Saturday, February 15, 2014

TfL, Consultation On The Future Of Capital Call

Disabled people in Merton could have their independence restricted if a vital transport service is cut.

Capital Call, a telephone service used by disabled people to book transport and find out how much they would cost in advance, could be scrapped after a consultation into its future was launched on Friday.

Capital Call was set up to ‘plug the gap’of poor black cab availability through the Taxicard scheme in outer London areas including Merton.

The scheme costs Transport for London costs £470,000 a year which could be spent making improvements to the capital’s transport network.

Roy Benjamin, chairman of the Merton Centre for Independent Living is registered blind and uses the Capital Call system regularly for journeys at night because he said he does not feel able to use public transport after dark.

Mr Benjamin 71, of Leamington Avenue, Morden said: "It will mean disabled people will be able to get out less.

"It isn't duplicating the Taxicard service it is an additional service.

"I use public transport in the day but a number of wheelchair users are not able to use public transport easily and this is something they rely on."

According to TfL, there are currently around 1,400 people who regularly use the service, compared to 10,000 that use Taxicard.

Garrett Emmerson, TfL surface transport chief operating officer, said: 

"This proposal reflects both changes to the subsidised travel schemes and the way in which people are using these services.

Significantly fewer people are now using Capital Call, which effectively duplicates the Taxicard scheme which now includes minicabs as well as taxis.

Together, Taxicard and Dial-a-Ride would continue to ensure that mobility impaired Londoners have access to two services that ensure they can get around the city."

The public consultation on the future of Capital Call is available on the TfL Website (click here) 
until Friday April, 11.

A decision will be made on the future of Capital Call on a borough by borough basis in summer 2014.

Friday, February 14, 2014

TfL Seek Views On Suburban Taxi Licensing

  • Consultation launched to review suburban taxi driver licensing arrangements
  • Key themes include licence areas, driver numbers, island ranks and sector extensions
  • TfL keen for views in order to shape future policy

Following a Mayoral manifesto commitment to deliver a suburban taxi action plan and to address concerns of the taxi trade, Transport for London (TfL) has today (14 February) launched a consultation on suburban taxi licensing and is urging both ‘all London’ and ‘suburban’ taxi drivers to submit their views on a number of issues.

TfL is keen to hear from both drivers and taxi users, especially those in suburban areas, to help form future policy ensuring drivers can continue to match the demand for the world class service they provide. This consultation identifies options for changes concerning licensing, the number of suburban taxi drivers, taxi ranks and booking processes.

Mayor of London Boris Johnson said: “Cabbies in suburban areas face a unique set of challenges and they rightly want their voices to be heard. At the last election I made a clear pledge that we would listen to what the taxi trade has to say and that is precisely what this consultation is all about. The overarching aim, of course, is to deliver a better suburban taxi system that benefits drivers and the passengers they carry expertly from A to B.”

The first stage of this review of suburban licensing involved two TfL-facilitated workshops attended by working taxi drivers. The workshops provided TfL with many views and ideas from the taxi trade as to the key issues they identified and what changes could be made to better support them. Through these workshops and subsequent correspondence with attendees and other licensees, TfL has received a wide range of ideas which have helped to form the basis of the consultation paper.

The proposals contained in the consultation are based on feedback received from the taxi trade and cover key themes including:

· Suburban sector structure: Examining the rationale behind the current structure and exploring alternatives

· Knowledge of London: Addressing the barriers that the Knowledge creates for suburban drivers who want to add sectors or become an ‘all London’ driver

· Driver numbers: Reviewing recent trends and looking at the arguments for and against restricting driver numbers on either a permanent or temporary basis

· Taxi ranks: Explaining the process for appointing ranks, the difficulties surrounding the process and current initiatives

· Improving supply of taxis in central London: Addressing suggestions from the trade that would allow suburban drivers to work in central London at specific times or places

· Island ranks and licence area extensions: Reviewing existing measures introduced to improve taxi supply on the periphery of central London and exploring a formal structure for extending this strategy

· Radio and app bookings: Examining the current restrictions on suburban drivers and exploring options for change

Helen Chapman, TfL’s General Manager for Taxi and Private Hire, said: “It is vitally important that passengers can continue receiving the incredible service from taxi drivers that they have come to expect. Equally, we want to ensure taxi drivers are able to continue making a living and that we are flexible and able to meet the demands of the trade. This consultation allows taxi drivers and passengers to put forward their views to help shape future policy and we are eager to hear their views.”

