Friday, September 25, 2020

Ealing Council Put Out Statement After Video Of Council Meeting Goes Viral On Social Media


Ealing’s Council leader Julian Bell, tells other councillors in a Zoom meeting: “Clearly we want to take advantage of COVID around active travelling infrastructure.  

He Said “We’ve already got over £600,000 of funding from TfL (you know that authority that is bankrupt and wants more tax payers money) to put in temporary cycling and walking infrastructure.
Our aim is to get that to £1,000,000 and to make this permanent”.

So there you have it from the horses mouth. 


Joint statement from Councillor Julian Bell, Ealing Council leader and Councillor Mik Sabiers, cabinet member for environment and highways.

“Ealing Council works closely with all the emergency services in our borough and the safety of residents is always the council’s first priority. 

“There has been ongoing engagement with all services regarding the implementation of low traffic neighbourhoods.   
“We have used feedback from these discussions with colleagues in the emergency services to adapt and improve plans as quickly as possible.  

“We know these schemes have generated strong views both for and against. We want to engage with residents and are committed to acting on resident feedback where this can be done without compromising the trial. 

“Regrettably, the London Ambulance Service were not consulted at the same time as the Metropolitan Police and the London Fire Brigade.  Although delayed, feedback from the London Ambulance Service on all of Ealing’s low traffic neighbourhood schemes including those for two  schemes (Loveday Road, LTN 30 and West Ealing North, LTN20 ) due for implementation by the end of September has now been given and taken on board.  We are reviewing our procedures to ensure this doesn’t happen again.

“We can confirm there have been no formal objections to any of Ealing’s low traffic neighbourhoods by the emergency services.  We have updated schemes based on their feedback, including using cameras instead of bollards at some junctions and using standard London Fire Brigade keys to unlock bollards, as is the standard practice. Should the emergency services make any further recommendations, the council will work with them to implement changes. 

“We deeply regret this mistake and the council has apologised to the London Ambulance Service.   The London Ambulance Service has acknowledged that  since this issue came to light the constructive way in which we have engaged with them and taken on board their recommendations could serve as an approach to follow. 

“Earlier today we wrote to apologise to local ward councillors and MPs who like us, had understood this had happened, we have also advised them of the actions that have been taken.  
“The government funded LTN scheme was introduced as live trials where the public is asked to give feedback as they experience the schemes.  All feedback submitted will be considered as part of the ongoing consultation.

 “As part of the live consultation process, we are committed to continuing to work with residents and the emergency services throughout the trial and will gather their feedback to ensure this can be taken on board and addressed.

TAXI LEAKS EXTRA BIT :
These street closures and cycle lanes will get worse and make no mistake about it, they want to make this permanent.

In their statement, they try to explain how they are going to do everyone a favour and replace the bollards with cameras.... there’s a surprise 

Councillor Bell hit the headlines back in 2015 when he was reported to the chief executive by the councils conservative leader, over a council hone scandal. 
But the chief executive refused to investigate. 

Thursday, September 24, 2020

Cabbies do Kilimanjaro Postpone Epic Challenge until 2021

 Fundraising London Cab Drivers postpone their next challenge until February 2021

When the fundraising group “Cabbies Do Kilimanjaro” announced that their next fundraising challenge would be to climb both Mount Meru and Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania in October 2020 to raise funds for The London Taxi Drivers’ Charity for Children and children’s community project in Tanzania, who could have predicted what 2020 had in store for the world?

COVID-19 absolutely changed the life of everyone across the globe. All businesses were affected in some way or another, mostly in a very negative way and the London Taxi trade was a major victim of the pandemic with every cabbie in London having their lively hood and earning opportunities hit hard. 

Daren Parr, London Cabbie and Founder of Cabbies Do Kilimanjaro, said, “Not only did the world shut down, but people stopped going to work, travelling across the city and the tourist trade was decimated. All the many reasons passengers need cabs in London vanished more or less overnight. 

To compound this the increase in the number of road restrictions across London made it even harder for our historic and iconic trade to make a living with what little work there was in London.”

