Friday, December 28, 2012

CABWISE Or CABFOOLISH: Is TfLs Smart Phone App Biased?

Taxi leaks has received complaints from both licensed Taxi drivers and members of the public, concerning the efficiency of TfL's flag ship smart phone app. Apparently it doesn't work as one would expect, when it comes to booking a licensed Taxi.

So we decided to test, to see how difficult it could be to book a licensed Taxi. We used an iPad then an iPhone in our investigation.

The first platform we tried the Cabwise app on, was the iPad. It become clear within a few seconds that the iPad app had a serious programming flaw which made it impossible to get in contact with a licensed Taxi, using this app. Every time you select call a licensed Taxi, you are put through to a page and invited to book a minicab. Even after deleting and re-installing, it still failed to make contact with a licensed Taxi provider.

We then tried the Cabwise app on the iPhone.
This platform seem to run much smoother, except private hire and licensed Taxis are not treated on an equal footing. If you want to book a minicab, you are presented with a text box where you can enter details. This is a perfect solution if you are in a noisy club or bar. You get a text to let you know when your minicab has arrived. But if you wish to be picked up by a licensed Taxi, you are given no more than a phone number to call.

If you have ever been in one of London's night venues, the first thing you notice, is how noisy these places are. It's almost impossible to have a conversation with friends standing next to you, let alone hold a phone conversation. Most potential customers will choose the easier option of booking a minicab.

Some time ago moves were made by licensed Taxi App providers Hailo and Get Taxi, to seek approval from TfL's MD of communication, Mr Vernon Everitt, for inclusion on TfL's website. Strong resistance was mounted by Mr Everitt who seemed convinced this approval would be challenged by private hire and seen as a bias towards licensed taxis.

As head of Communications for TfL, Mr Everitt is totally responsible for the format of the Cabwise app. In our opinion this app is totally biased, in favour of private hire.

On the other hand, customers at late night clubs and bars will probably not use this app, as they will be approached by door staff as they exit and escorted straight into waiting minicabs illegally plying for hire in the street outside. TfL and LTPH has shown very little apatite to deal with touting and have shown no will (thats zero cases reported in ten years) in dealing with illegal plying for hire.

It seems to us that TfL and LTPH are terrified by what Mr Steve Wright has to say about anything and yet give no credence whatsoever to the LTDA's very own Bob Oddy.

Questions need to be asked of Mr Everitt as to why he has authorised such a biased app that pushes custom towards private hire.

Time is finally running out for this secretive, manipulative public body as GLA assembly members are waking up to what's going on and asking awkward questions. Lambs will now be thrown to the wolves as top officers try to safeguard their own position.


John Mason, Director, Taxi and Private Hire Directorate
Welcome to the winter edition of the Taxi and Private Hire Newsletter which we hope you find interesting and informative.

If there are any particular topics you would like to read about please do get in touch with us using any of the contact details at the end of this newsletter.

In the previous issue, we told you about our new Twitter feed, @TFLTPH, and how we hoped to use it to provide real time updates during the Olympics and to get important information out to the taxi and private hire trades. We now have more than 2,000 followers on twitter and we will continue to use this channel as well as the more
traditional methods to try and reach as many of you as possible.

We know how important communication is to the taxi and private hire trades and that there is always room for improvement. That is why, on 29 November, we held the first of our open Question & Answer forums which we intend to make a regular feature. Look out for more information later in this newsletter.

Finally with the festive season fast approaching the entire Taxi & Private Hire team and the rest of Transport for London extend warm wishes for the festive period and a happy and prosperous New Year.
London Taxi and Private Hire
MAYOR OF LONDON Transport for London
Winter 2012

Page 1 Intro and welcome
Page 2 Ranks news
Page 5 Law Commission update
Page 6 Suburban Review
Page 7 Licensing update
Page 8 Re-let and modernisation project
Page 9 New Taxi Licensing Regime
Page 10 STaN campaign 2012
Page 12 TX4 recall

Ranks news
Richmond upon Thames

We’ve been working closely with local drivers and the borough to make some improvements in Richmond:
• Teddington Station – a new taxi rank has been appointed at the station in Victoria Road and a rank has also been appointed in Station Road
Whittaker Avenue – the taxi rank has been moved to outside All Bar One which is in a more prominent position to serve the late night economy
These changes have been made under experimental traffic orders and the new taxi ranks will be monitored. It is essential that drivers serve the ranks to ensure that these experimental orders can proceed to full consultation with a view to making them permanent. If the ranks are not used then the borough may remove them.

