Saturday, October 11, 2014
Fireman Rob Pope, a father of one, was also a member of the Olympic Bobsleigh Team at the 1994 Winter Olympics at Lillehammer in Norway.
At the time of his death, his wife Nicky said:
"Rob was a joker and always saw the amusing side to life. He doted on our little boy and we will never forget him."
The minicab driver, Mohamoud Amin, 38, of Park Royal, London, was jailed for three and a half years.
Friday, October 10, 2014
Thursday, October 09, 2014
As I'm Spartacus said, we need these people negotiating on behalf of us.
No wonder LTPH will move heaven and earth to exclude them.
The pity is, others in the trade can't see through that.
A planned 48-hour strike by London Underground workers has been suspended following talks.
Tube staff had intended to strike next week, from 21:00 BST on Tuesday until 20:59 on Thursday, as part of a long-running dispute over staff cuts.
The Rail, Maritime and Transport Union (RMT) said "significant progress" had been made in three key areas of talks with Transport for London (TfL).
The dispute is over TfL plans to save £50m a year by closing ticket offices.
It says it needs to save £4.2bn by 2020.
Originally, 953 jobs were to go but that figure has now been reduced to 897 and TfL said it anticipated that the number would fall further as a result of continued discussions
Following a meeting at the conciliation service Acas, the two parties also agreed to continue consultations on the changes.
RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said: "The substantial improvements we have agreed allow us to move forwards but the union's core opposition to the austerity-led cuts on London Underground has not shifted an inch and we remain vigilant to further developments and their impact."
Phil Hufton, chief operating officer of London Underground, said: "Nothing positive would be achieved through this strike action and this threat had no logic to it whatsoever apart from attempting to disrupt hard working Londoners and their [RMT] members losing two days pay.
"By simply continuing to talk without imposing unnecessary threats is obviously the best solution, which is recognised by the other trades unions."
The smartphone application Uber, which links passengers with drivers of private vehicles, has caused controversy since it came to Spain earlier this year.
After strikes and protests by taxi drivers, Barcelona banned the app in June and announced this weekend that it would modify the city's laws to punish users. Those caught by police will face having their cars impounded for up to three months plus fines of around €4,000.
Police action against Uber users has already started in Madrid, where the app launched only last month.
As of Monday, Guardia Civil and local police officers will begin to inspect and fine Uber and its users if they are found carrying passengers without the necessary licences.
Fines will range from €4,000 to €6,000 and could rise to €18,000 plus seizure of the vehicle if there are repeat offences, according to Spanish daily 20 Minutos.
Taxi drivers in both cities are unhappy with what they describe as unfair competition from the app, which charges 70 cents ($0.90) per kilometre (0.6 miles) or 30 cents per minute.
They have gone on strike on a number of occasions, protesting that they must pay for taxes, licence and insurance, unlike Uber users.
Borja Carabante, vice-councillor of Transport, Infrastructure and Housing, said after a meeting with representatives of taxi drivers' groups that the city would "guarantee the safety of users, avoid unfair competition and work with the taxi sector to inspect and fine pirate vehicles that work at the airport, by telephone or through applications like Uber.'
"To offer a [commercial] transport service, the driver must have a qualification and, if he does not, it is an illegal activity," he added.
The legal status of Uber has been hotly debated across Europe in recent months.
Taxi drivers in Paris and London have publically protested against the app but a court in Frankfurt recently overturned a German ban on the service.
European Vice President Nellie Kroes dismissed Spanish calls for a pan-European law to settle the matter, saying that countries needed to promote innovation.
Spain's Economy Minister, Luis de Guindos, came down on the side of the app-makers and stated in June that taxi drivers would have to "adapt" to changing technology.
A spokesperson for Uber in Spain recently told The Local. "We believe that there’s room for everyone, and we’re improving transport options for both riders and drivers alike
Wednesday, October 08, 2014
The Metropolitan Police have started to enforce the 20mph speed limit in Islington with fixed penalty notices for motorists.
The borough-wide limit was introduced last year, but until now drivers have been given warnings instead of fines as a deterrent. The council has been previously criticised for spending £40,000 on advertising the new limit and then not enforcing it.
