Thursday, July 28, 2016

Letter To Editor : You Can Only a Kick Someone So Many Times Before They Kick You Back

Soon we'll completely ignore their rules. let's face it, WTF are they going to do to our trade after kicking it in the testes for so long, it's on it's knees. Are they going to sack us, refuse to issue a licence?

They appear to live in that fantasy world, all those types do. In that they believe we'll all carry on as before, because they say so. yet they wouldn't get out of bed for less than £xxxxx salary, yet expect working preople to work for a pittance, whilst their profession is destroyed around them. Well TFL it's not going to happen.

They'll end up with the inferior service they already get from those app based suppliers. but, then they don't really give a fece do they. Didn't that flacid TFL sychophant say, "it's what Londoners want", whilst lieing his teeth off about land lines, & Insurance?

So WTF are TFL going to do to drivers who have no stakeholding or concern about TFL regs. Oh Yes, you're going to badge & bill us, along with hold up our license renewals, that'll impress us, won't it, not.

I forgot, TFL already have minicabs that don't abide by their regs, whilst TFL do sweet FA to them, except the odd road stop or similar.

It's merely the ability to earn a living, whilst having reasonable freedom, flexibility of the job, that made it worth while,& for us to obey the stupid, pathetic over burdensome, inflexible, unmovable rules imposed upon us and still doing so as they've destroyed those aspects of it, it's no longer viable, so why should i bother listening to their BS about rules. 

After all didn't TFL ride a coach & horses through all the rules to licence that app supplier? Which in doing so, raised the anger of the minicab fraternity who had obeyed those very rules. Now 98% of minicab business's have gone out of business, so why did they bother obeying any fece issued by a nasty, distainful, unlawful, dishonest, cheating, lieing, fraudulant, TFL? and why should we bother?

TFL needs to be the one that provides evidence of being fit & proper persons to conduct the business of the people, not London taxi drivers
So far taxi drivers have shown more commitment, honesty to their buniness than TFL have shown to the entire electorate of London. 

TFL, destroyers of the London licensed taxi (Black cab), destroying the livelyhoods of the independent individual traders of London on behalf of Corporate sector profitability!

Unfortunately, this letter was unsigned. 

MANDATE ON CREDIT CARDS, Deadline Approaches And Its All Gone A Bit Jim Thomas.

Back in February this year, the chair of the London Cab Drivers Club (LCDC) Grant Davis made a very bold statement, which was published in their newspaper, "The Badge".

Mr Davis said:
Whilst the trade is united in accepting the need for us to take credit cards, there is some disunity as to how this strategy will be implemented.

The majority of taxi drivers who already take credit cards and the app companies, who already process cards, are very concerned with TfL proposals for fixed units tied to the metre.

Unfortunately, at the meetings the LTDA is the only Org in favour of this proposal (it's a done deal isn't it Steve-JT). 
Let me make it clear, the LCDC will in no way be dictated to by TfL, yet again, as to what we can and cannot do in this issue.

To implement more costs which include brackets, electrical work connecting the metre, etc. at a time when the trade is fighting for its life is utter madness.

If need be, the LCDC are prepared, with others, to instigate legal action if they try to go ahead and impose this on us.

Grant Davis 

On the London Taxi Drivers Forum:
Many drivers are giving their unqualified verdict that TfL can't do this, can't do that.
Well TfL will be doing this, and they will be doing that.
And it appears no one is doing a thing to stop them.

We've been informed on Twitter (by TfL @TfLTPH) that the mandate is perfectly legal because Leon Daniels has signed off the following London Cab Order regarding the acceptance of Credit/debit cards.


As the deadline approaches, not a word on the LCDC's United trade's legal action. 
To be fair, the LTDA's Steve McNamara went on record saying 
"nothing can be done, it is a done deal".
Yes, looks like we've all been done......again.

Who can forget the wonderful offer of a 15 year age limit, made to Mayor Boris Johnson on our behalf by this mob.

How many full time working cab drivers can you see?
Apparently Grant Davis was there, but didn't want to be in the same room as Brian Rice 

Unfortunately, our representative org's lack of action, is not confined to one issue:
• No landline for Uber bookings !
• No Uber bookings !
• Licence renewals fiasco !
• Leon's lies to the GLA, on off insurance and Jo Bertram's personal phone number given by Leon, as Ubers public booking line !
• We then had Leon's Ubergate Email's !
• Operation no one !
• Then Uber in court saying on oath, "the company doesn't take bookings, bookings are taken by drivers in car" !

