Friday, March 06, 2015


The people and organisations that make a real difference to transport across London were recognised at the 12th annual London Transport Awards last night. The London Borough of Southwark picked up the top award of the night for Transport Borough of the Year, London Overground (LOROL) took the Rail Operator of the Year title while Abellio London & Surrey won Bus Operator of the Year.    

Hosted by British writer, broadcaster and political commentator Michael Portillo, the awards saw 540 transport professionals gather at the prestigious ceremony held at the Lancaster London Hotel.

Winners of Transport Borough, Southwark, have had a fantastic year and it looks set to get even better with investment in infrastructure to double for each of the next four years to over £8m annually. Southwark’s rapidly rising infrastructure investment seeks to improve all modes of travel within the borough with a particular emphasis on walking and cycling. A new cycling strategy is committed to increasing levels of cycling to 10% by 2026 and work is due to start this year on the North-South Cycle Superhighway at Elephant & Castle. In addition to this the borough is about to undertake one of London’s biggest regeneration projects which will transform the Elephant & Castle roundabout into a major new public space.

There were a few new categories at this year’s awards three of which were to commend operators in their specific industries.  Rail Operator of the Year, sponsored by Bombardier Transportation, was won by LOROL which has seen a fivefold increase since the start of its concession. Carrying 135 million passengers annually LOROL continues to maintain a high level of performance and punctuality. Bus Operator of the Year, endorsed by TfL, was presented to Abellio London & Surrey who have managed to climb from the bottom to the top of bus operator’s league tables within 18 months. Abellio have also maintained their position at the top of TfL’s excess waiting time league table for 21 of the last 22 periods. The third and final award for operators went to Carrot Cars for Taxi & Private Hire Operator of the Year. Carrot Cars have an excellent reputation for cheap, clean, reliable minicabs coupled with excellent customer service and were personally recommended by former transport minister Jim Fitzpatrick, MP for Poplar and Limehouse.

Two special individual awards were given out on the night.  Outstanding Contribution to Transport in London, sponsored by Amey, was awarded to Jules Pipe, Mayor of Hackney, who has overseen and driven the transformation of Hackney Borough into the best performing sustainable transport borough in the UK. Hackney now has the highest growth in cycling of any local authority area, at over 15%. In addition to this Hackney has seen the highest growth in walk trips and has the highest level of bus ridership in the UK. Jules became the borough's first directly elected Mayor in October 2002 and was re-elected for a fourth term in May 2014, a testament to the superb work he has done.

Simon Thomas, Contracts Tendering Manager for London Bus Services at TfL received an award for his Lifetime Contribution to Transport in London, sponsored by Siemens. Simon has spent the last 40 years working tirelessly to make transport services in London more efficient and driving better quality services for passengers. He joined London Transport in 1974, moving into the Travel Information Service in 1982 where he had responsibility for over 200 staff at its peak.

In 1995, he joined the London Buses’ tender evaluation team holding various roles in the Bus business. Simon has been one of the key driving forces behind many of the initiatives and successes of the London Bus Network over the last 20 years. The greatest testament to his professionalism is the regard and respect in which he is held by all of the people he has worked with in TfL and the Bus Operator community.  Due to retire next month, Simon will be greatly missed by all his colleagues in the industry.

The London Transport Awards, in association with Transport Times magazine, were judged by Professor David Begg, Chair of the judging panel and Chief Executive of Transport Times; Janet Cooke, Chief Executive, London Travel Watch; Nick Lester-Davis, Corporate Director of Services, London Councils and Caroline Pidgeon MBE, Chair of the London Assembly’s Transport Committee.

Sir Peter Hendy CBE, Transport Commissioner, Transport for London said:

“London’s population is now the biggest in its history, and the city increasingly works and plays both day and night. This presents a continuous challenge to support many more millions of journeys each day. These awards let us take stock and celebrate achievements in keeping London working and growing, and making life here better.

2014 was outstanding.  The Tube ridership record set during the 2012 Olympic Games was exceeded several times and London’s bus operators carried a record 50 million passengers in one week. The first extra cars were added to London Overground trains, while Crossrail laid the new railway’s first tracks.

