Monday, February 20, 2017

Smoke And Mirrors, PR Spin, Or Just Old Fashion Corruption From TfL ...by Gerald Coba.

  
 Fixed address in London or elsewhere inside or outside the United Kingdom

A few days ago, TfL slipped a caveat under the radar, laying out its proposed new rules for the requirement of a land Lind for private hire operators, which it had previously dropped to accommodate the Uber Platform.

They say:
"TfL has today changed where operators can fulfil the telephone requirement".
"Whereas previously a passenger had to be able to speak to a person at the operating centre in London, operators will now be required to ensure that passengers can speak to a person at the operating centre, or other premises with 
a fixed address in London or elsewhere
whether inside or outside the United Kingdom".
(TfLTPH speak for anywhere they like)

But they then go on to say this new regulation has in fact been suspended because of an ongoing legal challenge, until the proceedings are concluded or the court orders otherwise.

We all know who is challenging this amendment, it's Uber who have never had a land line for this purpose and should never have been licensed under the directorship of John Mason in the first place. 
Leon Daniels subsequently lied to a GLA transport committee swearing that Uber had a public accessible land line when truth was they didn't.

At that time not one of our representative orgs took up this point with TfL.
When The requirement was dropped, none of our representative orgs took this up.

This new TfLTPH notice 05/17, is proof that TfL have and still do bend over to accommodate Uber and yet again, not one of our orgs have mentioned or will be taking this up with TfL. 

TfLTPH notice 05/17:
Telephone Requirement

TfL introduced a licence condition requiring private hire operators to ensure that customers can speak to a person acting on behalf of the operator in ‘real time’, in the event of a problem with their journey or if the passenger wishes to discuss the booking.

Enabling a passenger to speak to the private hire operator makes an important contribution to public safety and, in particular, the interests of disabled or vulnerable passengers. The provision of contact facilities also produces safety benefits for drivers and gives rise to real customer convenience benefits.

TfL has today changed where operators can fulfil the telephone requirement.

Whereas previously a passenger had to be able to speak to a person at the operating centre in London, operators will now be required to ensure that passengers can speak to a person at the operating centre, or other premises with a fixed address in London or elsewhere (whether inside or outside the United Kingdom). Passengers will still be able to make a complaint or discuss any other matter about the carrying out of the booking with the operator and the obligation will still apply at all times during a operator’s hours of business and at all times during a journey

The Telephone Requirement is also the subject of an ongoing legal challenge, and enforcement of the requirement is currently suspended until the proceedings are concluded or the court orders otherwise.

TfL will remain in contact with operators and ensure that they have sufficient time to make arrangements to meet the requirement, once the legal position becomes clear. We will shortly be publishing guidance to assist licensees, including the standards expected for taking calls.