In the light of the plethora of evidence published in trade journals about the collusion between certain TfLTPH officials, allegedly bending over backwards to help Uber circumnavigate the requirements laid down by the Private Hire Act 1998, you would have thought there'd be no more skeletons left in the TfL closet. But you'd be wrong!
It's now crystal clear that LTPH have been secretly massaging and amending said legislation.
Below is an email sent to one of our readers by TfL after he repeatedly asked about Uber's original licence application.
He claims TfL only replied when he copied in his MP.
Apparently, TfL have a new "interpretation" of the requirement for a PH operator to have in place a landline for taking bookings.
TfL are now claiming it's no longer a regulatory requirement for an operator to "maintain a landline once they are licensed an operational"....REALLY ?
If that's the case, then this interpretation makes the initial PHV act laughable.
It's like saying when you have your vehicle licensed, you must wear a red tie. But after the vehicle is plated, you can then discard that item.
Many Taxi drivers are now concerned that this part of the act has been massaged by TfL to facility Uber's continuance as a PH operator, helping them operate independently of statutory legislation which, every other PH operator has to adhere to.
The old interpretation seemed to be firmly in place, until Leon Daniels was found to have lied to the GLA transport committee. Daniels presented the GLA with what he said was Uber's public landline number. Turned out to be Jo Bertram's private line.
Now it seems, the requirement from the act of 1998 has been reinterpreted.
Again, drivers are concerned that this was done to get Daniels off the hook, and to keep Uber compliant.
The information recieved by our reader, was also past on to the LTDA back in June.
Not only have they said nothing about this, they didn't even reply to the driver who copied them into the emails.
Personally, I can confirm that this issue was not bought up by the LTDA at the all trade representative meeting at Taxi House, called to discuss how our trade should go forward, in light of the Toronto verdict, which I attended on the 3rd of August.
Minutes of this meeting will be posted later this week.