Wednesday, August 16, 2017

#UBERGATE : Sexual Assaults Increase, As TfL Registered Uber Cars Flood Into Southampton.


Calls have been made for all taxis to carry officially-approved markings to prevent passengers becoming victims of crime.

It follows an incident in which a woman is alleged to have been sexually assaulted and dumped near the M27 motorway after getting into what she thought was a taxi.


The local Taxi union says people are becoming used to getting into unmarked taxis because of all the Uber vehicles that are “flooding” into Southampton.

Taxi driver Perry McMillan, chairman of the Southampton cab association, said Uber vehicles licensed by Southampton City Council, had to carry clear markings but those from other areas often displayed nothing but a small disc in the back windscreen, issued by Transport for London. 


Some of the Ubers were from the New Forestwhile others travelled into the city from as far afield as Basingstoke but most are from London, he said.

Southampton taxi drivers have held talks with New Forest District Council and are also planning to raise the issue with the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan.

Mr McMillan has spoken out following an alleged incident involving a woman in Bedford Place, Southampton, last month.

He criticised some of the advice issued by police at the time. Officers said people should book a taxi in advance instead of flagging one down in the street and should always sit behind the driver.

Mr McMillan stressed that people were legally entitled to hail a proper taxi in the street.

“Drivers face increasing pressure from out-of-town Uber cars flooding our city. 

Being hailed in the street helps both them and passengers in a hurry. They get to their destination safely - and all Southampton licensed cabs are fitted with CCTV.”

Police investigating the alleged incident in Bedford Place have charged a 57-year-old Southampton man with kidnap and sexual assault.

Source : Southern Daily Echo 


Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Bank Junction Update : It's Never Been About Safety, It's All About Money, £50m a year


New traffic cameras will rake in £50million a year in fines
About 1,500 drivers a day are being hit by seven cameras monitoring one junction, with revenue topping £16,000 an hour – almost £200,000 every day.

New rules brought in May mean all vehicles except buses and bicycles are banned from using Bank junction in central London.


While signs have been installed, there are no road markings to alert drivers.

The system uses automatic number plate recognition technology.

“The cameras on this junction are fleecing motorists for £200,000 a day”
Tory MP Charlie Elphicke
Figures show that an incredible 41,948 penalty charge notices, with a fee of £130, were issued from June 7 to July 14.

At an average of 1,498 motorists snared a day, that means the traps are taking £16,228 an hour – and £194,740 a day.

The statistics, from a Freedom of Information request, suggest that across a year the total revenue could be as much as £50.5million.

Many Taxi drivers have been caught out going from Leadenhall Street into Cornhil, as the original map didn't show it as part of the restriction. 

A tweet was put out by @Squarehighways saying this was acceptable, but later changed their mind and have now removed the tweet. 


The new map now shows the restriction on Cornhill westbound. 

RESTRICTIONS: All vehicles except buses and bicycles are banned from using Bank junction
Man caught watching racy films during traffic jam on M4

City of London council bosses say the measure was brought in to “improve safety”.

But the Alliance of British Drivers accused the council of using motorists as a “cash cow”.

Tory MP Charlie Elphicke said: “The cameras on this junction are fleecing motorists for £200,000 a day.

“Many people would say this looks like a case of revenue-raising rather than anything to do with traffic safety.

“Cameras are simply there to raise revenue cause big resentment and are incredibly unfair.”

The network of cameras is yards from the Bank of England.

Automatic number plate recognition technology has been used to catch cars, taxis, vans, lorries and motorbikes from 7am to 7pm on weekdays.

FINES: The traps are taking £16,228 an hour – and £194,740 a day


The City of London authority, which covers London’s financial district the Square Mile, said the lucrative scheme is to avoid collisions occurring.

They have also said it was brought in to reduce pollution, cut bus journey times and make deliveries easier.

A spokesman said: “Our number one priority for the experimental scheme at Bank junction is to improve safety. For too long it has been one of the capital’s dangerous hot spots.”

Bosses issued warnings to motorists for just a fortnight before they started handing out fines.

Source : The Daily Star

Please Support Fellow Taxi Driver Stripped Of Licence For Criticising TfL.


Weʼre raising £2,500 to London Taxi Driver, Sean Stockings who had his license revoked 3 months ago by TFL. Please donate 2 help him cover his bills for this period.


Thank you all for taking a few minutes to read about Sean Stockings and the appalling treatment he has suffered at the hands of TFL and Leon Daniels in particular. 

Sean is a Licensed London Taxi Driver with a young family and a super kind heart. Sean cares. Sean cares about bus and tram crashes and Sean cares about pedestrians being run over. Sean cares about how TFL are dealing with UBER and PH ranking outside stations, bus stops and residential streets. He cares about the huge rise in Road Traffic Accidents and the increase in congestion and pollution. He cares about the free for all wild west mentality on our streets. 

