Friday, May 06, 2016

Vote Of No Confidence In Leon Daniels Plus, Letter To Editor : Large Cracks Appearing In TfL's Armour.

Leon Daniels Caught Assisting UBER to word their communications to the public so as to mislead.

Leon Daniels is no stranger to controversy, in fact we in the UCG have long had no confidence in his ability to conduct his role as the Director of surface transport strategy.

He will have been instrumental in the chaos and gridlock that London has become, he believes that Private Hire can purchase "On-Off" hire and reward insurance, we checked with the MIB and no such policy exists.

He insists that Ubers Meter, isn't a meter and appointed a barrister to fight like the sugar plum fairy in court to prove he done nothing wrong when Uber were licensed and TfL never even bothered to check it's operating methodology, so we have the absurd and ridiculous ruling that a device used for time and distance measurement isn't a meter.

He told the GLA that Uber were only required to have a landline on the day they applied for a license as an operator. Which frankly is just laughable if it wasn't so serious.

The process of removing John Mason was started by a vote of no confidence by the Private Hire industry, now it's our turn to remove Leon Daniels by starting the process with a vote of no confidence

We call on the new Mayor that "If Leon Daniels is not removed from post 7 days after this vote of no confidence is submitted, the UCG will bring London to a standstill"

Click HERE to register your vote of no confidence in Leon Daniels 

and call for the new mayor to remove him from post.


Letter To Editor: From Winston Long .

So yesterday was interesting! 

We now have two bits of ammunition, firstly obviously the emails! 
And also the Twitter convo with Jackie Ryder and TFL.

 If anyone missed this it was TFL saying they will start requiring h/r insurance from PH at point of licensing from.... Wait for it.... 31st May!!! 

Plus this is only for new licensees!!
Believe it or not, they haven't decided a date when they will require existing drivers to have it in place. 

All this needed was an email to testing stations to implement immediately.
Today, we have a new Mayor and he will have a huge workload, I don't imagine for one minute we will be anywhere near the top of the pile on his list of to do's.

So here's my point... 
Why don't we put ourselves at the top of that list? 

For once TfL have a large crack in their armour so let's exploit it.

Here comes the wishful thinking part! 

Imagine if all the orgs (LTDA, LCDC, RMT, Unite, UCG, HADTU, Suburban Drivers Alliance) sat down together with the SaveTaxi girls, Dads Defending Daughters, The Mayfair Mob and all together backed one major demo, 10-15k drivers plus wives/partners all with one message, 
'demanding a public inquiry into TFL and the immediate resignation of Daniels', one clear message! 

And if we don't get what we want, then we do it again, and again... 

And if the orgs can't/won't sit round a table together just a commitment to promote the demo jointly

Winston Long:


Thursday, May 05, 2016

Is this Leon's Daniels career ending moment?....From I'm Spartacus

A senior officer at TfL the supposedly impartial licensing authority counselling an operator to amend its PR to disguise what is acknowledged by this correspondence and the phrase 'immediate PH market' in a TfL approved report, all intended to muddy the water and protect one PH operator that's well connected politically whilst destroying others and creating a tax avoiding, low grade sweatshop.

It's like the clerk of the court whispering 'say this' to a defendant at a magistrates court, it strikes at the very heart of probity in the conduct of public affairs.

It's simple really and a large body of case law supports IF YOU DONT ACCEPT PRE BOOKINGS YOU ARE DE FACTO PLYING FOR HIRE!

We have the evidence of our own eyes at Eurostar as LTPH stand idle whilst PH breach their licence conditions also replicated all over this former fair city.

TfL has danced on the head of a pin at recent transport committee meetings and this just adds to the body of evidence that TfL is biased, it also nullifies the recent PH regulatory decision at the board and that process needs to go back for revision ASAP.

So the TfL commisioner needs to act today in regards to this revelation and the GLA need to appoint a QC to take statements from all concerned

Big question for the trade is will the LTDA join the rest of the orgs calling for this or will the board ambitions preclude that?

