Saturday, October 05, 2013

Green Party Failed To Take Into Account Environmental Effects From 20mph limits, Say The AA.

Cutting the speed limit from 30 mph to 20 mph on the wrong roads can increase CO2 emissions by more than 10% with the result that well-intentioned safety schemes may backfire in environmental terms.

On average, petrol car fuel consumption on longer and relatively free-flowing 20mph urban streets can worsen by 5.8 miles per gallon (1.3 miles/litre). Over a year this will significantly increase CO2 emissions – burning 1 litre of unleaded petrol produces 2.36kg of CO2.

Speed humps - popular with residents wanting to slow traffic in their street - pump up fuel consumption by 47% when installed on 30 mph roads. Compared to a 20 mph road, speed humps along a 30 mph road increase fuel consumption by 41%.

Targeted 20 mph speed limits in residential areas are popular and improve safety. Along shorter roads with junctions and roundabouts, limiting acceleration to up to 20 mph reduces fuel consumption. But on local distributor roads a 30 mph limit may be more environmentally-friendly.

Transport and highways planners have little or no official guidance on the environmental impact of 20 mph speed limits. It would be ironic if local authorities that have targeted owners of larger vehicles with environmental charges, are found guilty of increasing CO2 emissions through indiscriminate use of 20 mph restrictions.

In the past the Green Party advocated 20 mph limits across the whole of London, perhaps without realising that this policy would backfire in terms of environmental emissions.

It is important to ascertain both the safety and environmental implications of 20 mph zones. 


Taxi Driver Found Guilty Of "Over Ranking"

A taxi driver has been found guilty in court of “over ranking” as the city council’s licensing manager is accused of “altering the status quo”.

Keith Raby, 58, from Nether Kellet, pleaded not guilty to four charges of the offence, but was found guilty at Lancaster Magistrates Court last Friday.

The charges were brought by Lancaster City Council, whose solicitor Luke Gorst showed CCTV footage to the court of Mr Raby, a Hackney Carriage driver in the city for 38 years, parked outside a designated rank in North Road on four seperate occasions in May and June.

Wendy Peck, the city council’s licensing manager, said that there had been complaints from police about taxis causing obstructions, and that in the past enforcement by the council had not been very good.

But Mr Raby’s solicitor Anthony Schiller told the court that a Freedom Of Information request sent to the city council asking for proof of correspondence with the police revealed that no official complaints had been made.

Mr Raby said that the city council’s licensing committee had relaxed some rules in 2000, to help move people quickly out of the city centre at night.

He added: “We’ve always had a good rapport with police and takeaways, as long as the town keeps moving.”

But the city council maintained that Mr Raby had been in breach of the byelaw on each occassion.

Mr Gorst also told the court that the informal relaxation of rules in 2000 was only to deal with a particular issue in a particular place, and could not be used as a defence.

In cross-examining Mrs Peck, Mr Schiller said: “You’ve made life very difficult for drivers by altering the status quo that has been in place for 13 years. You’re enforcing this personally without telling the trade what you are doing.”

Mrs Peck, who has been the city council’s licensing manager since February 2010, said that she warned Mr Raby following the first offence, and invited him to an interview under caution.

Mr Raby said he asked to have his case heard in front of city councillors from the licensing act sub committee, but the court heard that Mrs Peck refused this.

Questions were also raised about what Hackney Carriage drivers should do if ranks were full, as rules stated that after taking a fare, they should proceed to a rank, and if it’s full, they should go to the next available one.

Mr Schiller said: “Do you expect drivers to just drive round the city centre looking for a space, and if they can’t find one, they just go home? The council has in the past given some leeway on this in the interest of public safety. There was a resolution to preserve the status quo.

“There’s been no discussion about toughening up the policy in 118 meetings of the licensing committee.”

Mrs Peck said that drivers were picking prime locations, which was causing problems.

She added: “They can always proceed to Morecambe if there’s nothing in Lancaster.”