Sean is just like YOU, he is PROUD of his job and profession and what it stands for.

Sean has had his licence revoked...this didn't happen immediately, only when TFL failed to provide proper disclosure, forcing Sean's legal representative to send a letter before action on Sean's behalf...this is why The LCDC, are fighting hard to ensure that Sean does not lose his badge.

If Sean had done anything wrong, we would not be asking for your help. So what did Sean do?

On the 17th November 2016, whilst walking to a personal engagement Sean happened upon Leon Daniels, Mike Brown and Vernon Everitt (and others) out for the evening celebrating who knows what on the Eve of the Ladbroke Grove bus crash (when 14 people were injured, some seriously) just over a week after the most deadliest Tram crash since 1917 (7 fatalities and 58 persons injured). The glasses and plates on the outside table suggesting that they had been drinking wine and eating good food - perhaps outside a table chosen so these businessmen could smoke expensive cigars (looking for all the world to be enjoying their expense accounts in the type of posh restaurants that cab drivers cannot afford).

Sean could not understand why TFL with its track record would be celebrating that night. Sean would be first to accept that approaching them hasn't turned out to be his best idea ever - but exactly what did he do? Many of you have seen the video and are surprised that TFL have come down so harshly on Sean, when all he done was take the opportunity to ask Leon Daniels about his track record. Yes he was emphatic but sometimes you have to be when trying to get answers to important questions. As Leon Daniels smirked and Mike Brown looked down, Sean asked the questions you might also liked to have asked these people, who many feel have for the last 5 years slowly but surely destroyed the trade.

Well what happened next? Well within a month he had his licence revoked, without a disclosure. Those who have seen the clip will note that Sean was not abusive, so what has caused such an offence? Who determined Sean was not fit and proper and why? TFL tried to get the Police involved - they refused to arrest Sean (he committed no offence). Then a thorough investigation took place (with no input from Sean). Sean was permanently revoked over 3 months ago and been unable to work since.

There is much more to Sean's story and the involvement of others at TFL, that we simply do not have room here to fully explain in greater detail.

Please support Sean in this difficult time for him, his partner and young family.

Many thanks,

The London Cab Drivers Club

To donate, please click on this link:

Letter From Lee Ward : Pressure Must Be Put On All Local Authorities Who Have Licensed Uber, To Prove Uber Operate Legally



 
Equality:
The state of being equal, especially in status, rights, or opportunities.
That’s the Utopian belief of many of us in this trade, or it used to be.
It used to be the reason why many drivers or even companies did not join an Organisation, Union or Association because they believed that everyone was treat fairly and equally so they didn’t need any support.

But times have changed, bank balances are changed and the Authorities carefully choose who to take action against and who not.

Example 1
2010, Sevenoaks
Evidence against Knole Taxis
Operating a licensed taxi and private hire company from an address without planning permission.
Result:
​License suspended
 
Example 2
2017, London
Evidence against Sean Stockings
​Videoed Leon Daniels in a restaurant and posted on social media.
Result:
​License suspended

Example 3
2017, Nationwide
Evidence against Uber
1,​Admitted under oath that the driver accepts the booking, this is a breach of Section 56 (1) of the LG(MP)A 1976 that states;
For the purposes of this Part of this Act every contract for the hire of a private hire vehicle licensed under this Part of this Act shall be deemed to be made with the operator who accepted the booking for that vehicle whether or not he himself provided the vehicle.
 
2,​assisting drivers to accept work when out of its licensing area
 
3,​Assisting drivers to not take the shortest route possible as defined in Section 69 (1) of the LG(MP)A 1976 that states;
No person being the driver of a hackney carriage or of a private hire vehicle licensed by a district council shall without reasonable cause unnecessarily prolong, in distance or in time, the journey for which the hackney carriage or private vehicle has been hired.

Where its drivers App does not take the shortest possible route as shown below.
    

4
Denying the customer from its basic contractual agreement when booking a journey. In the Uber Terms & Conditions it states;
You acknowledge and agree that the provision to you of transportation services by the Transportation Provider is pursuant to the Transportation Contract and that Uber UK accepts your booking as agent for the Transportation Provider, but is not a party to that contract.
This would be deemed a breach of Section 2 of the Consumer Rights Act 2015
 
Now, points 2 and 3 break the driver’s conditions to which we must all adhere to and I am sure that the Uber faithful are saying that these are nothing to do with Uber but the driver… well, they are wrong.

