Saturday, September 06, 2014

C.A.B- Cabbies Against Boris- PRESS RELEASE-UPDATE

A London Taxi ‘Go Slow’ will take place at 2pm, on Tuesday 9th September to protest against the Mayor of London’s improper and unlawful Taxi Age Limit.

The Mayor will appear before the Environmental Audit Committee on Wednesday this week to explain why his air quality strategies have failed, which includes the London Taxi Age Limit.


Scientific testing has shown that the new taxis create more pollution than the older taxis which the Mayor has needlessly scrapped, at great expense to taxi drivers.


Drivers are the worst affected by the toxic pollution in London and the Mayor has not implemented a single effective strategy to reduce emissions.

 

Support is confirmed by the London Cab Drivers Club, the United Cabbies Group and the RMT so it is hoped that members of all trade groups will be making their voices heard on Tuesday.





Flash Demo At Charing Cross Police Station: ... report by Taxi Leaks Roving Reporter.

 Many drivers have express their disgust at statements being put out by the Met recently, that touting in the West End was under control. 

Cab drivers on the other hand would paint a completely different picture.

Touting out of control
Illegal plying for hire by licensed and unlicensed minicab touts is currently at epidemic proportions
Illegal electric Rickshaw bikes are wide spread.

In short Central London's West End has become a free for all, at the expense of the highly regulated and strictly enforced licensed Taxi trade.

Outraged cabbies decided to strike back in the form of a flash Demo Hit Squad.

For the last week, messages were put out on the social media platform Twitter, advising drivers that a flash mob type demo would be held at 8pm on Friday night, at a location to be advised nearer the time.

Just after 7o/c it was announced that the destination would be the area around Charing Cross Police Station. 


The whole area around the police station was bought to a complete stand still. Police were caught napping and were not very happy. 

Outside the Police station, a driver was told:

"F***ing move or I will get in & bash your head in, f***ing idiot". 

The words of a police officer in Chandos Place.


The demo lasted approx 1hour and then drivers filed away back to work. 

But it was felt the message got through. 
Reports came in while the demo was in full swing that the police were out on foot, seizing dangerous electric rickshaws. 


Flash Demos
This type of demonstration has become very popular. Targets can be picked that get right to the heart of the problem without the public being disrupted.

At the last major demonstration on Whitehall, organisers failed to get the message across. A press conference the night before was ignored by the United Trade a Group, over inter-trade rivalry and the PR battle that followed was lost. Uber claimed to have had an 80% increase in downloads over the period of the demo.

Hit Squad History.
The hit squad demos were pioneered on the LTDF forum in 2009 when a group of drivers gathered in Hanover square and formed an impromptu Taxi rank to take back work being stolen by illegal touts outside the club, Jalouse. 

Within weeks a rank appeared outside the club exit for two taxis fed from the rest rank by the Taxi shelter in the square. 

More hits followed on Nobu, Oxo Tower, Tiger Tiger. Resulting in a new rank at Nobu and a 7 Taxi extension to the rank outside Tiger Tiger.

Later in 2013 the hit squad were reformed and succeeded in gaining a new rank at Smiths and marshalled ranks at Swallow Street and Charing Cross Road. 

With street hails disappearing as more people turn to smart phone apps, ranks will become an important asset. Over the last 14 years TfL have been taking away rank spaces and continue to cut the TPH ranks budget. Coming soon Camden to cut St Pancras Taxi rank in half and give the road space to a cycle lane.

Make sure you get involved in the fight for your trade.
Follow the twitter accounts of @Flash_Demo and @TAG_HIT_SQUAD 

Friday, September 05, 2014

Boris Still Lying About The Effect Of The Unlawful Age Limit On Taxis

Boris will have to face the Air Quality Commission next Wednesday, 10th September. 
But in a written submission to the committee, he has continued to lie about the affect on pollution of his unlawful Taxi Age Limit. 

Even after two major reports have shown new Taxis have higher levels of dangerous NO2, NOx and PMs than the 3000 vehicles his policy has needlessly scrapped, Boris is still unrelenting in spreading the untrue myth that older Taxis are more polluting.

