Saturday, May 25, 2013
Friday, May 24, 2013
Driver Sai Wong appealed to the Parking and Traffic Appeals Service (PATAS) against the £130 ticket, issued for parking on a single yellow line in Chapel Market last December.
Supported by his representative, parking campaigner Albert Herbert, he argued that the PCN did not explain how representations should be made in response to a notice to owner. “Non-compliance with the regulations quoted mean that there has been a procedural impropriety,” said Lawrence.
The adjudicator also learned that some of the CPZ signs were covered up with plastic sheeting. “Normally it is sufficient for an authority to produce a map of the zone in question, showing the location of the CPZ signs on the boundary of the entrance points and a specimen of the type of sign to be found there,” said Lawrence. He found that though Islington had produced a map of the zone they had not marked on it where the signs are.
An Islington spokesman said: “The wording was introduced in 2008 and our legal advice confirmed it complied with national regulations. The decision in this case is based on the adjudicator’s opinion. We are happy to check the wording is as clearly phrased as possible but our legal advice is clear. Our parking tickets are valid. There is no question of tickets dating back to 2008 being refunded.”
A London Councils spokeswoman added: “There is no specific standard wording for a parking PCN under the Traffic Management Act (TMA) 2004, although there are fundamental details in legislation, specifically the Civil Enforcement of Parking Contraventions (England) General Regulations 2007 and The Civil Enforcement of Parking Contraventions (England) Representations and Appeals Regulations 2007, which have to appear on the PCN.”
Under the TMA London Councils produced model document templates for PCNs, which were made available to all London authorities, she said. “Whilst these were checked by our legal team, all authorities were advised to seek their own legal advice before using them and it is up to each local authority to decide if they want to use them or create their own.”
Islington’s spokesman said the council would be appealing against the adjudicator’s decision.
A different PATAS adjudicator will hear Islington’s appeal. If this adjudicator also finds against Islington, the only further route open to them would be an appeal to the High Court through a judicial review. Unlike a PATAS review, a decision made at judicial review would set a legal precedent.
It is alleged that 600,000 PCNs, valued at £30m, could be affected because of the wording error.
Thursday, May 23, 2013
PLANNED EDL DEMO
On Monday 27th May at 3pm, there is likely to be a march in Whitehall by the EDL. A proportionate policing plan is in place. please be vigilant.
Remote Sensing of NO2 exhaust emissions from Road Vehicles, produced by the Environmental research group at Kings College London, and funded by Defra, claims that new taxis produce more than twice the amount of deadly fumes that old cabs do.
Mr Johnson refused to license any taxis older than 15 years old in 2012 – forcing cab drivers to pay up to £40,000 for new vehicles.
But the Kings report reads: “There is a clear indication that absolute levels of NO2 emissions from taxis manufactured since around 2008 have been increasing. This is true for the LTI TX4, and the Mercedes Vito models.
“Given the intensity of taxi operations in the centre of London, the increase in levels of NO2 emissions from the newer taxi fleet is a matter of concern for local air quality management in general, and NO2 limit values in particular.”
Environmental campaigner David Davis has been campaigning since 2008 for improvements to air quality in London.
He said: “I'm extremely relieved that a reliable entity like Defra has admitted that the Mayor's strategy on clear air has failed.
“I feel outraged that this has been allowed to continue because thousands of people are dying.”
Commenting on the report's findings, its author David Carslaw stressed that the benefits of old and new taxis was complex and location dependent, but he added: “In one sense the newer taxis are worse than the older ones – for NO2, even when taking account of the fact they emit half the total NOx.”
Mr Johnson is legally responsible for introducing measures to tackle London's poor air quality, which is responsible for the deaths of more than 4,000 Londoners – many in East London - each year.
The Mayor's office was unavailable for comment at the time of going to press.
'I will f***ing destroy you': Bloomberg unleashes threat against taxi tycoon and hints at revenge plans after he steps down as mayor
New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg got into a verbal altercation with a leader of the city's taxi cab lobby saying that he was going to 'f***ing destroy' the group when he leaves office this fall.
Bloomberg has championed a new model of taxi cabs for the City, but that plan recently hit a legal pothole when a state judge sided with the taxi industry in going against his proposed changes.
'Come January 1st, when I am out of office, I am going to destroy your f***ing industry,' Bloomberg reportedly said to Gene Freidman, the CEO of the Taxi Club Management.
War of words: New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg (left) reportedly got into a verbal altercation with Gene Freidman (right), the CEO of the Taxi Club Management
Mr Freidman represents the city's taxi drivers, many of whom do not want to be forced to replace their cabs with Bloomberg's 'Taxis of Tomorrow'.
The New York Post reports that the tirade occurred on Tuesday night when Bloomberg and Freidman were watching the Knicks basketball game from the private 1879 Club inside Madison Square Garden.
