Saturday, August 26, 2017

Earnest Ice Cream Admits Teaming Up With Uber Was A Massive Mistake

In case you haven’t heard, Vancouver’s in the midst of the biggest ice cream scandal since Bella Gelateria abruptly closed their doors a few weeks ago.

What was supposed to be a joyous day full of free ice cream from Uber, has turned into a day of public outrage due to shortages of Earnest Ice Cream’s delicious cold bars.

Yesterday, Uber announced it would be offering two free Earnest Ice Cream sandwiches to anyone in Vancouver using the ride sharing service’s app during an allotted timeframe beginning this morning – but supplies were low, and people’s spirits were even lower.

It seems the shortage has not only created negative feedback for Uber, but also for the ice cream providers themselves, Earnest Ice Cream. 
So much so, it seems, that the beloved local purveyor took to social media to apologize for making “a mistake.”

Alleged TfL Registered PHV Driver, Injures Police In Terrorist Attack At Buckingham Palace.

Buckingham Palace terror suspect who drove at police yelling 'Allahu akbar!' was driving a Prius with TfL roundels.

TfL roundels seen in the rear of the terrorist's Prius.

The suspect was seen waving a 4ft sword before three unarmed hero police officers wrestled him to the ground and disarmed him with CS spray.

A terror suspect drove at police outside Buckingham Palace and yelled 'Allahu akbar' while reaching for a 4ft sword before he was arrested by three unarmed officers.

The 26-year-old from Luton was wrestled to the ground and incapacitated with CS gas by the officers, two of which suffered injuries, at about 8.30pm last night.

Metropolitan Police said the suspect had been arrested under the Terrorism Act and was currently in custody in a central London police station. 

The force revealed how the man had deliberately driven at a police van parked near the Mall roundabout in front of the palace, before stopping in front of the vehicle.

As three unarmed PCs exited the van and approached the blue Toyota Prius, the suspect reached for a 4ft sword in the footwell.

Following a struggle, the suspect and two officers were taken to hospital to be treated for minor injuries, while the third officer did not require treatment. 

Commander Dean Haydon, the head of the Met's Counter Terrorism Command, said: 'I would like to pay tribute to the bravery and professionalism of these officers who quickly brought this incident under control.

'Their vigilance, courage and the swiftness of their response demonstrates how our officers are protecting the public at this time.

'Officers from the Counter Terrorism Command are now investigating and searches are being carried out in the Luton area today.

'We believe the man was acting alone and we are not looking for other suspects at this stage.

'While we cannot speculate on what the man was intending to do - this will be determined during the course of the investigation - it is only right that we investigate this as a terrorist incident at this time.

'I would urge anybody who witnessed the incident or has any information or images that may assist the investigation to contact the confidential hotline on 0800 789 321.'

Commander Haydon added: 'This is a timely reminder that the threat from terrorism in the UK remains severe. 

'The police, together with the security services, are doing everything we can to protect the public and we already have an enhanced policing plan over the Bank Holiday weekend to keep the public safe.'

It's been alleged by our source within TfL, that the registration of the Prius was removed from the TfL licence checker web site, within minutes of the attack.

But with 120,000 TfL licensed Prius' driving round London, parking wherever they please unchecked, TfL have handed the terrorists anonymity. They don't even need to go through the process of becoming a Private Hire driver, they just turn up with the money and buy rent a registered Prius.

The knife man has now been named in the press as Mohiussunnath Chowdhury. 

This name is listed on the TfL Website as a licensed Private Hire Driver. 

As we've said before on Taxi Leaks:

How long before we see this happening in Central London ?


Friday, August 25, 2017

Addison Lee Given Six Months Temporary Licence By TfL.

Addison Lee's TfL Private Hire operators licence has been extended for just six months as Transport for London considers increasing the cost of operating in the capital for mincab firms.

London's transport regulator is mulling an increase of costs for private hire vehicles with the rising number on the road and the increasing resources needed to regulate them since the arrival of Uber in the city.

Funny enough, TfL have given no thought to raising the price of a private hire drivers licence, as with over 120,000 now on the road, money has come flooding in!

Addison Lee's five year licence was up for renewal at the end of August and has now been granted for just six months, until the end of February. 

