Friday, December 02, 2016

Lone Taxi Driver Makes A Stand Against TfL Compliance Officer's Lies And Wins.

One late evening on my way back to Heathrow, I stopped at the BP garage on the A4 and sat on the forecourt to eat my sandwich. I looked up and saw a sign that read by parking here more than 30 minutes you agreed to pay a £100 fine or words to that effect. This gave me an idea, the rest is history.

On the morning of 1st November 2016 two things happened, the first being this, upon entering the north feeder park I was confronted by compliance officers and a police officer who I noticed was handing out TfL envelopes containing CC stickers.

I asked the officer what he thought he was doing as I believe that what was going on was a civil matter.
He responded by saying he was assisting.
Upon further questioning he told me he was there to prevent a breach of the peace.
I then asked him, had a breach of the peace been reported ?
He said no.

The second thing to happen was this, I arrived at terminal five buffer lane in mid afternoon to be confronted by two compliance officers. One of the officers approach me and asked why my taxi wasn't displaying TFL stickers, to which I replied nowhere in the Metropolitan Carriage Act1869, London Carriage and Stage Coach act 1907 or any TfL literature does it state that I am physically obliged to display stickers in my vehicle. I asked the TfL employee, if he would like to place them himself, after reading my terms and conditions, he was more than welcome to do so. 

My terms and conditions are as follows:
Before affixing any notice sticker or advertisement to the vehicle please read the following.
By affixing a noticed sticker or advertisement to this vehicle, you will have agreed to the contract and you will become liable for the following fee schedule.


I asked the compliance officer if he had read and understood this, he replied that he didn't.
He then told me "you must stick them on" to which I replied "there was no legal or lawful requirement for me to do it, but if he wanted me to do it, I would write him an invoice for the work". Which he declined.

I have also made the video below, in which I categorically stated to him that I was not refusing to display the stickers and he was more than welcome to do it.

Two days later I received the stop note for 
"non-compliance, external signage does not comply with guidelines 6,2,1.", with additional notes being "refusal to display stickers or credit card payment device in the taxi".

I immediately phoned TfL enforcement and told them I wanted to make a formal complaint against their compliance officer for lying, stating that I had irrefutable video evidence that I have not refused.

After telling my story to Sonia Allman (enforcement manager) and asking her to remove the illegal stop note on my vehicle I was told, "there may have been a mistake".

She then requested me to email her with the details of what had occurred which I did. 

A short time later I received a response stating that she was sorry and that my vehicle should not have been declared unfit, and I was free to continue working. 

Since TfL have stated that my vehicle is not unfit, one can reasonably assume the opposite to be true, that it is fit.

I believe my stand against TfL has done two things, firstly it is shone a spotlight on the unions, who claim to represent us. Why haven't they come up with anything to halt this onslaught from TfL?
Why has it been left to drivers themselves?

I have seen the minutes of the TfL board meeting where it was decided all London Taxis must take credit cards and pay for the privilege. It also stated that Bob Oddy declared an interest and didn't speak!
So much for representation!

I was also told by Unite after telling them of my interaction with the police at Heathrow, to "put my "f***ing" stickers in like everyone else" so not much help there either.

The second thing my action has highlighted is this;
TfL have no authority,  let me say that again "TfL  have no authority".
The reason I say this is as follows, on TfLs own website it states:
"TfL is a statutory body created by the Greater London Authority (GLA) Act 1999. This act gives the Mayors of London a general duty to develop and apply policies to promote and encourage safe integrated efficient and economic transport facilities and services to, from and within London.

When carrying out his duties the Mayor of London (Sadiq Khan) must abide by the law like everyone else.
He must cause no harm, loss or injury to a third party. Remember the 3.9% being siphoned out of your wages and being paid to a private company.

Something else in regards to the "broad" public consultation. 

TFL have made clever use of language here regarding this consultation. They state on their own website that 536 people polled "identified themselves" as All London cab drivers, this means TFL did not identify them as All London cab drivers, in fact, they could have been anyone! 

I could identify myself as a brain surgeon! Doesn't mean I am one! 
It's possible, likely even that none of them were cab drivers and not a single cab driver was polled or took part in the "broad" public consultation.

Not only does the mayor have no authority, he has actually committed the criminal offence of misconduct in a public office (malfeasance).

The current conditions of fitness state "no advertisements to be allowed in glazed areas except to react windscreen. 

When the consultation took place, was it explained to the 536 drivers who replied that mandatory acceptance came with a 3.95% +20p pay cut ? You bet it wasn't !

It will take on average two weeks work, out of the year just to pay WorldPay/VeriFone their 3.95% surcharge....hold on a minute, "WorldPay", don't we know someone who has a financial conflict of interest with this company......? 