National Rail opened up more data than ever before and we are working together to provide integrated, real-time information. We also saw a world first in the acceptance of contactless bank cards throughout the TfL network.

The Year of the Bus included the magnificent Regent Street cavalcade and a restored B-type bus commemorating   the role of London buses in the First World War. We also celebrated the centenary of women entering the industry. The 100 Years of Women in Transport programme aims to inspire current and future transport workers and ultimately strengthen the diversity of our workforce.

These are challenging economic times and we must continue to make a compelling case for investment both in the transport infrastructure and the services that build London and the UK’s other cities and drive jobs and growth. I am delighted to support these awards, which showcase the work of transport authorities, operators, suppliers and contractors, and all their people in ensuring that London remains a world leading city.”

The full list of award winners and those who were highly commended is as follows:

Transport Borough of the Yearendorsed by Transport for London
Winner: Southwark Borough Council

Excellence in Cycling and Walking
Winner: Lambeth Borough Council – Clapham Old Town

Most Effective Road Safety, Traffic Management & Enforcement Projectsponsored by FirstGroup
Winner: Ealing Borough Council – Cycle Safety Shield

Bus Operator of the Yearendorsed by Transport for London
Winner: Abellio London & Surrey

Rail Operator of the Yearsponsored by Bombardier
Winner: LOROL

Taxi & Private Hire Innovator of the Year
Winner: Uber

Taxi & Private Hire Operator of the Year
Winner: Carrot Cars

Most Innovative Transport Project sponsored by Keolis
Winner: Transport for London and Cubic – Bringing contactless to London
Highly Commend: Ealing Council – Southall Broadway Boulevard
Lambeth Council – Lambeth Estates Bike Hubs Project
Taylor Woodrow BAM Nuttall Joint Venture – Victoria Station Upgrade

Contribution to Sustainable Transport sponsored by Go-Ahead Group
Winner: Ealing Borough Council – Biking Schools Programme
Highly Commend: London Borough of Tower Hamlets – Derbyshire Street pocket park

Excellence in Technology sponsored by Clear Channel
Winner: Bombardier Transportation – New Sub-Surface line fleet
Highly Commend: Transport for London – Surface Playbook

Transport Team / Partnership of the Year sponsored by Worldline
Winner: Transport for London – Bond Street Upgrade
Highly Commend:       British Transport Police – Project Guardian

Transport Supplier of the Year
Winner: Thales – Northern Line

Excellence in Travel Information and Marketing
Winner: London Cycling Campaign – Space for Cycling
Highly Commended: Transport for London – Year of the Bus

Airport of the Year
Winner: London City Airport

Frontline Employee of the Year sponsored by Thales
Winner: James O'Reilly – Transport for London
Highly Commend: Clynton Andrews – London Overground Rail Operations Ltd
Jonathan Byrne – Transport for London
James Hull – Transport for London
Michael Karoulidis – Transport for London
Jackie McPake – Transport for London
Aktarul Miah – Transport for London
Ersan Sokmen – Transport for London

Outstanding Contribution to Transport in Londonsponsored by Amey
Winner: Jules Pipe, Mayor of Hackney

Lifetime Contribution to Transport in London sponsored by Siemens
Winner: Simon Thomas, Transport for London

LUL Station Customer Service Team of the Year endorsed by Transport for London
Winner: Ickenham Station

The awards are organised by Transport Times Events

For further information contact: Transport Times Events on 0207 828 3804.

    Source: transport Times

Uber Win Taxi/Private Hire Innovator Of The Year Award : Plus Services Suspended In Seoul.

Reports have come into Taxi Leaks Towers, from our undercover Uber Driver, that Uber have won Taxi/Private hire Innovator of the year, knocking MetroCab into second place. The other two shortlisted were Kabbee and Dockland's Carrot Cars.

The event held at the Lancaster Hotel was hosted by Michael Portillo, with the keynote Speach given by none other than TfL Transport Commissioner, Sir Peter Hendy. 
Hendy recently complained to a transport committee at City Hall, that he had been accused of being fraudulent and taking brides.

