Saturday, August 05, 2017

TfLTPH Twitter Account, Alleged To Be No More Than A Benign, Biased Gerald Coba.

         GJ62XOC, parked on a Licence Taxi Rest Rank in Conduit Street W1

Putting aside the arrogance shown by the recipient of the TfL letter below, who feels he should be given the same status as a Taxi driver because he pays Tax and NI contributions, again we see more proof that the TfLTPH Twitter account is no more than a sham. 

Taxi drivers are frequently compromising their safety, confronting private hire drivers contravening parking regulations, which clearly state they must not park on, wait on, pick up or drop off on, a licensed Taxi rank or standing.

Drives are puzzled that it's the same vehicles breaking the regulations, night after night.

Taxi drivers regularly put themselves in danger collecting hundreds of photographs and report to the TfLTPH Twitter account. This has always been done in good faith, that after confronting angry aggressive PH drivers, recording all necessary data and sending to TfL, the matter would be dealt with, in accordance with the legislated regulations.

It now appears this is not the case and that all that happens is the offending drivers just receive an acknowledgement in the form of a very friendly reminder with a caveat pegged on the end stating:
"If there is anything I can help you with, please reply to this letter or you can phone me on .....".

This isn't good enough from our licensing authority. Our Taxi ranks should be kept clear or PHVs and we need TfL to take stronger measures as these drivers are currently taking no notice of the regulations. 

The problem has become so bad at weekends that one of our representative groups is using subscriptions from their members to finance rank marshals. This is money that should not have to be spent by the trade, this should be dealt with by TfLTPH.

Private hire drives have no need to park on Taxi ranks while waiting to pick up, the Law is actually in their favour. 

Under a ruling in the high court, Taxis and PHVs have the right to wait (for as long as it takes) for a pre booked passenger on any single or double yellow line, 'regardless of the streets restrictions'. 

However, they can't park on disabled bays, loading bays, zigzag lines or Taxi ranks. It's very clear and every PHV should be made aware of this by TfL. If they continue to carry on contravening this regulation they should face much harsher penalties. 

If this sham Twitter account carries on acting with a benign biased, we could see violence on our streets in much the same way we see from other countries facing similar problems. 

The High Court case is shown below, and has a very interesting comment in conclusion by parking expert Barry Segal. 

Taxi Leaks Comment :
The question needs to be asked;
Why do TfL come down harder on Taxis parking on working Taxi ranks, than they do on PHVs illegally using Taxi rank spaces ???

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)


Fellow Cabbies, One Of Our Colleagues Needs Bit Of Help.


This is Keith Barber a London cab driver of over 20 years, Keith as been diagnosed with stage 4 cancer, and can't work whilst being treated. 

Keith is one of life's good guys anyone who knows Keith will vouch that he will do anything for anyone to help in their hours of need.

Keith needs our help now, as he's fallen behind on rent and bills and although he has payed he's taxes all he's life the social security give him nothing.

I'm hoping that all cab drivers can find it in their hearts to donate what they can as little as a £1.00 will really help. 

We have tried to collect for him at the airport but unfortunately we have to wait up to 6 weeks. 

So please find a £1 and help one of life's good guys.

Friday, August 04, 2017

John Cox Resigns From The LTDA And Joins The LCDC.

Frontline trade activist John Cox, has decided he would rather resign, than attend (in his opinion) a disingenuous procedure with a predetermined outcome, delivered in a kangaroo court, made up from LTDA CoM members, 

Worryingly, John joins the ever growing list of respected front line activists, expelled from the LTDA over recent months. 

John (left) with Marc Turner (centre) and Sean Paul Day (right). Sean is also on the list of front line activists, expelled from LTDA.

John Cox resigned yesterday after first joining what he feels is a more representative trade org (LCDC).

Below is the letter sent to Steve McNamara, advising the LTDA general secretary of his immediate resignation. 

Mr. S. McNamara
General secretary

Further to the letter I received from LTDA Chairman Richard message to attend a disciplinary hearing at 10:30 AM on Friday, 18 August 2017, I write to formally terminate my membership with the Association, effective immediately.