Below is one of the statements made in his written submission:

2.1                   Measures implemented in the Mayor’s first term include:
 
•       Tighter Low Emission Zone (LEZ) standards for 150,000 vehicles and including vans and minibuses from January 2012. The LEZ is the largest citywide zone in the world with all HGVs, buses and coaches having to meet a minimum Euro IV PM standard and all vans and minibuses having to meet a minimum Euro III PM standard.

•       Cleaner buses by building the largest hybrid bus fleet in Europe with over 267 already on the road and developing the New Routemaster, the cleanest and greenest of its type;

•       Taxi and private hire vehicle (minicab) age limits – introducing a 15 year age limit retiring over 3,000 of the oldest, most polluting taxis and requiring all new taxis to be a minimum Euro V standard. Introducing a 10 year age limit for PHVs encouraging the uptake of newer cleaner vehicles – with a current average PHV age of 4.5 years.

•       Air quality neutral development required in London Plan

•       Buildings retrofit – over 400,000 homes and public buildings with energy efficiency measures which reduce their emissions.


How can Boris keep getting away with the lies he's tells.

Taxi Drivers At Greatest Risk From London's Airborne Pollution ...by Jim Thomas

As a follow up to the post Dave Davies sent us on Tuesday, which pointed out the shock results from the test which showed us, Taxi drivers are exposed to greater levels of dangerous pollution, compared to bus passengers, pedestrians and cyclists.

Four different modes of transport (Car/Bus/Walking/Cycling) were measured over an identical rout with Taxi/car drivers having to breath in eight times more pollution than the cyclist.

When you factor in the hours Taxi drivers spend driving round London's polluted streets, it puts them way above other groups in the risk to health category

They say a picture paints a thousand words: 
Below is an image of a face mask particulate filter, worn for just 3 hours on the tube (Middle), 3 hours cycling (right).


Now imagine a Taxi driver working an 8 hour shift!
 The test showed he/she would be breathing in up to 8 times the level of pollution that the cyclist is exposed to. 

Below is a simple test I carried out last year, on the outside surface of my Taxi. 

Having washed the cab in the afternoon, I went to work for a 5 hour stint in Central London aroud 10pm till 3am. Traffic is less congested at night and pollution is considered to be at a lower level.

Next morning, I had a quick trip down to Paddington to drop off some keys. When I got home, I wiped a clean tea towel over the body panels of the taxi.



Air quality: Committee seeks your views on Mayor's submission

The Mayor's office has sent the Committee a written submission in advance of the evidence session with Boris Johnson, on Wednesday 10 September.

Click on these links:


The Committee invites comments on the Mayor’s submission, in particular on the following areas:

  1. How effective have GLA policies on air quality been so far?
  2. What are the pros and cons of the proposed Ultra low emission zone?
  3. What questions should we be asking the Mayor?

If you would like to get involved, please e-mail your views to the Environmental Audit Committee at;

 eacom@parliament.uk 

with 'Air quality comments' in the subject heading.

Thursday, September 04, 2014

TfL, No Longer Open And Transparent. FOI Requests Going Unanswered...by Jim Thomas

It seems TfL have closed ranks against the Taxi trade. FOI requests are going unanswered and ignored. TfL officers are not replying to emails even though they have a duty to be open and transparent.

On the 26th of February 2014 Taxi Leaks made a request appertaining to the amount of complaints made, by members of the public, against drivers using the Taxi rank outside a certain underground station. At first we were told to do this, staff would have to go through the files of every Taxi driver to find out this information and that this would exceed the cost of the request. 

We pointed out that a similar request for the same information at Finsbury Park Station was in fact given to one of our researchers in January. We were asked to provide the request reference number which we did. That was on 5th of June. 

Since then we have heard nothing even though we requested a reply on 30th of June. We have now applied for an internal review on the 2nd August but still have had no reply.

Another request we made about the validity of certain aspects of the Private Hire Act 1998 on the 1st of May 2014, has also been completely ignored and we have also asked for internal review on 2nd of August, but have heard nothing since.