Remember we can only read what FOI releases, all those coffee shop get togethers are off the record.

It ain't Hillsborough or Orgreave but it's still a scandal that endangers your livelihood and the travelling public

The Taxi Trade Haven't Been Paranoid...TfL Really Are Helping Uber Circumnavigate Legislation.

  TfL Managing Director Leon Daniels.

News broke last night, of two emails which have been exposed, showing conversations between TfL's Leon Daniels and the Head of Uber UK, Jo Bertram.

First, at the GLA Transport committee we had the lie from Leon Daniels 'They have switch on, switch off insurance'.

Followed by another lie 'Yes they do have a landline'.

Now we have new terminology, 'Long Term Pre Booking' and 'Short Term Pre Booking', to cover up the fact that contra to the regulations of Private Hire licensing, Uber don't do 'Pre Bookings'. 
If you want an Uber car, you have to use the app when your ready to go. 

The document, unearthed by the LCDC, seems to help Uber cover up its lack of pre-booking options. 

Read the emails for yourself below:

Source TaxiPoint. 

Wednesday, May 04, 2016

Fantastic Taxi News App From AskPOB...Download Taxi Point From Here.

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Sounds good!!

You can download the app exclusively by clicking on the Taxi Point image in the right hand column.

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Letter to the editor : TfL, Cartels And Restrictive Trade Practice.

Are you happy about Tfl's decision to form a Cartel of credit card companies to provide a fixed unit in Cab solution for compulsory credit / Debit card  acceptance in London ignoring the other big players in the market such as Apple Pay and many others in the market and many drivers have signed up to lengthy contracts with these suppliers for POS hand held and Apps based devices.

Personally I think that any company who are PCI compliment should be allowed into the London Taxi market.

By choosing the selective few I see this as a restrictive trade practice.
If we are to offer the public a truly open and transparent payment option surly this should include the ability to pay for a journey in the currency of the customers choice.

DDC Dynamic currency conversion gives the best spot price in real time, in the currency of the customers choice. This is picked up when you swipe the card, it will automatically know if it is an American card to offer the transaction in Dollars for example and also reward the driver with a percentage commission, normally 1%, which is then deducted from the merchant fees.

Interesting to note that none of the chosen few have the ability to provide this option.

If we, the London Taxi trade are forced to accept credit cards, which by the way is not legal tender and force the driver to absorb the merchant charges, we should IMO, have the right to market this imposition to a free and open market, giving us the choice of which provider we choose based on payment frequency and efficiency of the Point of sale terminal. 

The notion of having fixed units installed in Cab relying on a manual printer is archaic and prone  to problems, some drivers have said it's too dangerous having a unit in the back! Punters can say "it isn't working"... what does the driver then do, get out of his cab to get in the back to offer assistance? I don't think so.

Are Tfl asking for the terminals to be connected to the meter via a "dongle", a hard wired cable which transmits the data from the meter to the POS, or is it a manual process whereby the driver enters the fare? 

The reason I ask is because it would not be practicable for set prices at Heathrow going out of the Met, or agreed prices for longer journeys in town.

What happens if you share a Cab?
Can any driver sign on with fixed equipment ?

What about spare fleet cabs p, when you change over in the middle of the night, or when you are in overhaul?

Most of us have our own preferred supplier for credit card processing using an App based or hand held POS device. 

Why can't Tfl just leave it to up to us to make our own business decisions?
Customers love the fact they can get a PDF receipt via email or SMS which gives a full audit trail of the transaction including the time, date, location and driver details instantly, printed receipts only show the amount date and time and can easily be lost by the customer who will not be able to claim back his expenses. 

We as a trade could and should see compulsory credit card acceptance as a massive positive, without restriction, limitation or interference from Tfl.