A night-time taxi rank has been appointed in London Road, near Morden Station. The taxi rank uses the loading bay on the red route and the rank is operational between 19:00-07:00.

Winter Wonderland Taxi Rank
Winter Wonderland is taking place again in Hyde Park; it started on Friday 23 November 2012 and is open everyday between 10:00 to 22:00, except Christmas Day, until Sunday 6 January 2013.

A taxi rank to serve Winter Wonderland has been appointed in the same location as last year. This rank is for 12 taxis and is along the west side of Aspley House, Hyde Park Corner, and runs between Hyde Park Corner and South Carriage Drive.
London Taxi and Private Hire

The taxi rank has been very successful in previous years but there have been some problems reported with drivers not using the rank and instead waiting and picking up passengers on South Carriage Drive. All drivers are requested to make sure that if they do wish to pick-up passengers from Winter Wonderland then they use the designated taxi rank.

Piccadilly (Fortnum and Masons)
A new three space taxi rank has been appointed outside of Fortnum and Masons. The taxi rank is operational 24 hours a day.

Victoria Station Upgrade (VSU)
As part of the ongoing Victoria Station Upgrade works, the location of taxi ranks at Victoria station changed at the end of October 2012.

The Victoria Station forecourt is now closed and the taxi ranks in Wilton Road and Neathouse Place have been removed. The head of the taxi rank is now in Hudson’s Place, on the east side of Victoria Station with a taxi feeder rank in Bridge Place and an extended taxi rank in Vauxhall Bridge Road.

Taxis can set down passengers on the east side of Wilton Road, outside the Apollo Theatre, in addition to a designated space in front of the rank in Hudson’s Place for taxis to drop off disabled passengers. The previous taxi rank in Gillingham Street has also now been converted to a rest rank. A map of current taxi rank arrangements can be found in PCO Notice 14/12.

Change to Gatwick Express entrance and exit at Victoria Station, air deck rank/station car park The entrance and exit from the air deck rank/Victoria Station car park to the Gatwick Express trains have been swapped and the new entrance is now where the old exit used to be, with the new exit where the old entrance used to be.
When dropping off passengers please try and drop them near the new entrance.

London Bridge
In recent weeks TfL has received an increasing number of complaints regarding problems caused by taxis over-ranking at London Bridge Station and reports of some taxi drivers being abusive towards bus and station staff.

While TfL understands that access to the taxi rank at London Bridge is problematic in peak periods, especially with the temporary closure of the feeder rank, over-ranking at the station is causing serious problems at present including:
• Obstructing buses entering the bus station
• Obstructing taxis entering the station to drop-off passengers
• Blocking the pedestrian crossing at the entrance to the station
• Delaying other road users on Borough High Street and the surrounding area

The current over-ranking is preventing buses and other taxis from entering the station and is causing safety problems as passengers cannot be safely dropped off at the bus stops and designated drop-off areas and passengers are being forced to exit buses and taxis into the road and the path of oncoming vehicles.

TfL has also been informed that some taxi drivers have been abusive towards bus station staff. Any incidents of drivers being abusive will be reported to Transport for London (TfL) and the police so further action can be taken.

The police have informed TfL that action will be taken against drivers who continue to cause an obstruction and Penalty Charge Notices (PCNs) will also be issued when taxis obstruct the entrance to the station or obstruct buses or other taxis.

While TfL recognise that some of these current problems will be exasperated by the on-going closure of the feeder rank and are currently actively engaged with Network Rail and Southwark Council to get the feeder reinstated, we suggest taxi drivers to take all possible steps they can avoid over-ranking at London Bridge or risk being issued with a PCN.
Drivers are also reminded that abusive behaviour of any kind towards bus or station staff or members the public is completely unacceptable, tarnishes the reputation of the taxi trade and will not be tolerated. Any driver behaving in this way is likely to face having his or her licence suspended or revoked.

Finsbury Park
Following a report of taxis committing offences at Finsbury Park Station and warnings being issued to drivers about these offences the police have reported that there are fewer problems now.
However, a small number of drivers have continued to commit offences including:
• Obstructing the cycle lane, forcing cyclists into the lane used by buses entering the station
• Parking on double red lines
Double parking next to the loading bay, forcing cyclists across two lanes used by buses entering the station
• Reversing the wrong way out of the station onto Seven Sisters Road
• Driving the wrong way out of the station onto Seven Sisters Road
Finsbury Park Station is a busy interchange with buses, taxis and cyclists all passing through the station, as well as pedestrians crossing at the entrance to the station. These offences put taxis, buses, cyclists and pedestrians at risk.
Any driver who continues to obstruct the cycle lane, obstruct buses or commit any other offences in or around the station risks being issued with a PCN.

