Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Day Two Of The Driver Led Proactive ITA Series Of Protests.

Militant drivers will be holding a mass ply for hire this afternoon at Marble Arch, 3:30 pm. 

It is hoped that we will achieve the same turnout this afternoon as yesterday. 

Prelude to a Predestrianised Oxford Street!
The protest will have the same list of grievances as Mondays protest, but with the added bonus....a forewarning to Westminster Council, TfL and Sadiq Khan, of the utter chaos that will ensue following the pedestrianisation of Oxford Street.

Unless affirmative action is taken by TfL to address the issue forthwith, the protests will continue til Friday 19th January, and intermittently thereafter.

Policing was light to begin with on day one at the Elephant, but as the week goes on, it's expected there may be a more heavy handed approach. So let's not give them any reason to pull us.

  • Lights on....mass ply for hire
  • Lights off, seat-belts should be worn 
  • Try not to touch your phones while driving

We've been informed that TfL are asking protesting drivers to reconsider their actions, but truth is, they have offered nothing to reconsider about.

Sect. 26 (2) of the PHV ACT 1998, gives TfL the right to immediately revoke Uber's operating licence. 

The licensed taxi trade, via The ITA, call for the immediate, and unconditional revocation of Uber’s licence.

Never, never, never....give in.


What the Standard Said ...

London taxi drivers descended on Elephant and Castle as part of a series of protests this week against TfL and Uber.

The protests, in response to TfL's reasons for revoking Uber’s licence and the minicab firm’s continued operation in London, are set to take place throughout the week in the capital.

On Monday afternoon the busy Elephant and Castle roundabout was brought to a standstill by black cabs, causing traffic chaos in the surrounding area.

TfL tweeted that all approaches to Elephant and Castle were affected.

It advised motorists to use other routes.

Meanwhile buses serving the area were diverted or terminated earlier than usual.

One person tweeted: What's going on in Elephant and Castle, been parked up for 30 mins."

Another added: "Big black cab protest at Elephant and Castle. Roads blocked and big delays."

A TfL spokesman said: "The law stipulates that operators can continue until any appeals process is exhausted. 

(Obviously they haven read their own legislation PHV act 1998 sec 26(2), editor)

“We urge the organisers to call the protests off."

Further protests will take place on Tuesday at 3.30pm in Marble Arch, on Wednesday at 12pm in Parliament Square, on Thursday at 3.30pm in London Bridge, with a final protest on Friday which is to be announced.

Monday, January 15, 2018


The week commencing 15th January the licensed taxi trade will stage a series of peaceful protests against Transport for London (TFL). The protest is due to TfL’s passivity in dealing with illegal activity and the disregard they have for the safety of the travelling public.

Unless affirmative action is taken by TfL to address the issue forthwith, the protests will continue til Friday 19th January, and intermittently thereafter.

TfL has published a 21-page letter stating that it found the company’s central computer accepted a booking only after a driver had done so. 

The process fundamentally changes the way a Private Hire Driver can be accessed, stating, “the point is determinative and that Uber’s current operating model is accordingly unlawful”.

The ITA – an umbrella pressure group made up of 5000+ individual black cabs drivers who have been effected directly by the illegal activity- firmly believe the judgement should be overturned and proceedings brought against senior Uber managers for perjury.

Even though Uber is deemed ‘Not Fit and Proper’ to operate in the Capital they continue to do so pending an appeal. As far as we’re concerned, nothing has changed except Uber can now operate and is exempt from paying the Operator Licence fee.

This is inaction by TfL is unacceptable. No other company would be granted diplomatic immunity in the same way as Uber has. Playing lip-service does nothing to address the illegality of their operation or ensure public safety. A strong message needs to be sent by TfL so other companies who might consider entering the market need to abide by the prevailing legislation. 

Evidently, not doing so has grave consequences.

Further allegations involve Uber not reporting to the authorities a series of sex attacks by its drivers where at least one case resulted in the attacker striking again. In the year to February 2017, Scotland Yard recorded 48 alleged sexual assaults by Uber drivers, most of which were reported by passengers. Others allegations were made through Transport for London (TfL), the capital's regulator.

