Thursday, February 14, 2019

Seconds Out, Round One... UTAG At The Royal Courts Of Justice


The London Taxi Trade were in court yesterday to challenging Uber’s “temporary” London operating licence at the High Court, claiming the judge who granted it was “biased”.

The United Cabbies Group Ltd (UCG), which represents Hackney Carriage Drivers in the capital, says Chief Magistrate Emma Arbuthnot’s decision to grant Uber a 15-month permit was “tainted by actual or apparent bias”.

The licence was granted on a “probationary” basis at Westminster Magistrates’ Court in June last year after Transport for London (TfL) refused to renew it amid safety concerns.

Judge Emma Arbuthnot said in August she would not hear any further cases involving the taxi-hailing app after a newspaper article alleged there were financial connections between her husband, Lord Arbuthnot, and Uber.

Chief Magistrate Emma Arbuthnot granted a 15-month ‘probationary licence’ at Westminster Magistrates’ Court.
At the hearing in London on Wednesday, lawyers for UCG acknowledged the judge was unaware of any such links but said she should have “checked for any potential conflicts of interest” before making her decision on Uber’s licence.
They also argued that the decision was not open to her because Uber did not meet the “fit and proper person” criteria necessary for holding a licence.

Robert Griffiths QC, for UCG, told Lord Chief Justice Lord Burnett and Mr Justice Supperstone that it was “significant” the judge did not say she was “satisfied” the taxi firm met the criteria.
He added: “In our submission, what the learned Judge has done is to grant a temporary licence to (Uber) on the basis that it may become a fit and proper person.”

Lawyers for Uber said the alleged connection between Lord Arbuthnot and Uber was “at best extremely tenuous” and the judge was unaware of it.
Uber’s application for a five-year licence was rejected by TfL in September 2017.

TfL had a number of concerns with the firm, including failure to report criminal allegations to the police and the use of technology to thwart regulators outside the UK.
Chief Magistrate Arbuthnot issued the shorter licence with stringent conditions after concluding the firm had made “rapid and very recent” changes.

In her ruling she was critical of the firm, saying its failure to inform police of criminal allegations “lacked common sense” and that it had painted a “false picture” of its processes.

Following the article in the Observer newspaper in August, she assigned a licensing appeal by Uber which she was due to hear in Brighton to another judge and said she would not sit in future cases involving the firm.
In a statement issued at the time, a spokesman for the judiciary said: “Chief Magistrate Arbuthnot did not know the Qatar Investment Authority for which her husband had acted as an adviser was a shareholder in Uber or had any links with Uber.

“Lord Arbuthnot was not aware that the Qatar Investment Authority was a shareholder in Uber or that it had any links to Uber.

“This is the first time that such a connection has been brought to the Chief Magistrate’s attention.”
The spokesman added: “It is essential that judges not only are, but are seen to be, absolutely impartial.”
Lord Burnett and Mr Justice Supperstone also heard submissions from TfL, previously made to Chief Magistrate Arbuthnot.

The judges will give their ruling in the case, against Westminster Magistrates’ Court, at a later date, probably within 14 days. 


TAXI LEAKS EXTRA BIT : 
The trade now has grave concerns that TfL will not fight a retrial as impartially as it should, after Uber CEO dara Khosrowshahi played a master stroke and pledged to TFL's Mike Brown that his 50,000 drivers would all pay the congestion charge, making their continued existence worth about £30m a year to TFL's almost bankrupt coffers.

Outside the court in an interview with London Taxi Radio, Angela Clarkson of UCG said "Today we saw TfL in the gallery with their legal team. Next time in court, we want to see them in the dock".

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Why We Are Protesting At Parliament Again Today, Westminster Next To Announce Cab Exclusion From Oxford Street.

The Thin Edge of the wedge.

Last nights Evening Standard (page 27) States more bans for cars (and taxis) around Bank Junction which will ban traffic At All Times from half the roads feeding Bank Junction.

 We've also been told today that Westminster will be excluding Taxis from parts of Oxford Street. An announcement is due around the 24th of this month. This is a direct attack on Black Cabs as the road was only supposed to accommodate Buses, Cycles and Black Cabs, but it's never been enforced. More Councils are queuing up to follow Camben, CoL and Westminster's lead....it's not going to get better by waiting and seeing, it's happening!

The City of London Corporation has stopped short of a total vehicle ban but wants to restrict two or three arms of the six streets which enter Bank junction to ultimately pave over Threadneedle Street for a street market!

Chris hayward, Planning & Transportation Committee Chairman uses the usual derived data from unaccounted sources stating pedestrian usage has risen in recent years, he also cosy's up to utopian agendarists like Fran Graham Campaigns Coordinator London Cycling Campaign and Joe Irvin Chief Executive of Living Streets (what do these people actually do to pay their mortgages?)

