Saturday, November 17, 2012

When Are LTPH Going To Start Doing The Job Properly.

At first we had Birmingham, then Oxford, then Cambridge and now Milton Keynes take the initiative to prosecute Licensed private hire drivers for picking up un booked jobs.

Jonathon Arthur, 39, from Turnmill Avenue, Milton Keynes, pleaded guilty to illegally plying for hire at Milton Keynes Magistrates’ Court last Friday (November 9).

He also admitted to having invalid insurance.
Any private hire vehicle that picks up an un booked job, has no valid insurgence!

Arthur was fined £150 for each offence. He also had six points endorsed on his driving licence and was ordered to pay legal costs of £800.

Magistrates heard how in February 2011 a joint Milton Keynes Council and Thames Valley Police test purchase enforcement operation was carried out.

Officers approached a waiting minicab outside the Groove night club in Central Milton Keynes and were taken to their requested destination without the fare being pre-booked.

Licensed minicab drivers in a private hire vehicle must only accept fares that are pre-booked via an operator.

In this instance Mr Arthur accepted a fare that had not been pre-booked, which breaks the terms of his licence, breaches the legislation and invalidates his insurance.

Head of the regulatory unit at the council, Karen Ford, said: “Stay safe this Christmas by planning your evening, pre-booking a ride to get you home and not getting into a cab with ‘pre-booked only’ on the door unless you have booked that taxi in advance.

“The only time you should get into a vehicle without pre-booking is a licensed ‘hackney carriage’ and these will have the word ‘Taxi’ in a light bar on their roof.”

source: http://www.miltonkeynes.co.uk/


JOHN MASON, LEON DANIELS 

ARE YOU READING THESE CASES?

OUR TRADE IS FED UP WAITING FOR YOU TO START EARNING YOUR WAGES!

WHO'S REALLY PULLING THE STRINGS?


Friday, November 16, 2012

Rally to drum up support for Coventry black cab makers LTI

A RALLY is being held in Coventry on Saturday to drum up public support for the city’s troubled taxi firm LTI.




Members of the Unite union, which represents workers at the Holyhead Road plant, will be with a black cab in Broadgate handing out flyers and asking people to sign a petition.

Spokesman Peter Coulson said gaining public support would help strengthen the campaign to save the company, which went into administration last month.

"Over the past week we have met with the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, met with the three local MPs, and met with the London Taxi Association," said Mr Coulson.


"Everybody is pointing in the same direction in that these iconic cabs should be saved. Now we are holding an event in the city centre to kickstart public support.

"It’s not a demonstration, we will just be handing out Save Our Cab flyers and asking people to sign a petition."

He said a similar event would be held in London on Friday, November 23. Meanwhile, the deadline for bids to buy LTI ends on Friday.

Dozens of organisations have already registered their interest, with a shortlist of five or six expected to be announced by the end of November.

LTI was plunged into crisis in mid-October when 400 cabs had to be recalled because of a steering fault.

Administrators Price Waterhouse Coopers later made 156 workers redundant, including 99 of the 176 at the Coventry plant.

Some staff locked themselves inside the factory after being given the news.

A further 12 city workers were laid off and sent home on half-pay, but could return to work if production restarts.

Earlier this month business secretary Vince Cable refused to offer any financial help, saying the problems were a matter for the administrator.

But he said he had written to Chinese private automaker Geely, which has a 20 per cent stake in LTI owners Manganese Bronze, to enquire about its plans, after crisis discussions over a £15million loan fell through.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

LTC Latest Update: Solution Found. Work Starts This Weekend

The administrators of Manganese Bronze Holdings are pleased to announce that an engineering solution to the steering fault has been found for the TX4 model taxi.

Since being appointed, the joint administrators have focused their resources on developing and testing a solution to repair the steering manufacturing defect as quickly as possible, working closely with Transport for London (TfL), the Licensed Taxi Drivers’ Association (LTDA) and the Vehicle Certification Agency (VCA). The administrators today confirmed they have secured supply chain availability and logistics to begin a rapid replacement of the affected parts in the recalled fleet with new steering boxes from a UK supplier. Starting this weekend, the programme of works is targeted for completion by 14 December.

