Saturday, August 31, 2013

"Chariots of Fire"...Malta, Turned Over By TfL.

Bendy buses sent from London to Malta taken off their roads after three burst into flames

The doomed bendy buses decommissioned by London Mayor Boris Johnson and shipped to Malta have been taken off the roads by the government after three burst into flames in as many days.

The fleet of 68 of the so-called “chariots of fire” have been temporarily suspended while an investigation into the causes of the blazes is carried out.

This is the bus that gave Sir Peter Hendy the nick-name "Bendy Hendy".

So far this year nine bendy buses have caught fire, with Malta’s transport ministry instructing operator Arriva to remove the unpopular vehicles.

No-one has been injured, but the incidents have prompted a barrage of complaints from the public already angered that the 18-metre buses have been brought in to negotiate Malta’s narrow and winding historic roads.

The Maltese fleet was bought from London in 2011 after being phased out by the Mayor who replaced them with a new-generation Routemaster.

They had a chequered history in the capital, with a number of fires breaking out and cyclists complaining they were unsafe for other road users.

Decommissioning the vehicles, Mr Johnson said: “These writhing whales of the road have swung their hefty rear ends round our corners for the final time.”

In a statement, Arriva said: “The safety of our passengers, employees and vehicles is central to our operations. To have incidents occur so closely together is extremely rare and as a result we are taking the precautionary step of bringing our vehicles in for a series of checks before returning them into active service.

“While these checks take place we have appointed another transport operator to support the delivery of day-to-day services and reduce the impact for our customers. We are ensuring that all routes are covered. We apologise for the disruption but ask passengers to bear with us while we conclude these important checks. We would like to reassure them that we are looking to resolve the disruption as soon as possible.” 

Message to Westminster Council and TfL:
Now the Bendy Bus is truly gone for good, can we have the right turn in to Devonshire Street back. Devonshire Street junction of Great Portland Street was made a no entry just to accommodate the Bendy Bus. Now it's gone, time to reinstate the right turn.
Source: Evening Standard 

And when they're not bursting into flames they're causing mayhem

Monday's Secret Meeting At TfL Could Split Taxi and Private Hire.

I have information from a number of different sources, that on Monday there is to be a meeting to discuss the future of Taxi and Private hire licensing, with the possible break away of LTPH from TfL and eventual split up of Taxis and Private hire.

This may come as news to most, but certain members of the UTG have already been consulted (they just haven't told any of their members yet).

It seems the whole question of LTPH's effectiveness as a licensing authority within TfL has been bought into question guessed it... Private Hire.

It is believed that after the appraisal of LTPH, Deloitte, the advisors to the buyers of Addison Lee, the Carlyle Group, have extended their appraisal from LTPH to TFL. 

I have also been reliably informed that Deloitte seem to think there is too much duplication, etc and are advising a massive shake-up. TESSA I'm told, have held a number of meetings concerning the recommendations and have also been in consultation with some of the trade representative groups.

The questions we must be asking is:
Why now? 
Why pre Law Commission?
What are the recommendations?
Who is behind these recommendations?
Are PH to have their own licensing authority?
Are they getting us ready for major change?

The one thing you can be sure of is, this is never going to be in our favour.
Can you see them tightening up the process of obtaining a PH licence?
Can you see them enforcing the laws regarding illegally plying for hire and touting?
Can you see them making PH more responsible for the actions of staff at satellite offices?

This could be a perfect opportunity to set up a branch of the Transport Police to take over licensing and enforcement of Taxis and Private Hire. After all, their warranted officers have the power of arrest.

This would be the most logical step forward, but as we know TfL and the Mayor's office don't do Logic.
Money will always rule the day and the new owners of Addison Lee have bundles.
As we have said many times before


More news about the meeting as and when we get it.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Manchester Have Had Enough Of The Mercedes Taxi "Low Speed Manoeuvrability System".

Decommissioning of the Rear Wheel Steer System on the Mercedes Vito Taxi.

