Saturday, December 13, 2014
Friday, December 12, 2014
The timetable for London Underground Ticket offices set to close was announced last week.
Among the earliest of offices due for closure is Embankment set as early as February next year. The majority of the network is scheduled for ‘transformation’ over the whole of 2015 with works completing by April 2016.
This comes at cost of 750 jobs losses set to the backdrop of national austerity forcing a £45m budget cut to London Underground.
‘Commercial viability’ for disused ticket halls has proposals ranging from retail, coffee outlets and many more satellite offices for PHV’s!
The RMT London Taxi Drivers Branch has learned that members of the GLA have mooted the idea, undoubtedly to suggest plugging the £45m budget black hole.
Transport for London are denying any such plans exist, but with a number of private hire waiting areas, residing on private land, replacing Licence Taxi ranks and the announcement of the 24hr tube, stations that have been end of line ‘ghost stops’ could be hubs for commuters travelling late at night.
Fixed point pre-booking machines could well be a feature of the modern underground network.
If passengers are to be accosted by ‘clipboard Johnny’ before even leaving a station then this will strike yet another blow for the trade.
RMT LTDB along with the union’s London Regional Council will resist any proposals that seek to undermine the licensed London taxi driver’s right to ply for hire.
Is it one of these, two of these or all three ? It must be at least one of them ! Quite frankly, the photograph of Boris Johnson sitting at the wheel of one of our work horses, made me feel sick ! Furthermore, the latest U turn on his personal views of what the Uber App represented, made me even more suspicious. As far as this politician and our London Cab Trade are concerned, this man is not to be trusted.Just as Livingstone did, Johnson will betray our trade and united trade support, and the quicker he has left City Hall the better it will be for us.He is the Head of The Greater London Authority, and yet apparently doesn't have either the powers or the spine, to control Peter Hendy or Leon Daniels, who answer to him. Or if the truth be known, doesn't want to. If he had, then maybe Johnson and Daniels would get their stories to collaborate correctly, and both agree on the same thing. The problem is of course, Johnson now states that the Uber App is a meter, and Daniels says that he thinks it isn't, and that Uber are licensed are fit and proper to operate under their current operating style, which is of course by using a meter disguised as an app. Now, to me, this stinks. In fact, the whole network of The London Mayor and his Transport For London system, stinks. For instance, how is it, that the duty of the driver complaints system for Private Hire is not dealt with by TFL, as it is with us, and instead dealt with apparently by the Operators who they work for ? Could that situation not lead to corruption, or worse still, serious undeclared violations of licence?Isn't that like instead of having a referee on a football field, any decisions of whether a foul or penalty should take place, is dealt with by the player's manager ? Jim please let me get away with one swear word on this post mate, because this is Bollox ! If Johnson who is Mayor states that the App is a meter, then how can Daniels say "Uber remains a licensed PH operator in London, fulfilling the requirements as set out in private hire legislation." .......Because they effing ain't, are they ? They ain't allowed a meter Daniels, and your governor said so ! It's the same with the old bollox (last one, Jim !) about the DBS, old CRB check. I quote Daniels again " To be licensed, and in the absence of a DBS check, a certificate of good conduct is required from the Embassy of the country of origin." Are you joking, Leon Daniels ? Are you serious ? You ever been to these countries ? I have ! I could get a driving licence, a marriage licence and a passport and still have enough left over out of a bullseye for a large chicken shawarma with chilli sauce and salad ! A certificate of good conduct from their Embassy ? Who writes these "certificates" out , Bin Hammam from Qatar ? Like many others I know, most of these officials and their Government officers, couldn't lay in bed straight ! A certificate of good conduct ? Your'e honestly only joking, I know you are ! It's Christmas after all. We all need pranksters for good cheer ! Try and get a job with MI5 with one of these "certificates" ! They'd laugh you out of Vauxhall ! And yet...........they're good enough for TFL. As long as you adhere to the guidance, that's as far as TFL are prepared to go. No pride, no standards, no loyalty to the forensically checked London Licensed Trade, just take all the rubbish from everywhere, as long as you stick to the guidance. Which brings me back to these illusionists, Uber. Surely, any respectable, licensing authority anywhere, would naturally bodyswerve an outfit as controversial as Uber, until the legalities had been well and truly sorted out and etched