It would appear that TfL are now also ignoring emails.
Taxi Leaks wrote to a list of department heads, asking for clarification and links to legislation in respect to suburban drivers, accepting pre-bookings while outside their licensed area. Our first email having been ignored, was followed up a month later with another copy, but that has also been ignored.

So we have decided to make this an open letter, plus we will be taking this up with our MPs and Assembly Members. 

Email was addressed to:
Driver and Operator Policy Manager, Simon Buggey

Copies were also sent by CC to:
TfL Transport Commissioner, Sir Peter Hendy
Managing Director of Surface Transport Leon Daniels
Head of Transport Policing TfL, Siwan Hayward
Senior Operator Licensing and Compliance Manager at Transport for London, Cliff Llewellyn 
Director of Community. Safety, Enforcement &. Policing, Steve Burton
Plus New Man, Peter Blake.
We also BC'd to a selection of MPs and assembly members.

Dear Mr Buggey

As you are no doubt aware TaxiLeaks is the world s leading taxi blog with thousands of 'hits' daily and therefore probably the foremost communicator in real time with the London taxi trade.

We have received corroborated reports that representative of the TfL Licensed PH operator Über are approaching drivers on ranks in suburban sectors with a view to drivers using their application on a smartphone, the drivers are also being advised that it is 'perfectly lawful' for suburban drivers to accept pre booked journeys through this smartphone app, while outside their licensing sector.

Our legal advice to date has informed us that the various statues that govern Taxi and PH in the Metropolis are 'silent' on this matter.

In order that we may advise our significant readership correctly, can you kindly inform us of TfL's position on this matter and if it considers such activity by the drivers and Über to be unlawful?

We are in possession of a previous statement from TfL to the effect that TfL consider the illumination of the For Hire sign evidence of plying for hire. You may be aware that case law suggests this not to be the case or that the pre booking and electronic despatch of such hirings be challenging to include in any such definition.

It would also be instructive if you could also state what offences under which statute would occur?

We look forward to your response as a matter of urgency.

Many Thanks

Jim Thomas
Editor Taxi Leaks.

All we have asked for is a definitive answer with links to the relevant legislation to advise our readers.
It seems TfL are keeping tight lipped on this issue.

As always we will give space on this blog to any reply.



C.A.B - Cabbies Against Boris PRESS RELEASE


The London Taxi trade has been subjected to many improper decisions by the Mayor and TFL.


The London Taxi Age Limit is improper and unlawful, and deliberately causes financial hardship to taxi drivers, who are the group of workers most badly affected by toxic pollution. 


The Mayor has failed in his Duty of Care to protect the Public and urgent action needs to be taken.


The Mayor is due to appear before the Environmental Audit Committee on Wednesday 10th September and should be required to explain why he has implemented the London Taxi Age limit which will not reduce pollution as proven by scientific evidence.


London Taxi Protests will take place before the Inquiry in the hope that this point is not overlooked.


Drivers will stage a ‘Go Slow’ in Central London at 2pm on Tuesday 9th September , the day before the Air Quality Inquiry hearing.


C.A.B  hope that drivers from all trade organisations will support the protest.


The Committee is urged to ask The Mayor;

‘’The Mayor of London acknowledged in a written report to the Environmental Audit Committee in 2011 that the new Euro Emissions standards were not delivering reductions in pollution. 


He said:

‘’A Euro 5 car, for example, emits around five times as much direct NO2 as a fifteen year old car. ‘’

The Mayor was asked on many occasions by London Assembly Members to at least conduct testing to prove that scrapping taxis would reduce emissions. He point blank refused to conduct a single test

 In 2013 Defra released a report after the Environmental Research Group tested 10,000 taxis which confirmed that the new taxis were creating more pollution than those that had been scrapped.

Emissions reduction of PM could have been achieved by use of Clean Diesel, an Engine Clean Up Process, or retrofitting Diesel Particulate Filters.

