A few weeks ago, Taxi Leaks asked Dan on the TfLTPH Twitter account if he could give a link to the legislation that allows Uber to operate the new ride sharing Uberpool service attached to their smartphone app.
In typical TfL style, I got no reply.
But today a reply was finally given to another driver, although not as comprehensive as I'd asked for.
In just a broad reply Dan said that the transport Act 85 permits ride sharing.....Unfortunately, Dan failed to point out that there are certain conditions which have to be adhered to with private hire undertaking shared rides with individual payments:
The conditions state quiet clearly:
2)The conditions are that—
(a)all the passengers carried on the occasion in question booked their journeys in advance; and
(b)each of them consented, when booking his journey, to sharing the use of the vehicle on that occasion with others on the basis that a separate fare would be payable by each passenger for his own journey on that occasion.
I pointed this section out to Dan and relayed to him that Uber have stated on numerous occasions, that they don't do pre bookings. He completely ignored this and posted a tweet referring to the fact that UberPool only use licensed private hire vehicles and require the specific consent of each customer involved.
I repeated my statement that each customer needs to be pre-booked and got this reply
We know TfL have bent over backwards to justify the fact that they licensed Uber in 2012 knowing full well they didn't comply with all the requirements necessary at that time.
a) They have never taken pre booking
b) They initially never had a landline for booking, a requirement under the PHV act 1998.
TfL however continue to lie about the situation by repeatingly putting out this tweet:
My questions today are:
Why are our orgs allowing this behaviour to go unchallenged.
Why are they not protecting the working practises of the drivers from whom they take money in the form of subscriptions.
In 2012 our representative orgs sat back and did nothing about a PH company who was illegally issued with 12 licence variations (satellite office licenses), the same week they were licensed as an operator, without first waiting the require 12 months from initial licensing as an operator.
This same company is now allowed by TfL, to turn up at certain venues around the city of London and set up private hire ranks, fed work by openly touting clipboard men. TfL and their compliance teams always turn a blind eye to this particular operator, as it would seem, do our representative orgs.
They can't even say they didn't know about this issue, because I told them on many occasions.
Unless our orgs get off their backsides and start taking TfL to task, then the whole future of Licensed Taxis in London is in danger of dying out.