Bloomberg told the paper that he didn't remember the incident, but Freidman recalled it in very specific detail.
Freidman told The Post that when he approached the mayor, he was greeted with the following: 'Come January 1st, when I am out of office, I am going to destroy your f***ing industry.'
The threats did not stop there, as Freidman reportedly 'said, "Whoa, Mr. Mayor, calm down! Why can’t I sit down with you and figure out something that works?" He got back in my face and said, "After January, I am going to destroy all you f***ing guys."'
An unidentified witness told The Post: 'It was like Gene had kidnapped his child. He used the f-word twice.'
Aside from showing his aggression when it comes to taxi design, the alleged rant also gives a possible indication about what Bloomberg will dedicate his time towards when his three terms in Gracie Mansion come to an end this fall.
The taxis were designed to give more space to passengers in the back of the cab, will be outfitted with anti-bacterial vinyl, and have two USB ports available to charge cell phones during the journey.
When he previously spoke about his retirement plans, Bloomberg typically quotes the current day count of how many more days he has left in office, saying that those are his priorities.
Now it seems that he may be planning on spending some time pushing the 'Taxis of Tomorrow' onto the streets.
'This taxi was designed from the inside out and the result is the safest, most comfortable, most passenger-friendly cab to ever ride our streets,' Bloomberg said to his company's magazine when the Nissan-designed cabs were displayed in April of last year.
Before the legal roadblock, the cars were scheduled to begin appearing on the streets this fall, though that will inevitably be delayed.
Tuesday, May 21, 2013
We are still waiting to find out what "his team" are going to do about this issue.
Misleading, you bet your life it is.
Monday, May 20, 2013
New Defra report which shows ALL emissions strategies in London have failed and Mayors Age limit on Taxis is improper.
The report now shows that the Mayor's Taxi Age Limit is improper and as far as exhaust emissions are concerned, older taxis are no worse than the new taxis. In fact the new TX4 taxis are shown to create more NO2.
The report from Defra also shows that ALL emission strategies in London have so far failed.
Below is an except from the report which deals specifically with Taxis:
4.3 London taxis
The locations of the central London survey sites at Aldersgate Street and Queen Victoria Street resulted in a large number of taxis (black cabs) being surveyed. Over 15,000 observations of taxis were made, the majority being LTI TX1, TXII, and TX4 models. As a result of the relatively large sample size, the emissions from taxis can be disaggregated in more detail than most other vehicle types.
Current TfL regulations stipulate that annual licences are only issued to taxis that are under 15 years old and meet Euro 3 emissions standards. This is achieved either by (a) operating a vehicle originally manufactured to Euro 3 standards (or later); (b) retro-fitting approved emissions reduction equipment; or (c) using an LPG conversion. The Mayor has also set out proposals to have a taxi capable of zero emission operation in regular use by 2020. Such a taxi would effectively address all taxi-related local emissions. LTI TX1 models (Nissan engines) were originally manufactured to Euro 2 emissions standards, whereas later LTI TXII models with Ford engines (introduced around 2002) were manufactured to Euro 3 emissions standards. LTI TX4 models with VM Motori engines (introduced around 2006) were originally built to Euro 4 standards, with a Euro 5 compliant version introduced in 2012. Other observed taxi types with much smaller sample sizes include the LTI FX, the Carbodies Metrocab, the Mercedes Vito 111 (Euro 4), and the Mercedes Vito 113 (Euro 5).
Figure 25 NOx/CO2 emissions from London taxis by year. (2008)
Previous research based on remote sensing surveys implemented in London in 2008 (Rhys-Tyler et al., 2011) had identified statistically significant changes in both nitric oxide emissions and smoke emissions with the introduction of the LTI TXII and LTI TX4 taxi models. In the transition from the LTI TX1 model to the LTI TXII, it was observed that nitric oxide emissions reduced by more than half; however, at the same time, smoke (particle) emissions (as measured using ultraviolet opacity techniques) were observed to increase around threefold. With the introduction of the LTI TX4 model around 2006, smoke (particle) emissions reduced below the levels of the earlier TX1 model, whilst nitric oxide emissions remained at statistically similar rates to the TXII model.
Figure 26 NO2/CO2 emissions from London taxis by year. (2012)
The patterns observed in the earlier research based on 2008 data are replicated in the 2012 data set, although we now have the advantage of both NO and NO2 measurements, and a much larger sample size. The plots of NOx vs. year of manufacture shows clear groupings of vehicles, which broadly split into two categories of higher and lower emissions of NOx. In terms of significant numbers of taxis, the largest reduction in total NOx occurred with the transition from the LTI TX1 model (4132 observations), to the LTI TXII model (4050 observations). However, the infrared opacity measurements confirm that smoke (particle) emissions from the LTI TXII model continue to be much higher than from other taxi types, both newer and older.
Figure 27 NO2/NOx emissions from London taxis by year.