The consultation is running for eight weeks and ends on 11 April 2014.

Please click the link below to read or download a PDF copy of the consultation.

To comment on suggestions put forward and to propose ideas, a copy of the consultation document and online form to submit comments is available <here>

Sourced from CTN cabtradenews


The Government response to the Law Commision Review is that they would prefer to do away with different zones inside licensing areas, this would includ areas such as our own suburban zones.

Paragraph taken from Government response

The Government does not favour the creation of zones within a licensing area. They are generally an inefficient way of operating which causes frustration to passengers (who cannot understand why they cannot hail a cab licensed by their own local authority just because it is in a particular part of the district) and add to the administrative and enforcement burden of licensing authorities.


Sir Peter Hendy’s personal complaints procedure.

All London bus users are equal, but some are more equal than others.

Especially if your name is Sir Peter Hendy. On his way to a meeting at the Houses of Parliament today, Mr Steerpike hears that Transport for London’s ‘Commissioner’ was so incensed that a bus had shut its doors and driven off before he could board that he spent the rest of his journey furiously reporting this outrage. From the comfort of a black cab.

‘What a little bastard grass’ my cabbie source said, pointing out Hendy went to great lengths to identify exactly which driver had upset him and demanding consequences. ‘Work at TfL do you?’ the taxi driver asked his fuming customer. ‘No, I run it’ came the curt reply.

When Mr Steerpike put this tale to Hendy, he was not backing down:

‘I personally encountered poor customer service from an Abellio bus driver on route 211 – he didn’t let me on his bus at the stop outside Windsor House. As you’d expect from someone in charge of transport in London, I immediately drew this to the attention of the Abellio Managing Director and he is pursuing it with the member of staff concerned.’

If only it was that easy for London’s two million other bus passengers.

Source: The Spectator.

Editorial comment:
Perhaps Sir Peter can use his hot line to Bus Company managing director and get them to stop parking buses on our extremely busy Taxi rank in North Wharf Road. 
Drivers claiming they got nowhere else to park... Surely not our problem? 
Photo from Darren.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Thugs did this to cabbie Ken, 77, for £11: Southend taxi driver badly beaten by teenagers

A TAXI driver aged 77 was badly beaten by teenage thugs who refused to pay an £11 fare.

Kenneth Wolfe, of Chalfont Close, Leigh, was left with a broken jaw, broken eye socket and two lost teeth after he was punched and kicked after making a drop-off outside the Sainsbury’s store, in London Road, Southend.

One of the passengers pretended to get the fare from a cash machine before he and the other passenger ran off.

Kenneth was attacked after getting out of his taxi to demand his fare, and shockingly a third man, believed to be a homeless person, joined in.
Kenneth was taken to Southend Hospital by ambulance and later transferred to Broomfield Hospital, Chelmsford, because of his severe facial injuries. He is now recovering at home.

Kenneth, who worked as an auditor before becoming a taxi driver 30 years ago, said: “I’ve only tried to get people home and it’s a good profession, but this has always been a worry.

“They had no money and obviously wanted to get to Southend without paying, but it shocks me they think beating up someone of my age is a bit of a laugh. I’ve been doing late nights, but I think I’m going to do days now.”

His wife, Myra, said: “He didn’t want to stay in hospital, so the police took us home, but he may have to go back to hospital to mend the breaks because one is just below his eye and there’s a leakage of the jelly from around the eye.