Mr Schiller said: “The council has not provided additional facilities. There were other vehicles in those pictures as well.

“Where are those vehicles? They’re not here today. It’s just Mr Raby.”

Mr Raby was backed in court by the National Private Hire Association, which described the situation in Lancaster as “madness”.

After three hours of deliberations, magistrates found Mr Raby guilty of breaching the byelaw, and gave him a £115 fine, with £270 costs.

Afterwards, Jonathan Dixon, chair of the licensing committee, said there were enough ranks available within the district and the trade was formally made aware as far back as 2010 that the byelaws would be enforced.

Source: Lancaster Guardian 

Friday, October 04, 2013

Hop On, Fall Off: Woman Seriously Injured After Fall From Back Of Boris Bus. By Glen Alutto

Only 11 days after a new Routemaster causes a 6 vehicle pile up after running a red light & careering into a line of stationary traffic, we have 

a woman seriously injured as a result of a fall from the back of one in Kentish Town.


NO chance that's a privilege saved for the Taxi trade 

Below: Story From BBC Website.

A woman has been seriously injured in a fall from the back of a new Routemaster bus in Kentish Town.

The woman hit her head when she fell getting off the route 24 bus on Prince of Wales Road, at the junction of Malden Crescent, on Friday morning.

She was taken to St Mary's Hospital. Transport for London said it had launched a thorough investigation.

The Routemaster buses were launched on route 24, which goes from Hampstead Heath-Pimlico, in June.

'Political points'

Darren Johnson, Green member on the London Assembly Transport Committee member, said: "One of the main reasons why hop-on, hop-off buses were phased out of London's transport system years ago was that they are not appropriate for a modern, accessible public transport system."

He added: "In light of today's tragic incident as well, as concerns raised by disability and other campaign groups, the mayor should order an immediate halt to the production of these vehicles."

In response, the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: "My primary concern is for the well-being of the woman who was injured in this incident.

"A TfL investigation is under way but it would be wholly inappropriate to comment further until all the facts are known.

"It's a sad indictment of Darren Johnson that he has chosen to pre-empt that investigation without knowing all the facts, and instead has used this passenger's misfortune to try and score political points."

Good News, Rank to Go Kerbside At Swallow Street... But is Someone Telling Porkies... By Jim Thomas

In the April edition of the Badge page 17, there was a small story at the very bottom of the page headed  Regent St.... Touts......NO ENFORCEMENT!!! 
FOLLOWING, complaint after complaint about the touts on Regent St and Swallow St, we seem to be at a standstill with regards to who’s supposed to be issuing tickets to the illegally parked vehicles on double yellow lines and a Bus Lane that is operational from 11:00am to 12:00pm

The RMT placed a Freedom of Information request to TfL as to the number of complaints made about the illegally plying for hire and Touting at the junction of Swallow and Regent between Feb 2012-August 2013. 

We were eventually told TfL/LTPH received just the one complaint regarding Private Hire vehicles parked at the junction of Regent Street and Swallow Street.

The LCDC claimed to have made complaint after complaint. I am left wondering where and how these complaints were made and why they were not formally recorded. 
Surely LCDC wouldn't exaggerate?

This week we've been told, that owning to the number of complaints about touting at Swallow Street, a new kerbside rank is to be appointed.

What number of complaints would this be? 
In our FOI request, TfL said there had only been the one and that was on the 11 July 2013.

Someone is telling porkies...either complaints are being made...or they are not.

Both the RMT and LCDC have placed Freedom of Information Requests as to how many tickets have been issued to illegally parked cars during the hours of 21:00 to 24:00hrs.

TFL told us both, “we only enforce Bus Lane parking restrictions on red routes (a play on words) which make up the Transport For London Road Network (TLRN), as Regent Street is not part of the TLRN , TFL haven't issued any penalty charge notices on this road. 
Any such penalties would be issued by the Highway Authority, or The City Of Westminster". 