Matthew Hammond, joint administrator and PwC partner, said:

“I am pleased to be able to report that the company's employees will be part of a massive effort to begin fitting the new UK-supplied steering box to the recalled fleet within the next 48 hours. Having secured replacement parts for the entire recalled fleet, the programme to fit these new components has been devised so that all recalled fleet cars will be fitted with new replacement parts by mid-December.

“I fully appreciate the difficulties that the recall has created for individual taxi drivers, fleet operators, dealers and availability of taxis in the London black cab market. I hope that within a matter of weeks we will have addressed the main difficulties faced by drivers and the under-supply of vehicles to the London black cab market. We are working to get taxis back on the road as quickly as possible but clearly, with the large number of vehicles affected in London and also in the regions, this work will take several weeks to complete.

“The support of the Group’s management, employees and unions has been outstanding and a critical factor in getting to this stage. We are grateful for their ongoing support and resolve, and we all remain focused on securing the future of the company.”

The joint administrators will continue to work closely with TfL and the LTDA, providing progress updates until work is completed. They will also shortly commence deploying new replacement parts to the 500-strong fleet of new unregistered vehicles currently in the Group's stock holding. Once the new components have been fitted the new unregistered vehicles can be considered for release into the market in early 2013.

Ends

Source: http://www.london-taxis.co.uk/news


Why They Lost.

It has to be admitted, somewhat reluctantly, that the Magistrate is probably right in his decisions in this case - given the circumstances of the evidence. If it was a Stipendiary Magistrate then he/she would be a Barrister and not a Lay Magistrate who would not have the legal training.

The whole point of issue here is in the wording of the 1998 Act where the word ‘at’ is used. The Diamond Cars defence team spotted it straight away.

Like much of this poorly-drafted Act the wording is just not precise enough. If the property boundary of the said premises includes the doorway/porch of the premises, then the word ‘at’ is being adhered to as the doorway area is ‘at’ the said premises.

You don’t have to be a genius to work that one out – but I think it shows that there are not enough geniuses on the compliance team. What a waste of time and money this all was.

The wording of this section of the Act needs to be strengthened and it seems the compliance officers have not understood the difference between the wording of the Act and the LTPH guidelines given in respect of it. It has to be said that the Magistrate is probably right on this too and the fault lies with the compliance team who mistakenly confused ‘the Act’ with the TfL/LTPH ‘guidelines’.

It is quite surprising that the compliance team were not clued up enough to know the difference. Having read the Magistrate’s decision it now seems certain that the LTPH enforcement teams have learnt a hard lesson here and that their guidelines are not in fact LAW.

The same applies to us to a certain extent with our ‘Abstract of Laws’ which are not definitive – and also like the Highway Code – that too is not LAW. Just printed for guidance purposes.

Much as we would like to see these scumbags prosecuted if they are breaking the law we have to be sure of our ground and, if necessary, get the wording in the Act changed to define what ‘at’ actually means and specify where and how bookings may be taken, on or in any satellite office. Even if it was changed for the word ‘within’ it would, in this case, one suspects, not have brought about a different result.

It’s a point of law and we (or anyone seeking a prosecution) have to be clear as to how an offence is being committed. We have got to be just as smart as the minicab defence lawyers and make sure that any case that is brought is CLEARLY a breach of the existing 1998 Act and NOT based on an interpretation of it for ‘Guideline’ purposes’ as appears was done here.

This ‘win’ for the minicabs will make them even bolder than they are now and perhaps makes LTPH somewhat reluctant to bring any further prosecutions of this nature.

If LTPH/TfL has egg on their faces it is their own fault and it is difficult to understand why the involvement, and evidence from the LTDA, never brought this ‘legal’ point out. Between them someone should have spotted this flaw in their case - it should not have been overlooked. Do these minicab opportunists have smarter lawyers than the LTDA or LTPH/TfL?

This is all part of a very embarrassing ‘learning curve’ that the enforcement teams have had to go through as for all our sakes this sort of ‘screw-up’ must not be allowed to happen again.

It causes us to lose a lot of our precious licence-money in wasted prosecutions and allows the minicab racket to cock-a-snook at us - and at TfL through its own inadequacies.

