Saturday, December 12, 2015
Friday, December 11, 2015
I'm writing to you on behalf of the London Suburban Taxi-drivers Coalition and on behalf of the many taxi drivers we have spoken to in recent times….
Our members have voiced strong opinion on two issues.
Firstly is that we prefer a separate Taxi magazine away from Private Hire. We do not see ourselves as associated with them. Our members can appreciate the Private Hire are there to fulfil a role in London but with the constantly overwhelmingly open and illegal activity it is not something we feel we wish to share a platform with. In addition whilst our standards are very high their standards generally are very low. Again we do not wish to be associated with them.
Our members also voiced strong opinion that we do not wish to see Uber the non-British taxpaying minicab app that flouts laws and regulations and is partially responsible for the gridlock that occurs in London every day appearing in the online magazine as if they are "Part of the trade and our friends that we all work together with.”
They are not. Uber are our sworn enemies and we will never ever accept them. They will always be that.
Uber has been banned in over six countries.
Whether or not they have found loopholes in which to work is irrelevant. They are an unethical company. Many of their drivers claim in work benefits and use British taxpayers to subsidise their drivers.
Recently one of the drivers was convicted of rape.
Most of the private hire industry dislikes them intensely.
They charge using a digital” meter" which means if the satellite navigation system cannot find the shortest route (Which it can't) And the driver doesn't know where he or she is going (Which they don’t) then the customer is overcharged.
Whether it's legal or not is irrelevant. It’s a rip off and we all know that………….
If someone insists that Uber must feature in your online magazine please let us know who they are so we can make our objections known directly to them.
Thank you for your attention
Nick Gilbert/Alan Miller London Suburban Taxi-drivers’ Coalition
Thank you so much for your email, we welcome all feedback here at OnRoute.
To address your specific points:
TfL licenses the drivers and owners of taxis and private hire vehicles (minicabs) who operate in London and so must address both areas of the trade within OnRoute.
In the two issues of OnRoute that have been published so far, Uber has only ever been mentioned in one story – the High Court ruling on taximeters. As TfL, along with Uber, the licensed Taxi Driver Association, and the Licensed Private Hire Car Association, asked for this legal ruling we were obliged to publicise the result in the magazine.
We hope this answers your concerns. If you do any any ideas for aspects of the trade you wish us to cover in future issues, please do let us know.
Our next issue is out in February and the major areas we will be covering are compliance activity at Heathrow Airport and the suburban taxi driver roadshows.
The OnRoute team.
See latest issue >Click Here<
Thursday, December 10, 2015
A secret and special room beneath the Whitehall catacombs was set up, to enable all concerned parties, Ministers, Military Leaders, Government Heads and such, to meet, discuss and launch a plan of emergency action.
This special room for these serious and special occasions, was known as the Cabinet Office Briefing Room. COBRA for short.
Many important and serious events and issues of UK National importance have since been discussed in this room, but the one common denominator which is the decisive factor of whether this room is used or not, is............................EMERGENCY.
Our colleagues certainly do not need me, to spell out that the last few years have probably been the most damaging, the most devastating and the most depressing periods, that our 400 year old profession, has gone through.
I hate it when people say I told you so, but let's be fair here, the signs of what was going to happen to us, have been pretty clear from way back in 2011.
Transport For London and two Mayor, Livingstone and Johnson have systematically dismantled our Cab Trade, brick by brick, nail by nail.
At every conceivable opportunity, the Head's of London have shafted us unmercifully in a scurrilous act of brutal unfaithfulness.
But why did we not expect it ?
Livingstone, Johnson and Coe ALL have a record of professional or personal betrayal. If they can't be loyal and faithful to their wives, family and colleagues, why on earth would they worry about betraying us ?
Whilst on that very subject, it is looking likely that Zac Goldsmith has an enviable chance of making himself comfortable in City Tower soon. Another one !
How much pleasure I get watching silver spoon Sebastian, squirming in the hot seat of the Olympic Investigation. An International and potential platinum showcase for the London Taxi, robbed from us by the snidey Lord.
We all know that the murky licensing of Uber has so far been unexplained. We all know the ride share app is illegal. We all know that the CRB/DBS is a threat to National Security. We all know that backhanders are being put about by someone somewhere. We all know that it is simply dangerous and wrong to accept mini cab applications from potential terrorists. We all know that the enforcement programme on our streets has been deliberately smoked like a bee keeper calming his bees.
There are around 25,000 or so of our colleagues, who are licensed to ply their trade as London Taxi Drivers. To represent them, there are around half a dozen or so Unions/clubs/associations/groups, all purporting to "Fight" for the common good and preservation, of both their member's livelihood's and future's.
During my time in our trade, I have been a member of all of them. Read what you like into this if you will, but today and for the last four years, I have been a member of none.
Please, please please.....don't think I am knocking or slating any particular Org out there or indeed any particular person or persons.
I was on the phone for well over an hour yesterday, listening to what one of our colleagues was putting into one of our trade orgs. It was a ludicrous amount of hours and a most definite impingement on his private life. But yet he does it every day, and goes on doing it. When one of our staunch trade colleagues and campaigners set up the UCG, it almost killed him !
I could name dozens of them. Constantly working their pipes out, putting hours and hours of private family time in, in an effort to clear the road so our trade can drive through.
But in spite of this..............We Are Getting Murdered !
Now despite the knockers, I don't buy for a second that these trade reps and people I have spoken about above, do it for stand down money, or to prevent them driving a cab !