Westminster said “under the criteria requested, there are no PCNs issued by the city council to vehicles parked in the Transport for London Bus Lanes. Not a surprise really as if tickets were being issued, the touts wouldn't keep returning, night after night.

At Last, Common Sense And The TaG Hit Squad.
Yes at last, we are about to see common sense prevail. 
It is yet to be announced by LTPH but we are told by an impecable source, a kerbside rank for Swallow Street has been agreed in principle (in the same fashion as the new Heddon Street Rank) and will be marked out when that part of the street is refurbished.
After years of non enforcement from TfL, LTPH compliance and Westminster City Council, the ordinary drivers in the a Taxi trade, took it upon themselves to organise the TaG Hit Squad on twitter and with over 500 members, have proceeded to take the work back from the scabs. 

Nobus, Heddon Street and now Swallow Street, are the direct result of ordinary driver action. 
Well done to all those who put themselves out. It just goes to show what can be done when you don't give up and keep fighting.

Slight Set Back
Unfortunately we are told that the rank will operate outside the times of the bus lane, which means after midnight. Upto now, no tickets have been issue to Private Hire Vehicles parked in the bus will be interesting to see if Taxis who use the rank early will be penalised or in fact, if the PHVs will continue to own this space till midnight.

Thursday, October 03, 2013

Incompetent, Belligerent and Threatening: How the Taxi trade view LTPH.

Over the last couple of nights, compliance officers have been out in force. These ones were photographed at Waterloo.

There was no dangerous over ranking, no violent behaviour from the Taxi drivers, no wardens were abused or threatened, just Taxis forming an orderly queue, waiting to meet travellers arriving on trains wishing to continue their journey by Taxi.

Apparently, compliance teams were disrupting working Taxi drivers so they could check out their new toys or as they call them "hand held devises".

Why do they keep picking on the a Taxi trade  it's not us that are robbing and raping passengers.
Touts are being given a free hand to do what they like and LTPH are turning a blind eye.

Tuesday night 11:30, five private hire touts parked in the bus lane 
No complaints from bus drivers, no complaints of cyclists.

Do LTPH compliance teams even know where Swallow Street is? 
When will we see compliance teams checking PH drivers documents? 
Traffic Wardens are never seen at Swallow Street Arch, issuing parking tickets for double yellow lines or bus lane contraventions and police just drive by.

What makes this stretch of Tarmac so special?
Why are these touts given a free hand to operate every night?

It took a violent "double rape" to get a licensed Taxi rank appointed to service Heddon Street, in a position that should dissuade the touts from forming an illegal rank. Do we have to wait for a murder at Swallow street before action is taken by our licensing authority, Westminster City a Council or the Metropolitan police. 

And it's not just Swallow street where everyone turns a blind eye.
Check out these PHVs from Fabric life Ltd (Safe Ride) allowed to parked on the pavement in Charterhouse Street, Smithfield. Not just blocking access to emergency vehicles but blocking the fire exit at Fabrics night club.


Non compliance!
Under Cab Order of 1934 para. 28 

A taxi driver must have the copy of his licence with him at all times during his employment or when appearing before a court, and must produce it for inspection on demand to a police constable or authorised officer or any officer of a Court (Penalty Level 1).

Not a word about compulsory scanning with a hand held devise.

Why are our representative orgs not tackling this problem?
Have they again fallen for the carrot being dangled in front of them of an elected seat on the board of TfL?
We all know what happened with the "cabbies cabinet". Leon Daniels was never going to let happen.

There have also been reports of drivers on Finsbury Park Station temporary rank:

- Using their mobile phone while driving through the bus station

- Turning left out of the bus station on to Stroud Green Road which is not allowed

- Reversing out of the bus station

- Not using their lights when it is dark

- Being abusive towards bus drivers and police officers


This statement is a blatant, unsubstantiated attack on the licensed taxi trade. 
Our representative orgs should demand an apology followed by it's immediate removal from the TfL website. 
This is a blatant attempt to blacken our name and reputation. 