in stone ? After all, any transparent and upfront licensing authority wouldn't want to be associated with anything that may leave embarrassing or dubious history in their tracks. Would it ? Pardon the cliché, but isn't it more than their job's worth ? Since Ubers appearance in London, TFL, Daniels in particular, appear to have welcomed them with open arms. Why is that ? There's nothing in it personal for them, after all. They are just another mini cab outfit who pay TFL for licences aren't they ? It's strange to see such underlying support from such a controversial mini cab firm, I think. If I were in charge of either surface transport or licensing, Uber's reputation and previous form would frighten the life out of me. Allegations of world wide complaints regarding sexual assault, invasion of privacy, allegations of data protection abuse. etc etc..........I would run a mile, and I would only be prepared to deal with them when all the legalities of their operational intent had been clarified. But that's not the case with TFL, is it ? Why is that then ? After all, London isn't short of mini cabs is it ? Strange turnout this. Personally, I don't think Uber are anywhere near as good as they reckon they are either. Their only asset is of huge financial backing which obviously is an advantageous one, but other than that, their expertise, people skills, driving skills and topography professionalism ain't worth two bob ! But obviously, we have to challenge them on account of 400 years of principles and professional criteria at stake. Otherwise everybody would be inventing meter apps. If we let money and financial backing override the laws of our land, we would be no better than the countries I refer to earlier, and the Lord knows how many envelopes stuffed with cash would be flying about. From way back as far as 2008/2009, I have made posts on this site and others, to say that I think their is a deep hidden agenda in motion here. I thought it back then, and I think it even more today. The rate at which TFL welcome in mini cabs and dish out permits and roundels is breathtaking ! The old chant from LTPH about customers want choice, has been well and truly flooded. There are way more mini cabs in London now, than is required. Yet still the money making mini cab gravy train hurtles down the track. Everyone is welcome ! Get a "certificate" from your Embassy, get a motor, pay TFL your dosh.......and fill your boots ! Like a nut and a bolt. What could be more simpler ? And they come, and come, and come and come and come..............Don't worry about Enforcement & Compliance either. The two officers they used to have are in Madame Tussauds. London and TFL are lucky to have at their disposal the very best knowledgable, licensed, medically fit, PROPERLY CHECKED, professional taxi drivers in the world. But they couldn't give a monkeys about us, or our heritage or our platinum standard.I agree, that sure, the public should be given a choice, and they do have. But to ignore mega rich offshore companies abusing and finding loop holes in our laws to peddle their inferior service, just because they have the dough to do it, is surely going in the same direction as countries such as Qatar and South Africa.. England used to be proud of it's upright reputation of integrity, status and compliance. That sadly isn't true anymore, is it ? Oil and Gas rich foreigners have crawled into our proud heritage and fabric, like maggots on the carcass of a bird. Look around our wonderful City and delve into the complicated and cleverly financed details to reveal the horror. All is not what it seems.Rest assured that it is not our country anymore, financially anyway. The sway and the power of corrupt foreign investors has left a trail that the very best of forensic accountants would struggle with. It seems that nothing is sacred anymore, even our country's professional integrity. I have personally operated in offshore foreign countries. I have witnessed first hand the power of the pound note and the law of the blade. Nobody is trusted, nobody is safe, and nobody expects to be either. What an awful way to live and work. I was glad to come home. Home to a safe, trusted, respected and decent country. Over the last ten years or so though, my opinion has changed. It's a dreadful case of every man for himself. That's how we are all becoming, and as Jim said in a previous post, it is even rearing it's ugly head in our trade now, as newer drivers join our ranks. The answer ? I only wish I knew. I think the cancer has well and truly eaten it's way into the heart of our old England now. Even though I think that TFL are out to kill us off, I won't give up my corner without a fight. It's the least them betraying, short sighted treason mongers deserve. And as the old saying goes " The man with nothing to lose..........has everything to gain !" Be Lucky all. Stay safe. 8829 Semtex
Thursday, December 11, 2014
Wednesday, December 10, 2014
Tuesday, December 09, 2014
A judge has ordered taxi booking service Uber to immediately stop operating in Spain, after a series of protests by taxi associations.