Why has the Mayor needlessly scrapped 3000 taxis and why does he continue with this improper policy of scrapping taxis which are cleaner than the new taxis?’’

 For further info see the links

 http://taxileaks.blogspot.co.uk/2014/09/shock-result-air-pollution-highest-in.html

  http://taxileaks.blogspot.co.uk/2014/08/the-unlawful-and-improper-london-taxi.html

 

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

Steve McNamara Speaks With Deputy Mayor Victoria Borwick About TfL,Totally Failing London's Taxi Trade.




LTDA Deputy General Secretary Steve McNamara, spoke with Deputy Mayor Victoria Borwick, about TfL's Handling of Taxi Licensing in London. 


The Deputy Mayor said that London's black cabs are the best in the world, iconic with access to all. 


The GLA want to hear from Taxi drivers and passengers, to find out what they want for London's Taxi service in the future.


Steve McNamara claims London Taxis are the best in the world not because of TfL, but despite TfL.

Steve also Spoke about TfL's handling of the Uber situation with Garret Emerson, on ITV London News last night. 

Minicab app Uber set to launch in Birmingham.


A controversial minicab company which brought London to a standstill this summer is heading to Birmingham.

Uber is planning to set up in Birmingham and is advertising for a manager to run the operation – from London.

In June Hackney Carriage drivers staged a mass protest in central London because they claim the Californian company was threatening their business.
Uber works by allowing customers to order one of its private cabs using a smart phone app and getting exact details of how long they will have to wait and what the fare will be.

Although a number of taxi and cab firms currently allow online and smartphone bookings, the San Francisco-based firm is unique in that it is purely app-based and does not take orders over the phone.
The service launched in London in 2012 and in Manchester in May.

But it has had a temporary injunction stopping it from operating in Frankfurt because the German authorities are not satisfied its cabs have the necessary licences.
In Birmingham, Black Cab drivers are not planning a protest.

Mohammed Taj, from the Birmingham Black Cab Drivers’ Association, said they were not worried by Uber’s imminent arrival, but were concerned its drivers would not have to undergo the same strict vetting its members did.

“These kind of app-only companies haven’t been very successful in Birmingham and several have tried to operate here and failed,” he said.

“We already have several black cab companies who operate using apps so Birmingham people are well used to them.

“What does concern us is that because it’s an app-based company, will they have to go through all the scrutiny and checks we do, like enhanced CRB checks and doing ‘the knowledge’ like our drivers do?”
A spokesman for Birmingham City Council said until Uber started operating in Birmingham they could not comment on the licensing arrangement.

“Until they start we don’t know if we treat them as Hackney Carriage or private hire drivers as it seems they fall between the two,” he said.

“Because they operate on a meter system that makes them Hackney Carriages, but if they have to be pre-booked and cannot be hailed in the street, that means they are private hire.”

A spokeswoman for Uber said it was too early to discuss its Birmingham operation.

“We are currently operating in London and Manchester in the UK but are looking to expand to other UK cities in the near future but can’t give specific details on our launch plans at the moment,” she said.


    Source: BirminghamMail.Com

Letters to the Editor. Inside Out Lindon, Insurance Excess and Yellow Elephant.

Louise Hulland investigated, How safe are London's minicabs

Note Inspector Collinson happy to leave the public with the completely false impression that Cab Enforcement have 2000 officers, all getting involved against touts.

What it did show, was the complete failure of the established trade organisations over the last 15 years.

Well done to all who got involved.

Of course one of the root causes is the satellite office and as the public don't know the difference the absolute need for a great big sticker on PH stating This Vehicle Must Be Pre Booked

Concerned cabby

Editorial Reply.
Dear Concerned Cabby.

Inspector Collinson made an appearance at yesterday's GLA inquiry. He stated that of the last 1000 arrests for touting, 90% resulted in a conviction? Taxi Leaks will be taking this up as our FOI requests for these statistics show a different ratio. Also the Inspector made a comment about rape victims that we feel should now be referred to the IPCC. Not only was it a slur on rape victims, it was also a damning indictment of London Taxi drivers good character.