They must try harder and learn a bit more on how to do their job properly. They often refer to us as acting unprofessionally in the things that we do - but this criticism can also be aimed at them as this case surely illustrates.

All in all it is a difficult pill for us all to swallow.


Just when you thought " it can't get no worse"

If you thought the STaN report was damaging to our trade, if you thought it couldn't get any worse, have a read through this report we have come across on the Problem orientated Policing website.

No one in the taxi trade media is interested in publishing this report WHY.

It reveals how the Met police colluded with local unlicensed touts and helped them form little groups to operate from satellite offices in the borough of Wandsworth.
It also reveals that 343 satellite offices licenses have been issue in the Wandsworth borough in just over one year.

Ultimate proof that the police are turning a blind eye to many crimes such as;
illegal plying for hire,
driving a passenger in an unbooked PHV with void insurance
and openly touting by clipboard johnnies,
in order to clear the streets at busy times.

This report is yet another winner of the prestigious Goldstein Award

CLICK ON LINK BELOW TO READ

http://www.popcenter.org/library/awards/goldstein/2011/11-18.pdf






Wednesday, November 14, 2012

TfL v Diamond Chauffeurs Ltd

In the Westminster Magistrates Court


In the matter of Diamond Chauffeurs Limited
(Appellant)
AND

Transport for London – Taxi & Private Hire
(Respondent)

AND

In the matter of the Private Hire Vehicles (London) Act 1998


Judgement of District Judge (Magistrates Courts) Fanning

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

1. By s.4(1) of the Private Hire Vehicles (London) Act 1998 (“the Act”), the holder of a London Private Hire Vehicle operators licence shall not accept a private hire booking other than “at an operating centre” specified in his licence.

2. The Appellant is the holder of such a licence which includes (in addition to 13 others) an operating centre at Abacaus, 24 Cornhill, London (“the Premises”).

3. On 28th February 2012, the Respondent notified the Appellant of its decision (under s.19 of the Act) to vary his licence by the removal of the Abacus operating centre on the [grounds set out in its letter of 28th February 2012 ]


following grounds:

a. the Respondent had received complaints of “incidents of taxi touting and a breach of licensing obligations at the premises”;
b. As a result of the investigation that arose from that complaint, on 17th February 2012 two of the Appellants operators were observed “accepting bookings outside the operating centre located inside the Abacus nightclub premises;” and
c. “Therefore, you have failed to demonstrate that you are complying with the requirements of ……the 1988 Act. The evidence of the complaint, coupled with the result of the investigations, indicates a pattern of unacceptable conduct and a breach of obligations by you and those acting on your behalf…..”

4. In summary, the Respondent’s case proceeds upon two limbs, and on a joint and several basis, either or both amounting to justification for the variation of the Appellant’s licence:

a. The first issue is this – the Respondent being of the opinion that in placing his operators outside of the doors of, rather than within, the Premises, the Appellant is in breach of it’s Public Carriage Office Notices and, in turn, s.4 of the Act;
b. The second issue is - the evidence, the Respondent says, of the Appellant’s operators “touting” for business at the Premises.

5. For his part, it is the Appellant’s case that the word “at” in s.4 of the Act does not mean “within the doors of” or “inside” the operating centre.

6. Further, he says that the contents of the PCO Notices is guidance only and not in itself the law, and that the interpretation of the law within the notices is wrong.

7. In any event, if I find against him on that point of law, and if I found that “touting” has taken place, the Appellant avers that the decision to vary his licence in response was disproportionate.

8. The first issue turns on phraseology – specifically, whether the word “at” in s.4(1) necessarily implies that bookings must take place inside the doors of the Premises (as the Respondent insists), or whether it permits bookings to be taken outside the doors of the premises.

9. The second issue turns on whether there is evidence of “touting” at the Premises by or on behalf of the Appellant, and whether if there is, this either alone or in tandem with the first issue warranted the variation.

10. I have seen a series of photographs of the premises, and looked at both the Land Registry plan, and a copy of the plan annexed to the premises licence. I have heard from a number of witnesses including Mr Lamb, the general manager of the Premises, and Mr Sarr, a compliance officer who is familiar with them.