I firmly dispute the Associations claims,  believing the truth cannot be injurious -with a expressed in a humorous or candid manner. Therefore, I am not willing to accommodate the Council of Management by attending a disingenuous procedure with a predetermined outcome. One, I might add, that reflects the relationship the Association nurtures with its members.

It is of my opinion, that the COM have regressed from its ineffectual position to what is tantamount to a liability. With that, I strongly urge you to work closely with the Real LTDA, to not do so would be against the trade's best interest.

The decision to terminate my membership is conclusive and I have cancelled my subscription accordingly. You may wish to convene a formal disciplinary in my absence, if so I request the summary fee of £295 to be paid to either Anthony Minas or Peter Walsh to represent me in their capacity as Branch Chair and Branch Secretary respectively.


John Cox

Uber Rented Hundreds of Faulty Vehicles to Drivers and at Least One Blew Up

Let’s all say it together: Ugh, Uber, ugh! We’re like five minutes into the company’s “180 Days of Change” apology tour and more awful Uber news is already coming out. The Wall Street Journal reports that the multi-billion dollar startup rented dangerously faulty cars to hundreds of drivers in Singapore, after the model had been recalled. According to internal messages obtained by the paper, Uber knew about the recall, too.

The brazen behavior really fits well with the “move fast, break things” mantra. Essentially, Uber made Singapore the first Asian city where its service would be available, but the company had trouble finding drivers, because owning a car in Singapore is prohibitively expensive. As a slapdash solution, Uber then reportedly set up a separate company that bought cars in bulk from shady importers who operate in a grey area of the law. The cars were cheaper this way. 

We haven’t even gotten to the bad stuff yet. Last year, Uber apparently bought over 1,100 Honda Vezels from one of these gray-market companies, even though the model had been recalled for a faulty electronic component that could overheat and cause a fire. You can guess what happened next. The Journal describes an incident in January 2017:

Uber driver Koh Seng Tian had just dropped off a passenger in a residential neighborhood in Singapore when he smelled smoke in his Honda Vezel sport-utility vehicle. Flames burst from the dashboard, melting the interior and cracking a football-sized hole in his windshield.

Thankfully, the driver wasn’t injured, but Uber quickly heard about the incident. Did they pull all of the faulty vehicles off the road? Nah, that would be too expensive. Instead, the company allegedly told drivers with Honda Vezels to take their vehicle in for service without specifying the problem. In February, when Uber threw a party celebrating the conclusion of the PR and safety nightmare, the Journal reports that “65 percent of the defective Vezels still hadn’t had the faulty parts replaced.” Uber says all of them are fixed now.

But man, what a mess. This isn’t your typical Uber-is-a-shitty-company story, either. If these claims are true, it seems Uber actually put people’s lives at risk in order to save money. The company reportedly gambled with minivans that could spontaneously combust, because it would be a big pain to fix them, and well, the drivers and passengers would probably be fine. Then it had a party while these explode-y cars were still driving people around! (If you haven’t deleted your Uber account already, today’s a great day to take action. Here’s how.)

We’ve reached out to Uber to see if it cares to comment on the Journal’s story and will update this post if we hear back.

Update 4:55pm - Uber sent us the following statement:

As soon as we learned of a Honda Vezel from the Lion City Rental fleet catching fire, we took swift action to fix the problem, in close coordination with Singapore’s Land Transport Authority as well as technical experts. But we acknowledge we could have done more—and we have done so. We’ve introduced robust protocols and hired three dedicated experts in-house at LCR whose sole job is to ensure we are fully responsive to safety recalls. Since the beginning of the year, we’ve proactively responded to six vehicle recalls and will continue to do so to protect the safety of everyone who uses Uber.