Can you imagine any cab driver abusing a police officer and getting away with it?

Cab drivers, driving around at night with no lights on?

And of course, only a cab driver would dream of using a mobile phone driving through Finsbury Park Station.

Where are he photos, where is the proof?

LTPH only too quick to post photos of taxis allegedly over ranking at Paddington (TfL Notice 20/13)

Wonder if all these formal complaints were received by post?

              Where are the photos?

This is just more proof of bias towards our trade, our good name and reputation.

Wednesday, October 02, 2013

More Threats To Working Taxi Drivers From The LTPH Directorate. By Jim Thomas

In its usual incompetent and bombastic manner, instead of engaging meaningfully with the trade and making proper workable arrangements for a replacement rank, while ongoing work continues, LTPH threatens drivers using the inadequate facilities at Findsbury Park. 

Apparently LTPH have recieved multiple reports involving Taxi drivers using the loading bay outside Costa Coffee after 8 pm (dispite the fact they have been told by LTPH they can rank there)

The problems include: 

Taxis blocking the cycle lane which runs alongside the loading bay

Funny, no complaints were ever recieved about the delivery lorries blocking the cycle lane! 

Had no one complained about the bus and cycle lane being blocked on Regent Street By Swallow street arch, every night of the week for the past 4 years! That's strange!!!

Surely TfL should issue a statement to cyclists explaining that until the work is completed, they may have to dismount and walk round the Taxis! 

Not quite the end of cycling in North London is it.

Taxis not allowing delivery vehicles on to the loading bay

Taxis are told if there are no spaces available on the rank at Paddington they should circulate until a space becomes available. 

What makes delivery drivers different? 

Why should Taxi drivers be forced off a space where they've been told they can rank? 

Why can't the delivery drivers wait until the Taxis get a job and vacate the bay?

- Taxis not moving up on the loading bay when there is space

Probable reason is they've been threatened by delivery drivers!

Let's hope the people behind the complaints remembered to write in by, post as apparently LTPH take no notice and do not record as formal, complaints made on-line, they told us that when we inquired by FOI about complaints received concerning the illegall plying for hire of minicab touts at Swallow Street.

In their usual belligerent manner, LTPH are now threatening not to appoint the promised part time rank when work is finished as some sort of punishment!
What next, will they be issuing detention to Taxi Drivers who over rank?

An arrangement was made (informal, of course) that drivers could use the loading bay outside Coster Coffee as a temporary rank...
No one at LTPH saw a possible conflict of interest with delivery drivers wanting to use the bay as well. 
Now LTPH are threatening Taxi drivers with PCNs for using a loading bay, that LTPH told them they could use.....
You couldn't make this stuff up.

Perhaps the Taxi drivers (mainly yellow badges using this as an island rank) would have done better applying for a satellite office licence to use the loading bay, as we all know just how facilitating LTPH are in issuing them. One only has to look at the ease RD2 got issued 18 new licences without meeting the requirements of TfL policy. 

This whole problem could have been averted months ago if LTzpH had applied proper planning, management and common sense. 

In future, before any orders are made to suspend working Taxi ranks, measures should be put into place for proper workable replacement ranks. The best solutions are always simple and logical.

It's amazing that LTPH issue this notice about Taxi drivers using a shared loading bay and yet never issue notices about the delivery lorries using the appointed Taxi rank at shepherds bush. 
Another blind eye being turned there.

Why are the needs of working Taxi drivers never considered?
Why are we always the last to be consulted?
Are TfL not proud that we have the best Taxi service in the world?

Notice as it appears on TfL website:

Finsbury Park

We’ve recently received reports about problems at Finsbury Park Bus Station. The problems involve taxi drivers and the use of the loading bay outside Costa Coffee, mainly from 20:00 onwards and on all days of the week.

