Tuesday, December 10, 2013

A Line a Has Been Drawn In The Sand. Do We Stand And Fight Together, Or Leave With The Women And Children?

No, this is not the Alamo. This is not Rorkes Drift. Just the licensed Taxi trade, fighting for survival.

Last Friday, a compliance officer made a statement to a trade representative that has raised a red flag. His statement and the subsequent statement made by TfL should not be ignored.
This is not going away
This is not going to get better
This needs to be addressed NOW by a united trade response.

Statement made to Unites Peter Rose by compliance officer outside Smiths Restaurant in Charterhouse Street.  

"WOW! Just been told by TfL Compliance team that Satellite Offices are allowed to have a 'certain' number of vehicles waiting outside, just as if it was a 'minicab office'. This has been confirmed by TfL legal apparently. This is no reflection on the Compliance team themselves, they only do as they are instructed to do."
After Mr Rose posted this remark on Twitter, many drivers sent off emails to TfL demanding clarification on this issue.

Peter Rose has been first to receive reply from TfL and his published this on his personal blog.

"When licensing an operating centre to accept private hire bookings, whether it is a ‘normal minicab office’ or an operating centre in a late night venue (what you refer to as a ‘satellite centre’), we expect any private hire vehicle that is serving that operating centre to comply with local parking restrictions and we do not condone illegal parking. 

However, if the vehicles and drivers are legally parked in the vicinity of an operating centre run by the operator they work for, we will take the view that they are legitimately at the location waiting for bookings from that operator.

Where this is not the case and we or the police find drivers acting unlawfully we will take appropriate action. For example, where un-booked private hire vehicles and drivers are found making themselves available for immediate hire we will take action on the grounds that the driver is illegally plying for hire. This may result in prosecution and/or revocation of the private hire vehicle driver’s licence. We have no power to enforce parking restrictions which remains the responsibility of the local authority”. End.

This statement is the most dangerous statement ever to come from TfL and has got to be challenged immediately by all trade representative orgs. 

Legal costs should not be a problem as Unite is the biggest union in the country with over a million members. The LTDA have over 10,000 subscribers plus a man on the board of TfL.
I would also point out, the RMT have a legal department and over 80,000 nation wide members.

What next?... Satellite offices at Rail Stations with ranks of minicabs waiting to become hired....of course this is illegal and we have decades of case law to back it up.

The reply on Mr Rose's blog was unsigned. So, to theTfL employee who made this statement;
"However, if the vehicles and drivers are legally parked in the vicinity of an operating centre run by the operator they work for, we will take the view that they are legitimately at the location waiting for bookings from that operator."

We would like to bring your attention and that of your legal team to sec.35 of the Hackney Carriage Act of 1831, which states the following:
"Every hackney carriage which shall be found standing in any street or place, unless actually hired, shall be deemed to be plying for hire"
A hackney carriage is a vehicle that is not necessarily a taxi, although a  taxi is a form of hackney carriage. Private Hire Vehicles (minicabs) are also a form of Hackney Carriage.

We would also point out that under Metropolitan Public Carriage Act, 1869 (32 & 33 Vict c 115), s 7. The operator or vehicle owner is also liable to a charge of illegally plying for hire by the driver. 
The contravention also carries a level 3 penalty.
  • Mr James Button President at Institute of Licensing Ltd, has also made this position very clear by stating Private Hire Cars can not stand and wait to become hired. 

The official statement made by TfL is wrong and would not stand up if legally challenged. 

But will those who purport to represent us, actually represent us this time?
Previous cases:
Rose v Welbeck (29/31 May 1962)
Alker v Woodward (16 /17 February 1962.)
Case law used in judgements.
Hunt v Morgan (23 Nov, 1 Dec 1948)
Cogley v Sherwood, Car Hire Group (Skyport) Ltd v Sherwood, Howe v Kavanaugh, Car Hire Group (Skyport) Ltd v Kavanaugh, (1959)
Gilbert v McKay (1946)


Anonymous said...

All this can be stopped over night of course, all that needs to be done is scrap the KOL. What do you prefer a two tier system, where we( black cabs)are the number one choice, with our numbers regulated by the KOL. Or a one tier system with over a hundred thousand black cabs all working for tuppence halfpenny.

Anonymous said...

I think if TL should post s farewell to the trade this should be it.
It's a travesty that Len MaCluskies Unite and Bob Crow's RMT , two of the countries most militant unions have no interest in challenging the proven factual illegalties of satellite offices - and the corruption behind the Taxi Age Limit. The UTG, nor the trade unionist organisations have any interest in the plight of the Licensed taxi trade ... before can move forward we need to name and shame and build upon richiousness and dump the belief in false leaders... Amen.

