Saturday, December 22, 2012

Letter from Jennette Arnold OBE AM With Reply From Jim Thomas.

Dear Editor,
Last Saturday millions of women across the world marched to demand justice for rape survivors and ‘reclaim the night’ - to give women a voice and put the issue of safety for women back on the agenda.
A survey released earlier this year reported that a quarter of women in London don’t feel safe on public transport. Moreover, there were 103 minicab assaults in 2011/12 and 10,121 reported sexual offences in London in total. Domestic violence in the capital numbered 45,000 last year and 3,000 rapes were reported to the Metropolitan police.
As the nights continue to get longer and the festive season gets underway I want to emphasise the importance of staying safe when travelling home. TfL recently launched a new ad campaign to warn the public, particularly women, of the pitfalls of taking illegal minicabs home, which I fully support.
By using Cabwise you can ensure your safety by being met by a licensed cabbie, with the registration number sent to your mobile. TfL’s campaign over the last two years has resulted in a 26 percent drop in sexual assaults but more needs to be done to stop these violent crimes against women. It’s easy, quick and free to download. By texting CAB to 60835 you can get the numbers of two local minicab companies and one licensed black cab number.
Illegal taxis are not worth the risk. Stay safe this winter.
Yours,
Jennette Arnold OBE AM
Assembly Member for North East including Hackney, Islington and Waltham Forest



Jim Thomas AKA Thomas the Taxi Answers Jennette's letter:

Thank you Jennette for the time and effort you have put in to this problem. We will continue to keep you informed of our fight to get TfL to recognise the dangers to women by their policy of constantly turning a blind eye to the offence of illegally plying for hire by minicabs.

It is greatly distressing to constantly go round in circles, as every time we complain that nothing is or has been done in regards to this offence, TfL give the same answer, the same statistics using the arrests for "Touting" which is a completely different offence and issue.

Women are being put at risk by being herded by clipboard controllers, into waiting minicabs who illegally ply for hire, in lines outside night venues. A great deal of the time, no record of the journey is kept and this offence, although not arrestable (but is reportable) carries the same penalty as touting (level 3: source, TfL Abstract of Law).
LTPH have a compliance team that could undertake this work but are ordered to concentrate on badge and bill document checks at licensed Taxi ranks. Looking at statistics for these checks show a bias from LTPH against the licensed Taxi trade.

Period 13, 4 March to the 31 March
a) 373 document checks made on Taxis.
b) 90 such checks were made on Private hire/minicabs.
As PH outnumber Taxis by a ratio of 3 to1 this shows genuine bias against the licensed Taxi trade.

The amount of revocations of drivers convicted of touting show a different story to the one painted by the Mayor and TfL

2010/11...330
2011/12...189
2012/13...195 to the end of period 8 - 10 Nov.

Pitifully low in respect of the thousands of incidents that take place nightly.

Since TfL took charge of licensing the Taxi and Private Hire trades, not one case of illegal plying for hire has come to court. Fact is, in the eye of many support groups such as the Heavens Rape Crisis centres illegal plying for hire is one of the main causes of serious sexual assaults on minicab passengers.

Other towns and cities around the country have a good record of prosecutions for illegal plying for hire and recognise the dangers of turning a blind eye to the lines of cars illegally forming ranks outside night venues. It would seem its only LTPH, the Met/City Police and local councils in London who turn a blind eye in order to clear the late night streets of revellers.

The first half statistics for 2012 ( which you have omitted from your statistics) shows a sharp rise of 20% in minicab related assaults including rape. These new figures given to GLA Assembly members by the mayor and TfL show that the current system of turning a blind eye to what TfL/LTPH feel and have always felt a lessor offence, isn't working. The good work done in the previous three years, getting the number of reported minicab related assaults down from 145 to 103, is being destroyed by arrogance and complacency on the part of TfL, the Met/City Police and local council parking services.

In conclusion, I would suggest that the offence of illegal plying for hire has to be addressed to finally make an impact on these terrible statistics. It has been announced by support groups such as the Heavens, that at present, trust in the handling of victims by the police is at an all time low and as little as 1 in 10 attacks actually get reported. We have even seen cases where serving police officers have been sacked for manipulating the records of serious assaults and rape. This alone brings into disrepute the figures from 2010/2011.