On 2 July 2013 The Licensing and Appeals Committee meeting approved that the Low Speed Manoeuvrability System on the Mercedes Vito Taxi can be decommissioned by an approved agent of Mercedes Benz and vito taxis returned to their original steering design . This was subsequently approved by full Council and decommissioning can take place with immediate effect The criteria for the decommissioning is as follows  

That the RWS to be decommissioned by:-
Replacement of the rear wheel steer trailing arms with original Mercedes-Benz rear suspension or trailing arm units (new ones).
Disposal of rear steering equipment including the button in the driver’s compartment (which should be replaced by a cover plate).
Complete disconnection and re-sealing of wiring so it cannot be used again.
The vehicle to have a full 4-wheel alignment.
Written verification that the work has been undertaken as outlined above will be required from the Mercedes Benz agent  

Mercedes Benz have advised that completion of the works as stated above is likely to take a full day and when completed will ensure that the vehicle is still covered by the manufacturers’ warranty and service conditions.

Cabby Mick Smith, Offers Himself As A Prise To Raise Funds For Help The Heros

London cabbie MIck Smith and LBC 97.3 late night presenter Duncan Barkes teamed up to give charity auction bid winner Jo, a late night tour of London in an iconic London taxi

Jo took part in a charity auction organised by LBC 97.3 to raise funds for Help for heroes in May and put in a winning bid of over 400:00
Jo and a friend, joined Duncan Barkes in the back of Mick's cab and was given a late night tour that took in the sights of Lonon in all its nocternal glory, including a stop at the bagel shop in Brick lane (none of the traditional shelters seemed to be open) before returning back to LBC 97.3.

Afterwards, Jo was presented with a bottle of Champagne by Duncan Barkes and Mick presented Jo with a model TX4 as a memento of her late night tour of London

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Do People Have To Die, Before Boris Will Meet With The RMT.

If this train had of been on fire...people would have died
Watch the shocking video below. 
See how long it takes for a scarce station assistant to come along and unlock the one emergency exit.

Surely this exit should be accessible from inside the train.

Passengers have to then travel along from carriage to carriage to reach the central emergency exit.
What if the fire is in the middle carriage?

This just isn't good enough.
The RMT union have been telling LUL for years that financial cut backs affect passenger and staff safety and will eventually lead to fatalities. 

Boris hasn't listened.

Public safety on the underground is scandalous. The situation has been exacerbated by a Mayor who refuses to meet with the RMT Union.

Since Boris became Mayor, he hasn't once met with the RMT, be it LUL related or London Taxi branch. 

A Word Of Advice From Your NeighbourHood Team

Following an event as large as the Notting Hill Carnival it is highly likely that a number of items of personal property will have been lost or possibly stolen. Due to the sheer numbers of attendees it may not have been possible to report these losses during the event.


May I therefore invite you to retrospectively enter any such missing property on the free  database.  


This excellent website contains 27 million accounts and is the best register of lost or stolen personal items in the UK.


It is easy to register an account and the guides to registering items such as mobile phones, laptop computers, camera and so on are very clear and easy to follow.


The important detail that is required is the unique serial number of the item that is lost/stolen. This is because when officers discover property, they will check only the serial number against the National Register and so any other numbers will  not accurately identify your property.


Even if you have not lost any items it is an opportune moment to create a free account and register your possessions, so that the Police , anywhere in the UK can intercept stolen items, arrest offenders and more importantly, return your property to you!


Mobile phones are perhaps the most common items that is lost or stolen.MEvery phone or  any other device which can connect to a network using a Sim card, such as iPads and Tablet computers ,  contains a 15 digit unique serial number  which is referred to as the IMEI number. Careful recording of this number is essential when registering your phone or device.


Once you have registered and seen the array of items you can protect, please spread the word among family and friends.


I have an account and have protected all of my families devices and identifiable personal property from cycles to guitars, and I thoroughly recommend you do the same.


Thank you for your time



National Mobile Phone Crime Unit


Twitter @NMPCU


Minicab Station hub opens its doors, in Liverpool. Be very afraid.

In Liverpool if you want a bus station we have one to spare, we have train stations and even a cruise terminal.

Now the city centre has a missing link…. its first ever indoor minicab station.