Source Gizmodo 

Thursday, August 03, 2017

Westminster Council To Relocate And Implement New Taxi Ranks


1. NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that Westminster City Council proposes to make the following Orders under sections 6, 45, 46, 49 and 124 of and Part IV of Schedule 9 to the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 as amended:

2. The general effect of the Orders would be to provide taxi rank facilities and revise existing parking controls, as follows:

(a)  Burlington Gardens, to extend the existing “at any time” taxi rank opposite Nos. 3 to 5 from 8 metres to 10 metres (the adjacent diplomatic parking bay and residents’ parking spaces would be moved eastward by 2 metres);

(b)  Charlotte Street, to introduce two “at any time” taxi ranks outside the Charlotte Street Hotel (to replace 10 metres of single yellow line waiting restrictions);

(c)  Dover Street, to relocate 10 metres of the existing “at any time” taxi rank outside Nos. 5 to 7 to outside the Arts Club at No. 40 Dover Street (to replace 10 metres of double yellow line “at any time” waiting restrictions);

(d)  Frith Street, to introduce three taxi ranks (15 metres) outside Nos. 18 and 19, to replace 15 metres of double yellow line “at any time” waiting restrictions. The ranks would operate between 6.30 p.m. and 6.30 a.m. and waiting restrictions would apply outside those hours;

(e)  Hamilton Place / Piccadilly

(i)  to introduce two “at any time” taxi ranks in Hamilton Place outside No. 138


(ii)  to relocate the pay-by-phone parking bay outside No. 138 Piccadilly to

outside No. 140 Piccadilly;

(iii)  to replace the existing lengths of single yellow line waiting restrictions on

the north side of Hamilton Place with double yellow line “at any time” waiting restrictions;

(f)  Harewood Avenue / Great Central Place

(i)  to introduce an “at any time” feeder rank (25 metres) outside BNP Paribas

Harewood Avenue (to replace three pay-by-phone bays and a length of “at

any time” waiting restrictions);

(ii)  to introduce an “at any time” feeder rank (30 metres) in the centre of the

carriageway of Harewood Avenue opposite Blandford Square; 

(iii) to relocate the three pay-by-phone bays referred to in paragraph (f)(i) above to Great Central Street (to replace 6 metres of the bus stop clearway on the east side (south of Melcombe Place) and 9 metres of double yellow line “at any time” waiting restrictions;

(g) Wardour Street, to extend the existing “at any time” taxi rank outside the W Hotel at No. 40 Wardour Street by 10 metres north-westward (to replace a length of “at any time” waiting and loading restrictions).

3. The proposed Orders and other documents giving more detailed particulars of the Orders are available for inspection until six weeks have elapsed from the date on which either the Orders are made or the Council decides not to make the Orders between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. on Mondays to Fridays inclusive at WSP, Palace Gardens Suite, 27th Floor, Portland House, Bressenden Place, London, SW1E 5RS.

4. Further information may be obtained by telephoning the Council’s agents, WSP, telephone number (020) 3116 5998. Details are also available at

5. Any objections or other representations about the proposals should be sent in writing to the Council’s agents, WSP, Palace Gardens Suite, 27th Floor, Portland House, Bressenden Place, London, SW1E 5RS, or by email at quoting reference 7330/SD, by 11th August 2017. All objections must specify the grounds on which they are made.

Dated 21st July 2017

Head of Road Management
(The officer appointed for this purpose) 

Statement of Reasons

The introduction of taxi ranks in Charlotte Street, Frith Street, Harewood Avenue and Hamilton Place/ Piccadilly, the extension of the taxi ranks in Burlington Gardens, Wardour Street and the relocation of the taxi rank in Dover Street are considered necessary to provide additional taxi rank facilities at locations where there is an identified demand.

The introduction of the pay-by-phone parking bays in Great Central Street will ensure that there is no overall loss of parking bays in the area following the introduction of a taxi rank in Harewood Avenue.

The introduction of double yellow line “at any time” waiting restrictions in Dover Street and Piccadilly are necessary to prevent obstructive parking.

TfL Completely Ignore Policy Question....But Defends Colleague's Questionable Identity Multiple Times

TfLTPH have been refusing to answer this simple question 

@TfLTPH (19)
Could you please tell me what legislated regulation, gives a CO powers to remove property (a news paper) from my Taxi ?