TfL can no longer turn a blind eye to this offence. It is time the public were given the protection that the law allows.

Jim Thomas
Licensed Taxi Driver
39 years service.


TfL legal department has just lost a case against Diamond cars. How bad must their evidence have been to lose. This footage made by a lone Taxi driver, could be replicated virtually every night of the week.


Friday, December 21, 2012

Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co, Puts In Bid To Buy Manganese Bronze: Confirmed.

It has been confirmed on the Bloomberg website, Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co. has submitted a bid to buy Manganese Bronze Holdings Plc, the maker of London’s black cabs that’s under creditor protection, two people familiar with the matter said.

Zhejiang Geely, which owns Swedish automaker Volvo Cars, is offering to buy 80.03 percent of Manganese Bronze, one of the people said, declining to say how much the company is offering for the stake. Both people asked not to be named because the talks are private.
Enlarge image

A purchase of the cab maker will help Zhejiang Geely, the closely held automaker headed by Li Shufu, speed up its overseas expansion. Manganese Bronze, which has made taxis in Coventry, England since 1948, is fighting for survival after going into administration (a form of creditor protection) on Oct. 30 after the tie-up with Geely Automobile Holdings Ltd, failed to yield savings.

Geely Auto, the Hong Kong-traded unit of Zhejiang Geely, owns 19.97 percent in the cab maker. The listed unit isn’t involved in the bid, one of the people said.
A Zhejiang Geely spokesman declined to comment.
A London-based spokeswoman for Manganese Bronze’s administrator, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLC, couldn’t immediately comment on the bid.

Geely Auto and Manganese Bronze entered a cab-making joint venture in 2006 in Shanghai to reduce costs of producing the iconic taxis. Under the deal, the British manufacturer bought components and body parts from Geely before assembling them in the U.K. Geely in return can sell the cabs in China and parts of Asia.

John Mason and Helen Chapman Banned from the London Taxi Drivers Forum.



A Statement From The LTDF Taxi Drivers Forum.

Yesterday afternoon, a subscriber to the LTDF posted an allegation regarding Director of PCO John Mason's conduct in a pub whilst allegedly out with some Knowledge Examiners.

John Mason then logged on to the forum using Helen Chapman's account to report this post to the Administrator, threatening legal action where he would be seeking substantial damages from anybody who said unsubstantiated and hurtful things about him.

His complaint to us requested that we remove the post in question, and any posts where this had been quoted and issue a warning to all forum members of the action he intends to take.

This we did immediately.

We posted Mr Mason's complaint for all members to read so they at least knew what it was he was unhappy about, because we think it would be very difficult to warn members not to do something when we can't inform them of what it is that they shouldn't be doing.

Had we simply written "Please do not say hurtful things about John Mason or he will sue you" we feel nobody would have been none the wiser about what they are or are not allowed to say.

The original post, although not something that John Mason would particularly want you to know if it were true, did not contain any allegations of corruption or illegal behaviour and was merely an unsubstantiated rumour that may or not be true. It was also followed by the original poster's opinion of the allegation.

Because this was an unsubstantiated allegation we decided to remove the original post, and I believe the original poster understood our reason for doing so.

Then a strange thing happened.

A short while later whilst administering this forum we noticed that the post we had written containing Mr Mason's complaint had disappeared.

We checked the security log but could find no record of it having been removed by any of the moderation team.

Very strange indeed. The security log records all actions on this forum, yet there was nothing to say that the post had been removed.

Were we suffering from an attack of the Gremlins?

What later transpired was that Mr Mason was unhappy that we had posted his complaint in its entirety and complained to Proboards who host this forum. and somebody from Proboards had simply removed this post on Mr Mason's say so, without so much as even contacting us to inform us.

This we think is wrong and totally unprofessional of both Proboards and Mr Mason.