TFL now licensing courier vans as PHV's (no congestion charge?)


FLEET RENTAL EXCESS

Dear Jim,
 
Further to the letter you received from Mick Smith on fleets charging an excess on accidents I can confirm that this is now common practice and has been so for the last few years.

The 'excess' is normally only charged if the driver is involved in a definite 'fault' accident and if the cost of the damage is greater than the level of the excess.
 
It has nothing to do with PCNs issued by the Boroughs or TfL because responsibility for these penalties can be transferred from the fleet owner to the individual driver quite easily by making a representation.

No excess is charged on non-fault accidents where the costs can be claimed from the third party's insurers.  The point of the excess is to encourage drivers to take more care thereby reducing the number of accidents and keeping the fleet's claims experience as low as possible. This in turn prevents the cost of insurance from escalating and weekly rentals increasing.

With insurance being the largest single cost in running a cab, a fleet with a bad claims experience can see this cost increase by many thousands of pounds so the excess makes sense for everyone involved.
 
Regards,
Alex Kaye
Frankum and Kaye Limited

Editorial reply.
Alex, thanks for taking the time and trouble to give the fleet owners perspective on insurance excess.
I'm sure this will clear up any myths and rumours that drivers may have heard. 

TtT.

    Pedicab Rickshaw overloaded, overturned. 


 Dear Editor,

On the way home tonight via the Elephant and Castle, the cab in front of me stopped for a hail by the series of bus stops by the shopping centre, as I overtook the driver signalled and said something along the lines of 'do you want this one?', the passengers came over to my cab and said Goldhawk Road please'.

I then said to the driver of the other cab in a sarcastic manner 'what's up, not going your way', it was then I noticed his yellow badge on the end of his LCDC lanyard!

Still £40.00 and a little bit later home, I was none the worse, but could not help a wry smile considering all that's been printed elsewhere .

I can back all this up as I have an In-car camera, I of course won't be offering up the details to anyone except the editor in confidence and certainly not TfL.

Name and details supplied

    Wheelchair friendly Rickshaw bike.

    All images taken from twitter.

Tuesday, September 02, 2014

GLA Inquiry Into TfL's Running Of The Taxi And Private Hire Trades. City Hall Meeting ... by Taxi Leaks Roving Reporter.

The GLA investigation meeting kicked off in City Hall, at 10 am this morning.

Michael Galvin, late of the LTDA and Com Cab and now working for Addison Lee gave an accurate representation of the Taxi and Private hire industries.

GLA member for Merton and Wandsworth Richard Tracey asked Steve a McNamara: 
"Does the Taxi trade have Union representation". 
Mr McNamara answered that the United trade Group (UTG)  is made up of the three larges orgs. 
Taxi Leaks would of course dispute this answer as the second biggest representative group, and the largest Union the RMT, are excluded by the leadership of the UTG, therefore prevented from inclusion with any meaningful negotiations with TfL.

Garrett Emmerson told the panel that TfL's Taxi and Private Hire have bought forward the archaic administration of the Taxi trade. 
Another statement that Taxi Leaks would dispute.

Darren Johnson (AM) said that TfL needed to get basics of the trades in order by way of a consultation with trade Orgs. But look what happened with the last consultation, PH got virtually everything they asked for whilst the Taxi trade got nothing.

The panel were informed by Assembly Member Tom Copley, that with the onslaught of smart phone apps, Uber had blurred the lines between Taxis and private hire. Michael Galvin said that the registration of drivers using smart phone apps was open to fraudulent abuse. He also remarked that PH have no desire to pick up off the street and that the present two tiered system should remain.

Tom Copley AM then added that TfL have failed to act on pedicabs/rickshaw bikes. He said this infringes Taxi drivers rights to ply for hire. Tom also accused TfL of failing to act over Hailo's minimum fare policy.
He added,"why do the knowledge if apps can blur the lines. 

An e-hail is akin to a manual hail, plying for hire by licensed Taxis must be protected at all cost.

