Saturday, March 26, 2016

Knowledge Students Statistics, Supplied By TfLTPH.

With thanks to Les Hoath 

Good first step Wes. ..... By I'm Spartacus.

Earlier this week we had Wes Streeting MP for Ilford North introduce a 10 Minute Rule Bill.

For those of us not up to speed on the ins and outs of the Luddite procedures of Parliament, these bills (proposed acts of Parliament) are usually introduced to give publicity for a particular issue, the MP has to speak for 10 minutes and then a vote is taken (that's called the first reading) and if voted Aye as opposed to Noe (see what I man about Luddite) it proceeds to a second reading, they are usually opposed by the government but every now and then they do become law.

So let's look at  Wes is proposing in outline:

English Language Tests for PH, Realistic insurance, Stronger PH Topo testing, taxation rules.

All good stuff, well maybe but no doubt some of the 250k PR budget of uber will be 'persuading' opponents in the house to fight it all the way, they don't want any regulation here or anyone else.

Osborne, Javid and Cameron are already in the tax avoiding rule breakers hutch, but it only takes 12 fair minded patriotic Tory M.P.'s to stand up and be counted, sorry 13 as Ian Austin Labour MP is already in the uber camp.

We await, but why oh why Wes did you not take this opportunity to define Plying for Hire? 
That could have dealt with the illegality of exhibition and availability of an on screen picture and a meaningful pre booking interval, maybe if it gets that far someone will introduce it as an amendment to the Act, some of us will be proposing that.

Expect those who wish to see us gone move heaven and earth against us, that probably includes TfL!

As Mr Al Fayed of Harrods fame once said 'you can 'hire' an MP as easy as walking out of the store and hailing a cab.

So Wes and co. Let's prove for once that he was wrong about the first part so the second part can carry on.

On behalf of us, the wheelchair users, tourists, those without smartphones or postcodes, those who wish a tour or want to avoid a jam, the hard of hearing or poor sighted, those without credit cards, they need taxis, they need expert drivers with real skill, they NEED us.

Stand strong.

I'm Spartacus

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Despite A Rise In Reported Incidents, British Transport Police Are To Axe Sex Crime Unit.

A high-profile police unit that investigates sexual offences on the Tube and railways is set to be disbanded.

The specialist crime team was created by the British Transport Police to tackle unwanted sexual behaviour on public transport such as groping. 

It had officers who actively searched for offenders on the capital’s transport network.

The move comes despite figures showing a huge rise in the number of crimes being reported.

Between last April and December there were 1,603 reports of sex offences on the Tube, trains and buses in London, compared with 1,117 for the period the previous year — an increase of 43.5 per cent.

Last month, Labour mayoral candidate Sadiq Khan urged the BTP to crack down on groping as a top priority.

The unit is being axed as part of a structural review by the BTP, which will also see the team handling assaults against Transport for London staff scrapped.

Two specialist crime teams will remain in London, covering theft of passengers’ property and bikes.

Editorial Comment:

As we look forward to the 24hr night tube, it's comforting to know that although your mother, wife, daughter, sister, may be at risk to a sex attacker on the tube, at least your bicycle will be safe! 

             Just visualise the phone call:

"Hello, is that the police....I've just been raped on the Piccadilly line"

"Sorry Madam, nothing we can do, budget cuts"

"But he escaped on my bicycle"

"Stay where you are miss, we have an armed response unit on its way"

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

The Demo May Have Been Postponed....But You Can Still Make A Difference And Fight Back Today,

Upset that demo's been postponed?

You can still fight for your trade today. 
Let's get those responsible for our demise in court.

All you need to do is pledge the 2 hours takings you would have lost today...with £350,000 already in the pot, another 8,000 x £35 would make it happen today.

These wives, mothers, sisters daughters, have put their normal lives on hold. Out on the street, on the ranks, in the shelters and cafes, fighting for your survival.
Don't let their passion become another victim of cab trade apathy.

Certain people have done their best to sabotage this action, after all, there's possibly a spare seat going on the board of TfL when the new Mayor takes office.

But do you really want another 4 years of inactivity at TfL board level?

How much longer do you believe our 350 year trade will survive.

Reports coming in thick and fast of drivers leaving the trade, having to seek other employment as mortgage payments are not being met.

Let's get TfL in court p, where they belong.
There's on,y one criminal in the cross hairs and that's TfL.
Let's make them accountable for destroying our trade.
Let's take no prisoners 

Never give up....never, never surrender 

Don't forget 
If you don't get in the ring, you can't win the fight.

Click on this link below and pledge today

Letter To Taxi Leaks : TfLTPH Using Private Hire Vehicles Act As A Cash Cow.

