Sunday, May 01, 2016

Letter to Editor : Touting and associated dangers of unbooked Tom Scullion.

While London is safe for most people travelling at night, we still have major concerns over the dangers of travelling in unbooked minicabs.

All minicabs must be licensed by TfL and must be booked in advance. Any minicab that isn't booked by phone, email, an app or in a licensed minicab office is illegal and unsafe.

Your minicab is classified as unbooked and unsafe, if:

A private hire or minicab driver approaches you on the street
You approach a minicab driver on the street directly, and they accept your journey without a booking - even if the driver is licensed by us
A bouncer, or somebody with a high visibility jacket and clipboard, hails you a minicab on the street
Even minicabs lined up outside pubs and clubs are breaking the law if they accept your fare without a booking first.

Even though Tfl think it is acceptable to jump in an Uber car then make a booking it is not, its illegal.

Uber drivers are afforded more privileges than A Green badge London Taxi driver for example:

NSL testing centre licenses PHV drivers without hire and reward insurance and since this has been brought to tfl's attention they are still blatantly ignoring the law by licensing 700 PHV drivers every week.

Tfl have granted an operators license to Uber who openly encourage their staff / drivers to ply for hire, in fact Uber do not accept pre-bookings which spits in the face of the 1998 PHV act.
Uber drivers are allowed to ply for hire anywhere in the UK eg. Heathrow, Gatwick, Luton , City Airport and as far as Bath.

Ubers terms and conditions and in sec 3 ( acceptance of bookings) it states " You should be aware that the transportation provider to which your phv booking is allocated and who provides transportation services may be licensed in an area other than where the booking is requested or the transportation service is provided" ok well lets look at PHV act 1998 sec4( sub 2) : A London phv operator shall secure that any vehicle which is provided by him for carrying out private hire bookings accepted by him in London is ( a ) : A vehicle for which a London phv licence is in force, driven by a person holding a London phv licence. So no one else can pick up in London unless your licensed in London, What do you think of that then.

Imagine a Green badge driver touting outside their area Gatwick for example the Police would throw the book at them and they would also be arrested for no insurance. Hire and Reward insurance is VOID if you are breaking the law by touting or working outside your licensed area.

The Police turn a blind eye to Uber drivers plying for hire or touting in our Capital 24/7 look at the mainline  train Stations plagued with these drivers plying for hire electronically through their App.   Yet if a Taxi driver has the audacity to over rank its a instant nick. 

One rule for us, and no rules for them.

Be lucky 

Tom Scullion