Tuesday, December 31, 2013
Monday, December 30, 2013
Friday, December 27, 2013
Wednesday, December 25, 2013
Dear Mr Thomas,
Thank you for your email to the Commissioner, Sir Peter has asked that I respond on his behalf.
I am aware of the impact that the delays in the Home Office’s Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checking system are having on taxi drivers and understand the difficulties faced by drivers unable to work.
TfL and the Mayor have made strenuous efforts at Ministerial level to get the situation resolved as quickly as possible. We also took the decision to start issuing license renewal packs to drivers four months in advance of drivers' licenses expiring. Since October, the number of outstanding disclosure applications from London taxi drivers renewing their licences has significantly decreased. The DBS now reports that the number of such applications that have been with them for more than 45 days has reduced by 60 per cent. We will continue to work with the Home Office and the DBS to reduce all the backlogs further and eliminate the risk of taxi drivers not being able to work.
TfL has made the decision that we must be fully aware of a driver’s criminal history before issuing a license, on the grounds of public safety. We have in fact identified a small number of cases where, had we issued temporary licences in the absence of DBS checks, it would have resulted in TfL licensing drivers with the types of criminal records that would have prevented them from holding a licence.
I hope you find this helpful.
Managing Director – Surface Transport
From: Jim Thomas [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: 19 December 2013 01:06
To: Hendy Peter (TfL)
Cc: Daniels Leon; Gareth Thomas; Navin Shah;Caroline.Pidgeon@london.gov.uk
Subject: Drivers renewals delays, causing financial hardship.
Tuesday, December 24, 2013
Sunday, December 22, 2013
Press Release : Hyde Park Winter Wonderland will be closed on Monday 23/12/2013 Due to possible extreme weather conditions.
Due to the forecasted severe weather conditions of high winds and extreme rain predicted for London tomorrow, PWR Events and The Royal Parks have taken the decision to close Hyde Park Winter Wonderland on Monday the 23 December for the whole day.
All ticket holders for the Lycamobile Ice Rink, Zippos Circus, Magical Ice Kingdom and the Giant Observation Wheel will be refunded for Monday.
PWR Events are very sorry for the inconvenience caused, but Hyde Park Winter Wonderland will be open as usual again on Tuesday 24thDecember at 10am .
Posted by Peter Reeves, City of Westminster, Contingency Planning Team
Message sent at December 22, 2013 20:49
Saturday, December 21, 2013
The grant was approved and they were reimbursed 40% of the cost.
Friday, December 20, 2013
METROPOLITAN POLICE STATEMENT
Police and London Ambulance Service attended the scene along with London's Air Ambulance (HEMS).
A number of people have been injured; we await a full assessment.
At present, 23 people are described as walking wounded.
Seven people are still being assessed, of who two remain trapped on the bus.
At this stage, there has been no fatality.
There was no police vehicle involved in the collision. Two uniformed police officers were travelling on the bus, both were injured, we await further details.
Traffic officers are at the scene.
There has been no arrest.
Thursday, December 19, 2013
The LCDC served their purpose and kept the trade from playing its golden ticket over the Olympics and now surprise surprise, TfL treat the LCDC as the irrelevance that organisation has become!
Pity he did not write to Hendy demanding TfL to issue temporary licences so cab drivers of good standing can get back to work.
Yes there can be delays about CRB but that was always dealt with by the issue of a cover note from the PCO, it's entirely lawful for TfL to issue them today.
They issue PH licences to those who have lived outside the UK where no such CRB. System exists.
Asking for another carefully selected talking shop is ducking the real issues that confront us and that why the LCDC are irrelevant as any such talks would continue to divide the trade BUT they don't have to be.
The cabbies cabinet, taxi engagement policy etc. only served TfL's ends not the trades, the failure for the cab drivers club to see that is to be criticised.
It's like campaigning for ranks, often you will have two or three trade groups and individuals pursuing the same council and TfL about the same rank issue!
All because people refuse to sit down together and pool resources.
It's a waste of effort on ALL sides and of course shows us as divided and incoherent.
There can be 100 trade bodies of all sizes but they could all meet TUC or CBI style and issue a joint statement on major issues, now that would have authority.
The alternative is we carry on as we are, more worried about claiming credit, photo calls and publishing letters about how XYZ's legal team saved a driver from the firing squad!
There are many good and dedicated people in ALL these organisations including the LTDA, UNITE, RMT, HATDU, LCDC and whoever else and none of them always get it right.
They all have in common more than the matters that divide them and that's the health of the cab trade.
So as a New Years resolution get together and hold TfL to account.
Forget who said what to who, man up!
. ...P Bond, former vice chairman RMT.
As you are well aware, many licensed Taxi drivers are being refused the right to carry on working, while waiting for their licence renewal to arrive on their doormat.
As yet, you have made no public statement as to why you are personally refusing to issue temporary licenses.
The process of issuing temporary licences was first implemented under Metropolitan Police administration. A process that worked extremely well for many years. In those years, London's licensed taxi drivers served the capital well.
If you have any evidence of abuse of this system, please publish the details.
In spite of the private hire related serious sexual assault figures that according to the Mets estimates, are higher then ever recorded before, you seem content to license foreign nationals, who arrive in this country devoid of references, with no chance of checking their past. And yet drivers from the best Taxi service in the world, who have been of exemplary character are forced out of work. In some cases for up to 15 weeks. This truly is unacceptable.
The only sensible solution would be to reinstate the issuing of temporary licences as was standard before the start of this new, incompetent system.
Wednesday, December 18, 2013
The man, believed to be in his late 70s, suffered serious injuries after the incident at the junction of Eaton Square and Eccleston Street in Belgravia, Scotland Yard said.
Police were called to the scene at 6.45pm yesterday and the man was taken to hospital by ambulance, but later died. His next of kin is yet to be informed.
The driver of the taxi stopped at the scene but was not arrested.
Officers from the road death investigation unit are carrying out inquiries into the incident and anyone who witnessed the collision or has information is asked to call police on 0208 285 1574 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
We noticed today that the Evening Standard carried this story and yet they published not one word about a similar accident which occurred in Southwark Street SE1 last night. The incident in South London was between an Addison Lee Van and a pedestrian.
It would seem that the Standard is very apprehensive about stories which contain Private Hire vehicles. Very often, they refer to PH wrongly as Taxis, especially when it comes to sexual attacks on passengers.