“One of the injuries is to the soft palette under his mouth, so he’s finding it difficult to eat. The doctors are hoping that in six weeks it will start to mend.

“The bruising is horrendous and he can’t get out of bed because he aches all over. The whole thing is beyond belief, but everyone at the police and the hospitals were so supportive, we can’t thank them enough.”

A police spokesman said: “Detectives are investigating an assault in Southend.

A 77-year-old taxi driver picked up two men from the Golden Cross area of Ashingdon shortly before 11pm and drove them to Sainsbury’s, in London Road, Southend.

“The two men refused to pay their £11 fare and, after the man had asked them for the money again, they assaulted him, kicking him in the head and leaving him with severe facial injuries.

“The two men were joined by a third man, believed to be a local homeless person.”

Kenneth’s Ford Mondeo taxi is now being examined by forensics officers.

His attackers were white, in their late teens and were wearing dark clothing.

Anyone with information about the attack, which happened at about 11.25pm on Saturday, can call detectives at Southend police station on 101 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111.

French taxi drivers call for 'indefinite strike'

The announcement will not go down well with Parisians or tourists but angry taxi drivers in France are clearly not willing to lie down without a fight. On Tuesday they called for an "indefinite strike", saying they will take action "anytime, anywhere".

Paris taxi drivers continued to vent their anger on Tuesday when they brought traffic to a standstill in the centre of the French capital leading to the arrest of dozens of drivers. The trouble comes as unions called for ongoing industrial action.

On Tuesday evening as cabbies fronted up to police at Place de La Concorde union leaders called for an indefinite strike, which could see wildcat blockades and go slows continue for the foreseeable future.

In a joint statement drivers’ unions said they "reserved the right to take action at any place at any time.”

Strike action was already under way early Wednesday, with some 70 taxis blocking pick-up spots at Orly airport south of Paris and a convoy slowing traffic from Charles de Gaulle airport north of the capital.

The cabbies are angry over what they see as a rise in unfair competition from private hire cabs, known as VTCs and a lack of protection from the government.

Taxi drivers say VTCs are increasingly flouting the rules and stealing their business without having to respect the costly regulations imposed on taxis.

Salt was rubbed into their wounds last week when a government plan to impose a 15 minute delay before VTCs could pick up their passengers, was thrown out by the Council of State.

The taxi unions are calling for VTCs to be limited by a 30-minute delay and a minimum fare of 60 euros -- which would effectively close them out of the
market for trips within central Paris.

Cabbies say they will contiue to protest until the government puts a block on handing out new licenses to VTCs.

After holding a strike on Monday that brought the peripherique to a standstill as well as the main roads from Paris two airports, taxi drivers continued to protest on Tuesday.

A 100 drivers blockaded Place de La Concorde before moving on to Gare du Lyon. According to RMC radio 64 drivers were arrested by police overnight when officers moved in to break up the blockade. THey were later released without charge.

A new national day of mobilisation has already been set for March 13.

For its part the goverment has appointed a mediator Thomas Thévenoud, who has the unviable job of trying to bring the two sides together.

On Wednesday he called for calm, saying the message from taxi drivers "has been heard loud and clear".

"I call on everyone to gather around the table with me, to talk, to listen, to compromise and to find a new system," he told BFM-TV.

Thevenoud has been mandated to come up with a system of "balanced competition" between taxi drivers and VTCs within two months.

Taxi drivers have for years jealously guarded their right to operate on the streets of Paris, leading to accusations of artificial shortages in the French capital.

Licenses are granted by the government for free, but in limited numbers, and are sold amongst drivers for around 230,000 euros ($315,000).

The license to operate a VTC costs only 100 euros.

Massive gridlock after pensioner cyclist severely injured in Chiswick car collision

A 69-year-old cyclist was taken to hospital with head injuries following an incident in Sutton Court Road

Hammersmith traffic came to a standstill this yesterday (Feb 11) from tailbacks caused after a 69-year-old man was involved in a crash with a car in Sutton Court Road.