Eight other London boroughs — including Southwark, Camden, Hackney, Waltham Forest, Haringey, Lambeth and Lewisham – have since committed to 20mph zones. In July, the City of London became the latest authority to introduce a borough-wide limit. Before that, in June, transport minister Robert Goodwill commissioned research into blanket 20mph limits in urban areas, but stated that it was down to the local authority to decide on its own speed limits.
The 20mph limit only applies to council-managed roads, while major routes managed by Transport for London (TfL) remain at their previously-posted limits. Islington council says that since November 2013, 938 motorists have been targeted in 24 “stop-and-advise” operations across the borough. Executive member for environment and transport Claudia Webbe said:
“We want Islington’s roads to be safer for everyone, and that’s why we pioneered making Islington London’s first 20mph borough.
“Most motorists obey the speed limits, but those who don’t can now expect to be prosecuted andrisk losing their licence. We’ve worked closely with the police over the past 12 months to target hot-spots where drivers frequently speed, and together we’ve stopped more than 900 motorists to remind them to keep within the limit.”
Really....who could he be referring to???
Also he failed to name the blog he was accusing of being an Internet Troll Blog.
And those that don't do, just wait and see...then claim the glory!
We also informed the LTDA and Unite, that Uber were operating from unlicensed premises in N1. Uber's Licence had yet been updated when they moved from Old Marylebone Road. Although we informed both the LTDA and Unite, it seems they ignored. Perhaps Mr Hooper could explain why?
I know, wait for someone to do something and then criticise it. That’ll do it.
Tuesday, October 07, 2014
Guest Comment from SuperCabby
Personally I do not like these roof top digital advertising signs, but I cannot find any justification for TFL to charge higher licensing fees for taxis that carry roof top advertising.
How can TFL incur higher costs to license Taxis that carry this type of advertising? Are they saying that they will have to check the advertising? Or that the need to make sure that the screens on each side of the roof top sign work ok? If this is the case then why have taxis that carry internal digital advertising not charged more for their license fees? In fact why are all taxis that carry some form of advert not charged more.
TFL do not give any valid reasons to back up their so called "justified increase" other than to say that it will cost them more to license these taxis? How?
The current test is only supposed to be a safety inspection, so other than quickly checking the mounting points to ascertain that the unit is secure on the roof I cannot see what else they would need to do, so a quick tug here and a there should be sufficient to test the security of the mounts which would take all of about 30 seconds! Not bad money if you can get, as that works out to £7920 per hour.
Maybe someone from TFL could explain the justification for this extra charge? Or is it just another way of putting pressure on the London Taxi Trade to extract more money from an already suffering part of the transport network?
Monday, October 06, 2014
THREE men admitted beating up a 77-year-old taxi driver over an £11 fare.
Adam Rhuebell, Axl Gilbert, and Charlie Laidlaw pleaded guilty to attacking Kenneth Wolfe, leaving him with a broken jaw, broken eye socket and two lost teeth.
Mr Wolfe, from Leigh, was dropping off two passengers outside the Sainsbury’s store in London Road, Southend, when he was attacked.
Mr Wolfe was attacked at about 11.25pm on Saturday, February 8, after one passenger pretended to get the money out to pay their £11 fare while the other passenger ran off.
The driver got out of his Ford Mondeo to demand the fare and was set upon by the two passengers before a homeless man also joined in the beating.
Mr Wolfe was taken to Southend Hospital by ambulance and later transferred to Broomfield Hospital, Chelmsford, because of his severe facial injuries. Gilbert, 20, and Laidlaw, 22, pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing, but Rhuebell, 24, appeared at Basildon Crown Court yesterday to plead guilty.
Rhuebell, wearing a green custody-issue tracksuit, spoke only to confirm his name and indicate his plea to judge Jonathan Black. Speaking after the attack in February, Mr Wolfe, who has been a taxi driver for 30 years, said: “I’ve only tried to get people home and it’s a good profession, but this has always been a worry.”
Rhuebell of no fixed abode, Gilbert, of the Russetts, Rochford and Laidlaw, of Hawkwell Park Drive, Hockley, will be sentenced at Basildon Crown Court on Friday, November 7.
Myra Wolfe, Kenneth’s wife, said: “We are just pleased that, to all intents and purposes, the whole thing is now over.
“It has been a very difficult time for us, but the victim support people and Det Con Supt Ford have been a great help to us all the way through.”