Saturday, September 17, 2016

Have You Been Attacked By Drunk Or Awkward Passengers? Apparently TfLTPH Have No Data On This.

Letter from Alan Fisher, editor of Dial a Cab's Call Sign

Finally got a reply from the Mayor's office regarding the placing of credit card readers in the passenger compartment. Unsurprisingly, it came from someone writing "on behalf of the Mayor" and shows how little these people know about the best taxi service in the world. In response to drivers not wanting to leave their safety in the front to have to get into the rear at 2am, it says:

Dear Mr Fisher
Under no circumstances would we expect a driver to leave their cab should a problem with the payment machine arise. First of all, the driver should ask the passenger to try again. If the fault persists, they should contact the payment device supplier for support and see whether they can fix the fault or take an over-the-phone transaction. Once a fault has been acknowledged, the vehicle should be taken out of service until it's fixed.

If the card is declined or faulty then a common sense approach should be taken and an alternative means of payment agreed upon. If a passenger refuses to pay and an amicable agreement cannot be found, this should be treated like any other instance whereby a passenger refuses to pay a fare.

Isn't that great??? 
We just need to tell the passenger to hang around while we try to contact the device supplier! 
No doubt they'll answer and send someone out in seconds at 2am (or any other time)! 
Then if they can't or won't pay, we just treat it " like any other instance whereby a passenger refuses to pay a fare."

Why didn't I think of that!

TfL are obviously a waste of time, even though as a woman you would have assumed that Helen Chapman would have been sympathetic, so we have to move to the next level. 

Editorial Comment :
At he LCDC AGM on Tuesday Helen Chapman was asked about the drivers safety being compromised by rear placement of the PED's by Lenny Etheridge. 
She answered that TfL's data did not show this to be true, in regards to drunk or awkward passengers.  



TfL's Helen Chapman says, they have no data on this!

Is there anyone out there who has been attacked by their passengers, please let us know by sending email to 

Excerpts from Commons debate on Taxis and Private Hire.
Daniel Zeichner shadow minister for transport and Louise Haigh, Labour MP for Sheffield Heeley in Thursday's debate in the commons. 


Think this ones aimed at you Boris  

Friday, September 16, 2016

Are TfL Bulldozing Their Way Through The Mayors Action Plan ? .. By Jim Thomas.

Here we go again, tucked away on page 10 paragraph 15, something else that seems to have escaped the representative orgs and unions notice. 

"Mandatory Card and Contactless payments options", (that's the word the mayor uses "OPTIONS") in Taxis from 31st October to make it even easier for customers to pay, while giving drivers the time they need to prepare, and working with card payment providers to get the best deal for the drivers.

But TfL haven't done this. They've bulldozed conditions of fitness through, without the use of common sense, conditions that could compromise drivers personal safety. 

They haven't given us the "OPTION" to make our own provisions to get the best deal possible for both driver and passenger.

As the LTDA's general secretary, Steve McNamara said "it's a done deal" ...... and not one that we (as independent traders) have been party to.

With just over 5 weeks till the mandate deadline, it is up to our representative orgs to go back to TfL and demand a suspension, until the mayor's plan can be acted upon, giving drivers the right to make their own provision with providers. 

We must be allowed to get the best deal possible, currently unachievable under TfL's new conditions, which favour a handful of 'gold standard stakeholder' card payment suppliers.

Why should we be limited to TfL's favoured of providers?

We are independent sole traders. 
TfL's have no right to interfere with financial arrangements we deem to make with third parties. 

With thanks to Lenny Etheridge. 

This from Dads Defending Daughters:


On Tuesday, the Director of Service Operations TfL, Peter Blake handed me the 'Taxi and Private Hire Action Plan 2016', saying "It's all in here. All your demands are being met." I thought, 'Yeah, right.'

But to be honest, they all are ... almost.
Mayor Khan and Transport for London have put an excellent package together

To read the full article please use this link:


From BBC London Travel Watch.
The result of the badly planned Tavistock Place trial system

Traffic gridlock, Euston Road westbound, back passed Kings Cross 

TfL And The Mayor, To Lobby Government For Statutory Definition Of Plying For Hire.

Can't believe the orgs haven't made more from the statement put out by @TfLTPH 32 hours ago. 