I would like to publish the following letter through Taxi Leaks bearing, in mind we have the ears of MP's now:

In the late 90's, we were informed; "When minicabs become licensed, touting will become their problem, not ours"

A Potted history of the Private Hire Vehicles Act act.

Before the Private Hire Vehicles Act1998, London was lawless. Everyone and anyone who wanted to earn an extra few bob become a mini cab driver in their own cars without any insurance or criminal checks it really was the "Wild West". The Police had zero interest in addressing any issues as they needed to clean up the streets in the West end at the weekends, as the demand for Taxis well outstripped supply.

When the PHV act was drawn up it had three separate but connected stages.

1. Operators license: 
In brief, an office or building with the appropriate planning permission the ability to record the details of every booking and the ability to report data on all bookings.

2. Drivers  PHV Licence:
CRB checked and linked to ONE  PHV operator.

3. Vehicle Licence:
A TfL inspection which ensured the driver was connected to an operator and had the correct Hire and Reward insurance over and above private social domestic and pleasure or full comp insurance. 

Under the Public carriage office (PCO) everybody either complied or died.

Since Transport for London (tfl) took over the reigns:
They saw this as a cash cow business opportunity and as from 2012, with the advent of Uber, they have relaxed the law to the point of " do what you want, we don't care" attitude as long as long as we make money.

Tfl have always clamped down on any indiscretion  for the Taxi trade, which I totally agree with, but have turned a blind eye to the PHV market.

I cannot believe there is no mechanism to make a complaint against a PHV driver with tfl 100,000 plus PHV drivers are above the law and complaint to tfl is just forwarded to the Operator and forgotten. This is completely against " The Natural rules of justice".

PHV drivers were granted a license for a particular area of London and directly connected with a registered operator for e.g Toms cars based in the Angel, punters could walk into they're high street office and order a mini cab and the operator would take the booking, allocate a driver to do the job -to Hackney- for example, the driver would then carry out the booking at a fixed rate agreed upfront, then return to the office and sit in the queue waiting for his next job.

The same system applies to Yellow badge suburban Taxi divers, they can only work the parish or local area take a job in your area complete to and return to base.

Stay with me please..

The radio circuits such as Dial a Cab, RTG, and CompCab have had an automated despatch system light years ahead of mini cabs  since 1960's and has always led from the from in terms of technology the first to introduce GPS and auto despatch to remote terminals in cab but and this is very important, always complied with PCO and tfl's rules and regulations.  

I was delighted to hear today a bill will be amended in the House of Commons around the tightening of the rules around the 1998 PHV act.

My view is simple, every operator should provide Hire and reward fleet  insurance to comply with the 1998 PHV act and the driver must work for one single registered PHV licensed Operator. Because at this moment PHV drivers are affiliated to several different mini cab companies at the same time which goes completely against the act. They are virtually plying for hire with several platforms which is illegal.

The new revisions to the act must include one driver attached to one operator.

Think about this, if the onus of responsibility around insurance is with the operator, then any other bookings outside the said operators remit the car is not insured.

For the avoidance of doubt, if I work for Addie Lee who provide a car and relevant insurance and I sign up to Uber and moonlight accepted a job from Uber and have an accident would Addie Lee's insurance cover this journey???  

Tom Scullion. 

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Belgian taxi union calls on drivers to give people rides for free in Brussels.

Following a string of deadly terrorist explosions in Brussels, scores of people have been left stranded. 

A taxi union has stepped in to try to help get everyone to safety, encouraging taxis across the city to drive people for free. 

Federation Belge des Taxis posted a message asking for drivers’ help to evacuate the affected areas.

It later added several photos of relieved customers in the back of cars and thanked the drivers for their “solidarity”.

The Belgian capital descended into chaos following the attacks at the city’s airport and on its Metro service.

A number of similar pages began to materialise afterwards, including Brussels Lift, which connected people looking for transport with drivers

Meanwhile, minicab company Uber has switched off its surge pricing system, allowing people to travel for less. 

But a number of people have reported that not a single car was available for hire in the area.

But the company was still criticised by some for failing to offer rides free of charge.

United Cabbies Group Postpone Planned action for 23rd March after Brussels explosions.

United Cabbies Group Postpone Planned action for 23rd March after Brussels explosions.

The United Cabbies Group (UCG) had planned to protest on the 23rd of March against Government intereference in the regulation of London Taxis.

In light of the tragic events unfolding in Brussels, and as a mark of respect for the victims the UCG have postponed tomorrow's planned action.

There are also heightened security measures being put in place that requires specific policing tactics that will require additional resources.

We were asked by the police to carefully consider the implications on stretched resources as our previous protests have stretched police resources to the limit.

It is not our intention to place London's security at threat and we have informed the Police tomorrow's protest is postponed.

