Saturday, July 16, 2016

Marc Turner Attends Exhibition On Proposed Revisions To Disastrous Tavistock Place Scheme.

Thursday evening (14th July) i attended Mary Ward House for an exhibition of proposed revisions to the disasterous implementation of experimental traffic changes by Camden Council last year. 

There was a respectable turnout of concerned cabbies, far outnumbering local residents. 

But on chatting to said locals, I was surprised to hear their lifes have been blighted even more then ours over the ill judged 'traffic tinkering' that even Camden Council concedes 'isn't' working! 
They exhibited three revised plans, only one was prefered by the taxi fraternity.

It wasn't perfect, but an improvement on what we and our customers are currently suffering. 
We all filled in a questionnaire with the welcome option of choosing for the failed experiment to be totally scrapped, and returned to the areas original layout. 

The Exhibition resumes on Saturday (16th July) 10:30/ 16:00. 
I implore interested parties to attend. Remember you've got to be in it to win it!...

Our arguments are valid but don't amount to anything if we can't be bothered to voice them. If you can't possibly get there and want to be heard, email your views to

Friday, July 15, 2016

Letter To Taxi Leaks From The Vito Taxi Club. A question that deserves an answer???

Great work by all you guys, you are a credit to the trade.

I would like an answer from the government & TfL to the question I have asked Val & both Mayors for some time.

Why did George Osbourne working then as Chancellor of the Exchequer pressure BJ to accept a US tax dodging billionaires dangerous minicab app into London as admitted to Val Shawcross under her questioning at a GLA meeting?

Uber got into London via dubious orders from at least one obviously dubious senior government official so it should be ejected upon examination of the dangerous distracting SatNav & phone app interaction modus operandi of this business model.

Our streets are littered with the car wrecks of distracted PH drivers & Londons A&E depts deal with the consequences on a daily basis.

Why have our trade unions & reps not insisted on an answer to this ?

I applaud Val for asking the right question, but when answered by BJ why did she not follow it up & pursue it to its obvious conclusion..........corruption right to the top, & attempted crucifixion of the licensed trade. 


Today's special video from London Taxi Benevolent Association For War Disabled


Comprehensive Guide To Joining The UCGup Twitter Jim Thomas

One of the best resources we have in our trade, to help drivers maximise their working skills is the free UCGup account on Twitter. And yet, only around 10% of drivers are using it. 

There are a lot of older drivers like myself who sometimes need help with technology. So I've put together this guide to show how simple it is to get on the UCGup account.

UCGup, was born out of need to reverse the elitist  attitudes that saw our trade divide and devastated for the best part of a decade. 

In a politically motivated move against certain new boys on the block, a number of high profile drivers were expelled from the Tweet a London Cab "CABup" account. 

The UCG then decided to set up and sponsor their own account. 
It was decided from day one, to make the account non political and available free to every driver in the trade, regardless of which org, Union or group the driver supports.  

So, what are the attributes of being on this service?

Work updates. 
The whole service depends on the actions of all the subscribers. If Paddington/Kings Cross/Waterloo etc...need Taxis, the observing driver sends a direct message to the app. This is then sent out as an update to all the subscribers. 

Same thing with ranks at Hotels, bars, restaurants, clubs, in fact anywhere people are seen looking for Taxis.

Traffic updates:
Then their are the traffic updates, jams, roadworks and RTAs. 

After being on the service for just a few days, you'll find it will become an essential piece of kit to make your working day/night easier.

So how do you get on this service?

First, you need to have a Twitter account installed on your smart phone. But don't worry, you don't have to follow anyone except UCGup, it's your call.

Once on Twitter, you will need to search for the UCGup account and click on the follow button. You won't be accepted straight away. 

Next, you need to send a photo of your Bill and Badge and Twitter ID to
Once accepted you will have to ability to start receiving regular up dates from UCGup.

Once you get the hang of things you can advance to rhe next level and start receiving notifications on your phone without actually having the app on screen. 

       Image shows iPhone settings 

Go to notifications on your phone and choose Twitter, click on allow notifications. 
You can also choose to turn on the sound alert and notification centre, but that's optional.

Now go to the UCGup Twitter page click on the settings wheel and turn on notifications. 

And basically, that's it. 

You will now receive notifications from UCGup, regardless of whatever program is running on your phone or tablet. You will even get updates while the phone is in lock screen mode.