Why did TfL not follow these allegations up sooner? Why did they wait until a senior Met Police Office expressed his concern? Failure to report public order cases meant it was too late to prosecute by the time word reached police. 

Surely, to not follow up these allegations, or trusting a corporation -whose T&C state that they are not responsible for the behaviour of the driver- to do what is ‘fit and proper’ is abdicating their regulatory duties to maintain standard based practices.

ITA insist on questions being answered regarding the initial licensing of Uber. Jo Bertram (previous Vice President for the UK & Nordics), is quoted at the time of saying, “Uber passed TfL’s most stringent and comprehensive audit of a Private Hire Operator to date passing with flying colours. We cannot however, find any documentation of this in-depth audit or who conducted it?

Further concerns are that TfL allowed Uber to conduct medical examinations of new drivers over the internet, and fast track criminal checks on its own drivers, a process that was supposed to be carried out independently. Meanwhile, due to the vast number of PH licenses having to be processed

Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS) were struggling to renew taxi driver licenses on time. Sometimes seeing delays of up to 4 months

https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/1897962/investigation- reveals-dodgy-gps-getting-cash-to-help-minicab-and-uber- drivers-fake-medical-test-over-fitness-to-drive/
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4848046/Uber- drivers-apply-new-criminal-record-checks.html

Although the emphasis focuses on TfL’s relationship with Uber, the consequences of that relationship have been severely shouldered by the taxi trade for nearly six years, much of which has gone unreported by the mainstream press.

Therefore, under Sect. 26 (2) of the PHV ACT, the licensed taxi trade, via The ITA, call for the immediate, and unconditional revocation of Uber’s licence.

ITA Liaison Correspondent


The ITA Urge London Taxi Drivers Concerned About Their Livelihood To Join Them At The Elephant And Castle Today 3:30 pm

The driver led Proactive ITA will be holding a mass ply for hire this afternoon at the Elephant and Castle, 3:30 pm. 

They are hoping to draw awareness to the fact that TfL have conspired and colluded with, an illegal, unfit private hire operator. 

Today's gathering is just the first in a series of gatherings which will take place this week.

The ITA urge every driver, concerned about their livelihood to attend. 

Below is a list of grievances currently being experienced by London's Licensed Taxi drivers. 

• TfL, are currently allowing an unlicensed, unfit and illegal operator to flout the law

• TfL are currently allowing a third of the unlicensed, unfit, illegal operator's workforce (13,000 drivers) to work in London, after presenting fake DBS certificates when applying for their private hire licence

• TfL are allowing private hire drivers to work, after producing fake medical certificates when applying for their private hire licence

• TfL are allowing Private hire drivers to illegal accept direct hirings in their car

• TfL accept private hire drivers who's licenses have been revoked by other licensing authorities

• TfL colluded with an unfit operator during a police investigation

• TfL conspired with an unfit operator to streamline private hire applications

• TfL refused to initiate checks on an unfit private hire operator for 5 years

• TfL assisted an unfit operator to illegally circumnavigate regulations

• TfL lied to the GLA about PH on/off insurance cover

• TfL lied to the GLA about checking an unfit, illegal operators modus operandi

• TfL lied to the GLA about an unfit, illegal operator's nonexistent contact phone number

• TfL have caused mental, physical and financial stress to legitimate licensed Taxi drivers. 

Sunday, January 14, 2018

New Justice Secretary To Review Worboys Parole After Pressure From Cabinet Colleagues

Justice Secretary David Gauke has requested advice from lawyers on whether the release of black cab rapist John Worboys could be challenged in court.

The decision of the Parole Board to approve the release of Worboys later this month caused outrage amongst his victims, charities and MPs.

According to the Sunday Times, Mr Gauke, who became Justice Secretary last Monday, has come under pressure from four fellow Cabinet ministers to bring a judicial review of the decision.

In a statement, a Ministry of Justice spokesperson confirmed lawyers had been asked to make an assessment on the merits of an intervention.

Although we were told the parole board decision was final and couldn't be changed, we are now told that's not the case. 