Point 2 Uber could stop by placing a geo-net on each driver so that they can only accept work in the area that they are licensed, all other data dispatch systems do this and we know Ubers can because they didn’t allow drivers from other area’s to work in Birmingham for some time. The App simply told the driver that he could not work there when he logged on (or words to that effect).

Point 3 Uber give this to the driver to follow the sat nav because most of the time they don’t know where they are going and should a customer disagree with the route taken then Uber use this route to decide if the driver went the wrong way or not, so yes, Uber are guilty of this one.

Now, you guys that love Uber so much and jump to their defence so quickly… I will never figure that bit out…. You are forgetting, or not actually knowing another section of the LG(MP)A 1976 which states…oh wait, sorry, you will be Uber drivers and will know nothing of the actual Acts that control your industry, my bad. 

LG(MP)A 1976 means the Local Government (Miscellaneous) Provisions Act 1976 and Section 72 (1) states;

Where an offence by any person under this Part of this Act is due to the act or default of another person, then, whether proceedings are taken against the first-mentioned person or not, that other person may be charged with and convicted of that offence, and shall be liable on conviction to the same punishment as might have been imposed on the first-mentioned person if he had been convicted of the offence.

So yes, Uber are guilty also of these two offences.

Now, why would Examples 1 & 2 have their respective licenses suspended (and therefore able to appeal through the courts) but Uber’s has not?

The rules and regulations are for all, are they not?

Surely, in this day and age, someone or somebody will not get away with breaching the rules and regulations simply because an authority is scared to death of being challenged in court….that cannot be it, can it?

I wonder, how many drivers out there still read all this and are still a frog in a boiling pond?

How many sit back and wait for someone else to fight it, or indeed how many have given up that fight because they are tired of fighting?

The fact is that each and every one of you are license holders, you pay for the authority that licenses you to protect your livelihood by keeping out the ones who are not playing by the rules. You inform the licensing of Facebook Taxis, you inform the licensing of PHV’s sat on a Taxi Rank, you inform licensing of PHV’s plying for hire, you inform licensing of Taxis overcharging the public or refusing wheelchair work.

You inform and demand authorities to deal with cases such as example 1 & 2, but you bury your heads in the sand against example 3 and pretend example 1 & 2 are the ones that are killing your trade….

I bet you are the same person who gets a difficult customer and backs down to them then spends the rest of the day dreaming of how you kicked them from kerb to kerb like He-Man.

The proof is there, just like in other countries that kicked them out, and it’s our duty to kick them out also.

Technology we cannot stop, but technology that does not work within the intention of the law we can. 
The same as you stop people who also do not work within the intention of the law.

Someone in authority somewhere is going to have to write a cheque and it may be a big one, but they don’t think twice about writing a cheque when it comes to challenging the small man out there.

That’s bullying and has to stop.
It’s every licensed driver and operator’s duty to put pressure on their local authority that have licensed Uber to prove to them that Uber operates legally and does not breach any of the examples that I have given in this post.


Monday, August 14, 2017

Uber To Be Given Another Temporary Licence And Told They Need To Sort Out Their Troubles.


Although we don't know the exact details, it's been alleged that Uber have been given another temporary licence and been told to sort out their present troubles


But that was before Brighton and the Sunday Times expose'....

Where were the voices from our orgs today?
The evidence is there!

We've seen dozens of emails, implementing top TfL directors and management in conspiring against the the Taxi trade, and complicity in covering up Uber contraventions. 

TfL knew about Uber sex assaults, fake medical, fake DBS searches, they said and did nothing.


Rank and file Taxi drivers are now bemused by the silence from our main representative orgs and Unions, who continue to sit in their hands. Only one is out there punching it's weight, fighting our corner and the others are turning their noses up.

We've had the churchillian speeches spouting; "I won't stand shoulder to shoulder with a private hire Union", but then we've still seen a meteoric rise in the membership of the new GMB Taxi branch, drivers get fed up with paying what they believe is money for no representation. 

What's happened over the weekend is massive and we've seen it spread through the national media, with This Times, regarding, the Telegraph, Evening Standard and the Sun as well as BBC news.

Compliance officers who were harassing Taxi drivers on ranks over Taxi news paper, suddenly few and far between. 

The LTDA add van has been out distributing copies to drivers, yet their own marshals don't appear to have a copy with the Uber Rapist headline. Sort of, "we'll supply the bullets but it's for you to fire the gun".


If our orgs don't join together, pick up the baton and run with it, we are in danger of this breaking scandal being swept under the carpet...by a corrupt, conspiring and collaborating licensing authority.

