Sunday, August 30, 2015

Mexico's VW Beetle Taxis Find 2nd Life With Mexican collectors

When the Mexico City government retired the last Volkswagen Beetle taxis in 2012, it shipped most of the aging cars, commonly known as "vochos," to junkyards to be turned into scrap metal.

But some of the Beetles, both former taxis and private cars, have found a second life in the hands of enthusiasts like Mario Anaya. He restored his father's 1994 sedan into an auto he named "the lizard" for its metallic-green paint.

"The car has a second life," said Anaya, who began refurbishing the former taxi in 2007, installing tan leather interior, a new odometer, fenders and chrome Porsche-style wheels.

A Volkswagen factory in Puebla, about 80 miles (130 kilometers) to the east, manufactured the old-style Beetles for 39 years, long after the car design had ceased production everywhere else. The last one came off the Mexican production line in 2003.

About 50,000 of the green-and-white taxis, many with the front passenger's seat removed, still roamed the Mexican capital's streets at their peak in 2006. But the city's crackdown on air pollution, its fight against crime, and the adoption of newer car models finally led to the vocho's retirement, with the last of the Beetle taxi licenses expiring in 2012.

Today, Anaya's close friend Arturo Diaz drives a restored ocean-blue 1965 ragtop Beetle and is president of Xochivolks, a club he founded 11 years ago in the capital's Xochimilco district.

"It is a family thing," said Diaz, who brings his 9-year-old daughter Amiel to club meetings. "The car is mine, but everyone participates, everybody takes care of it, everyone helps."

Fellow club member Christian Franco customized his bright yellow 1991 Beetle with toy chickens for his wife, who works in a roast chicken restaurant. Three foot-long rubber chickens are attached to the car's rear, and a fourth appears stuck under the back bumper.

"There's a resurgence of interest in these cars," said Mario Gamboa, a VW mechanic and racing driver for 35 years. "People want to live the dreams of their youth by fixing up a Volkswagen."

Diaz said collectors sometimes purchase used Beetles on a website for second-hand goods, or acquire a used one from a relative, friend, or neighbor.

Club members currently are looking forward to a huge gathering on Oct. 25 at Mexico City's Estadio Azteca, with as many as 1,500 customized vochos and 4,000 enthusiasts expected to attend.

About 40 of the original vocho taxis still survive at the El Coyol scrapyard in the Mexico City neighborhood of San Juan de Aragon.

"We're like a taxi museum," said Miguel Angel Campos, a junkyard employee. Inside the walled lot, behind a green metal gate, the surviving vochos are lined up in three long rows.

Many of the cars have cracked windshields, dented roofs, and missing fenders. Campos said some were once pirate taxis, or were involved in a serious crime, such as a robbery or killing. Most have not been driven for years.


But they are not for sale.

The last surviving vocho taxis, he said, are destined for the car compactor.

Woman’s Body Discovered Inside Car In Stater Bros. Parking Lot

Woman’s Body Discovered Inside Car In Stater Bros. Parking Lot

WEST COVINA ( — Authorities say a death investigation is underway in West Covina after a woman’s body was found inside a vehicle.

West Covina police say around noon Tuesday, officers received a call by a person who noticed a body hunched over in the backseat of a gray Volkswagen sedan.

The discovery was made in a Stater Bros. parking lot in the 300 block of North Azusa Avenue.

Although investigators haven’t released the woman’s identity, DMV records show the car is registered to an Orange County woman and the coroner’s office confirms they’re working her case. The cause of death was not immediately known.

On the windshield of a vehicle, an Uber sticker turned sideways was visible, reported CBS2’s Rachel Kim. Police, however, say they cannot confirm whether the woman was a driver for the company.

“Detectives are going to do their investigation and maybe find out how long it had been here,” Sgt. Brian Daniels of the West Covina Police Department said. 

It remains unclear how long the body had been inside the vehicle.