Anonymous said...

The problem is not enough are union members ,cab drivers are tories think their too good for a union.Why should unite and rmt be bothered when they have such low members.

Millie Tant said...

Anon. 407

It's not the unions that are to blame, we all know the RMT tried at least 4 times to get everyone around the table, yes of course we can ALL be criticised for individual apathy, grandstanding or choosing the wrong side.

None of this matters, we are now on the run, TfL 's statement is obviously a smokescreen so they can't be pressured to enforce the substantial body of law that exists.

'Waiting for a booking' and 'immediately hired' they say ones not an offence, well that not what the law says.

Of course it needs a challenge, my question is that is the cab trade prepared to unite and fund it?

The small players are irrelevant as they have no money, that levels UNITE, RMT and the LTDA as the only players.

It's up to their membership to force the issue not Bob Crow, McClusky or McNamara.

The good thing is it will smoke out the TfL yes men!

Anonymous said...

This has been the situation in the Royal borough of Kingston upon Thames for the last 6 years. Three port-a-cabin Satellite offices placed on the public highway with vehicles lined up adjacent known as ‘Pick-up-Points’ including one at Kingston Rail Station Forecourt where the rank operates for taxis during the hours of 05:00 - 23:30 and then becomes a private hire ‘Pick-up-Point’ during the hours of 23:30 - 05:00.

This was piloted long before TfL tried to implement the same system at Cranbourn Street, London, TfL even tried to set this ‘Pick-up-Point’ system up outside Sutton Police Station, but when it was pointed out to the police that this would be breaking the law, the local police dropped the idea of implementing the system there like a ton of bricks.

The LTDA attended both the meetings held at Kingston and Sutton and backed the idea of Port-a-Cabin Satellite offices placed on the public highway with vehicles lined up adjacent for immediate hire.

The seed was planted in Kingston six years ago and the roots have taken hold as there has been very little resistance from the taxi trade as a whole. It has flourished and the local authorities see it as a way of clearing the streets and reducing anti-social behaviour and public order offences.

You can expect more of this to come on line in the near future, don’t think for one minute that places like Heathrow/London City Airport or Mainline Railway Termini will be exempt, because they won’t.

The authorities along with private hire have been pushing the boundaries bit by bit ever since they became licensed by TfL, the London licensed taxi drivers have only put up a token resistance when a few clued up drivers asked for a ‘Call to Arms’ in reclaiming the work back where licensed Satellite offices were granted or in some cases not.

The real question is not, would it stand up in a court of law if legally challenged. But, would it be legally challenged, if so by whom.

Anonymous said...

I'm following the UTG,and leaving with the women and children.

Old Ranker said...

Cab drivers are all mouth and trousers !

Plenty of effing and blinding in shelters, forums and blogs yet only a handful get involved in doing anything, others just see I cab trade politics a as a way off the cab.

We have the leadership we deserve!

LCY Len said...

Looking at the legal statement as to if ph cars can wait outside an office or sattelite office, it looks to me like it's written in the usual bollockese and ties itself in knots. Argument could be made from two differing angles. The statement from tfl is full of the usual non commitment we've come to expect. Someone asked why the trade orgs are not doing anything, that would be because they are only interested in their salaries and pet agendas as in the case of davis , the persecution and eventual eradication of the yellow badge.They are so seduced by the promises of seats at the top table, they cant see that they are being played for fools.The call to arms has rang out time out of number and the response as been underwhelming every time. I wonder what it will take for the trade to actually wake up and see that all of our livliehoods are under threat. The I'm all right Jack attitude and petty spiteful agendas need to be put aside and we seriously have to start thinking of our futures.
I'm not sure about anyone else, but I cant live on fresh air and I quite like having a roof over my head, if we don't stand together against our enemies soon, many of us could be losing our homes and have little to eat. Sounds dramatic I know, but if we don't look at the worst case scenario then we will remain complacent and make it easy for others to destroy us.

Anonymous said...

no need for a demo use the courts ! judge in chambers to issue an injunction against TFL TPH . hearing about march next year but it costs this is the only way to stop TFL .

Anonymous said...

Isnt the "pre booked" rank along side the taxi rank at Paddington in essence already a PH rank??? As mini cab apps increase its inevitable mainlines will incorporate this as standard practice. Suburban drivers have been ranking up next to mini cab offices for ever. Central London has been immune to that but seems like not anymore.

Step too far said...

TfL have THEY think given themselves an out if they get a legal challenge by still declaring that they will take action if anyone is found illegally plying for hire.

Well cars waiting and available have already been found illegal in the courts and two of those landmark cases were in London so sorry Mr Hendy WRONG !