Tom finished on the point that, if identity is important, why allow both industries to use the same vehicle (Mercedes Vito) and the same colour?"

Chairing the meeting, Isabel Dedring spoke about the Credit Card issue also stating she was in full support of the value of wheelchair accessibility. She said Taxis were the Gold standard. Dedring was often out of her comfort zone with comprehensive knowledge of the issues and when put on the spot by Deputy Mayor Victoria Borwick she had to hand over to Garret Emerson.

Garret Emmerson was asked why the ranks plan had been shelved and he replied it would be made available by the end of the year.

During a ministerial debate of the Private Hire Vehcles act 1998, it was stated that enforcement was not to become the poor relation to regulation. Many Taxi drivers would agree that this has now become the fact, as enforcement is almost invisible at night. Touts have little to no chance of being arrested. 

Inspector Julian Collinson of Cab Enforcement stated that of the last 1000 arrests made for touting, over 90% were convicted. He said that Enforcement is at a satisfactory level. In a bid to conceal TfL's disastrous record on minicab related sexual assaults and rapes, the inspector finished with a damning insult to the Taxi trade by saying that the sexual assault statistics are blurred due to the fact that victims are unable to remember if they were picked up in a Taxi or a minicab. This statement needs to be submitted to the IPCC.

Taxi Leaks would take issue with the inspectors statistics on convictions as they vary greatly from the ones we have manage to acquire by Freedom of Information requests.
We will of course be publishing our statistics on conviction rates in another post. 

Assembly Member a John Briggs talked about enforcement and asked Steve McNamara his thoughts on the matter. Steve told the panel that touting was now out of control in Central London and had become an epidemic.

Westminster Transport Commissioner Martin Low was asked about the affect of Marshals on certain ranks. He stated that he thought TfL should be spending more money on providing new ranks and that Westminster would be more than willing to help. 

Taxi leaks have been informed that other factions of the private hire industry such as the GMB, have been invited to meet with the transport committee on the 17th of this month in regards to this inquiry. 

Comment by Jamie Owens: 

It appears that everyone can see the problems that Apps are causing the Taxi & private Hire trades in London, LTDA, LPCHA, Westminster Council and various others who were giving evidence today agree that TFL are failing both trades, they have failed to appoint enough ranks even though Westminster Council say that they would welcome more ranks.

Everyone accept TFL can see the problems that illegal touting cause our trade and the innocent travelling public, everyone accept TFL and the Metropolitan Police who try to divert the heat away from themselves by putting there blame on the London Taxi Trade.

Inspector Julian Collinson stated that many victims did not know if they got in a touts car or a London Taxi which is an outrageous statement.

Garret Emerson commented on the Inside Out program last night that the travelling public did not know the difference between a taxi and private hire car and to cite that as the reason that touting is so rife in London is pathetic, Garrett, the problem is LACK OF ENFORCEMENT, enforcement which is TFL's responsibility.

The whole problem is that TFL are not only Total Failing London, but they are also failing both the Taxi and Private Hire trades, trades that they charge a fortune for licensing.


Editorial Comment

Well said Jamie. It seems thousands of drivers from both tiers of the industry can see exactly what the problem is and where the faults are. 

But a handful of overpaid civil servants, can't see the problem let alone the solution.



Breaking News: Uber National Ban In Germany By Frankfurt Court

A court in Frankfurt ruled that the firm lacked the necessary legal permits to operate under German law.


It has emerged that the firm was told last week that its "low-cost" UberPop service could no longer take passengers and faced a fine if it continued.

But an Uber spokesman said it had decided not to suspend the service, adding that the ban was not enforceable while an appeal process was ongoing.

"Germany is one of the fastest growing markets for Uber in Europe," he said.

"We will continue to operate in Germany and will appeal the recent lawsuit filed by Taxi Deutschland in Frankfurt.

"You cannot put the brakes on progress. Uber will continue its operations and will offer UberPop ridesharing services via its app throughout Germany."

A check of the firm's software confirms that drivers continue to offer UberPop pick-ups in Munich, Berlin, Hamburg, Frankfurt and Dusseldorf.