It's been said many time that our biggest battles are amongst our own trade with orgs refusing to support each other, simply because they want all the kudos for themselves. (All or nothing)

If Uber are eventually given a full 5 year licence, the blame will not lay with the Mayor or TfL, but with the orgs who sit out the final battles. 

One of the best radio interviews ever. From the LCDC's Matt the Cabby. 19:25 into the podcast for Matt's phone call

Start the podcast, then tap the grey bar just by the 's' in August.



Last Word on this goes to Harry Wall 


Double amputee, 33, told to ‘f*** off’ by Uber driver in London who refused to take her home claiming she was drunk’


A DOUBLE amputee, 33, claims she was left stranded after being told to “f*** off” by an Uber driver who refused to take her home because “she was drunk”.

Clare Brown, 33, who has survived both meningitis and a stroke, had been on a night out in Uxbridge, West London, when she ordered an Uber car home with husband Chris.

Double amputee Clare Brown, 33, had been on a night out with husband Chris, left, when she claims an Uber driver refused to take her because he believed she was drunk

Clare had both her legs removed due to meningitis and now walks with prosthetics

The aspiring model was left stranded when the Uber driver allegedly sped off at ’70mph’
But the aspiring model claims the driver that arrived turned them away when she asked him to park closer to The Three Steps bar because she was unable to walk.

She claims the Uber driver insisted she was drunk and told them to “f*** off” before speeding off “at about 70mph”.

Clare, who will feature in London’s Alternative Fashion Week in September, claims the incident has put her off going out.

Clare, from Selsey, Sussex, said: “I just thought how the hell am I going to get home?

Clare’s husband Chris had asked the driver to park closer because she’s disabled but he claims the driver thought she was drunk

The mum-of-two claims the incident has put her off using Uber in the future
“We’d had a really fun night then ordered a car at around 9.45pm and waited outside the karaoke bar.

“When the Uber arrived, my husband ran up to the car and asked if the driver would mind coming to the other side of the road because I was disabled and wouldn’t be able to walk across.

“Just by seeing me coming across the road, he thought I was too drunk. I have scarring of the lungs so I can’t walk very much at all.

“He nearly ran my husband over as he zoomed off as fast as anything at about 70mph.

“By that point I was in tears – I wasn’t drunk. I have disabilities which mean I’m constantly dizzy and due to the stroke my speech is affected.

“I’m on so many tablets anyway that I can only have one drink and have to water that down.”

Due to her reduced mobility, she is reliant on support from both sides while walking and was upset that her disability was perceived as drunkenness, even after her husband told the driver she was an amputee.

Clare said: “I have no idea what he was thinking, but he sped off straight away.

“Chris was quite upset with what had happened but when he complained, he just received a generic message back.

“As he said, the problem is they can just do what they want. There are so many problems with Uber drivers.

“Everyone was trying to comfort me after we’d just had a really good laugh and got to know each other.

“When I was 17, I was in an induced coma after contracting meningitis. I was like that for six months in the hospital because they said if I moved I would die.

“It was to keep me completely still and during that time I had a stroke down my left-hand side too.

“I also had a brain haemorrhage because of surgery they did to take pressure off my brain and suffered internal bleeding.

“They were talking about turning off my life support and in the end, I had both of my legs amputated.”

Thankfully, Clare and her husband were also with Aleah Leigh, founder of Equality Model Management, when the alleged incident occurred, who was able to help them arrange for a proper taxi home.

Clare said: “I was quite glad that Aleah was with me on Saturday. Had it been just me and Chris, there would have been no way we would’ve got home so soon.

“My friends were having to calm me down. It was not a nice situation at all and it’s put me off going out in the future.

“This has happened to me before, where some Minicab drivers have perceived me as a drunk.

Clare’s friend Aleah Leigh, helped them arrange an Uber car through her app.
Aleah said: “When we told the driver that Clare couldn’t walk because she’s a double amputee, he said ‘f*** off’ and drove off.

“The poor girl was crying her eyes out. I was so upset for her.

“I’ve made numerous phone calls and I believe it is being investigated.

“We called a proper taxi firm and got her home eventually. The taxi driver was appalled by what had happened.

“When she is walking, she needs assistance from both sides. Because she also had a stroke, she speaks a little different too.

“It was just awful for her. She’d had such a good night and was happy – for it to end like that was a shame.”

An Uber spokesman said: “Uber does not tolerate any form of discrimination from riders or licensed drivers who use the app. We take any allegations of discriminatory behaviour very seriously.

“We’re currently investigating this incident and it is our policy to prevent drivers from using our app while we investigate serious incidents.”

Source : The Sun. 

CMT Press Release : Arro App Is Now Live


We are extremely excited to announce that our hailing app ARRO is officially live in London! 