The man has been taken to hospital with severe head injuries.

London Ambulance crews were called to the incident just before 2:30pm (February 11).

A spokeswoman from London Ambulance Service, said: "We were called to reports of a collision between a cyclist and a car. We sent a responder in a car and two ambulance crews.

"A 69-year-old man with head injuries was taken as a priority to the major trauma centre at St Mary's Hospital, Paddington."

The incident caused severe tailbacks as the A4 Hogarth Lane was closed, causing queueing westbound between Hogarth Roundabout and the Sutton Court Road junction. There was also congestion up to the Hammersmith Flyover junction.

Editorial Comment: 

One cyclist collision and West London goes into meltdown.

The results of decades of road closures, environmental areas and gentrification. What ever happen to the statement made just before the Olympics by TfL?

 Whilest on a tour of CentreComms at Palestra, with a delegation from the UCG, we were informed: "When the trafic builds up, we can tweek the lights and ease the flow."

This is London, it is not Amsterdam.

Again we see a cyclist lulled into a false sense of security, fall victim to a collision whilst driving in unsafe conditions. This comes hours after Olympic cyclist Chris Bordeman, made an extraordinary statement on LBC, claiming that cycling in London is safer than gardening.

How many gardeners have died this year as a direct result of plodding about in their garden?

How many cyclists have died on the roads around the capital?

Traffic, traffic everywhere

'We have our cameras EVERYWHERE, there aren't too many places not only a bus but an individual can hide within London that we can no longer see'

Michael Josephs 

TfL Centrecomm operations manager

If this statement is true, how come TfL, our licensing authority, doesn't act on the ever expanding lines of illegally plying for hire minicabs outside night venues. 

They certainly pick up Taxis over ranking at stations, but seem blind to what's going on with private hire vehicles. 

We Have Our Cameras EVERYWHERE 


Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Cabdrivers fight back with their own ride app: Flywheel

As David Robertson drives through San Francisco, a GPS-enabled smartphone app alerts him about people who want to hire him for a ride via their own smartphones. It shows him their location with pinpoint accuracy and handles payments seamlessly though their credit cards.

Robertson isn't among the legions of newly minted freelance drivers cruising the streets in their own cars for upstart ride services Lyft, Sidecar or UberX.

He's a nine-year veteran of venerable Luxor Cab using a taxi-hailing app called Flywheel from a Redwood City company of the same name.

Flywheel, now in two-thirds of San Francisco cabs, may be the beleaguered taxi industry's best bet to compete against the tech-enabled newcomers.

"Flywheel will help us level the playing field," Robertson said. "It's exactly the same (as the rivals' services) in all the ways that count, but without the issues."

Those issues - insurance coverage, car inspections, driver training - are hammered home by taxi drivers fearful of losing their livelihood to new rivals that operate with fewer regulations.

"In San Francisco the taxi fleets understand that they need to modernize to survive," said Flywheel CEO Steve Humphreys, a Stanford-trained engineer and serial entrepreneur.

Centralized dispatch
Flywheel's secret weapon is centralized dispatch. Instead of passengers calling a specific company and being limited to its available cabs, the app finds the nearest cab among all participating drivers regardless of taxi company.

"An app that orders a cab from (almost) every cab company in the city will fix the problem where riders call multiple cab companies because they're so impatient they can't wait," said Trevor Johnson, a Luxor driver.

Flywheel won't disclose specific numbers except to say the business is generating double-digit growth week over week. In June, the company said it was handling 16,000 San Francisco rides a month.

A few drivers said it provides about 10 to 15 percent of their fares. Yelp has only 10 reviews for Flywheel in San Francisco compared with more than 300 for Uber and more than 130 for Lyft.