Uber's licence was extended for four months earlier this year.

“Addison Lee's licence has been routinely renewed as part of the usual course of business. The length of the licence is at the discretion of Transport for London," a spokesperson for the cab company said.

"We have been informed by the licensing authority that the six-month duration is purely to allow TfL time to consider the results from a public consultation on licence fees.”

Transport for London is holding off on renewing private hire operators licenses for the usual five-year term as it works on proposals for new rules that would drastically increase the cost of operating large fleets for such companies.

It expects the costs of enforcing rules on minicabs, the number of which has jumped by 74% since 2014, to £30m over the next five years, up from previous estimates of £4m. TfL is looking to increase the cost of the licence for firms to plug that hole as it seeks to become self-sufficient by 2019 with cuts to government funding.

The industry is awaiting the results of a public consultation on the matter, although TfL have form for taking no notice of public opinion and mostly disregard such consultation results 

TfL is also under pressure from black cab drivers, who argue Uber's license should not be renewed over the growing number of alleged rapes and serious sexual assaults by its drivers on passengers. 

TfL are currently protecting Uber's reputation by hanging on to the FOI requested stats on the massive amount of road traffic accidents involving Uber cars, until after a decision to relicense has been made.

TFL's Work Experience Traffic Modellers, Come Up With New Nightmare Scheme...Have Your Say!

Just when the thought it couldn't  get any crazier... Just when you were thinking...'How could they possibly make congestion any worse?'.

The work experience six formers in charge of Traffic planning at TfL (not normally allowed unaccompanied on the actual streets) have played with their computer model and come up with this new harebrained scheme which we know (as professional drivers who actually spend our day caught up in the mess they create) will cause an almighty catastrophic mess 

TFL's minions say they are proposing road safety improvements on Grosvenor Place between Duke of Wellington Place and Wilton Street (but we know different from experience)

Their proposals include ridicules  pedestrian crossings at the top of Grosvenor Place and measures which they say are designed to reduce collisions involving turning vehicles. I'm surprised they didn't look at just closing the road completely. But then there would be no fines from drivers confused by unclear signage. You only have to look at the confusion currently costing £50m a year at the bank junction.

The proposal will force traffic, wanting to access Eaton Square and the Kings road and south west areas, down towards the already overused junction with Buckingham Palace Road. We predict this will cause massive queues back along Grosvenor Place to Hyde Park Corner! 

Through Traffic to that area will (for now), still be able to use the already over subscribed Grosvenor Crescent. But this will see a nightmare knock on affect along Duke of Wellington Place, similar to the traffic queues created when the road space where Knightsbridge meets Hyde Park Corner, was narrowed.

3 lanes reduced to 2, to improve traffic flow ??? They actually get paid to create this type of chaos all over London.

Game For A Laugh? ...


Analysis of collision data shows that there have been a number of instances involving right turning vehicles and straight ahead northbound traffic on Grosvenor Place. To minimise the potential for such collisions, we are proposing to prohibit some of the currently permitted turns for vehicles.

We’re also proposing to make it easier for people to cross Grosvenor Place by providing new signalised crossings and a larger island on Grosvenor Place, close to the junction with Duke of Wellington Place.

Our proposals fall into five categories:

1) Banned vehicle movements to improve safety

In order to reduce potential conflicts involving right-turning vehicles, we propose to ban the following turns for all vehicles:

  • No entry from Grosvenor Place into Chapel Street. We would ban the right and left turns for vehicles. Traffic counts show a maximum of 164 vehicle movements in the morning peak and 279 vehicle movements in the afternoon peak for right turning vehicles and a maximum of 31 vehicle movements in the morning peak and 36 vehicles in the afternoon peak for left turning vehicles
  • Right turn from Grosvenor Place into Chester Street. Traffic counts show a maximum of 62 vehicles in the morning peak and 98 vehicles in the afternoon peak making this turn. We would also extend the existing traffic island opposite Chester Street, which would also physically prevent vehicles turning right into and out of Chester Street
  • Right turn from Wilton Street onto Grosvenor Place. Traffic counts show at least 50 vehicle movements every hour between 09:00 and 19:00 - sometimes reaching 70 – 80 vehicle movements

As well as reducing the potential for collisions, the changes would also improve traffic flow along Grosvenor Place southbound.