What would be welcome is a positive marketing campaign from Tfl promoting the 100% credit card acceptance with Licensed London Taxis with any fees being paid by the drivers so passengers are 10% better off than last year for example.

Kind regards 
Tom Scullion

Monday, May 02, 2016

Emma To Abseil Royal London Building, In Aid Of ROYAL LONDON AIR AMBULANCE.

We're frequently asked to put our hand in our pockets, some do, some don't, some just can't afford to do it.

But this time it's slightly different. 
I would like to take this opportunity, to ask your support for Emma Martin, one of the young ladies from the #SaveTaxi group. 

Emma has given so much to our trade. She was there for us when we needed help.
Lucky to be alive, amazingly, she is still fighting our corner.

This time, Emma is asking for help to raise money for the wonderful service that saved her life.

Below is her story, please read....please donate. 

This is not my usual post, but I would really like your support! Sorry it might be a bit long but I'm sure it makes pretty interesting reading material. 

Back in October I had a serious life threatening accident in which I was saved by the amazing crew from the ROYAL LONDON AIR AMBULANCE!! 

I got crushed between my car and the house and sustained some very traumatic injuries...both lungs punctured, 11 broken ribs, broken vertebrae in my back and a broken collar bone! I was in ICU on life support and the trauma ward for 12 days at The Royal London Hospital!

I was also very well looked after (mentally) by the amazing ladies of the #SaveTaxi group, now very special people in my life, who were a godsend at all times of the day even in the early hours of the morning. (Many laughs we had especially with the amount of drugs I was on). 

It was only a couple of months later, running up and down Pancras Road in my hi viz vest, moving those U***s on, I realising how bad my severley fractured collar bone was. In January I went into surgery where I had a bone graft and metal plates inserted.

Still I wanted to do the demos and fight for the trade to try and do something! 

London is now so congested, I'm surprised that any of the Emergency Services are able to get through the sheer amount of traffic on the streets.

Which is why I want to do something, and give back to the amazing people who saved not only  my life, but many other's lives and maybe someday your's too. (Hopefully they will never have to).

So, as I am on the mend, I am going to raise funds by abseiling  down "The Royal London Building", which will be 17 floors down from the Helipad. 
I don't even know if I'm scared of heights lol!

The Air Ambulance is not Government funded and relies soley on donations
So this is where you could all help me. 

Just £5 would make a difference, but if all you have is a £1 that's fine too. Whatever I can raise, helps this amazing service which I think, is probably needed now more than ever.

If you would like to sponsor me please click on the link below and thank you so much in advance!

Stronger together! 


Sunday, May 01, 2016

Letter to Editor : Touting and associated dangers of unbooked Tom Scullion.

While London is safe for most people travelling at night, we still have major concerns over the dangers of travelling in unbooked minicabs.

All minicabs must be licensed by TfL and must be booked in advance. Any minicab that isn't booked by phone, email, an app or in a licensed minicab office is illegal and unsafe.

Your minicab is classified as unbooked and unsafe, if:

A private hire or minicab driver approaches you on the street
You approach a minicab driver on the street directly, and they accept your journey without a booking - even if the driver is licensed by us
A bouncer, or somebody with a high visibility jacket and clipboard, hails you a minicab on the street
Even minicabs lined up outside pubs and clubs are breaking the law if they accept your fare without a booking first.

Even though Tfl think it is acceptable to jump in an Uber car then make a booking it is not, its illegal.

Uber drivers are afforded more privileges than A Green badge London Taxi driver for example:

NSL testing centre licenses PHV drivers without hire and reward insurance and since this has been brought to tfl's attention they are still blatantly ignoring the law by licensing 700 PHV drivers every week.

Tfl have granted an operators license to Uber who openly encourage their staff / drivers to ply for hire, in fact Uber do not accept pre-bookings which spits in the face of the 1998 PHV act.
Uber drivers are allowed to ply for hire anywhere in the UK eg. Heathrow, Gatwick, Luton , City Airport and as far as Bath.