Reports continue to be received of overranking in a number of areas and particularly at the rank on Tooley Street and at Lewisham Station.
Overranking causes disruption to other road users and can often put them at risk. The police have advised TfL that PCNs will be issued to taxi drivers that continue to overrank at both these locations.

Intercontinental Hotel works
Essential resurfacing works on the hotel forecourt of the Intercontinental Hotel at Hamilton Place start on Monday 10 December 2012.
The resurfacing works are expected to last until February 2013 and during this time drivers will not be able to use the taxi rank on the hotel forecourt.

During the works the taxi rank in the centre of the road in Hamilton Place, which feeds the hotel forecourt, will still be available.

The kerbside taxi rank in Hamilton Place - which is directly outside of the Intercontinental Hotel and is normally used as the third feeder rank for the Hilton Hotel –
should be used to pick up passengers from the Intercontinental Hotel The centre of the road rank which normally acts as a feeder rank for the forecourt should be used as a feeder rank for the kerbside rank.
There will be space in front of the kerbside taxi rank for drivers to drop off passengers plus two members of staff from the Intercontinental Hotel will be present at all times to direct drivers and assist passengers.
Once the works are completed the forecourt taxi rank will be reinstated.

You can find details of the current TfL consultations here:
• Proposed improvements at the junction of Mile End Road and Burdett Road
• Barclays Cycle Super Highway 5: New Cross Gate to Victoria
• Improving river crossings
Other consultations currently open include:
• Plans for development of Euston area
• Proposals to change Liverpool Street and surrounding areas

Law Commission update
After extensive engagement with regulators, the taxi and private hire trades and other interested parties the Law Commission published a consultation paper on taxi and private hire services with their provisional proposals for reform in May this year.

The consultation document was a comprehensive and in-depth review, running to 241 pages and containing 73 provisional proposals and questions where they invited responses and further comments. Some of the proposals were quite controversial including removing quantity restrictions where they exist and introducing national mandatory standards for private hire operators, drivers and vehicles. However, it did reflect the concerns that TfL had previously expressed to the Law Commission by proposing to retain the clear distinction between taxis and PHVs.

TfL has now submitted its full response which had the full support of both the Metropolitan Police and City of London Police. The Law Commission will make all the responses public in December but some of the key points in TfL’s response were:
We support national minimum standards for both taxi and private hire services
• We should retain the ability to set standards appropriate for London
• We rejected the idea of mandatory national standards for private hire
• Clearer definition is needed regarding what services should be licensed as private hire
• Greater control is needed over limousines and novelty vehicles
• We should be given wider powers to deal with touting and other illegal activity
The Law Commission is now assessing all the responses and plan to publish their final report and a draft Bill this time next year, but in the meantime we will continue to work with them to help shape the future of taxi and private hire regulation.

Suburban Review
At the end of 2011 TfL committed to undertaking a review of suburban taxi licensing. The review started in September with a well attended trade workshop attended by over 40 suburban drivers and representatives of driver groups and other trade bodies. This was the first stage of the review and consultation process which will examine all issues affecting suburban taxi drivers. The ultimate aim is to understand the taxi trade’s issues and concerns and seek to create a sustainable suburban taxi driver licensing system that benefits both taxi drivers and the travelling public.

In early December we undertook a further workshop where some of the ideas put forward were explored in further detail. There were also presentations from the trade giving details of some initiatives that can benefit drivers. A copy of the presentation has been sent out and notes will follow shortly. The next steps are to examine all the ideas and proposals in closer detail and use these to form the basis for a consultation that will happen in early 2013.

All Suburban drivers are encouraged to spend time talking to their colleagues in their individual sectors to garner ideas and suggestions which they should e-mail to us at

Updates from the licensing team
Telephone enquiry line
As a result of your feedback, we have now extended the opening hours of our licensing telephone enquiries line by one hour. Our Licensing Teams are now able to answer your calls from 08:00 – 18.00 Monday to Friday. We will endeavour to answer your calls as quickly as possible. Please contact the PCO enquiry line on 0845 602 7000.

CRB checks changing from 1 December
As you are aware, part of your Taxi or PHV Licence application requires you to complete an Enhanced Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) check this includes checks being carried out against both the Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA) Children’s Barred List and ISA Vulnerable Adult’s Barred list.