The thing TfL are obsessed about is negative PR so let's have that advan outside Windsor house.

Wonder if it will happen?

Anonymous said...

re: sec.35 of the Hackney Carriage Act of 1831, which states the following:
"Every hackney carriage which shall be found standing in any street or place, unless actually hired, shall be deemed to be plying for hire"

surely, this is a double-edged sword that the Compliance Officers CAN & probably WILL, use against US, instead of others

Ex Club member said...

Anon 11:05
They are all ready training their hit squad, the ones who turn up in a van and ticket cars on red routs, to use the new scanners and ticket taxis over ranking.

Also targets will be taxis at places like Novikov's and such. PH are not going to have any form of IDs on vehicle, plus roundels are to be replaced by just the letter P on vehicle number plate. This is going to happen, this was always going to happen.

TfL are to concert rate on raising as much revenue as possible from issuing new fixed penalty tickets to taxi drivers.

Anonymous said...

so the identifiers are nothing to do with yellow badges working up town, it was just a line to get the rest of us to put the identifiers in, funny how the scanners come out just before the new identifiers come out as if it was prearranged well bring on january when we are all over ranking at paddington £60 fines all round,we were all suckered into excepting these new identifiers with barcode scanners what next mr taxman this is only the start of a dieing trade remember the miners, and the print

Dan D Lyon said...

We have barcodes yet PH will only have a P alongside their registration plate (where the blue GB bit is).

An invitation to touts that is!

It also proves that PH lobbying is far more effective than the UTG's!

New year is the time for ACTION.

LCY Len said...

What's that noise, oh yeah it's the gnashing of a green badges teeth at his own stupidity. Davis thought he was being clever in hounding Mason into bringing in the id's and thought he'd actually stop yellow badges picking up the odd ride in town (usually a fare that several greens have refused)Truth is he just gave tfl a way of earning extra money and I'm quite sure there are still some die hard yellows helping the paying public get home after they've been turned down for not going in the right direction.That saying 'be careful what you wish for' springs to mind now the greens are realising the error of trusting a buffoon like davis.
I wonder how many greens would answer truthfully and admit that they are zero pounds and zero pence better off since the id's came in.Not too many, but some I know actually think that the id's are the worst thing to happen to the trade.Now, if anon 7.42 is near the mark, we will be effectively employed and the tax man will have us by the proverbial.
Hands up who wanted that!

Anonymous said...

re LCY LEN another excelent post , and so true mate , keep em coming, len

Anonymous said...

The first batch of identifiers could be easily colour photocopied and photoshoped to change a digit.The barcode on the new identifiers was introduced along with the hologram to try to prevent copying of the identifiers, so the barcode tallys up with the number/driver. Its that simple. Forget all the conspiracy theories.The reg of your vehicle is still the biggest and relevant "identifier"

Anonymous said...

Another ostrich with head in the sand

It's that simple, they are going to hound you with fixed penalty tickets

They ain't going to touch PH

Anonymous said...

If your NOT illegally parked, over ranked, driving badge less, expired bill, etc, just working minding your own business why would you be paranoid about a fixed penalty that you could have easily been given before but is now imminent cos you have a barcode??? Lost on me.

Editorial said...

A provision was made to the London cab act in 2005 by the board of TfL
At that time, no provision was made to issue private hire fixed penalties notices and for that to happen TfL would have to rewrite the bill
Where is the fair play and level playing field
This is totally biased behaviour from TfL and part of their agenda against us.
Do you really think they will play fair issuing these tickets. They will be sneaking up from behind.
A taxi with his back wheels 3 inches over the back of the rank!
A driver who takes his coat off and forgets to remove his badge, pinned on lapel!
Taxis queueing to get on the rank at Paddington/Waterloo!

And yet no action will be taken against PH in Swallow Street, Charterhouse street

Taxis waiting at Novikov will be done while minicabs will be left there to tout

That's all ok with you then?

Lcy Len said...

I'm alright Jack is alive and well in the shape if anon 12.12 . I see his point of if you ain't doing anything wrong you don't have anything to worry about , but we all know that the jobsworths giddy on power will go an extra mile to make things difficult for us. The anti black cab agenda goes back to red kens regime ans his hatred of the trade. His meddling to try to make us subservient like tube or bus drivers is more prevalent now than when he was in power.All of the nasty petty ways he dreamt up to make things difficult, are being enforced with a passion and with our constant in fighting and the trade dividing IDs, his dream is getting ever closer. Maybe if more of us did do our job properly,stopped picking and choosing journeys and made sure we give those out to get us no chance of doing so, we might think about ways to fight back against the clearly malicious campaign to eradicate us.