The problems include: 

Taxis blocking the cycle lane which runs alongside the loading bay

Taxis not allowing delivery vehicles on to the loading bay

Taxis not moving up on the loading bay when there is space

We have been working to try and officially appoint a new night time taxi rank in the loading bay and also a part-time taxi rank in the loading bay in Rock Street. While this work has almost been completed we have now had to suspend it following reports about the above problems.

If these problems continue then the additional taxi ranks will not be appointed.

Following a significant amount of work and engagement with taxi drivers at Finsbury Park there was an informal agreement to allow drivers to use the loading bay outside Costa Coffee under certain conditions and for a third taxi to use the designated taxi rank after certain times. The actions of the drivers causing these problems risk this informal agreement being revoked, the loading bay being enforced and drivers parked on the loading bay being issued with Penalty Charge Notices (PCN). 

If taxi drivers block the cycle lane in the bus station this means that cyclists cannot use it, are forced around the taxis parked there and put at risk of colliding with buses coming into the station.  Taxis parking next to the loading bay also blocks the entrance to the station causing problems on Seven Sisters Road and St Thomas’s Road.

There have also been reports of drivers:

Using their mobile phone while driving through the bus station

Turning left out of the bus station on to Stroud Green Road which is not allowed

Reversing out of the bus station

Not using their lights when it is dark

Being abusive towards bus drivers and police officers

These actions are unacceptable and put other road users, including taxi drivers, at risk. Action will be taken against any driver caught committing any of the above offences and their fitness to remain licensed will be reviewed.

Morden taxi rank

Taxi drivers picking up passengers at Morden Station after 19:00 should use the shared taxi rank/loading bay on London Road.

Unless delivery drivers or cyclists want to use it. In that case the Taxis can sod off!

New taxi age rules agreed by Oxford city council, While New York Loses Ad Space.

Oxford city councillors have rubber-stamped plans to introduce an age limit for taxis and private hire vehicles in Oxford.

On Monday, a meeting of the city council endorsed a proposal to introduce rules that mean drivers will have to replace cars after 10 or 12 years, depending on what type they drive.

Currently, new licences are not issued to anyone driving a car more than five years old, but there is no limit on the age of cars driven by existing licence holders.

The new plans mean private hire vehicles will have to be replaced when they are 10 years old, and black cabs will have to be replaced once they are 12 years old. New York

Bye bye rooftop taxi ads, hello "Taxi of Tomorrow"

It looks like Times Square could be losing a significant amount of available ad space. As will the streets of Soho, the Upper West Side and even the Bronx.

I spoke with Ethan Gerber, the Executive Director of the Greater New York Taxi Association (GNYTA), on Friday. We discussed how the iconic advertisementsthat rest above nearly all of NYC’s taxi fleet may be rendered extinct once the “Taxi of Tomorrow” is finally unleashed upon the city.

“Panoramic roofs are a bad idea on several levels,” Gerber told me in reference to theapproved design for the new universal vehicles which will soon be shuttling New Yorkers around the five boroughs.

One of the “levels”, Gerber is discussing is lost opportunity at revenue. “The rooftop advertising has become a steady source of income,” Gerber said. “(The panoramic roofs) not only killed the advertising for us, it also killed the advertising for (those looking to gain exposure).”

The revenue generated from rooftop ads have kept the GNYTA satisfied over the past 12 years while the fare rates have been frozen by the city. Due to the design of the soon-to-arrive taxis, the traditional advertisements will not have a spot atop the vehicles' roofs.

“I think there’s going to be enormous pressure now (to find) where that lost revenue is going to come from.” The ads were “a way of combating some of the costs without raising the rates for the customers,” Gerber told me.

London Cabbies To Help Transport Sick Children To Hospital.