Len Martin

Uber Insurance : Don't Just Take Our Word For It....GoCompare !

   Article below, taken from th GoCompare website

Insurance for Uber drivers and passengers

If you're a user of Uber or another ride-sharing app, whether as a driver or passenger, you should think carefully about the insurance implications and whether you're covered.

Taxi-like service Uber has experienced phenomenal, and frequently controversial, growth since it was founded in 2009.

The San Francisco-based company went international in 2014 and continues to roll out its sharing-economy service to more and more countries and localities.

The Uber app allows users seeking a ride to make their journey request, which drivers can respond to.

This does, of course, sound very much like a private hire taxi service, but this is a label that Uber staunchly refuses to take upon itself.

The company positions itself as a transportation network company providing the technology to hook up those needing a ride with those providing one; "seamlessly connecting riders to drivers through our apps" is how they put it on their website.

Uber considers drivers who use their app as independent contractors, meaning that the company does not oversee their conduct or the condition of their vehicles, that drivers should be very aware of their own insurance requirements, and that passengers should also be wary.

Uber is resented by many more traditional taxi operators who claim that its drivers have an unfair trading advantage as they're not subject to the same stringent rules and regulations.

Insurance for Uber drivers

However Uber chooses to define itself, insurers will see Uber drivers as operating a taxi service and will require them to have appropriate taxi insurance.

Regular, private car insurance or van insurance will be invalidated if you're carrying a paying customer. You'll need commercial private hire vehicle insurance offering cover for hire or reward.

You should also make sure you have adequate public liability insurance, whether through Uber, the vehicle policy or a separate source.

This can cover you as a driver against claims made by customers in case they're injured or suffer another loss while travelling in your vehicle.

Given that Uber is a relatively new and developing service, if you're arranging cover with a view to becoming an Uber driver you should really think about speaking to the provider to ensure you have the insurance you need.

Non-disclosure when arranging insurance can lead to a policy being refused, cancelled or made void, and such mistakes can stay with you for the rest of your life.

"If you're thinking of using your car to make money through Uber or other ride-sharing apps, you won't be covered by private car insurance," said's Matt Oliver.

"You'll need commercial private hire vehicle insurance offering cover for hire or reward."

What does Uber require from its drivers?

Uber's taxi-like services are subject to a wide range of variations, with different services on offer in different countries, localities and cities.

For example, in June 2015 if you were seeking to become a driver for Uber in Bristol in the UK, the only choice was UberX, defined as: "A professional driver with a private-hire licence and commercial insurance - driving a mid-size or full-size saloon that comfortably seats four passengers."

A driver seeking to sign up in London at the same time would have been offered the options of UberX, XL (MPVs), or Exec (executive-level cars), plus Uber Lux - designed for professional chauffeurs with long-wheel-based cars - or Uber Taxi, which required drivers to be certified and licensed as taxi drivers by the city.

In the registration process, Uber will ask you to submit the appropriate documentation, but there have been criticisms of its processes.

In Toronto, Canada, for example, it has been claimed that Uber does not insist on commercial insurance meaning there may be drivers operating under private insurance policies that are not valid for private-hire use.

In some countries where Uber operates, police forces have conducted sting operations to clamp down on drivers who are working without commercial insurance.

Closer to home, in June 2015 Uber said it would review its systems after a London Uber driver had fake insurance documents approved for use.

Other critics have pointed out that there don't seem to be checks in place to prevent a driver uploading genuine document details for Uber registration, but then cancelling the cover and cashing in the insurance policy.

Insurance for Uber passengers

Given such potential circumstances, Uber passengers should be wary about the condition of the vehicle they enter and, perhaps, the insurance cover they may have.

If, for example, the driver doesn't have public liability insurance and the passenger needs to make a claim, it may be proved that the driver is at fault - but would the driver have any assets for the passenger to claim against?

Users in the USA have also complained about the 'repair or cleaning fees' section under Uber's terms and conditions which may leave passengers liable for some of the costs associated with damaged vehicles.†

What insurance cover does Uber provide?

Uber users are firstly subject to background checks, there is a code of conduct in place and both drivers and passengers can be rated by other app users.

Beyond this, the company claims: "Uber is committed to safely connecting riders and drivers. That means setting strict safety standards and providing end-to-end insurance coverage.

"The specifics vary depending on what local governments allow, but what we're doing in the US to ensure your comfort and security is an example of our standards around the world."

This Uber infographic† outlines the liability cover that the company offers for its US drivers which is set at two levels, a lower one when the driver turns on the app and is 'available' and a higher one from the moment the driver accepts a trip to the time the passenger leaves the vehicle.