In the category of Taxi and Private Hire Operator of the year, the Taxi trade didn't even make the shortlist. 
1 Addison Lee, 
2 Carrot Cars
3 Qdell/LHR Express Cars/EcoExpess 
did make the list. 

             Carrot Cars won this category.

        London Transport Awards Judges

Many in both the Taxi and Private Hire industries feel that Uber's award is unappropriate after a recent statement made by Uber's CEO Travis Kalanick. 

In an interview he said that Uber were innovative, so why should they worry about regulations. Now the London Transport awards have rewarded Kalanick's business philosophy.

The London Transport Award judges have given an award to a company that has globally ignored cease-and-desist orders, been banned in many countries and in one case were responsible for ordering and cancelling over 5,000 journeys from a competitor to disrupt there business.

In London, we recently saw Uber losing a case to TfL who had taken them to court for employing the services of drivers without the required "hire and reward" insurance. 

Also in London, Uber are the subject to high court action, accused of illegally using a meter to calculate fares.


Taxi Leaks, always first with the important news:
Use the box, top right hand panel to subscribe to daily news letter.

            Please watch this video:

Breaking News 6th April: Uber Suspend Services In Seoul.

Online ride-share provider, Uber Technologies Inc, have announced that as from today Friday the 6th March, it will be suspending its Low Cost UberX service in Seoul, South Korea. It's felt that this is an attempt to avoid being completely banned in the Asian capital.

In a statement Uber Technologies Inc said its decision to suspend its low cost ride service was part of its efforts to form a compromise with both the local authorities and Taxi industry.

Uber's Californian based CEO Travis Kalanick and the company's South Korean unit, have in the past, been Indicted by prosecutors for contravening the local transport regulations. 

    Sources : Blink.htcsense : Transport Times

Thursday, March 05, 2015

Taxi Driver Phones Sir Peter And Asks For A Statement : By taxi Leaks Roving Reporter.

Utter chaos this morning as TfLs IT systems crashes and grinds to a halt.

Taxi Leaks "Roving Reporter " took his Taxi to the NSL centre for a retest. He was told that he couldn't be issued with new plates as the system was down, which meant that plates couldn't be printed. Refusing to take no for an answer he asked for a temporary plate and was told they couldn't do that. So he asked for a cover note to allow him to go to work without the plate. Again he was told they couldn't authorise a cover note.

He asked the centre manager for a contact number for TfL and was informed they were not authorised to give a contact number. 

So our man decided to phone Palestra. 
Getting through to the switch board he asked to speak to Hellen Chapman and was told 'she's unavailable. 
So he decided to go upwards: 
"Can I speak with Garret Emmerson" 
"What about Leon Daniels"
"Sir Peter Hendy" 
And again, "unavailable".

One of the other drivers waiting in the backlog at NSL decided to take a chance as he had the number for the Windsor House switchboard. 
In his best voice, he asked to speak to Sir Peter Hendy. 
He couldn't believe his luck when he was told, "putting you through." 

"Peter here."
"Hello Sir Peter, can you explain what the chaos is all about this morning your system seem to have failed." 
"Who are you?"
"I'm a driver waiting at the test centre and I'm being told there's queues at all passing stations this morning, drivers are being turned away by agency staff, who haven't got a clue what to do next"
"Why haven't you got contingency plans in place to cater for situations like this."
Click...Hendy hung up.

Our reporter spoke to the other driver who said:
"It's patently clear the chaos had been kept from the transport commissioner. He didn't have a clue what was going on."

Taxi Leaks reporter, on behalf of the dozen or so drivers waiting phoned through to TfL's press office who said they would get back to us later in the day with a statement"

We received this statement later in the afternoon.

As discussed, here is our statement.


Do let me know if you need anything further.


Kind regards



Helen Chapman, TfL’s General Manager of Taxi and Private Hire, said: “There was a issue affecting the computer system at the six vehicle inspection centres this morning, which has now been resolved. 


“Vehicle inspections continued, but licenses could not be printed whilst the issue was ongoing.  Drivers were able to return and collect their license later or could wait until their licence could be printed.  


“We apologise for any inconvenience caused and thank our customers for their patience.