TMG CRB has been appointed to administer CRB applications on behalf of London Taxi and Private Hire (LTPH). You will need to make your CRB application prior to submitting your licence application to PCO. Your CRB application can be made either online or via a paper application. Applying online is cheaper and quicker than a paper application and full guidance notes can be downloaded from If you do not have access to a computer, you can request a paper application pack by contacting TMG CRB on 0845 251 5000.

From 1 December 2012, paper applications can only be handled by TMG and the CRB will not accept those forms processed directly by PCO.

Renewal applications
We are continuously working to improve the processing times for renewal applications for all licence types. However, delays in processing can often be caused by licensees not checking their forms thoroughly. In order to ensure we get your licence out in time, please ensure that you comply with the following:
• Upon completion of your application form, check it thoroughly to ensure all parts of the form including your signature are completed accurately and no sections of the form are missed
• Please ensure that the form is legible and can be read easily by an administrator. This may result in delays to your application
• Please ensure that all the required documents i.e. copy of your current driving licence, photograph etc are checked and enclosed with the form
• Please ensure that the correct and current payment information is provided and that you have sufficient funds in your account to avoid declined payments and delays to your application

Re-let and Modernisation (RAM) project New inspection Sites and changes to the Taxi Licensing Regime announced
Key information
North – Enfield
Unit 2, Watermill Business Centre, Edison Road, Enfield, Middlesex, EN3 7XF
6 inspection bays
South – to be confirmed
To be confirmed
To be confirmed
East – Canning Town
1 North Crescent, Canning Town, London, E16 4TL
3 inspection bays
1 limousine bay
West – Hounslow
20A Airlinks Industrial Estate, Spitfire Way, Heston, Hounslow, Middlesex, TW5 9NR
6 inspection bays
1limousine bay
South East – Crayford
Unit Q1, Acorn Industrial Park, Crayford, Kent, DA1 4AL
5 inspection bays
North West – Staples Corner
Unit 2, Aquarius Business Park, Staples corner Priestly Way, NW2 7AN
3 inspection bays
1 limousine bay

What is the RAM project?
For a number of years, PCO has been working with limited, non-integrated and outdated IT functionality which relies on manual systems, with it becoming increasingly difficult for TfL to support these systems.

The Re-let and Modernisation project (RAM) will allow PCO to introduce a number of changes to improve continuity to the taxi and private hire vehicle inspection and licensing services and aims to facilitate a modern, efficient, effective and resilient service to taxi and PHV owners, drivers and private hire operators.

Over the next few months we will be providing regular updates on the work PCO is undertaking to modernise and improve our inspection and licensing regime. Please keep an eye out for regular email bulletins, PCO
notices and presentations at the trade forums.

New Inspection Sites
As you are aware, the vehicle licensing and inspection service is due to be transferred from SGS to NSL Ltd as part of the RAM project. This will coincide with the new taxi regime (change to two MOTs) being introduced.
As part of this new service, six new inspection sites will be available across the Greater London Area, all of which will undertake both taxi and private hire vehicle inspections.

NSL has made progress on the identification of suitable locations. The key factors taken into consideration are the size and accessibility of the site as well as ensuring the right facilities for visitors.

A summary of the sites is as follows:
New Taxi Licensing Regime
As a result of the Mayor’s Air Quality Strategy (MAQs) TfL will be contracting NSL Ltd to license taxis under a new licensing regime. This regime will commence from 1 March 2013. The PHV regime will remain unchanged.

The new taxi licensing regime will require all vehicle owners to ensure their vehicles have passed two standard (class 4) MOT’s per year. The first MOT must be issued no more than 14 days prior to the taxi licensing inspection and the second MOT is to be issued six months from the date the taxi licence is granted. This second MOT brings it in line with the current PHV requirement to ensure an MOT is carried out every six months and is to ensure the taxi and private hire fleet remains safe to the general public.

NSL will only carry out a taxi inspection where clear evidence is available that a standard MOT has been issued within the 14 day period. The only exception will be for new taxi vehicles which are exempt from the requirement to carry out an MOT for the first 12 months from the date of first registration. Any vehicle which is found to be exempt from the requirement for an MOT at the point of licensing will also be exempt from the following six month MOT requirement.

You can find the Mayor’s Air Quality Strategy (MAQS) on the GLA website at:

As part of the new contract with NSL Ltd we will also be introducing new functionality to help with the driver and operator licensing
services and processes. The ability to apply and renew licenses, change address etc. will all be possible online. Further details will be made available over the next few months.