Can these four fellow cabin ate members now put pressure on the Justice secretary David Gauke to now have a look at a few other problems the London Taxi trade have been told can't be amended or changed.

Let's see this man put a complete halt to the unsafe, illegal car service, currently working on a theoretical licence in the interest of public safety!

Let's see him put an immediate stop on the 12,000 private hire drivers with fake criminal record check DBS certificate, currently swept under the carpet at TfL!

Let's see him revoke the licenses of the many hundreds of private hire drivers who presented fake medical checks!

Let's see him stop the parties of private hire drivers lending their Minicabs to unlicensed friends and family!

This posted earlier today on the LCDC FaceBook group by Chairman of the LCDC Grant Davis :

Let’s hope the Justice system sees sense and reviews this whole situation:
And why they are at it, let’s scrape the whole PH “letter of good conduct sham” and also put a stop to the remaining 12,000 PH drivers with fake DBS working and putting woman at risk!

If the Govt actually want to do something for woman safety, let’s do it properly for woman’s safety now and going forwards.

Part 2. The Future....The End Of The Road For Those Who Will Not StandUp And Fight.. By Dave Davies

‘‘Protests don’t work’’ they say
Well they don’t if you just have a single protest and then expect to sit back and wait for the world to change.

It needs a protest every day to get the attention of the media, politicians and public. This is now going to happen.

‘I’ve protested before and it just caused bad Press’’  
The reason that the media have been able to report skewed or biased information is because there has never been any proper or effective media management before , during and after protests. If there is no message or the wrong message is being conveyed by the Taxi Trade then the media will report anything they want and will often be influenced by the TFL spin machine which will do into overdrive.

The message needs to be clear and concise. 
The flyers for this protest seem to be doing just that; they list out the reasons why Taxi Drivers are protesting.

1/There needs to be a call for Uber to be suspended immediately because there is now conclusive evidence by the Deloitte investigation and by the Legal opinion of Licensing QCs that Uber have been licensed unlawfully.

2/ There needs to be a Public Inquiry into the utter corruption of TFL in licensing Uber and many other improper actions against the Taxi Trade, and the unlawful actions of Cameron, Osborne and Johnson.

In my view ii is not a good idea to talk about compensation at this stage. The root cause of all problems is the corruption. If you talk about money it gives the opportunity for the media to report the wrong thing and it could be twisted to say that the protests are about money by greedy Taxi Drivers (which is clearly not the case) Don’t give them the opportunity to twist the reason for the protests.

There should be Press Releases and a Press Conference.
A proper Press Release should be drafted and sent out in a formal way  conveying the clear reasons for the protests as detailed above and in the flyers.

The media has to managed; the Press Release needs to provide contact details for whoever is managing the media on behalf of the Taxi Trade. 
If there is no one doing this the message will get distorted and twisted and the true reasons will not get reported.

Who should  the protest aimed at?
1/The Media
My belief that the main reasons that previous protests have either not been reported at all or misreported in favour of Uber or TFL , is because the media are biased by their ownership. There are links between those who run the media and those complicit with the corruption.

I think that some of the protests should be directed at the media organisations who deliberately don’t report the truth. Perhaps the BBC at Aldwych or White City? 
Or Channel 4 and ITN at Grays Inn Rd?

They might change their minds if they can hear hundreds of Taxis protesting outside their studios.
ALL Taxi Drivers need to email and tweet the media on a daily basis until they report the truth.-see links below

2/ The Politicians.
It is the job of the Opposition to hold the Government to account. The Labour leadership has been given the information about the Tory corruption and the unlawful licensing of Uber. 
They have remained silent and they need to be asked why.

The Tory politicians who have been given the information have also failed to challenge the corruption at the highest levels in the Tory Party and they need to be asked why.

ALL Taxi Drivers need to contact their MPs and ask them why they are taking no action.
They need to be tweeted and emailed on a daily basis.
Point Cab has set up a mechanism for contacting your MP and every driver and their families needs to put pressure on politicians.

If any Taxi org does not take action this week to support the driver led protests then their members should surely question the value of paying them money every month?

There needs to be daily protests at strategic locations with a clear message, management of the media and engagement with politicians.