Message Ends:

Fortunately the problem was resolved after down time of approx 4 hours. Staff worked flat out to clear the backlog and our man, who was upfront in the queue, was able to go to work shortly after midday. 

TfL spent an absolute fortune computerising their whole organisation, enabling them to cut everyday staffing levels back to the bone.

Operation Horizon was designed with the sole intent of cutting jobs in order to carry on paying out the huge performance related pay bonuses we've seen going to the chosen few since the Olympics. In one case we saw an employee commit suicide by jumping off the roof of TfL's River Walk Building on the greenwich peninsular after being made redundant. 
This brake down shows that in spite of their embrace of technology, when it goes down, they haven't got a clue what to do, or a contingency plane to help them carry on.

Are Dickensian Values Killing Off London's Taxi Trade? By Jim Thomas.

Pick up thy bed and walk.
What's the point of having a Taxi fleet that's 100% wheelchair accessible? 

Where are the politicians with common sense, where are the knowledgeable and intelligent planners?

Banned from Tottenham Court Road and soon to be banned from Baker Street and Loughborough Road

More and more of London is being closed to Licensed London Taxis, in the name of a greener enviroment. 
Have all disabled Londoners been miraculously cured?

The Greens can't see through their selfish, prejudice and hypocritical policies. They constantly attack cabbies for their dirty diesel vehicles and totally believe Taxis should run on a renewable source of unicorn farts and fairy dust. 
Get on your bikes is their battle cry.

To our total shock and amazement, we have been treated to some real understanding and common sense, so rare when it comes to local councils. 
Recently Islington Borough Council announced they would be putting an extra £98 a year on the parking permits of residents with diesel vehicles regardless of how clean the engine performance relating to emissions, the fact that the logbook States it's a diesel is enough. The council would be first to admit it's not really about cleaner air, but a bid to raise £1m in extra revenue.

Nevertheless, from within the madness of this self-centred  dictatorship, they have decided to exclude resident Taxi drivers from their new scheme. Reason being, in their very own words:
"Taxi drivers do not have a choice of vehicle and are forced to buy/use dirty diesels engine vehicles."
So at last, we see a council exercising some common sense.

Now on the other hand, we have the neighbouring borough of Camden. Run by commando cyclists who want to do away with cars and taxis altogether and live in their utopian vision of a mini Holland supporting just buses and bikes. They want to fill their streets with cyclists, or as we call them, potential casualties.

So what about the old, the disabled, the wheelchair users, the mothers with prams and buggies, people with cases, shopping and those with no wish to cycle on unsafe streets in the cold and rain? 
Are these people not welcome in Camden?

Again, over in South London, we see Lambeth starting to exclude Taxis from their streets.
And this is just the start. 
Consultations have been rigged with questions that no matter which way are answered, gives the same end result. Something we've see in the Taxi trade regularly since TfL took over as administrator. 

Now we have the Mayor who, on the one hand is allowing unfair competition that is financially crippling the Taxi trade and yet on the other hand, wants Taxi drivers to invest enormous sums of money in a technology that's untried, untested and will probably be the killer blow for the trade.

Our local politicians are pushing for an unreachable solution to try to achieve zero emissions, by using the Taxi trade as a whipping boy. Many environmentalists inside and outside the trade feel this is simply to cover up the fact that private bus companies are unwilling to invest in cleaner vehicles on any large scale. 

Just look at the new Boris bus, no greener than previous models, the bus companies refused to buy. So the Mayor/TfL buy them, then lease them back at very competitive rates, subsidised by Tax payers, to the privately owned bus companies, many with directors who have come from TfL. 

Boris also gave the bus companies a "get out of jail free" card by exempting them from the conditions of the ULEZ.

Many feel that the attacks on the Taxi trade are smoke and mirror PR spin, to hide the fact that the real criminals are the buses. Just look at the emissions in Oxford street on the day of the last bus strike when 60% of buses were off the road. Dangerously high emissions fell by well over 50% to a much safer level.

