Saturday, August 05, 2017

Letter To Taxi Leaks : More Proof That TfL Staff Are Making Up The Regulations As They So Please.

Taxi Leaks recently posted a letter from a reader which claimed he had to attend 230 Blackfriars Road and pay a fee to get a temporary licence to be able to go to work. 

I asked TfLTPH why they were charging money for a temporary licence that according to Director of Surface Transport Leon Daniels was unnecessary under the Transport Act of 1985 sec17(7).

This was their reply:

So I wrote to the reader (Greenbadgejohn) and asked him to explain in detail what exactly had happened at 230 Blackfriars Road.

Here is his reply:

Having seen the recent story on Taxi Leaks, including a copy of a private hire drivers re-application being approved 'before CRB details have been concluded', I am thoroughly disgusted as to how I was treated on my renewal last year.

I diligently waited for the renewal pack to arrive some 4 months before the current license expiry date only to be disappointed it hadn't arrived, and so I called TFL who said "it was posted last week... but I will send another in case it got lost in the post".

 A week later a pack arrived, ..and I got busy filling it in and getting an 'E' number from the post office, ..then TFl sent me another pack (presumably the lost make up your mind!) 

As I counted the weeks and months away...still no sign of my new bill, I got a call from TFL @6 weeks later by Jonathan who politely stated that there were severe delays at DBS but I am on the system and they would keep me informed, and so they did.

Georgina called 2 weeks later, Karen 1 Week Later, and then Stewart called who called himself the Temporary Licence Manager, he was very Jack the lad-ish with a Northern Irish accent who virtually said I will not be receiving my licence on time due to delays, and I reminded him that I played no part in the delay's and therefore cannot (or should not) be held responsible in any way, but he didn't necessarily agree because there are three ways to re-apply on the form TFL sends you (MCH/203R)

on section B, If you tick B1, "I have applied for a new enhanced DBS disclosure" you tick the box and state your E-number and this is how I and all cab drivers I know have always done it.

But...There are 2 other options.

B2, "I have an existing DBS disclosure which I would like to use as part of this application"..... of which I obviously do not have, 

Or... B3, "I am DBS update service subscriber and do not need to apply for a new disclosure" ... Which again I am not, so this didn't apply to me either.

And Importantly you can only tick one option!

But Stewart was having none of it, and said that unless I joined the DBS "update service" at a further cost of £13, I would not get a temporary measure license which could be issued in the likely event that my DBS was not returned in time before my bill soon expired.

So (I asked), a DBS initial cost of £56.85 has already been cashed, and because a delay has occurred at your end (he blamed the Met Police), I have to pay to join a separate duplicate system for the right to work? 
He replied, "That is the only way or means a Temporary measure licence can be Issued".

I was livid, and complained bitterly to him stating that I would not be forced or coerced into paying any more for what should have been already been processed and informed him that I was going to take this to a higher level... (he didnt give a fig)...and so we ended the call.

I subsequently contacted my GLA Representative Andrew Dismore (who I have Met before on other occasions when he was my MP and contacted his office and explained that through no fault of my own, I could not go to work because of severe delays through my licensing authority (TFL) and hoped their office could help, and rightly enough they contacted TFL... and obtained a senior level response a few hours later From Andrew Hatch, Communications and Engagement TFL Managing Directors office who' reply was very revealing....

Mr Hatch stated that whilst he had escalated my details to the Met Police to ensure it was processed straight away, He said I had also been contacted prior, to arrange for a Temporary Licence to be issued but I had refused to accept this because I would not join the "Up date service"... which is a "mandatory" requirement!

There is nothing anywhere in writing to state that a "Mandatory" status exists on this service particularly when you fill in the renewal application form they send you (MCH/203R) .... it clearly states;
"Please tick only 1 option" 
and I made a clear un-ambiguated choice and moreover paid £56.85 for the 3 year DBS usual choice, its as simple as that.

It is absolutely abhorrent to see any TFL system licensing delays (whoever its partners are) to be somehow levelled an extra cost toward you the applicant for no contributory reason is exactly what happened and wrong.

Andrew Dismore's office advised me to pay £13 now so as to negate any losses which I could not recoup, but continue to complain to TFL about such an awful level of service, which meant that I had to travel at my own cost to southwark stn and see a member of TFL staff to obtain a means to work.... none of this was ever my fault.

The Temporary licence lasted 14 days, and on the 14th day I angrilly called TFL to ask if they really expected me to make another long journey down to southwark for a second temporary licence?

No need they said, they were informed my proper new license was in the post and If I was stopped by a compliance officer or Police just inform them to contact TFL for there you have it, you dont really need a licence on you if they say so?

The appalling nature of how TFL both conducts our business of licensing is so poor and lacking in quality towards the client (us) because its make it up as you go along policies and is one very good reason how Uber has snuck in under the radar of TFL and the lower pay-graded staff it employs....But climb up the ladder of TFL authority and ask pertinent questions and all you get is smoke and mirrors...never clear concise explanations and that is why we the Taxi trade will never surrender to such a despicable bunch, who always call lies 'mistakes or errors'. 

Dads defending daughters latest Private hire letter of non conformity to DBS rules only goes to show how or who is really responsible for such an appallingly high level of private hire sexual abuse and convictions because how many unchecked private hire drivers are working tonight under the auspices of the dark and dangerous admission of that letter?

In all my life, I have never seen such appalling mismanagement in a local government office, but I am absolutely certain things will have to come to an abrupt end.

Responsibility and common decency within TFL has long left the building, but was it ever there at all after the Metropolitan Police gave up charge and control in 1997?.... don't be daft!

Keep up the fight and watch out for breaking news soon to hit the headlines!

greenbadgejohn (on twitter)



Anonymous said...

the worst thing that ever happened to the cab trade was when the licensing of taxi drivers passed from the carriage office to tfl.they should have just outsourced the vehicle examinations and kept the licensing under the metropolitan police.

Anonymous said...

If TFL compliance staff have the right to enter our cabs on taxi ranks in a professional capacity (as happened on harrods recently) must they have enhanced DBS status's ?