At no point in Mr Mason's complaint did he specify that he did not want his complaint to be displayed to members, and as previously stated we can't think how it would be possible to warn forum members about what they should not be doing if we are not allowed to tell them what it is they should not be doing.

This does however throw up some questions.

Did Mr Mason use his public position to demand that Proboards remove comments made about him during his personal life?

Why did Mr Mason feel the need to go above our heads when we had already immediately complied with his wishes?

Why did he simply not contact us again to tell us he was unhappy with the action we had already taken.

Why did Proboards act on his wishes when they have no affiliation to LT&PH, TfL or anyone else connected to this trade?

Why did Proboards not even bother to contact us to either
a) ask us to take action, or
b) Inform us that they had taken action?

Is Mr Mason planning to use TfL's legal team, of which we pay part of, to take legal action against anyone who makes unsubstantiated allegations pertaining to his private life?

Are members not allowed to have opinions anymore?

Using another member's log in details is also forbidden on this forum, along with multiple usernames, and both are bannable offences.

Neither John Mason nor Helen Chapman are Taxi drivers and have been allowed to use this forum as our guests.

We have therefore taken the view that Mr Mason's actions are unacceptable and we no longer want him or Helen Chapman on here, until further notice.

Thank you.

Comment;

John, instead of worry about your public image and threatening to take legal action against Taxi drivers, why don't you just do the job your paid (Rather handsomely) to do.
Here's a good start:
http://www.exclusiveairports.com/
This advert is in contravention of the private hire act 1998 sec 31. Show some backbone and take legal action against them...Or do you just find the license Taxi trade an easier target?


Thursday, December 20, 2012

Deputy Mayor, Allegedly Fondled Female Member of Staff.

The senior Boris Johnson aide who has been accused of harassment has been named as deputy mayor, Stephen Greenhalgh. The Tory, who is paid a whopping £127,784 per year, has apologised after allegedly fondling the bottom of a female member of staff in a lift.

Despite claiming that he could not remember the incident, Greenhalgh gave the following statement to Snipe late last night:

“I would like to apologise unreservedly for anything that could be or may have been construed as inappropriate behaviour on my part.”

Greenhalgh has apologised "unreservedly" following an allegation that he molested a female member of staff in a city hall lift.

Greenhalgh, the former Tory leader of Hammersmith and Fulham council, who now holds day-to-day responsibility in the mayor's office for policing and crime, allegedly patted a female member of staff on the bottom while in a lift last month.

The allegation surfaced after the female member of staff told a colleague, and it was relayed to management. However, no complaint, formal or otherwise, has subsequently been made.

Greenhalgh met Boris Johnson on Tuesday evening after the Conservative mayor was made aware of the alleged incident, though the mayor's office declined to say whether the meeting led to a reprimand.

Greenhalgh, who Johnson appointed following his re-election in May, later issued an "unreserved" apology in a statement, despite insisting he had no recollection of the incident.

He said: "I have no recollection of this event and I understand no complaint has been made. Nonetheless I would like to apologise unreservedly for anything that could be or may have been construed as inappropriate behaviour on my part."

Labour said the statement was "absurd" and called on Johnson to act.

Len Duvall, leader of the Labour group on the London assembly, said: "If he didn't do anything wrong why did he apologise? Boris Johnson needs to get to the root of this immediately. It is completely unacceptable that someone in such a senior position cannot recollect whether such a serious incident occurred only a few weeks ago.

"Stephen Greenhalgh is responsible for overseeing the Metropolitan police and providing effective leadership for our capital's police service. He is responsible for making sure the Met's officers and staff maintain the highest standards whilst carrying out their public duties.

"Regardless of whether a formal complaint is made or not this needs investigating. This is a serious matter that needs urgent clarification. If it remains unclear or unresolved then he should step down. I understand that this has been going on for four weeks. We need to know who knew what and when in the mayor's office. Boris needs to establish what has been going on."

So, after a sexual assault on a member of staff by a deputy Mayor, an apology is all that's needed???
Had this been a Taxi driver with a member of the public, he would have been arrested and charged. His license revoked and on conviction (even if he did apologised), he would have been added to the sex offenders register.