It's a fact, is there is an alternative for Taxis. But TfL, The Mayor and manufacturers have ignored.
Technology already exists that would greatly reduce our emissions and yet there is no apatite to explore from the Mayor, TfL and the manufactures. Nissan has introduced a clean engine for its NV200, running on a mixture of diesel and compressed natural gas. Nissan claim urban emissions are reduced by over 80%. >CLICK HERE FOR LINK<

After the abject failure of fully electric Taxis in Osaka Japan, Ford (Hong Kong) have unveiled a new Transit Conect Taxi, based on a current model and running on petrol/LPG, reducing NOx emissions by 80%. This vehicle (unadapted for Taxi work) retails in the UK at a very respectable £15,000. 

So what's stopping Ford and Nissan producing vehicles for the London Taxi market, which could very likely be our financial saviour?

It's the exstreamly ancient conditions of fitness, coupled by the Mayors unfair reduction in the age limit, which has seen cleaner older vehicles taken off the road and replaced by dirtier, more polluting newer vehicles, which is adding to the problem rather than being a solution.

Amazingly, Boris and TfL have constantly accused the Taxi trade (quite falsely,) of failing to embrace new advances in technology. There is no new technology which isn't currently being used within the Taxi trade; fact!
Yet it's our licensing authority, that refuses to embrace the new technolical advances in cleaner fuel, more economical vehicles and insist on conditions of fitness that go back to Victorian times. 

Why do we need a 25ft turning circle?

Vito's get on ok with the fuse illegally removed from the rear wheel steering !

(Plus, TfL turn a blind eye to this practise)

Funny how the iconic Taxi shape went straight out the window when Boris's Tory mate Tim Yeo introduced the prestigious Mercedes Vito Taxi...

Suddenly a Taxi's shape was no longer iconic. After all, it was a Merc 6 seater!

Funny how an age limit suddenly came into play, forcing drivers to buy a vehicle that more often than not, didn't meet with conditions of fitness...

Why are TfL/Boris and the Greens insisting on a zero emission vehicle, that's currently not in production and will allegedly be outside the financial range of most Taxi drivers?

There are many cleaner Hybrid, Petrol/LPG vehicles already available here and now. 

Why have our administers not insisted on the use of these alternatives by manufacturers?

Is the Mayor's and TfL's parochial attitudes, adding to the nation's 40,000 premature deaths caused by emissions pollution? 

40,000 premature annual deaths and not a word in the media

10,000 deaths from Ebola in West Africa and it's all over the news every night, with charities springing up raising millions in aid.

Apart from their failure to properly police and protect our trade, in addition to their woefully inadequate performance, our Dickensian administers are failing to fully embrace advances in new vehicle technology by insisting on conditions of fitness that should have been repealed and replaced over 50 years ago.

I'm all for a traditional Taxi shaped vehicle, but what's the use if your just an iconic memory?

Wednesday, March 04, 2015

Hendy Says, He's Been Accused Of Being Fraudulent And Taking Bribes

Val Shawcross tells Sir Peter Hendy "Don't Say that, don't get involved Peter", as the TfL transport commissioner questioned the attitude of his audience. He said "their are many, many good Taxi drivers, but there are some who aren't".

London Assembly Member Val Shawcross said of Taxi drivers attending the GLA session;
"We've had very good behaviour from Taxi drivers today and we've had a good discussion, so can we leave it there".

Obviously Hendy felt he couldn't leave it there and went on to say as a public official he's been abused and accused of being fraudulent and taking bribes and that unacceptable.


It's obvious Hendy was seething over the GLA session. By the weekend Taxis were being given the heavy handed treatment all over the capital.

Police turned up and issued summonses at Paddington to Taxis over ranking.

While at night in Mayfair and Soho, touts, unlicensed minicabs and sexual predators are given a free hand illegally ply for hire and do whatever they like, as the nonexistent Cab Enforcement and "Old Bill" turn a blind eye. 

The time for talking has passed its sell by date.
Direct action is all we have left in our armoury

    Videos : David R and Filippo Ferringo

Minicab firm Addison Lee to debut in New York after controversy in London


Company that sparked protests in the UK after founder’s comments about cyclist deaths will vie with Uber for control of New York City’s $3.4bn taxi market

Controversial London minicab firm Addison Lee is preparing to take on New YorkCity’s famous yellow cabs, and go head-to-head with Uber, for control of the city’s $3.4bn taxi market.

