Wednesday, August 26, 2015

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<



Dave said...

We got drivers writing letters of this quality, and people with no badge representing trade. Something wrong.

Mick said...

Sean what a brilliant letter you have written !
Well done for posting this Taxi Leaks.

Linda said...

This letter is brilliant, just what the trade needs

Anonymous said...

Well done Sean
Why has this letter not been written by our representatives.
Why has Oddy not written this letter
Why, after all the money we pay into orgs and unions has it again taken an ordinary driver to show the way
WTF are we paying for

Anonymous said...

Then they will return with shame,
To the place from which they came,
And the blood thus shed will speak
In hot blushes on their cheek:
Rise, like lions after slumber
In unvanquishable number!
Shake your chains to earth like dew
Which in sleep had fallen on you:
Ye are many—they are few

Anonymous said...

Well written Sean! Fantastic letter mate.

Anonymous said...

Such a good letter.

Marc Turner said...

Terrific heartfelt letter Sean. Your passion of our trade is palpable.

dean said...

Brilliant letter! More of the same to the spineless regulators!

spencer kurash said...

Shelley, I believe. Also on the inner sleeve of Sound Effects by The Jam

Jim Edwards said...

Bravo Sean. A scrupulously formulated letter to an obviously corrupt /inept individual. Let's hope some action is forthcoming.

AndyCabb said...

Fantastic letter Sean. Should the,ahem, great man deem you worthy of reply, please consider posting here.

Anonymous said...

£18 + £15 + £17 = FA representation for subscribing members!

The LTDA has taken in in excess of £10,80000 over the last five years in subscriptions.

The LCDC £630,000

Unite Cab Section about £20,000 in the same period.

Ask ANY of the UTG where the money goes, and WHO gets paid what and you will get NO answers.

They meet regularly and have NO strategies.

They constantly ask drivers via public media what needs to be asked at meetings with the authorities.

This letter by Sean Paul emphasises how clueless the present incumbents that purport to represent London Taxi Drivers really are. They claim to be leading a fight back with a million pound fighting fund. Seans letter puts them and their pot of filthy lucre to shame.

Well done Sean!

Idris Francis said...

Superb letter - how may I submit one pointing out that Daniels and his senior managers are perfectly well aware that their 1000 speed cameras have achieved nothing at all over 20 years - but ate busily installing 600 more?

The above is not just my opinion, but documented fact confirmed by academic statisticians familiar with the subject, one of who showed the evidence to six senior TfL people in Sept 2014, only to have it ignored.

Paul A said...

Tfl..... where every journey matters ..... but only if your an uninsured non road tax paying cyclist who get BIGGER lanes than lorries buses and cars...... and of course the UBER problem..... tfl should be slung back into the dark ages it is taking London into. As a lorry driver I can say hand on heart that the roads of this city are LESS congested when the buses are on strike.
So if that waste of space we call a mayor wants to solve the congestion problems in our capital. Then get rid of junction blocking lane hogging buses. And remove slow moving cyclists who black EVERY junction by being allowed to get to the front of the que in a cycle box. BT the time these prats actually pull away. The lights change and the mass of cyclists that have gone are quickly replaced with more cyclists..... who cause CONGESTION but pay NO congestion charge. It's fair to say that TFL and bonkers Boris. ..... couldn't run a bunk up in a brothel !!!

Anonymous said...

If Leon Danials ends up working for Ubend can he still be made accountable if he is proven to have acted illegally and made decisions that are suspect?It seem's so obvious in the way he defends Ubend that he is on a promise,and what happened to Mason?Is he on the Ubend payroll?Sean's letter is quality but if it came from a QC it would have more chance of a reply.

Anonymous said...

As we speak, no doubt Old Pete is looking for a nice tickle on Network Rail for his 'good friend' Leon.

These people,are always just ahead of the Avalanche!

Anonymous said...

The excellent letter is probably been advised by a benevolent friend in the law all the same sean excellent

Anonymous said...


LEON DANIELS, = beyond the legal power or authority of a corporation, corporate officer, etc.

Anonymous said...

Poetic and eloquent.
Two qualities lost on the f**kwits it's aimed at!!

Am I the only one who doesn't think all the extra cash from the PHV free for all ( at a reasonable charge) is going in TFL pockets; but instead into a fund for the most expensive and devious lawyers to warp and reinterpret the law to accommodate any system that will feed the cash cow.

Their system of offering a deaf ear to everyone who can't afford to sue, and a world class legal defence to anyone who can, makes them an inpenetrable cunch of bunts!!

The hidden talents of our friends and colleagues never fail to impress.
Somewhere out there is a strategist who will take us beyond the now predictable trafalgar jam and perhaps find a way to Gridlock LONDON by using Boris' bus n bike lanes in the south, along the river, and a series of HOTSPOTS to the north and just tweet a signal to proceed to the nearest vantage point at random times.

I am not a poet or a strategist, but I am a badge who will willingly give my time to take out these criminals.