This actually happened about 18 months ago, to a 72 year old Taxi driver who accidentally touched a passengers breast as he tried to remove her from the taxi. After a complaint was made he apologised and said it was an accident. But the judge found the apology to be an admission of guilt and he was found guilty, his license revoked and he was added to the sex offenders register.

So that's one rule for Taxi drivers and another rule (or should we say guideline) for deputy Mayors.

Source: Politicalscrapbook.net and the Guardian



Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Heathrow Meeting: by Taxi Leak's Airport Reporter.

Direct action has been taken by HATDU against HALTS by standing next to the 'Taxi Information' desks in terminal 1 advising all the walk up passengers to go straight out to the rank and get a Taxi from there, instead of having the HALTS rep encourage them to pay for their journey there and then by credit card, for which they add on their bit, and pay the driver less.

An announcement was made in the canteen that they had stopped hundreds of jobs being hijacked by HALTS throughout the day. He said there were 25 alone in the first hour.

Action has continued with help from other trade orgs and as a result a meeting was convened. Called for by the LTDA and held in Unites cabin, the meeting was attended by representatives from LTDA, Unite, LCDC, RMT, UCG and HADTU.

A survey will shortly be launched that will be asking drivers
1. Should the taxi information desks at Heathrow revert to information only, as they were originally intended.
2. Should booking taxis and creating credit card pre-payments through the desks, be stopped;
3. Are drivers happy to continue paying 78pence to HALTS from the gate money each time they enter the taxi feeder park.

There needs to be more information given to drivers, who may not know the issues well enough, before giving their answers.

I'm not too sure if the results of such a survey will be enough to convince BAA to change anything if drivers state that they want the taxi info desks here for info only and don't want to pay the 78pence to HALTS.

BAA has plans for the taxi trade at Heathrow and it'll take a lot of persuading to get them to alter course. I don't think this survey will be enough in itself to make a difference to these plans.


What a survey like this may do, if properly carried out, is to open the debate in a general sense and to create an atmosphere which gets drivers thinking about where things might be heading at Heathrow.
All eyes at present are on the situation at London City Airport were the airport has entered into a partnership with a private hire company.

Recently the London Taxi trade has seen an escalation in the issue of private hire satellite office licenses at major venues and termini, with one company able to acquire over 30 licenses within days of registering as a completely new company. Underground Station Taxi ranks have been revoked and replaced by in-station minicab offices, all over London and the suburbs. Suburban sectors have been flooded with new drivers. One suburban sector has over 1000 drivers and only 98 rank spaces.

Taxis are being turned away from popular venues by security firms who have made deals with certain private hire companies. PH clipboards are now turning up at functions and openly taking straight away bookings on the street.

On street touting is now completely out of control with both the licensing authority and the Met Police unable and unwilling to enforce adequate protection in regards to public safety. Regent Street by Swallow is a prime example.

Let's hope that this newly found attitude of our representative groups, who have for the first time sat down together at the same table, escalates into a united trade front to take the trade forward, instead of continued infighting

THE UNITED TRADE FRONT:
THAT'S ONE GROUP I WOULD GLADLY PAY TO BELONG TO



Chinese Take Away! Geely To Buy up Sole Control of Manganese Bronze After Christmas.

Zhejiang Geely Automobile Holdings reportedly plans to purchase the entire Coventry-based black cab manufacturer Manganese Bronze Holdings after Christmas so as to sharpen its manufacturing technology and management skills, China Business Journal reported over the weekend, citing an anonymous source.

This move comes after the British carmaker's October 30 bankruptcy filing, which will allow Geely to buy sole control over Manganese Bronze (MB) for a fairly low price, the source said, without revealing the specific amounts. Before going into bankruptcy, the company asked for a bailout from its second largest shareholder, Geely, but was refused.

The Global Times was unable to reach a Geely representative with knowledge of the deal by press time.

In order to help the 64-year-old British cab maker regain its footing, Geely has twice bought stakes in Manganese Bronze, in 2006 and 2010. Currently, Geely holds a 19.97 percent stake in Manganese Bronze and 52 percent of their joint venture Shanghai Maple Automobile, while the other 48 percent stake in the JV and the right to sell black cabs outside Asia belongs to the British side.