Addison Lee sparked protests in London after its multimillionaire founder said cyclist deaths were inevitable and often the cyclists’ own fault.

The company, which is the UK’s biggest minicab firm transporting 10 million passengers a year in London, said it would operate 4,000 vehicles in New York taking its global fleet to 8,500. 

“After London, New York is the world’s next biggest taxi market – worth £2.2bn [$3.8bn] – so it seemed like a natural step for us as Europe’s largest minicab firm,” Liam Griffin, Addison Lee’s chief executive, said on Tuesday. “We already have a great number of existing corporate clients in New York, so demand is already there and it’s an opportunity with real scale.”

In April 2012 protesters staged a “die-in” outside the company’s headquarters after John Griffin, the company’s former chairman and Liam’s father, wrote in the company’s “in cab” magazine Add Lib: “This summer the roads will be thick with bicycles. These cyclists are throwing themselves on to some of the most congested spaces in the world. They leap on to a vehicle which offers them no protection except a padded plastic hat.

“Should a motorist fail to observe a granny wobbling to avoid a pothole or a rain drain, then he is guilty of failing to anticipate that this was somebody on her maiden voyage into the abyss. The fact is he just didn’t see her and however cautious, caring or alert he is, the influx of beginner cyclists is going to lead to an overall increase in accidents involving cyclists.”

New York cycle and cab safety organisations raised concerns about Addison Lee’s entry to the New York market given its track record in London. Paul Steely White, executive director of Transportation Alternatives, a bicycle and pedestrian advocacy group, told the Guardian that there was “no room for Griffin’s barbaric, anti-safety views on New York City streets”. 

Michael O’Loughlin, campaign director of Cab Riders United, a body set up to represent New York City’s 1.2 million daily cab passengers, said: “Innovation and competition can be good for customers, but we welcome [new competitors] only if they prioritise the safety of New Yorkers inside and out side the vehicles.”

Addison Lee failed to answer questions about how it would reassure New York cyclists that it would make cyclist and pedestrian safety a priority. 

Six cyclists were killed in collisions involving taxis last year, according to New York City data. Campaigners said the true figure is likely to be higher as the data is incomplete. In addition to the deaths, there were 2,396 taxi and livery related injuries.

Addison Lee took Transport for London, the government body that oversees most of the UK capital’s transportation, to the European Court of Justice  – Europe’s highest court – in an attempt to force the city to allow Addison Lee cabs to use bus lanes.(They lost the case)

Griffin had instructed his drivers to use London’s bus lanes illegally, until a high court injunction ruled that Addison Lee could no longer instruct its drivers to use the lanes.

The company said its biggest corporate clients are already in New York, and would be given priority access to the service when it begins later this month. “The extension of the Addison Lee business across the Atlantic is a fundamental part of a wider global roll out that aims to create a truly integrated global network of ground transport providers,” Liam Griffin added.

Addison Lee, which was founded with a single minicab in 1975, was family-owned until 2013 when private equity firm Carlyle Group bought a majority stake for £300m. 

The company did not explain whether it had a NYC Taxi & Limousine Commission licence to operate in the city. Uber has endured many battles with the TLC, which licensing New York City’s medallion (yellow) taxicabs and some private hire vehicles. The TLC did not respond to requests for comment.

Addison Lee said New Yorkers who open managed corporate accounts with Addison Lee will be able to book its cars in the same way as their European counterparts: via a dedicated call centre, website and smartphone app within the New York and tri-state area. Addison Lee will offer the same fixed-price standard as they do in the UK and passengers will be able to choose from multiple services including standard, executive and hybrid vehicles.

A new Addison Lee app allows worse for wear customers to select a “take me home” function that means they can book a cab home in just two taps.

“Addison Lee is welcome to conduct business in New York City, but they have to play by our rules – our streets are public spaces, and our cyclists have every legal right to the road that motor vehicles have,” said Ken Podziba, president & CEO of bike education nonprofit Bike New York. “Mayor De Blasio has said that education is a critical part of his administration’s Vision Zero program, and we stand ready to train Addison Lee’s drivers so that they might better share the road with the tens of thousands of mothers, fathers, sons, and daughters that navigate New York City by bike.”

