Sunday, December 24, 2017

The London Taxi Trade Has Been Given A Fantastic Christmas Present.

News has broken that Uber’s top managers lied on oath (perjury), to allow them to operate. 

This is part of the article which was published in today’s Sunday Times authored by Andrew Gilligan:

Taxi drivers want to bring proceedings for perjury against Uber’s senior UK managers after Transport for London (TfL) accused it of lying to the High Court.

In a 21-page letter to Uber seen by The Sunday Times, TfL says it refused to renew the company’s operating licence in September because Uber had given it “materially false and misleading” information many times.

Had Uber told the truth, its operating model would probably have been found “unlawful” in a 2015 High Court action, TfL writes, accusing the company of giving “false” evidence to win the case.

The Licensed Taxi Drivers’ Association (LTDA), which represents drivers of black cabs and was a party to the court action, said last week it would apply to overturn the judgment and bring proceedings against senior Uber managers for perjury.

TfL’s previously secret letter to Uber explaining its licence decision was obtained during the tech giant’s appeal last week against the ban. The letter’s strong tone means that prospects for compromise seem less likely. Uber drivers continue to operate in London pending the appeal decision.

The TfL letter accuses Uber of a “lack of regard to the safety of its customers”, citing disclosures in the press that Uber failed to report to police a series of sex attacks by its drivers. It also says Uber conducted medical examinations of new drivers over the internet, and helped conduct criminal checks on its own drivers, a process that was supposed to be carried out independently.

The 2015 court case arose after the LTDA brought a private prosecution against Uber, claiming that the smartphones used by its drivers acted as taximeters, which only licensed black cabs may have by law. The case was taken over by TfL and the High Court ruled that drivers’ smartphones were not taximeters.

Uber had told the judge, Mr Justice Ouseley, that its central computer systems, not individual drivers, handled all bookings and fares. It had told TfL the same thing many times. However, TfL’s letter reveals that this year it asked the consultancy firm Deloitte to examine Uber’s IT systems. Deloitte found the company’s central computers accepted a booking only after a driver had done so.

TfL’s letter states that it believed that “the point is determinative and that Uber’s current operating model is accordingly unlawful”.

It says that, even if it is wrong about this, the “materially false and misleading” information it and the court had been given by Uber was one of three factors that made the company “not fit and proper” to hold an operator’s licence.

The other factors were that Uber had failed to protect customers from harm because of faulty medical, criminal record and crime reporting checks, and that it had not been “open and transparent” about its use of Greyball, software that TfL has said could be used to defeat regulators.

Uber — which maintains it has not used Greyball in London — says the software denies ride requests to users it regards as “fraudulent”.

The letter describes Jo Bertram, Uber UK’s then general manager, as “unsatisfactory and unhelpful” about her role in Greyball. For four months, the letter says, Bertram avoided answering TfL’s direct questions about whether she had used it.

Only on August 24 this year did Uber admit that she “was party to correspondence relating to the use of Greyball technology to evade enforcement in other jurisdictions for which she had personal responsibility”. A week later she resigned.

Uber said: “Uber London accepts bookings as a licensed private hire operator and always has. We continue having constructive discussions with TfL in order to address the issues they raised in the letter.”

TfL did not respond to requests for comment.


Something else we have to look at, and that’s the way TfL dealt with the damning evidence, supplied to them by a team from the LCDC two years ago. 
Only now, have they decided to use this evidence against Uber’s operation, with a refusal to relicense the company.

The question needs to be asked, why are they dragging  their feet?
Why did they ignored evidence sent to them?
Why they waited till most of the top managers at TfL left, retired or been replaced?

TfL are allowing Uber to continue to operate while they appeal. 
As we now have solid evidence that Uber’s MO is illegal, the whole operation should be shut down. And TfL -contra to popular belief- have the power to do this. 

Another issue we mustn’t drop;
•  Why did TfLTPH play down the 13,000 fake criminal record checks?
• Who was responsible for putting this on the back burner for 7 months until it was discovered and published in the media? 

Malfeasance and corruption mustn’t be allowed to be swept under the carpet. All those responsible, must be bought to book. Many drivers are asking if our orgs and unions could combine and bring about a case for compensation for loss of earnings over the last five years. 


Below is a letter to Taxi Leaks editor Jim Thomas from a prominent Taxi Driver in Manchester. 

Dear Jim
I think we have had a fantastic year really, after 5 years or more we have exposed much graft and corruption around all licensing authorities.

You decision to allow Lee Ward (Alpha) to guest post on Taxileaks was inspired, many other orgs would have shunned a Private Hire driver from posting.

Lee's performance in front of York Council was inspirational and won the day when getting York to refuse Uberk in their area.

As we write Parliamentary draftsmen are preparing the Licensing of Taxi safety Bill. It should be ready in the written form on or around 2 Feb (5 weeks away)

We will then have to Lobby MP's, not Cllrs, in all wards where we have driver's living. if we get this right, we will eventually win the day.

I wish you and yours a Lovely Xmas and new year, I also look forward to working with you again in the coming year.

Your Pal




Anonymous said...

While all these so called intelligent people run round pointing the finger at everyone else, there’s another young girl has been murded by Uber and it’s corrupt operations, they all have blood on there grubby hands

Anonymous said...

Jim, what q fantastic present for the trade.
There's no way TfL can relicense Uber now.

If they do, it will be civil war on the streets

Anonymous said...

TfL have facilitated this immoral and corrupt company. Anybody with have a brain cell knows.brown envelopes and favors have occurred. Let’s not give up on exposing this fithy corruption

Tom Rook Chair of CSPHA said...

It's not just a fantastic present for the Black Cab Trade, it's a fantastic present to both Black Cab and Private Hire Trades!
I've forwarded most of " Taxi Leaks" Uber Reports to the chair of Salford Licensing Panel.
Once again to everyone involved in the demise of Uber, let's keep the fight going across the UK, but kindly remember we need to also concentrate on drivers working Predominantly where they are licensed.

colin said...

With all that’s now coming out when will we see Hal/Baa act at Heathrow by refusing them access to the Ph park as all journeys are illegally obtained,the insurance issues must now have massive implications.

Anonymous said...

its all very good saying uber won,t be relicensed,but they,re still working. lets get the new year out the way and have a mass mobile demo,perhaps asking our fellow cab drivers nationally for support,a little reminder to our mayor that london WON,T be open for buisness unless he doe,s the job he put himself up for and sorts out tfl

Anonymous said...

why did tfl drag its feet and wait till a lot of uber employees left before acting on the lcdc report?wouldn,t be because they were up to their necks in corruption and scared of getting banged up would it?

Anonymous said...

Come on wake up! Yes all good news BUT uber still operating and customer confidence in using this app still as strong as ever, Also we have Trojan horses close to home this is just the beginning not the end

Anonymous said...

Well it's certainly the beginning of the end! No we will not have general autonomous cars for hundreds of years, that's just pie in sky since it would require re tarmac of the whole of London and still wouldn't work in inclement weather, however there definitely will be some sort of shuttle car lane on the M4 into London from Heathrow in the next 20 or so years, and a likely ban on all vehicles in London including Taxis. Let's face it, the politicians give us no support, so when cars go, we go.