“They are thinking she might have been there a day or two because the smell was really bad already, so it’s just really sad. It’s really shocking,” said Celine Portillo, a shopper.

The body has since been removed from the scene by the coroner’s office.

Off-camera, Kim spoke with a man who says the woman is his aunt. He confirmed that the vehicle was in fact hers and that she had just become an Uber driver.

Police said they are looking through security footage from the shopping plaza for any clues.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Another Day...Another Bus Crash.

Bus crashes into tree on busy east London street leaving at least 12 injured 

  • The single decker bus crashed into a tree near Manor Park station in east London. Police, paramedics, plus the air ambulance were all called to the scene.

  • At least 12 people were injured, with 10 taken to hospital and two in a serious condition
  • It is not known what caused the smash or whether the driver was injured 

Chaotic pictures show the front of the single decker bus crumpled against the tree, while shaken passengers watch from across the road. 

Two of the 12 injured are in a serious condition, with 10 being treated in hospital.

Among the injured are a man thought to be in his 40s with head injuries and a woman in her 60s with an injured hip. 

London Ambulance Service (LAS) declared a major incident, sending six ambulances and the air ambulance to the scene.

Police officers and the London Fire Brigade helped the 15 passengers and driver off of the red W19 bus and closed part of Station Road. 

It is not known what caused the crash, or what condition the driver is in. 

New York Taxis Finally Launch An App To Compete With Uber.

New York is launching the Uber of taxis. 

Insiders of the city’s taxi industry are finally launching an app that lets users hail cabs and pay for rides using a smartphone. It’s such a great idea you have to wonder what took so long.

The app is called Arro and, as first reported by Crain’s, it’s in beta testing with 7,000 New York City cabs and could launch within weeks. Here’s how it works: A user launches the app, which gives a nearby cabbie the passenger’s name, pickup address, and cross street. The user, meanwhile, gets the driver’s name and ID number. The app saves credit card info, letting passengers pay the metered fare and tip automatically. Another advantage is no surge pricing; the app developers told Crain’s that fares always will be meter-based.

Arro comes as on-demand ride companies like Uber and Lyft are getting a lot of attention for their impact on public transit. It is largely taken as gospel that the taxi industry’s taken a major hit from the growth of these services. New York’s Taxi & Limousine Commission has seen a dramatic drop in the price of taxi medallions and an increase in foreclosures for medallion owners. Uber and its ilk have dinged other forms of transit too. Just this week, Uber admitted it is testing Smart Routes in San Francisco that let drivers pick up and drop off passengers on specific routes—something that would appear to encroach on bus services. That has some worried that might make the city less likely to invest in mass transit.

But as much as people like to denounce on-demand ride services, the truth is they are far more convenient and much less constrained than public transit. As my colleague Alex Davies noted earlier this year, private transportation models can be successful because they need not please everyone. They also have greater latitude to innovate, which can lead to leaps forward like paying via smartphone. Arro appears to be an effort to bring to the taxi industry a level of service and convenience many people now take for granted.

New York has some 20,000 taxis, but Arro’s partnership with Creative Mobile Technologies limits the service to just a portion of them. Still, the startup reportedly is working on a deal with VeriFone Systems, which would add more taxis. And if all goes well in New York, Arro plans to launch in other cities, including San Francisco, Boston and Washington DC.

Source : Wired 

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

How Much Longer Can London Traffic Absorb 700 Extra Private Hire Vehicles Every Week?

Since 2013 the number of Private Hire Drivers on London's streets, has increased by 25.9%, to a staggering 85,742, even though the number of London PH operators has fallen by 5%. 

At present TfL are possessing over 2,000 new PH driver applications a month.

By comparison, over the same period of time, the number of Central London Taxi driver new licenses only rose by 1.5%.

   DfT statistics March 2013-March 2015

Smart phone based Uber, who soft launched in 2012, have around 20,000 drivers in London and are presently expanding at a rate of 2,000 extra vehicles every month. Apart from the large amount of new licensees, the app is also recruiting from existing licensed PH drivers.