    Source : The Gaurdian 

Tuesday, March 03, 2015

Serial Rapist Fake Minicab Driver Jailed For 18 Years... Taxi Leaks Court Report.

A man who preyed on two vulnerable women, luring them into his car by pretending to be a minicab, before sexually assaulting them, has been jailed for 18 years at Wood Green Crown Court today, Friday, 27 February. 

Thierry Kindundu, 30 (dob 30.03.84), a Congolese national of High Street, Enfield had previously been found guilty of raping one woman, and the attempted rape and sexual assault of the second woman, at the same court on 23 January.

Kindundu will also remain on licence for five-years following his sentence and will sign the sex offenders register for life.

The court heard how Kindundu had driven around the streets of north London looking for women to attack.

On the first occasion on 29 August 2011, Kindundu approached a 20-year-old woman who was alone waiting at a bus stop in Tottenham High Road, N17. Kindundu offered the woman a lift. Thinking he was a minicab driver, the woman refused saying she had no money but Kindundu persisted, offering to drive her for free.

However, once inside the car Kindundu drove the woman to Chestnuts Park, N15 where he raped her.

Residents near to the park heard the incident and came to the victim's aid while Kindundu made off in his car, a Citroen Picasso.

The second incident occurred in Edmonton on 16 December 2012. The victim, 32, had been out with a friend and was in Fore Street when Kindundu pulled up in a car and offered them a lift. Both women got into the car and Kindundu proceeded to drive off in a different direction to where they lived. The women became concerned and demanded Kindundu let them out. He stopped and one woman managed to get out of the car but Kindundu drove off before the second woman could exit.

Police were called and officers traced Kindundu and his victim a short distance away. During this time Kindundu has sexually assaulted and attempted to rape his victim.

Kindundu was arrested and subsequently charged with offences related to both incidents.

Detective Constable Suzie Chantry of the Sexual Offences, Exploitation and Child Abuse (SOECA) Command led the investigation. She said:

"I would like to praise the courage of the two victims who have put their trust in the police to obtain justice for them. I hope the fact that Kindundu has been jailed will go some way to achieving closure for them.

"Kindundu is a predatory sexual offender who stalked the streets of north London late at night, using the cover of a fake minicab, looking for woman to attack. I cannot discount the fact that there may be other victims of Kindundu and I would appeal to anyone who thinks they may have been attacked by this man to come forward and speak to police.

Police say victims are not coming forward for fear of not being believed:
"Today's sentencing shows that you will be believed and the police will pursue those responsible and put them before the courts."

Detective Inspector Rick Murphy, also of SOECA, said:

"This case highlights the dangers of getting into an unbooked minicab with no journey details recorded. Even if you think the person may be a cab driver, don't get into their car. 
Unlicensed minicabs are not regulated and you don't know who is driving them."

Anyone who believes they may have been a victim of Thierry Kindundu is asked to contact specially trained SOECA officers on 020 8217 7474.

Editorial Comment:
Met Police have in the past admitted that up to 80% of sexual assaults and 60% of actual rapes go unreported which is having the effect of giving a false perspective of a fall in minicab related sexual assaults. 

This failure to report was utilised by TfL transport commissioner Sir Peter a Hendy when he was questioned by the GLA transport committee last Wednesday. Hendy claimed sexual assaults had fallen by 15%.

The fact is, minicab related assaults have increased, it's due to the fact victims have failed to report all attacks, which has given a false reading to the statistics. Plus many sexual assaults are recorded as just assaults, taking them out of the sexual assault category altogether. 
    Source: Met Police.

Monday, March 02, 2015

A Sunny Day In Briton "Town", Taxis Not Welcome...from Taxi Leaks Roving Reporter.

Lambeth Council is to spend £28k shutting Loughborough Road to traffic other than....... yep you guessed it, bikes & buses! 

The decision was taken after a public consultation with the aim of making Loughborough Junction a ‘destination.’ 