Ubers terms and conditions and in sec 3 ( acceptance of bookings) it states " You should be aware that the transportation provider to which your phv booking is allocated and who provides transportation services may be licensed in an area other than where the booking is requested or the transportation service is provided" ok well lets look at PHV act 1998 sec4( sub 2) : A London phv operator shall secure that any vehicle which is provided by him for carrying out private hire bookings accepted by him in London is ( a ) : A vehicle for which a London phv licence is in force, driven by a person holding a London phv licence. So no one else can pick up in London unless your licensed in London, What do you think of that then.

Imagine a Green badge driver touting outside their area Gatwick for example the Police would throw the book at them and they would also be arrested for no insurance. Hire and Reward insurance is VOID if you are breaking the law by touting or working outside your licensed area.

The Police turn a blind eye to Uber drivers plying for hire or touting in our Capital 24/7 look at the mainline  train Stations plagued with these drivers plying for hire electronically through their App.   Yet if a Taxi driver has the audacity to over rank its a instant nick. 

One rule for us, and no rules for them.

Be lucky 

Tom Scullion

Bottled It Again?: LTDA Tone Down AdVan Message.

The best thing to come out of Taxi House for many years was the hard hitting AdVan poster, showing the public the true extent of the dangers of using an unbooked minicabs. 

The poster was backed up by a freedom of information request reference number and carried an image that had appeared on TfL's own safer travel at night campaign posters. We know it was having an impact, because the touts and potential predators were getting irate, plus the GMB Union, weren't happy bunnies either.

We also knew TfL would be not be very happy with the content of this poster. 
A certain trade org recently applied to TfL (Under a freedom of information request) for statistics appertaining to minicab assaults and rapes over the last 12 month period. But when given the requested statistics, TfL had back tracked and given stats from a slightly early time frame, April 2014 to April 2015, which gave a lower total. They then asked for these statitics not to be published, as it was feared even though they were lower, could frighten people away from using minicabs. 
However, the TfL statistics were leaked on social media. 

But then Taxi Leaks came into possession of a more recent set of figures which showed a greater amount of sexual attacks
These latest statistics were legally obtained by FOI request from the Metropolitan Police. 

The original AdVan poster was designed by myself and sent to Steve McNamara who replied that he would put this to the LTDA lawyers. Personally, I thought that would be the end of it.

But I was amazed and over the moon, when I found that they had posted a similar poster on the AdVan and it was out on the ranks, informing vulnerable people just how dangerous it could be to jump into a minicab without first booking through the correct channels. 

Unfortunately and true to form, we now find that the LTDA have bottled it with the message and dummed down the statistics.
The wow factor 154 recorded sexual assaults, have been reduced to just 32 attacks, alleged to be Uber drivers. 

Why have the LTDA dumbed down this campaign?

It's not just Uber drivers who are attacking, sexually assaulting and raping passengers. Last year there were 154 sexual attacks, only 32 were alleged to be Uber drivers.

After the leaked Mike Calvey letters, which lead to the Justice for the LTDA Two saga, there are now even more questions that now need answers:
Why have the LTDA dummed down the sexual assaults message?
Who has complained and to whom?
Why would the LTDA take notice of any complaints?

Did the LTDA feel that going with the original poster would mar their chances of getting another executive committee member on the next board of TfL?

Do the LTDA feel that a seat on the board of TFL is worth compromising public safety and letting down their members and the trade?

Should the LTDA resign and break completely from the board of TfL by not seeking reappointment?
Being on the board of TfL is a massive conflict of interest which grossly affects their ability to represent both their members and the Taxi trades best interests.

Was this latest issue a cop out, designed to appease TfL and or the GMB (who also represent licensed London Taxi drivers)?

If they are going to cave in this easy, then they might as well stick the monkey back on the van, because that's obviously how TfL view the LTDA.

While the organ grinder plays the tune, the monkey dances.