From Friday (Aug 30) taxi passengers will no longer have to wait on street corners for taxis, thanks to the conversion of an old Victorian warehouse at the junction of Hanover Street and Duke Street.

James Bradley, founder and operator of Alpha Cars, (a Liverpool private hire company), hit on the idea some years ago and was inspired to create the facility by female passengers wanting a safer environment.

James said: “It is incredible how long it has taken to provide this facility in what is a major tourism and night economy city. Our station (basically a minicab rank) has a booking hall and a comfortable waiting room and the very latest in GPS technology. 
In other words its a large minicab office with waiting facilities.

“This has been the missing link in integrated transport. We are delighted Merseyside Police has given its full support because of the safer environment we have created.”
In London the Police are instrumental in the set up of many minicab satellite offices and help firms to get round TfL policy of being in business of a minimum of one year. With their help licence variations can be obtained with in days.

The new minicab station is based in Wilsons Building, a disused Victorian warehouse in Duke Street, directly opposite Liverpool One. 

This idea is not new, Westminster Council have been toying with the idea of setting up PH Hubs for many years.

Amazing how these Minicab operators all think they're Taxi Barons.

Alpha owner James Bradley said: “It is amazing it has taken so long for a major city like Liverpool to have a facility such as this. We take bus and train stations for granted, but no thought has been given to a purpose-built taxi station, until now. Liverpool has been crying out for such a facility.” 

A GPS system will be used to dispatch the firm's 400-strong fleet to the station and a special lay-by has been created at the front door of the building. 

Jamesbradley2James BradleyAdded Mr Bradley: "It will also make a major contribution to greener transport by introducing a central pick-up point, reducing the number of cars circulating in and around the city centre.”

He said:  “Before we embarked on this project we looked very carefully at what was needed and the best location. I have been working on this scheme for some years in response to requests from passengers, and particularly female customers, who want, and deserve, a safe and secure environment. "

Mr Bradley's planning consultant and former Liverpool planning officer, Steve Chapman, Managing Director of Liverpool-based Devaplan Ltd said: "The council's own Unitary Development Plan policies recognise the importance of encouraging the provision of taxi facilities to serve the city centre. I'm sure this operation will set a new high standard in taxi facilities.”

In that case Steve...Why didn't you set this up with the real Taxi trade?

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

If the Notting Hill Carnival was a football match, by now, it would have been banned.

Official Statistics, as supplied by the Metropolitan police: 


2013 - officers on duty: Sun just over 6,000; Mon just under 7,000
2012 - officers on duty: Sun just over 5,000; Mon just under 7,000
2011 - officers on duty: Sun 5,500; Mon 6,500 
Note that adding together the total officer numbers for Sun/Mon gives the total number of 'tours of duty', not the total number of police officers, as one officer may work on both days.

2013 - See below
2012 - Sun 98; Mon 180 (total 278)
2011 - Sun 73; Mon 172 (total 245)
2010 - Sun 93; Mon 150 (total 243)

Update @ 06:00hrs, Tuesday 27 August

There have been a total of 301 arrests as part of the Notting Hill Carnival policing operation.

The arrests are broken down as -

18 for assault on police 
6 criminal damage 
64 public order offences
19 possession of an offensive weapon
96 drugs
16 theft going equipped
3 sexual assault
12 robbery
10 GBH
14 common assault / ABH
43 other. 

Crimes committed outside the direct area of the Carnival by revellers making there way home, would not be included in these figures 

                                Taking the proverbial

                                   The Big Clean Up

The LTDA do not see the same dangers from the Law Commission as other Trade Orgs. Part 1

1) Dropping of restriction on cross boarder hirings. 

Cab firm boss says passengers ripped off by taxi drivers from outside city.
TAXI customers are at risk of being overcharged because about 20 cabs operating in Derby at weekends are not registered in the city, a cab firm director has claimed.
Mohammed Yasin, director of 75 Taxis, said it was because drivers sometimes did not know the best routes.

He spoke out as it was revealed Derby City Council plans to make a rules change that will make it easier for it to investigate complaints against such vehicles.
The council has said that having non-Derby-registered private hire cabs operating in the city could "prejudice public safety".
Mr Yasin said people were being "ripped off". He said: "At a weekend, there can be more than 20 cars that aren't registered here working in Derby."