To top this, the sexual assaults and rape statistics, gained by Freedom of Information Request, were dumbed down on the LTDA AdVan, to appease TfL.

And now silence from our org leaders who all know what's happened to Leon, but no ones willing to say anything.

And now, this below, picked up by #SaveTaxi Facebook group.


                  Breaking news: 
'Rear Fitted CC Machines Required, But Unnecessary'.
It's just been confirmed by the LTDA that although you will have to have CC machines fitted in the rear, you won't be forced to use them. Hand held devices can still be used.

How long will equipment suppliers stand the cost of fitting machines in vehicles, where drivers are not using them. 
It will just encourage the companies to charge a high monthly rental....more expense, when we can least afford to pay it. 
And you won't be able to claim the expense back from the customer.

It just doesn't add up
This whole issue has been handled diabolically from the start, I'll thought out by our representative orgs, with TfL taking no notice of its own consultation results. 

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Addison Lee's plan to operate ‘executive’ minicabs with tinted windows at Luton Airport blocked by council

PLANS to operate tinted window minicabs like limousines from Luton Airport have been dealt a blow by the council.

Addison Lee, who recently won the contract to operate their vans and cars from the airport, had wanted to introduce a fleet of 30 ‘executive vehicles’ which featured tinted windows and would be exempt from the display of licence plates identifying them as private hire. But Luton Borough Council’s licensing panel rejected the move on Monday. It’s a big blow for both Addison Lee, who have said they are exploring an appeal.

Give them an inch and they want a yard!
Luton Airport had consistently said that their decision to replace the Luton Hackney Carriage Association with Addison Lee was so that passengers could see an ‘improved fleet of vehicles’.
Although Addison Lee has said service levels have already gone up, they conceded the council’s decision not to allow the executive fleet was ‘saddening’.

Michael Galvin, head of regulatory affairs with Addison Lee, told Luton on Sunday: “I was more sad than angry at the decision. The case we put to the licensing panel was open and honest and presented in good faith, and we felt we had addressed any issues. The thought of going to appeal is not something we usually like doing, but we are exploring that process.”

A spokesman for Luton Borough Council said: “The application to relax the conditions in the Private Hire Operators Licence which would allow the company to operate vehicles with tinted windows and which did not display the licence plate and standard signage was refused.

“Whilst there is no express definition of the term ‘Executive Licence’ the Panel did not consider Addison Lee’s operation to fall within such a category.

“The Panel recognises that certain private hire operators undertake contracts which are more akin to a chauffeur driven car, often using prestige vehicles, being contracted to a specific customer or company and often at the disposal of the hirer for extended periods rather than for single journeys.

“The Panel did not consider Addison Lee’s operation to differ significantly from an ordinary private hire service and serves the general public using the airport rather than any exclusive or separately identifiable customer base.

“Given the similarity with other private hire operators and also to the previous hackney carriage provision at the airport, there was no reason to justify departure from the Council’s policy requiring the grant of a licence with standard operator conditions.

“The standard conditions are imposed for the purpose of protecting customers and the wider public who come into contact with private hire vehicles.

"Accordingly, the application to exempt the operator from the standard is refused and the standard conditions will remain on the licence previously issued".

Editorial Comment: 
It would appear that Addison Lee have shown more respect for Luton Council than they show TfL. At least they app,keep for permission to run their fans with tinted windows in Luton and yet to our knowledge have never applied for or been granted permission to have tinted windows on their London fleet, they just did it. 

Again we see our licensing authority (TfL) scared to take action against private hire. More recently we saw Addison Lees minicabs with Rugby World Cup full body liveries and blacked out windows,  in contravention of their licensing conditions yet again. 

   TfL said and did nothing about it.

Perhaps TfL's compliance teams were too busy harassing Taxi drivers for badge and bills at station ranks 

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Autogas To Start Trial With Converted Diesel Taxi To New Petrol/Gas In London.