11. In fact, the access doors are not aligned with the boundary of the Premises, but are set back. There is some dispute as to by how far, but it can be gauged from the photographs. That recessed area is partially covered by the floor above. The whole area is effectively a box, with a floor beneath, a roof covering most of what is above, enclosed on three sides but open to the pavement on its fourth.

12. When the premises are open for business, that fourth side is bounded by ropes, and access is controlled by doormen and, on busy nights, Mr Lamb himself. Potential customers must queue on the pavement before being permitted (or not) to leave the pavement, cross onto the premises and approach the doors. They make payment once within the doorway.

13. On Friday 17th February 2012, Perry Kissin and Natasha Young, employed by the Respondent as compliance officers, attended the Premises. They observed two of the Appellants operators standing within what they described as “a covered and roped off area” but outside the glass doors.

14. Again, in short, the Respondents case is that the Operators asked Mr Kissin & Miss Young if they wanted a taxi. The compliance officers were of the view this amounted to prohibited touting (wherever that approach took place – indoors or out), and, their view being that bookings had to take place inside an operating centre rather than on the street or pavement, a breach of s.4. Accordingly, they cautioned and interviewed the operators – pointing out the offences being committed as they saw it.

15. It was as a result of this incident, following as it did a complaint from the Licenced Taxi Drivers Association (which had provided earlier evidence allegedly showing “touting” by the Appellant’s operators) that, ultimately, led the Respondent to vary the Appellants licence (although I do note that this was not the first occasion that the Appellant had been challenged by the Respondent about his operating practices at the Premises).

16. Turning to the nub of this case. As to the s.4 point: I illustrate my decision with an analogy. Imagine the Premises were in fact a boat moored on the Thames, with a short gangway leading from the Premises to the embankment, and with access from the embankment to the gangway patrolled by doormen and a rope. Could it be said that the Appellant’s operators, stood on the outside deck of the boat, were operating other than “at” the premises? Could it be said that they were on the street or the pavement? Could there be a risk of confusion between members of the public as to who were licenced operators “at” the premises, and those who were not, being on the embankment?

17. In my view, in this case, and having regard to the particular geography of the entrance area to the Premises, the operators were standing in an area to which access was controlled by doormen and which was clearly separate, and distinct from the pavement and street. I don’t think my analogy is too far fetched. I am satisfied that the operators were operating at the Premises. There was no breach of s.4.

18. There then arises the issue of how I square that interpretation with the Policy notices, my finding being contrary to that guidance. I do so in two ways:

a. Firstly, unlike the policies discussed in the authorities before me today, the Respondent’s policy is non-statutory. Whilst entitled to draft and publish it, and to use it as a guide for the discharge of its functions under the Act, it is no more than that – a guide. I doubt that the only course of challenge to it is by way of judicial review;
b. Secondly, Mrs Chapman made it clear in her evidence that the Policy permits discretion, to be exercised on a case by case basis, as to the application of the policy. She confirmed two venues at which there have been operating centres permitted out of doors.

19. Accordingly, if I am required, for the purposes of this Appeal, to step into the shoes of the Respondent when adjudicating upon its decision, I can, if I see it as appropriate, exercise that same discretion.

20. As to the “touting” issues. Technically, I can see that the s.167 offence is made out if the operator makes an approach to a customer rather than the other way round. The Appellant concedes that to be so on the evidence. However, the Appellant has operators on the Premises at the request of its management. They are clearly identifiable as operators for the Appellant’s firm. They stand at a designated location. They operate in tandem (now in triplicate) one to accept bookings, another to convey customers to a particular car – thereby protecting the paying public from un-licenced and unregulated operators whom I am told are a regular danger in the immediate vicinity of the Premises. Given the mischief at which the regulation of taxi firms is directed, the breach observed on 17th February 2012 was a minor one, and not one that was inimical to public safety.

21. Accordingly, having regard to the evidence adduced and to the particular facts of this case, I am satisfied that approaching the matter afresh, and standing in the Respondent’s shoes, but with the benefit of these proceedings, and the presentation and testing of evidence within them, to vary the Appellants licence as was done is unsustainable for these reasons:

a. I find no breach of s.4; the wording of the Act clearly permitting the Appellants controllers to operate at the premises in the position that they were;
b. I believe that the Respondent should, in respect of its policy, have in any event exercised its discretion to permit the Appellants operators to stand on the external side of the doors to the premises, it being unreasonable to conclude that there was a real risk of the public confusing the Appellant’s operators in that position with the unregulated touts located in the street beyond; and
c. the Respondent’s response to the “touting” was, given the technical nature of that breach as I see it, a disproportionate one.