I asked the question after viewing the video of the two COs harassing a Taxi driver on the Harrod's rank and finally taking away a copy of Taxi newspaper that they insisted had a misleading title.

As you can see, I've asked the question 19 times and so far not had one answer. 

And yet another question I asked just once 

Could you tell us if the Blonde CO at Harrod's is the same person who drivers for Uber
Kristina Kristinele

They have answered 14 times although I only asked once, addressed me directly 5 times.

Me thinks the lady doth protest too much. 

A female uber driver by the name of Kristina Kristinele (real name Kristina Sabinskiene) made this post on the Uber forum.

Many Taxi drivers are not convinced that the answer given by TfLTPH is truthful. (Their record on truthful answers is quite dreadful)

The best thing that's come out of all this, is that we've now been told leaving this issue of the back shelf, is probably the best way of informing the public and quite legal as it transpires, TfL have no powers to remove the magazine from your vehicle.

First time ever, the trade has called on the LTDA for a reprint 😱

It's thought to be so affective that provincial licence Taxi associations have asked the LTDA to supply them with copies of the issue. SouthEnd Taxis have asked for 500 copies. 

Every driver in London should now put this issue on their back shelf and let's get this message out to the public that TfL have been busy trying to cover up.

Wednesday, August 02, 2017

Addison Lee Suffers Defeat In Legal Row Over Gig Economy Rights

Addison Lee has become the latest company to face defeat in court over its treatment of workers as “independent contractors” without rights to holiday pay, sick pay or the national minimum wage.

The employment judge Joanna Wade issued a damning verdict against the £260m-a-year-turnover minicab firm, ruling that it had unlawfully failed to pay the cycle courier Chris Gascoigne, 48, holiday pay and attacking its attempts to “frighten off” Gascoigne from challenging his employment status.

The ruling at the central London employment tribunal that the cycle courier should be classed as a “worker” follows similar verdicts in cases brought against Uber, City Sprint, Excel, and eCourier.

It comes as the government considers recommendations from a Downing Street review to bring in a new law that any self-employed worker under “control” or “supervision” from their contracting company should be considered a “dependent contractor” and benefit from holiday pay, sick pay and the minimum wage.

There are now an estimated 1.1 million people in Britain’s gig economy. Addison Lee’s main business involves 5,000 minicab drivers, who it classes as self-employed, but it also has approximately 500 couriers. Around 40 of them use bicycles, like Gascoigne, who delivered parcels in London for Addison Lee for almost seven years before leaving in March.

“I am really happy,” he said. “It is an important verdict. This is a pretty tough job and I think it is only fair considering what we do. The payments don’t justify the fact we don’t have these pretty basic rights.”

The judge highlighted Addison Lee’s use of contradictory language in its contract to avoid the courier being treated as a worker. Workers were given Addison Lee-branded bags and T-shirts, responded to a central controller and used Addison Lee IT devices, including a system that had no “decline” button when a job was offered. 

Meanwhile Gascoigne was asked to sign a contract that stated: “You agree that you are an independent contractor and that nothing in this agreement shall render you an employee, worker, agent or partner of Addison Lee.”

Wade said the evidence showed “couriers need to be responsive and work quickly during a tightly controlled working day” and pointed to recruitment material on its website saying “we are proud of our couriers – we’d love you to be part of that”.

She said: “It does not say: ‘We want to find couriers who are independent and work on an ad-hoc basis. If you do account work you [will] be a self-employed sub-contractor and for non-account work we will be your agent so you carry the risk.’ Not only is this confusing and wordy, it is not the way the business ran, or could run, as [Addison Lee] well knew. This is why it employed ‘armies’ of lawyers; to do the best possible job to ensure that the claimant and his colleagues did not have … worker status.”