Manganese Bronze was burdened with 11.4 million pounds ($18.4 million) in net debt and saw a loss of 3.6 million pounds in the first half of the year, with 1,081 black cabs being sold in England compared with 1,222 over the same period in 2011.

Despite the debt, the potential acquisition would still be a win-win, providing Geely access to Europe's mature markets thanks to Manganese Bronze's powerful sales channels and well-established brands there, Cui Dongshu, deputy secretary-general of the China Passenger Car Association, told the Global Times Sunday. Geely sells its vehicles to over 50 countries, mostly in the developing world.

However, Geely has to develop new vehicle designs instead of continuing to use the model of the TX4, a business vehicle produced by its Shanghai JV, when breaking into new markets, Cui said.

The TX4 model, based on MB's classic black cab, not only faced quality scandals in the overseas market, but also has not sold well in China since its debut in 2009, Cui noted.

On October 12, MB said it would recall some 400 TX4 black cabs due to defects in a new type of steering box, and that it would stop the development of new vehicle designs.

Data from domestic news portal Sohu Automobile indicated that 500 TX4s were sold in China for the 10 months through October, a 45.07 percent decrease year-on-year.

If reports of the deal are true, the integration of the two firms will be a concern, given their history of difficulty cooperating, Cui said, noting that since 2007, Geely has been marginalized by MB.

In 2010, Geely bought the Volvo passenger vehicle business from Ford, ending four consecutive years of sliding sales for Volvo Car Corp.

Geely is expected to improve its brand value via cooperation with other global automobile makers, which will help it attract more consumers in China and abroad, said Wei Guangju, an industry analyst from Adfaith Management Consulting.

source "GLOBAL TIMES" china

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

What Type Of Scumbag, Performs Acts Such As This?

Police are appealing after Christmas presents destined for sick children were stolen from Great Ormond Street Hospital.

Police were notified yesterday afternoon (Monday, 18 December) by the hospital that the wrapped presents destined for children in the Intensive Care Unit were stolen from the hospital.

The items stolen include portable DVD players, DVD's, Nintendo DS consoles, games and toys.

The items were stolen between Friday 14 and Monday 17 December from a non-public area of the hospital

Officers from Camden borough are investigating. The items had been bought from the hospitals charity fund.

Insp Neal Anderson said "To steal presents that were supposed to be for children too sick to be at home with their families at Christmas is beyond belief.

"I would urge anyone who has information about the individual, or persons responsible, to contact officers so that we can try and get the items back before Christmas day.

"I would also urge the thief to try and think about their actions and do the decent thing and return them.

Anyone with information is asked to call 101 and ask for the CID office at Holborn. If you wish to remain anonymous then please call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111



Source: Met Police

SOME USEFUL ADVICE ABOUT SCAMS, FROM THE MET:

Watch out for charity scams this Christmas
The Charity Commission and Fundraising Standards Board (FRSB) have joined together to produce some guidance on how to avoid giving donations away to fraudsters this Christmas.

Almost all collections are genuine, but some people will try to abuse the generosity of others for their own gain. With some charities having experienced fraud, it is vital that the public know that their donations are going to the right place.

The Charity Commission, the independent regulator of charities in England and Wales, and Fundraising Standards Board (FRSB), the self-regulatory body for the UK also conducted a survey which showed that 2 in 5 adults do not make any checks when approached by a collector for a charitable donation.

When approached by a collector, checking whether the charity is registered is a key step in preventing fraud. This can be done by asking the collector for ID, checking the tin for a number, or checking the Charity Commission online register. Donors can also check for the FRSB ‘give with confidence’ branding, which indicates that the charity’s fundraising is regulated.

The charity commission has urged people to follow these tips to avoid charity scams this Christmas:

• Before giving, check the charity’s name and registration number. You can verify this at the Charity Commission’s website at www.charitycommission.gov.uk.

• When approached by collectors, check whether they are wearing a proper ID badge and that any collection tin is sealed.