As of today, ARRO is fully operational and available for passengers to download and use. Whether you have a CMT Tablet or a CMT Fixed Screen in your Taxi, you will be able to receive e-Hails and process ARRO Pay transactions. 

Both of these features are explained below, with links provided to our training guides.

The software required for ARRO to run in your Taxi has already been sent to your CMT payment system over the air, and in the vast majority of cases will have already been downloaded. For those Tablet Solution drivers who haven't yet received their download prompt, don't worry it will be with you very shortly.
First things first, what is the cost to you for using ARRO?

As is the case with your CMT FREEdom Solution there is a simple transaction fee with no minimum usage fee, data charges, or hidden costs.

OK, so what are the fees?

The fee for an ARRO e-Hail is 8%. This compares very favourably with the competition, especially when you consider there are no data charges and ARRO uses the CMT payment equipment already installed in your Taxi.

The fee for ARRO Pay is exactly the same as for normal card transactions, namely 3.75% plus 20p. 

ARRO Pay is explained in more detail below, but essentially it's a payment facility which allows passengers to confirm payment for their journey while the meter is running ... once you stop your meter the fare & tip will automatically be paid and a receipt will print for your reference. 

As with your card transactions, look for the AUTH CODE. The passenger will receive an emailed receipt, so the single merchant receipt that's printed is yours.

When will my ARRO work clear into my bank account?

Your ARRO work will follow exactly the same cashiering schedule as your card work. Whether you're on our Once Weekly, Twice Weekly or Daily Pay schedules your ARRO work will show on your regular cashiering emails and clear into your account along with your card work.

How do ARRO e-Hails work in my Taxi?

We have created guides for both the Fixed Screen system and the Removable Tablet system as, although both work in the same fundamental way, they do look different.

Fixed Screen Guide: https://is.gd/5ecX7Q

Tablet Guide: https://is.gd/EzwzlF

It is entirely your choice whether to make yourself available for e-Hails or not. 

The blue 'A' ARRO logo indicates you're available, while a maroon 'A' ARRO logo indicates you're not. Because your CMT payment system is linked to your meter, you will only be offered an ARRO e-Hail if you're in a For Hire state. For the same reason, all ARRO e-Hails will be metered. 

No fixed price fares.

If you're "For Hire" and available, a sound and on-screen message will alert you to an offer, with the ETA from your current location and street name of the pickup point.

You have 15 seconds to accept the offer. The job will be awarded to the most appropriate Taxi if multiple drivers accept.

Once you've arrived at the pickup point you press Arrived.

The passenger then has 3 minutes to get to you. Both you and the passenger can message each other through the App, or initiate a phone call (numbers masked).

If after 3 minutes the passenger doesn't show you have the option to select 'No Show'. If you do so, after having waited for 3 minutes, they'll be charged £5, £4.60 of which will go to you.

The 3 minute rule applies to cancelled e-Hails too. If the passenger cancels within 3 minutes of e-Hailing they're not charged. If they cancel after 3 minutes, they will be charged £5 and you are paid £4.60, as above.

When the passenger is onboard you start your meter.

The system will check the passenger's stored card to ensure it's valid.
Once you stop your meter the payment for the fare & tip will go through automatically, with a receipt printed for your records.

It's a quick and simple process that we are confident even those of you new to hailing apps will find easy and intuitive.

What is ARRO Pay?

ARRO Pay is a payment facility that's built into ARRO. Every trip creates a unique code which the passenger enters into their app ... these are passengers who have street hailed you or got into your Taxi from a Rank. 

Once the ride is completed ARRO Pay will automatically charge the passenger the metered fare, plus tip, as soon as you stop your meter ... so passengers can settle payment for their journey before it's finished! 
This is possible because ARRO runs through the CMT payment system in you Taxi, which is linked to your meter.

Who can use ARRO Pay?

Any passenger who gets into your Taxi who hasn't e-Hailed you. All they need is the ARRO app with a stored payment card in their profile.

We think ARRO Pay will prove extremely popular with commuters and business professionals who are in a perpetual rush, as there's almost no processing delay once the journey is finished.

Your regular customers and business accounts will love ARRO Pay too as it's quick, easy and they get receipts emailed to them for every fare.

There's no cost to the passenger and there's no increase in cost over a normal in Taxi card transaction to you. We think ARRO Pay will prove to be a big hit.

We will soon begin promoting ARRO via Supersides, Decals, Tip Seats and so on. 

If you're an Owner Driver who's interested in carrying Decals or Tip Seat advertising for ARRO please email uksupport@cmtgroup.com.

We have also produced Branded Receipt Rolls and will be making these available shortly. Boxes will be sent to Fleets and Owner Drivers can receive theirs from us at our Kendal Avenue facility. 