John Dillane, London Cabbie and Founder of Cabbies Do Kilimanjaro, continued, “So not only did the volunteer cabbies who joined Cabbies Do Kilimanjaro to climb Kilimanjaro this October have the massive task of trying to survive financially with the worse level of trade they had ever experienced but they needed to be ready for the biggest challenge in their life physically and mentally too.”

Daren Parr, continued, “The events of this year certainly took their toll with more than half of the original number of cabbies who had signed up to join us on this fundraising climb dropping out. 

It’s a very hard challenge and some underestimated the fitness and stamina level they needed to train for, some suffered injuries that put them out of action but most upsetting of all were those who had to drop out as they couldn’t afford the cost of travel to Tanzania and their kit, as they were getting so little work when they were out and about in their cabs.” 

But through all this adversity fifteen men and women have demonstrated amazing depth of character, prepared to sacrifice whatever it takes to complete their dream and in the process raise as much money as they can for The London Taxi Drivers Charity for Children and the Tanzanian Children’s Community Project.

Daren, continued, “We have all completed the Knowledge, recognised as one of the toughest tests in the world and we won’t give up. 

Testament to this determination is Sarah Tobias, one of our team, who has had this wretched virus but with the aid of an inhaler pump still intends to be with us at the foot of the mountain to fulfil her dream. We might not be able to climb in October, but we will achieve this epic challenge” 


Pictured - Sarah Tobias on a training walk in the Peak District
Sarah Tobias, 51, from Bethnal Green has been a London Cabbie for fourteen years. She has always loved the great outdoors and was very quick to sign up when she heard about the fundraising climb. 

Sarah’s training had been going very well and she had just completed a training walk with the other Cabbies in the Peak District, immediately before lockdown in March, when she began to feel ill.

Sarah Tobias, London Cabbie and member of the fundraising Cabbies Do Kilimanjaro, said, “Having COVID-19 was terrible. I was at home isolating and felt really ill. My breathing was really affected, and I was terrified when I couldn’t breathe properly. 

Every day we would learn on the TV about the increasing number of deaths and it got to the stage where I was frightened to go to sleep but too tired to stay awake. There are even a few days from that time that I can’t remember at all. It was a very scary experience.”

After two weeks Sarah began to feel a bit better but then went downhill again and after a month was still struggling to walk and got out of breath very quickly. After a training walk at Boxhill, Sarah knew she had to contact her doctor. During the walk she was experiencing a pounding in her ears and couldn’t catch her breath. Her doctor has now tested her with a Peak Monitor Flow (used with asthmatics) and has put her on a Steroid Pump regime twice a day for a month. 

Sarah continued, “Having the COVID virus has been a huge set back to my training, but it has not dented my determination to succeed. 


I will be joining the other cabbies in Tanzania next year and will do all I can to summit. Nothing is going to stop me, and I will keep going back to the doctor until we can find a treatment that will make me feel more normal. The London Taxi Driver’s Charity for Children does amazing work with special needs and disadvantaged children and I hope we smash our fundraising target.”

Sarah has just started taking the cab out again. She says it is still very quiet in London, but she hopes that things will get back to the new normal soon and the trade will bounce back.

Daren Parr, continued “We keep our fingers crossed that the situation across the world has improved by February next year but if we have to delay again we will  But you can rest assured the we are all proud London Taxi Drivers, who will not give up and we will fight for what we believe in both for our trade and our dreams.” 

Cabbies Do Kilimanjaro were due to be climbing Meru and Kilimanjaro in October 2020 but because  of travel restrictions have had to delay the climb until the next climbing window in February 2021.

To follow their progress visit www.cabbiesdokilimanjaro.com

About Cabbies do Kilimanjaro
After successfully raising £18,000 for The Taxi Charity for Military Veterans in 2019 by losing weight, getting fit and climbing Kilimanjaro, two of the original Cabbies Do Kilimanjaro, Daren Parr and John Dillane, have put together a much bigger challenge for 2020.

Fifteen London Cabbies will fly to Tanzania where Daren and John will climb 4,562 metre Mount Meru before joining the rest of the cabbies to climb 5,895 metres to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro.