• If in doubt, ask the collector for more information - a genuine fundraiser should be happy to answer questions and explain more about the work of the charity.

• Genuine fundraising materials should feature the charity’s name, registered name and a landline contact number. Be wary of those that list only a mobile number.

• Look for the FRSB tick logo indicating that the charity is signed up to fundraising regulation, encouraging you to give with confidence. www.givewithconfidence.org.uk.

• To check whether a fundraiser is authorised to collect money in a public place, contact your local authority or, if in London, the police. If it is a private place, check with the owner.

• Take care when responding to emails or clicking links to a charity’s website to ensure that they are genuine. Instead, search online for your favourite charity to check you have the right web address.

• Carefully review collection bags for clothing and household goods to ascertain whether they are from a genuine charity.

• After making these checks, if you think that a collection or appeal is not legitimate, report it to Action Fraud online and inform the Charity Commission.

• If in any doubt, contact your favoured charity direct to make a donation.

Read more about the fraud on the Charity Commission’s website.

Please note: Action Fraud is not responsible for the content on external websites.

To report a fraud, call Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or use our online fraud reporting tool.

VeriFone Sued Over In-Taxi Ad Contract

By Karen Freifeld

NEW YORK, Dec 17 (Reuters) - VeriFone Systems Inc was sued on Monday by Creative Mobile Technologies for at least $250 million over an agreement to place advertisements on monitors in New York City taxis.

Creative Mobile claims VeriFone breached the agreement to damage the company and remove it as a competitor, according to the lawsuit, which was filed in New York State Supreme Court.

Andy Payment, a spokesman for VeriFone, which is based in San Jose, California, declined to comment.

Creative Mobile was founded in 2005 to install passenger information monitors in taxis, the lawsuit said. It now has monitors in over 6,600 New York City taxis, as well as in taxis in 60 other cities in 30 states.

The company, based in Queens, New York, entered into a sales agreement with Clear Channel Taxi Media in 2006 to place advertising on the in-taxi screens, the complaint said.

At the time, Clear Channel Taxi Media was a unit of Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings Inc. VeriFone, a manufacturer of credit card swipe machines, acquired Clear Channel Taxi Media in 2009.

VeriFone "maliciously violated and interfered" with Creative Mobile's rights under the agreement, including failing to supply the information necessary to calculate amounts due and refusing to pay revenues on non-Creative Mobile screens, the lawsuit said.

VeriFone also allegedly put advertisements in taxis outside New York without offering the opportunity to Creative Mobile, as required by the agreement.

The case is Creative Mobile Technologies v. VeriFone Systems Inc, New York State Supreme Court, No. 654379/2012.

Source: Thompson Reuters News Insight

Monday, December 17, 2012

The Truth About Euro 5 DPFs

Just before LTC went belly up, the taxi trade was informed that all new vehicles had to be euro5 compliant. To achieve this LTC fitted a DPF to all new vehicles and put the price up by £3,000. Cost of the DPF is £930 plus LTI garage fitting charge is £75.
EVER FELT LIKE YOU'VE BEEN HAD?
And just how effective are these filters.

What is a DPF?
DPF stands for "Diesel Particulate Filter". It is a device that can be installed into the exhaust system of a diesel engine to "filter out" a portion of the particles of combustion known as "soot" or "particulate matter". These particles are mostly too small to be seen with the naked eye, although on older diesel engines the largest of them are visible as black smoke. The particles are harmful to human health and have been linked to lung ailments, cancer and heart disease.

The DPF is also known by the names "particulate trap" and "trap oxidizer". Probably the most popular DPF is one developed by the Catalytic Systems Division of Johnson Matthey known as the CRT or Continuously Regenerating Trap. This device has the ability to 'clean' itself of the collected particulate automatically.

What Does ADPF do?
The DPF traps diesel soot particles down to about 2.5 microns in diameter. This is the range of particles that most tests measure. The DPF reduces particulate emissions in this size range on the order of about 60-70% over a non-DPF-equipped engine. This reduction in particles has obvious public health benefits, since particulate is one of the two most hazardous emissions released by diesel engines.