2) New crossings and more space for pedestrians at Duke of Wellington Place
New fully accessible, signalised, surface pedestrian crossings and a larger pedestrian island at Duke of Wellington Place would provide an alternative to the existing subways, which are not accessible for mobility impaired people and are closed overnight. The larger island would also encourage drivers to slow down when approaching the gyratory

3) Larger vehicle waiting areas and lane widening

  • Extend the right turn pocket into Wilton Street by 59 metres from 26 metres to 85 metres to accommodate vehicles waiting to turn onto Wilton Street without obstructing the offside lane
  • By removing the vehicle waiting areas for right turning traffic at Chapel Street and Chester Street we would be able to redistribute space and widen the traffic lanes to better suit traffic conditions

4) Relocating loading bay on Chester Street
Relocate an existing 16 metres long loading bay from Grosvenor Place to Chapel Street to prevent loading vehicles blocking the northbound bus lane. This relocation is expected to improve traffic flow and bus journey times

5) Bus lane hours
Extend northbound bus lane hours of operation from 7am to 10am and 4pm to 7pm to Monday to Sunday 7am to 7pm to improve bus journey times and reliability. Taxis, motorcycles and bicycles would be allowed to use the bus lane, as they are at present. Other vehicles would not be able to enter the bus lane (including for parking and loading on single red lines) during the operating hours.

Please have your say by clicking on the link below, but going on other TfL consultations, they won't take a blind but of notice and just carry on regardless. 

Have your say, click link below:

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Great News For Clean Air For London Campaign. TfL Have Confirmed Bank Holiday Weekend Bus Strike.

Great news for cleaner air for London campaigners. Transport For London have confirmed that their Bus Staff will be striking over the bank holiday weekend. 

Last time London buses went on strike the air pollution registered in central London fell by 50%.

This below from The Telegraph.

Londoners' bank holiday plans are due to be severely disrupted as Transport for London confirm their staff will be on strike over Sunday 27 and Monday 28 August.

The strike will see over 400 Unite members walk out, including staff responsible for re-routing buses due to major events, roadworks and accidents. With major festivals like Notting Hill Carnival and Clapham's SW4 taking place over the three-day weekend, travel chaos could erupt across the capital.

Bus station controllers, network traffic controllers, revenue protection inspectors, infrastructure controllers and road transport enforcement officers involved will begin their walk-out at 00:01 on Sunday, with the strike expected to last 48 hours.

An Uninsured TfL Licensed Private Hire Driver ‘Put Public At Risk’ Touting At Luton Airport.

A Transport for London licensed private hire driver who was operating in Luton has been prosecuted by Luton Borough Council licensing service. 

On 15 August at Luton Magistrates Court, Mohammed Baho of Wimbourne Road, Luton pleaded guilty to two separate offences of Touting for Hire and No Insurance at London Luton Airport on 26 October 2016 and 5 December 2016, where he picked up passengers from the Drop off/Pick up zone of the airport, that had not been booked through an operator. 

Both Hackney Carriage and Private Hire drivers are only allowed to pick up passengers from the airport that have been pre-booked.

For the offence of Touting for Hire on 21 October 2016, the magistrates disqualified Mr Baho from driving for 6 months, and imposed a Band C fine of £245 based on his weekly income.

For the offence of No Insurance on 21 October 2016, he was given 6 points on his licence, but there was no separate penalty fine.

For the offence on 5 December 2016 of Touting for Hire, Mr Baho was disqualified for 12 months from driving and a band C fine of £245 was imposed, based on his weekly income. For the offence of No Insurance, his licence was endorsed with a further 6 points and he was ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £30 plus costs £600.

The total fine imposed was £1,120.

Mr Baho was informed that he now had a total of 18 points on his licence (including previous points), which therefore disqualified him from driving for a minimum period of 12 months.

Mr Baho was told that if he drives, he will commit a serious offence and would face further prosecution.

He will be required to apply to the DVLA for new licence at the end of the disqualification period, as his current licence no longer valid.

Mr Baho offered to pay £100 a month towards his fine and total costs, with the first payment to start on September 1.