Apparently, the Mayor's Action  Plan page 13 far right hand column says;
TfL and the Mayor of London will be lobbying Government for a statutory definition of Plying For Hire

On page 13 of the Mayors Action Plan, under the general heading " Lobbying for additional powers", it states: 

A statutory definition of plying for hire and pre-booked services – as the law stands, plying for hire is difficult to prove and requires significant enforcement resources. 

While we will continue to enforce to the full extent of our ability, along with the Mayor we are firmly of the view that a statutory definition of plying for hire and pre-booked services will remove ambiguity and clearly define the difference between taxi and private hire services, maintaining the two-tier system

Isn't this exactly what the RMT wanted all along ?

Images from Taxi And Private Hire Action Plan 2016.

It certainly looks like the orgs never bothered reading the publication through when it was launched. 
It's no secret they all got embargoed copies before the launch, so would of had plentry of time to read through. 

The only mention of defining plying for hire on social media I've seen so far, was a retweet on the LCDC Twitter account.

Mind you, to be fair, the LTDA did email their members but were probably too busy tweeting pictures of their AddVan and Marshals to put this out publically. 

Should be very interesting to see what Uber AM, (sorry meant City Am) have to say about this, as it could crush Uber's operating platform if (and that's a big if) it goes our way.

So, why the silence from the Orgs??? 

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Letter To Taxi Leaks : Stop The Slagging Off And Work Together. Enough's Enough.

Hi Jim

I saw this posted by Lee Shepherd on social media earlier and I truly believe this needs a bigger audience. If you can, could you publish on Taxi a Leaks as I think this one post certainly puts across the way most of us ordinary drivers feel. 

We are sick and tired of our orgs bashing away at each other, it's got to stop if we are to have any chance of surviving. 

Be lucky 
Chris Murphy 

Morning all ! 
As someone who is working hard to raise the image, profile & perception of our great trade, through social media & other channels of advertising, it saddens me to see our very own trade representatives publicly arguing on social media about trade matters. Especially under the banner of their very own org, club, association, group etc. 

You are our trades representatives ! You are supposed to be the leaders of upholding & setting the standards of our trade ! Representing the image of everything to do with our service !

What you put on social media between yourselves is not for the world to see ! These issues should be spoken about behind closed doors and should include every single representative of our trade in discussing what is the best action to take for our trade as a whole, & not what's best for your own independent org etc in points scoring ! 

You all represent the very same ONE TRADE ! 
Start working together & help our points & views make a unified impact  & reflect the professional image that our 360 year history deserves. 

You set the standards of representing each & every Driver within our trade ! 
Raise your standards & think about the image the public are perceiving from you as our representatives. 
Enough is enough !

Letter To Taxi Leaks : "The Better I Do My Job Today, The Better We All Do Tomorrow"


Our trade has written numerous articles and blogs in recent times, as many drivers (myself included) feel compelled to express our anger and frustration at the injustice we see unfolding before our eyes.

But one issue that is not so well documented is the personal strain that many drivers and their families are feeling as a result of the relentless morale bashing we are all experiencing. It's inevitable that tensions in family life rise as worry over job security and the ability to provide for our families takes its toll.
The natural reaction to take out daily frustrations on those closest to us is something we must not give in to.
We must constantly remind ourselves   that our partners are also feeling the same pressure and are worried on our behalf - even if they may roll their eyes occasionally after we mention the dreaded 'U' word for the umpteenth time each evening!

We must remember that for many of us, they were by our side throughout the highs and lows of The  Knowledge, from helping us call over to providing support after a disheartening appearance, they were with us. Every time the stresses of our current situation arise we must not forget this.

It is, of course, perfectly understandable for us all to feel deflated at the moment.
Without just cause the media relentlessly drags our good name through the mud proving the immense power of PR in its ability to sway public opinion into any direction it wishes. The avalanche of unfounded, and often personal attacks, on our character continues week after week as we ask ourselves
"What have we done to deserve this treatment?"

Each and every taxi driver has always played by the rules, following guideline after guideline not simply since they became a cabby, but from the minute they signed on to The  Knowledge. From that first obscure Manor House to Gibson Square run we have built a bond with London and a love of everything we thought it stood for.

TfL and our current government seem to be doing their utmost to destroy that bond as they actively  undermine our contribution to our city and play down our worth to the general public. Let us not kid ourselves that TfL's distain towards our trade is a new phenomenon. Since they inherited us from the Metropolitan Police, they have shown an ongoing and growing resentment to a trade that has done nothing more than give exemplary service to Londoners for over 300 years and is still the world leader in its field today.