In his ruling on the ban, the judge said Uber drivers didn't have official authorisation to drive their cars and the service was "unfair competition".
The move follows a complaint by the Madrid Taxi Association.
The Spanish ban comes just a day after Uber was blacklisted in the Indian capital Delhi.
Drivers "lack the administrative authorisation to carry out the job, and the activity they carry out constitutes unfair competition," the court services said in a statement after the ruling.
Also in the news today:
Thailand, India and Spain ban Uber as rideshare firm faces global woes
Thailand ordered U.S. online taxi booking company Uber to cease operations on Tuesday, in the latest hit for the rideshare app that has been banned in the Indian capital New Delhi over an alleged rape by a driver and faces further restrictions in Europe and Asia.
The Southeast Asian nation's Department of Land Transport said drivers picking up fare-paying passengers via Uber's app were neither registered nor insured to drive commercial vehicles, and that Uber's credit-card payment system did not comply with regulations.
Bangkok’s move comes as the start-up also battles criticism in the U.S., with detractors saying it gives drivers an unfair deal and doesn’t screen employees well enough and as such endangers the safety of users — claims the San Francisco-based Uber denies.
"They have to stop operations immediately," Thiraphong Rodprasert, director-general of the Thai Department of Land Transport, told reporters after meeting officials from Uber and rival cab-hailing apps GrabTaxi and EasyTaxi to discuss regulating Internet taxi services.
The meeting was arranged before a passenger in New Delhi reported she had been raped by a driver contracted to Uber. That incident brought taxi apps to the attention of Indian authorities leading to a ban on all unregistered Internet taxi firms from operating in the capital.
Taxi booking apps have irked drivers at traditional cab services across the globe. Consumers are increasingly using the smartphone software to find people willing to drive them, rather than booking a cab by phone.
In Thailand, Uber's app acts as a matchmaker between owners of private vehicles and passengers, and has its own fare structure. GrabTaxi and EasyTaxi work with traditional taxi firms, using regular meters to calculate fares.
Effective immediately, drivers who use personal vehicles for commercial use could be fined $61, and the transport department is working to implement higher penalties, Thiraphong said.
The Uber representative who attended the meeting declined to comment.
In neighboring Vietnam, Uber was to discuss means of regulating its service with transport ministry officials on Monday, but cancelled the talks citing "important circumstances.”
Transport Minister Dinh La Thang called for regulation after public criticism that followed a deputy transport minister calling Uber's operations illegal. Uber told local media it works with transport companies so that its drivers are licensed and insured. Uber also provides passenger insurance, media reported.
In Indonesia — Southeast Asia's most populous country — private drivers using apps such as Uber to pick up fare-paying passengers are acting illegally, though the law has never been enforced, said Izzul Waro, an adviser to Jakarta's Transportation Agency.
"Many taxi companies don't have a formal permit to operate from the government. They operate by themselves. This is usual in Indonesia," Waro said. Uber does not have a permit, he said.
Uber declined to provide immediate comment on its operations in Vietnam and Indonesia, citing the "crisis" in India.
The ban comes on the same day that a Spanish judge banned the taxi service throughout Spain. And San Francisco on Tuesday arrested an Uber driver over the death of a 9 year-old-girl allegedly hit by his car, Bloomberg reports. The incident happened on New Year's Eve last year. Rio De Janeiro and Portland, Oregon, have charged that the app violates local license requirements, according to the news service.
See previous post for Amsterdam story.