Further details on all these changes and how they may affect you will be provided during the next few months.

New System
As part of the new contract with NSL Ltd, a new system will be introduced within the directorate. Key features of this system will include:
• Online accounts for all licensees to apply and renew online and track its progress in real-time
• Handhelds for the compliance team who will be able to undertake licensing checks, whether driver, operator or vehicle in real time on-street
• Operators will be able to upload details of drivers and vehicles online, making part of the compliance inspection possible remotely. It will also highlight those drivers not connected to operators and assist with targeting compliance activity
• Knowledge students will be able to track their progress of knowledge online and see appointments (NB they won’t be able to change appointment times) they will also be able to book their written tests online (including payment)
• All licensees will be able to receive messages direct from PCO such as alerts or comms and make enquiries and upload information/documents online as required

Most of these key features and benefits will be realised from 1 March 2013 onwards on the same date that the new inspection centres go-live however some of the functionality, such as the hand-held technology for the compliance team, will go-live later in the year.

Further and regular updates will be provided over the coming months.
PCO Customer Charter and Licensee Code of Conduct TfL is currently proposing to develop a Taxi and Private Hire Passenger Charter which sets out the quality of service passengers should expect when travelling by taxi or private hire vehicle that has been licensed by TfL. The Charter will also outline standards of behaviour expected from passengers. It is proposed that the Charter will be made available to passengers in taxis and private hire vehicles in leaflet form with a small sticker advising them that the Charter is available. The Charter will be made available on TfL’s website, at transport hubs and targeted locations which have a high number of taxi and private hire users such as hotels and large corporate businesses.

In parallel, TfL proposes to establish a Licensee Code of Conduct which sets out the behaviours that are expected of all our licensees.

The Code will set out what TfL deems to be unacceptable behaviour or an unacceptable level of service offered to passengers.

We are planning a short consultation to understand the views of the trades and other affected parties such as safety and passenger groups. Further details will be provided in early 2013.

Removal of mandating meter receipts in taxis
With effect from 1 January 2013, taxis are no longer required to have electronic taxi meter receipt printers installed as a condition of the cab licence.

Although the mandatory requirement for this type of equipment has been removed, drivers must still provide a fare receipt on demand. However, from 1 January 2013 taxi drivers will have a choice of how they meet this requirement which may be through issuing paper receipts or, if they prefer, still using an operational taximeter printer.

Please note that for credit and debit card transactions it is still a legislative requirement that a printed receipt is provided to the passenger and this obligation remains operating.

If you have any questions on the change of this policy please do not hesitate to contact us via email to

Safer Travel at Night - a new campaign in the run up to the festive season
A new multi-channel campaign that highlights the dangers of getting in to an unbooked minicab will run from 25 November in the run up to and during the festive season this year.

As part of the Safer Travel at Night (STaN) initiative – a joint initiative between the Mayor, TfL, the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) and the City of London Police (CoLP), this year’s advertising campaign will be played in cinemas, with posters displayed across the Capital and leaflets distributed to members of the public - specifically 16-40 year old women - at key hot spot locations.

To support the campaign, a new CABWISE app free-to-download (available on iTunes and Google Play) allows users to book a licensed minicab or taxi which is closest to their current location in three easy steps. Alternatively users can visit on their Smartphone and simply bookmark the page or, if there is no signal available at the location, the app defaults to the Cabwise text messaging service (60835) offering customers on all platforms the opportunity to use the service and to get home safely.

During November and December, police officers – funded by TfL – will also be stepping up enforcement activity against unbooked minicabs in the lead up to Christmas. This will involve officers from the Safer Transport Command Cab Enforcement Unit, Safer Transport Teams and TfL Taxi and Private Hire enforcement officers, working together to deter and disrupt illegal minicab activity.

Please report any minicab touting activity to which allows the police to tackle this issue at the right areas.