Without even the pretence of impartiality from our regulator, is it any wonder that many drivers are feeling so undervalued and possibly even losing faith in London itself.

Yes London is changing and always will - but improving? I'm not so sure.  The London I grew up in seemed to have stronger values. It was a place that was built upon a spirit of fair play without the need to tread on everyone in your way to reach your goal. The 'comply or you are expendable' ethos is typical of London's new working culture and is very evident in the cut-throat nature that is being shown to the cab trade. Our government continually preaches  about how prosperous London is, whilst ignoring the fact that it's workforce is forced into working excessive hours in a city that none of us can afford to live in anymore.

Don't get me wrong, London is still the greatest city in the world, it's just that much of its greatness is being dismantled by government officials that seemingly tread a fine line between corruption and incompetence. Many of our current politicians are happy to give away yet another homegrown industry to uncaring foreign corporations that meticulously calculate how they can take as much from this country without giving anything back.

This is exactly what is happening to the London taxi trade. Under the pretence of innovative technology our government and regulator are effectively sanctioning a corporate takeover where the little man will be voiceless, controlled and kept firmly in his place. But what can the average driver do to fight back? 
It goes without saying that the minimum we should all be doing is to lobby and apply pressure to the MPs in question and support trade demos. The majority of our day to day issues we drivers have no say or control over; fare structures, traffic schemes and choice of vehicle to name just a few. We, therefore, must make clear demands of our trade orgs as they represent our voice in the above issues.

We have a choice to either let the deterioration of our working environment beat us into submission or we can roll up our sleeves and raise our bar even higher to provide a service that the public is thankful for.

The over-saturation of the private hire market means the public have more choice than ever before. However, this has also led to PH standards sinking to new depths. 
Through our quality of service we must ensure that the majority of the public only use a minicab because a black cab was not available and not vice versa.

As 25,000 sole traders we must replace our 'we work for ourselves' belief, with a 'we work for each other' mindset. 'The better I do my job today, the better we all do tomorrow' is the necessary mantra we must adopt to have any chance of surviving and flourishing again.

The overwhelming sense of achievement we all felt when completing The Knowledge is something that unites us all.  It is impossible to convey that 'badge day' feeling to someone who has not experienced it. Any driver who has been interrogated in a 24ft room by Mr Ormes or Mr Finlay knows that anything Leon and Travis throw at us is trivial in comparison. 

So the next time you put on your badge, puff out your chest and wear it with pride like it's the day you were awarded it. We have a long battle on our hands but when our battle is finally won and family life returns to normal, we can thank our loved ones for their unwavering support. After all, they are the ones we were really  fighting for all along.

John (@Igot Ormed)

Lee Ward : Concerns On The Deregulation Act 2015.

I have been sending emails to local Councillors in area's that have decided to 'do away' with a local knowledge test, namely Wolverhampton, Derby and Birmingham up to now, an example of the email sent is ;

Dear Cllr Bolshaw

I was very concerned to read your comments in the article about Private Hire and Taxis in Wolverhampton found in The Express & Star paper, and wish to make comment for you to take into consideration.

The Taxi and Private Hire industry has been thrown into turmoil since the introduction of the Deregulation Act 2015 and many authorities across the country are doing their utmost to minimise the effects that it has brought to areas all over the UK.

The initial reasons that this was sold to the Commons and House of Lords by the Tories, was under the guise that people in rural areas would have a better chance of receiving a service if the borders were removed, this has not been the case what so ever, in fact the rural areas have suffered because this new Law has allowed drivers to move into larger towns and cities like moths to a flame.

The removal of the knowledge test, will I am positive, make Wolverhampton the next Rossendale Licensing Authority, who are now under so much pressure from all other LA's to amend their mistakes that they have had to recently release a full consultation on both the vehicles and the drivers licenses to enable them to stem the flow of outgoing licenses and to so much as cull the licenses that are already granted. Do you really want this same thing to happen to your very own LA and its credibility ?