Mr Yasin said he had heard of one out-of-town driver who was driving a woman across Chaddesden and ended up charging £6.40 when it should have been £3.50.
Mr Yasin said he did not employ drivers from outside Derby. Asked how people could tell whether a driver was from outside the city or not, he said many were already able to tell.
He said: "The drivers don't know the way and people will say 'you're not from Derby'.

"Certain customers say don't send me a car that's not registered in Derby."
The council's taxi licensing and appeals committee is expected to decide on Thursday to make changes to the rules for private hire firms.
One would mean city firms have to keep better records when they bring in vehicles for jobs in Derby that are not "licensed to the operator of the firm at the time of the booking". This, an officers' report on the matter says, will make it easier for complaints to be handled against this sort of vehicle.

Councillor Barbara Jackson, chairman of the committee, said the issue also meant a loss of potential licence fee cash for the city.
She said: "The licence fees for vehicle and driver licences go to the authority where the licence is issued, even if they work in another authority's area.
"Some authorities have lower licence fees than Derby, usually because they carry out fewer safety and compliance checks."

Asked how the issue could prejudice public safety, she said: "Whilst we carry out regular vehicle safety checks on our licensed vehicles and drivers, we have no powers to do so on vehicles or drivers licensed by another authority, even if they are working within our district.''

Source: Derby Telegraph 

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Green Taxis For All Five Boroughs Hit The Streets

First came the blue bikes, and now New Yorkers will start to see green cabs on city streets.

The five-borough taxi plan has been rolled out and the first three of the green cabs are on the road.

They are allowed to pick up street hails in Upper Manhattan, and the other four boroughs, except for airports.

The Taxi and Limousine Commission says 1,300 permits have been issued, with a target of 18,000 in three years.

"For decades, if you wanted to hail a cab in Brooklyn, the Bronx, in Queens or northern Manhattan, it meant flagging down an illegal car. With the Boro Taxis, now you can flag down a legitimate taxi with a meter and a credit card reader -- the same top-quality service people in Manhattan have," said Taxi and Limousine Commissioner David Yassky.

The first permit issued went to Nancy Soria, who works for Riverside Car and Limo Service, and her husband, who both drive the cab.

"When he went he was told, 'Congratulations, you're the first permit holder in New York City,' which was really shocking but a great feeling," Soria said.

The next permit went to Victor Alvarez, who took a NY1 News crew on a ride through Upper Manhattan.

"It's very exciting, because this is the moment that we were waiting for a long time. Some drivers don't like it, but they should understand that this is what we really need," Alvarez said.

New Yorkers that were laying their eyes on the lime green rides for the first time were happy to see them.

"They look good, something different, something new. Why not?" said a New Yorker.

"You know which ones are the cabs, you already know. You won't confuse them with other cabs," said another New Yorker.

Perhaps the best thing about the green cabs are the neighborhoods they will serve.

"I love the fact that I'm in my community still, working in my area of the Bronx and Washington Heights, with my people. That's what I like the best," Soria said.

A state appeals court paved the way for the cabs in June when it rejected a lawsuit by yellow cab owners. They had sued over concerns it would hurt business.

Source: Warner Cable.

Strange Case Of The Missing Tweets


As a regular poster on Twitter, I use two accounts, @Thomasthetaxi and @Taxileaks to advertise new articles. This has proved to be a very successful way of attracting regular readers to this Blog.

But, over the weekend, i experienced a problem with my accounts that took me out of the system for hours on end.

Every time I posted links to articles exposing Sir Peter Hendy's indiscretions with the £140 an hour hooker, Rachael Grundy, my account was frozen. In one instance for ten hours. 

This has happened three times over the last two days.

At first I was slightly bemused. Although my tweets can sometimes be highly critical, they do not contain profanity, pornography or racism.

So, in due course, I put in a complaint to Twitter asking for an explanation as to why my account had been suspended. 

I received what seemed to be a standard reply; 

Hello, If you're writing in about thomasthetaxi being suspended, this account is not currently suspended; please review any previous communications from Twitter for clarification about what the reason for the suspension may have been.

