Wednesday, January 14, 2015

And So It Starts. TfL Turn Their Back On The London Cab Act 1968, And The Private Hire Act 1998.

Taxi Leaks has over the last three years, been warning about a rise in third party companies which take bookings for private hire journeys, without the necessary TfL license. 

How do they get away with this:
It's simple, they advertise cheap rate journeys and farm out the bookings to licensed operators. They get away with wild claims about service and calling themselves Taxis and Cabs (contra to the London Cab Act 1968 section 4 subsection 2), simply because they are not licensed so don't come under TfL. 

They are acting as private hire operators without a licence and TfL have refused point blank to do anything about this. It's an enforcement matter that should be dealt with by Cab Enforcement. 

These company's have free phone facilities in hospital, hotels and even tube stations. They advertise in the press as a Taxi and they get away with it because no ones doing anything about it. 

It's only a matter of time before Uber has it's licence revoked, but it won't make any difference to their operation. Like in other cities where they have been banned, they will just keep operating. 

Uber London have stated on many occasions they don't see themselves as an operator, but a technology company that puts customers in direct connection with private hire drivers. This is actually in contravention to the private hire act 1998 which clearly states all private hire bookings must be pre booked with a third party operator. 

They further state that because this technology wasn't around when the legislation was laid down, they don't come under the licensing regulations. In virtually all cities they've been banned, they have just carried on regardless. 

A very dangerous precedent has been set. The fact that TfL have sat back and done nothing about this type of operation in the past, will not sit well with any action taken against a Uber operating without a licence.

Latest company to offer Taxi/Cab cut price journeys is CabPal and SplitCab. Advertising Cab sharing to Heathrow for as little as £10 a head.  On their website they advertise cab, cabs, cab journey, cab fare and cab share. The words Taxi, Cab and their plurals are restricted to Licensed Hackney Carriage only. 

This issue is extremely serious.

We need TfL to take action now, before Uber are revoked. That way Uber's defence would not be able to point to the lack of case law.

TfL have failed to uphold the PH act and have been labeled by the GLA as woefully inadequate.

By doing nothing, TfL are seen to be condoning these companies. As TfL are seen as letting Uber run-amuck, discarding private hire legislation, the problem is now escalating rapidly. 


Anonymous said...

Jimmy, how do you fit so much into one day.
Another top piece of research that the UTG has failed to come up with!
Do they just turn a blind eye and hope it will all go away
Or do they think as long as the trade is in trouble, we will need them.
If we had no problems, who would need representation!

Anonymous said...

Good ReadπŸ‘ Now will/would any unions like to comment? πŸ‘‚&πŸ‘€ and Yes Waiting!! Seriously what are subs 4? Legal Cover!

Fifteen Pounds! said...

If we had had a Director of LTPH with a bit more spunk than 'steak and chips'' John Mason then this would have been tackled.

As for Unions what I do know is that everyone except the UTG had campaigned on this and caused the GLA enquiry.

We all wish for 'overnight' success but sometimes it's a longer process.

It's understood that their maybe some leadership challenges coming up in the smaller trade Orgs that may have an effect.

Anonymous said...

LTPH needs a new manager to help restore confidence perhaps

Roger Street said...

The LCDC were warned about TfL's covert political agenda and opted to trust John Mason and Peter Hendy.
There was debate five years ago about going to the European court to hold TfL accountable on the very issues that are today devastating the London Taxi Trade-this idea was vehemently opposed by all parties...
Unanimously the idea was dismissed by some very short sighted people that's vision doesn't extend further than the end of their nose. But then again, most activists in the trade put their own egos first before doing the right thing... today history is repeating itself, to the detriment of the trade!