Saturday, December 05, 2015
Taxis driving slowly on London Road
Taxis caused further Friday night traffic chaos in Leicester as more than 80 took part in a go-slow protest around the city centre.
The cabs set off from Victoria Park on London Road at 4.30pm before heading down to the inner ring road and along Belgrave Gate and Charles Street.
They were protesting over a new Leicester City Council scheme that gives drivers points for offences like illegal parking and not wearing their name badges. The points can lead to them losing their licences.
While motorists stuck in traffic sounded their horns to express their feelings about the slow-moving taxis, few pedestrians had much love for the RMT union members either.
Clive Atkinson, 45, who was watching the cabs pass slowly by the Hind pub opposite Leicester Station, said: "They're causing mayhem for people who have homes to go to and children to pick up and it's not right.
"It's just causing misery."
His friend Paul Williams, 43, said: "It's ridiculous. It's the third time they've done it an it just causes chaos and achieves nothing."
Debbie Taylor, 53, of Clarendon Park, who was walking home up London Road as the protest began, said: "They're going to cause a lot of congestion and maybe make themselves feel better but I don't think it will have any affect in the long term."
Ahead of the protest, Umar Khan, Leicestershire and Rutland RMT branch secretary, said the cabbies had no choice.
He said: "At the end of the day we have to protest because our members livelihoods are being put at risk.
"The city council wants us to spend £6,000 on having new taxis but they won't provide the ranks for us all.
"Now they want to give us points for stopping where we shouldn't and for not wearing name badges."
City mayor Sir Peter Soulsby confirmed he would not back down and scrap the new scheme.
He said: "The taxi drivers seem determined to cause inconvenience to the people of Leicester and put their privileges at risk.
"It is interesting to note there were only 85 taxis participating - far fewer than the 275 limit set by the police.
"That demonstrates the majority of the hackney carriage drivers have got the message.
"I say again there is absolutely no chance of there being any negotiations with the RMT on this. None at all."
Sir Peter had threatened to strip the hackney drivers of privileges, such as use of bus lanes and restrictions on the number of licences issued, if they protested again.
However he said he had yet to decide whether he would enact that threat.
He said: "I will have to think about it on Monday.
"I need to find a balance between the majority of drivers who have got the message and are not protesting and my annoyance at those who are persisting with these futile protests."
Friday, December 04, 2015
His desperate attempt to relinquish the psychological chains of the unforgiven slavery trade, are as fresh today as his forefathers would no doubt have experienced all those years ago.
I am a compassionate man. I am a loving family man too. I have a loving wife who is currently quiet ill, and four wonderful adult children, whom both my wife and myself adore.
I have served our country within the Military and our Security Services with exemption. I have lost a grandfather in the Great War, who gave his life, for the life myself and my family enjoy today. My mother's two Uncles too, perished and were never recovered, somewhere amongst the blood soaked poppies in Flanders Fields. No doubt, there will be many of my London Cab colleagues who can relate to my pain.
For almost twenty years, I have suffered terribly from the crippling effects of Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome. I have been hospitalised four times and receive constant psychiatric help. For those with experience of this serious condition, I need explain nothing more. For those who do not understand it......don't try to. It is harrowing.
However, there are many London Cabbies who have been hit hard with PTSD, either themselves, or from a close loved one. I know personally of five of our colleagues, who are either receiving help for themselves, or on behalf of a seriously affected family member.
When I experienced my worst memories, PTSD wasn't even recognised ! Neither was Counselling ! You were de-briefed and sent back out onto front line Operational Combat, and told not to be a prick ! I have been beaten, stabbed, burnt, and hung up by my feet. I have had car battery acid put in my eyes and mouth. As a young man, it is water off a duck's back of course. It gets you a bit of barrack room street cred ! And then you get older, and you get scared about a pain that has long since healed.
Today, and as we know, the effects of this serious illness is far more recognised, and fortunately, investment and study are being made to assist the huge amount of sufferers.
For the last two weeks, embarrassingly, I have once again been unable to get out of bed. My depression and cynical state of mind have robbed me of even washing or shaving. My eldest daughter has had to move in with us, God willing, only temporary. She isn't only helping my poor wife, her loving Mum, but I am embarrassed to admit, myself too. Usually a cornerstone of strength, both physical and mentally, when the old black dog strikes, I am utterly useless and a milestone around the neck's of my loving family.
I try to fight it. I think positive, like I have been told to do. I think of good things, not bad, just as the experts have advised me. I honestly do try to help myself.