Having never previously received a communication from Twitter, this reply was about as clear as mud!

On the occasions that my accounts were finally unblocked, all tweets made during the suspension flooded out, posted all at once...all, except the ones containing links to Hendy stories.

Who has the power to authorise this type of abuse of the right to free speech?
And why try to block a story that is already in the public domain, albeit in just three news papers.
Even the two journalists who broke the original story are curious as to why so few other media outlets picked the story up.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Hello Designer Outlet, Goodbye Wembly Market.

The London Designer Outlet, will open Thursday 24th October 2013.

The developers of the London venture believe the project will mark a new era for shopping in the capital and help to revitalise one of its most under-invested areas. 

Plans for the London Designer Outlet are set to be unveiled by developers Quintain next month, with an opening date slated for the following month.

The 350,000 sq ft development is expected to emulate the success of centres outside London such as Cheshire Oaks, Gunwharf Quays in Portsmouth, and Bicester Village, which sell end-of-season products at discounted prices. The project could be considered a gamble given that the centre is located next to Wembley Stadium and is more than 10 miles from the centre of London.

The operators believe it will benefit from the 4m annual visitors to the stadium, an under-served local population, and the fact it will be London’s only outlet village.

James Sanders, chief operating officer at Quintain, said: "London has plenty of standard shopping centres. We are three miles from Brent Cross and five miles from Westfield. It didn’t need another standard shopping centre."

The London Designer Outlet is more than 70pc let, with just one of the 15 restaurant units left and a handful of the 70 retail units.

The retailers to open at the centre will include the biggest outlet store from Marks & Spencer, which is also the company’s first store in the London borough of Brent for 25 years.

The other companies include Nike, Gap, LK Bennett, Superdry, Adidas, and Asics while the London Designer Outlet will also introduce quality branded coffee shops to the Wembley area.

"We are reintroducing quality brands that Wembley hasn’t had," Mr Saunders said. "We think we will have best run of sports shops in the UK."

Mr Saunders hopes that the restaurants and Cineworld cinema at the outlet will encourage sports fans to stay in Wembley longer, rather than getting in and out of the stadium area as quickly as possible, as has been the case in the past.

"We expect to serve people coming early and leaving late," he explains.

Designer outlets have proved popular with cash-strapped shoppers since the financial crisis, but are also an attractive way for retailers to offload unwanted stock.

They have proved popular with tourists too. Bicester Village is the most visited attraction outside the capital for Chinese tourists, lured by the prospect of luxury products at bargain prices. International tourists account for 65pc of shoppers at Bicester, which is run by Value Retail and sells brands such as Alexander McQueen, Armani, Gucci and Lacoste.

Cheshire Oaks, at Ellesmere Port, is also popular with the Chinese, with sales to visitors from that country up 20pc.

Opened by McArthurGlen in 1995, it was the first designer outlet in Europe and claims to have more than 145 boutiques and restaurants, making it the UK’s biggest such outlet. McArthurGlen now has seven in the UK, including a site at Livingston in Scotland and an outlet at Bridgend in Wales.

"There will be more in London," Mr Saunders said "We are proud to be called the London Designer Outlet."

Local, loyal market goers could see the end of Wembley Market if it doesn’t find a new home, which has been running for over 40 years.

There will be only 14 more Wembley market dates until it leaves Wembley Stadium for good. Wembley Market’s owners will try to find another location nearby.

One of the negative stalwarts of Wembley Market has been its counterfeit clothing problem, with some traders constantly breaking the law.

 Quintain Estates and Brent Council have been planning to fill the void aroundWembley Stadium  for over a decade. The absence of Wembley Market around the Stadium will be filled in by the impressive London Designer Outlet (Wembley LDO).

Due to open In less than six months, the 350,000 sq ft centre will be London’s first designer outlet. The mixed use development consists retail and leisure, including a nine-screen Cineworld. Wembley LDO is adjacent to Wembley Stadium, Wembley Arena and a four-star Hilton hotel, which opened last July.

This will address the thriftiness of Wembley market but with the aim of  bringing aspirational brands to Wembley at Bicester Village prices .