The Council report states:

“The proposed road closures have been designed to facilitate the creation of a meaningful town centre in the heart of Loughborough Junction.”

A town centre?!?

Locals are not happy about a consultation that took place last year between September and October. They accuse the council of ignoring a petition signed by over 700 residents. 

The council state that between ‘66% – 69%’ of respondents are in favour of the changes. There is no mention in the Council report of how many people took part in the consultation. (Wonder why?).

The Brixton Society also has some doubts:
“Whilst the Brixton Society welcomed the proposed cycle Quietway, it objected to the wider package that it described as fundamentally flawed. Inadequate consultation, conflict with existing plans, community safety, impact on bus services and individual road closures.”

In spite of all criticism and petitions, work on the changes is expected to start in April 2015.

    >Click here for full article<

Flawed consultation process highlighted by Lambeth Residents Association. 

Dear Councillor Brathwaite,

I would like to express my disappointment at the manner in which you have responded to us regarding the Loughborough Junction scheme.

The main element of your response that I wish to take issue with is your blasé dismissal of the 700+ signatories to the petition opposing this scheme.

When you began your consultation, you made no attempt to directly inform anyone in the area that the consultation was taking place, or that it consisted of consultation forms placed beside a display board inside a community centre that is sadly underused. There was not even a public advertisement on the outside of the Loughborough Centre that it was there and indeed I met staff in the housing office in the other side of the same building who were not even aware of it.

In that context, the residents who issued a newslettter to every door, put on a special consultation meeting and put up posters to advertise it, as well as gave residents the opportunity to register their views through a petition, should be commended for making the consultation meaningful rather than dismissed as uninformed or ignorant.

By signing the petition residents took part in the consultation process in a way which is every bit as valid as those who filled in your official consultation form.

Indeed I would go further as to assert that your consultation form positively discouraged rather than engaged residents’ participation in the consultation and I personally complained about this at the car free day event when the consultation was launched.

A 4-page form, which starts with a question asking people to think of a number of words to describe the area, comes across like a GCSE english exam, and is very alienating for anyone who struggles with literacy, form-filling or with written english.

I strongly suggested that a comment book should also be available alongside these forms for people who would like to make a more straightforward response to the proposals. This was never done.

It is quite offensive,and bordering on discriminatory, that you would choose to only pay regard to those residents who used this daunting consultation form to register their views.

You fail to report how many people actually filled out the forms and I think this would be vital information rather than the percentages which on their own are quite meaningless. LETRA also actively encouraged residents to email Lambeth directly or attend our meetings to voice their opinions. Have you made any attempt to collate the figures for those types of feedback?

You are quoted in the South London Press Nov 14thdescribing the ‘full consultation’ that has taken place on these proposals. But it was in response to a litany of complaints, voiced at our public meeting, about the fundamentally flawed nature of the consultation, that your own officers suggested the consultation be suspended rather than extended again as residents had requested.

Some people attending that meeting from neighbouring estates and businesses had only become aware of the consultation on that day and were quite clear that other people they knew would have taken part in the consultation if it was extended or advertised properly.

We all understood that the suspension of the consultation was a recognition that it’s findings could not be viewed as conclusive and that Lambeth officers recognised the need to engage in a proper discussion with the community whatever the ostensible outcome of this particular consultation.

They promised to “come back to LETRA with the results and more information about options to have a discussion about how to take things forward. This could mean a fresh consultation, working with LETRA to make sure people on the estate have a say.”

Your response, however, gives no indication whatsoever that you understand how completely inadequate the consultation process has been. If you are using these statistics to advise officers and councillors who will make the final decisions then I believe you are entirely misleading them.

I can assure you that the response to the scheme has not been ‘overwhelmingly positive’ and it is unlikely that people will respond positively to your decision to disregard the petition against it either.

Rather than pressing ahead regardless with these flawed proposals I hope you will listen to all the views expressed by our residents and other people in the local area during the consultation period, and work with us all to develop other options to improve the area.

Yours faithfully
Grace Lally, Secretary LETRA

Editorial Comment:
That criticism could be aimed at any of the current or recent consultations carried out by TfL & local councils.