In the UK, in June 2015 Uber responded to the story about the acceptance of fake driver insurance documents by telling the Guardian that it had 'backstop' insurance in place that would cover customers if a driver had an accident without insurance, although drivers were required to have cover by law and the terms of their private hire licence.

"All trips are covered by commercial insurance," an Uber spokesperson told the Guardian. "Uber maintains coverage to ensure that this is the case."

By Sean Davies

Letter To Taxi Leaks : Paris, Brussels....London? Paul Sweeney.

Sending condolences to people of Belgium. 

Now let's take a look at London's despicable Government and their partners in crime TFL. 

Potential terrorist are being fast tracked to become PHV and more importantly Uber. 

A letter of good character as reference, is good enough, to enable someone who has arrived here and has no checkable history.

 Over 600 PH licenses are dished out every week by TfL, where applicants are systematically fast tracked with a laxation of protection that puts all of us at risk.

Just look at the potential hotspots potential terrorist can access. 

Look at Heathrow. 
Today on T3, I counted 12 Uber Prius' parked up on the drop off areas. Heathrow has without doubt, the worse security then any other airport in UK.

I ask you why?

Look at the stations in Central London. 
Hordes of these fast tracked potential terrorist, parked up for hours on end. 
TFL and our Government, don't give a damn about national security. 

           TFL......blood on their hands. 

In London we have terrorists licensed by TfL as private hire drivers. Secret cells are out there working and driving in our Capital City. 

Not only are we fighting to save our trade, we are also fighting the authorities to safeguard us. 

And the Tories respond by closing down stations, cutting police and other emergency services jobs.

Transport For London and the Tory Government, are the enemy we are fighting here. 
They already have blood on their hands. 

MP's 10 Minute Bill :Change Urgently Needed To Prevent Taxis From Being Driven Off London's Roads.

Statement from the office of Wes Streeting MP

‘Insure your drivers, train your drivers and pay your taxes’ operators told

On Tuesday 22nd March, Labour MP Wes Streeting will present a 10 minute rule bill to the House of Commons on the future of the Taxi and Private Hire Vehicle (PHV) industry.

The Ilford North MP argues that change is urgently needed to keep Londoners safe and prevent the iconic Black Taxi from being driven off London’s roads by ‘wild west’ conditions in the London taxi and private hire industry.

Under the proposed law, all operators of private hire vehicles would be required to insure their drivers, provide training and pay their taxes in the UK in order to gain a licence to operate. Wes Streeting’s 10 Minute Rule Bill would:

Improve training – to increase the basic training requirements for those seeking a PHV licence to improve safety on the road and a better service for passengers.

Guarantee insurance – switching to an ‘operators insurance’ system where PHV companies are responsible for insuring their drivers rather than drivers individually to give customers confidence that the car is fully insured.

Make sure that operators pay fair taxes – to aim to force multinational operators to pay fair taxes on money earned in the UK by closing legal ‘loopholes’ which enable profits to be transferred to another country.

Measures in this bill have been drawn up in consultation with the Licensed Taxi Driver’s Association, Addison Lee, RMT Union and the Hailo app.

Wes Streeting, Member of Parliament for Ilford North said:

“As a lifelong Londoner I use black cabs, mini cabs and apps like Uber to get around our city. Healthy competition through a range of operators is a good thing for passengers and helps keep London moving.

“But while increased competition and new technology should be working in the interests of passengers, the explosion in the number of private hire vehicles on London’s streets has led to too many drivers with insufficient insurance and poor training. 

Some operators are also trying to drive their competition off the road through new apps by offering lower fares made possible by offshore tax arrangements – effectively robbing Peter to pay Paul. These wild west conditions in one of London’s most important transport industries are unacceptable. If we’re not careful, London’s iconic black cabs will be driven off the road by shoddy competitors.

“The Mayor of London has failed to tackle these issues and Transport for London needs to get its act together to promote fair competition and passenger safety. My message to taxi and minicab operators in London is simple: insure your drivers, train your drivers and pay your taxes or get off our streets. Every Londoner should be able to get into a minicab knowing that it’s insured, that the driver is well trained and that the operator pays its fair share of taxes. My Bill will see to that.”


Watch Wes Streeting's speech on Parliament TV
                  >CLICK HERE<

Monday, March 21, 2016

AskPOB - Please take one minute to help shape services within the trade

Dear driver,

AskPOB is an independent trade consultancy which establishes driver opinion on all taxi related topics. AskPOB is conducting an independent survey to establish driver opinion on the latest app to enter the market, Karhoo, the viability of a taxi delivery service and also driver feedback on the London Taxi Radio service.

Please take part in two minute tick-box survey to help shape your services the way you would like them. Click the box below to begin.

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Kind regards,
Perry Richardson