The DPF has also been shown to concurrently reduce specific hydrocarbon emissions such as non-methanous hydrocarbons (NMHC) and carbon monoxide. The reduction of these emissions also has health and environmental benefits.

What Can the DPF Not Do, and Does It Have Negative Repercussions?
While the DPF does make a meaningful improvement to the emissions profile of the diesel engine, it is important to recognize that it is NOT a 'magic pill' that can turn the diesel into a zero emission engine. Even when equipped with a DPF, diesel engines still produce significant pollution. Because of the cruder nature of diesel fuel, research in the area of exhaust aftertreatment technologies likely has the potential to make a bigger difference in 'cleaning up' gasoline and CNG engines (whose emissions have a lower toxicity in the first place) than diesel engines.

The particles not trapped by the DPF (released into the air) are mostly ultrafine nanoparticles. These are precisely the particles that present the greatest threat to human health. The mucous membranes of the lungs are better at dealing with larger particles than ultrafine ones. Ultrafine nanoparticles pass easily through the lung's mucous membranes, carrying toxins and carcinogens directly into the bloodstream and circulating them throughout the body.

The DPF does not have a significant effect on nitrogen oxide emissions. NOx is the second of the two most harmful constituents of diesel exhaust. NOx has a toxic effect on red blood cells, and it combines with moisture in the lungs to form nitric acid. Exposure to nitrogen oxides can cause or exacerbate respiratory problems. NOx adsorber catalysts to reduce nitrogen oxide emissions are still in the development stage.

Tests show benzene emissions from diesel engines equipped with DPF devices are variable. Benzene is a strong carcinogen. In addition, mutagens (which cause genetic mutations and birth defects) are still detectable in the exhaust of DPF equipped vehicles, although there appears to be some reduction.

The use of DPF devices actually increases carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. CO2 is the primary gas associated with global warming, and its reduction is targeted by the Kyoto Protocol. The additional CO2 is created both through the operation of the DPF itself, as well as through the production of ultra low sulphur diesel fuel (ULSD). In addition, using ULSD results in slightly poorer fuel efficiency (despite its higher cost), which contributes to higher fuel consumption and an increase in CO2 emissions.

DPF does not reduce the noise associated with the operation of diesel engines in large vehicles such as buses and trucks. The noise associated with diesel engines, particularly in high traffic areas as well as for maintenance personnel, has been identified as a health concern.

The precious metals (like platinum, rhodium, palladium) used in exhaust aftertreatment devices slowly erode over time and are released into the atmosphere. These precious metals have been discovered imbedded in the ice in Greenland. Platinum, the precious metal used in the CRT and many automobile catalytic converters, shows a 40-fold increase since about 1976. It has been demonstrated that these metals have entered the food chain in many parts of the world, making this a global problem.

There is no doubt that Diesel Particulate Filters do reduce some of the harmful effects of diesel emissions, and this is beneficial. But the DPF does not make the diesel bus a substitute for cleaner, quieter and proven electric technologies like trolleybuses and electric light rail. Wherever possible, zero emission technologies using wind, solar or water power, should be actively promoted and implemented to preserve our environment, protect our health, and ensure our quality of life.

Sources:
Ahlvik, Peter. Swedish Experiences from Low Emission City Buses: Impacts on Health and Environment. Ecotraffic. Conference paper, Portsmouth, August 2001.
Ayala, Alberto; et. al. Diesel and CNG Heavy Duty Transit Bus Emissions over Multiple Driving Schedules. California Environmental Protection Agency, Air Resources Board. 2002.
Ayala, Alberto, et. al. Highlights from CARB's Study of Emissions from Transit Buses. California Environmental Protection Agency, Air Resources Board. Conference paper presented at SAE International Truck and Bus Meeting and Exhibition, Detroit, November 2002.
"Car Converters Backfire." Daily Mail, February 8, 2001.
DPF-Info: Diesel-Particle Filter Systems. Johnson Matthey GmbH, Energy and Environmental Technology, 2000.
Environmental Catalysts and Technologies. Web page by Johnson Matthey USA, http://www.jmcsd.com/crt.html
"Green Monster: Devices for cleaning car exhausts are backfiring on the Environment." New Scientist, February 2001.
"Green Diesel is Harmful To Earth." Belfast Telegraph, November 18, 2000.