And yet..........I am paralysed onto the mattress, like a cocooned fly tangled in the web of an approaching spider.
Which leads me to my point, which is Kizzy, in Marc's interview, our persecuted Uber driving host , and I quote his words :
“The UK is the mother of democracy; everyone wants to be here for its liberty, tolerance and safety. Uber welcomes migrants and refugees with open arms, allowing us to get a foothold – at least so far as work is concerned and where 'good' English isn't a necessity. Most drivers’ partners have other jobs as it is impossible to make a decent living on Uber unless you work around the clock.”
Kizzy, I genuinely appreciate and share your desires.
You are right of course that everyone seems to want to be here. The reasons for such are obvious. However, Democracy, Liberty, Tolerance and Safety in the UK, are a priority of UK Nationals, and sadly, we simply cannot accommodate everyone.
Notwithstanding, the legal rights to pick up travelling passengers on London's streets wasn't given to London Taxi Drivers either. The professional accolade to wear our hard earned badge, also required a hard fight and long winded process to gain too.
It takes years to become proficient enough, professionally trained enough and knowledgeable enough to be able to navigate a fully laden cab around the vast network web of London's streets and roads.
As it would be fool hardy and errant to allow the hard fought legacy of the UK's Democracy, Liberty, Tolerance and Safety to be abused by foreign nationals or home bred haters to destroy, it would be equally as unjustifiable, to allow Uber and TFL to systematically dismantle a legitimate and professionally required platinum service like The London Black Cab, to perish.
Uber have absolutely no damn right, to " welcomes migrants and refugees with open arms, allowing us to get a foothold "
This is London ! Uber are from bloody California ! Who gives them the right to "Welcome " ANYBODY HERE " with open arms"
And it is to that end, that although I can sympathise with Uber's Kizzy for his ongoing plight and sleeping in his car, my main concerns are to ensure that the only people who put in.........are the only one's who take something out !
The moral of my post of course, should be clear. Surely, what a person, a club, a nation, a family, a profession, a company, or a team put in............then they should be the only one's allowed by the rules of the game......to take out........shouldn't they ?
On a more positive note, I managed to get out of my stinking pit of self pity, make believe comfort and safety, yesterday. After a shave, a bath, fish and chips and a cup of tea, I feel at last able to take my post as the husband, Dad, advisor, family provider and family Field Marshall I have always enjoyed being.
Until the next time........................
Be lucky all. Stay safe and during these precarious time particularly...... be vigilant.
Thursday, December 03, 2015
A new app that enables users to hail black cabs and licensed taxis has launched in the UK and Ireland in a bid to combat increased competition from car-sharing services such as Uber.
Cab:app works in a similar fashion to Uber, allowing customers to hail a cab to their current location using an in-app map, but it also lets passengers pre-book journeys and decide before travelling whether to pay by cash or card and track driver location when they are en-route.
Since launching in the UK, services such as Uber have been criticised as being unfair competition, with black cab drivers in London and around Europe accusing the service of side-stepping some licensing rules.
The app was co-founded by London taxi driver Peter Schive, who said: “Cab:app draws on the heritage and expertise of the black cab industry and translates it for the digital world. It connects communities through a business model that is driven by rewards where drivers, passengers and charities all share in its success.”
“Cab:miles” are collected on each journey taken using the service, and these can then be used to pay for future journeys, or their monetary value can be donated to charity. Journey prices are also fixed for travel over eight miles, the firm says.
“Cabs are integral to the transport infrastructure, connecting the community with road, rail and air,” added Mr Schive.
“Cab:app ensures the public can now enjoy the convenience, safety and accessibility associated with the iconic black cab from one national app.
“Black cabbies offer unparalleled local knowledge and service with the assurance that passengers are getting a fully licensed, vetted and insured cab that can use bus lanes and take the most direct route.”
The app has taxi coverage in more than 90 locations around the UK and Ireland, and can be downloaded for free on both iOS and Android-powered smartphones.
Please use this link to get involved and show support for Cab:App : >Click Here<
Wednesday, December 02, 2015
The delayed Night Tube has suffered another setback with the Rail, Maritime and Transport union saying a revised pay and conditions offer "falls short" of what it wanted.
Last week London Underground said it would recruit part-time staff to cover nightshifts at weekends.
It also offered to extend the three-year pay offer to four years.
But the RMT said reps had reported that the offer did not meet drivers' expectations.
