An Urgent Call For A Public Inquiry Into TfL... Every Driver Needs To
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Dear MP Name
The iconic black cab is under threat and as one of your constituents, I am asking you to help avert this disaster.
It took me around 3 and half years of self-funded studying to earn the right to Ply 4 Hire as a licensed taxi driver. The licensed London Taxi trade gives people the opportunity to fulfil their hopes and aspirations. It is also a great equaliser that rewards endeavour over privilege.
I worked hard to attain my license, and to purchase the prescribed purpose built vehicle that TfL says I must use to work as a taxi driver, and I contribute to the UK economy as a self-sufficient sole trader. I didn't foresee fighting an unjust battle against a global multi-national corporation in Uber. More-so, I never imagined that the company would have close personal links with the (former) PM and TfL would bend over backwards to embed them into the system.
David Cameron and George Osborne are named in these two stories from the Daily Mail, detailing their extremely close links to Uber. This has led to many calling the situation corrupt and malfeasance by 10 Downing Street.
Uber Technologies Inc. has a rapacious predatory pricing policy intended solely to annihilate the lives of individuals who, like me, fulfil every one of TfL’s licensing requirements. Amidst all of this, and despite Uber Technologies Inc. being valued at $64B, they choose to domicile their tax affairs in the Bahamas via the Netherlands.
I find it outrageous that hard working tax payers are shouldering the burden of a company that disregards our democratic constitution. I am further outraged that our government, policy-makers and regulators continue to facilitate nefarious practices that are injurious to law abiding citizens. This is nothing short of malfeasance. It matters not if their service is favoured, no one should advocate covert political agendas engineered to displace a legitimate workforce using an illegally licensed one.
I am perpetually reminded that I should welcome a free market, after all, it's the customers right to choose? However, what we are experiencing is the antithesis of a free market. In short, it is a state enabled take-over of a regulated trade.
Effectively, TfL continue to facilitate Uber to flood the streets of London despite unsustainable congestion and pollution recorded at 5 X the EU limit. Even though my vehicle conforms to the EU 5 emissions strategy, from next year, I'm expected to help clean the air quality by purchasing the new Zero Emissions Capable Taxi costing in excess of £45,000. How can this be considered as anything other than a stealth drive into Bankruptcy.
The Mayor of London is ultimately accountable for TfL’s performance and conduct, and is answerable to the London assembly. The London Assembly are able to carry out investigations into TfL’s activities and there are a number of recorded cases where this just isn’t working.
TfL is documented lying to the GLA regarding public hire insurance and licensing requirements.
TfL management versed Uber on ‘terminology’ to avoid regulatory implications, via email, telephone and ‘coffee shop’ meetings.
TfL state assisted Uber in the high court by robustly defending their modus operandi when seeking a ruling to define what constitutes a taxi meter?
TfL Senior management are aware that Uber’s business model never satisfied the 1998 PH regulations.
TfL Senior management have moulded secondary legislation to accommodate Uber’s business model.
The GLA’s Future Proof (Taxi and Private Hire Services in London) noted cross party support for 19 recommendations. None of which have been addressed.
Please treat this letter with appropriation and the uppermost seriousness by writing to the Prime Minister, Theresa May with my request for a genuine and transparent public inquiry into Transport for London.