Monday, September 28, 2015

TfL, HANG YOUR HEAD IN SHAME....Bias Harassment Of Taxi Drivers At Shine.

Lighting up the night-time with an incredible parade of almost 20,000 walkers, who adorn themselves with glowsticks, bright clothes and lights, Shine is an inspiring fundraising walk for the wonderful charity Cancer Research UK.  

The walk which features both half and full Marathon walks symbolises the light their work can bring to the darkness of cancer, which affects so many lives. 

Each participant pays a £39.99 fee which goes towards the staging costs, with marshals along the rout ensuring their safety. Final destination is Old Billingsgate from where they have to make their own way home. 

We were informed that 500 minicabs had been pre booked. But it's alleged these bookings were never checked by TfL compliance. 

The PH operator who holds a dynamic licence variation for this venue, just happens to be the same one that, against TfLs own regulations, received 18 licence variations the very same week they were originally licensed, instead of having to wait the required 12 month period.

Back in 2012, when complaints were made to the directorate of John Mason and Helen Chapman at LTPH, three dodgy excuses were offered in succession, all of which were proved to be untrue. Finally we were informed that the PHV act licensing regulations, are just guidelines and not legally binding. 

This company is just one of a number who have been allowed by TfL to bend licensing regulations to suit their own agenda. 

Pre Bookings, my arse!
PH clipboard johnnies, were shepherding customers to waiting minicabs. These vehicles were being allowed to form an illegal rank in Lower Thames Street, with the help of both TfL compliance and City of London police.

Provision for a temporary Taxi rank was granted, but although in plain sight, was placed over 300 yards away down the slip road towards the Tower of London.

         Taxi rank tucked away on the corner 

     You'd need binoculars to see the rank in daylight.
          Shades of WinterWonderland perhaps?

While no restriction was placed on PHVs forming an illegal rank, TfL compliance officers were giving drivers plenty of stick and waving overflow Taxis on. Only 8 taxis at a time were being allowed on the slip road. 

It soon became apparent that all was not well. 
The walkers were being told taxis were unavailable plus exaggerated information was being given out about our prices. Potential customers were being held in a queue by PH marshals inside Old Billingsgate, some waiting for up to 90 minutes.

This whole deception was made possible by TfL COs who refused to let the Taxi marshals approach waiting customers at the venue. 

As the night wore on the word started to get to the walkers who then slowly started to use the Taxi rank. Horror stories were coming out of inflated fares as Minicab drivers tried to marry up passengers with fixed individual prices on shared journeys.

Ironically, many of the "Gold Standard" licensed Taxi drivers, from the "best Taxi service in the world", had unselfishly turned their lights off and made their way to the venue to offer reduced metered fares, with some drivers refusing payment completely. Many Taxi drivers also made donations to the charity workers.

Just a few of the marchers who got to their destinations free of charge.

In spite of the harassment from TfL compliance, using The Twitter accounts of @UCGup and @Flash_Demo, a steady stream of Taxis managed to keep the rank pretty much full, using Trinity Square as a feeder.

Special thanks to "the Mayfair Mob" who were again at the forefront of the operation, putting out dozens of requests to their members to help out. 

This biased behaviour from TfL reflects badly on the driver orgs who have attended previous Joint Ranks Committee and LCE meetings. 
Another year, another chaotic performance. 

Will we see even more last minute inadequate solutions, as we approach WinterWonderland and another News Years Eve fiasco. 
Not forgetting, the UTG trade who attend these meetings have had a year to sort it out!

Just some of the Tweets from Sunday morning at Shine.



I'm Spartacus said...

Back to my old theme about minuted meetings with TfL.

UNITE, LCDC and LTDA keep telling us what a great job they do at these meetings but somehow are prepared to move heaven and earth to stop their members and others finding out just how 'great' it is!

Let's cut to the chase now, it must be time for an independently chaired all Trade org and Union summit with poet minutes or even better video recording facilitated by Supercabby.

Then we can't have any more nonsense about who said what, who speaks for who, who signed this or that.

I am happy to present this to my union, are others willing to do the same?

Anonymous said...

If PHV licensing regulations are just guidelines and are not legally binding TFL can bend over to whoever they like ( get backhanders) and do what they want WTF!More DEMO'S needed as this is the only weapon we have.

Anonymous said...


Protests MUST continue until this is the case

Anonymous said...

This is the same operator Ride 2 Cars who has CBJ's touting outside Studio 338 (338 Boord Street, SE10 OPF) 10pm until 6am every Friday & Saturday, Fire Club (39 Parry Street, SW8) 11pm until 10am every Thursday, Friday, Saturday & Sunday. Lightbox (6A South Lambeth Place, SW8 1SP) 11pm until 7am every Thursday, Friday, Saturday & Sunday. Oval Space (29-32 The Oval, E2 9DT). Kanaloa Club (18 Lime Office Court, London, EC4A 3BQ). The Coronet Theatre (28 New Kent Road, London, SE1 6TJ) Have a visit yourself and you will see the CBJ's taking bookings on the pavement outside these venues!