Service Director for Public Protection at Luton Borough Council, Sarah Hall, said “The licensing service actively works to protect the safety of customers and supports legitimate and local businesses. 

“This enforcement operation found a Transport for London driver operating illegally at London Luton Airport with no insurance and no bookings, therefore putting the public at significant risk and this was reflected in the Magistrates decision

Click link to watch video from Dave

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

London's Anti Car Quentin Willson

To lay the blame for the quality of London’s air on passenger car drivers is a ponderous whopper of some magnitude. Every transport usage survey going tells us that car use in London has actually declined yet congestion and pollution has risen. 

These facts alone should tell us that something is gravely wrong and to conveniently blame the car isn’t just factually inaccurate it side-steps a much more serious issue - the politicisation of London’s roads. 

The capital’s road system didn’t become the snarling constipated and polluted ruin it is today without considerable help from politicians and legislators. What we’re now seeing (and breathing) are the unintended consequences of decades of deliberate anti-car policies Over the last 40 years schemes for new roads have been largely abandoned and any innovations in traffic management have been hopelessly timid and ineffectual. 

One-way streets, road narrowing, curb build-outs, speed bumps and parking enforcements have made the problem worse not better. In order to actively discourage car use, driving in London has been designed to be as difficult as possible. 

And the results of the daily lines of stop-start traffic and the countless regular and repeated applications of the brake and accelerator is a massive increase in tailpipe emissions. Traffic in standstill jams generate 70% more NO2 and PM10s than vehicles that flow freely. 

And yet a mischievous argument has been constructed that this is all the fault of car drivers. But UK motoring consumers have no other choice. The car, in all its forms, is the only successful solution to mass transportation we know. Public transport, cycling and walking simply aren’t the transport answers for the millions of daily journeys needed in London. 

Figures from the European Commission show that bus and train use across Europe averages out at 9% and 7% respectively with passenger car use running between 80% and 90% across EU member states. To achieve the much-vaunted modal shift from cars to trains is totally unrealistic. If just 10% of the 34 million UK car drivers travelled by train we’d need 50% more rail capacity - and that’s not going to happen anytime soon. 

Why then have a generation of London’s politicos ignored these European trends and argued for a mythical public transport system that the majority can’t use and would be impossibly expensive to build? Looking back trough the decades of London’s road transport decisions its clear that the blame for the pollution and congestion we now see and breathe lies not with drivers but with successive groups of London politicians who have steadfastly and willfully refused to improve London’s roads. 

Sir Peter Hall, a pioneer of regional transport planning said in the 70s: ‘As long as the dispersal of homes and jobs around London continues so will conventional public transport fight a losing battle against the flexibility of the private car.’ Prophetic words indeed.

Back in the 60s there were plans to build several inner London Ringways - radial road systems to run at motorway speeds - but in 1973 the Labour held GLC cancelled the project on grounds of its considerable cost. The 2.5 mile Westaway flyover into Paddington - still the country’s longest stretch of elevated road - is the only section that was actually built. 

Piecemeal improvements were made to the North and South Circular roads through the 70s and 80s but little was done to genuinely improve traffic flow along their many complicated junctions and, unsurprisingly, the North Circular now features in the toxicity lists of London’s most polluted roads. 

Back then the GLC didn’t like cars and preferred instead to invest in public transport. Derek Turner (Red Derek) and Ken Livingstone (‘I hate cars’) buried the idea of free-flowing freeways through London and came up instead with their Fair Fares initiative reducing London bus fares by 30% and subsidising the London bus fleet. 

The GLC’s influence at this stage was pivotal and began the domination of the London bus that we see today. Instead of a strategic road network we have 8,000 buses - of which 9 out 10 are diesel - producing 16% of the Capital’s NO2 in the centre. 

Another historic opportunity for improving traffic flow into London from the West and the M40 motorway was the widening of the A40 near Acton and Gypsy Corner. In the 90s the Highways Agency spent £73 million buying and then demolishing 200 houses and commercial properties for the proposed A40 widening. In 1997 when Labour came to power, John Prescott famously cancelled 100 new road building projects, one of which was the A40 widening plan. 