The whole situation at bank junction has riden roughshod over London Citizens rights of passage, Londoners of all walks of life who rely on simple direct A to B Jouneys to make their working or disabled lives easier and are being denied the simplist of daily efficiencies for the agenderist brigades poppycock notions.

Every Cyclist who is killed or Injured on Londons streets (or enywhere else come to think of it) is a tragedy and lessons must always be learned by educating the motorist and the cycling fraternity but banning one over the other is completely discriminatory however you want to plan it, particularly when all the statistics the agendarists claim to hold none of them use London Taxis as a direct descript of cycle injuries of fatalities yet we still get the boot whatever.

Ying Tao was the Cyclist tragically killed at Bank junction by a Left turning HGV in 2015, and the Corporation of London uses updated statistics stating casulties have fallen by 52% at this junction and by 33% in the wider area which presumably gives the COL pen pushers a big pat on the back and further licence to decimate more of the cities streets for street markets and maybe even maypole dancing in the summertime....yeh right get real!

Sadly, we are all witnessing the brexit fiasco and however you voted (I voted leave) it cannot be better underlined how poor our joined up thinking operates when beyond the businesses who just want uncertainties to end politicians fight with each other like cats in a sack and this compares with so many overseas city passengers in my cab who daily have to suffer traffic bottled up by the agenderists road closures who blame HGV's for cyclists deaths but punish everyone for good measure including us?

London Taxis are part of London's transport infrastructure whatever the Mayor or the over paid transport cronies think and we should be treated with the service and expertise our supply reflects to all its passengers abled or not, and if the cycling or street market brigades really wish to improve our city, try choosing more tranquil locations or designated routing away from vehicular confrontation as there are so many derivatives to choose from.

No, it seems they have chosen a deliberate collision course of disruptive routing to pierce the heart of London's  traffic flow and I say it again HGV and larger Vehicles Ironically including buses are the biggest reason by far for collisions involving cyclists and pedestrians and it is those vehicles that need prohibition not Taxis.

It was the Government and GLC which mistakenly now removed trams and Trollybuses from our streets way back when and those vehicles were zero emission, I bet they wish we still had them now.... road fatalities or not which underlines the point that they DO make mistakes in the planing strategies just as I see the making them today as we sit emission filled traffic jams.

Be Lucky

greenbadgejohn 

TAXI LEAKS EXTRA BIT : 
After today's demo Sean Paul Day from London Taxi Radio, spoke to David Kurten, in the back of a Taxi. See the interview hear on periscope. Click link below :


Tuesday, February 12, 2019

As Protests Enter Forth Week, The ITA Issue Statement In Regards To Scathing Attack From LTDA.

Whitehall...Taxis all the way to Trafalgar Square and beyond.

Yesterday saw the start of the forth week of protests over TFL's and the Mayor's agenda against the Taxi Trades access to certain Streets and  bus lanes, with Tottenham Court Road and being the thin end of the wedge. As the protests are gathering momentum, it may become necessary to split the venues so that all those who want to protests, can do so....rather than be tucked away round a side street. 


Yesterday also saw a scathing attack, not only on the protesters, but also on the Chairman of a Taxi Trade representative org who supports the protests....from the general secretary of the LTDA, Steve McNamara.  The email sent to most of the LTDA members has since found its way onto social media and has prompted this response from the Indeoendant Taxi Alliance (ITA) below.




STATEMENT FROM THE ITA IN REGARDS TO STEVE MCNAMA'S EMAIL TO MEMBERS.

The LTDA email to members. Where do I start?

Steve McNamara stated that working drivers were pelted by coins? 
Utter rubbish!
Of course he is lying, because he has not attended any protests (not demos).

Football hooligans? 
Who wrote that for McNamara, TfL?
Why has Steve McNamara constantly tried to undermine anything or anyone who questions TfL?
The "end game"? 
That’s Simple, “Where Buses Go, Taxis Go”.

The "exit strategy"? 
Much the same as Tooley Street (covert and face saving for TfL).

How does the LTDA expect any Org or Union to get Tottenham Court Road back onto the table?
Let's not forget TCR is currently lost. 
And as far as anyone is concerned, is on track to exclude Taxis in 12 months time.

Ask Dan Howard and Westminster Council if the LTDA had any impact in their CS11 victory. Macca talks as if the LTDA has had an impact on the 'Unblock the Embankment' campaign. Both CS11 and 'UTE' are bandwagons the LTDA hitched itself to, after other people did all the ground work first. 

Ask Macca what he is actually instigating and doing for Taxi drivers against roads closed to Taxis, in favour of buses, except "wait and see."

