Tuesday, April 02, 2013

TfL poor performance: Bullet Points Part 3...By Jim Thomas

On the 28th of February in a post entitled "Bill-Gate"... How Much Longer Can these people survive? We had a bullet point:

* Taxi drivers, exercising their democratic right of protest, harassed by senior officers from TfLTPH.
In John Mason's email to his legal department (CC'ed to Jim Thomas) he stated:
"Serious allegation and untrue!"

He also challenged us to put up or shut up.

Our statement was made, giving an opinion which many Taxi drivers in the trade hold, after details of a TfL notice to the trade as a whole and also, a letter to individuals drivers who were exercising their right to demonstrate.

On the 13 July 2012 John Mason made an announcement in the LTPH Notice 08/12: IMPORTANT NOTICE Possible Taxi Driver Demonstrations.

He warned "Any taxi driver participating in such demonstrations who fails to comply with the instructions issued by the Police could face arrest.

Moreover drivers who are observed acting improperly could suffer possible suspension or revocation of their licence."

It is the second part of this statement that many feel is a step to far. LTPH are not a police force and can only act against drivers when complaints are made by a third party. It is not their job to go out and observe. Many Taxi drivers felt this was an attempt to intimidate and harass drivers into not demonstrating. As far as we know TfL have not issued such a statement when faced by demonstrations or strikes by tube or bus staff.

In answer to a freedom of information request by the UCG, LTPH said:
"No, details of vehicles participating in the demonstration were not

Below is a photo of a young lady caught taking close ups of plate numbers and drivers faces at the Trafalgar Square Demo. She was accompanied by two security guards wearing hi-vis jackets issued by TfL.


When a group of unsuspecting drivers got this letter, they all felt they had been harassed and unfairly victimised. One driver became so ill with the stress caused by the letter, he couldn't work.

In an email from John Mason to his Legal Dept, we again see him denying our claims, saying they are untrue.

But we believe the facts Speak for themselves.

Our opinion, is also backed up by this video produced by and on behalf of the RMT.


First They Came For The Trade Unionists... from On the Barricade on Vimeo.



Watcher said...

Director LTPH has always stated : No need or FOI requests, it takes up too much time, all you have to do is ask us any question and we will answer '!!!

Did the UCG get an answer at all?

LTH are just a tool of the Mayors agenda of divide and rule, all this follows a pattern

It's shaming that some in the trade go along with it especially UNITE a so called trades union.

Albert rowlands said...

Did the LCDC members get letters about the Rank at the Bank?

Did LTDA members get them after the Mall demo?

If not then its a case of clear bias on TFLs part.

Boris's STASI?

Anonymous said...

What happened when the drivers went along to Mason at Palestra

Taxi Leaks said...

Drivers were advised by their union/ org not to attend and I believe they stayed away.

As far as is known, no further action has been taken against these drivers.

This would add credence to the opinion that these letters were also part of scare tactics, to put drivers off demonstrating further.

I smell a rat said...

Funny no mention of these letters in the Vichy UTG press

Price of being part of the engagement policy no doubt

United Cabbies Group said...

This was the response to the FOI...

Dear Mr Osborne

TfL Ref: FOI-0874-1213

Thank you for your e-mail received by Transport for London (TfL) on 28
August 2012 asking for information about a public obstruction charge
following a taxi demonstration at Parliament Square.

Your request has been considered in accordance with the requirements of
the Freedom of Information Act and TfL’s information access policy. I can
confirm TfL holds some of the information you require. You asked:

1. Since John Mason took over the post as Director of Taxis and Private
Hire, how many letters has Mr Mason personally signed requesting a taxi
driver’s attendance at a meeting that involves possible disciplinary
action for alleged road traffic offences?

Since taking up his post in September 2009, John Mason has personally
signed a number of letters requesting meetings with drivers, for example
following complaints received from members of the public or issues
identified by TfL. However, TfL does not hold this information in a
searchable format to be able to provide the total number of such letters
or indeed whether a letter related to a road traffic matter - to answer
this part of your request would exceed the ‘appropriate limit’ of £450 set
by the Freedom of Information (Appropriate Limit and Fees) Regulations

It would require a review of each taxi driver’s file to establish if John
Mason had signed a letter to that driver since September 2009 and that
would take substantially in excess of 18 hours’ work and so exceed the
appropriate limit, which is calculated at £25 per hour spent on the
location, retrieval or extraction of information covered by an FOI

To help bring the cost of responding to your request within the £450
limit, you may wish to consider narrowing its scope so that we can more
easily locate, retrieve and extract the information you are seeking. For
example, you may wish to focus your request by giving a more restricted

2. The letter did not contain any evidence as would be expected with a
road traffic contravention. How was this alleged contravention bought to
your attention?

TfL observed a number of potential contraventions at the demonstration at
Parliament Square. Letters were sent to relevant drivers requesting a
meeting to discuss the issue. The specific circumstances will be discussed
with the individuals concerned.

3. During the demonstration at Parliament Square, were any TfL staff
making notes of registration numbers of taxis that were participating in
the demonstration?

No, details of vehicles participating in the demonstration were not
recorded. However, details of vehicles that had been left unattended were.

If this is not the information you are looking for please feel free to
contact me.

Please see the attached information sheet for details of your right to

Yours sincerely

Gemma Jacob

FOI Case Officer

FOI Case Management Team

General Counsel

Transport for London

[1][TfL request email]

show quoted sections

Honest John said...

Lies, damn lies and statistics.
Do they honestly think we will swallow this bilge.

Sid said...

Well done UCG, but what have you been doing for the last 8 months?
You looked so promising, then silence

Bill the Badger said...

We all watch and wait for LTPH to respond.

We thought you told TtT that articles are misleading.

If any of the above series are, we don't seem to have you correcting them .

Independent sources confirm them as the facts as we know them.

However don't be shy, come on here and lets have your version.