Friday, December 02, 2016

Lone Taxi Driver Makes A Stand Against TfL Compliance Officer's Lies And Wins.

One late evening on my way back to Heathrow, I stopped at the BP garage on the A4 and sat on the forecourt to eat my sandwich. I looked up and saw a sign that read by parking here more than 30 minutes you agreed to pay a £100 fine or words to that effect. This gave me an idea, the rest is history.

On the morning of 1st November 2016 two things happened, the first being this, upon entering the north feeder park I was confronted by compliance officers and a police officer who I noticed was handing out TfL envelopes containing CC stickers.

I asked the officer what he thought he was doing as I believe that what was going on was a civil matter.
He responded by saying he was assisting.
Upon further questioning he told me he was there to prevent a breach of the peace.
I then asked him, had a breach of the peace been reported ?
He said no.

The second thing to happen was this, I arrived at terminal five buffer lane in mid afternoon to be confronted by two compliance officers. One of the officers approach me and asked why my taxi wasn't displaying TFL stickers, to which I replied nowhere in the Metropolitan Carriage Act1869, London Carriage and Stage Coach act 1907 or any TfL literature does it state that I am physically obliged to display stickers in my vehicle. I asked the TfL employee, if he would like to place them himself, after reading my terms and conditions, he was more than welcome to do so. 

My terms and conditions are as follows:
Before affixing any notice sticker or advertisement to the vehicle please read the following.
By affixing a noticed sticker or advertisement to this vehicle, you will have agreed to the contract and you will become liable for the following fee schedule.

NOTICE...................£5,000 
STICKER..................£5,000
ADVERTISEMENT.. £5,000

I asked the compliance officer if he had read and understood this, he replied that he didn't.
He then told me "you must stick them on" to which I replied "there was no legal or lawful requirement for me to do it, but if he wanted me to do it, I would write him an invoice for the work". Which he declined.

I have also made the video below, in which I categorically stated to him that I was not refusing to display the stickers and he was more than welcome to do it.

Two days later I received the stop note for 
"non-compliance, external signage does not comply with guidelines 6,2,1.", with additional notes being "refusal to display stickers or credit card payment device in the taxi".

I immediately phoned TfL enforcement and told them I wanted to make a formal complaint against their compliance officer for lying, stating that I had irrefutable video evidence that I have not refused.

After telling my story to Sonia Allman (enforcement manager) and asking her to remove the illegal stop note on my vehicle I was told, "there may have been a mistake".

She then requested me to email her with the details of what had occurred which I did. 

A short time later I received a response stating that she was sorry and that my vehicle should not have been declared unfit, and I was free to continue working. 

Since TfL have stated that my vehicle is not unfit, one can reasonably assume the opposite to be true, that it is fit.

I believe my stand against TfL has done two things, firstly it is shone a spotlight on the unions, who claim to represent us. Why haven't they come up with anything to halt this onslaught from TfL?
Why has it been left to drivers themselves?

I have seen the minutes of the TfL board meeting where it was decided all London Taxis must take credit cards and pay for the privilege. It also stated that Bob Oddy declared an interest and didn't speak!
So much for representation!

I was also told by Unite after telling them of my interaction with the police at Heathrow, to "put my "f***ing" stickers in like everyone else" so not much help there either.

The second thing my action has highlighted is this;
TfL have no authority,  let me say that again "TfL  have no authority".
The reason I say this is as follows, on TfLs own website it states:
"TfL is a statutory body created by the Greater London Authority (GLA) Act 1999. This act gives the Mayors of London a general duty to develop and apply policies to promote and encourage safe integrated efficient and economic transport facilities and services to, from and within London.

When carrying out his duties the Mayor of London (Sadiq Khan) must abide by the law like everyone else.
He must cause no harm, loss or injury to a third party. Remember the 3.9% being siphoned out of your wages and being paid to a private company.

Something else in regards to the "broad" public consultation. 

TFL have made clever use of language here regarding this consultation. They state on their own website that 536 people polled "identified themselves" as All London cab drivers, this means TFL did not identify them as All London cab drivers, in fact, they could have been anyone! 

I could identify myself as a brain surgeon! Doesn't mean I am one! 
It's possible, likely even that none of them were cab drivers and not a single cab driver was polled or took part in the "broad" public consultation.

Not only does the mayor have no authority, he has actually committed the criminal offence of misconduct in a public office (malfeasance).

The current conditions of fitness state "no advertisements to be allowed in glazed areas except to react windscreen. 

When the consultation took place, was it explained to the 536 drivers who replied that mandatory acceptance came with a 3.95% +20p pay cut ? You bet it wasn't !

It will take on average two weeks work, out of the year just to pay WorldPay/VeriFone their 3.95% surcharge....hold on a minute, "WorldPay", don't we know someone who has a financial conflict of interest with this company......? 



TfL board member Mr Ron Kalifa, is Deputy Chairman of credit card system provider WorldPay and is also a non executive director of Visa Europe.

See video below, evidence that TfL comp,iance officer lied :

    

Sources : The Cab Driver, Twitter. 

Editorial Comment :
 
We understand that Jamie has made contacted with TfLTPH to ask why a compliance officer blatantly lied, why his stop note was rescinded, plus he's asked them to supply him a billing address. 

As yet, TfL have not replied.