Wednesday, October 19, 2016

With Mandate Looming, Taxi Leaks' Has Serious Questions That Need Serious Answers

As we approach the deadline for a mandate which forcibly implements Credit Card acceptance on every Taxi driver, there are still many questions that TfL have repeatedly failed to answer. 

We are told that under an act written in the 19th century, they have the right to attach certain conditions to issue of licenses. We are also told that the London Cab Order 2016 facilitates the necessity to take all the credit cards by an applicant for a Taxi drivers licence. 

Funny though, in the infamous Uber meter case (where TfL argued heavily in favour of Uber's right to use a mobile phone as a Taxi meter) when pointed out that in the private hire act 1998 and previous London cab orders, Hackney Carriage acts going back to the mid 1800's, it stated quite clear that only licensed Taxis can use a meter using both time and distance to determine a fare...TfL argued that Smartphone technology wasn't available when these acts/orders were written so didn't apply. 

Well we would argue that under the act TfL are now using to enforce the CC mandate, Credit Card technology wasn't available when he act was written. So how can TfL use the same act that was written ore technology to enforce one issue but argue in court that they can't use a ore technology act to enforce against another this is just TfL showing and agenda against the Taxi trade and bias towards its friends at Uber?

Then we have the new conditions of fitness being imposed on Taxi owners (and drivers).

1) What legislation gives TfL the right to stop Taxi drivers being able to work, should you choose not to install a machine fitted by one of their authorised partners?

2) what legislation gives TfL to force a Taxi driver to stop working, should his machine develope a fault?

3) How can TfL completely disregard the driver, siting the machine in a position where safety can be easily Taxi drivers lives not matter?

4) What legislation gives TfL the right to insist a Taxi driver cannot pass on transaction costs to passenger, and yet minicab drivers can (and do) ?

5) Who's job was it, to take the measurements to produce the new partition window sticker ?

We are not minicabs, most of our pick ups are unrecorded strangers....this is why we have attack shields between us and the passenger. We also have the right to lock ourselves in the vehicle. This will all be compromised with rear fitment of CC readers. 

When asked the question on driver safety and security at the the LCDC AGM, neither Helen Chapman or Peter Blake could give examples of any data of research on this issue....they didn't give the driver a second thought, putting this together. 

Don't want to pay 5% transaction charge plus a weekly or monthly rental fee....then get iZettle, CabApp or PayPal say TfL....but if you do remember, there is a 90% chance that next year, TfL will mandate meter connection to all CC machines, leaving drivers who have made the £400+ investment, high and dry.

Apparently 83% of TfL's consultation want to see all drivers taking I do, but NOT under these crazy incompetent and chaotic regulations. 

The whole issue needs a serious rethink.   

So, at present, where is the legislation to back TfL/T&PH up on this? 

TfL/T&PH issue a form of drivers licence. This licence does not entitle the driver to do anything other than drive a taxi. It does not entitle the driver to trade or be a merchant, so I am at a loss as to why TfL/T&PH have amended the London Cab Order 1934 by adding the London Cab Order 2016 s4 Debit and Credit Card Acceptance.

(1) The following is added after article 31 of the Principle Order –

31a Debit and Credit Card Acceptance.

(1) Every cab-driver’s licence shall be granted subject to a condition that, if so requested by a passenger, the licensee shall accept payment by credit or debit card using a payment device approved by Transport for London”.

It states in the Metropolitan Public carriage Act 1869 s9(1) For regulating the number, of persons to be carried in any hackney or stage carriage, and in what manner such number is to be shown on such carriage, and how such hackney carriages are to be furnished or fitted:

s3 For fixing the rates or fares, as well for time as distance, to be paid for hackney carriages, and for securing the due publication of such fares; provided that it shall not be made compulsory on the driver of any hackney carriage to take passengers at a less fare than the fare payable at the time of the passing of this Act:

s4 For forming, in the case of hackney carriages, a table of distances, as evidence for the purpose of any fare to be charged by distance, by the preparation of a book, map, or plan, or any combination of a book, map, or plan :

Therefore any furnishings or fittings must come under the Metropolitan Conditions of Fitness and there is nothing in this legislation giving TfL/T&PH the powers to dictate how the fare is paid. 

The form of payment is determined when the verbal contract is struck between the driver and customer; it has nothing to do with any other person including TfL/T&PH.

London Cab and Stage Carriage Act, 1907 
s1. The Secretary of State shall have power by regulations made under section nine of the Metropolitan Public Carriage Act, 1869, to fix the fares to be paid for the hire in London of cabs fitted with taximeters, either on the basis of time or distance or both, and so as to differ for different classes of cabs and under different circumstances. Provided that the fare fixed for horse cabs fitted with taximeters shall not be less than at the rate of sixpence for every mile so far as the fare is fixed on the basis of distance, and of sixpence for every twelve minutes so far as the fare is fixed on the basis of time, and that no fare shall be less than sixpence. 

(2) Regulations made under this section, so far as inconsistent with any enactment relating to the fare to be paid for the hire of cabs in London, shall take effect notwithstanding that enactment, and any enactments relating to cabs in London shall, as respects cabs for which fares are fixed under this Act, be construed as if a reference to the fares so fixed were substituted for a reference to the fares fixed under any of those enactments.

Nothing there to suggest how the payment should be made.

London Cab Act 1968 s1 Power to regulate fares for non-obligatory journeys.

(1)The power of [Transport for London] under paragraph (3) of section 9 of the Metropolitan Public Carriage Act 1869 and section 1 of the London Cab and Stage Carriage Act 1907 (regulations governing cab fares in London) shall include power to prescribe fares for the hire of cabs in respect of all journeys in London whether or not the journey is one which the driver of the cab is obliged by law to undertake.

[(1A)The power conferred by subsection (1) of this section is subject to paragraph (4) of the restrictions specified in section 9 of the said Act of 1869.]

(2)In this section “cab”, “fare” and “London” have the same meaning as in the said Act of 1907, and for the purposes of this section a journey shall be treated as a journey in London if it begins and ends there.

s2 Power to increase length of obligatory journeys. 
(1)[Transport for London] may [by London cab order] direct that for the reference to the distance of six miles in section 7 and paragraph (2) of section 17 of the London Hackney Carriage Act 1853 (being the length of a journey which the driver of a cab is by law obliged to undertake) there shall be substituted a reference to such greater distance as appears to [Transport for London] to be appropriate.

(2)[A London cab order] under this section may be limited so as to apply only in relation to hirings in respect of journeys which begin, or which end, at such places as may be specified in the order, and may substitute different distances in relation to such hirings or any of them and in relation to other hirings.

(3)The power to make [London cab orders] under this section includes power to vary or revoke a previous [such] order. . . .

(4)Before making [any London cab order] under this
section [Transport for London] shall consult with such bodies appearing to [Transport for London] to represent the owners and drivers of cabs as [Transport for London] considers appropriate.

Nothing there either, to suggest how the payment should be made.

It is the responsibility of the cab proprietor regarding the vehicle, not the driver and therefore should the driver be refused under London Cab Order 2016 s31a a form of licence issued by Transport for London, then that should be challenged in a court of law.

The fact that the driver may also be the proprietor is neither here not there. 


Deep Throat said...

More and more evidence of corruption has surfaced
Latest issue of the badge
Tongues waging inside TfL from staff who don't want to be part of the scandal when the house of cards falls down

Compliance is all smoke and mirrors
And the demo on Monday hurt TfL badly
Their buses were in chaos
They need time to plan diversions
The coming soon flash demos will crucify their schedules

Anonymous said...

and the band plays on, while the Titanic sinks

time isn't on our side, any more

we need IMMEDIATE ACTION NOW by tfl on,
the FULL compliance of ALL of their Rules & Regs, for both Private Hire, Operators & Drivers

anyone not, must have their licence immediately REVOKED

Deep Throat said...

St Pancras again for 5 days
Don't think they got the message last time
No more bullshit from the nightmare.

Anonymous said...

All those who don't want to take CC please hand your badge in and all those who do please crack on. If it's left to the drivers they will just get a hand held and produce it everytime a compliance officer asks for it without actually accepting CC. The only way to make sure we have 100% of taxis take "working" CC is to mandate it. I've taken cards for 15 years and have never once not been paid neither have I ever needed to get in the back of the cab so why keep going on about it. It's exactly the same risks as taking cash. The idiots who work the airports and stations with "cash only" signs in the back are just dragging us down and should not be allowed to rank in such places. My views won't be popular but unless we suck it up and get on with accepting CC we will be seen as Luddites.

Anonymous said...

Taxi Leaks Has Serious Questions That Need Serious Answers.
Taxi Leaks' Serious Questions That Need Serious Answers.

Anonymous said...

what bothers me most, is the silence of the so called brains in the London Taxi Trade (present company, fellow marchers/ bloggers and all editorial contributions aside)

How is it possible so many sole traders (being Taxi drivers) and so many are also disgruntled fee paying union contributors are being ignored on all the issues raised on this matter and why hasn't TFL made it patently and unambiguously clear where its where the basis under current assumed powers to override UK statutory laws of accepted payments or legal tender actually lays?

I have always felt (and still do) any involvement concerning a Licensing authority interfering with any business practices or communities regarding payment choices is like mixing oil & water and is none of their business unless the business is behaving unlawfully, Take an example if TFL property section which owns hundreds of A1 shops in its portfolio suddenly demanded all its rented units had to take C/C payments, not only would it fail the test in law and could not be enforced it could also cause damage on rental revenue as many would vacate (under a power of choice) but we obviously cannot exercise this right because it is not within our licensing .. I have always acknowledged the benefits for both passengers and drivers on paying for services via all means but not under ANY means and its that "choice" factor which will eventually bring TFL's authoritarian idea crashing down under our daily/nightly working practises when more & more drivers will singularly decide how much cash they need on turnovers for their own personal circumstances which varies between drivers and also when each card from an individual passenger is unique and can risk will differ person to person and a stern decline must be within the exclusivity and sole right of the merchant (driver) when he feels he has reason to and who is the risk taker in every presented circumstance, card pre-validation before the provision of service would have also gone along way to prevent personal passenger offence but it has deliberately never been provided in a simple software inclusion as all The TFL approved card readers will not currently allow pre-validation (I wonder why?)

Remember, TFL will not provide ANYTHING in advance themselves but we are mandated and expected to do so against our will and also remember TFL's bed partner UBER also provides complete financially prior-approved service via a metered device and before Im reminded how we have always provided in arrears it must be understood that we have always had the right to ask for proof of payment BEFORE a journeys start if we felt the need to and even require a deposit, but this right apparently disappears on mandated accepting of card payments... or does it?

Be Lucky


Anonymous said...

Anon 10.27

A message just to you

Anonymous said...


You spent three+ years learning what you were told to learn, in the format dictated. You acquired one of the only two vehicles you were allowed. You pick up people from limited areas, are required to take them regardless of whether it suits you, and are only allowed to charge the prices set down for you. You have to pass a medical and have your background checked. And now - because of card payments, something overwhelmingly expected by your customers - you've decided you want to be an independent trader. Bit late for that.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 10.27


Anonymous said...

Im afraid its going to be slid into the law long grass & ineptitude unless rejected by the masses like taxi Wheelchair conversions which no other taxis in europe were pressured to abide by = £1500 plus..

Or the Emission abatement fiasco which costed thousands of Taxis owners in London £1900-£2900 for systems that were completely flawed in properly studied reports that were overseen by a seemingly regularity body which no one now remembers?

Oh and then there was the compulsory issue of printers... say no more!

It is a mish mash of idealistic poppycock notions from an unnamed employee of an organisation who try too hard to justify their own salaried positions in an unqualified proposals of the most stupidist kind.

We as Qualified London Taxi drivers are always on the receiving end of in-experienced TFL staff who try to justify their own decisions on the clearest non partisan facts... we have bought that for far too long... no matter what you think, we are being shafted for money... not on technological issues...greed.

If any London taxi drivers continually earn a strike wage whilst your brothers are demonstrating... shame on you!

If you have issues with our argument and disagree... dont be a thief & take the day off in level protest... just dont take reward... we know who you are... but more importantly... so do you!

Be Lucky

greenbadgejohn (on twitter)

Anonymous said...

The postings on this subject thread do sometimes make statements which in essence holds a fair argument if it were mandated that all drivers had a duty under a law to accept card processing facilities, but as the laws in the uk do not apply in that way we should all have a democratic choice.

There is a very long article on p16 of the current The Cab Driver newspaper which counterbalances all sensible acceptance's and brings to the argument an opposition surrounding the isolated positioning of C/C machines based on very sound and important reasons.

The "I'm all right jack" content of postings suggests only one thing, and that is how business is better for you and and how the sun shines for the average travelling public on normally uncomplicated usage.... fine, But driver individual concerns and safety risks must be quantified accordingly.

Brian Rice (Dial a cab chairman) along With Alan Fisher (The former founder of The LCDC) in the above mentioned Cab Driver artical have never opposed PED's as far as I am aware and Dial a cab have them installed in all of their fleet and make it clear that after the Approval was given the PED's have functioned perfectly well and without issue situated up front with the driver.

It makes my blood boil when I read a comments posted on self singular sun shining reasons and give no real basis to the actual point, ... which is accepting card payments...THE WHOLE POINT! and how beneficial it really is in the bigger picture of modern business.

The Taking the horse to the water...and forcing it to drink is creating a massive barrier between the Licensing authorities and Licensees alike but it is the damage and confusion to the travelling hirers who will bear the brunt of driver reaction and dissatisfaction that must not be allowed to happen, and we all can work out how this will pan out for us but TFL staff will still draw their salaries.

If TFL does all the statistical equasions and knows very well what an 'average' taxi journey costs and given that figure there should always be a minimum amount that can be deducted via a card processing facility in a service sector industry, there should also be 'hiring validation software' built into all devices (like all hotels & hire companies have) to prevent hire evasion fraud and misuse.

TFL have always had a confrontational approach to modernisation with us but just goes with our competitors and even argues their cases over ours, so just imagine how much simpler could it have been had they used cooperation in current usage situations and seen how much more is achievable that way.

It is still not too late to accommodate everyone even now at this late stage and stop wasting valuable time,resources and our licensing fees on a matter that is clearly flawed and simply get on with the whole point.... Paying A Taxi Fare.

I live in eternal hope.

Be Lucky

greenbadgejohn (on twitter)