Download our free cab-booking app to book a minicab in three easy steps
If it’s not booked it’s just a stranger’s car
If you would like to contact us:
General enquiries
Taxi ranks
Telephone 0845 602 7000
Fax 020 3054 3160
Reporting touting, misuse of identifiers or
enforcement issues
If you’d like to write to us:
TfL – London Taxi and Private Hire
Palestra, 4th Floor
197 Blackfriars Road
London SE1 8NJ

Please make sure you mark your correspondence for the
appropriate section of PCO. Don’t forget you can also visit our
website Printed on recycled paper for information, the address is

Get in touch
Remember you can find all of the PCO notices issued this year on the TfL website and future notices will be posted there too.
London Taxi and Private Hire
Winter 2012

Monday, December 24, 2012



Since deregulation of Salford's hackney carriages three years ago, there's been a thirty per cent increase in cabs but no proper new ranks. Now, with the old Salford Precinct rank closed and an unsuitable replacement `horseshoe' rank in place, drivers are going public with their concerns…

It's a wet Monday morning and cabs are semi circling around a new, horseshoe shaped rank in no-man's land at the far end of what used to be Pendleton Way, between the huge new Tesco and Salford Precinct.

No-one's walking to the cabs, the rank being too far from Tesco to cart shopping, and almost out of sight of most shoppers on the Precinct. So the black cabs queue, waiting to get the word that one of the three cabs that are allowed to rank at Tesco's entrance has moved off and another can take its place.

The three cab rank came about only after disabled people complained at the original Council planning meeting for the Tesco store that they needed easy access to black cabs for wheelchairs and such. So now three cabs can wait at the entrance but those left at the horseshoe can't see when one is moving off. To say that the drivers are unimpressed with the new horseshoe rank would be an understatement…

"People can't get to it and can't see it" says driver Stuart Ryan "There's not one finger sign within this Precinct saying where the rank is. They just shut the old one at the old Tesco and gave us this, which isn't even big enough for the cabs that were there."

Click here for full article.
Source: the Salford Star


That's the slogan, but as Salford and elsewhere demonstrates its the same issues that face us all, Licensing Authorities, who just want the fees without any regard to how the drivers can earn a living, even worse, Ranks disappear without a care. Ring any bells?

So as we all take a short break to spend time with our families (or in the feeder park!), we need to reflect on how we are to safeguard our living in 2013. It won't be easy, PH out of control, LTI fiasco,and a licensing body that seems to only be interested in press releases and spin.

All overseen by our well known friend Peter Hendy!

There is hope.

GLA members and certain M.P.'s are starting to ask the right questions, the TaG (Twitter Action Group) is back up and running to harass PH illegal plying for hire outside every club & bar..

If your a radio driver and think its nothing to do with you, just count the PH stickers outside ex taxi accounts or even worst, taking the cream with the collaboration of the circuits YOU built!
It's like Tesco building a store and allowing Sainsbury's stock in there.

If your a day driver and again believe its not a problem that ranks disappear and that PH don't take work that should be in your cab,wake up!

Some trade organisations are still not taking every word from Palestra as gospel and do what they can despite TfL using every means to keep us divided. surely the Olympic stitch up should have taught us a lesson?

Now to YOU the working cab driver.

YOU need to get fighting for YOUR living, YOU need to attend meetings and question what people do on YOUR money?

YOU don't have a choice, YOUR family depend on it!

Merry Christmas all!

I'm Spartacus.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Revellers warned to avoid unlicensed minicabs over festive period

Christmas revellers have been warned not to accept rides from unbooked touts over the festive period.

A police campaign urges partygoers, particularly lone women, to only use licensed taxis or pre-booked private hires on the way home from a night out.

Christmas Message!
This is certainly the season to be jolly but we shouldn’t let that extra Christmas spirit mean taking ill-advised decisions about getting home after a night out.

Women in particular take real risks by getting into vehicles that are not licensed taxis to get home – that is why We urge them to take extra care this festive period.

If you’re picking up a cab off the street don’t put yourself in danger by getting into anything other than a licensed taxi.

Private hires should always be booked in advance and never picked up off the street.

Make sure that your details and destination are known to the company and the driver. If they’re not, don’t take the risk.

Getting a safe and secure journey home should be everyone’s priority and if that means paying a little extra or taking a bit more time to organise, then we should all make that effort.

Many people rely on licensed taxis to ensure they are protected from harm when travelling home late at night. This is particularly true for vulnerable individuals, such as lone women, at this time of year.

We urge passengers, never get into an un-booked minicab. Only use a licensed taxi or a pre-booked minicab, anything else is unvetted, unsafe and illegal.

A great statement from the Police...
So why do they do nothing to stop the lines of unbooked, unvetted, unsafe and illegal cars seen parked outside every night venue in the capital.

And so far we have seen absolutely no action from the Met or City Police, local council parking services or TfL/LTPH.

They all turn a blind eye just to get the late night streets cleared of revellers. They are all guilty of feeding victims to sexual predators hiding within the lines of cars illegally plying for hire.

This was this scene last night: