Saturday, December 12, 2015

The History Of The Taxi Hit Squad : I'm Not Ready To Sling The Towel In Jim Thomas

We've all seen and heard the plans, the Tory Group on the GLA have for the iconic London Taxi Trade and the historic Knowledge of London process. No need for me to reiterate. 

But what these people don't realise, the spirit that drove us on through the knowledge, is still there, burning inside. 

And now the London Taxi Trade, the "best Taxi trade in the world", has had enough of the corrupt, politicians and public officials who bend over backwards to support what is basically;

• An illegal app!
• A company that rides roughshod over regulation, stating its easier to ask forgiveness than permission!
• A foreign owned, multi billion dollar company who allegedly go out of their way, to avoid paying full tax in the Uk!
• A company that employs dubious drivers, with incomplete record checks!
• A company that allows uninsured journeys, putting the public at risk!

How can public official and leading politicians support this company....could be the huge amounts of cash available for the purpose of lobbying?

Many commentators have told us " we're finished, washed's all over bar the singing....the games dead".

Trouble is, I'm not ready to sling the towel in just yet. 
The spirit that saw me complete one of the hardest exams in the world, is still burning away inside me.

But to go forward, we must first look to the past.

The Hit Squad:
We have to go back well over twenty years to see where the idea of an "overt hit" first emerged. Jim Wells chairman of the LCDC led nightly hits on the Sports bar, Hombres, Stringfellows, Hippodrome  and Mr Ali's in Cranbourne street. 

These well executed manoeuvres, gave work back to night drivers which was being stolen wholesale by then unlicensed touts.

A few years later, after persistent protest, we saw a rank appointed outside the Dover Street Wine bar. Although this developed into a rank not to be too proud of, with the recent closure of the bar the rank itself has become hugely popular with night revellers leaving the Arts club. This will be a substantial source of work soon when Novikov's new restaurant opens, which will also utilise the rank (mainly unused) in front of Mahiki as a feed.

The Forum Hit Squad (FHS), sprang up out of "the battle for Hanover square", which saw nightly protests at Jalouse. The concerted actions from likeminded drivers, produced a new rank right outside the bar's entrance, supported by a feeder rank forcibly taken back by evicting the touts who were illegally parking on the shelter rank. 

Next target was Nobu where a young lady Cabby had been given grief by touts and door staff. After enlisting support massive support from all radio circuits, we got an extended rank outside Nobu. 


The FHS was closely followed by;
The Twitter Action Group (TaG) Hit Squad, which used military style, planned manoeuvres.

The TaG hit squad was facilitated by its own Twitter account and it's success saw ranks appointed outside, Tiger Tiger, Abacus, CXR, Swallow and Heddon Street . 

We did a bit of time outside these venues and on rare occasions there were minor altercations, but the look of defeat on the touts faces made it all worth while.

March this year, saw the formation of the Mayfair Mob which has seen even more results, with ranks appointed outside Hakkasan, Novikov's and an extension at the Forge, with more to come soon!

In January 2016, the UCG, will be meeting to discuss the reintroduction of regular direct action. This time it will be the fight of our lives, possibly our last hope.

If we fight, we may win, we don't fight, we will definitely die, it's that simple. 

The  GLA Tory group may have played their hand...But remember this!

The best-laid plains of mice and men, often go awry


Friday, December 11, 2015

London Suburban Taxi-drivers’ Coalition's Letter To TfL's OnRoute Team.

You may remember recently that we wrote to transport for London regarding the new OnRoute Taxi and Private Hire magazine. Below are our original letter and their reply-


Dear David,


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



Dear Nick,

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


Press release, from TFL
As the festive season gets underway, Transport for London (TfL) and its policing partners are stepping up the enforcement of minicabs across the Capital.

Prius driver arrested for touting in Lambeth yesterday

As part of the annual Safer Travel at Night initiative (STaN), there will be an increase in patrols and enforcement at key touting hotspots across London to deter illegal activity and help the public get home safely.

To support the campaign, TfL has produced a hard-hitting YouTube film, which highlights the work of police officers, from the TfL-funded Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) Cab Enforcement Unit.

It shows the unit carrying out an enhanced STaN enforcement operation across the Capital as they target, seize and arrest minicab drivers illegally touting for business. It demonstrates TfL and the police's strong commitment to stopping illegal minicab activity.


STaN, which has been running for over 10 years, is a partnership between the Mayor of London, TfL, the MPS and the City of London Police (CoLP). It aims to make the public aware of the dangers of getting into unbooked minicabs hailed on the street and provides advice on the best ways to get home safely.

The campaign's message is clear - any minicab that isn't booked through a licensed minicab operator is illegal and dangerous. Drivers who offer or accept a journey are breaking the law and putting the public at risk. Unbooked minicabs are linked to serious crimes such as sexual assault and robbery, as well as not being insured to carry passengers.

Steve Burton, TfL's Director of Enforcement and On-Street Operations, said: `During the festive and New Year season more people are out and about, celebrating on nights out. We want to encourage people to plan their journey home. If travelling by cab use a taxi or a minicab, which is booked through a licensed operator; online, via an app, by phone or in person at a minicab office, for a safer way home.

`We hope this new video will bring to life the importance of always pre-booking minicabs for a safer journey home, and highlight our commitment to keeping passengers safe and cracking down on this illegal activity.'

Detective Chief Superintendent Paul Rickett, from the Metropolitan Police Service Roads and Transport Policing Command, said: "We are committed to reducing the number of cab-related sexual offences and we want Londoners to be reassured that we are using a range of tactics to keep them safe during the festive season.

`We urge people to plan their journey home in advance and if they use minicabs, ensure they pre-book. It is illegal for any minicab driver (even drivers licensed by TfL) to accept a fare without a booking made either over the phone, by email or at an office. Booking a minicab will ensure that there is a record of the journey and it will be carried out by a licensed driver in a licensed, insured car.'

More than 400 police officers are regularly mobilised for major operations such as STaN, and TfL directly funds 68 dedicated police cab enforcement officers, 41 TfL compliance officers - which the Mayor recently announced will double to 82 by the end of 2015/16 - and 32 vehicle inspection staff, as part of the work to stamp out illegal minicab activity across the Capital.

Between April-September 2015 the MPS Cab Enforcement Unit arrested 267 drivers for touting and unlawful plying for hire offences. 

253 of these arrests were for touting offences, with 141 drivers summonsed for the offences to date. Of those cases, 61 have been dealt with resulting in 53 convictions (87 per cent), seven cases were dismissed or withdrawn, a warrant of arrest issued to one driver for failing to appear and 80 cases still pending.

In 2014/15, the MPS Cab Enforcement Unit made 572 arrests for touting. 97 per cent of these resulted in a caution or charge. TfL revokes licences of drivers convicted or cautioned for touting.

TfL introduced a "one strike and you're out" policy for any licensed minicab driver convicted of or cautioned for touting in August 2008 where drivers lose their PHV licence for one year. In six months (April-September 2015) 104 licensed drivers have had their licenses revoked.

Surely It's Time For COBRA ? SEMTEX

 Back during the 70's, when the troubles of Northern Ireland
and the Miners Strikes were rife, Government Ministers  decided that in times of National Crisis, coordination was required by all involved.

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 ? 
Why were we all surprised ? 
I wasn't ! 
Not one bit ! 
And I have dozens of posts on "the Anderson Shelter" warning us.

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 ? 
We are mere minions folks ! 
No more important to them, than any of the other victims that they have unceremoniously smashed into the mud on their way to the top !

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 !

The same mould, the same intent the same principles. BETRAYAL either professionally, personally or both, is the common denominator.

 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. 

We all know the taxi emissions demand was bent. 
We all know the receipt printer condition of fitness was a scam. 
We all know the taxi scrappage that cost our trade millions was a ruse.  
We all know that "they" want shot of us, and 
we all know too................THAT "THEY" ARE WINNING !
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 ! 
He worked tirelessly fighting for the good of our trade, and quite understandably was warned by his body's  immune system to slow down !
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 !  
Why is this lack of progress happening ?

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 ! 
That isn't the truth. It is hard graft listening to cab drivers whinging and expecting you to wave a wand !
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!

All of these tasks mentioned above, require man power to run ! And when that amount of manpower is required to run the admin and organisation side of the Org, the initial militant prowess and biting power, that was so attractive in the first sadly but unintentionally lost ! 
They are only human ! 
Not only are they doing that, but have to make a living too! 
I know that some of them get a token stand down pay, but it doesn't account for what is lost if they were to just drive their cab.
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. 

If I think a particular action would be beneficial to myself and our colleagues, I would support and back it to the hilt, irrespective of the lanyard colour.

Personally, and very naively, I would love to see just ONE London Taxi Trade Organisation with teeth sharp enough to take on and wallop anyone who dare attempt to destroy us. A trade org whereby all or at least most of us would belong to, subscribe to and trust to ensure that our children have a profession to follow us in to.
That of course, is only in my dreams ! 
Sadly, the reality of the situation is that we have several organisations, all setting their stall out, all purporting and indeed trying to fight for their members. And to a certain extent, they ARE fighting. But it is a fight that all six or so of them are badly getting beat at.

TFL are acutely aware of our fragmentation, and use it very astutely against us. When one of our trade Orgs put on their boots and helmets and other orgs are seen in the media as not supporting it, the press, the public, TFL and anyone else who want to see us in the history books.....................have a field day !
We cant all agree on everything I know, but surely we cant all disagree that we are watching 400 years go down the carzy !
I know it is easy for me to say and to comment from my keyboard, of course I do. But on the same token, I am not taking anyone's dough either, and saying I will save them. I know our trade orgs have many many dedicated men and women all putting in long hours, giving up free time and punching as hard as they can. But folks, unless we as a trade get our act together and attack this assault on our profession as a combined matter of emergency...... we will see the end of our tenure in the New Year. 

The mob from California may very well be running out of dough, they may very well be getting a bad reputation, but they are still annihilating our customer base and we need to get them out !
Maybe now is the time for the football mentality of our representing bodies to put old scores aside, and merge their wealth, strength and unity......into one more devastating punch to knock out the opposition completely. A pipe dream, I know. But just imagine the strength of us if we could do it !
 We are struggling out there now folks. You don't need my assurance to tell you what January will be like. Cant we all get around the table ? 
Just this once ? 
Surely this is now an Emergency..........Surely time for COBRA ?
Be lucky all. Stay safe.
8829 Semtex.

Exclusive Report : No one has been keeping a check on the extra emissions caused by the gridlock!.. by Jim Thomas

Yesterday afternoon, the TfL Twitter account @TfLTPH hosted a Tweet the Managers question and answer session with Nigel Hardy, billed as TfL's head of project sponsorship. 

We were told that Mr Hardy would be answering questions appertaining to the current upgrade of the capitals roads and Red Rout Network, including the Cycle Super Highway. 

It soon became apparent that Mr Hardy was not there to answer random queries and was actually hand picking questions that fitted with prepared statements completely avoiding controversy. 

Mr Hardy was bombarded with questions about the gridlock that has been forced on the East West routes along the embankment and the utter chaos surrounding the Elephant and Castle. He gave quite obvious answers saying it's all going to be great when completed. 

But he kept swerving the major question most drivers wanted an answer to. Why's in nothing being said about the extra pollution the empty buses stuck in the gridlock are producing.

Taxi Leaks side stepped Nigel Hardy (who never answered one of our many questions) and went straight to the experts. We asked @CleanAirLondon if there has been an increase in pollution since the start of these gridlock causing road works and we were flabbergasted by the reply. 

Apparently, no one is checking!
Now there's a surprise.

Air Pollution expert Prof Wilkinson yesterday told a Commons EFRA Committee, EU pollutant limits cannot be regarded as 'safe' levels. He went on to say that in the short term, using petrol or petrol hybrid cars will be significantly better than carrying on using diesel. 
Clean Air In London's Simon Birkett said:
Diesel power generation is lunacy. Defra is having no impact on other government departments. We dont need more research we need more action. #UKAirQuality

No one at TfL or the Mayors office has answered our questions:
Why are LTC still producing Taxis with diesel engines? 
Why are the Taxi trade not being offered petrol gas cabs?
Who is responsible for the decision to run London's buses purely on diesel, because the failing hybrid batteries were deemed too expensive to replace?
What is the environmental impact of expanding London's private hire fleet to 93,700, currently increasing by 600 every week?

                           The Strand 00:35am  tonight!

Wednesday, December 09, 2015

When is A Rank Not A Rank? Alleged Misinformation Over WinterWonderland Rank!

A couple of weeks ago, the Joint ranks committee, under the Chairmanship of the LTDA's Richard Masset, announced that after 12 months of negotiation, they had secured ranking facilities for the WinterWonderland event. The rank would be situated in Park Lane, opposite Brook Gate in a coach bay that would be suspended. 
We were told that no vehicles would be permitted to stop or wait on South Carriage Drive. 
But, Westminster Parking Services are now saying we been misinformed!

Drivers reported being issued parking tickets by Westminster wardens while sitting in the rank facility on Park Lane!!!

How can this be, you may well ask.
Surely this is a mistake on behalf of Westminster Parking Services?

When we asked the LTDA a few days ago about the tickets, they said it was just the result of an idiot warden....

They also to exception when we said that the whole ranking issue at WinterWonderland was a complete mess.

It now appears they (the LTDA) have it wrong, and the wardens are acting under instructions from Westminster Parking Services.

If Westminster's statement below is correct, then the joint rank committee, made up from the LTDA, LCDC and Unite have misinformed the trade and are totally liable.

Westminster council have just replied to a request for information from Taxi Leaks' special correspondent, about this situation saying:

Again this year the trade has been sold down the river by Westminster, the Royal Parks and TfL at this event. 

Night after night drivers have reported seeing minicabs being directed into the exit of WinterWonderland on South Carriage Drive, by marshals, where they are being allowed to park up and wait for passengers. 

We have asked the LTDA to clarify the situation and also if they (along with Unite and the LCDC) will be compensating drivers, as they have misinformed the trade, leading to the drivers receiving penalty notices. 
As of yet, we have no reply

We will provide space should the LTDA, LCDC or Unite like to make a statement about this situation.

History repeating I'm Spartacus.

Firstly let's nail the inevitable retorts about racism and Islamophobia.

We (or at least some of us did) reacted promptly when the 'killer on the knowledge' case broke.


Very few of us knew either the race or religion of the person concerned, just that we saw a gaping hole in TfL's systems and how the public are placed at risk.

It seems to have happened again, despite our continued concerns, we are batted away as a 'vested interest'.

Well it just don't wash.
The purpose of the KOL is to test character as well as topography and that's why the second tier of PH has needed to be pre booked so full records can be taken and the driver time to plan a route, yet TfL has licensed a method of PH operation that makes this impossible, why they did no one knows, even the operator states they don't pre book.

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.

Editorial Extra : A Blast From The a Past:
A convicted murderer had been accepted onto the knowledge, who had already been licencpsed by TfL as a private hire driver.

On the 10/09/09, the trade united and held two successful demos at Penton Street N1. 
The result was the killer was slung off the knowledge and the director of LTPH Ed Thompson was moved on.


Tuesday, December 08, 2015

Letter To Editor : Re The Uber Drivers Leytonstone Attacker

It has been said that this story was trying to be kept under wraps but it was published quite prominently in the Daily Mail today and confirmed by Uber – that this alleged terrorist was an Uber driver. 

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? 

This loophole should not exist but it is up to TfL to safeguard the public by using its discretion in vetting any such applications. This case proves they have ‘just cause’ to refuse any such licence application unless it is accompanied by a DBS background and criminal check. I’m sure many in our trade believe that they’re not very good at applying safety checks in more areas than this one.

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.

TfL Taxi and Private Hire, Allow Illegal Ride Sharing App To Continue... by Jim Thomas

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:

             Taken from the transport act 1985 on line.

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


It's just like when Admiral Lord Nelson put his patch over his good eye and said the immortal words "I see no ships".

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. 

Monday, December 07, 2015

Leytonstone attacker was uber driver, with history of drug abuse and metal health issues

Muhaydin Mire's brother Mohamed has told Channel 4 News' John Snow of his sibling's history of drug taking and mental health issues and how he had bought his brother a ticket to fly home to Somalia at the weekend.

Even thought this man had a history of mental health issues dating back to 2007 when he was first admitted to hospital, even though this man had a history of drug abuse, he was still judged to be a fit and proper person to drive a minicab and was licensed to do so by TfL.

Muhaydin's brother told Channel 4 News that before this incident happened his brother was "working as an Uber driver. He was doing a good job."

"He had drugs influenced on him. Just cannabis. It give him mental problem. Bit paranoia. He was diagnosed by a doctors and treated in 2007 for paranoia.

"He had mental issues. Mental problem. He was in hospital for three months in 2007.

Mohamed told Jon Snow how he came out of hospital and "got a bit better.

"He was working as an Uber driver and then he got back into the same thing and went a bit crazy. Started calling me and talking funny, funny.

"That started in August of this year. He started calling me up and saying odd things.

"Not radical, it's a bit like jumping around talking nonsense and sort of like talking saying he's seeing demons and stuff, people following him. Bit of paranoia.

'Tried to get help'
"I explained to the family the situation. They were aware of it. We tried to get him help. We tried to call the local authority, they could not help him because they said he's no harm to people and he's no harm to himself. 

"I talked to the police and they came and looked at him and that was 22 October. 

"And then I decided to move him out the country. I decided to book a ticket for him on this Sunday. He was okay as far as I know. He wanted to go."