Uber are usually at the bottom of this, and it was no surprise to find that Uber are licensed within Wolverhampton, did they make the suggestion to make it easier to gain a taxi license? Their business model is pure saturation of an area with drivers, this forces local Tax paying businesses out of work and traps the drivers to then work on Ubers platform, this is not a good business for the future, or for the local economy. Uber uses the Deregulation Act to bring drivers from other areas and therefore takes the local economy back with them when they finish work, greatly reducing the money spent at local shops and within the community of Woverhampton. This has been proven in many areas already and is something to take note of as a Councillor.

Saturation of this industry is like any other industry, just look at the North Sea fishing and what that did to the trawler men of the East coast, this is no different. You mention that a lot of aplicants will not even work in your area, ask yourself why that would be, the answer is because you have made it too easy for them to gain a license in Wolverhampton and then circumvent the system for the area that they actually wish to work, would this action make them a fit and proper person? I am not sure.

Take a look at the case law of Newcastle v Berwick where the court found in favour of Newcastle accusing Berwick of issuing badges to drivers who worked out of area and therefore Berwick were unable to 'police' appropriately.

Or page 9 of the Local Governments Taxi and Private Hire - Councillor's Handbook (England and Wales) that states with regards to cross border hiring and sub contractin (the Deregulation Act 2015)

'This poses a risk to communities everywhere, as well as the reputation of local government as a whole. Every council should be mindful of its opportunities to protect communities outside of its immediate responsibility.'

As you can see, these two facts actually request that LA's do their utmost to protect the industry, perhaps admitting that the Government got this one wrong when they passed the Deregulation Act, and trust that the LA's are careful in their approach and be extra mindful of the reaction to any action that they make.

I ask that you take serious consideration to the implications of how you are issuing badges before the flood gates are opened and Woverhampton end up in the same mess that Rossendale found themselves in.

I am happy to discuss this matter further should the information I have supplied not be enough to warrant a prompt re think of the policy that Woverhampton are or have adopted.

I thank you for your time in reading this email, and look forward to your response.

Many thanks

Lee Ward
ALPHA Chairman

As you can see, we have not only Case Law but also a reference to this Case Law in the Governments Guide to Licensing Authorities, so why are they all basically holding up their hands and saying 'if you cant beat m, join em' ???

Control your own area's, stop thinking on who gets the revenue, and act together as responsible councils !!!

Do some basic math, just 300 drivers from another area, working in a city would be a MINIMUM of 300 x 600 (top line takings for the week) = £180,000 per week, now over the year thats over £9 million pound being taken out of that cities local economy.... would the council allow that to happen in any other industry ? 

no they would not... but instead of earning their crust and working with other area's to beat this deregulation farce, they simply look at how to cash in on it without a thought to the industry and its future, North Sea fishing springs to mind...

a load of Cod's whallop !! London Taxi Driver’s Increased Risk Of Attack



I just started the petition " London Taxi Driver’s Increase risk off Attack" and wanted to see if you could help by adding your name.


My goal is to reach 100 signatures and I need more support. You can read more and sign the petition here:





We the undersigned call on the Mayor of London to reverse the decision taken by London Taxi & Private Hire Department / TFL to locate all credit/debit card readers in the back of Taxis. 

We feel this policy is flawed, as this places the Taxi Drivers at a greater risk of physical and sexual attacks than currently present with the possibility of false allegations being made. 

As Taxi Drivers, we have been informed that we must give assistance when required by customers when using the debit/credit card reader in the passenger compartment of the Taxi.

I believe that the location of the card reader should be left to the Taxi Driver to decide and if they want a fixed or mobile card reader unit it should be the Taxi Drivers, themselves to make that decision. 

Currently we have no choice about the location and no choice about a fixed or mobile card reader unit which can be handed over. 

Any Taxi Driver who does not comply with London Taxi & Private Hire / TFL instructions above have been threaten with having their Taxi License firstly suspended and then revoked making the Taxi Driver unemployed. I feel this is unreasonable of any responsible Regulator to act in such a manner without having due regard for Taxi Driver Health and Safety.

London Taxi & Private Hire / TFL state “As long as the driver can demonstrate the following, they will be permitted to continue working:

The driver can provide written evidence from a card payment system provider that the taxi is booked in to have a device (or cradle for a handheld device) fitted in the passenger compartment of the taxi".

Will you join me by signing the petition and let’s keep Taxi Drivers safe.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

It's All Going On In The BackGround....Or Is It?

Andrew Jones, the Parliamentary Under-secretary for the Department of Transport finally answers written question to him made in July.