We'll also be making visits to various Ranks and handing them out there too. 

There are further training resources for you at www.cmt.london with FAQs, training guides and more.

We genuinely believe ARRO is a good product that's priced competitively and will prove to be a success. 

Things will be slow at the beginning, as with all new apps, but with your support and the coming advertising, ARRO will soon become a fixture of your day practice.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

London Taxi Driver's Flash Demo : Reaction To Sunday Times Expose' And Inspector Neil Billany's Letter To Helen Chapman.

London Taxi Trade reacted quickly as the Sunday Times expose, broke. Drivers took to social media and within minutes were protesting outside TfL.

We heard about Rapists, Drugs, Guns, organised crime...all covered up by Uber and TfL. Nothing new to cabbies, but now it's been made public, the story is gathering pace and has been picked up by other media outlets.


We've known for a very long time that TfL were bending over backwards to protect Uber:

• We've seen Uber, illegally licensed.
• We've seen senior TfL Directors Lie to the GLA transport committee, defending Uber's operation. 
• We've seen TfL put a private army of compliance officers on the ranks, removing (illegally) any reference to Uber's wrong doings from vehicles. 
• We've seen documented evidence that TfL management have been complicit in manipulating and suppressing the PH/Uber Sexual Assaulr and Rape statistics.
• We've seen evidence of TfL refusing to answer FOI requests stating that the answers may be "commercially sensitive".
• We've been informed by police that TfL are holding up sensitive information about the frequency of a Uber road traffic accidents.
• We've been frequently lied to over TFL's cosy relationship with Uber's top management.
• We've seen expose'(s) in the Mail, showing the pressure exerted on Boris by number 10 to "Go easy on Uber.
• We've seen Uber Fake Medicals
• We've seen Uber Fake Topographical Tests
• We've Seen Uber Fake DBS results. 

What we haven't seen is our licensing authority, protecting the public and doing the job they are paid to do.

TfL knew about the fake DBS results, but did nothing 
TfL knew about the fake medicals and did nothing.

Fake medicals, Dr Mirza and Dr Greek, exposed by the Sun.

The article published in the Sunday Times has now bought the matter to the general public, exposing the unfolding scandal, after emails and FOI requests were obtained by London Assembly Member, Caroline Pidgeon. This has led to a letter from Inspector Neil Billany of the Met Police, to TfLTPH General Manager Hellen Chapman.

Outraged Taxi drivers made their way to Blackfriars last night for a flash demo and formed a partial blockage of road. 


The angry drivers made a cacophony of noise, blasting their horns and shouting up at surprised faces, press against the windows inside the Palestra building. Drivers were calling for the resignations of Leon Daniels, Peter Blake and Helen Chapman. 


This morning, drivers have been venting their anger on social media, calling for the Airport and London bridges to be blocked. 
No more 90 minute and then back to normal demos. 
24 hours of disruption on a frequent basis, until corrupt TfL employees are gone. 

In the run up to the Mayoral election, Sadiq Khan said "one hit and Uber will be out. I will be the Mayor that runs Uber out of Town"!
Where is Khan this morning?

Unless there are dramatic changes at TfL we will see the mother of all demos hit London's Streets.

Good news as this story is now getting more exposure spreading though the media. The Mail, Telegraph and also the Evening Standard are now carrying the story.


Comment From Artimes Ioannou Mercer (Save Black Taxi Group)
A huge well done to Mark White and the LCDC for getting this story out which has made several national papers and the BBC news.

Finally, what we have known all along, is getting out to the public and mainstream media. Soon there will be nowhere left for Uber and TfL to hide.

Thanks as always to Caroline Pidgeon for her continued support.
  
EXTRA COMMENT FROM HARRY WALL:
I was going to post my thoughts on the Brighton trip and the Law Commission today but I think only one subject should be on the agenda today.

Right, here we go!!
Everything we've been saying about Uber, moaning about, demonstrating about, protesting about, everything we've been saying about TFL management has now been vindicated thanks to Inspector Neil Billany of the Taxi and Private Hire Policing Team.
It's all there in today's Sunday Times.

An FOI obtained by brilliant people in this trade has highlighted and clear, concise and most concerted effort by Uber to cover up crimes ranging from sexual abuse to firearms offences and TFL knew about it, in fact I'd say TFL were and are complicit in every way.

Specifically, April 17th, Neil Billany wrote to Helen Chapman explaining his concerns re. Uber and various complaints made by the public involving there drivers.

Sexual abuse was no.1 crime and reason for complaint and as we all know it's widespread, and yet in May Uber were awarded a 4 month extension to their license.

Clearly, this set the stage for the email frenzy recently revealed.