But unlike a lot of startups, Flywheel generates revenue from the get-go. It takes 10 percent of the metered fare from drivers plus a $1 surcharge from passengers.

Predated new rivals
Humphreys started the company, then called Cabulous, in 2009 with a simple vision: "to get people around cities quickly and more easily, simply by utilizing the taxis already out there."

Even though it predated what are called transportation network companies, Flywheel failed to find traction or funding in its first go-round.

Now, the company changed its name, lined up $22.8 million in venture backing (from Shasta Ventures, Rockport and Craton Equity Partners), overhauled the app, and launched a big push into three markets: San Francisco, Seattle and Los Angeles.

"A year ago Flywheel was in 400 cabs in San Francisco," Humphreys said. "Now we have 1,200."

Flywheel hopes to sign up cab companies to equip all their vehicles with the app. Luxor, the city's second-largest fleet with 252 cabs, was the most recent addition.

"Flywheel helps with good, quick, efficient services based on today's economy of real time," said Luxor President John Lazar. "People like to be able to push a button (on their phone) and have a car come to them."

San Francisco's biggest taxi company, Yellow Cab with 600 vehicles, isn't on board with Flywheel. General manager Jim Gillespie said Yellow is using a Flywheel rival called Taxi Magic (mainly used in Washington, D.C.) while it develops its own app.

"Some people accuse (the taxi industry) of being the horse and buggy and saying we have to catch up," he said. "This is the era of the app."

Other ways cab industry is battling for its territory
In addition to Flywheel, taxis are trying legislative and investigative tactics to combat the new companies' incursion on their turf.

Jim Gillespie, president of the Taxicab Paratransit Association of California, said it has lined up state lawmakers to introduce a bill this month requiring the transportation network company vehicles to carry more insurance, register cars as commercial vehicles, undergo car inspections and use public-agency background checks for drivers.

"We believe they should be regulated as taxis, with the same requirements taxis have," he said.

Other cabdrivers are adopting a more aggressive approach. Luxor Cab driver Trevor Johnson, a board member of the San Francisco Cab Drivers Association, has marshaled "an army" of 200 or 300 San Francisco cabdrivers to photograph license plates of cars that appear to be driving for UberX, Lyft or Sidecar.

"We've identified over 3,500 individual vehicles operating as (transportation network company) cars," he said. That's more than twice San Francisco's 1,800 cabs.

Johnson is assembling the plate numbers into a database that he shares with law enforcement, legislators, regulators and insurance companies.

"We give access to the data to any insurance investigators that request it," he said.

Personal car insurance policies don't cover accidents that occur during commercial use, according to the state Department of Insurance. Some insurers may cancel policies if they discover that policyholders are using their cars for hire.

The database has already had one effect.

"I don't use the pink mustache anymore," said a Lyft driver who asked not to be identified because he fears being dropped by his insurer. "On our Facebook group, the drivers were all saying to hide it so the cabdrivers can't spot us."

I fought off sex beast in minicab, Chris Huhne's daughter reveals.

Attack ordeal: Lydia Huhne, 24, has revealed she was assaulted returning home from a night out

The daughter of former cabinet minister Chris Huhne and Vicky Pryce today told how she headbutted an unbooked minicab driver who was trying to sexually assault her.

Lydia Huhne, 24, was returning home in the early hours after a night out at a friend’s birthday party on Saturday when she was assaulted.

The RADA-trained performer said the incident has left her “retching from shock” after she managed to escape by headbutting the driver.

She said she wanted to speak out to raise awareness of the dangers women face, and called for girls to be given self-defence classes at school.

The horrific incident took place at around 1.30am as she made her way home from a nightclub in Clapham, a short distance from her home.

She had wanted to leave as she was “quite merry” and wanted to “avoid embarrassment”, so a bouncer hailed an unbooked minicab that was illegally plying for hire outside the Clapham night spot.

Ms Huhne directed him to her road, but rather than taking her home, the driver - described as a stocky Afro-Carribean man - stopped a short distance away and locked the doors.

