Monday, October 19, 2015

Myths, Lies And Statistics? A Report On Compliance And Enforcement

Every Licensed Taxi driver in London is aware of the shocking under performance of TfL compliance. We've even had this confirmed by the GLA report "Future Proof", where TfL were found to be woefully inadequate.

In the report a number of recommendations were made by the GLA transport committee, but after a year since the publication of the report, we are still waiting for these recommendations to be implemented. TfL tell us they're working on introducing some of the recommendations. A complete unsatisfactory state of affairs from our regulatory licensing authority. 

But now, to add insult to injury, in a recent announcement on their website, TfL have managed to out do any previous inadequacies aimed at the licensed Taxi trade and sprinkled it with misinformation.

In the report, TfL state that annual licensing inspection includes the checking of insurance for taxis and private hire vehicles. This would give the impression that to get a Taxi or Private Hire vehicle licensed, the Hire and reward insurgence would have to be in place integral to the inspection. While this is most certainly the case for Taxis (who also have to display a cover note inside the vehicle), this is not the case for PHVs. It is possible to licence a vehicle for use as a PHV, while only being insured with standard cover. 

This is born out by the next sentence

Insurance for PHVs is also something being considered as part of the regulatory review of private hire services which is currently underway.
Being considered!!!
Public safety, being considered!!!

So they admit the error and are considering making a change to regulations.....sometime in the future.

Misinformation : TfL prosecutions
TfL say that between 1 January to 30 April 2015, they successfully prosecuted 33 drivers for illegally plying for hire and other illegal activity. The misleading bit is "and other illegal activity". Misleading by the fact this statistic isn't broken down or further explained. 

Within the corridors of the PR spin doctors, this is known as double accounting, where statistics already used, can be bundled in with the not so impressive figures to make them look better.

Funny how TfL can give the exact number of parking tickets they gave out, or the exact number of cars they moved on and even the exact number of drivers who were sent home because they didn't have their ID. But they can't offer the exact number of PHV drivers, convicted of illegally plying for hire!

Operation Neon:
Since the launch of the ongoing Operation Neon on 8 May 2015, there have been a total of 48 operations. These have resulted in: blah blah blah.

We are then treated to a list of numbers representing supposed offences. All the figures given relate to vehicles and individuals being "reported".

Their are no statistics offered of any conviction, or revocations resulting from the reports. There is however no mention of the disastrous Eddie Nestor photo opportunity, where senior TfL officers were openly touted live on air, resulting in guessed it nothing.

Then the final insult.
TfL compliance desperately try to back up Leon Daniels ridiculous statement that PH drivers have "switch on switch off" hire and reward insurance.  After making inquiries to the Association of British Insurers, we know no that such policies exist. 

But TfL still put this in their statement:
Taxis need to have Hire and Reward insurance in place at all times. Current regulations require private hire drivers to have Hire and Reward insurance in place whenever they are undertaking a private hire journey. 

They then wipe their hands of the responsibility of insuring all passengers are fully covered, by passing the buck!
"It is the private hire operator's responsibility to ensure that the appropriate Hire and Reward insurance is in place for vehicles used for private hire bookings."

Woefully inadequate and Totally Failing London.

The UCG are currently observing and documenting the performance of TfL compliance. Please read their article 


Anonymous said...

Jim, it really is like watching paint dry ! It is the Roundabout going round and round and round and round.
I was absolutely astonished and truly shocked at how the vast majority of the UCG's membership, voted to stop the Demos, in favour of giving the police and TFL's compliance a chance to do their job !
What is wrong with our lot !? Are they insane ?
71.2% of the UCG's membership are to blame for losing their fantastic momentum that they had worked so hard to get going ! I just don't understand them, honestly I don't.
I was in Shaftesbury Avenue on Saturday night with an off duty Police Dog Handler from Greater Manchester, and a Police Officer K9 handler from New York. They were both astounded at how rife illegal touting was. There were touts everywhere !
I'm getting off the roundabout at this stop !
They must think we are as silly as arseholes up at TFL ! 71.2% of the UCG membership truly believed that something would be done because of the threat of demos !!!????? Do me a favour folks ! Its just another play for time and loss of momentum trick from them ! they wont change anything ! Remember stopping the demos for Tom Watson and his promises ? What happened there then ? Round and round and round we go.
I'm sick of throwing down the gauntlet as well. I applied for Head of Enforcement and even offered to clear it up with no salary if I was given the brief and 15 hand picked officers. They don't want to know mate ! They don't want it eradicated !I would sort that lot out in a fortnight !
All I can say is this......Thank God for the 27.4% of the UCG members who voted for the Demos, the 1.4% who abstained and the fact that we have The FANTASTIC MAYFAIR MOB out there ! That's why the Military don't sod about with democracy ! They choose a person who can lead and get the job done, and go to work ! No Prisoners, no voting, in and out...... Sorted !
Good Luck all and please God one day the trade will wake up !

Anonymous said...

'Future Proof'. I just love that name - its as good as saying 'we are powerless to do anything, so we put this together in the hope that one day the report can be used as an I told you so!'
The whole purpose of the GLA is a complete waste of money and time.
The only thing the GLA has told the cab trade is what it already knew - then they bundled the so called report with a meaningless title.
You may ask yourself where this report is going? I'll tell you...

Anonymous said...

I asked a serving police officer 3 question.

a) Can the ANPR system distinguish a Taxi/Private Hire Vehicle from any other saloon vehicle?
b) Is the ANPR system capable of identifying that the correct insurance policy is in place?
c) Is it possible for other authorised personal such as licencing offices to have access to the ANPR system?

To my knowledge it is not possible for vehicles to register with the DVLA as PHVs. It is also not possible for an ANPR to distinguish between a PHV or any other vehicle. The only time a vehicle will 'ping' an ANPR camera is if there is an information marker attached to it. Insurance will however be checked by mobile ANPR cameras and if insurance is not held then the operator of this will be informed by the system.

Lastly, it is not possible for licensing offices to have access to the ANPR system due to confidential information contained on the system.

I would advise speaking to the DVLA regarding the registrations of vehicles to confirm the information above. Their contact number is below

Vehicle registration enquiries
Telephone: 0300 790 6802
Textphone: 18001 0300 123 1279
Monday to Friday, 8am to 7pm
Saturday, 8am to 2pm
Fax: 0300 123 0798

Anonymous said...

If TfL are washing their hands of responsibility for ensuring all PHV's are adequately insured and passing the buck to the operator, what are the consequences for the operator if one of their vehicles doesn't have H&R insurance?

What about drivers that work for multiple operators?

This is an absolute fudge from TfL who are perfectly aware there is a huge problem and are just trying to disolve themselves of any responsibility!

Yes that's correct, the licencing authority and regulator can not guarantee that a vehicle and driver that they licence is properly insured! Surely TfL have a duty of care to the travelling public to ensure they are safe and adequately insured?

If they can't guarantee this they should not be licencing anyone!

Anonymous said...

The Future of the World is bleak because Politicians & Captains of Industry can only see Wheels Greased & Dollars rolling in.

Anonymous said...

It's not the MET who should be clearing the ranks its your C/O not even BTP want to get involved as its a total. Mess TFL was given a figure of 500 C/O STAFF who will be be run by next or will it be back to the PCO