Photo of Sarah ChampionSarah ChampionShadow Minister (Home Office)

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, with reference to the letter of the then Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State to the right hon. Member for Rotherham on 8 July 2016, on clause 145 of the Policing and Crime Bill, when the Government expects to publish a timetable for its (a) consultation on taxi and private hire vehicle licensing and (b) publication of guidance.

Photo of Andrew JonesAndrew JonesParliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)

The Government expects to publish the timetable for the full public consultation on the local authority Best Practice Guidance for Taxis and Private Hire Vehicles in advance of Royal Assent of the Policing and Crime Bill. The government aims to launch the full public consultation upon Royal Assent of the Bill.

The Guidance will be published following completion of the full public consultation and once any amendments have been made.

Photo of Daniel ZeichnerDaniel Zeichner Shadow Minister (Transport)

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will introduce new national regulations for private hire driver licences in line with Transport for London's new regulations for private hire drivers which will come into force on 1 October 2016.

Photo of Andrew JonesAndrew JonesParliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)

The Government wants to see taxis and private hire vehicles prosper in London and elsewhere. The regulations issued by Transport for London are a matter for them as the local licensing authority. The legislation that provides for licensing of taxi and private hire vehicle services is enabling in its nature, giving local licensing authorities the discretion to set standards that they deem to be appropriate for their area.

Editorial Comment by Jim Thomas :
So there you have it in the words of the under secretary....
The regulations issued by Transport for London are a matter for them as the local licensing authority. The legislation that provides for licensing of taxi and private hire vehicle services is enabling in its nature, giving local licensing authorities the discretion to set standards that they deem to be appropriate for their area.

It would seem by this statement, that TfL have the right to set standards.
Surely, putting a limit on the amount of PH licenses issued at any time, is a matter of setting a standard to protect the trade from over supply???

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Former Deputy Director of Security Industry Authority sentenced over £37k fraud.

A former Deputy Director of the Security Industry Authority (SIA) has been jailed after she defrauded the government body out of more than £37,000 for travel allowance payments to which she wasn’t entitled.

Charlotte Jennings, 45 (10/07/1971) of Green Hall Close, Atherton,pleaded guilty at the Inner London Crown Court today (Tuesday 13 September) to one count of fraud by abuse of a position of trust and one count of possession of articles for use in fraud. She was sentenced to 12 months’ imprisonment suspended for two years and 150 hours of unpaid work, she is also subject to a compensation order of £35,363.

Her partner, Nick Metcalfe, 50 (30/05/1966) of the same address also pleaded guilty to possession of articles for use in fraud and aiding fraud by false representation and he was sentenced to a 12 month community order and 150 hours of unpaid work.

In September 2013, Jennings was appointed Deputy Director of the SIA – the government body that regulates the security industry – and was posted to work from their offices based in Holborn, central London.

At the time she was appointed to the post, Jennings was living in Alderley Edge, Cheshire, so as part of her package, she was given a travel allowance, which would cover her weekly return trip to and from London and hotel accommodation in London during the working week. This came to around £25,000 per year and was agreed to last two years, but on the condition that she was residing in the north of England.

However, on 28 February 2014, Jennings moved to a flat in Bridgeman Road, Islington and began to live in London, but didn’t inform the SIA of the change of address as she was required to do so.

After SIA ordered an audit to be carried out in August 2015 on those receiving special travel allowance payments, Jennings then set about creating false bank statements to make it appear as though she was still travelling to and from Cheshire every week. She enlisted the help of her partner, Metcalfe, who helped her to create the false bank statements and got him to make it look like she was still purchasing train tickets and making hotel payments.

However, following the audit, the SIA became suspicious that Jennings was falsifying the statements and the case was referred to the City of London Police. Detectives arrested Jennings on 28 September 2015, seizing her laptop and phones as part of the investigation.

Jennings was arrested on 28 September 2015 and through their enquiries, detectives found that she had researched fake bank statements on her laptop and then tasked her partner to obtain and create fake bank statements that would show the necessary details to dupe the SIA. Officers compared the fake bank statements with the real ones, which showed spending patterns consistent with somebody living permanently in London and had no record of any train ticket or hotel payments.

From the time Jennings moved to London, until her fraud was discovered, she received just over £37,000 in travel expense payments.