Hailo, London’s largest app-based taxi network, is launching a partnership with Rainbow Trust Children’s Charity

The partnership was developed after a number of London cabbies felt passionately that they wanted to help transport seriously ill children to important hospital appointments. They approached Russell Hall, Hailo co-founder, to see how the company could help and as a result a campaign is now being launched on 1st - 10th October which sees Hailo making a donation to Rainbow Trust for every cab booked through the Hailo app.

Having a child with a life threatening illness is something no parent ever wants to imagine going through, but for some families this is a reality. 

Dr Jonathan Rabbs, consultant paediatrician at Worthing General Hospital, comments: “There are a number of different reasons why having taxi transport to and from hospital appointments for children with serious illnesses and their parents would be beneficial. Particularly in London, driving and finding parking can be stressful; often the child may have a suppressed immune system so taking public transport risks exposing the sick child to infections; even the additional expense of frequent hospital visits can put extra strain on already stretched family finances. Hospitals will provide a bus however this often does not fit very easily with the appointments and if they over run the child may have to stay overnight at additional cost to the NHS.  So knowing a taxi is on hand would ease this burden and stress for the family immensely.”

When Cavalli (pictured) was just a few months old he was admitted to Great Ormond Street Hospital, where it was discovered he had an immune deficiency, meaning he couldn’t fight even a small infection. Over the next two years Cavalli underwent chemotherapy and three bone marrow transplants, the final of which, to his mum Stephanie’s relief, was a success. Rainbow Trust Family Support Worker, Lyn Sweet, has worked with Cavalli and his family offering them emotional and practical support to help them through this difficult period. Now, slowly but surely Cavalli’s health has started to improve. 

To support families across London like Cavalli’s, Hailo is aiming to raise an incredible £10,000 in 10 days, which will provide taxi transport to hospital appointments for a whole year. 

Commenting on the initiative, Russell Hall, Hailo co-founder and a London cabbie for over 20 years said, “When I was approached by a number of Hailo cabbies to help Rainbow Trust it seemed a natural partnership where we could really help support London families. Anyone who is a parent knows that seeing their child suffer is one of the most difficult things in life to cope with. The emotional and practical support Rainbow Trust provides to these families is immeasurable and we are really pleased to be able to help by providing transport to important hospital appointments.”

Heather Wood, Chief Executive of Rainbow Trust added, “We’re delighted that Hailo has chosen to support Rainbow Trust in this brilliant initiative. £10,000 worth of taxi transport will make a huge difference to our families, as important hospital appointments can be stressful enough, without the added difficulty of taking public transport with a seriously ill child.  We urge every London cab user to help support these families by making every taxi they get between 1 – 10 October a Hailo one.”

These families need your help and it’s really simple to do your bit so please act today; if you have already downloaded the Hailo app simply hail more cabs and if not please:

1. Download the Hailo app  

2. Register your details  

3. Insert the £2 off promotional code: RAINBOW

Next time you need a cab use your Hailo app and get £2 off whilst helping Rainbow Trust.

For further details on the Hailo app please visit

It’s that simple, but it will make a huge difference to a family going through an already difficult time. 

Tuesday, October 01, 2013

Mornington Crescent Junction (Cobden Junction).

Camden Council, Transport for London and Camden Town Unlimited (the Business Improvement District) have developed the Camden Town Project to make the key streets in the area safer and more attractive to use. 

Camden Town is one of London’s most well-known areas. It is home to a vibrant and diverse local community, as well as a thriving economy with a focus on arts, music and design. Cobden junction is one of the areas identified for improvement in the Camden Town Project. 

The project is part of a wider regeneration initiative which aims to generate new business and employment opportunities in Camden Town. The first phase of improvements in the northern part of Camden High Street and the main junction by Camden Town Station have now been completed. 

The project is funded by the Mayor for London through the Mayor’s Regeneration Fund which aims to support long term economic growth. Contributions to the project have also been provided by Camden Town Unlimited, Transport for London and Camden Council.