  The Autogas Taxi- cleaner, cheaper solution 

Autogas is shortly to commence a trial in London of a traditional black London taxi running on LPG.

The company, which has the largest network of automotive LPG refuelling pumps in the UK, hopes the cab will be approved by Transport for London for use later this year.

The vehicle, which has had its diesel engine replaced by a petrol engine converted to run on LPG, will be run 24 hours a day in order to speed up the process, which includes a 10,000 mile durability test.

Autogas believes the LPG re-powering solution will prove attractive to black cab owners who want to extend the working life of their vehicle in London rather than invest immediately in a brand-new one.

Paul Oxford, business development manager of Autogas, said: “Not everyone is going to rush out and buy a new vehicle straightaway. If someone is coming up to retirement, for example, why buy a new cab?

“By converting with an approved LPG system they can get another five years of service from the vehicle, as well as dramatically reducing air pollution and making substantial savings on fuel costs."

Currently London imposes an age limit of 15 years on black cabs with diesel engines. In contrast, approved LPG conversions can be exempted and allowed to run for another five years, up to 20 years old.

This provision is important in the run-up to 2018, when all new hackney carriages in London will have to be zero emission capable as part of the city’s drive to reduce air pollution. Taxis which are already licensed won’t be affected.

Birmingham City Council has already backed LPG as an alternative fuel which will help reduce air pollution in the city. Sixty-three of the city’s taxi fleet are being 'repowered' from diesel engines to petrol engines running on autogas LPG.

Initial emission testing at MIllbrook has shown the LPG technology produces 80% fewer NOx emissions compared with a normal diesel powered version, as well as a 99% reduction in sooty particulate matter.

At around 55p a litre, LPG is also cheaper than conventional fuels. Repowering of a taxi costs around £8,000 and takes around three days.

It's surprising that both the new Mayor and former Mayor made no attempt to look at the benifits of LPG in the London a Taxi fleet. Instead they are expecting drivers to invest in an untried technology with suspect health issues to the drivers (and regular users).

Range Extended Taxis, Are We Being Sold Another Lie By The Greenies? Jim Thomas

Still no reports from TfL or the Mayors office on the affect of sitting over batteries, strung together, emitting Gamma B radiation, generated by a strong electro magnetic forcefield. 
Does no one care about the health issues of the driver?

Don't forget, people were told asbestos was a perfectly safe substance to build prefabs with after the war, even though they knew full well (from as early as 1920) that it had carcinogenic properties. 
My father's sister and her husband, were housed in just such a prefab by the local council, on Carlton Hill/Marlborough Hill in St Johns Wood just after the war. 
Both died from cancer in the early sixties. 

Not one representative org or union has questioned or investigated driver health issues in connection to this new technology.
No one has questioned the mayor, TfL, LTI or Frazer Nash over this.
This is an untried technology and we Taxi drivers are being used as Guinea pigs.

Gamma B is the radiation used in dentistry to take X-rays of the mouth. 
The dentist and his assistants stand behind a lead shield when fired up to take the X-ray.
Taxi drivers will be expected to sit over this EMF for 6-8-10 hours at a time with absolutely no protection.

We know that in everyday life, we are surrounded by different strength EMF's and there is a small one emitted by normal car batteries. But with a bank of batteries connected together, the force field is magnified producing stronger emmisions. 

Fazer Nash and LTI won't comment on the subject....I wonder why....they are not the ones sitting over this time bomb for extended periods of time.

Why have TfL and the Mayor put all their eggs in the one basket?
Why no exploration of different technologies?

Below are two videos explaining a cheap and safe alternative that would produce almost zero emmisions.

What all the big oil companies don't want you to know how to save 60% on fuel


Answers to the many thousands of questions asked since the original video got over 30 Million views in 48 hours. It was shared over 750,000 times. 
In this follow-up video Grant talks to the inventor of my hydrogen conversion system. 

Straight answers directly from the expert himself.


Monday, July 25, 2016

Hailo Takes Fight To Uber With Daimler Deal

Sky News has learnt that Hailo will announce on Tuesday that it is to become part of the Mercedes-Benz-owner's portfolio in an effort to take on Uber, the world's most valuable taxi-hailing app.

Sources said that Hailo, which launched in 2011, had been seeking a strategic investor for some time.