She said: “He clambered into the back and started touching my face, which was most scary, then my boob. I just saw red and headbutted him in the middle of the face. He sort of recoiled, and then I yelled he better let me out of the car because I had a Stanley knife and would be forced to use it - I don’t know where that came from.

“He started to laugh and opened the doors and I just ran out.”

She said as soon as she got home to her boyfriend, she started being violently sick.

“He was really worried. He’d never seen me like that. I was just retching from shock. It was very scary.

“I don’t know if the driver thought I’m some young drunk girl on her own, this is perfect. I’m quite fit because of my job. It could have been much worse.

“I’m not a violent person, I’ve never even been in a fight before. I’d been in rehearsal that day and we were talking about physical actions in time of need and someone mentioned headbutting, I was very lucky.”

Ms Huhne who was “not dressed any way provocatively”, said she assumed the minicab was safe but insisted: “People really do need to be aware. It’s really sad in this day and age, but girls should not go home on their own.”

She added: “Even if you are put in a minicab by someone you trust and even if you have a very short journey, only get in registered booked minicab or a licensed black Taxi.

Lies, Damn Lies And Statistics
Latest figures show there were 71 sexual offences committed in mincabs between April and November last year, 23 fewer than in 2012. In the same 8 month period, it's alleged there were 10 rapes, an assumed drop of 44 per cent on the previous year.

But the Met Police recently put the drop in statistics down to the fact that victims are now less likely to report attacks after confidence in the police has dropped to an all time low. In a Problem Orientated Policing report, the Met claimed only 10% of minicab related sexual attacks are ever reported. 

This could mean that in the same period between April and November last year, as many as 700 attacks actually took place, including over 100 rapes.

Inspector David Aspinall, from City of London Police, said it had been working hard to clamp down on illegal cab operators. Unfortunately the CoL are you little attention to the lines of illegally plying for hire minicabs outside most clubs and bars in the City. 

Unbelievably the CoL police commended two well known PH companies that provide lines of unbooked minicabs outside City establishments.  Many in the taxi industry believe the police veiw these sexual assault and rape figures as just collateral damage for clearing the streets of late night drunken revellers.

God help any black cabs who form an unauthorised rank outside the Sushi Bar in Bishopsgate! 
City police have a zero tolerance towards licensed Taxis.

He said: “Over the past year we have been undertaking enforcement and compliance activity amongst black cabs and private hire vehicles, making sure that they are roadworthy and that we know who is driving them.

The City police were instrumental in the setup at Abacus, where PH drivers are allowed to illegally park in front of the licensed Taxi rank and illegally ply for hire, wearing luminous blue vests with their company name on.

A spokesman for the Met amazingly added: “Only use taxis that have been licensed. These are easily recognised by a licence on display. If you don’t see a Transport for London licence then do not get in the vehicle.”

Even the police don't seem to know the difference between Taxis and minicabs...what he should have said is they are easily recognisable by their yellow for-hire signs and ID badges on the windscreen and rear window. The purpose-built taxi is also a big giveaway.

How can we expect the public to be clear about the difference between a licensed Taxi and an unbooked minicab, when the Met seem to have trouble distinguishing the difference

Ms Huhne co-runs a theatre company called Burnt Out Theatre. She performed its A Midwinter Night’s Dream and co-produced its summer Shakespeare Tour last year. She has worked extensively for the National Youth Theatre in a number of stage productions and is currently developing a new play about slavery.

A spokesman for the Met confirmed detectives were investigating an allegation of “sexual assault by touching”, but no-one had yet been arrested.

The spokesman said: “The allegation relates to an incident in Lambeth in the early hours of Sunday, 9 February.

“The incident is being invested by the sexual offences team based within the MPS Safer Transport Command.

Editorial Comment: 
Original source for this article was the Evening Standard, but it was so badly researched and reported we felt it necessary to change quite a lot of the text. 

