Saturday, April 30, 2016
Friday, April 29, 2016
Thursday, April 28, 2016
Wednesday, April 27, 2016
Thank you for your email about my views on Uber and London's Taxi trade. Apologies for the delay in replying.
I am a great supporter of London's Taxi Trade. Over the last two years I have worked hard to ensure TfL's poor record in regulating the Taxi and Private Hire trade is fully exposed, including publishing the report Future Proof, as chair of the London Assembly Transport Committee.
It is not by chance that the Black cab has been voted by Londoners as the most iconic piece of London transport design. There were also very good reasons why the closing ceremony of the Olympic and Paralympic Games so prominently featured London Taxis. Taxis are a vital part of London's transport infrastructure and are recognised and respected around the world.
One other important feature of London's Taxis is their access standards for disabled people, with every Taxi being fully wheelchair accessible (and having other important access features) since 2000.
To find out more about my views on the London Taxi Trade I do hope this article I wrote for Taxi Newspaper is of interest. The article starts on page 5.
Clearly the current Mayor and TfL have failed to keep up with the pace of technological change to regulate effectively the growing number of private hire operators.
My proposals for maintaining effective choice for passengers and protecting passenger safety include:
Doubling the number of dedicated taxi and private hire compliance officers to 165 within a year to ensure all Private Hire Drivers are fully covered by 'hire and reward' insurance and their vehicles are safe.
Seeking to introduce a cap on the number of Private Hire Vehicles in London. The Mayor of London can in effect initiate a Bill in Parliament and I would use this mechanism.
TfL to bulk purchase a fleet of new zero emission capable Taxis and lease and sell them to Taxi drivers and garages. I am concerned that the current price of the new zero emission capable Taxis will be a barrier to their uptake, unless TfL takes the step of directly purchasing a large order of them and driving the price down.
I would retain access to bus lanes for Taxis and take firm action against Private Hire Vehicles which avoid paying the Congestion Charge when they do not have a booking.
Full details of my policies can be seen in my manifesto:
Thank you writing to me on this important issue.
With very best wishes,
Liberal Democrat Candidate for Mayor of London
Tuesday, April 26, 2016
Of course if this disgusting behaviour was carried out by Taxi drivers or even other PH drivers, LTPH would be issuing notices, councils ASBO's and the old bill on the case, but of course it's not.
As if we didn't know it's our old tax avoiding, rule ignoring friends from the U.S and plans continue to give them a rank (and it is a rank) at LAP, even other PH are saying to the airport that's 'no booking, no entry' rule must apply.
So there we have it, next time nature calls of either type, just pull over do the necessary at the kerb and if the old bill or anyone else decides to intervene, say ' just 'avin an uber', be sure you won't get any aggro then.
We should consider having a mass uber in Parliament Square to ensure all our grievances and requirements are met?
After all it worked for them!
How can a business that sets itself up to ignore the law be licensed?
How can the licensing authority find this acceptable?
How can councils, known to be ruthless in parking enforcement turn a blind eye to their activities?
How can the world's most famous police force destroy its own reputation by standing idle?
How can a government paid for by its people's taxes, side with a business that pays little UK?
How can that same government that says it supports small businesses, act to destroy them?
How do we let them get away with it?
Monday, April 25, 2016
Sunday, April 24, 2016
Safety data published quarterly on the Transport for London website show 65 people needed hospital treatment after incidents on or involving buses in the borough in 2015. There were 29 in 2014, an increase of 124 per cent.
Of the injuries in 2015, 33 were serious compared with 11 in 2014.
While in 2014 there were no fatalities in Islington, in 2015 one person died as a result of a collision with a bus.
Meanwhile, across the capital, hospitalisations from bus incidents increased by 22 per cent in 2015 and fatalities by 40 per cent.
Bus safety campaigner Tom Kearney, who was left fighting for his life after being hit by a bus in Oxford Street seven years ago, said he was horrified by the figures.
He said: “Based on TfL’s own numbers, Islington’s numbers are even more horrific with a 200 per cent year on year increase in the number of people taken to hospital from a bus safety incident.”
Green Islington councillor Caroline Russell described the figures as “worrying”. “The most recent figures show a worrying increase in bus collision incidents in Islington and in the numbers of people both seriously and slightly injured in these crashes,” she told the Gazette.
“Looking at one year of data may not set a statistical trend, but Islington residents will be concerned to see so many people hospitalised this year due to incidents with buses.”
But Tony Akers, TfL’s bus chief, said the casualty rate for the capital’s bus network remained “low” with an average 2.6 injuries per million passenger journeys.
“The majority of those injuries are minor,” he added.
