Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Good News For Driver Waiting On Renewals...by Jim Thomas

Back in May, I wrote to Sir Peter Hendy with concerns about comments he had made in an interview on London Live. Sir Peter had inferred that TfL could not appoint a taxi rank in St Thomas Street outside the Shard as the Street belonged to Southwark Council. I sent him a copy of the order posted in the London Gazette, that categorically gives TfL the right to appoint a Taxi rank/standing anywhere they choose in St Thomas Street....

Within days, Sir Peter made a very rare apology for his statement. He said he had made a mistake! But still waited till after a flash demo from the trade, before finally giving in and appointing a new rank opposite the shard.

In the same letter I also pointed Sir Peter in the direction of the transport act 1985 section 17 subsection 7 which clearly states:

(7) Where a person holds a licence which is in force when he applies for a new licence in substitution for it, the existing licence shall continue in force until the application for the new licence, or any appeal under this section in relation to that application, is disposed of, but without prejudice to the exercise in the meantime of any power of the licensing authority to revoke the existing licence.


I advised Sir Peter that in Taxi Leaks legal team's opinion, there is no need for TfL to issue temporary licences and the driver should be able to carry on working, as their old licence will remain in force until they either receive a newly issued licence, or receive word that their application has been turned down.

Hundreds of drivers have lost many days-weeks-months income, after being told by TfL they can't work. I asked Sir Peter in light of the fact that so many drivers were being put out if work while waiting, to make an immediate statement informing these drivers that under the act of 1985, they can in fact carry on working regardless.  

It seems that Sir Peter interpretation of immediate, actually meant 5 months later.

Leon Daniels has finally replied on behalf of Sir Peter Hendy (well I suppose two apologies from Sir Peter was a bit too much to hope for) and it is our pleasure to announce that;
Drivers can now carry on working on an expired licence -as long as they have applied in time and in the correct manner for a renewal- until the new licence arrives.

Below is the letter Taxi Leaks received from TfL.

Dear Mr Thomas,
I refer to your email to Sir Peter Hendy regarding the provisions of section 17(7) of the Transport Act 1985 in relation to taxi drivers renewing their licences. Please accept my apologies for the delay in providing a reply.

As far as is possible we will issue a driver his or her new licence in advance of their old licence expiring.

However, this is dependent on the driver submitting a complete and timely application, which includes the result of the DBS check and any other information that is required, as we cannot make a licensing decision until this information is received. 

It is therefore imperative that drivers start the application process in good time to allow for all necessary checks to be completed before their licence expires.
Where we are provided with a complete application, including the results of the DBS check and any other necessary information, but have not yet made a licensing decision before the old one expires, the existing licence will remain in force until a decision is made in accordance with section 17(7). In these circumstances, a driver will not be issued with, nor require, a temporary licence pending a decision being made on their application.
Please note that contrary to the comment in your email, section 17 of the Transport Act 1985 only applies to London taxi driver and vehicle licences, not London private hire vehicle driver licences.

Kind regards

Leon Daniels | Managing Director  
Transport for London | Surface Transport | Palestra |
11th Floor - Zone R4| 197 Blackfriars Road|Southwark|SE1 8NJ

Breaking News:
Taxi Leaks' receives email from TfL 

They Say No Trace Of CabWave And Believe Article To Be Hoax.

Email states:
Dear Xxxx
Thanks for your email. I can confirm TfL are investigating Cabwave, and the proposition described on the Cab4Now blogsite. We can find no trace of Cabwave, and no evidence that they are operational, or that there is a beta technology trial proposed or underway in London. It may be a hoax. 

If you have any information on Cabwave which can verify their existence, it would greatly assist us with our investigations. We are already pursuing lines of enquiry through cabs4now. 

If a model of 'instant kerbside booking' was proposed in London, we would be minded to investigate and take action against private hire drivers who participate for:
• Illegal standing and/or plying for hire
• Unauthorised signage
• Unlawful use of the term 'cab'

It appears this is a standard reply sent to all who made complaints about CabWave, which now looks like an elaborate hoax


Anonymous said...

It's clear that TaxiLeaks won the rank at the Shard but of course Hendy dare not let the credit lie there, so he had to appear to cave in to the demo.

So then all we have to do to get a rank is have a flash mob!!!

You be the judge?

Now this victory yet another thing that some said was impossible and TfL could not deliver.

Well it's happened!

Other just publish trade rags, TaxiLeaks delivers, for free!

Anonymous said...

It seems that although a few certain individuals with hot lines to certain friends in high places were informed they could carry on working, the main body of drivers waiting for renewals were told nothing. Hundreds of drivers suffered financial hardship after Hendy had said previously, that he was unwilling to risk giving out temporary licences and that driver should not work until they had recieved renewal.

This post is proof that Hendy does not have the right to stop you working and you all can carry on while waiting for your renewal .

Well done Jim and all at Taxi Leaks
You delivered the goods.

Anonymous said...

This is great news,please arrange these words in correct order.
Face egg on....
Tfl would probably get this task wrong,starting with peter hendy.

Anonymous said...

And now the ltda rmt lcdc UCG etc etc etc should get together - and then get all the drivers together who couldn't work due to this fiasco and sue TFL for loss of earnings - won't happen - what do these trade orgs do for thier members - nothing - well done Jim - please don't retire or we are finished.

Anonymous said...

Just to say, well done! Although I was never affected by this issue, I did get caught up in the steering box fiasco, with lost time, so feel for my fellow colleagues.

Anonymous said...

I was one of the many who lost time, 6 weeks to be exact
I was luck as I have another job which pays part of my bills. It's great to know that because of the work done by this blog, that others won't have to suffer the financial hardship, forced upon them by not working.
The question I would like to ask is why didn't the people we pay, do anything about this situation. Not one word in the Badge or Taxi papers.
Why was it left to this blog to do this?
What have our organisations actually done for the money they pay themselves, albeit only a poultry £15 an hour. What an insult that was on the radio interview....I would have loved £15 an hour while I was off work waiting for my bill..43% of London are on the minimum wage of under £8 an hour and a trade rep complains that £15 an hour is a piddling amount and beneath him.

Jim keep up the great work but don't burn out mate, what would we do without your updates...Keith.

Paul said...

Me too, I was off for a week but after that decided to work but stay away from ranks and possible CO checks. The strain was enormous. Every day I worried incase I had an accident or got a pull. But I couldn't afford to stay at home like some as my bills have to be paid.
Well done Mr TTT I will buy you a dinner next time we meet

Anonymous said...

Yep, got similar email about CabWave