Finally listen to this short sound clip: 
The Ucgup welcome Speech

And that's it, it's that simple! 
But then to be honest, the best solutions normally are the simple ones. 

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Very Emotional Short Clip, Which Shows Bonds Formed Between Veterans And Taxi Drivers.

Often our Taxi drivers become quite close to the war veterans they take on trips. Here is one of our long-standing drivers, David Webb, talking about the veteran he has taken to The Netherlands several times, Stan Daines. We also hear Stan talking about the Taxi Charity.


Dick Goodwin and his team of London cabbies, are appealing for your votes as they strive to get national recognition for our veterans disabled in war, on BBC One in this year’s National Lottery Awards.

The project beat off stiff competition from over 600 organisations to reach the public voting stage in this year’s National Lottery Awards – the annual search for the UK’s favourite Lottery-funded projects.
The London Taxi Benevolent Association for War Disabled is competing against six other projects to be crowned the winner of the Charity/Voluntary category. If they win, they get a £3,000 cash prize to spend on their project, an iconic National Lottery Awards trophy and the chance to attend a star-studded glittering Awards ceremony in London, and be featured in a special Awards show, broadcast on BBC One in September.

TV star and actor John Barrowman will be presenting the National Lottery Awards for the sixth time this year. He says:
“The National Lottery Awards are a great way to shine a spotlight on outstanding lottery-funded projects. Now in their 13th year, the Awards celebrate the talent and dedication of the amazing staff and volunteers that run incredible life-changing Lottery funded projects for the benefit of their communities and the people who live in them.

“This project has worked very hard to become a finalist and they now need your support because the project with the most votes in each category will be crowned the winner. 
“Projects like this receive funding thanks to National Lottery players who raise £36 million every single week for Good Causes across the UK.”

To vote for the London Taxi Benevolent Association for War Disabled please click this link:

or telephone 0844 836 9712 

and follow the campaign on twitter: hashtag #NLAwards.
Voting runs until midnight on Wednesday 20 July.  

There are seven projects competing for votes across seven categories, reflecting the main areas of National Lottery funding: arts, sport, heritage, health, environment, education and voluntary/charity. 

Travis's Great American Dream Crumbles, As The Light At The End Of The Tunnel Is Switched Back On.

Uber's Dream Has Starting To Crumble....And We Are Still Here.

The plan was, by mid July 2016, Uber would have expanded to 42,000 drivers. Using their own brand of predator financing subsidies and free give-a-way bonanzas, they would swamp the Iconic London Taxis out of existence.

Well it hasn't quite gone to plan. Uber are actually desperate to fill the void created by drivers who have 'seen the light' and departed and are now having to advertise on national radio for replacements. A landslide of bad PR on social media, has done Uber immense damage.

To Travis's surprise, we "the best Taxi service in the world", are still in there fighting our corner.  
Which proves the old saying, 'cream will always rise to the top'.

To add to Uber's problems, we are now seeing a reversal of attitude at the top of TfL. 
Directors who thought they were invincible have gone, or moved sideways, with remaining top brass on close assessment. 

• John Mason pushed out in the cold.
• Sir Peter Hendy survived an adulterous affair by saying he was no ones moral compass, but then jumped from the top job like a rat deserting a sinking ship. (Did he really jump, or was he pushed?)
• Matt Bell quit the top compliance appointment after just a few weeks.
• Peter Blake, allegedly unsuitable from day one, punching way above his pay grade. 
• Leon Daniels, who told lies to the GLA, lucky our representative orgs are so weak, they didn't press for him to be prosecuted for malfeasance (carries a custodial sentence). The evidence has clearly always been there!

This new slimline administration are there to oversee the implementation of certain so called new PH regulations (actually they're nothing new!!! just old reg's, dusted off and finally being enforced). 
The first of these regulations, mandatory hire and reward insurance, started yesterday with the mythical on/off policies, finally kicked into touch. No new PHV will be licensed at passing stations without the required paper work. 

TfL stated yesterday their compliance teams now have full access to the MIB data base to check compliance on the fly.

It must be a massive victory for our trade, as both Uber and Steve Wright are up in arms. 

It's alleged Steve Wright already had the right hump after being given the old heave hoe from TfL's board because of conflict of interest....along with Bob Oddy and Peter Anderson.

Peter Anderson -to those who don't know- was chair of the board of TfL who, after being responsible for our April fare hike, then announced he actually use's Uber, because we were too expensive. 
But now he's gone, KARMA at last.