The company's existing investors include some of the technology sector's biggest names, including Accel, Wellington Partners as well as entrepreneurs such as Sir Richard Branson.

Daimler acquired MyTaxi, which claims to be Europe's leading taxi-booking app, in 2014, having bought an initial stake in its owner, Intelligent Apps, two years earlier.

This week's deal will see another tech start-up devoured by a major corporate name operating in its industry, underlining their determination to capture the growth emanating from new distribution models.

Volkswagen, which is reeling from the impact of its US diesel emissions scandal, recently invested $300m in Gett, an Israeli taxi venture.

The terms of the investment in Hailo, including the size of the stake that would continue to be held by external investors, were unclear on Monday.

Hailo, which operates in markets including Ireland, Japan and Spain as well as several British cities, also made an unsuccessful attempt to penetrate the US taxi market.

The company has raised roughly $100m in total since its launch, including most recently from a group of unnamed Asian investors to accelerate its growth.

Uber has continued to raise billions of dollars from investors across the globe even as it has faced regulatory roadblocks in a number of major markets.

Hailo declined to comment on Monday.

Uber Decide They Don't Need Operator Licence

 The march to global domination of taxi app firm Uber has halted in parts of the North East at least.

After submitting applications to operate in Gatesheadand North Tyneside several months ago, Uber suddenly decided to withdraw their applications.

A Gateshead Council spokeswoman said: “Uber Britannia Ltd applied to the council to be licensed to operate taxis in Gateshead. In June this year, after a number of months of discussion, the company informed us it was withdrawing its application.”

Meanwhile North Tyneside Council said the application was first submitted on October 25, 2015 and it was withdrawn on June 1, 2016.

Neither council would say if the company gave any reason for its withdrawal.

A North Tyneside spokesperson said: “Unfortunately, due to commercial sensitivity, we aren’t able to provide any further detail.”

In April last year, Newcastle became one of 400 cities around the world to give permission to the ride-hailing platform to operate since it was launched in 2010.

This April, Sunderland joined its ranks while we understand an application is also being considered by Northumberland.

Chris Chandler, spokesman for the National Taxi Association in the North East, suggested the applications might have been withdrawn as Uber wasn’t able to meet the criteria laid down for taxi firms operating in those areas.

Mr Chandler, a long term critic of Uber whose operation he describes as “spreading like germs”, said many of its drivers had no local knowledge and would fail any ‘locality tests’ on knowing the patch they are in, known as ‘the knowledge’. Its drivers rely heavily on sat navs.

Newcastle City Council was criticised last year by long established operators after it scrapped the stringent test which demanded cabbies had in depth knowledge of the area they cover, opening the door for Uber to start up there.

Bosses at the city council say the decision to make the changes related to pending Government legislation, and the increased use of satellite navigation systems and app based systems.

To use Uber, passengers download its app on their smartphone which then uses GPS enabled maps to locate them, and they can request a nearby taxi with the press of a button.

The app then provides the taxi driver’s photo, name and car registration and users can watch the taxi approaching via a moving symbol on the map.

Uber spokesman in the North East, Harry Porter, said: “There’s been a lot of noise from a couple of local operators. The simple fact is the applications were withdrawn because we didn’t need the expense.

“We submitted applications in North Tyneside and Gateshead back in 2015. Since then, Uber has grown rapidly and we’ve been really pleased with how popular the service has become throughout the North East.

“We spent many months waiting for our applications to be progressed but our growth was not hampered in the meantime, so we decided there was no need to pursue these any further and instead focus on getting on with serving the region.”

Taxi And Limousine Commission Vote To Limit Cabbies’ Working Hours

Starting in November, cab drivers will not be allowed to drive for more than 12 hours a day.

The Taxi and Limousine Commission is trying to get drowsy drivers off the road.

On Monday July 18, the TLC voted to pass new rules that limit cab drivers from being on the road more than 12 hours daily and 72 hours weekly. These limits would apply to the more than 140,000 drivers licensed by the TLC, including taxi, limousine, commuter van, black car and Uber drivers.