Key objectives of the project are to improve the existing public space (currently in the middle of the street) and pavements, to provide better crossings for pedestrians and to make the area better for cyclists. The existing public space includes the Cobden statue and the Prisoner of War memorial and is surrounded by busy traffic lanes.

As part of the project development, creating a new space on the western side of Camden High Street was considered.

The traffic impact of this option was assessed and would have led to a significant increase in congestion and unacceptable delays to buses and general traffic. Therefore creating a public space on the east side was looked at and found to have a more acceptable impact on traffic with only slightly longer queues than now.

The design concept provided direct and simple pedestrian crossings as well as a safer junction layout for cyclists. These improvements could not be fully achieved with the new public space on the west side. The east side of the road also gets more sunlight than the west, meaning 53 trees will grow better and making it more pleasant for people on foot.

The issues 
• The public space and footways lack many places to sit, trees and cycle parking even though there is a lot space available. In the middle of the junction is a large public space with the Cobden Statue and Prisoners of War memorial but it is not well used as it is difficult to get to. This space is unpleasant as it is surrounded by traffic and can attract antisocial behaviour.

• The junction is in the Camden Town Conservation area and currently does not provide a pleasant setting for several heritage assets such as the Cobden Statue, Koko’s and Mornington Crescent station. 

• The pedestrian crossings across the junction are not direct and can be confusing. It can take pedestrians several minutes to get where they want across the junction even though distances are short. 

• On the west side of Camden High Street the pavement is narrow. 

• The junction can be intimidating for pedestrians and cyclists. Although accidents at and around the junction are relatively low there have been several collisions involving pedestrians or cyclists in the last three years. The simplification of the junction should help to reduce accidents.

The Proposals 

• Create a large, attractive and easily accessible public space on the east side of Camden High Street. 

• The new public space would include improved lighting, carefully designed seating and improved settings for the Richard Cobden statue and Prisoners of War memorial (both will be carefully moved from their current locations). A series of rounded spaces containing trees and benches is proposed for the new space on the east side. 

• Remove northbound traffic from the east side of Camden High Street (traffic would be diverted around the new public space). 

• The footway on the west side of Camden High Street would increase from approximately 3 metres to over 6 metres wide and be populated with new trees. 

• The footway outside Mornington Crescent underground station would increase from 6 m to 10 m wide. 

• Safer, quicker and simpler pedestrian crossings. 

• Improved cycle lanes and facilities through the junction. 

• Dual use loading and taxi rank facility, providing kerbside loading during the day and a taxi rank at night. 

• Cycle parking provided at convenient locations.

Camden Council and Transport for London are committed to providing high quality cycling facilities in Camden Town. As part of the design work a west to east cycle route from Mornington Crescent/Hampstead Road to Crowndale Road was explored. It was found this would require additional traffic signals and for all traffic to be stopped for a short period to allow cyclists to progress safely through the junction. 

The traffic impact of these changes was assessed and led to unacceptable delays to buses and general traffic. The proposed layout has been designed to allow a west to east cycle lane in the future if conditions change. 

In addition, alternative options for providing a west to east link are being explored at both Delancey Street / Pratt Street and Oakley Square. 

Artist impression of proposals

Monday, September 30, 2013

A Near Catastrophe On The Thames, Averted By Our Wonderful EmergencyServices. By Glen Alutto.

Only 7 days after a new Routemaster causes a 6 vehicle pile up after running a red light & careering into a line of stationary traffic, we have 30 tourists having to be rescued from the Thames as a Duck Boat goes up in flames. 

Will these vehicles face some sort of recall or have their license to operate suspended?

NO chance that's a privilege saved only for the Taxi trade 

If you saw this amazing rescue on TV news channels, remember, 5 out of the 8 appliances that turned out to rescue these 30 tourists, are affected by the Mayors cuts.

A little bit of what you'll not read in the UTG media...wonder why?