Apparently half the board are now gone through alleged conflicting business interests to TfL projects. 

Boris promised us protection but then stabbed us all in the back. The new Mayor has again, like Boris, promise to protect the trade....but to be serious, I won't be holding my breath. I want to see a dramatic change in TfL's attitude towards the London Taxi industry. 

The new regulations (or should we say the regulations TfL have decided to finally enforce) are having a marked effect on PH. Their representatives have asked for immediate suspension, which shows us they are having the desired affect.

In the run up to the implementation of the new H&R regs, over 600 new PH vehicles were being licensed every week. Last week, in light of the new hire and reward insurance requirement the figure suddenly dropped to just over 100. 

Last month #Action4Cabbies, attended a meeting with deputy Mayor Val Shawcross. The informal pressure group bought up the major issue of the increasing number of road traffic accidents involving Uber drivers. Too many PH drivers with absolutely no experience driving on London's streets, continually taking their eyes off the road to check their sat-navs. Everyday on social media, we see images of horrendous crashes and Uber cars driving the wrong way down one way streets. This is a serious issue as there has already been loss of life. 

The Deputy Mayor told the group that a new topographical test was definitely on the cards and would soon be introduced. She also hinted that in future prospective PH drivers will have to take an advanced driving test, similar to the one undertaken by Taxi driver applicants.

Action4Cabbies bought up the need for PH accidents to be recorded separately from Licensed Taxi sets. We are currently witnessing escalating premiums due to the increasing number of Uber smash ups. 

Also bought up at the meeting, was the requirement for warranted cab enforcement officer patrols, foot soldiers who have the power to stop/arrest/move on errant PH touts. Benign compliance teams who only have the power to harass Taxi drivers are a waste of budget. Deputy Mayor Shawcross said this is an issue she would be bringing up at her next meeting with police commissioner Hogan Howe. 

At the meeting with Val Sharcross and in the presence of Helen Chapman, the deputy Mayor mentioned, the only people at TfL who will be dealing with Taxi and private hire in future are;
Commissioner Mike Brown, 
Director Garrett Emmerson and 
General Manager Helen Chapman.

Leaving the meeting, I came away with the distinct impression the new administration is fully behind our trade and will be working towards its survival. It appears that many bad decisions made by previous TfL directorates, are to be revised in the coming months.

Interesting times ahead. It seems the light at the end of the tunnel has finally been turned back on.

Extra Comment:

As far as a modernisation of the regulations for Taxis and Private Hire for the rest of the UK, the Parliamentary Under Secretary Of State, Lord Ashmad has said, "The government has no current plans to introduce primary legislation to modernise the regulation of taxis and Private hire vehicles"

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Licensing Authority, Could Ban Taxi Drivers From Smoking E-Cigs....By Gerald Coba.

Tunbridge Wells Council decision on whether to ban taxi drivers from vaping in their vehicles has been put on ice.

Council chiefs have decided to hold off until they can ask the public for their views.

The licensing committee at Tunbridge Wells Borough Council unanimously voted to consult people on the matter of e-cigarettes and vaping in hackney carriage and private hire vehicles

It will be part of an already planned Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Policy review scheduled for later this year or next.

Licensing committee chairman Bob Backhouse told the Courier: "Further to complaints from members of the public concerning taxi drivers who have vaped while driving, I was asked 'is this illegal?' 'Is this against taxi regulations?' We discovered we only had a policy that stops smoking in taxis and obviously in the light of the widespread growth of vaping this needs to be amended."

He added: "Owing to the fact that we were about to make a public consultation with taxi drivers and members of the public, the licensing committee thought it best to incorporate this issue in that consultation. At the meeting councillors agreed that for people with asthma or other breathing difficulties it was considered anti-social for anyone to vape in a taxi, drivers or passengers."


There are many establishments in and around the capital that have banned vaping on their premises. Restaraunts, bars, clubs, cafes and pubs have banned puffing on the e-pipes as some customers have complained about the sweet sickly smell associated with the device. Drivers and customers in London taxis and minicabs are currently banned from smoking in vehicles where passengers are carried for hire and reward. We have also been informed by TfL that drivers should not vape while driving. Should this be a legally binding ban, extended all e-cigarettes users in the vehicle?  

As Taxi drivers, what are your views on this subject!

Do you think passengers, along with Taxi drivers should be banned from vaping in commercial vehicles?

Use the comments section to give your views!