The rules, which were proposed in May, are aimed at tackling driver fatigue, something the TLC has taken more seriously since an elderly Manhattan woman was fatally struck by a taxi in May 2015. Since then, the TLC has collected research from the Centers for Disease Control, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the National Sleep Foundation and the US Federal Highway Administration, which concluded that driving fatigued is similar to driving under the influence of alcohol.

According to the TLC, the data also revealed that over 2014 and 2015, “the crash rate of taxi drivers working more than 12 hours in a day was 23.8 percent higher than for those who worked 12 or fewer hours in a day. Over the same two-year period, the crash rate of taxi drivers working more than 72 hours in a week was 8.6 percent higher than for those who worked 72 or fewer hours in a week.”

TLC Commissioner Meera Joshi said in a public statement, “The work of TLC-licensed drivers is critical to the movement of the City. To minimize the risk of a crash, drivers must be alert, which requires rest. But these crashes are preventable with a reasonable limit on the hours during which a driver can pick-up passengers. Today’s proposal does that.”

However, the TLC admitted in its proposal that the new rules will only affect a minority of drivers. It stated, “Only a small percentage of drivers ordinarily surpass the new limits; 3 percent typically drive more than 12 hours per day, and less than 7 percent drive for more than 72 hours per week.” The TLC hoped this would calm concerned cab drivers who fear the new rules will cap their earnings.

The BK Reader reached out to the New York Taxi Workers Alliance for comment but it said it will withhold comments until the new rules are implemented in November.

Despite Monday’s vote the TLC’s new rules are subject to change before they go into affect on November 1 as the commission is still figuring out its exact method of enforcement.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Taxis 'must be allowed in Oxford Street even after it's pedestrianised'

Taxis must be allowed to continue to access Oxford Street even after it is pedestrianised, the Licensed Taxi Drivers Association has said.

Plans to transform the world famous shopping street into a car-free zone were unveiled by the Mayor of London’s office earlier this month.

City Hall said all vehicles will be banned on a 1.2 mile stretch from Tottenham Court Road to Bond Street Tube station by 2020 to coincide with the launch of Crossrail, the new east to west train line.  

The project is among measures introduced by Mayor Sadiq Khan to tackle London’s air pollution.

But the LTDA said it objects to any restriction on taxis’ access, which would have a detrimental impact on those who require a door-to-door service including wheelchair users and the elderly. 

“We agree with the Mayor that the levels of congestion and the poor air quality on Oxford Street are unsustainable," a spokesman for the LTDA said.

“At last month’s Transport Committee hearing on this issue, there was a general consensus that reducing bus services was the best way to alleviate these problems. We are glad to hear that the Mayor intends to reroute bus services away from Oxford Street. 

“However, it is essential that taxis are allowed to continue to access Oxford Street, as they provide an invaluable service to shoppers and businesses alike, especially those who rely on a door-to-door service, such as wheelchair users, the visually impaired, the elderly, those with luggage and shoppers with young families. 

“Taxis are a fundamental part of the Oxford Street experience for tourists and all new cabs will be emissions-free from next year.” 

Oxford Street’s transformation would be carried out in two stages to minimise disruption with the first phase of construction on the eastern section from Oxford Circus onwards.

City Hall has vowed to work closely with local business and taxi drivers to meet the needs of the elderly and disabled using the busy shopping street.

A Mayor of London spokesman said: “The pedestrianisation of Oxford Street will make this world famous street safer, and improve the air quality for the thousands of people who use it every day. 

“It will be a phased programme of work overall several years, working closely with local businesses, residents and key stakeholders like taxi drivers and groups that represent disabled people. 

“This will include looking carefully at addressing the particular needs of older people and access for wheelchair users.”

  • Source : Standard News

Fatal bus stop crash in Hornchurch

A taxi driver died after crashing into the bus stop in Station Lane, Hornchurch

The suburban taxi driver died and two of his passengers were injured, after crashing into a bus stop.

Police were called to the incident at 12.50am this morning.

The collision happened in Station Lane, Hornchurch, just outside the tube station.

Paramedics were in attendance but the Taxi driver was pronounced dead at the scene.

A male and female passenger were taken to an east London hospital for treatment.

The road was closed off by police shortly after the crash and Hornchurch tube station was shut for a brief period. 

A Metropolitan Police spokesman confirmed that next of kin had been informed and a post mortem examination will be held in due course.

Enquiries continue.