Fraud Investigator Andy Cope, from the City of London Police said: “Jennings was in a senior position within a government agency, and one where the public would expect her to act with honesty and integrity. She knew that she was receiving travel payments that she wasn’t entitled to and deliberately withheld the fact that she’d moved to London. To make matters even worse, when her lies were about to catch up with her, she went even further by providing fake bank statements that she’d produced with the help of her partner.

“This sentence should serve as a stark warning to others in similar positions that fraud is a serious offence. Like Jennings, you could end up with a criminal conviction, lose your job or even face the very real prospect of spending time behind bars.”

CEO of the SIA, Alan Clamp said:

“The SIA does not tolerate any fraud. We have internal controls to identify such issues. These controls, coupled with a concern raised by a member of staff, enabled us to identify something suspicious had occurred on this occasion.

“This is an issue of one individual who has certainly not been a model citizen. It is disappointing that the actions of one person has the potential to cast a shadow over the integrity and the good work of our staff and the important work they do to protect the public”.

The City of London Police Fraud Squad takes on many of the UK’s most complex and significant fraud investigations. It includes units dedicated to combating money laundering and recovering the proceeds of crime.

The City of London Police is also home to Action Fraud (National Fraud Reporting Centre) and the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau, which together records and analyses thousands of reports of fraud each week. Further to this it hosts the Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU) and the Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department (IFED).

Statement from the Independent Taxi Alliance....Demarcation, not deregulation.

After the Mayor heralded a new era for London Taxis, the Independent Taxi Alliance, (ITA) have heralded a new era in trade demonstrations. 

The ITA will be inviting all drivers, no matter what colour lanyard, to attend the Mayors Question Time at city hall this Wednesday at 10 am. They will also be holding a demonstration on Monday 3rd October during the rush hours of 4pm till 7pm at a destination to be announced at a later date.

Further action could see night time demos on consecutive nights (Thursday, Friday, Satureday) which could paralyse parts of central Londons night life.

The ITA have published this list of accusations below, which they say make TfL NOT FIT FOR PURPOSR. 

• Endangering Londoners with watered down DBS on minicab drivers.

• Refusal to inform Londoners of u acceptable rate of minicab rapes and sexual assaults.

• Refusal to release statistics defining the astonishing  amount of minicab RTAs 

• Licensed minicab drivers without passing basic DVLA test

• Threatening licence revocation for taxi drivers refusing to comply with dangerous payment mandate

• Catching taxi earnings up to 5% on card transactions

• Condoning uninsured minicabs and inventing fictitious on off insurance

• Fabricating evidence of Uber landline in a failed bid to hoodwink the GLA

• Guilty of tutoring number on how to evade regulation

• Unmonitored 'out of office' liaison's and unlimited meetings with Uber

• Harassing taxi drivers am favouring minicab illegalities.


Taxi leaks COMMENT :
In light of the Mayors so called 'New Era For London Taxis', uber put out this statement to all their drivers and customers, to encourage them to complain by email to Mayor Khan.