 Uber’s CEO, Travis Kalanick hopes to increase their vehicular presence in London to 42,000 by March 2016. This would then amount to more than half of all London's PHV licences based on today’s figures.

Uber's expansion will soon see the number of Uber drivers overtaking the number of official London Taxis, which is already the case in New York. However, it should be noted that PHV drivers outnumbering those in hackney carriages is not a new trend.

Taxis and PHVs require a licence for both the driver and the vehicle. In total there were 297,600 licensed drivers in England with 103,900 (35%) of those operating in London. About three-quarters of the licensed drivers in the capital are for PHVs, compared with taxi-only drivers.

Bad Air Problem :

There’s no doubt London has a serious problem when it comes to air quality. Last year the European Commission started legal action against the U.K. for breaching pollution targets, specifically associated with nitrogen dioxide (NO2, a toxic byproduct of car engine and exhaust fumes combining with oxygen).

London is reported to have the highest levels of NO2 of any European capital city. London’s city authority website itself notes that “most” air pollution in London is caused by road transport and domestic, along with commercial heating systems, and recommends that businesses encourage employees to use public transport, walk or cycle to work.

“City-dwellers are particularly exposed, as most nitrogen dioxide originates in traffic fumes,” the EC noted in a press release detailing its legal action against the U.K., adding: “Nitrogen dioxide is the main pre-cursor for ground-level ozone causing major respiratory problems and leading to premature death.”

A study, published this July, of the health effects of NO2 and particulate matter pollution, commissioned by the Major of London and carried out by King’s College London using 2010 data, reported a higher health impact than the previously estimated 5,900 annual deaths associated with NO2 long term exposure in 2010. Recent reports now show associated deaths as high as 9,000.

       Images tweeted by Mayoral candidate Cristian Wolmar.

Inspite of being told newer vehicles create increased levels of NO2, Mayor Boris Johnson still insisted on introducing an age limit on Taxis, removing older less polluting FX4, TX1 and TX2 models and replacing with newer more polluting vehicles.

If the huge health costs associated with traffic fumes in urban centers weren’t bad enough, the U.K. is facing EC fines of up to £300 million for breaching air quality standards.

What’s clear is that the continued increase in the quantity of vehicles in conjunction with the reduction of space on London’s roads is not compatible with meeting European air quality standards.

Rickshaw Rider Offers Young Lady Free Ride For Sex.

Rickshaw driver 'sexually assaulted young clubber after seeing her crying in the street and offering to take her home for free'

  • Mohammed Hossain allegedly invited the woman, 21, into his carriage 
  • Touched her on the leg and inner thigh, Blackfriars Crown Court heard
  • Allegedly didn't stop when she struggled and said she had a boyfriend
  • 35-year-old admitted she was in the carriage but denies sexual assault 

A rickshaw driver assaulted a young clubber after offering her a free ride home from London’s West End, a court heard.

Mohammed Hossain allegedly tempted the 21-year-old woman into his carriage after spotting her crying in the street.

The 35-year-old then clambered into the back seat alongside her before sliding his hand up her short skirt, it was claimed.

Patrolling police officers spotted the distressed woman stumbling out of the rickshaw near the British Museum and gave chase as Hossain pedalled off.

Hossain, from Plaistow, east London, was arrested further down the street and appeared to be drunk, Blackfriars Crown Court heard.

James Benson, prosecuting, said: ‘On the night of the March 6, a female had gone to a nightclub that Friday with a friend of hers in the West End of London.

‘She had drunk some alcohol and at 1am she decided to leave the club. She was a little tipsy but she was not drunk. She was wearing going-out clothing, including a short skirt.

‘By the time she had left the club she had had some kind of argument and so when she left she was on her own.

‘The defendant, sat on the bike seat of the rickshaw, decided to engage her by talking to her and learned about the fact that she was upset.

‘He offered to give her a ride home in the rickshaw for free. She thought the defendant was just being nice, and so she got into the rickshaw.’