He added: “Safety remains our top priority and we have announced a major safety programme, which includes updating bus contracts.
“It should also be noted that the overall trend for collisions involving a bus or coach where someone has been killed or seriously injured has fallen by 48 per cent over the last decade.”
The sole person killed by a bus in Islington last year was 22-year-old City graduate David Wood, who died under the wheels of a double-decker at the junction of Clerkenwell Road and Farringdon Road on August 20. He had been due to start work as a radiographer at St Bart’s.
Source : Islington gazette
Saturday, April 23, 2016
MP Wes Streeting has vowed to keep up the pressure to save the taxi trade after calling for better regulation of private hire cars in the House of Commons.
The MP for Ilford North, wants stricter laws governing the private hire car trade, which includes minicab drivers working for Uber.
He had tabled a private member’s bill but a second reading scheduled for Yesterday, will not be going ahead.
Mr Streeting said: “Unfortunately, because Parliament has run out of time, my bill will not get a second reading this time, but the campaign goes on.
“Having put the issue on the agenda in Parliament in front of the Chancellor, the focus will now shift onto working with the Licensed Taxi Drivers Association (LTDA), the London Cab Drivers Club and others to keep up the pressure on the government and the next Mayor of London to take real action to save the taxi trade.”
Drivers of London’s black taxis have a long-standing feud with Uber, which allows users to speedily hire a cab through a smartphone app. Many believe the drivers are not being regulated properly over insurance, taxes, plying for trade and driving ability.
Mr Streeting introduced the Taxi and Private Hire Vehicle Operators Regulation bill with a short speech, known as a 10-minute rule, last month. He called for all drivers of private hire vehicles (PHVs) to take additional tests that show they have the necessary skills and knowledge, as well for regulation around taxes and insurance.
Mr Streeting has also raised concerns that Uber drivers often choose not to pick up blind people with guide dogs after a survey said this was “all too common an issue with private hire vehicles”, adding that passengers had faced sexual discrimination from some drivers.
In response to accusations about drivers not having adequate insurance, an Uber spokesman said: “Every driver that partners with Uber has the correct full commercial insurance and Uber keeps a record of every policy. When a policy expires the driver can’t take trips until a new policy is in place.”
On the guide dog accusations, they added: “Uber celebrates diversity and does not tolerate any form of discrimination whatsoever.”
On Monday, at the Future Transport Summit in Sydney, Australia, Wozniak denounced the ride-hailing company’s disputed labor practices and critiqued what he sees as its monopolistic ambitions.
“Like a lot of people, I have some distrust of Uber and how their drivers don’t really realize at first that they aren’t making much money, maybe losing money on the wear and tear of their cars,” Wozniak told reporters at the summit.
“That’s how I think of Uber: Not very nice thoughts,” Wozniak added.
David Rohrsheim, general manager of Uber in Australia, responded to Wozniak’s remarks by noting that Uber drivers have a job with rare flexibility.
“It has to be a good deal for partners or otherwise they won’t use the platform,”.
Wozniak isn’t alone in criticizing the app. Class-action lawsuits filed by Uber drivers in California and Michigan argue that the company wrongly classifies its workers as independent contractors, allowing it to drive down their wages and withhold benefits. As contractors, drivers are exempt from minimum wage requirements and don’t receive certain state and federal benefits. Both lawsuits contend that Uber drivers are, in fact, employees, a designation that comes with greater labor protections
Demonstrators hold signs during a protest organized by the San Francisco Taxi Workers Alliance against ridesharing services Uber and Lyft in 2015.
Wozniak added that he’d prefer to use Lyft from now on.
Lyft, which is Uber’s main competitor in the U.S., agreed in January to expand benefits for drivers. Lyft drivers can no longer be fired at will and have the right to settle termination and pay disputes through arbitration. Despite those gains, Lyft drivers, like Uber drivers, are still considered independent contractors.
Wozniak told reporters he’d also like to see more competition in the ride-sharing market. “I would rather there be a lot of competitive forces,” Wozniak said. “I’d like there to be four or five choice that are like Uber anywhere you go.”
The Woz might get his wish. Several new ride-sharing services are scheduled to hit roads soon. Chariot fit Women, which launches Tuesday, is an alternative ride-sharing service with all-women drivers, exclusively for women. Another service, Juno, hopes to become Uber’s mirror opposite. It’s drivers will not only have employee status, but will also get equity in the company, in addition to several other perks.
Despite his concerns about Uber, overall, Wozniak isn’t too worried about the sorts of economic changes Uber represents.
“You might come up with a new technology and some old jobs disappear and there are robots building cars,” he said. “Well, the jobs pop up somewhere else. The economy just shifts, it moves.”