Sunday, May 19, 2019

Uber Accused Of Failing To Pay £1bn VAT

If you backed & helped fund the @GoodLawProject VAT UBER case then your money was not wasted. Judgement day is coming never lose faith. 

The Good Law Project posted this tweet on Twitter today :
As the Sunday Times reports, we will, early next week, sue HMRC for failing to act in relation to Uber's tax dodging.

If you backed the UBER VAT case it’s progressing. 

Now it’s time to back @UTAG17 for £5 Per week less than your coffee bill per week 
The Taxi industry seeks change then make it happen....... 

San Francisco's Uber-Nuisance Probe Gets Go-Ahead From Court

Uber Technologies Inc.was ordered to turn over to the city of San Francisco data about how many of its drivers are responsible for illegal parking, traffic congestion and safety hazards.

A California appeals court rejected Uber’s argument that the information was properly given to a state regulatory agency, the California Public Utilities Commission, and shouldn’t be turned over to San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera. Friday’s order affirms a lower-court ruling in San Francisco’s favor.

The city wants the information for an investigation based in part on a police department study showing that car services like Uber’s account for about 65% of violations for driving in and blocking transit and bicycle lanes, failing to stop for pedestrians and illegal U-turns.
San Francisco’s probe also seeks to determine if Uber is underpaying its drivers in violation of the city’s minimum wage laws. Shares of the ride-hailing giant have struggled after its May 9 initial public offering, in part under the weight of questions about the viability of its business model -- specifically whether drivers will be compensated as employees or remain independent contractors as Uber treats them now.

“We do not and cannot know at this juncture what the City Attorney will choose to pursue, let alone whether or not any legal action it undertakes will hinder, aid, or have no impact upon the CPUC in its regulation,” the appeals court ruled.

Uber spokesman Matt Kallman didn’t immediately respond to an email after business hours seeking comment.

Source : Bloomberg 

Saturday, May 18, 2019

Are Camden's Bus Diversions A Sign Of Calamitous Transport Planning Or The Decline Of TfL

It seems that everyone else can see the calamities happening on in Camden....except for the council planets themselves. There's been a lot on social media, about the conflicts of interest with certain councillors involved with these new hair brain schemes.....some councillors have already been replaced.

Residents are up in arms (again), complaining that original consultations have been discarded. 
Even the local paper 'CamdenNewJournal' is now leading with articles pointing out the incredible insanity of recent traffic schemes. 

But it's not just Camden Council..TfL are also being put on the spot by the local paper.
In their latest online edition, they say 'all the signs point to what can only be described as the decline of Transport for London'.
Fitzrovia, Judd Street, Hampstead Road, Midland Road, Tottenham Court Road....all these crazy, congestion causing schemes have received backing from TfL.

Is TfL up to the momentous job of transforming transport and street usage by vehicles in the face of the threatening climate change?
A revolution in transport is essential. It will, of course, never be achieved unless it is planned centrally by the government.

The introduction of electric cars is a case in point – this will not come about without the full co-operation of manufacturers, the lowering of costs, the changing habits of consumers – as well as sound planning by transport authorities such as TfL.

But TfL appears to fail when it comes to public consultation. While half-baked consultations on the introduction of cycle lanes have been welcomed by many cyclists they have also caused waves of resentment among private drivers and cabbies.

Creating two lanes in Tottenham Court Road has left it as a street of two parts – one, going northwards, choked with traffic; the other, going south, virtually deserted, just a few buses and a few cyclists.

Or take the decision taken this week to allow a crane in Crowndale Road which forces virtually all buses going southwards to miss Camden Town and zigzag their way across th borough, instead of using Camden Street and Crowndale Road. 
Was there any real consultation?
Any prior publicity?

Without warning, thousands of families who will be boarding buses to go shopping in Camden Road and Camden High Street will now find themselves (until May 25) squeezed out of Camden Town. 
It will be even worse for th disabled and young mothers with children.
This may seem of little importance to the bigwigs at TfL, but it means a lot for local families. 
Good local government would avoid such calamitous planning. 
Unfortunately what the residents have in Camden at present, is well below aceptable standards.

Thursday, May 16, 2019

MP Asks For Plying For Hire Definition Legislation To Be Bought Forward. Minister Says No

Tom Brake

Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (International Trade), Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Exiting the European Union)

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will bring forward legislative proposals to provide statutory definitions of pre-booked and plying for hire, in order to maintain the two-tier taxi and private hire regulation system, as recommended by the Task and Finish Group on Taxi and Private Hire Licensing.