Mayors Statement To The Taxi Trade

Sadiq Khan heralds new era for London’s taxi and private hire trades
·         Far-reaching measures announced to protect the capital’s iconic black cab trade and drive up standards across the private hire industry
·         New Action Plan will deliver greenest taxi fleet in the world
·         Plans will help deliver a ‘truly world-class service for Londoners’
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, today heralded a new era for the capital’s taxi and private hire markets as he set out an unprecedented programme of far-reaching improvements that will drive up standards, boost the quality of service for Londoners and protect the future of London’s iconic black cabs.
The Mayor is determined to create a vibrant taxi and private hire market, with space for all providers to flourish. The Taxi and Private Hire Action Plan, launched today by the Mayor alongside Transport for London (TfL), includes specific new measures to support licensed taxi drivers, and sets out ambitious plans to enhance public safety, and also improve London’s air quality.  
Special new measures being introduced to help London’s black cab industry to continue to flourish include:
·         TfL will open up an extra 20 bus lanes for use by taxis this year and is asking London Boroughs to consider access for taxis to a further 40 on roads they control. 
·         The number of taxi ranks will also be increased by at least 20 per cent by 2020
·         The use of new  technology to provide customers with information to help connect them with taxis more quickly and easily  - adding taxi information to TfL’s journey planner by summer 2017
The iconic black cab trade – already recognised as the finest service of its type in any city – will also be helped to become the greenest in the world.
From next year, up to £5,000 will be available to drivers who scrap the oldest and most polluting taxis.  A grant of £3,000 will be provided towards the first 9,000 Zero Emission Capable (ZEC) taxis and TfL is asking the Government to guarantee the ‘plug-in car grant’ for these vehicles, which would take the total grant to £7,500.
From 1 January 2018 no more new diesel taxis will be licensed – helping to address London’s poor air quality and tackle the unacceptably high number of people dying each year because of air pollution.  
The new plans include new ‘zero emission’ ranks for drivers who pioneer green technology alongside a network of rapid electric charge points.
New technology is changing the way many Londoners access taxis and private hire vehicles, and the New Action Plan also addresses how regulation can be used to ensure safety standards are applied across the taxi and private hire markets.
A range of measures are also being introduced to enhance public safety, many of these were outlined in the recent Private Hire Regulations review. These include:
·         A formal English language requirement for all private hire drivers
·         The provision of driver and vehicle details to customers, including a photo of the driver, before the start of each journey
·         Even more robust insurance requirements
Other new initiatives to further drive up standards are now also underway, including quadrupling the number of on-street Compliance Officers, with 250 more dedicated officers on the streets by summer 2017.
By summer next year, TfL will also require that private hire drivers pass an advanced driving test before they can be licensed or relicensed.
Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said:
“Our new Taxi and Private Hire Action Plan will help us deliver a truly world-class service for Londoners and create a vibrant taxi and private hire market where all providers can continue to flourish.
“From my first day at City Hall I have been determined to drive up standards and improve safety for every passenger in London, while protecting the future of our iconic black cabs that provide a unique and invaluable service for Londoners.”
Val Shawcross, Deputy Mayor for Transport, said:
“New measures such as opening up extra bus lanes and increasing the number of taxi ranks will help ensure our black cabs continue to thrive, and our proposals also include ground-breaking incentives to create the greenest taxi fleet in the world.
“A key part of our plan is to push ahead with important new measures to enhance public safety, including quadrupling the number of on-street Compliance Officers and requiring that private hire drivers pass an advanced driving test before they’re licensed. We must ensure every Londoner feels safe getting around our city, while creating a taxi and private hire market where all providers are able to thrive.”
Helen Chapman, TfL’s General Manager of Taxi and Private Hire, said:
“London’s iconic taxi trade is famous around the world and is a fundamental part of our public transport system. We need to support it and also ensure that standards in the private hire industry continue to rise so that both trades can flourish.  Passengers deserve the very best, professional service when they choose to travel in either a taxi or a private hire vehicle.
“Through this comprehensive action plan we will improve public safety by driving up standards across the private hire industry, provide the support black cab drivers need and deliver the world’s greenest taxi fleet.”
Steve McNamara, LTDA General Secretary said:
“The taxi trade welcomes this plan and recognises its commitment to raising safety standards in the Private Hire (PH) industry. We particularly welcome the Mayor’s decision to re-visit the requirement for Operator Insurance for PH vehicles and his request that Central Government define ‘Plying for Hire’ in statute.”
As part of the Action Plan, TfL has set aside £40 million to help drivers 'scrap' the oldest, most polluting taxis. This is in addition to £25 million funding for the £3,000 top-up grants.
From next year, owners of vehicles older than 10 years will have the option to receive a one-off 'scrap' payment of up to £5,000, depending on the age of the taxi, in return for no longer licensing it in London. The Mayor is calling on Government to support this initiative with a national diesel scrappage scheme to help drivers dispose of the vehicles and ensure they aren't used elsewhere in the UK.
As well as the measures that the Mayor and TfL can implement, there are a number of improvements that require agreement from the Government.  
TfL is lobbying the Government for powers to address cross-border hiring – when private hire journeys are made in the Capital in vehicles that are licensed elsewhere in the country. Powers are also being sought to deal with pedicabs, seize uninsured vehicles and automatically disqualify from driving anyone convicted of touting.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Consultation For A Return To Normality On Torrington, Byng And Tavistock Place

Have you like me, had enough of the ridicules traffic restrictions imposed by the Lycra clad, cycling lunatics that seem to have taken over Camden Council. 

Not content with reducing the flow of traffic across the area, they now intend to go further and reduce road space even more. 

