There's a fine line between having a secret, last minute protest....and having a flop on your hands.
But last night, rank and file drivers pulled off a last minute flash demo at St Pancras drop off on Pancras Road, Kings Cross.
Since the week long demos organised by DDD and MM last year, Camden Council have been playing fair, keeping the drop off sections clear most of the day. TfL are supposed to police the set-down area in the evenings, but we've been seeing the touts double and triple parked at night - it's got so bad, we can't even drop our passengers off. Sunday evenings are atrocious.
Illegally parked, the touts sit there waiting for the ping of the app they used to visually ply for immediate hire.
Over the past few days, plans for the demo were hatched within certain chat rooms and spread throughout the trade by word of mouth. Drivers met at a pre-arranged assembly point and just before 8pm, the shout went out on main Twitter and other social media platforms.
Soon, the area became gridlocked, completely taking the touts by surprise, trapping them kerbside, where they had to sit until the demo concluded.
Bemused Prius drivers who were unable to turn left or right from Euston Road drove round the block (York Way and Goods away) only to find Pancras Road blockaded from Camley Street.
Keep an eye out for more of the same in the very near future.
TfL compliance have for many months, turned a blind eye to what goes on at the St Pancras drop off bays, choosing instead to target Taxis legally sitting on the rank opposite.
Their main concern being aggressive Badge and Bill checks on perfectly legal Licensed Taxis.
Amazingly, as the demo kicked off, there were six (6) compliance officers at Kings Cross.
Taxi Leaks roving reporter said as soon as they saw what was occurring, they removed their identifying HiVis jackets and disappeared into the Station, as if they had been given the nod not to get involved and to have it on their toes.
Two of the compliance squad that disappeared just as the demo started.
This woefully inadequate TfL administration are refusing to protect unsuspecting members of the public, from unbooked minicab touts.
St Pancras is an international terminus and should be given the same security attention as any airport.
It's obvious to the trade that the harassment being dished out to the Taxi drivers, has been ordered by senior management from the TfLTPH directorate and is even more evidence of their bias towards us.
Weekends are worse at St Pancras, no wardens, no compliance....
Editorial Comment :
Well done to all the drivers who turned up last night.
If asked to sign a blank screen after being B/B don't!
It's just for their performance figures, so they can say what a good job they're doing and how much we appreciate it.
Another one for the boycott list:
As big business lines up to take part in our demise, we need to add a new name to the ever increasing list.