I strongly believe that if ALL of these things are done at the same time there will be a good chance of success.
Good Luck!

Here are some Media contacts if anyone wants to send emails or tweets or call . IF EVERY DRIVER DOES IT EVERY DAY  THEY MAY REPORT THE TRUTH!

The Mirror
mirrornews@mirror.co.uk           @DailyMirror

ben.glaze@mirror.co.uk             @benglaze

dan.bloom@mirror.co.uk           @danbloom1

The Guardian

toby.helm@guardian.co.uk              @tobyhelm

rob.evans@theguardian.com            @robevansgdn

Channel 4

news@channel4.com              @Channel4News

jon.snow@itn.co.uk                        @jonsnowC4

krishnan@channel4.com          @krishgm

job.rabkin@itn.co.uk                 @jobrabkin

Ben.depear@itn.co.uk               @bendepear

Guy.Basnett@itn.co.uk             @guybasnett

News Agencies

The Times
David Aaronovitch Political Journalist Twitter: @DAaronovitch
Matthew Parris Columnist, The Spectator Twitter: @MatthewParris3
Ann Treneman Sketchwriter Twitter: @anntreneman
Sam Coates, Deputy Political Editor Twitter: @SamCoatesTimes
Anushka Asthana, Chief Political Correspondent Twitter: @AnushkaAsthana
Daniel Finkelstein, Exec. Editor and Columnist Twitter: @Dannythefink
The Sunday Times
Sunday Times News: newsdesk@sunday-times.co.uk
Sunday Times World News: foreigndesk@sunday-times.co.uk
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John Waples: Business Editor
Dominic Lawson Columnist
Rod Liddle, Columnist (also Spectator) Twitter: @Rod_Liddle
Martin Ivens, Columnist
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Editorial News and features – 020 7938 6000
James Chapman: Political Editor Twitter @jameschappers
Andrew Alexander Columnist
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Melanie Phillips, Columnist Twitter: @MelanieLatest
Tim Shipman, Deputy Political Editor Twitter: @ShippersUnbound
Richard Littlejohn, Columnist
Andrew Pierce, Columnist
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Editorial News – 020 7938 6899
Dan Atkinson – Financial Editor
Peter Wright – Editor
Lord William Rees-Mogg, Commentator Twitter: @williamreesmogg
Peter Hitchens, Columnist Twitter: @HitchensPeter
Simon Walters, Political Editor
Financial Times
Telephone: 0220 7775 6000.
Lionel Barber: Editor Twitter: @BarberLionel
John Thornhill: Editor
John Lloyd: Contributing Editor
Sam Jones: Hedge Fund Correspondent Twitter: @Samgadjones
Stefan Stern: Journalist
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General Inquiries Switchboard: 020 7901 2000
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News Desk Telephone: London – 020 7782 4100
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Main Telephone Switchboard: (020) 3353 2000
Personal e-mail for each firstname.lastnameguardian.co.uk
Ian Katz: Deputy Editor
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Esther Addley: Senior News Writer
James Ball: Journalist
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Polly Toynbee Coloumnist Twitter: @pollytoynbee
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Jackie Ashley, Columnist (and Radio 4) Twitter: @JackieAshley
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General Telephone: 020 7005 2000
Chris Blackhurst: Editor
John Rentoul Chief Political Commentator
Christopher Fowler: Columnist
Dom Joly: Columnist Twitter: @domjoly
Steve Richards: Political Columnist Twitter: @steverichards14
Mary Sieghart: Columnist Twitter: @MASieghart
Tom Sutcliffe: Columnist/Radio 4 Sat. Review Twitter: @tds153
Andrew Grice, Political Editor
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General Enquiries: 020 7293 3000
Online Editorial Mirror.co.uk – Ben Rankin 0207 293 3396ben.rankin@mirror.co.ukKevin Maguire – Political Journalist Twitter: @Kevin_Maguire
James Lyons, Political Correspondent
The Daily Express & The Sunday Express
Editorial Telephone: 0207 098 2982
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Andrew Rawnsley, Chief Political Commentator Twitter: @andrewrawnsley
Nick Cohen, Columnist Twitter: @NickCohen4
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