One of Steve McNamara's greatest tall tales is his last minute leaflet campaign on Tooley Street because "taxi demonstrations highlighted the issue to" cyclists. 
What?

Who does Macca think hits every single TfL and Council consultation? 
Gingerbread men?
It's the CYCLISTS!!!

Taxi drivers (protestors) handed out 15k leaflets on London Bridge and Bank Junction informing the public.
The LTDA "leaflet campaign" comprised of a couple of marshals handing out consultation leaflets to Taxi drivers on nearby ranks.
"Last minute", because they failed to think of it.

Steve McNamara admits he is happy to allow Taxis to be excluded from TCR for one year, while Camden assess the impact in 2021.
Where the heck is Jeremy Beadle?
Is this the same " wait and see" policy that has worked so well in Bank Junction?
Do us all a favour Steve, go now!

As for lobbying. Carry on Steve. 
It can't do any harm.
But up until now, after years of feeding our greedy, yet misfortunate and barren Taxi APPG, we have nothing to show for it.

Maybe, just maybe...those decent, honest, mixture of race, creed and gender of Taxi drivers outside in the cold, fighting for their livelihoods, deserve better from you than scorn and wilful slander, while you sit in the warm, sipping tea and exchanging unminuted pleasantries with impotent, ineffectual officials.

Steve McNamara, in our opinion, you are not fit to stand with us, outside in the real world.

I call upon all those who are still LTDA members to join another Org or Union.
While the LTDA still have 7k members the press take this quisling seriously.



TAXI LEAKS EXTRA BIT :
To all you drivers that work while we fight for ours and your livelihood, who believe in the LTDA policy of do nothing and wait and see....Chris Grayling has said he won't be capping Private Hire numbers because he doesn't want to damage Ubers working model and he wants to encourage more  entrepreneurs to creat more PH apps to creat jobs....never mind the 25,000 Taxi Driver jobs he is destroying. 

Also this is what the LTDA's policy of do nothing and wait and see has done in the City of London

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Addison Lee For Sale Off The Shelf For £390m, But Don't Forget, All Their Drivers Are Employees!


Carlyle Group is eyeing the possible sale of Addison Lee Group in a deal that could value the London-based taxi company at around £390m, according to a reliable source.

The buyout group has appointed bankers from Bank of America Merrill Lynch to handle the process, which is likely to start later in 2019 when there may be more clarity about the UK’s planned departure from the European Union, the people added.

Founded in 1975 by entrepreneur John Griffin, Addison Lee has a fleet of roughly 5,000 Private Hire Vans and cars and serves more than 10 million customers a year in London alone.

Since Carlyle bought the business in a £300m deal in 2013, Addison Lee has had to stave off competition from disruptive new entrants like Uber by investing heavily in new technology and planning an aggressive expansion.

The minicab operator, which announced plans to take on Uber in New York in 2015, splashed out around £30m on a deal to buy chauffeur company Tristar Worldwide, which Addison Lee said created Europe’s largest private-hire business and gave it a foothold in the US.

In October 2018, Addison Lee announced a tie-up with Oxbotica, a British company that develops software that is used in self-driving cars. The alliance aims to introduce self-driving cars to London within two years and gain a slice of a market predicted to be worth £28bn by 2035, Addison Lee said.

Carlyle has considered selling the asset before, attracting interest from private equity players and strategic buyers who are expected to participate in a process scheduled for later in 2019. 

TAXI LEAKS EXTRA BIT :

Standards have definitely dropped at Addison Lee since John Griffin sold out to the Carlyle Group. Drivers always used to wear suits, shirts and ties. They now look more like mannequins from sports direct

One good thing about driverless Private Hire cars is that the statists of Rape and sexual assault from drivers on vulnerable lady passengers, will finally drop. 

The news that 13,000 Private Hire drivers had slipped through the net with fake criminal record checks was not only swept under the carpet by main stream media, but by regulator TfL. 

Uber Rapist? Or One Of TfL's Run Of The Mill Unchecked PH Drivers?


Armed police shoot man 'holding a firearm' in his twenties as officers arrest group 'holding woman captive' in south-east London.

By Rod Ardehali For Mailonline and The Mail on Sunday Reporter 09:11 09 Feb 2019, updated 23:00 09 Feb 2019

 • Man shot during arrest of six men for allegedly holding a woman captive

 • Armed police called to Blackheath Hill after 999 caller raised alarm before 4am

 • Forensic officers were at the scene carrying out investigations this morning 

An armed police officer ‘unintentionally’ shot a suspect while responding to a report that a woman was being held captive in a pub yesterday. 

A woman rang police at around 4am, saying another female was being held by armed men in The Anchor, in Lewisham, South-East London. Officers stopped a car near Blackheath that had driven from the pub.