Hossain put a blanket over her legs and then pedalled away before stopping near the British Museum, the court heard.

He went into a shop and came out with a bottle of vodka, a bottle of Red Bull and a polystyrene cup.

The alleged victim accepted a sip of the drink but when Hossain put an arm around her she told him: ‘No I have a boyfriend.'

Mr Benson added: ‘From that stage on the defendant should have been aware that she was not going to consent to any further touching.

‘When he first tried to put his arm around her she told him no, but the prosecution say the defendant persisted and touched her on the knee.

The 35-year-old allegedly tempted the woman, 21, into his rickshaw bike after spotting her crying in the street, it was claimed

‘She felt in reasonable control at that stage, so she told him she wanted to go home. The defendant then leaned in for a kiss.

‘She pulled back and said the words: "No, I have a boyfriend." He tried to put his arm around her shoulder again and she pulled back again.

‘The defendant took his hand, put it on her knee and then moved his hand up the inside of her thighs towards her underwear and only stopped a very short distance from touching her between her legs.

‘Having done that the defendant leaned in again to kiss her and she shouted no.' 

Hossain, from Plaistow, east London, was arrested further down the street and appeared to be drunk, Blackfriars Crown Court (pictured) heard

The alleged victim struggled and managed to get out of the rickshaw as two police officers drove past in a patrol car.

Mr Benson said: ‘They say they saw her stumbling from the rickshaw, and she was clearly upset.

‘She told them what happened and one officer chased the rickshaw as he rode off. The second officer went around the street and caught him and detained him.’

Hossain admitted the woman had been in his rickshaw but made no comment in police interview. He denies sexual assault.

The trial continues. 

Source: DailyMail 

An Open Letter To TfL's Managing Director Surface Transport, Leon Daniels ... From Sean Paul.

Mr Leon Daniels Managing Director Surface Transport TFL.

I write without affiliation, but share the sentiments of many licensed taxi drivers, who are continually subjected to your abject failure in fulfilling your duties prescribed to you as Managing Director of Surface Transport. 

During your tenure, you have overseen, and wilfully enabled the destabilisation of the licensed taxi industry by issuing in excess of 30,000 Private Hire licenses over a 3 year period. It is indefensible that you are complicit in facilitating the en-mass infiltration of off-shore corporations that are decimating legitimate taxi businesses by providing the same (instant) public-hire service.

As Director for surface transport, part of your brief is to recommend and endorse legitimacy as defined in the Private Hire Amendments Act 1998. I believe that you have overstepped your brief by allowing e.hailing apps such as Uber to over saturate an already well served market. The result has seen the total collapse of the regulated trades. 

As it stands, the running costs of maintaining the compulsory purpose built vehicle, will be no longer financially viable. I believe this constitutes the breaking of a prevailing trade agreement, as no negotiations or consultations, were to my knowledge entered into. This also applies even if discussions were of an implicit nature.

This is nothing short of unethical, covert political and business practise with a total disregard for 24,000 individual sole traders. As you play a significant role responsible for maintaining the cost index ratio, it is of my firm opinion that you are not suitable to represent the licensed taxi trade, either as individuals, or as a collective. 

Furthermore, I believe this constitutes the breaking of a prevailing trade agreement, as no negotiations or consultations were- to my knowledge- entered into. This also applies if discussions were of an implicit nature.

The contempt that you have shown for the industry means you are incapable of applying objectivity in matters concerning taxis and their integration into the wider transport network and highway infrastructure. Because you have worked in contrary to the interests of taxi drivers and as a consequence, put members of the public at an unprecedented risk, it's inconceivable that drivers would want to align themselves with you as their regulator or arbiter.

The taxi trade has seen no attempt by your office to address the ‘future proof’ report submitted by members of GLA, therefore I have made recommendations to the local Government ombudsman - as you are an appointed official, and therefore do not serve with advocacy- to investigate inconsistencies with a view to you offering significant reparations to the taxi trade or standing down from your position as Director Manager for Surface Transport. If this is not your intention, then I will make appeals to the European Court of Justice to question TFL’s accountability as a publicly funded institution.