22. Accordingly, I allow the Appeal.

Latest Statement From LTC

As part of the Steering Box Recall announced on Friday 12th October, The London Taxi Company has identified an additional 16 VIN numbers that are affected by the recall.

The VINs are for vehicles that formed part of the original trial for the steering box and these vehicles have been identified as part of an ongoing checking process to ensure that all affected vehicles are removed from service and the road.

There is no wholesale recall of vehicles; only a limited number of vehicles identified by specific VINs.

The VINs of all affected vehicles can be checked by going to The London Taxi Company website (www.london-taxis.co.uk) and inputting the last 6 digits of a vehicle VIN number. Drivers and owners of this latest batch of vehicles have already been contacted and informed that they have to take their vehicle off the road.

Only vehicles that are featured on the VIN list will need to be taken off the road.

With regards to a fix for the steering box fault, The London Taxi Company can confirm that they are confident that a solution will be ready soon, and that vehicles will begin to be rectified and put back on the road shortly.

Customers can contact the Steering Box Recall Team on 02476 572000 for more information.

Woman Sexually Assaulted on Victoria Station Concourse.

Appeal launched after woman is sexually assaulted at London Victoria
Officers are appealing for information after a man sexually assaulted a woman on the concourse at London Victoria rail station.

Investigators have released a CCTV image of a man they believe may have information about the incident, which took place around 8am on Saturday, 27 October.

Detective Constable Andrew Parkinson said: “The victim, a 48-year-old woman from London, was walking towards the Wilton Road exit of the station when the incident happened.

“As she passed a man who was walking towards her, she felt him touch her indecently.

“She immediately confronted him and he started shouting at her, prompting members of the public to intervene.

“The male then became more aggressive and had to be restrained by passers-by, while the victim left the station.”

Extensive enquiries have been carried out since the incident and, as a result of these, officers have identified the man in the CCTV image as being crucial to the investigation.

DC Parkinson added: “This assault was extremely intimidating and distressing for the victim.

“No one should be made to feel like this and it is very important that we trace the man responsible.

“Incidents like this are rare, but this was clearly a very upsetting experience for the victim.”

Anyone with any information about the incident should call 0800 40 50 40 quoting B8/LSA of 13/11/2012. Alternatively, call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Victoria Station Rank Fiasco

Latest Press release from TfL:
Following the relocation of the taxi rank at Victoria Station to Hudson’s Place there have been problems with Gatwick Express passengers who arrive at the station between 12.30am and 4.30am accessing the new taxi rank.

Too true! The minicab firm in Buckingham Palace Road can be observed most nights walking passengers round from the old Exit in Terminus Place to their minicabs outside their office.

To help ensure that Gatwick Express passengers reach the new taxi rank between 12:30am and 04:30 marshals are now in place at the station forecourt and Little Ben Island to direct passengers from the station to Hudson’s Place.

The marshals started work on Monday 5 November and have been successfully directing passengers to the Hudson’ Place taxi rank.

This is not the case. On Friday night/Saturday morning I watched marshals from the minicab firm who service the night club Pasha in Victoria street, escorting passengers round from the station to the line of illegally plying for hire minicabs ranking opposite the nightclub.

The marshals will be in place whilst additional signage from the station to the taxi rank in Hudson’s Place is prepared and installed.

Taxi drivers should use the taxi rank in Hudson’s Place late at night so as Gatwick Express passengers being directed there can get a taxi.

Actually the Point of the rank needs moving, it's really quite simple.
Just swap the drop off point and point of the rank over.

Cabs should rank outside the Apollo theatre opposite the side entrance to the station and cabs should drop off in Hudson place.

Plus the no left turn into the station should be suspended allowing a few taxis into terminus place to use old rank.


YES IT REALLY IS THAT SIMPLE

Toyota Recalls 2.7Million Cars with Steering Issue.