UberPop vehicles include the Volkswagen Golf, Audi A4 and BMW 3ER
UberPop was launched earlier this year and involves drivers - who are not directly employed by the company - over the age of 21 using their own cars to transport passengers.

Taxi Deutschland suggested that Uber could face up to a 250,000 euro ($327,840; £198,342) fine per trip if the American firm loses the case.

The body described its rival as a "form of locust share-economy" indulging in "anarchy capitalism" that could leave passengers exposed in the case of an accident.

"In Germany there's insurance that applies to private drivers," explained spokeswoman Anja Floetenmeyer.

"But if your insurer learns that you are driving for an app and you want to make money on that, they say this is a multiple risk and refuse to [pay] insurance on that.

"Uber doesn't care because security costs money. We don't believe it has the interests of [German] drivers and citizens at heart."

But Uber's spokesman in Germany, Fabien Nestmann, has previously blogged that safety is one of his firm's key concerns, adding that "all the rides - and thus all travellers - are insured by Uber".

European protests
The summary judgment follows a decision by London's transport authorities not to pursue a case against Uber in June this year.

The San Francisco-based firm allows passengers to summon cars using an app on their smartphones and calculates the fare en route. It is often significantly cheaper than rival taxi companies.


Taxi driver in Berlin held a protest against ride-sharing apps in June

But taxi drivers argue that Uber has fewer regulatory burdens placed upon it than they do, and poses unfair competition.

The company - which is backed by Google and the bank Goldman Sachs, among others - has been the subject of protests by taxi drivers in many European cities, including Berlin, Paris and London.

Only last week, Uber said it was planning to rapidly expand its German operation.

Shock Result: Air Pollution Highest In A Vehicle.

Ive been saying for some time that there will be a study which shows that taxi drivers are exposed to the highest levels of pollution in Central London.

Well here it is!

Dave Davies.


The results
If asked to think about the problem of air pollution in cities, you might picture pedestrians and cyclists wearing masks to protect themselves from breathing in harmful fumes. 

So you might be surprised that in our experiment the highest levels of air pollution were recorded by the person in the car, followed by the person travelling by bus. 

In fact, the car driver was exposed to more than twice the amount of air pollution as the person walking the same busy route, and almost eight times more pollution than the cyclist.


The reason for this is that the vehicles were travelling in a queue of traffic that produced a stream of air pollution from the vehicles directly in front. 

This air pollution was brought in through the ventilation systems and trapped within the vehicles, resulting in higher concentration levels.

Meanwhile, the pedestrian was walking to the side of the sources of air pollution and so was exposed to much lower concentration levels and, although taking longer, half the amount of air pollution as the person in the car. 

The cyclist sharing the same road as the car was most likely able to avoid the higher concentration levels of pollution by not always being directly behind the vehicle in front and because the air was able to circulate freely around them. 

The cyclist was 13 minutes quicker than the car, and was exposed to an eighth of the pollution.

The lowest pollution levels were experienced by the volunteers on the alternative quiet routes, away from busy road traffic. In particular, the person walking the quiet route was exposed to a third of the pollution as the person walking the busier route. 

For the cyclists, the difference was most noticeable in the average levels of pollution that were 30% lower for the quieter route.

Editorial Comment...by Peter Conneely.

We need No Emissions Taxis, Buses and goods vehicles in next 10 years to be mandatory. London's buses currently recieve £150m a year. This type of investment from TfL would give each Taxi a £6,000 zero emission LPG engine conversion and would be a one off payment, unlike buses who get this money annually.

"Zero Emission" taxi engines already exist and should be subsidised, the same way buses recieve a subsidy. 

LPG engines are currently working in 2 models of LTC Taxis, TX1 and TX2, plus I believe there was also a MetroCab running around on LPG. These are custom built engines which have all been tested and passed by the PCO.

Conversions could also be financed partially by LPG company, with Ads on cabs. Perhaps there could be a new partnership - Boris Cabs- you never know!!!

    Source: HealthyAir.com: with thanks to Dave Davies.