No, they do it because they honestly are trying to find a way in. They are doing it to attempt to create a better future for us.
But to be honest, and with genuine and honest and total respect.....................they are losing !
If you ask the average cabby on the ranks what we have gained from our trade orgs, he or she would probably struggle for an answer.
If it were me that you stopped and asked, although I would too struggle to see what we have gained from the Orgs, I would offer a reason for where, I think, we have gone wrong.
When a trade organisation is set up, it is invariably on the back of a militant like stance, that has maybe given our trade a small amount of respite initially. Drivers like it, they see something happening and want to be part of the action. However, and in almost every case, the responsibility, administration, management and daily running of such an organisation, starts to become more structured. Structured in legal criteria standards, structured for registration legalities, structured for employment criteria legalities, etc.
When that happens, the legal and industrial responsibilities, criteria and running of the Org, take on a whole new remit.
Orgs are then left in a position whereby the running of the outfit is so embroiled in administration, book keeping, records, memberships, e mail departments, telephone enquiry lines, democratic voting procedures, annual general meetings, diary and planning arrangements, website building and the like, that the aim of the game in the first place, was to defeat the opposition, is overlooked!
But not only that. Due to the fact that we have half a dozen or so of these trade Organisations representing their members, a sort of football supporters mentality emerges. I have seen colleagues of ours who vehemently give loyal support to a trade organisation's remit, even if they believe the action will be detrimental to their livelihood.
Exclusive Report : No one has been keeping a check on the extra emissions caused by the gridlock!.. by Jim Thomas
Wednesday, December 09, 2015
We (or at least some of us did) reacted promptly when the 'killer on the knowledge' case broke.
It seems to have happened again, despite our continued concerns, we are batted away as a 'vested interest'.
Well it just don't wash.
Of course the madman in Leytonstone would have done this regardless but it's certain that anyone who had been previously 'sectioned' should have come under scrutiny before being placed in a position of trust.
Many awkward questions for some to answer, it's just an absolute tragedy that someone innocent has had to be the catalyst.
Public safety is no place for muddle headed 'political correctness' or political influence.
We the citizens of London, Jew , Gentile, Muslim, Rastafarian or whatever, DEMAND better.
Tuesday, December 08, 2015
It would have made a sensational story if this driver had picked up a VIP (or an MP – though they’re not necessarily the same thing) and decided to carry out his attacking spree on someone in the public eye. That would have made the authorities put pressure on TfL to exercise greater care and control of whom it licenses.
Migrants like this do not get a DBS check so should never be allowed to hold a licence until one has been supplied. Anything less makes a complete mockery and undermining of the expensive and complex security system put in place to protect the public. Where are the safeguards in cases like this?
Due to recent events the country is at a very high level of security alert, asking the public to be vigilant. This should also apply to TfL as to who gets licensed as a ‘responsible driver’ and meets all the safeguards.
As things stand it appears TfL can be accused of failing the people of London – and/or aiding and abetting terrorists through lack of proper and stringent checks. We have to wait up to 4 months for a licence renewal (in part due to DBS checks) but those with a questionable background and a history of mental problems including drug-taking, can get a licence within weeks.
There is something radically and dangerously wrong here.
TfL should close this loophole with immediate effect by insisting that without a proper security and criminal background check, no-one can be licensed. We should demand nothing less.
The public deserve better.
A few weeks ago, Taxi Leaks asked Dan on the TfLTPH Twitter account if he could give a link to the legislation that allows Uber to operate the new ride sharing Uberpool service attached to their smartphone app.
In typical TfL style, I got no reply.
But today a reply was finally given to another driver, although not as comprehensive as I'd asked for.
In just a broad reply Dan said that the transport Act 85 permits ride sharing.....Unfortunately, Dan failed to point out that there are certain conditions which have to be adhered to with private hire undertaking shared rides with individual payments:
The conditions state quiet clearly:
2)The conditions are that—
(a)all the passengers carried on the occasion in question booked their journeys in advance; and
(b)each of them consented, when booking his journey, to sharing the use of the vehicle on that occasion with others on the basis that a separate fare would be payable by each passenger for his own journey on that occasion.
I pointed this section out to Dan and relayed to him that Uber have stated on numerous occasions, that they don't do pre bookings. He completely ignored this and posted a tweet referring to the fact that UberPool only use licensed private hire vehicles and require the specific consent of each customer involved.
I repeated my statement that each customer needs to be pre-booked and got this reply
We know TfL have bent over backwards to justify the fact that they licensed Uber in 2012 knowing full well they didn't comply with all the requirements necessary at that time.
a) They have never taken pre booking
b) They initially never had a landline for booking, a requirement under the PHV act 1998.
TfL however continue to lie about the situation by repeatingly putting out this tweet:
My questions today are:
Why are our orgs allowing this behaviour to go unchallenged.
Why are they not protecting the working practises of the drivers from whom they take money in the form of subscriptions.
In 2012 our representative orgs sat back and did nothing about a PH company who was illegally issued with 12 licence variations (satellite office licenses), the same week they were licensed as an operator, without first waiting the require 12 months from initial licensing as an operator.
This same company is now allowed by TfL, to turn up at certain venues around the city of London and set up private hire ranks, fed work by openly touting clipboard men. TfL and their compliance teams always turn a blind eye to this particular operator, as it would seem, do our representative orgs.
They can't even say they didn't know about this issue, because I told them on many occasions.
Unless our orgs get off their backsides and start taking TfL to task, then the whole future of Licensed Taxis in London is in danger of dying out.