Toyota announces a major recall with its Prius and Corolla models owing to, wait for it,
A STEERING PROBLEM.

Will LTPH director John Mason be recalled from annual leave to issue a similar suspension of the Prius which are currently being used as PHVs?

The Deputy Director of LTPH needs to issue an immediate statement about this new issue

This is the second major recall from Toyota in a month affecting over 10 million cars in total. Plus in 2009 12 million vehicles were recalled with breaking problems.

And yet not a word from TfL or LTPH about these vehicles which are some of the most popular used nationwide as private hire cars.

London's iconic TX4 has seen over 300 vehicles removed from service by TfL/LTPH after a steering box fault was discovered in some late models.

This from the BBC this morning

Toyota has said it will recall 2.7 million cars worldwide because of problems with the steering wheel and water pump system.

The recall affects nine models, including the Toyota Corolla and the second-generation Prius.

It comes four weeks after the firm recalled more than seven million vehicles worldwide, including some Corolla and Camry models, over faulty window switches.

Toyota is Japan's biggest carmaker.

Joichi Tachikawa, a spokesman for Toyota, told the BBC that the problem with the steering wheel was to do with "insufficient hardness of the steering shaft".

He explained that due to this, the splines which connect the extension shaft to the gearbox may deform if the steering wheel is "frequently and forcefully turned to the full lock position while driving at a very slow speed".

"This may create an increased backlash and the splines may eventually wear out over time, which could result in loss of steering ability," he added.

However, Mr Tachikawa said that no accidents due to this fault had been reported so far.

'Nobody is perfect'

The latest recall, which includes nearly 75,000 vehicles in the UK, is the latest in a spate of such moves in recent years.

Toyota's reputation was damaged in 2009 by a recall that ended up involving 12 million vehicles and fines from US regulators.

The Japanese carmaker is still trying to rebuild its reputation and regain customer trust after that fiasco, which saw the firm's head apologising to consumers.

Its efforts to do so have been dealt a blow over the past few weeks, as it has announced recalls totalling nearly 10 million vehicles.

However, some analysts said that while the latest recalls, which are voluntary, were a setback, they might not cause as much damage to its reputation as the ones in 2009.

"Nobody is perfect. Vehicles nowadays are very complicated," said Koichi Sugimoto, an auto analyst with BNP Paribas in Tokyo.

"The company is taking appropriate measures to fix the problems, so I don't think this will cause significant damage to Toyota's reputation."

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

LTC: Steering Issue Problem Escalates.

This post from the Mr Black Cab Taxi forum.

We received word from London over the weekend that the London Taxi Company have been contacting owners of TX4’s, some up to 2 years old, and telling the owners their cabs are unfit for use.

It came as no surprise to hear engineers were in Manchester yesterday, Monday 12.

At least one owner was told his cab is no longer fit to work. He was advised to park it up.

He has refused to do so!

Who can blame him, he is paying £135 a week finance for this vehicle.
He cannot afford to pay another £180 a week to hire a cab to keep on working until this mess is cleared up.

Is the driver committing an offence ?

The answer must be no.
The council have not issued notice of suspension. At its last inspection, the same council found it fit for purpose.

Please bear this in mind if LTC contact you. Do not let them inspect your vehicle, they have no idea how many are affected, why put yourself out of work.

Why have LTC not notified Manchester Licensing of these inspections ? The answer must be they are trying to play down the size of the problem. There are two reasons for this.

1. They still hope to get a mug to bail them out.

2. They do not want anymore drivers joining the Class Action started by the big London trade group, for compensation.

Some owners have started giving back the vehicles to Black Horse Finance and walking away.


60 Suspension and revocation of vehicle licences

(2) Where a district council suspend, revoke or refuse to renew any licence under this section they shall give to the proprietor of the vehicle notice of the grounds on which the licence has been suspended or revoked or on which they have refused to renew the
licence within fourteen days of such suspension, revocation or refusal.

Source: http://www.mrblackcab.proboards.com/index.cgi

Today LTC announced that in spite of what Mayor Boris Johnson may be saying, the offer of to provide specially approved replacement Taxis to affected drivers in London, was withdrawn when the company went into administration.