If you would like to say goodbye to Wembley market, do so in the comments or on our Facebook page. Only fourteen more Wembley Stadium Market days left, it’s sad, I know. The countdown begins.

Sources: The Telegraph and Wembly City Blog.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

In London, these cars are as rare rocking horse droppings.

An uninsured, illegal Minicab Driver, has been ordered to pay a £1,000 fine after appearing in a Magistrate's Court. Obviously this isn't in London.

 A private hire driver has been ordered to pay a grand for illegally trying to pick up passengers in the city centre.

Ajaz Khan, aged 33 and from Rochdale, was fined £250 for plying for hire and £500 for driving with no insurance with £250 costs after he pleaded guilty to both offences at Manchester Magistrates’ Court on August 14.

It is illegal for private hire drivers to pick up passengers who flag them down on the street, and doing so automatically means they have no insurance, as all journeys taken in private hire cars must be pre booked through the operator.

Khan, who changed his plea from not guilty during the hearing, was also given six penalty points on his driving licence.

Two Manchester City Council licensing enforcement officers, who were working in the city centre as part of an operation to stop illegal minicab drivers, got into Khan’s car on Deansgate just before midnight on June 14.

He agreed to take them to Oldham before they announced themselves as City Council officers.

The driver, who works for a Rochdale private hire company, admitted at the time that he had dropped off a fare in Middleton and had driven to the city centre to find more work.

Councillor Nigel Murphy, Manchester City Council’s executive member for the environment, said: “Anyone who visits the city centre, especially during nights out, should be aware they are not insured if they hail a private hire car on the street.

We regard illegal ply for hire as a serious offence and where we have the necessary evidence will prosecute unscrupulous drivers who try to make extra money with no regard for their passengers’ safety. We have officers working outside of office hours undertaking a variety of different approaches to try and ensure that public safety isn’t compromised by illegal activities of minicab drivers and that all their vehicles are well maintained and safe.”

Source: The Manchester Gazette. 

Meanwhile in London's Westend.
Unfortunately the opposite attitude is the order of the day in London. 
TfL's licensing department's compliance officers, generally turn a blind eye to minicab drivers illegally plying for hire at night in central London.
They are never openly seen checking documents or vehicle conditions in situ, where these cars regularly, illegally park and ply for hire.

On the other hand, compliance teams can often be found on licensed Taxi ranks checking the badge and bills of Taxi drivers.

Traffic wardens walk by minicabs illegally parked and refuse point blank to issue them tickets.

Even the police seem to have no appetite to get involved saying this is not a high priority crime. 

Truth is this is not a victimless crime
Apart from the fact that minicab journeys contracted in this manner are uninsured, police estimates show there are 25 minicab relate serious sexual assaults, including rapes every week. (Figures based on statistics issued by Met Police PoP Clapham report). 
That's 25 lives and the lives of their families, shattered every week.

TfL's controversial commissioner Sir Peter Hendy, openly refused to acknowledge the steep rise in minicab related, serious sexual assault figures on BBC's radio London, even though they appeared on TfLs own Website.

Since Hendy took over control of TfL, only one minicab driver has been convicted of illegally plying for hire in London. According to TfL's website, for the last available six months,  figures show 11 minicab drivers have had there licences revoked, after being arrested and convicted for the more serious offence of touting by the Police.
Nothing to be proud if there!

This is totally unacceptable and is scandalous.

Our licensing authority turns a blind eye to this situation, because they don't want to upset the major PH operators who seem to drive policy at TfL.

Photos above were captured at 10:30pm in Regent Street by Swallow Street Arch. 

The bus lane as you can clearly see, is completely blocked by PHVs illegally plying for hire.
Do bus drivers never complain?

No enforcement from TfL/LTPH, Westminstet or the Police. This situation is completely out of hand and public safety is being put at risk, every night of the week, as London becomes a free for all.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Mercedes-Benz extends Eco City Vehicles financing

Eco City Vehicles,  a co-developer and supplier of the London licensed Mercedes Vito taxi, has confirmed an extension of its financing arrangements with Mercedes-Benz.

