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.
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!
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 ....you 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