Friday, April 04, 2014

First step first: GLA investigation is on, it's Jim Thomas

From: Jenny Jones 
Sent: 26 February 2014 08:39
To: 'James Thomas'
Subject: RE: Offer of help with illegal cabs.

Hi Jim
Thanks for getting in touch. There's a lot to think about here and funding is probably key to some of it, but political will from the top is probably the main problem ...
Our team is going to sit down and think about a way forward. We'll get back to you asap.
I've copied in Darren, who is our lead on Transport.

From: Rachel Carlill 
Sent: 1April 2015 15:19.
To: 'James Thomas'

Dear Jim

I am writing to you on behalf of Darren Johnson AM. 
Darren sits on the transport committee at the London Assembly and has asked me to pass on details of the City Hall contact for an investigation which the committee are going to soon be starting on the private hire trade.

I have asked Laura Warren, Transport Scrutiny Manager at the London Assembly to feed your comments into the transport committee's upcoming investigation into the private hire trade. The investigation is likely to take place this summer with the committee potentially using its July and September meetings to cover issues raised.

Best wishes,


Here are also a couple of questions which Darren asked on this issue in 2012.

Illegal Minicabs - Regent Street 
Meeting: Mayor's Question Time 
Date: Wednesday, 19 December 2012 
Reference: Question 2012/4013 

Main question 

Darren Johnson 
What measures are being taken to combat illegal minicabs touting for custom on both sides of Regent Street, opposite Swallow Street, W1B 4QR? 

The Mayor 
Transport for London (TfL) and the TfL-funded Safer Transport Command (STC) in the Metropolitan Police Service are aware of touting on Regent and Swallow Streets. As a result the area receives regular attention from the Cab Enforcement Unit and the Westminster Safer Transport Team in the STC and from TfL's enforcement officers as part of their activity in the West End to deter, detect and disrupt illegal cab activity. The West End is the predominant hotspot for touting. Both plain clothes and uniformed officers are regularly deployed to the area. While TfL and the STC are unable to enforce parking restrictions, as the bus lane on Regent Street as well as Swallow Street are Borough roads (double yellow lines) and are the responsibility of the local authority, they liaise with Westminster about the illegal parking by touts in the area. Westminster Council is aware of the issues in the area and deploy appropriately to deal with this. The location has been incorporated into their intelligence led enforcement which increases the number of visits to the area. Westminster enforce the area through a combination of on-street enforcement officers, mobile CCTV cameras and Automatic Number Plate Recognition.

Illegal Minicab - penalties 
Meeting: Mayor's Question Time 
Date: Wednesday, 19 December 2012 
Reference: Question 2012/4014 

Main question 

Darren Johnson 
Will you encourage TFL to follow the example set by other licensing authorities throughout the UK, such as Cambridge, where last month an illegal minicab driver was fined £110 for illegally plying for hire, and fined £150 and given six penalty points for driving without insurance? 

The Mayor 
TfL itself has not routinely prosecuted or collated information on illegal plying for hire offences given the reasons set out in MQT4012/2012. In London, touting and associated problems are addressed by intelligence led enforcement activities involving the 68 TfL funded police officers in the Metropolitan Police Safer Transport Command (STC) and City of London Police. This forms part of the Safer Travel at Night (STAN) initiative which involves a programme of activities including industry regulation and licensing, enforcement and education. Sanctions are kept under regular review to determine what is the most effective and appropriate action and/or sanction in given situations. TfL is currently reviewing its approach to illegal plying for hire offences as part of the joint TfL/MPS cab enforcement strategy.


Anonymous said...

TFL has 68 police I bet the headcount is higher than that it is rumoured very few go out n the streets. They sit in Palestra Palace enjoying free tea and coffee provided by the taxpayer

Gerald Coba said...

Great work Jimmy
Why has this work not been done by the representative organisation which receives almost a quarter of a million pounds each and every month off its 10,000 members?

Why has it taken a single driver who like a pit bull won't let go when he gets his teeth stuck in?

Jimmy, I thank you sincerely .

Anonymous said...

Look on the Mayorwatch site and see what Martin has unearthed with an FOI into Barclays cycle hire !

All grist to the same mill

Leslie Large. said...

Again, well done Jim.
But really this should have been done years ago by our representatives who we pay

We should not have to rely on a bloke with a blog to save our jobs.

I pay £20 a month to Oddy and instead of protecting my living, he gets himself a new Lexus and a 24k seat on the board of the people who are out to destroy us