‘During the vehicle stop, a police firearm was unintentionally discharged,’ a Scotland Yard statement said.

Armed police shot a man as they arrested a group of allegedly holding a woman captive, Scotland Yard has said

Forensic officers carry out investigations after police shot a man during an arrest last night

They arrested the wounded man, believed to be in his 20s, whose injuries were not thought to be life-threatening. He was being treated in hospital.

The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) said it had launched an inquiry into the incident.

Scotland Yard said six other men were arrested – one in the car and five in the pub.

No woman was found during a search of the pub.

Detective Chief Inspector James Stanyer said: ‘It is vital that we hear again from the original caller in this case.’  

The man, believed to be in his 20s, was taken to hospital with a gunshot wound after an officer opened fire near Blackheath, south-east London, in the early hours of Saturday, police said.

Armed police shot a man as they arrested a group of allegedly holding a woman captive, Scotland Yard has said.

He was arrested along with a further six men. Five were detained on suspicion of false imprisonment and one for possession of an offensive weapon. 

Police were not immediately able to say why the shot man was arrested.

Shortly before 4am, armed officers responded to a report of concern for the welfare of a woman in a property in Lewisham Road and a man being witnessed with a gun, the Metropolitan Police said.

Officers stopped a car near Lewisham Road's junction with Blackheath Hill, on the border of the borough of Greenwich, when an officer opened fire, the force said.

The wounded man's injuries are not thought to be life-threatening.

The Independent Office for Police Conduct and the Directorate of Professional Standards have been informed as inquiries continue, the force said.

A Metropolitan Police spokesperson said: 'Police were called at approximately 03:55hrs on Saturday, 9 February to reports of a male seen in possession of a firearm in the vicinity of Lewisham Road, SE13.

The caller also raised concerns for the welfare of a woman at an address in Lewisham Road.

'Officers, including armed officers, attended the scene and stopped a vehicle near to the junction with Blackheath Hill. A police firearm was discharged.

'One man, believed aged in his 20s, was taken to a south hospital suffering a gunshot injury. His condition is not life-threatening. He has been arrested.

'A further six males have been arrested; five for false imprisonment and one for possession of an offensive weapon.

'Enquiries into the circumstances remain ongoing

Saturday, February 09, 2019

Uber wins 1-year Birmingham licence renewal. The minicab app says it picks up Brummies in under 4 minutes on average

Uber's Dara put a big smile on Mike 'on side' Browns face, offering to help with TFL's billion pound buget deficit by getting his drivers to pay the congestion charge.

Uber is to continue operating in Birmingham for at least another year after being granted a probationary renewal of its operator licence by the city council.

A licensing sub committee held a meeting behind closed doors at the end of January and unanimously agreed for the firm to carry on until January 31, 2020 when it will be up for review again.

The minicab app stated it had been 'humbled' by the reaction in Birmingham since launching in the city in 2015.

A booklet, submitted as part of their application, provided a number of statistics about the operation revealing that more than 1,000 drivers licensed by Birmingham City Council are earning money through the app.

There have been more than 15 million trips since 2015 with an average pick-up time of four minutes.

Unfortunately Birmingham have not released figures of Uber rapes, sexual assaults or account hacks.

Uber also highlighted a number of their safety features including cashless transactions, the fact that all trips are recorded on GPS and a feature which requires drivers to take a six hour break if they have been 'on trip' for ten hours.

The firm stated it was looking to 'strengthen' working relationships with West Midlands Police and Birmingham City Council licensing enforcement.

Uber also has a Memorandum of Understanding with the West Midlands Combined Authority to make transport data available to assist in infrastructure planning decisions in the city.

Fred Jones, director at Uber UK, said: "Since our launch in February 2015, we have been humbled by Birmingham's response to Uber.

"From carrying over a million passengers and helping over 1,000 drivers earn money via the app, we are proud to have had a positive impact on the lives of so many Brummies. He failed to mention the amount of hours drivers are forced to work to make a reasonable living...

"For the next stage of our journey we are excited about better partnering with the city to help solve some of the urban transport challenges that Birmingham faces, including congestion, air quality, and providing safe, affordable and reliable transport to every corner of the city."

Perhaps FRED should concentrate on getting his drivers to stop sexually assaulting lone female passengers! Being drunk after a night out isn't a crime.....Rape is. 

Source : Telegraph 

TAXI LEAKS EXTEA BIT :

Big thanks to @KnowledgeBoy87 for driving the UTAG Solicitor Darren Rogers of @chilternlaw2013, to deliver more bad news to TfL's Head Office today. 

All legal documents have now been lodged with those trying to get rid of us.

Thanks to everyone on-board for your backing and fighting spirit 

UTAG GET INVOLVED AND SIGN UP TODAY.