Running The Gauntlet at Minster Court... By Givati

Last saturday night, I went to a close friends private party at Minster Court. We had a great night but it was marred at the end, when we left.

There are a number of venues at Minster Court.

Mister Court has a very wide exit with steps going up and a ramp on the side. When we came out of the venue we approached the ramp but was blocked from using it by a scab marshall and was forced up the steps and through the big gates. The gates were closed with only a small gap open to allow one person at a time out so the another scab marshall could interrogate you as you left.

I promised the missus I would not kick off and it got to our turn and my interview began.

Scab: "where you going"

Me: "home"

Scab: "where do you live"

Me: i"n my house"

Scab: "don't get funny where is your house"

And then it kicked off, with me ending by telling him I am going to send an email to John Mason to complain. His answer was quite shocking considering there were children waiting to get out.

He said " I couldn't give a fxxx if you tell John Mason, he is a cxxx and if he talks to me he will get a knife in his neck."

One small child was very upset and on the verge of tears.

What interested me most was the set up they had, with roped off area and a very professional stand with a computer booking screen on it.

There must have been about twenty scabs parked up.

The thing was if you did not know better it looked so official and professional, yet they were desperately touting for work and it was obvious they needed to tout as there was simply not enough legitimate work to be had.

Most shocking was my eldest and her boyfriend said that that is the the norm at clubs and it can sometimes take ten minutes to get out as they block the doorway.

One positive note is my friends said there are some clubs they have stopped going to because of the intimidation when leaving and most of their friends prefer Hoxton because there is less of a problem getting out of the clubs.

So there you have it, my mate spends a 5 figure sum on a do and his guests are treated like cattle.

He did not know this when he booked and unfortunately for the venue there were a number
of very high powered lawyers there and he will be getting a very large discount when they are finished with the venue.

For John Mason

Hi John

Welcome to our third world city which you have been part of creating.

What a wonderful legacy you will leave for you children to grow up in.

This post has been sent to Director of LTPH John Mason by the UCG who now wait for his reply.


Sunday, December 16, 2012

New Year Traffic Misery at the Bush.


SERIOUS TRAFFIC disruption across Shepherds Bush and into neighbouring Kensington and Chelsea during a month-long closure of a westbound section of Shepherds Bush Green in the New Year.

Residents, commuters and road users are being warned about a series of major, essential roadworks in Shepherds Bush planned from Monday 28 January so that National Grid, working with Skanska, can replace aging metal gas mains with tough new plastic pipes on the eastern far corner of the Green.

It means the road will be closed to westbound traffic from Monday 28 January to Monday 25 February, with diversions in place.

The project will take place in three phases, beginning on Monday 14 to 28 January 2013 where preparatory work will be carried out in Shepherds Bush Green with one single lane closed outside W12 Shopping Centre.

The westbound carriageway of Shepherds Bush Green will be completely closed between Holland Park Roundabout and the W12 Shopping Centre during phase two, from January 28 to February 25.

The bus stops on Shepherds Bush Green, near the W12 Shopping Centre, will be suspended and some local bus services will change during this time.

During phase three from Monday February 25 for approximately eight weeks single lane closures will continue on both Uxbridge Road (opposite Shepherds Bush station) and Shepherds Bush Green (outside W12 Shopping centre) as further gas main replacement work is carried out.

The diversion route takes motorists travelling from Holland Park Avenue and Holland Road up to West Cross, the A40 Westway, Old Oak Road and Askew Road. The bus lane from Uxbridge Road to Shepherds Bush Green will remain open to all traffic while the closure is in place.

National Grid will be sending letters to local residents and businesses at the start of the New Year and will regularly update them throughout the project. Local bus passengers will also be updated about any changes to their bus routes.

Source: Kensington and Chelsea Chronicle