Mercedes-Benz has maintained the company's existing stocking facilities of £5.75m in total, in order to support the working capital required for the continued growth of the business. 

The terms of the facilities are in line with the company's existing facilities and will enable the company to order additional taxis from MB when required.

Eco City Vehicles said that in order to facilitate the extension of this stocking facility, KPM-UK Taxi Plc Discretionary Pension Scheme has agreed a letter of subordination addressed to Mercedes-Benz Financial Services UK Limited in relation to a total of £0.9m, out of a total outstanding loan balance of £1.2m to the pension scheme as at 31 July 2013. 

The scheme's beneficiaries are Peter DaCosta, Michael Troullis and Keith Marder, who all shareholders of the group. DaCosta is also a director of the group.

The pension scheme has undertaken to MBFS to maintain the subordinated pension loan until 31 August 2014 by lending back to the group, subject to HMRC rules, within 30 days of receipt any repayment of principal amounts necessary to ensure that the outstanding loan balance will not be lower than the Subordinated pension loan balance. 

At 1:57pm: [LON:ECV] share price was +0.06p at 1.88p.

London Cabbie? Friend or relative of a cabbie? If so, you may be able to help us charge 2 thieves with a crime…

On Monday 11th August at 2:53pm a London black cab was parked on Bishops Avenue, SW6.  2 males have broken into this cab by smashing a window and have stolen a handbag plus other items.  This was not reported to police by the victim but our intrepid neighbourhood officers have made a series of enquiries since, utilising intelligence that was passed to us, resulting in 2 arrests.  Sadly the missing bit of the jigsaw to allow us to charge these 2 is a victim statement.  Without that we can’t send these suspects to court to face justice.

The driver of the cab, our victim, is a white male, in his 30s or 40s and of stocky build.  He had possibly parked his cab on Bishops Ave to visit the nearby park with his two children who were with him, a boy & girl under the age of 10.  Unfortunately we do not have know the registration number of the cab.

Is this cabbie you? Do you know a fellow cabbie who this could be? Do you have a relative/friend who this could be? And even, if you use black cab can you mention this to the driver to see if he/she knows who it could be please?

As you can probably tell we’re really keen to speak with the victim so these suspected thieves, who are currently on bail, can be charged and face court.

If you can help, please call Sergeant Finbar King on 0208 246 2453.  As always, thank you for your support.

Friday, August 23, 2013

HS2 could turn into a "nightmare"

The HS2 rail project has come under fire from another senior Labour figure today - as Alistair Darling warned soaring costs could turn it into a "nightmare".

Darling, who served as chancellor and transport secretary, said the economic benefits were "highly contentious" and there was a risk that funding would be drained from the rest of the network.

However, current Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin defended the scheme, insisting it still had Prime Minister David Cameron's backing.

The Government has estimated the cost of HS2, which will see 225mph trains running from London to Birmingham by around 2026, at £50 billion.

But Institute for Economic Affairs (IEA) research earlier this week suggested the eventual bill would be £80 billion, and it has been reported that the Treasury is actually working on a figure of more than £70 billion.

Support among the Labour hierarchy appears to be fading, with former business secretary Lord Mandelson voicing opposition recently and shadow chancellor Ed Balls insisting the party would not sign a "blank cheque" for the project.

E-petition, to scrap plans for the HS2 'Paving Bill'

Responsible department: Department for Transport

The mad rush for the HS2 project is being fuelled by sentiment and sound bites which have no basis in reality, and the proposal to submit a paving bill reflects this.

The DfT has knowingly fabricated the supporting evidence for HS2, using every outdated figure and model available to them. As a result, they have presented a grossly inflated business case which doesn’t stand up to scrutiny. The costs are too great and the value for money of the project is far too low at a time of supposed austerity.

Environmentally HS2 is a disaster threatening at least 350 unique habitats, 50 ancient woodlands, 30 river corridors, 24 Sites of Special Scientific Interest and hundreds of other important areas which cannot be replaced.

HS2 would have significant social impacts, uprooting householders and devastating communities without proper compensation.

HS2 is simply a vanity project and must be cancelled.

To sign this petition, click on link