The Cabbies do Kilimanjaro team of fifteen is hoping to raise £7,500 for the London Taxi Drivers’ Charity for Children and £2,500 for a children’s community project in Tanzania
Follow their progress by visiting www.cabbiesdokilimanjaro.com

About London Taxi Drivers' Charity for Children
The London Taxi Driver’s Charity for Children arranges days out in the UK, for special needs and disadvantaged children and provides funding to support children who need recreational, technology and mobility equipment.

Founded in 1928, the charity is funded totally through donations and supported by an amazing group of volunteer London Taxi Drivers who give up their time to take the children and their carers on day trips.

Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cornwall is Patron.
For more information, to arrange interviews or to request images please contact
Christina Bowden
Bowden PR
07984 433614

Cancel These Unnecessary TfL Lane Closure On Finchley Road, Demand Residents And Commuters. But Council And TfL Are Not Listening.

In May Transport for London (TfL) widened the pavement on Finchley Road – and closed a lane of traffic – to provide extra space for social distancing during the pandemic, and to encourage walking and cycling.

However the Streetspace scheme – for which no formal consultation is required unless it is made permanent after 18 months – has increased congestion, rat running, journey time, pollution and traffic as far as St John’s Wood, critics claim.

TfL, which says the temporary measures will be reviewed this week, has been lobbied by three Labour ward councillors to reconsider the scheme in the stretch running between Canfield Gardens and Blackburn Road.

Commuter Ben Lazarus said the “unspeakable traffic” trailed back to St John’s Wood and that on multiple journeys it has taken him over an hour to drive from Swiss Cottage past the O2 Centre.

He said the scheme has caused “untold stress” and called for an end to the “short-sighted, panic-driven policy”.

Dan Adler, who has commuted through Finchley Road for 15 years, called the scheme a “nonsense” and said that pedestrians only use the original 2.5m-wide pavement, with the extended section now adopted by delivery mopeds and Cargo-bike.


Lucy Findlay, a member of the Combined Residents Associations of South Hampstead, said the increased rat-running and congestion had created queues of traffic in nearby streets such as Broadhurst Gardens, Greencroft Gardens and Fairfax Road.
She warned that families and children are suffering from the extra pollution from idling cars.

Research from University College London shows pavements should be at least three metres wide to enable safe social distancing. 

And that’s where common sense ends. 
The lunatics have taken over the asylum!!!! As we hear from the Belsize Society Camden council and TfL. 

Prabhat Vaze, chair of the Belsize Society, said that creating extra space for pedestrians is “understandable” but that the rise in Finchley Road congestion and pollution demands a rethink.

“We know Camden and TfL have been working hard to deliver appropriate Covid related changes, and we have seen them make further changes when things don’t work or where they become inappropriate.

“Removing road space outside the O2 Centre for vehicles should be high on any list of lockdown measures that now need to be reviewed and changed.”


Cllr Adam Harrison, Camden’s transport lead, said the council has been “pragmatic” in asking TfL to change or remove unsuccessful traffic measures, such as on Parkway, and that he was in talks with the London authority over the Finchley Road scheme.

Cllr Harrison added: “It remains the case that ‘congestion’ is a synonym for ‘too many cars’, and so our communities still desperately need fewer people to drive and more to walk, cycle, and take public transport if they can.”

A TfL spokesperson said: “Our temporary Streetspace measures at busy locations in London, like the widening of the pavement at Finchley Road, are creating extra space and helping people to maintain a safe distance from others as they return to their everyday activities.

“They are vital to help London’s streets cope with increased numbers of people walking and cycling so that we avoid a damaging car-led recovery from coronavirus, which would increase congestion, damage our economy and make our air dirtier – impacting public health.”


TfL said the scheme would be monitored “closely” and changes made if necessary, but that currently the number of people using the extra walking space met its “threshold” to continue with the measures.

But all is not lost, it seems there is some sanity in Hampstead:

Cllr Shiva Tiwari (Lab, West Hampstead) said he and his two fellow ward councillors “agreed” with residents that the Finchley Road measures are causing “unnecessary and unhelpful traffic jams, while also worsening air quality”. Cllr Tiwari said they had lobbied TfL to reconsider the scheme.

