I totally believe, there is an underlying agenda to get rid of the London Taxi trade, going far beyond the woeful inadequacy of TfL.
It's widely believed that most of Inner London's borough councils are party to the conspiracy against us. You only have to look at the way we've been treated by Westminster, Camden and Islington.
No planning committee from any of the councils, could have bought this amount of congestive chaos to our streets by accident???
The magnitude of this incompetence, surely must have been managed!
After witnessing the gridlocking of streets surrounding the Cycle Super Highway's segregated cycle lanes, they are now actually set to expand the nightmare right across the board, with Cycle Super Highway 2.
This manmade mayhem, is to be followed by the pedestrianisation of Oxford Street, which is likely to include a total ban on all motor vehicles (except buses and cycles) in Tottenham Court Road and part of Baker Street.
Just where are they expecting the traffic to go?
Pollution levels at present far exceeding European legal limits, allegedly causing an extra 20,000 preventable deaths per annum.
And it's all about to get much worse.
Taxi drivers are gifted with a six sense in regard to traffic flow. We have the ability to look at preposed schemes and evaluate the likelihood of its success.
Yet neither TfL or local council planners, have ever tried to seek advice from the trade. Instead they pin all their hopes on graduates, many of whom live outside London, using computer modelling.
The evidence that much of this chaos is part of an agenda relates to the fact, they generally take no notice of consultation results.
London has now been turned into the world's biggest building site. Virtually every street in central London has road works of one form or another....
Who's computer predicted, central paving along most of the length of Oxford Street East, would improve traffic flow?
Who's computer predicted, narrowing the entrance to Regent Street from Piccadilly Circus would improve the chaos around Eros?
Its total Lunacy
A ten year old child could have predicted problems from narrowing major roads, yet their computer model missed it ???
SO WHATS BEHIND THE CHAOS AND MAYHEM?
We saw it first at the London Olympics in 2012. TfL failed to provide ranks at the Olympic park and spectators were directed by an army of stewards from the stadium to expanded bus assembly points, and straight onto the tube. Olympic Tickets came with 24hr travel passes (the same at Lords and Excel). Taxi ranks were moved and hidden in side streets well away from the exits, while spectators were shepherded onto public transport.
We saw similar efforts made at Twickenham were spectators were directed to waiting buses while Taxis were excluded from streets around the stadium.
We've also seen our work touted by rail staff, airside, at Heathrow using lies about Taxi fares to attract more customers onto the Heathrow Express.
The same thing has just happened at Edgbaston, where Taxi ranks were replaced by a £5 a head bus service straight to New Street Station. With the bus company using the Taxi rank as a bus stop.
We will soon see a revolution in shopping trips to London with the forthcoming CrossRail service which they allege will bring so many people to Oxford Street, it will be the busiest shopping area in the world.
Is this why we are being excluded from major roads in these areas ?
• Oxford Street
• Tottenham Court Road
• Baker Street
If Taxis can't get to the shops, people are not going to use us, they will take the tube!
Our night work could drastically reduce, when weekend night tube opens.
Where is the new network of Taxi ranks outside night tube stations?
Visit the suburban stations and see the new PH booking offices, many inside the station forecourts!
TfL and Network Rail (oh look at who their new chairman is) have been getting away with touting our work for many years, facilitated by piss poor weak trade representative orgs and Unions, who prefer to fight amongst themselves rather than concentrating on who the true enemies are.
TfL's compliance officers currently harass Taxi drivers at mainline ranks while turning a blind eye to touting from PHVs.
Why is it we don't see TfL COs, regularly checking the booking details of PHVs at stations, why do they only concentrate of Taxis ?
Compliance teams turn up frequently at pop up Taxi ranks, yet when did we ever see them at the entrance to the restaurant inside the BBC car park on Wood Lane, or the side entrance to Westfield, or what about the pop up PH ranks at the Brewery and Honouree Artillery company when there's functions on?
It just doesn't happen.
Recently, we found a certain PH company (RD2.com) had been given special dispensation from TfL and the Corporation of the City of London to form an illegal Taxi rank on red rout double red lines, to be available for immediate hire at a function on Lower Thames Street, outside Old Billingsgate.
The United Trade Group engagement policy which held us back for four years, was always going to be scrapped after Boris exited stage right, as the new mayoral administration looked for a way to quell the unaffiliated demonstrators, but the UTG are still there and still excluding other orgs at compliance and rank committee meetings.
Their excuse is "you have to be invited by TfL"...
I beg to differ on this as the Joint Taxi Ranks Committee is a self appointed group who sometimes invite TfL to their meetings and not the other way round.
It needs to be sort it out and soon. We have to make sure every group have representatives invited.
In fact at a recent Palestra meeting, DaC Chairman Brian Rice was there as were the apps and because of their attendance, the trade organisations all refused to attend. Trade unity? That's just laughable.
We have for months seen a trend for disgruntled drivers to break away from the traditional subscription based representation. New driver groups such as the Mayfair Mob, Dads Defending Daughters and Action4Cabbies have appeared and in the case of the Mayfair Mob, are beginning to achieve impressive results.
Trade representation has always mirrored football supporters mentality. Loyalty to a certain colour of lanyard has definitely held back progress and helped to keep the trade divided.
But drivers are now starting to question their own orgs apparent lack of results.
Now the engagement policy is gone, everyone is playing in the big league. Perhaps it's time to take a leaf out of the beautiful game and have talent scouts look for the best people from all the teams, and bring them together in a united squad.
"Taxi United" supported across the board by every driver.
Sounds better than a fragmented disenchanted trade.