Wade also said she was saddened that the contract included a clause “designed to frighten him off from litigating”. It stated that he should “indemnify Addison Lee against any liability for any employment-related claim or any claim based on worker status brought by you”. This, said the judge, “suggests they knew the risk of portraying the claimant as self-employed”.

Gascoigne’s case was supported by the International Workers of Great Britain trade union.

Its general secretary, Jason Moyer-Lee, said: “As if we needed any more evidence, today’s judgment once again proves our point. The law is clear, and employers in the so-called gig economy have been choosing to unlawfully deprive their workers of rights. Yet another domino has fallen with regard to the inevitable conclusion that people in the so-called gig economy are workers.”

A spokesman for Addison Lee said: “We note the tribunal’s verdict, which we will carefully review. Addison Lee is disappointed with the ruling as we have always had, and are committed to maintaining a flexible and fair relationship with cycle couriers.”

Source : Guardian. 

Showing Our Badge Is Not Enough To Use A LUL Toilet...You Now Need A Sticker.

Just when you thought it couldn't get any crazier, TfL come out with even more ludicrous regulations. If you're in need of a good laugh, have a read of this below, posted on the TfL website. 🔽

Oxford Circus station and Warwick Avenue station toilet access for taxi drivers

As part of the Taxi and Private Hire Action Plan, the Mayor made a commitment to give taxi (black cab) drivers better access to Transport for London (TfL) facilities, such as toilets.

A trial is underway at Oxford Circus and Warwick Avenue Underground stations to give All London and Suburban taxi drivers access to the staff toilets at the two Tube stations.

In order to use the facilities, taxi drivers will need to leave their paper taxi driver's licence with the control room while they are in the station. This is to ensure the safety of drivers in case of a station evacuation.

These arrangements will be kept under review, and are only open to London licensed taxi drivers. Further information about the access to other TfL sites will be released in due course.

Oxford Circus station

Taxi drivers may park at the (new) rest rank in Conduit Street and leave their taxi for up to 60 minutes.

To access the toilets enter the station via entrance 2 (outside Tezenis) or 3 (outside United Colors of Benetton) and contact the station control room using the intercom.

During Night Tube hours, as well leaving your licence with the control room, you will be asked to wear a sticker to show that you have access to the staff area, as it will be closed to the public.

Access to the staff toilets will be available to taxi drivers at the following times and days:

Monday to Friday: 05:30 - 07:30, 10:30 - 17:00 and 20:00 - 23:59
Saturdays: 00:00 - 23:59
Sundays: 00:00 - 23:59
It is not possible to grant access between 07:30 - 10:30 and 17:00 -20.00 on weekdays as these are peak operational times.

Warwick Avenue station

Parking is available at the nearby refreshment rank. Taxi drivers may leave their taxi on the rank for up to 45 minutes but are reminded to use the refreshment shelter when it is open.

The station toilets will be available from:

Monday to Friday: 10:30 - 15:30
These times avoid the morning and evening commuter peak and match the opening hours of both the station and refreshment shelter. Ends...

I can just imagine it... Sorry mate we've run out of stickers, you'll have to wet yourself !

Two underground toilets which are not available 24 hours , is not sufficient.
Taxi drivers, as part of London's transport service, should be given full access to all facilities (parking, restrooms, toilets, washing, canteens) in every bus garage. 
Our badge should be our pass card, not some sticker. 

Wonder if any board members or Directors have connections to a company that prints stickers ?

Plus how secure are the details on your licence left with a third party TfL employee.
Our orgs need to let TfL know that this is not acceptable !

TFL's Cosy Little Arrangement... Plus, Totally Failing The Disabled.

Oh what a tangled web we weave, when first we practise to deceive. 

Why has TfLTPH general manager taken to sending Jo Bertram letters in an attachment?

Is that to stop the contents being available to freedom of information requests?

Nice little special relationship going on here between Uber and a licensing authority who's commissioner refuses to meet with Taxi trade orgs !!!