Having installed two massive segregated cycle lanes (either side of the one traffic lane, west to east along Torrington, Byng and Tavistock Place) they now intend to narrow the vehicle road space by extending the pavement. 




Want to know how the locals feel about Camden's temporary system: 

Click Links

Now is your chance to put a stop to any future madness and return the area to the way it was before this insane trial started. 


If the trial layout is not made permanent, the street layout will go back to its former, pre-trial layout. 

Camden have ignored there own resudents as well as all improvements put forward by Imperial Group.

Please object to these new disastrous proposals. 

To take part in the consultation, click the link below.

Fight Fire With Fire ..... Sean Paul Day on Taxiapp.

Why I joined taxiapp

We are already experiencing how de-regulation causes a  race to the bottom. History has shown that it is not always the best person, team, product, ideology, or even idea that wins, but mostly it is those that have the most money, weaponry and/or  exposure that are victorious. As a consequence, everyone loses. And it has been studied in great detail. The Great Depression in the USA is a case in point. 

Studies show how a deregulated environment puts passengers in danger financially and physically, and leads to an unhealthy business environment – preventing companies from providing top quality service.

With that in mind, it is of my firm opinion that the private hire industry is on course for UK wide deregulation. Whilst the consequences of this are not fully  known, the ramifications on the stringently regulated taxi trade could be monumental.

On the back of TfL’s tentative admission that it was lawful for PHV/D to show availability was the news that the DVSA were going to scrap the taxi driver test from December 2016, deregulation seems inevitable. 

Simply put, any PHV/D that is showing availability for work is plying for hire. Effectively, a concept that has defined our working model for over 150 years is no more. Yes, they have a particular way in which they ply their wares but then so do we. Those who asked for a level playing field are now being rewarded with a one tier system. And instead of instructing all private hire drivers to undertake a similar driving standard requirement to taxi drivers, the policy makers have decided to scrap the taxi driver test altogether. The news of both was  secreted to the trade so surreptitiously it has garnered virtually no response at all. Notably, the silence from our representatives is deafening. 

I’ll be the first to admit, deregulation of the private hire bill has been a  foreboding for some time and was the primary reason I chose to get on board taxiapp. Following a long night of existential angst, I concluded that the trade needed it’s own technological platform. To think otherwise, was to enslave ourselves to the whims of corporates; the money men who feign fondness for the history of our sweet, little localised trade. 

In a moment of frantic urgency, I called Phil- one of taxiapp’s founder members- convinced that a work force was being stockpiled in order to perform an en-masse take over of our vibrant, self sufficient  industry. . 

It is impossible to know  where innovation will take us next, but  it is safe to say,  if we are not on the first  rung of the technological ladder we may not be afforded the chance to ascend to the second rung. 

Those working on taxiapp have, unequivocally,  done everything they can to protect the driver from  a potential  takeover by off-shore business men  facilitated by our very own government bodies. It is crucial that we are not distracted by dissenters (even trolls have trolls) who's misdirection would rather see us sold off to the next highest bidder.  

Although  i’ve  said a thousand times, the intention with taxiapp has always been for the trade to regain control, and to be,, at least, the eulogists of our own destination. 

One aspect I have realised since being amongst the passionate and determined steering group behind taxiapp is that business only has regard for business, and taxiapp has in some weird way put the trade  back on the map.  No question then, if we as a trade want to be a formidable force to be reckoned with when our ranks and the street hail come under threat, then we have to make sure there is no chink in the taxi trade’s armour. 

it is as clear as day that our regulators have smoothed the way for us to be hijacked, nevertheless, each and every one of us  must accept the responsibility of promoting our industry- on a  big scale- to remain valid, and it is imperative that we are in a position to challenge those who would readily take our place. Now is not the time to be suffering the tiredness of defeat. 

Taxiapp believe the fight has yet to enter the ring. Collectively, we are a behemoth and by utilising that cohesive strength we can securely operate stronger than all the rest. Merely going through the motions as the Corporates  feed on our (not yet deceased) carcasses would mean we are doomed to stagnate amongst the satnav swamp, or at worst not at all.

Are you ready to fight our corner? Defeated, no more! Promote  #StreetHail. Promote #Ranks. Promote  #Taxiapp. 

In the words of that famous silent film star Charlie Chaplin, let us all unite

Sean Paul Day   
London Taxi Radio & taxiapp