Security Compromise: TFL and Camden Council are failing in their duty of care to the travelling public for not enforcing the ‘set down’ points at St Pancras Station
The World famous London licensed Taxi Trade actively opposes the violent action taken by other taxi services around the globe against those working from off-shore based app platforms. However, there is growing unrest, evidenced by drivers here on a daily basis.
A consequence of corporate influence on central government, combined with a complicit regulator has resulted in public safety being dramatically compromised. My colleagues and I, have on several occasions contacted Camden Council and TFL outlining the severity of the issue
Licensed taxi drivers are seeking assistance from the Metropolitan Police to erase traffic problems caused by Private Hire drivers using the ‘set down’ points as parking bays outside St Pancras International station.
The problem arises due to the obstructiveness caused by an increasing number of mini-cabs parked in the drop off bays situated on Pancras Road. Vehicles are often left unattended for prolonged periods of time. Most are working from app based platforms such as Uber. Parking in the bay's not only causing everyone else to double park, it exacerbates the traffic congestion along Euston Road. The accumulative impact on vehicles legitimately dropping off passengers but having to double park can be incredibly arduous for passengers needing assistance.
More seriously- and this cannot be emphasised enough- the terrorist attacks in Paris leading up to Christmas, highlighted a monumental lapse in security at London’s premier link through to Europe; to dismiss the area as a potential terrorist target would be foolish and potentially catastrophic.
Transport for London compound this risk by demonstrating that they are unable or unwilling to regulate the Private Hire Industry to even minimal standards. LBC’s recent expose highlighting just how easy it was to register a vehicle as a minicab without even the most basic checks, yet TFL continue to sell 700+ private hire licenses every week. Couple that with Uber’s policy of not being liable for the behaviour of the driver leaves passengers using this service (often unknowingly) at great risk. Consequently, we are just beginning to see the repercussions of deregulation, So far this year, there has been four Uber drivers convicted of sexual assault. All were in London
If the purpose of the U.K. government is for corporations to play the market as aggressively as possible, to the extent that not only our own health but the health of the travelling public is put in danger,then taxi drivers must protest against these economic entities (who consider rape victims as merely ‘collateral damage’) from being the eulogist of the rules by which we all live. If Camden Council and TFL continue to absolve themselves of a duty of care , then our appeal is for the Met to issue a Traffic Regulation Order restricting waiting to the usual two minutes?
Amendments made to the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 (as amended by the Civil Contingencies Act 2004), permitting drivers a grace period of up to ten minutes only applies to pay and display parking where the time printed on the ticket has expired. Further, Section 22C of part II of the Road Traffic Act specifies how the risk of terrorism can be used under various parts of sections 1 and 6 of the act to control parking. The Act should be enacted upon as the risk of terrorism in the area overrides the need for a grace period for drivers.
If the licensing authority and the borough councils are facilitating central Government’s political ‘redirection’ regarding how the private hire industry operates, then both the public and taxi drivers have a right to know. Here-on-in, if drivers believe that certain policies or inactivity present a legitimate threat to security or if a persons safety is blatantly compromised, as it is at Kings Cross, then direct action will, unequivocally, commence.
Public Notice: Critically, and without any imposition from the trade associations, drivers will target effected areas or specific policy makers. Direct action will continue until the authorities decide to address the situation directly or enter in to negotiation. Disingenuous consultations that refuse to address the issues at hand are unacceptable.
Specific to Kings Cross / St. Pancras Station, there has numerous complaints/ reports submitted to Camden Council but no one is willing to take responsibility for the area. Considering, St Pancras Station is the main transport hub into Europe, I am not alone in being appalled by TFL and the local authority's inactivity.
Additional: Although these protests are driver led,and are not affiliated to any one organisation, negotiation is welcome via the RMT taxi division.
Sean Paul Day