Not only are TfL Totally Failing Ladies, they are also Totally Failing the disabled:

 TfL have Totally failed disabled Taxi passengers in London
Segregated cycle lanes are now proving to be a massive problem with Taxi ramps -which enable wheelchair users to board Taxis- (the only 100% wheelchair accessible service in London) 

Dr Alice Maynard and Tanni Grey-Thompson:
 • both wheelchair users
 • both on the board of TfL 
 • both have been informed of the difficulties being experienced by disabled Taxi passengers, because of the implementation of segregated lanes
 • both have failed to speak up in favour of the disabled lobby. 

Both also failed to speak out against the pedestrianisation of Oxford Street, which could see wheelchair users disenfranchised from Europe's busiest shopping street. Absolutely disgraceful. 

Tuesday, August 01, 2017

Mexico Cab (Taxi) Drivers Attack Uber Drivers In Pitch Battle


A raucous crowd attacked Uber drivers and their vehicles with clubs and stones outside the Mexico City airport, according to the company, as licensed taxi drivers demonstrated to demand a “total halt” to app-based rideshare services in the capital.

Video of the demonstration showed people throwing eggs and flour inside the windows of vehicles, kicking doors and trying to rip off side mirrors. One man destroyed a sedan’s rear window with a large rock.

“What happened is a very grave attack on everyone’s freedom and right to make a living in a dignified manner,” Uber said. “Incidents like this are completely unacceptable and we trust that authorities will act so that justice is done.”

Wednesday’s attack and a taxi drivers’ protest outside the Colombian embassy on Tuesday to proclaim solidarity with cabbies in that country and around the world are a clear signal that newly issued regulations designed to create a legal framework for Uber and the smaller Cabify have not put an end to Mexico City’s simmering taxi dispute.

An Uber spokeswoman, Rocio Paniagua, told Televisa news that between 10 and 12 cars had been damaged in Tuesday’s clashes. Some drivers were struck but there were no reports of serious injuries. She said taxi cabs had been used to block off the street but those who took part were not carrying anything to identify who they were.

At Wednesday’s protest, leaders of the Organised Taxi Drivers of Mexico City union denied any involvement in the “regrettable” incident. They promised to pursue only legal avenues and said the attack had been carried out by people fed up with Uber drivers parking in their neighbourhood for airport pickups.

“They are decisions that the neighbors of the area made but we have nothing to do with it,” said a union spokesman, Juan Carlos Rovira. “We say so categorically.”

This month Mexico City became the first city in Latin America to set down official regulations for smartphone-based ride services such as Uber. They call for the companies to pay 1.5% of fares to a fund for improving transportation; require drivers to register and submit to annual inspections; and bar them from accepting cash or establishing the equivalent of taxi stands.

Cabbies questioned whether Uber drivers may have been breaking that last rule by parking outside the airport. Paniagua said the company’s drivers were not permitted to wait on airport grounds so they stayed in the surrounding streets until customers who summoned rides were in a place where they could be picked up.

Several dozen medallion-cab drivers rallied at the demonstration, setting off firecrackers. They hoisted signs calling rideshare operators “criminals” and criticising the mayor, Miguel Angel Mancera, for letting them operate.

They vowed to continue pushing for the regulations to be repealed or modified until they feel there is a truly level playing field. “These transnational applications are infiltrating different countries as an economic parasite, endangering the livelihood of thousands of taxi drivers and their families and devouring the market for the legally established service,” said a union official, Ignacio Rodriguez.

Uber is increasingly popular among middle- and upper-class Mexicans as they turn to what they consider a safer, more reliable, more pleasant, convenient and cost-competitive alternative to street cabs.

In a poll, 80% of Mexico City residents surveyed gave Uber positive ratings, compared with 52% for medallion cabs. Just 12% said they backed a ban on Uber.

Francisco Rodriguez Esquivel, a 61-year-old who has been driving a cab for 15 years, said the airport attack was the “unfortunate” but unsurprising result of pent-up frustration.

“I think it’s a logical consequence, that people start to get desperate because these companies continue to work and are probably even laughing at us,” Rodriguez said. “The struggle continues, and it is going to continue until this gets fixed.”