Cllr Oliver Cooper, the Tory leader of Camden Council’s opposition, said: “The pavement outside the O2 Centre is one of the widest pavements in London, and it is the most barmy place to restrict traffic.

“It’s vital that it be reversed to alleviate the pollution crisis that it has created in South Hampstead and Swiss Cottage.”


Tuesday, September 22, 2020

David Davis To Ask Parliament, “Are Uber Handing Over 2,000 Pieces ofCustomer Information A Year To The Met ???”


Conservative backbencher David Davis is set to ask questions in Parliament over Uber's seemingly unregulated sharing of data with police and transport regulators as it battled to save its London taxi licence.

The outspoken one-time Brexit Secretary took to Twitter on Friday, sharing a story from The Times reporting on Uber's court efforts to keep its valuable taxi operator's licence in England's capital.

In November 2019, Uber was formally stripped of its licence after what Transport for London (TfL) called a "pattern of failures", including allowing random third parties to upload their mugshots to legitimate Uber driver accounts, bypassing background checks.

Last week Westminster Magistrates' Court heard the American taxi-hailing app's latest appeal against its loss of licence – including revelations that the Metropolitan Police and TfL alike benefited from "thousands of pieces of intelligence on drivers, passengers and journeys each year," as The Times reported.

Davis expressed the fear that in its desperation to keep its licence, Uber had formed a Faustian pact with police and TfL, silently surveilling its passengers and drivers alike in the hope of buying itself a licence renewal by greasing the deal with customers' data.

Police units supporting Uber's appeal, according to written arguments seen by the newspaper, included the National Police Chiefs' Council, the National Crime Agency, and the British Transport Police. A police manager wrote to TfL in a letter shown to the court boasting that Uber had handed over user data more than 2,000 times per year.

The finding is not inconsistent with the taxi app operators' actions in the US, though it also used a cop-blocking technology called Greyball to detect and cancel ride bookings made by undercover police workers looking for violations of local regulations.

The case at Westminster Mags Court ran from 14-17 September and a ruling on Uber's appeal over losing its license is due next week.

TAXI LEAKS EXTRA BIT : 
Wonder if the Met police would care to make a statement on this, as it looks that the Met are supporting Uber’s relicensing.

What’s a few hundred rapes, a few thousand sexual assaults, 13,000 fake criminal record certificates, instances of terrorism, massive customer fraud and account hacking, when you can get a bit of customer info, Dame Cressida Rose Dick DBE QPM ???



BREAKING BEWS 

UPDATED INFORMATION 
From Department for Transport
FACE COVERINGS MANDATORY FOR PASSENGERS BUT NOT DRIVERS IN TAXIS AND PRIVATE HIRE VEHICLES IN ENGLAND FROM MIDNIGHT TONIGHT ... 

Taxi and private hire passengers will be required by law to wear a face covering from midnight tonight. 

The penalty for failing to cover your face will be doubled from £100 to £200.

Department for Transport have just confirmed that taxi and private hire drivers hire DO NOT have to wear a face-mask.

It is however recommend, that you wear one when passengers are in your vehicle. 

Source PHTM 

Monday, September 21, 2020

LCDC Chairman Grant Davis, On Sputnik Radio: John Gaunt Asks Is London Dying???



This week’s guest is Grant Davis. He is the Chairman of the London Cab Drivers Club and like many cabbies he has plenty to say about the state of London and the UK.

👇🏼Click this link to listen to Grant👇🏼


Grant says “London is like a ghost town and unless Boris does a U-turn and tells people it is safe to come back, then London will die, we will be finished.” 

He wants all lockdown measures dropped immediately, “only the elderly and vulnerable need to isolate and for the sake of the economy we need to get London, Manchester and Birmingham up and running.”

He holds Boris Johnson and Sadiq Khan jointly responsible for the crisis in London stating that “Sadiq is like a fish out of water he is useless and hasn’t got a clue.” And that, “Boris is great but doesn’t do detail, he is getting found out, he is nice and affable, the bloke who you want to go down the pub with, but is he a leader? 

