Saturday, June 25, 2016
Thursday, June 23, 2016
Dear Mayor Khan,
I acknowledge that you are a busy man, but feel I must impose upon your for one moment, about a subject that I know is close to your heart.
'Dads Defending Daughters' will stage a static protest at Parliament Square, on Friday 24th June 2016.
This protest is not about you. It is about the state in which your predecessor left London.
Symptoms: Rape and sexual assault.
Our protest will be to highlight the symptoms of a poorly run and corrupt Transport for London and Department for Transport.
Those symptoms are the unacceptable level of rape and sexual assault in TfL licensed Private Hire minicabs.
Cause: Corrupt and unscrupulous officials.
TfL have lowered the standard of Private Hire to an unregulated, 'pay your money, no questions asked' free for all, to accommodate a powerfully backed, tax dodging, foreign company who are prepared to employ the unemployable.
DfT refuse to acknowledge the elephant in the room, due to pressure from the likes of Sajid Javid, Baroness Kramer, 'Government' Sachs, David Cameron, George Osborne, bought and paid for MPs and lobbyists; all putting profit and employment figures ahead of your travelling public's safety.
These power orientated people view the public as consumers, not as human beings.
Cure: Mayor's office.
I understand that the EU Referendum is tomorrow. Therefore I do not expect a prompt reply.
Deputy Mayor for Transport, Valerie Shawcross and you have done more in five weeks, than Boris Johnson did in eight years.
You have finally started the engine. Boris never even opened the garage door.
Prevention: Three points to put into force:
No onscreen app location of minicabs.
This invites young people to approach a driver, they have seen onscreen, for cash. A common occurrence, suiting both parties.
Leaving no secure proof of journey, and open to the dangers of predators and mistaken identity.
A minimum of five years residency for any PH or Taxi applicant.
No more letters of good conduct from foreign countries or sponsors.
The licensing authority should be able to DBS from a United Kingdom record system.
No one should be left in charge of vulnerable people without an enhanced background check.
The banning of blacked out, obscured and tinted windows.
No one can see if a vulnerable person is in distress.
These are a dangerous and non essential extra, and could be the difference between rape and rescue.
I know you are determined to put forward the capping of Private Hire vehicles.
We Londoners welcome this, for many reasons.
And we do not expect anything to change overnight.
But the regulations that are already in place must be tightened up immediately and enforced correctly.
Please ask yourself these two simple questions:
1. Would I feel at ease knowing one of my daughters is travelling in a TfL licensed minicab, under such unregulated circumstances?
2. What would I do, as a Dad Defending his Daughters, to make it safer for my children to get home in a minicab?
Hopefully, after the EU Referendum, you can reflect upon this letter, and our concerns.
You have done brilliantly to get to where you are from such humble origins; to become Sadiq Khan - Mayor of London.
But we Londoners expect more from one of our own.
Leonard H. Etheridge.
Wednesday, June 22, 2016
Tuesday, June 21, 2016
Sohail Masood, 34, put on a yellow high-vis jacket with 'Book a Cab Here' on the back and approached people at a train station, ahead of waiting black cab drivers.
Masood, who owns Northants-based Starline Cabs, was found guilty of soliciting people for private vehicle hire.
Masood insisted that he did not approach anyone and only booked taxis for customers who approached him - as the council had told him he could legally do.
Prosecutor Matthew Knight said: "You wore a high visibility jacket that said, book your cab here', which means that your actions were enticing people to come to you and book their minicab with your company."
Mason was convicted of Touting and was ordered to pay £150 costs.
Question for TfL:
If it's illegal to take bookings by advertise a PH company a HiVis jacket, then why do your Compliance Officers calmly walk by the sandwich board men in Shoreditch and Islington?
While we are on the subject of touting let's go back to earlier this years when a contingent from TfL which included the CEO of surface transport, the General Manager of LTPH and a senior compliance officer, went out on a walkabout with members of Taxi trade orgs and the BBC's Eddie Nestor.