Firstly, this is the best news we could've hoped for in a long time and whoever's responsible, deserves the utmost credit for delivering it to the masses.
Now everyone knows.

The thing is, what are we going to do about it?

Most people know my thoughts in respect of direct action along with my annoyance that it doesn't happen but this, surely must light the fire, metaphorically speaking obviously.
What we see here is police acceptance, acknowledgment and a request for action by TFL in light of everything we've been saying but have been ignored.
 
Helen Chapman would not have acted alone on receipt of this email, she would have had to inform senior managers including Daniels, Blake and Mike Brown given the scale of the emerging crisis. The Mayor must have been briefed along with Val Shawcross so long as they could pin her down for long enough of course. 

This scandal goes deeper than the ocean, as I've often said Watergate will pale into insignificance when the whole sorry saga comes out and this surely must be the start.

Why has it taken an FOI for this to see daylight?
Surely senior Met officers were made aware, were they told to keep quite?
If so, who told them?
One question forms another.

Uber's license must be terminated immediately.
WE MUST DEMAND IT NOW!
We must all go to our orgs and demand they merge like never before and form an alliance with which to force the removal of TFL managers responsible for our pain and demand charges be brought for corruption. There must be no stone unturned and no man or woman allowed to escape retribution through the courts. No mercy, none has been shown to us or our families and none has been shown to Uber's victims. That being the case only one possible course of action can be taken, we must act now.

TFL have lied and manipulated their way through our lives ever since Livingston set in motion the plan to destroy everything we've worked for but now its backfired to the point where the public have now become victim also and that stain is indelible. The genies out of the bottle and however desperate the rats are, that genie won't go back in so now it's a damage limitation exercise that's simply failing miserably and every stinking one of them has been laid bare by their failures.

Helen Chapman was told about sexual abuse and contrived to cover it up with Siwan Hayward no doubt on orders from further up the chain.

She was also caught going to the States to meet Uber but swore blind it for a conference.

Mason went to meek Kalenik.
Daniels emailed Bertram regular discussing how to circumvent laws, regulations and us when he wasn't lying to the GLA.

Emerson lied regularly as par for the course, the list goes on and all the time this was happening Hendy was shagging his brass and wearing dodgy kimonos. 
A blatant untouchable attitude.

With everything that's been uncovered recently we mustn't allow this to be swept under the carpet, we can't afford to let this go, it's too important. I consider it our duty to seize the moment aswell as the mood and strike as hard a blow for our trade as possible, not only for ourselves and our families but also for the potential victims unwittingly lining themselves up for future abuse that TFL seemingly sanction.

The disparity between regulation and Tfl is so stark it's impossible to consider the two are the same and this latest revelations is testament to an argument for the self governance regulation I've been calling for.
TFL simply can't be trusted and this is proof.

I'm expecting a huge reaction from all this orgs over this and not just words. It needs to be nationwide, ruthless and lengthy if need be.
This is it, our next move is crucial.

That's all for now, looking forward to next week.

Harry.

Full Article By Andrew Gilligan, August 13 2017, 12:01am, The Sunday Times


Uber has been accused by police of failing to report sex attacks and other “serious crimes” committed by its drivers, and of obstructing officers trying to investigate them.

The company, which operates in more than 20 British cities and 633 worldwide, faces a licence review in London, its biggest European market.

In a letter obtained by The Sunday Times, Inspector Neil Billany, head of the Metropolitan police’s taxi and private hire unit, said he had “significant concern” that Uber seemed to be “deciding what [crimes] to report”, telling police only about “less serious matters” that would be “less damaging to [its] reputation”.

Billany accused Uber of “allowing situations to develop that clearly affect the safety and security of the public” by keeping from police crimes committed by drivers — including at least six sexual assaults on passengers, two public order offences and an assault.

In at least one of the sex cases, Uber continued to employ the driver, who went on to commit a more serious sex attack against a second woman passenger.

Billany said: “Had Uber notified police after the first offence, it would be right to assume the second would have been prevented.”

The victims complained to Uber and were left “strongly under the impression” it would tell police, but it did not do so, he added.

In the year to February 2017, Scotland Yard recorded 48 allegations of sexual assault involving Uber drivers, mostly reported by passengers but some made via the regulator, Transport for London (TfL).

Billany said Uber’s failure to report the public order cases meant the Met learnt too late to prosecute.

The letter — dated April 17 and sent to Helen Chapman, head of taxis and private hire at TfL — was obtained under the Freedom of Information Act by the chairwoman of the London Assembly’s transport committee, Caroline Pidgeon.

She said she was “deeply concerned”, adding: “This apparent cover-up of reports about such serious criminal activity is shameful.”