Currently, I am intolerant to your justifications in haemorrhaging PH licenses at an alarming rate when no law compels you to do so. There are only two primary positions that would determine your adherence to the prevailing legislation on the issuing of licenses. 

The position is either ignorance of amendments to the cab order, or maleficence with intent to  destabilise the market via the back door. If we are dealing with ignorance, then allow me to highlight that several mitigating circumstances entitle you to halt the issuing of PH licenses. 

If that's something that confounds you, then you also have the authority to amend secondary legislation devolved to City Hall regarding license issuing. I hope that solves a degree of duress involved in having oblige an already non existent law. If non of these points are addressed, I will petition relevant bodies to be unhesitating in no longer recognising you as regulator, and absolve you of having jurisdiction over drivers, either, as a whole or part there-of.

Please treat this letter as a means of resolving the septic chasm that exists between you and the trade. Considering the inescapable dire financial position you have put me in, and the detrimental impact on me and my family as a consequence, I steadfastly expect you to respond, proposing a way forward. If it is not your intention to seek resolution, then now is a timely reminder that you are not above the law, and I will be left with no alternative but to seek alternative options.

Note: after seeking advice, I state taxi drivers meet all the necessary licensing requirements re: conditions of fitness, and their ability to work under normal practices remain unaffected.

Sean Paul
(Licensed Taxi Driver/ Proprietor)

Editorial Comment :

At present, TfL are approving an extra 2,500 new private hire licenses every month. 

These new vehicles are adding to London's congestion emmisions

This is causing a significant rise in the number of unnecessary deaths caused by traffic pollution (currently over 9,000 p a)

London has now been named as Europe’s most congested city for the first time. Motorists are said to be spending four whole days on average stuck in traffic each year.

>Click here for article in a Standard<


Monday, August 24, 2015

As The Lycra Clad Army Push On Past The Palace, Cyclists On Queenstown Road Complain At Red Lights.

 Again we see another artist impression, void of the congestion this new facility will creat.

After receiving a royal blessing, Boris's Super Cycle Highway will now push forward, putting removable bollards along Constitution Hill and across the entrance to the Mall. The wonder Queen Victoria Memorial was once one of the most beautiful gyratories in the world, now reduced to an eyesore of traffic chaos.
Regardless off the fact they already have a segregate rout, Boris said cyclists refuse to use the old path as they wanted to express their right to use road space along with other vehicles. Not content with sharing space with other road users, cyclists want sections segregated off, squeezing the motorised traffic from the current three lanes into two. 

The old cycling rout takes them pleasantly onto the fringe of the park, previously used by horses. But, to navigate round the QVM and across the Mail, cyclists would have to dismount to use the pedestrian crossing. 

How demeaning it must be, dressed head to foot in Lycra, wearing hats adorned with Go-Pro cameras, having to walk the 50 feet, in upmost safety across the traffic lights, guarding the entrance to the Mall.

Look at the congestion caused at admiralty arch. Traffic often tails back down the Mall, after cyclists were given one of the two lanes leading into Trafalgar Square (causing a massive bottleneck). The common sense approach would have been to ask cyclists to dismount, twenty feet from the arch and continue as pedestrians, remounting on the other side...but alas this was seen by the Lycra brigade as unthinkable.

After all the cost involved with the changes to the present set up at QVM, will cyclists actually use it ?

At present, there are no laws in place to force them into the segregated road lanes. We have recently found with the roundabout on Queenstown Road, if they don't like it they won't use it. 

Cyclist are now complaining they have to wait too long at red traffic signals, something many are not used to. So the majority are ignoring the new facility.
No like'y, no ride'y. 
The way the Mayor has cow tailed to the cyclists we can e lecture a quick tweak of the signals phasing with motorists paying the price and waiting longer at their reflective signals. 