Hansard source (Citation: HC Deb, 14 May 2019, cW)

 Nusrat GhaniNusrat Ghani

Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport), Assistant Whip (HM Treasury)

Providing a statutory definition of plying for pre-booking and plying for hire was considered as part of the Government response to the report by the Chair of the Task and Finish Group. 

The response issued on 12 February explained that since the Law Commission concluded in 2014 that a statutory definition of plying for hire would not be a practical improvement on the current position and there being no change in the legal situation, the Government would not take forward that recommendation.

Was the Task and Finish Group on Taxi and Private Hire Licensing a complete waste of time??? 

Sadiq Khan Refuses To Meet Peer Of The Realm, In Regards To The "Where Buses Go, Taxis Go" Campaign.

Many drivers are asking the same question :
If the ITA have won their/our objectives, that is Tooley Street/Duke Street Hill access and a year's delay on Tottenham Court Road, then why are drivers still being asked to protest once a week in Parliament Square?
The protests will continue because they haven't achieved everything they were initially set up to deal with. 

We want it in legislation that where buses go, Taxi go. 
But it's not going to be easily achieved under the present Mayor. Lenny Etheridge spoke to Lord Palmer in the Square yesterday, who had this to say:
"I've written to Sadiq Khan three times hoping to meet on behalf of the protesting Taxi drivers and on each occasion the Mayor has refused to reply or even acknowledge my letters.

Sadiq Khan snubbing a peer of the realm not only breeches protocol, it's down right rude.

Why We a Will Continue With Protests:
Look at Taxi access from Jamaica Road, westbound onto Tooley Street, via the bus lane which alleviates the stress put on side streets in he surrounding area. 

This is what should be happening on Theobald's Road onto Vernon Place Bloomsbury. Taxis wishing to access Oxford Street and Tottenham Court Road, would be taken out of the Procter Street High Holborn,  Earnshaw street chaos. Plus Taxis coming down Bloomsbury Street should also be able to make the turn right turn along with Buses onto New Oxford Street. 

Another pinch point could be avoided at the bottom of the Haymarket the 10 foot section bus only access to Cockspur Street, should also be open to Taxis. 
All these options would speed up passenger journeys and  alleviate local traffic in this area. 


Yesterday's protest saw an increase in numbers as the police stopped local traffic using the inside lane on Whitehall. But we still need bigger numbers. If Ten thousand cabbies had turned up on a regular basis, we would not be going into a 15th week, we would all be working now using the same road space as buses. 
It's pure apathy that's causing this to drag on. 

So the fight goes on, three hours, one day a week, every week.....come along and join your colleagues fighting for your right to use these streets.


It didn't go unnoticed that yesterday, certain Dial A Cab drivers (now owned by ComCab) tried to scupper the protests by getting messages put out, that the protest had been called off. 
These are our own colleagues, and this behaviour is atrocious. 

In future, if any protest is to be cancelled it will be announced by the ITA, on all social media platforms and not just a radio circuit terminal. 

As French Taxi Unions Give Their President An Ultimatum, Another LTDA/TfLTPH FOI Email Emerges

In a letter to the Prime Minister of France yesterday, French Taxi unions issued an ultimatum: 
"Meet us now and cooperate - or prepare for blockages of airports, train stations, ring roads everywhere in France"


Notice that it’s signed by all five presidents of the French Taxi Unions. 

Below is an email gained by FOI request, showing our largest orgs relationship with our Mayor and regulating body. 

It appears that TfL employees, are writing back slapping scripts for LTDA, to be used as comments on press releases. 

Many emails have surfaced through FOI requests between TfL and certain Taxi trade and Private Hire companies/groups in the past. 

Many of these emails have been publicised in trade publications. Some, even showing collusion between certain representative trade groups officials and our very own trade regulators.
But, yesterday’s expose’(I believe) is the most damning and scandalous I’ve seen in all my 45+ years in the London Taxi Trade. 

Well, well...TfLTPH writing suggestive script for the General Secretary of our largest representative trade org to use as a press release, you couldn't make it up!!!

Questions that demand answers:
  • How many more press releases have TfL scripted for the LTDA?
  • Was the LTDA’s wait and see policy for the Bank Junction fiasco scripted by Helen Chapman, Dan Maskell or even Mike “on side” Brown?
  • Was the LTDA’s decision not to protest over Tooley Street and Tottenham Court Road also scripted by TfL Staff?

Branch elections cancelled on trumped up charges? 
Branches closed down leaving just one that green badges can’t attend!
Multiple members expelled for speaking out against the old guard!

The members of our largest representative group, should waist no more time and demand an Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) to form a committee who will look after the best interests of the trade they are elected to represent.