These statements appeared on the @LondonTaxiCoUK twitter page today:

TfLTPH provided us with additional opportunities to provide loan vehicles & that plan was put into action.

Unfortunately, that plan has been put on hold due to the fact that the company went into administration.

When asked how much longer this fix was going to take, they said:

"The process to identify the fault, replicate the fault, test solutions & validate is now in the final phase.
We need to be confident that the fix we implement is safe and robust.
We appreciate that the lack of detail is frustrating. When we have confirmed detail, we'll tell affected drivers".


Monday, November 12, 2012

Another Licensing Authority Shows How It Should Be Done.

An uninsured minicab driver has picked up a fine for illegally plying his trade in Cambridge after a crackdown. Well lets face it, you didn't really expect it to be in London, did you?

Asaddar Ali, a private hire driver, was caught in a joint operation by Cambridge City Council and Cambridgeshire police. And you didn't really expect it to be LTPH and the Met either!

Ali, of Bullen Close, Cambridge, has been convicted of unlawfully picking up passengers following a joint investigation.

The 50-year-old was found guilty by city magistrates this week of plying for hire for which he was fined £110.

Did you hear that Mr Mason, it does exist, Illegal Plying For Hire. And the case went before a magistrate that knew and understood the law!

Because he wasn't booked, Ali's vehicle was found to be uninsured against third party risks, for which he was fined £150 and issued six penalty points.

It now has to be pointed out that this is always the case, for illegal plying for hire as well as touting. LTPH once told me they concentrate on touting because its a more serious offence, which simply is not true.

Ali already had six points on his driver’s licence and so was disqualified from driving immediately for six months.

Ali is the last of the nine drivers who have been convicted of unlawfully picking up passengers on the evening of February 24-25 in the operation. did you see that Mr Mason, 9 drivers convicted of illegal plying for hire in 24 hours. As opposed to TfL's record of 0 drivers convicted ever of illegal plying for hire, under their watch as licensing authority.

Cllr Colin Rosenstiel, the council’s licensing committee chairman, said:
“We will always try to educate the taxi and private hire traded and provide guidance on appropriate practices, but where this approach fails we have no alternative but to deal firmly with breaches".

I have it on good authority that there are also no mass murderers, or anyone wanted in connection for genocide, driving minicabs in Cambridge.
He went on to say:
“The licensing team from Cambridge City Council has a commitment to ensure that the trade keeps within the law and ensure public safety.”
Hope you caught that Mr Mason, Mr Daniels and Mr Hendy!

"Only hackney carriages are licensed by Cambridge City Council to ply for hire in the city".

"Private hire vehicles are only licensed to take pre-booked fares and cannot be hailed to pick up passengers on the street.


Cllr Jeremy Benstead, vice chairman of licensing, said:
Cambridge City Council has a commitment to ensuring that licensed activities stay within the law"
which is more than can be said for TfL/KTPH.
"Illegal use of private hire vehicles can put the public at risk, and won’t be tolerated".
Perhaps this is why London has such an appalling record when it comes to serious sexual assaults and rapes in minicabs.

The vast majority of private hire drivers operate within the law, but the city council will ensure that those who choose to operate outside of it are dealt with firmly.

Unfortunately people's safety in London is compromised by TfL, LTPH and the Metropolitan police with a policy of turning a blind eye in order just to clear the streets.

NOT FIT FOR PURPOSE, HOW DO THESE MEN SLEEP AT NIGHT.


NEWS JUST IN FROM READING
Private hire driver fined £2,000 for illegal pick-up
November 07, 2012
A private hire driver who illegally picked up a customer in the town centre has been ordered to pay more than £2,000 after appearing in court.

Mohammed Arif, of Northumberland Avenue, denied plying for trade in Friar Street on December 8, 2011, but was found guilty after a trial at Newbury Magistrates Court on Tuesday, October 30.

The court heard Arif, 61, had been caught during an undercover operation by Reading Borough Council with Thames Valley Police officers acting as customers.

Magistrates fined Arif £110 and ordered him to pay costs of £2,016.60.

Councillor Paul Gittings, Reading’s lead member for environment, said he was pleased with the outcome.
“Most people who flag down a private hire vehicle in the street do not understand it is illegal and they are uninsured for the journey,” he said.