Live on air, this group were openly touted in the middle of Soho and details were taken.....We have since heard all charges have been dropped because Eddie Nestor refused to make a statement. That's right, it's all down to Eddie Nestor!
What message is this sending out to WestEnd touts?
Ismail Emin, a Chelmsford resident, had been granted the licences by Uttlesford District Council for his business, West End Cars, in October 2015.
Emin listed the business address as a unit in Ongar Road, Great Dunmow, and he provided a letter from the landlord confirming he was a tenant at the address.
However, the council said it had received complaints that West End Cars vehicles were driving around Chelmsford with a Chelmsford telephone number on the side of their vehicles.
A member of Uttlesford's enforcement team carried out two visits to the Dunmow address to check the record of bookings, but found no signage or any indication of the firm's presence.
Neighbours also had no knowledge of a taxi business operating from that address.
At a meeting of Uttlesford’s Licensing and Environmental Health Committee last month (23 May), Emin failed to provide any supporting evidence that the business or the taxis were based in Uttlesford.
Cllr Robert Chambers, chairman of the Licensing and Environmental Health Committee, said: "The reason why someone from outside the area would seek a license in Uttlesford is quite clear - Uttlesford has one of the lowest fee structures in the country, and almost certainly in Essex.
"It is the policy of the council not to licence any hackney carriage which will not be predominantly used within Uttlesford. To reinforce this it is the practice of the Council to seek a declaration from the applicant that the vehicle will be predominantly used within the district. In this instance, Mr Emin's declaration was false. There was no evidence to show that he has run his business within the district, or that any of the hackney carriage vehicles are working here."
The council said its policy was based on a 2009 High Court case in which the judge said that, when considering applications for licences, councils must have regard to whether the vehicles will be used to ply for hire in the council's district or whether they will be used predominantly outside of the district. In the latter event the council should refuse to grant a licence.
Cllr Chambers said: "I hope this case sends a strong message to those who fail to meet the licensing conditions that this will not be tolerated and that the council will not hesitate to take the appropriate action."
It's been alleged that Uber cars licensed in London by TfL have been working in towns and cities outside their licences area.
Bristol TAXI drivers claim the rise of online firm Uber, is putting the trade at risk and are now threatening to bring the streets of Bristol to a standstill with a massive demonstration.
Monday, June 20, 2016
Nearly 100 cab drivers are volunteering their services to London’s Taxi Charity – full name, The London Taxi Benevolent Association For War Disabled, picking up veterans and carers from their homes across the capital, including the Royal Hospital, Chelsea from 6.30am [on Tuesday 21 June] for the charity’s annual seaside trip to Worthing.
The taxis will arrive at South Holmwood Village near Dorking around 9am for a pit stop where the veterans will be welcomed by the villagers and fortified with sandwiches and drinks for the day ahead. The convoy of cabs will continue along the A24 to Worthing arriving at the town at lunchtime.
The veterans, who mostly fought in WWII will be treated to a hero’s lunch of sausages and mash at The Pavillion on Worthing Pier and enjoy a day of entertainment and camaraderie.
Graham Pike, one of the drivers taking part and committee member of the Taxi Charity said: “It’s an honour to treat these ladies and gents to a day they’ll remember. They’ve done their bit fighting for us, and now we look after them.”
Councillor Sean McDonald, Mayor of Worthing Council added: “It is a time honoured tradition for the residents of Worthing to welcome these brave men and women every year to our town. We are delighted that they enjoy Worthing so much, that they continue to visit us every year.”
Only licenced London taxi drivers can drive for the Taxi Charity and veterans take an active part throughout the year by collecting donations at tube stations and locations across London.
The London Taxi Benevolent Association For War Disabled has been organising trips to Worthing on the South Coast since 1947. The charity counts among its patrons Dame Vera Lynn and Joanna Lumley who were guests of honour at the annual Worthing trips in 1985 and 2009 respectively.
To donate to the charity, visit the website at www.taxicharity.org. For updates about the charity, follow on Twitter, FaceBook and Instagram.