Sunday, March 27, 2011

Mason Not A Happy Bunny.... BY JIM THOMAS.

We sent an email to TfLTPH director John Mason complaining about the touting at Grosvenor House Hotel. This was the actual reply we received back :

Usual negative anti TfL.

Keep up the good work.

Again, as per my previous emails, in the highly unlikely event you ever want to know the facts about this type of stuff and share the facts with your readers then please do feel free to ask.



Not happy with his reply we then sent a similar email, but this time through a driver's local MP, Nick De Bois
Seems Mr Mason replies differently to MPs !

From: DE BOIS, Nick []
Sent: 23 March 2011 16:27
To: Mason John (TPH)

Dear Mr Mason,

Enforcement of licensed Taxi ranks

I am writing on behalf of one of my constituents, Mr XXXX, who is most concerned about the lack of enforcement and control over the minicab industry.

Mr XXXX would particularly like to see enforcement action taken against the mini cabs who are ‘ranking’ at The Grosvenor House Hotel taxi rank, Park Lane. In my view he is quite rightly annoyed that the taxi drivers are paying a license fee and are unable to ply their trade from what are dedicated taxi ranks due to the illegal actions of mini cabs.

I should be pleased if you would investigate this matter and let me know what action TfL is taking to address this problem.

Thank you for giving this matter your attention and I look forward to hearing from you.

Kind regards,


From: Mason John (TPH)
To: 'DE BOIS, Nick' <

Dear Mr De Bois

Thank you very much for your email regarding your constituent Mr XXXX and the enforcement of the taxi rank at the Grosvenor House Hotel in Park Lane.

This matter was recently raised with us by taxi driver associations and since then TfL has been actively looking at the problem and how it can be addressed. The email from Mr xxxx is part of a wider email campaign by a group of taxi drivers which has been sent to the Mayor, Peter Hendy, TfL officers and many Assembly Members and MPs.

Given that many of the problems that occur in the area coincide with events at the Hotel we have been in contact with them to arrange a meeting with them to discuss the situation and on going issues in the area in terms of transportation issues relating to taxis and private hire vehicles. This meeting has now been arrange for Friday 25th March. At a minimum we hope to be able to secure a forward plan of all events in order that we can focus enforcement activities in the area if required.

We have flagged this location as a high priority for both our in house Compliance Officers and the Metropolitan Police’s Cab Enforcement team and are due to undertake compliance operations in the vicinity later this week.  Like any enforcement of parking restrictions whilst we are unable to provide a permanent presence at the location we hope to visit as often as possible and especially during times when events which could lead to increased demands for road space are taking place.

We have recently undertaken a review of current CCTV enforcement activity taking place at the location and are investigating how compliance with parking regulations, including the taxi rank can be improved through targeted enforcement using the CCTV cameras at the location to issue Penalty Charge Notices. We expect to increase enforcement through CCTV from the evening of Saturday 26th March.
I would like to assure you and Mr XXXX that TfL does monitor the situation on taxi ranks on it’s roads very carefully and works very closely with Local Authorities with regards to the enforcement of ranks within their boroughs. Whilst I am sure you will understand that it is simply not possible to guarantee every taxi rank will be free of illegal parking during hours of restriction we will always take action where necessary and are in constant dialogue with taxi driver associations with regards to particular hot spots and areas of focus that require our attention. This dialogue includes attendance by Senior TfL Officers at the London Cab Ranks Committee, arranged by the three main taxi driver associations as well as holding a Taxi Touting Problem Solving meeting with the Metropolitan and City Police, Local Authorities and taxi driver associations.

Thank you again for writing.

John Mason
Director - Taxi & Private Hire
4th Floor Yellow
197 Blackfriars Road. London. SE1 8NJ

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Minicab Driver arrested after exposing himself to passengers

Minicab driver arrested after indecent exposure in Barnet

A MINICAB driver is set to appear in court next week accused of exposing himself to two teenage female passengers.

One of the passengers in the cab noticed the 30-year-old had exposed himself as he drove them from a party in East Barnet to their home in Hampstead Garden Suburb on Saturday.

She texted her friend in the back to tell her about it, without alerting the driver, and the pair asked him to pull over at a petrol station so they could get money out.

However, both girls decided to get back in the cab to get more details about the driver before they arrived home.

A man was later arrested by police and charged with indecent exposure and is due to appear at Hendon Magistrates Court next Monday, March 28.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Ken Livingston interveiw,

Ken Livingstone today gave his first in-depth television interview as Labour’s mayoral candidate. It was hugely revealing. It told Londoners what he has learnt from the 2008 campaign, whether he has changed, his record in office, his new policies and his motivation for running again.
Speaking to Tim Donovan on the Politics Show Mr Livingstone:
- refused to accept any responsibility for losing the last election, instead blaming the Labour government.
- refused to learn any lessons from the 2008 election result, apparently telling one million Londoners who voted against him that they punished him for Gordon Brown’s failings and not his own,
- accepted that he played around with fares while in office by freezing them only in an election year,
- gave no new policy ideas,
- revealed he was a deficit denier by saying the cuts had to stop,
- revealed his primary motivation to win the 2012 election was to fight the Tory government.
Or, if you would prefer, in Mr Livingstone’s own words:

On why he lost in 2008:
“I did have the misfortune to be facing an election just as the British economy went into recession – that didn’t help. And internal polling the party did showed that Labour’s figures and mine went off a precipice after the budget when the 10p tax band was wiped out.”

On whether it was just Labour that lost him the 2008 election
“Let’s be honest [the general election] was Labour’s worst election result for 60 years up and down the country.”

On what he has learnt from the 2008 mayoral election:
“I don’t spend my time agonising about the past.”

On whether he has changed
“Is this going to be like the conflict between Ken and Thatcher? It isn’t because I’m not facing Thatcher.”

Again on whether he has changed
“It’s a different world.”

And again on whether he has changed
“Everyone changes all the time.”

On why he would make a good Mayor for London:
“One really good thing, is that I don’t hit the ground and have to spend two years working out how to do the job.”

On his vision for the next four years
“I’m not going to go into a whole load of promises.”

On what he delivered for outer London when he was Mayor
“Everyday of my life I have lived in zone 3 you know, or zone 4.”

On why he played around with fares while in office, freezing them only in an election year
“Because we had reserves.”

On raising council tax by 153% while in office
“If it was wrong why hasn’t the current Mayor cut it.”

On how he will make savings if he gets back in
“Any savings you can find, back office functions, amalgamation of services, senior level, all that stuff you do.”
For the record: When the current Mayor came into office he slashed City Hall’s wage bill by £8million a year compared to the previous administration.
For the record: The wages of Ken Livingstone’s closest advisors almost doubled from £66,000 to £111,000 in his second term. Just before they were voted out of office they changed the rules so they could collect pay-offs totalling £1.6million.

On becoming Mayor again
“If I win it will be a body blow to this government. It is the first chance people will have to say you are cutting too far, cutting too deep. Enough is enough.”