It will be interesting to see just how many cyclists refuse to use the CSH along Victoria Embankment when it finally opens.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Oh What A Tangled Web We Weave. How Not To Answer A Question....By Boris Johnson.

Mayor answers to London

Illegal Minicab - prosecutions

Question number4012/2012
Meeting date19/12/2012

Question byDarren Johnson

TfL took over responsibility for prosecuting minicabs illegally plying for hire from the Metropolitan Police Service over a decade ago. Can you confirm how many such prosecutions TfL has pursued, broken down by year?

Answer by Boris Johnson

I am aware that local authorities outside London prosecute Taxis and Private Hire drivers for plying for hire, however this is due to the fact the legislation outside London differs from London. In basic terms, outside London, under the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976, a licensed vehicle is always considered licensed and is, in most cases, clearly identifiable as a private hire vehicle due to its colour or identifiers. This makes the offence of 'plying for hire' clearer and has many stated cases. In London, a licensed private hire vehicle is only considered licensed if driven by a London licensed private hire driver undertaking a booking for a London licensed private hire operator. Therefore a licensed vehicle parked may not be considered plying for hire as it may not be working.

For this reason in London, touting and associated problems are addressed by intelligence led enforcement activities involving the 68 TfL funded police officers in the Metropolitan Police Safer Transport Command (STC) and City of London Police as part of the Safer Travel at Night (STAN) initiative. STAN involves a programme of activities including industry regulation and licensing, enforcement and education. 

The Mayor, TfL and its police partners are always pushing for the strongest penalties for touting and other cab-related offences to provide a more effective deterrent. It is for this reason that licensed private hire drivers convicted or cautioned for touting lose their TfL licence for a minimum of one year. Since the policy was introduced in August 2008, almost 1,000 drivers have had their licences revoked for touting.

Tactics and sanctions are kept under regular review to determine what is the most effective and appropriate action and/or sanction in given situations. TfL is currently reviewing its approach to illegal playing for hire offences as part of the joint TfL/MPS cab enforcement strategy. 

It's clear to see Mary Boris Johnson has completely sidestepped the question and given a different answer which was not asked for. Three years later Boris still refuses to answer, so we will answer for him. 

Minicabs prosecuted by TfL for illegally plying for hire, broken down by year: 

2002 = 0  2005 = 0  2008 = 0  2011 = 0

2003 = 0  2006 = 0  2009 = 0  2012 = 0

2004 = 0  2007 = 0  2010 = 0

Of the 24 tout squad offices in the City of London funded by TfL, complete with state of the art control centre at Wood Street Police Station, not one arrest for illegally plying for hire. Money well spent? 

Editorial Comment From Semtex : 

Respect and hats off to the hard punching 24 TFL Tout Squad Officers based at Wood Street and the 68 (my arse!) Intelligence Led (???) Officers from the Met, in blitzing the illegal and potential terrorism associated dangers of mini cab touting in our Capital! The Safer Travel Command was indeed, money well spent and with their impressive arrest and prosecution targets met as expected in the figures above, we should be extremely proud of them.

These Officers would like to thank St Dunstans for their exemplary and ongoing Training Initiatives, and London Taxi Drivers would like to thank Boris Johnson, in allowing the Pants On Fire School of Intelligence, to be of assistance. A spokesman for the Metropolitan Police Safer Transport Command was quoted as saying " My officers would like to thank David Blayne in his tireless help of proving to our officers that they cant see a hole through a ladder, and the incredible act of tout arrest, is purely a delusion on their part".

With Boris's tounge twister regarding the criteria of different taxi status both in and out of London, we now know why The Taxi & Private Hire Licensing Briefing Paper, recently drafted by Louise Butcher, titled "What is a Taxi?" has become such a huge seller ! 

If I couldn't do 100 times better than these totally incompetent, pathetic, untrained, imposters, fraudulent, limp wristed, wage taking deceivers, in a week than they have done in 10 years, my old bills a bloater !