TfL board member Mr Ron Kalifa, is Deputy Chairman of credit card system provider WorldPay and is also a non executive director of Visa Europe.

See video below, evidence that TfL comp,iance officer lied :


Sources : The Cab Driver, Twitter. 

Editorial Comment :
We understand that Jamie has made contacted with TfLTPH to ask why a compliance officer blatantly lied, why his stop note was rescinded, plus he's asked them to supply him a billing address. 

As yet, TfL have not replied.


Anonymous said...

You guys give all of us a bad name - we are struggling to survive against Uber, because they are cheaper and more convenient, and we shoot ourselves in the foot by trying to make our cabs uncompetitive!
Why not take credit cards? Almost very shop does it! The same goes for displaying stickers that show customers which cards we accept.
The argument that that would be free advertising is just absurd. We merely display the logo of the cards so customers understand their payment options.
I get the frustration about TfL forcing us to do it - but in the interest of our customers we should be doing it anyway! If we can't beat them on cost, we must do our utmost be the best, safest, most convenient and professional service to use if we want to survive.

Anonymous said...

What a fantastic post ! A perfect example of how the regulators, Transport for London are bullying, altering and abusing their powers. This sort of thing ladies and gentleman is exactly what the representing trade orgs should be dealing with ! Well done Jamie, we need more like you at the sharp end mate.
Be lucky.

Mal G said...

well reading this shows what a stich up its all been there are a few points coverd here 1 its all a con to kill us off 2 there are to many with a vested interest who are keeping quiet 3 they are flouting and circumventing the rules and a whole raft of other points well done that man

John Branagan said...

well done why didn't the orgs know about this we are being bullied by tfl all the time

Jonathan Myers said...

Shows what a farce the orgs are. Not one of them have a useful idea. Also they are missing a PR trick by not helping this guy out with legal help.

Matt Westfall said...

I tip my cap to you sir WHAT THE FUCK ARE OUR UNIONS DOING FFS #LTDA #UCG #UNITE and the rest of the mickey mouse UNIONS

Paul Verlander said...

Goes back to my question a week or so ago ( which I got slaughtered for by the way) what un-organisation should I join??
I think after seeing this they are ALL as much use as a chocolate tea spoon!!
Until someone comes up with something that's gonna help us rather than just help them pay their mortgage I'll keep my money in my pocket!!

Anonymous said...

I think there are real safety issues around the amount of paraphernalia we now have obscuring our lines of sight when checking our blind spots for cyclists, small children etc.

When I glance over my shoulder to check my nearside blind spot, doing what motorcyclists call the 'lifesaver' I have to peek between the top of the card reader, the bottom of the rear screen identifier and the daft rear headrest, the passengers view when opening doors is also restricted by the new card ads at eye level.

I remember the old 'real' PCO would only allow the original card signs behind the rear view mirror so as to not obscure the drivers' view forward.

The PCO always took a dim view of excessive notices on windows, for good, sound safety reasons, we rely on our subconscious awareness of the things in our peripheral vision, that little shadow that warns us that thing in the bottom corner of the nearside windscreen is a toddler on a scooter coming alongside, as happened to me on the Hampstead school-run recently, now all we will see is a large credit card ad.

Richard Hill said...

Always try and film them, for your protection and for theirs 😊

Anonymous said...

When was the last time uber did a c/c job for£3-80 take out your 3.75% and add hot 20p the maths don't add up nobody is against taking it's the way it's been dictated to us and as you say all shops take yhrm but they charge you for the privalige sand as double standard TfL normally 2% also did you know these c/c see every cash job you do which is an intrusion of privacy let's not keep saying we are taking work from uber this is trade newspaper brainwashing look around people wang cheap and cheerful and don't give a shit who they use till something happens congestion is killing our trade which is conspired by TfL

Mandy shea said...

He's not saying his not taking cc, he is saying he is charging for advertising! Think he is 100% right! Well done!

Terry Arnold said...

Seems like you can put any sticker on these days when I first started you couldn't even have a radio

Stephen Clark said...

Well done that man you certainly own a pair I think the orgs should take note of this shape up or ship out cos unless the get a grip and start asking their lawyers where we stand on this I think they might find themselves working a few more hours a week cos I for one won't be paying anymore subs ffs it can only be a phone call,

Lee said...

I have no problem with a cc machine but totally agree that all this obscures the blind spots,so cyclists safety is compromised and other road users. Also the stickers look awful on a £46000 vehicle unlike the passenger seat belt one. Its a joke as most ph signs you can't even see through their rear tinted window.Another double standard in ph favour,thanks tfl