving the trade due to over supply is, again, a massive safety concern. Preventing the city from being flooded with rogue operations has to be a major regulatory priority. That in itself should be reason enough to cap Private Hire license numbers. It is self evidential, there is total failings in all these areas. If TfL to think there is discernible dissimilitude between the well being of the cab trade and it's inexorable link to the well being of the travelling public is utter madness. As far as breaking a trade agreement goes, TFL are culpable in every respect.

To acknowledge Semtex again, I realise this is transport for London we are dealing with, but, along with keeping up the pressure with affirmative action, have we not at least got the guts to try?

Anonymous said...

'Oddy Out' Demo is the first thing we should be doing!

Start at the beginning... Would you build a house on dodgy foundations?