I thought he would be like Maggie Thatcher, the Winston Churchill type of Tory and that we could expect a real Tory Government, but the cabinet is weak and he is relying on Dominic Cummings and that’s not going down well.”
Grant agreed with the lockdown but as things have developed he has lost confidence. 

“Why are we wearing masks now and not three or four months ago, it’s just a mess. If it wasn’t so serious it would be a comedy sketch on TV, you can go to the pub but you can't meet your mum and dad in your own house or garden. 

They are fighting obesity but you can get a half price burger, I don’t know if I’m coming or going!”

He firmly believes there will be a depression not just a recession at the end of the pandemic and that there will be “social disorder, problems on the street, riots, it is going to get very, very dark.”
Grant concludes by stating that, “unless Boris gets a grip and makes some hard decisions I think the country is finished, I can’t see a light at the end of the tunnel, weak leadership causes all the problems, we are in deep, deep trouble.”

Have a listen and see if you agree with Grant as he shoots from the lip!

Sunday, September 20, 2020

Kind-hearted Cabbies Drop off Backpacks to Local School Children

Cabbies from the London Taxi Drivers’ Charity for Children have been distributing “school starter packs” to children returning to the classroom this September


Over 1,000 backpacks containing stationery essentials are being distributed to a number of schools teaching disadvantaged and special needs children across London and the South East. 

The idea to help welcome children back to school, while helping to keep them safe came from the Charity’s Child Liaison Officer, Paul Barber, who said, “This year the beginning of the new school year has been more worrying than usual for parents and children as they head to the classroom either for the first time or after an extended pandemic enforced break. 

With the need to keep safe by socially distancing and not sharing any equipment in the classroom I suggested that we provide individual backpacks containing some of the essentials for the school day.”


Cabbie Steve Bell and his wife Wendy, who both volunteer for the London Taxi Drivers’ Charity for Children delivered backpacks to Gainsborough Primary School in Stratford.

Julie Carver, Gainsborough Primary School, said, “Thank you so much for the school starter sets, the children were so excited to receive them.  You are all diamonds and we are always so grateful for the help and support the London Taxi Drivers’ Charity for Children gives us. We can't wait ‘til safer times allow us to see each other again.”

Over 500 starter packs have already been delivered by volunteer cabbies with another 500 still to be distributed.


To learn more about the work of the London Taxi Drivers’ Charity for Children please visit  www.ltcfc.org.uk and if you wanted to help support the  work they do helping disadvantaged and special needs children you can donate by texting TAXI £5, £10 or £20 to 70085

About the School Starter Pack
Schools that the Charity will be supporting with backpacks include
College Park School, Garway Road, London, W2 4PH
Carlton Primary School, 196 Grafton Road, Kentish Town, London, NW5 4AX
Beormund Primary School, Crosby Row, London, SE1 3PS
Torriano Infants School, Torriano Ave, London, NW5 2SJ
West Lea School, 53-75 Dysons Road, Edmonton, London, N18 2DG
Brookfield House School, 1a Alders Avenue, Woodford Green, Essex, IG8 9PY
Churchfields Infant School, Churchfields, South Woodford, London, E18 2RB
Clore Tikva School, 115 Fullwell Avenue, Barkingside, Ilford, Essex IG6 2JN
Buckhurst Hill Community Primary School, Lower Queen's Road, Buckhurst Hill, Essex IG9 6DS

The bright orange backpack contains a zip up pencil case, a ruler, pen, pencil, pencil sharpener and eraser.

About London Taxi Drivers' Charity for Children
The London Taxi Drivers’ Charity for Children arranges days out in the UK, for special needs and disadvantaged children and provides funding to support children who need recreational, technology and mobility equipment.

Founded in 1928, the charity is funded totally through donations and supported by an amazing group of volunteer London Taxi Drivers who give up their time to take the children and their carers on day trips.
Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cornwall is Patron.
Donations can be made by texting TAXI £5, £10 or £20 to 70085

For more information, to arrange interviews and to request images please contact:
Christina Bowden
Bowden PR