A PUBLIC inquiry into air pollutants linked to birth defects was demanded last night, to try to stop thousands of people being killed each year.

Experts believe poor air quality contributed to 29,000 deaths in the UK in 2008, with 4,300 in London.

Critics of air control measures say the public is being duped into thinking the air is getting cleaner when they argue that it is in fact becoming more of a health hazard. Today we publish details from a report on air quality written in 2011 by London mayor Boris Johnson which reveals worrying findings about the danger of pollutant nitrogen dioxide (NO2).

Mr Johnson introduced the controversial policy of banning black cabs which were more than 15 years old in London with many replaced by the apparently greener Mercedes Benz Vito six seaters. However, he says in his report the more modern cars, including the Vito, emit “around five times as much direct NO2”.

US researchers discovered that exposure to high levels of traffic pollution causes birth defects.

They found mothers living in areas with the highest levels of carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide and other pollutants were almost twice as likely to give birth to a child with neural tube defects, like spina bifida.

Mr Johnson’s report admits: “NO2 levels have not fallen in recent years as modelling had predicted. This is a problem in major cities in the UK and the EU.

“Evidence suggests this may be due to the failure of recent Euro standards to deliver expected reductions of NO2. Meeting NO2 limit values is much more challenging and is a problem in many urban areas in the UK.”

He urged the Government to implement tax incentives for cleaner vehicles and called for more research into the impact of poor air quality at local and national level “to help communities play their part in air quality management”.

The report admits that measures introduced by the mayor, such as low emission zones, will not be sufficient to meet NO2 limits set for 2015. In 2011 Londoners endured some of the highest levels of large particulate pollution in eight years.

Last night Ukip mayoral candidate Lawrence Webb said: “People think the air is getting better but it is getting worse. People are being duped.

“Mr Johnson’s report reveals some of the more disturbing truths. More people will die due to poor air quality in the future and that is why we need a public inquiry.”

Clean air campaigner David Davies, director of Eco Power, said: “The mayor has not implemented a single effective policy to reduce pollution and has failed in his legal duty to protect the public.”

The mayor’s spokesman said: “Since he took office, emissions of oxides of nitrogen are down by 20 per cent. There is still more to do, which is why the mayor announced plans for a new Ultra Low Emission Zone from 2020.”

Source: Sunday Express.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

6 Weeks To Go To Remembrance Sunday November a Mike Hughes

Here is your early warning for this year’s Remembrance Sunday November 10th 

Preparations have already started. The British Legion is sending out tickets to those who will be marching past the Cenotaph. In their pack the veterans will receive a letter informing them that the London taxi trade will once again be providing them with a free taxi service from all the main line stations, Victoria Coach Station plus Victory Services and Union Jack clubs.

This service is given freely by you and your trade colleagues. This is the one time when all concerns of trade politics, personal animosities and personality clashes are put aside. This is our fourth year of providing the service, a service that is given freely and without cost to those who come to remember their fallen comrades, those who were prepared to give their very lives and to those who are still prepared to give up their tomorrows so that we may have our today and our tomorrows.

The taxi trade’s help has, in just 3 short years, become part of the memories that the veterans share on this memorial day. This of you who have been at the past events will already know the warmth that you experience when you see the faces of the veterans.

Exact plans may change depending on the security state on the day but it is currently expected that we will be once again using the whole of Westminster Bridge as our holding area. Last year we had the pleasure of two (1930’s) vintage taxis to help bring special memories for some of our veterans. I’ve been promised that we may be getting more vintage taxis including Beardmores and FX3s. More information when I get it

I know I can count on you to help out again this year. To help with the planning can I ask you to let me have your (real) names, phone number, email and if you can help bring veterans in, where you live. Send details to me at

In the meantime I will be renewing our contacts with the various authorities to make the preparations for this year’s event. Unless there is any urgent need I will be posting a weekly update. Please look out for it – and pass this and all other Remembrance messages on to your friends and family.