Michael Sayers QC once said:
No woman is safe in the minicab


Monday, February 10, 2014

Paris Taxis Block Airports as Court Favors Private Car Hire

TAXI drivers plan to paralyse Paris during a go-slow as they protest against what they regard as ‘unfair competition’ from minicab drivers. 

A convoy of taxis left Roissy and Orly airports at 7am today, and have been driving slowly along the city’s A1 and A6 arteries, bringing traffic to a near standstill, as they head to a demonstration at Place Joffre, opposite the Champs de Mars. 

Traffic jams have been reported between Porte Dauphine and Porte Maillot, and the convoy is causing tailbacks between Porte de Clichy and Porte de Vincennes. 

Live traffic-flow monitoring website Sytadin said that the go-slow would affect Paris’s entire network - in particular the A1 and the beltway, A3, A6, A6B, A6A, and A106. 

Unions said they were expecting today’s protest to be larger than a similar go-slow in January. Then, protesters said between 1,000 and 3,000 cars took part. Police estimated the number at closer to 600. 

One protester, Daniel Bonamy, said: “We will have twice as many this time." 

He added: “Competition must exist, but we are not on an equal footing.” 

Taxi drivers have said minicab companies, which can only carry passengers who have pre-booked their journeys, are flouting the rules and ‘encroaching on our turf’ by touting for trade ‘on the fly’. 

Minicab firms, however, have rejected taxi drivers’ claims that they are poaching clients. 

Yan Hascoet, founder of Driver-Private, said: “It is ridiculous. It would make no economic sense: when drivers take clients without a reservation, they do not go through our mobile application, and we do not receive a commission.” 

In a bid to ease tensions, the government has announced what it is calling a ‘mission dialogue’ between taxis and minicab companies and ‘tighter controls’ on compliance with current rules. 

Taxi drivers are also protesting against the arrival of a car-pooling service, American Uber, in which individuals are paid to transport passengers on short trips. 

Last month’s protest was marred by violence, when demonstrators attacked an Uber vehicle. Rocks and paint were thrown at the vehicle, before assailants smashed a passenger window and slashed one of its tyres. 

Up to 5,000 taxi drivers across several cities in France took part in last month’s demonstration. 

- Source:

‘Camera-shy’ Brent Council CCTV car driver caught using disabled bay in Harlesden

The driver of this Brent Council CCTV car is happy to catch motorists on camera but seemed a little shy when the lenses were turned on him.

He made a hasty exit from this disabled bay in Harlesden after realising he had been spotted hogging the space which is reserved for blue badge holders.

However he was captured on camera by the eagle-eyed resident in Burns Road who passed over the photographic evidence to the Times.

The resident, who asked not to be named, said he was disgusted that the CCTV car could park in a disabled bay to catch out other drivers.

“It’s one rule for them and another rule for another,” he said.
“The minute he saw me he drove off but he didn’t realise I’d already taken a picture.

“It’s a joke that they can park where ever they want, an absolute joke.”

In the past the cars have been pictured parked on double-yellow lines leading to accusations of hypocrisy.

However this is the first time one has been spotted in a disabled bay.
Barrie Segal, who runs his own parking campaign group, previously told the Times: “Council workers are given exemptions to behave in the most ignorant manner. If any other motorist did this it would be considered dangerous to the public.

“It is absolutely outrageous that they are allowed to get off with the very thing that would be considered irresponsible and dangerous if done by normal motorists, but it is okay because they are issuing parking tickets.

“It is totally unacceptable and it is one of the reasons why motorists have no faith in the parking enforcement system.”

Cllr Muhammed Butt, leader of Brent Council, said: “Civil enforcement officers have a statutory exemption from parking restrictions in order to carry out their duties.

“Our parking enforcement service plays an important role in maintaining the flow of traffic and creating safer streets for our community.”

Source: Brent and Kilburn Times