There is a clear indication that absolute levels of NO2 emissions from taxis manufactured since around 2008 have been increasing. This is true for the LTI TX4, and the Mercedes Vito models. The newest versions of the Mercedes Vito taxis (manufactured in 2011 and 2012) are observed to have the highest absolute emissions of primary NO2. The fraction of primary NO2 in total NOx (f- NO2) from the taxi fleet is observed to increase significantly for taxis manufactured since around 2009, with substantial variation between manufacturers. Whilst f-NO2 was typically below 10-12% prior to 2005, LTI TX4 models manufactured in 2011 and 2012 have f-NO2 values of around 27%, whilst the Mercedes Vito models manufactured in 2011 and 2012 have f-NO2 values of around 35-40%.
Given the intensity of taxi operations in the centre of London, the increase in levels of NO2 emissions from the newer taxi fleet is a matter of concern for local air quality management in general, and NO2 limit values in particular. The high levels of smoke (particle) emissions from LTI TXII taxis also warrants further investigation. Both of these issues should be taken into consideration when developing future policy for taxi emissions. The technologies adopted by manufacturers require further investigation to gain a full understanding of the generation processes for total NOx, f-NO2, and particulate matter, with a view to minimising the pollutants of concern in future vehicles.
The whole report can be downloaded here
Goto/ 1. REMOTE SENSING OF NO2 EXHAUST EMISSIONS FROM ROAD VEHICLES (PDF 2.31 MB)
: 13/05/2013 (Uploaded: 20/05/2013)
See page 45 4.3 taxis and page 47 chart 27 showing that the newer taxis cause MORE NO2 than the older cabs.
This report shows that TX2 taxis are causing more pollution overall than any others; therefore an age limit is not proper. Overall it shows that most technologies for reduction of diesel pollution in an urban environment do not work.
With many thanks to research carried out by Dave Davies.
North West Leicestershire District Council is warning drivers of unlicensed taxis to stay away from next month’s Download Festival.
The warning comes after the District Council obtained a conviction at Leicester Magistrates Court against a driver found plying for hire at the 2012 Download Festival at Castle Donington.
Council Enforcement Officers, who patrol the festival each year, were asked by the driver, Assim Hussain Taj, 26 years, of North Street, Forest Field, Nottingham, if they needed a taxi. Mr Taj, was found guilty of using a vehicle as a taxi without a licence and using a vehicle without insurance.
Mr Taj was fined £100 for plying for hire and £100 fine for no insurance as well as being given 6 penalty points. This resulted in him being disqualified for driving for 6 months.
This is the second successful prosecution by the District Council against unlicensed drivers following last year’s event.
Councillor Alison Smith, North West Leicestershire District Council’s Deputy Leader and Portfolio Holder for Community Services said, “It is important to protect festival goers from unscrupulous operators who may not have undergone any of the safety checks. They may also be driving vehicles that have not had any safety inspections. Download Festival goers need to be confident that their safety is not being compromised.
“Unlicensed operators would do well to stay away from this year’s festival because if they are caught we will prosecute. All drivers caught plying for hire will have invalidated their insurance and will always be prosecuted. The two recent convictions show that the District Council regard unlicensed drivers as a danger to the public and detecting and prosecuting such offenders remains a high priority for us.”
A representative from LiveNation, who organises the Download Festival, said: “We fully support North West Leicestershire District Council’s licensing enforcement officers who will be on duty preventing any unauthorised taxis touting for business during the event. We would urge festival goers to steer clear of these rogue taxis, which are operating illegally and offer little or no protection to those who use them.”
The Download Festival is being held at Donington Park, Leicestershire between 12 – 17th June. North West Leicestershire District Council’s licensing enforcement officers will again be on duty preventing any unauthorised taxis touting for business during the event.
Sunday, May 19, 2013
After the recent debacle of the Taxi Drivers Forum at Palestra, it is our belief that better training of all officers and staff at LTPH would be highly beneficial to both Taxis and Private Hire.
Facilitated by: James Button BA., Solicitor, CIoL, MCIArb - Principal,
Taxi (Hackney Carriage and Private Hire) Licensing is one of the biggest and most contentious areas of Licensing. This introductory course provides an outline of the role and functions of the committee, and looks in detail at the law and practice of taxi licensing.
Taking into account recent case law, including the Singh case on immediate suspensions, it provides practical advice, making it ideal for the newcomer or as a refresher for those more experienced.
Session 1—. Taxi Licensing within a Local Authority
Session 3 – Hackney Carriages and private hire • Hackney Carriage Drivers
∗ Criteria for Grant
∗ Conditions & Byelaws
∗ Suspension & Revocation
• Private Hire Operators
∗ Provision For Booking’s ∗ Vehicles and Drivers
∗ Exempted Hiring's
∗ Courtesy cars Suspension & Revocation
Session 2 – Hackney Carriages
Session 4 – Private Hire