TfL said the failure was “totally unacceptable” and formed “part of the consideration” about whether it would extend Uber’s licence. It was renewed in May, but only until September 30, amid concerns about Uber’s operations. Billany’s letter may have played a part.

Billany said one incident was a road rage incident classified as a firearms offence. The Uber driver took “what the passenger believed to be a handgun from the glovebox and left the vehicle to pursue the other party on foot”, Billany said. The “gun” turned out to be “pepper spray . . . legally classified as a firearm”, whose possession “clearly appears to be a criminal offence”.

When police asked for the passenger’s name, Uber “refused to provide any further information” without a formal request under the Data Protection Act. Uber said the “pepper spray” was a legal can of criminal identifier spray. It did help police when asked and said the refusal was a misunderstanding. It reported all incidents to TfL, it added.

“We were surprised by this letter as in no way does it reflect the good working relationship we have with the police,” it said. “We advise people to report serious incidents to the police and support any subsequent investigations, but respect the rights of individuals to decide whether or not to make such reports.”

THE LETTER IN FULL
From Inspector Neil Billany of the Metropolitan police to Helen Chapman, Transport for London’s head of taxis and private hire
 
“Dear Helen,
 
Concerns with Uber not reporting Serious Crimes to Police
 
On the 4 March 2017 Uber have had contact from a passenger informing them of a serious incident involving an Uber (and TfL Licensed PHV) driver. The nature of the allegation was that during a booked journey a road rage incident has developed between the driver and another road user. During this incident the driver has taken what the passenger believed to be a handgun from the glovebox and left the vehicle to pursue the other party on foot. At this point the passenger has fled the vehicle in fear.
 
On becoming aware of this incident Uber have spoken to the driver and ascertained that it was in fact pepper spray he had taken from the glovebox and not a handgun. Pepper spray is legally classified as a firearm and every weapon carried on the street represents a threat to public safety.
 
At this point Uber have dismissed the driver and made LTPH Licensing aware. On becoming aware of this on the 10 April 2017 the MPS have opened an investigation into what clearly appears to be a criminal offence.
 
Further contact has taken place between the MPS and Uber in an attempt to identify the passenger (a significant witness) and also to find out why Uber haven’t reported this directly to police. Uber have stated to the MPS that they are not obliged to report this, or similar matters, and are only required to notify TfL as per regulations. Uber have refused to provide any further information unless a formal request under the Data Protection Act is submitted.
 
Another more worrying case took place last year. The facts are that on the 30 January 2016 a female was sexually assaulted by an Uber driver. From what we can ascertain Uber have spoken to the driver who denied the offence. Uber have continued to employ the driver and have done nothing more. While Uber did not say they would contact the police the victim believed that they would inform the police on her behalf.
 
On the 10 May 2016 the same driver has committed a second more serious sexual assault against a different passenger. Again Uber haven’t said to this victim they would contact the police, but she was, to use her words, “strongly under the impression” that they would.
 
On the 13 May 2016 Uber have finally acted and dismissed the driver, notifying LTPH Licensing who have passed the information to the MPS.
 
The second offence of the two was more serious in its nature. Had Uber notified police after the first offence it would be right to assume that the second would have been prevented. It is also worth noting that once Uber supplied police with the victim’s details both have welcomed us contacting them and have fully assisted with the prosecutions. Both cases were charged as sexual assaults and are at court next week for hearing [sic].
 
“Uber hold a position not to report crime on the basis that it may breach the rights of the passenger. When asked what the position would be in the hypothetical case of a driver who commits a serious sexual ssault against a passenger they confirmed that they would dismiss the driver and report to TfL, but not inform the police. While the process for sharing information between LTPH Licensing and the MPS works this clearly represents a further risk as it is reliant on more links in a chain.
 
In 2016 the MPS were made aware of 6 sexual assaults, 2 public order offences and 1 assault which were first reported to Uber and then subsequently to LTPH Licensing. The delay in the offence occurring and a report coming to the attention of police ranged from a matter of weeks to 7 months. The two public order offences mentioned above are subject to a 6 month prosecution time limit so subsequently both were taken no further as by the time we became aware of the offence we had no power to proceed, despite both having clear evidence of an offence taking place.
 
The significant concern I am raising is that Uber have been made aware of criminal activity and yet haven’t informed the police. Uber are however proactive in reporting lower level document frauds to both the MPS and LTPH. My concern is twofold, firstly it seems they are deciding what to report (less serious matters/less damaging to reputation over serious offences) and secondly by not reporting to police promptly they are allowing situations to develop that clearly affect the safety and security of the public.
 
Yours sincerely,
 
Neil Billany”
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