I could do better out there on my own than these lot , honest I could !

Absolutely two bob mate ! Waste of money, waste of time waste of space !

Sack the lot of them tomorrow or put them on a no nick no wages basis !
They would starve to death mate !

Intelligence Led Compliance ?? My lilly white arse !! They couldn't spell it !


Friday, August 21, 2015

Call for terror law to solve Camden traffic problem caused by Uber drivers, turned down.

Uber minicab drivers parking outside St Pancras International station are causing traffic problems.

A Camden councillor has called on the council to use terrorism legislation to help tackle huge traffic problems caused by Uber taxi drivers parking outside St Pancras International station.

Black cab drivers have complained of having to double park in Pancras Road due to mini cabs, waiting for ‘e-hails’ from apps such as Uber, sitting in restricted bays for up to 12 minutes.

This is leading to traffic tailbacks along Euston Road in both directions and security risks at Camden’s major transport hub.

The problem is being attributed to former local government secretary Eric Pickles who earlier this year introduced a 10-minute grace period for motorists when parking tickets run out.

The rules also apply to the bays in Pancras Road, which previously allowed motorists to stop for two minutes but now allow minicab drivers to sit for up to 12 minutes.

Green Party councillor Sian Berry is calling on the council to use a Traffic Regulation Order restricting waiting to two minutes based on a separate clause in the law covering the risk of terrorism.

Press Release From Councillor Berry:

 Councillor says 10 minute parking 'grace' period at St Pancras is causing chaos

Green Councillor Sian Berry has called on Camden Council to use terrorism legislation to enforce its two minute free parking period restriction at St Pancras International station. 

Mini cabs taking advantage of a 10 minute 'grace' period introduced by Eric Pickles in April this year are currently causing traffic chaos, bus delays and security risks at Camden's major transport hub.

In a dossier submitted to the council this week,[1] Cllr Berry has included photographic evidence from black cab drivers showing the restricted bays on Pancras Road are filled throughout the day with mini cabs waiting for 'e-hails' from apps such as Uber.

The occupied bays mean that legitimate drop-offs and pick-ups are forced to double park, leading to traffic tailbacks along Euston Road in both directions. 

This also causes problems for pedestrians on the road and bus delays on the 214 and 46 routes. In one incident, Cllr Berry whose ward in Highgate is served by the 214 bus, counted six green light changes before her bus could enter Pancras Road from Euston Road due to parked cars blocking the way. 

In the dossier, which answers points made in a response from the council to a query about the crisis in July, Cllr Berry sets out two  potential ways to overcome the new restrictions and enforce the necessary waiting times: 

1. Make a new Traffic Regulation Order that can be enforced without a grace period, restricting waiting to 2 minutes based on a separate clause in the relevant law covering the risk of terrorism - this would be fully justified at this very sensitive location where having traffic at a standstill, and unrestricted free parking for longer periods, is a clear risk 

2. If all else fails, introduce a set of steep parking charges intended to deter minicab drivers from staying longer than 2 minutes with a simple 'pay by text' process for making the payments and enabling enforcement

Sian says: 

“Black cab drivers have supplied me with a wealth of evidence, and I have visited the site many times to see for myself how many bays are occupied by minicab drivers simply waiting there and looking at their phones.

“Something must be done and, looking at the legislation, I believe the reason sections of the Road Traffic Regulation Act covering terrorism aren't named in the grace period regulations is that security risks override any need for parking flexibility. This is clearly applicable at this site and I've asked the council to look into making a new order on this basis. 

“As a last resort, charges should be put in place to prevent the chaos we are seeing every day on this road, and getting bus journeys and safety for pedestrians back to normal.

Camden Eviroment Chief Replies:

Environment chief Cllr Meric Apak said he does not want to use “anti-terrorism traffic orders” and is relying on parking wardens to address the problem


So no change there then from the lycra clad council. As long as the cycle lanes stay clear, the councils not interested.