General secretary Mike Cash said the union's executive committee would now consider its next steps.
Steve Griffiths, chief operating officer of London Underground, said the latest offer was "fair and affordable".
"We have listened to union feedback and have made absolute guarantees which mean no existing driver will have to work the Night Tube, unless they choose to do so. Instead we will hire part-time train drivers specifically to run the service.
"We have also been working hard to secure a long-term pay deal in order to provide certainty for our staff and for London, so we have now added a fourth year to the deal."
London Underground workers held strikes in July and August over the impact the proposed 24-hour service at weekends would have on safety issues and their work-life balance
Monday, November 30, 2015
TfL recently held a consultation about Credit Card payments in regards to the licensed Taxi trade. Many drivers felt the questions were loaded in favour of an agenda already decided by TfL and decided not to take part. Therefore, only 349 licensed Taxi drivers actually responded to the consultation.
AskPOB is currently conducting an independent survey to establish driver opinion on card payment solutions and possible changes to taxi tariffs. AskPOB is an impartial third party, working in collaboration with trade organisations and groups to reach as many drivers as possible, and to understand how drivers would like to best use card payment facilities and at what cost.
The last driver consultation conducted by AskPOB yielded over 1,400 responses and delivered a comprehensive voice from the London taxi trade on recent changes at Tavistock Place.
AskPOB is a free subscribed service giving all drivers a voice.
Many thanks and be lucky,
A young mother has accused an Uber driver of calling her a “black c***” and launching a brutal assault after a row over making multiple drop-offs.
Paramedic Taleka White, 27, says she was dragged out of a minicab and punched twice in the face after her driver flew into a rage in Addiscombe, south London, in the early hours of Sunday.
She says her face smashed into the ground after she was sent flying by the second blow.
The man allegedly called her a “stupid black c***” and a “black b***” during the ordeal at about 3.30am on Sunday morning.
The mother, who has a four-year-old son, is unsure why he became so aggressive, but says he grew angry after some confusion over the destinations.
The women had taken a lift using the minicab app after a night out in Croydon town centre on Saturday and agreed to make separate drops, in the same fashion the proposed UberPool will operate.
She said the driver was polite at first but became rude during the journey when her friend told him he had missed the turning to her house.
He then started to insult Ms White after she continued the journey alone.
Ms White said: “He started to abuse me, saying ‘you stupid black c***, your friend gave me the wrong directions’.
“I sat in the back of the car crying, I wasn’t sure what he was going to do.”
Although frightened, she continued the journey to her mother’s home in Addiscombe – where the driver allegedly became violent.
“He pulled up outside my mum’s and as I was gathering my stuff, he got out and opened the door and dragged me out,” she said.
“As he did this I started wailing and he punched me in my face.
“I put my hands up and was screaming to get my mum’s attention and he punched me again.
“I went flying down the road and landed on my face. He ran into his car and drove off.”
Ms White was left terrified and injured, with a lump on her head, bruising and a bloodied wrist and knuckles.
She visited A&E on Sunday and needs to return to have an X-ray on her hand.
She called on Uber – which she says has not even refunded the journey – to ban the driver.
“He should not be allowed to work for a cab firm ever again,” she said.
“It’s disgusting – Uber should not be employing someone like that. I just don’t want it to happen to anyone else.”
The matter has been reported to police but Scotland Yard was not yet able comment.
Should be interesting when Uber start their UberPool service when their drivers will be expected to pick up, upto 4 separate, unrelated passenger.
Not only could you be getting into a car driven by a stranger....would could be sitting next to 3 other strangers on rout.
Meanwhile News Of Uber Driver's New Deliver Service:
Mini-Cab driver Waseem Anwar Choudry, 31, of Chichester Court, Slough gave his wife eight dresses to bring back from Pakistan, which unbeknown to her had 3.5 kilogs of the class A drug – worth almost half a million pounds – sewn inside.
Border Force officers found the drugs in Nazreen Anwar’s bag after she stepped off a flight from Islamabad on June 28, and she was arrested.
In interviews with National Crime Agency investigators the 28-year-old said she had been in Pakistan for a two week holiday, and claimed her husband had given her the dresses to bring back, saying she did not know the drugs were inside.
Choudry had been due to fly back a few days after his wife but did not board the plane, and he was arrested by the National Crime Agency six weeks later attempting to re-enter the country at St Pancras International rail terminal, having travelled from Pakistan via Paris.
A must watch video on Uber's new service