Those vacant and demolished sites have now been sold to developers - at an average 26% loss - and the Westbound A40 has become one of the most congested and polluted roads in London with morning and evening traffic delays that can often run to 90 minutes. 

This is the main feeder road in and out of London from the west bringing 20 million journeys a year mainly from business traffic and was dubbed by the Evening Standardas one of ‘London’s Most Scandalous Roads’. Average speed cameras and a 40 mile speed limit have done little to improve traffic flows. Many Londoners consider the cancellation of the A40 widening initiative a squandered opportunity that has been enormously badly handled.

London’s historic Congestion Charge of 2003 initially worked well with a drop in traffic of 20%. The system was difficult to use and based on having to pay in advance, (not retrospectively as is now the case) and the use of clunky street machines both of which acted as a significant and sometimes terrifying deterrent to car use in the early years. 

The draconian fine-based model of the system effectively bankrolled the scheme administered then by Capita who levied high administration costs of over 40%. The charge has since risen from £5.00 to £10.00 but income has fallen. 

Of the £2.6 billion raised since its introduction the actual figure of cash going back into London’s transport system after costs has been only £1.2 billion or just 5% of the total of TfL’s revenue. The scheme hasn’t been the money maker everybody thought it would be. Congestion has increased because TfL admits this is partly due to ‘road space allocation to improve conditions for pedestrians, cyclists, public transport and the urban realm’ (whatever that might be). 

In simpler words, road lanes were reduced and surrendered to buses and bikes, footpaths widened at intersections and road capacity significantly reduced causing some of the worst congestion in London’s history. Volumes of cars coming into London are now lower than they were in 2001 and the latest report ‘Travel in London’ says that passenger car journeys into the capital dropped by 13% between 2001 and 2011 yet traffic speeds in the centre are now slower than before the Congestion Charge was introduced. 

This is simply because the continued removal of road space in the last five years to favor cyclists and buses has caused a dramatic increase in congestion to unsustainable levels. Its worth noting too that 90% of the net revenues earned from the charge have not been spent on road improvements. For all its early benefits the charge has made congestion no better than before its introduction in 2003 despite a substantial increase in price. These facts should concern us all.

TfL’s increase in Private Hire Vehicle licenses has had an effect on congestion too. There are now over 87,000 PHVs vehicles in London (this figure doesn’t include the 23,000 black cabs). Intended to support the new ‘disruptive’ Uber transport model and break the black cab monopoly TfL increased the number of PHVs from 49,000 in 2010 to 87,000 in 2017 with a total of 117,000 PHV driver licenses currently issued. 18,000 private hire vehicles enter London every day which many say is tipping the fragile road transport balance in the wrong direction. 

Uber drivers are reported to come from all over the UK - often as far away as Bradford and Manchester - and this continuous circle of PHVs looking for work has caused new peaks of congestion particularly in London’s core centre in the evening. 

The number of traffic lights have increased too - up 5% across the capital since 2008 with a current total of 6,252. 

The University of Surrey’s study Atmospheric Environment found that the amount of nanoparticles from passenger tailpipes is increased by a factor of 29 when stopping and then accelerating away from traffic lights compared to free-flowing traffic emissions. When cities across the rest of Europe are looking to actively decrease the amounts of lights in use it seems perverse that London has increased them.  

So next time you read some specious environmental nonsense about London’s traffic dreamed up by a green politician in a lukewarm bath - just look at the figures. Less passenger cars are coming into London yet the road system is at a virtual standstill and pollution is at record levels. 

Nobody mentions the NO2 and PM pollution from domestic and industrial combustion, the increase of light van journeys or the emissions from trains, buses, HGVs, shipping or ground-based machinery like diggers and generators. 

The passenger car is, and always has been, a convenient and easy scapegoat. And here’s the thing - if we don’t stop politicising London’s roads this great city will decline and businesses, commuters and residents will simply go somewhere else. 

This is the unforgivable and enormously expensive consequence of years of playing politics with London’s transport system. It really is time to vote for someone else.

Quentin Willson 

Greenbadgejohn writes in reply to 'Drivers Held To Ransom By Greedy Card Machine Suppliers'.

Greenbadgejohn writes in reply to 'Drivers Held To Ransom By Greedy Card Machine Suppliers. 

On Sunday my son celebrated his birthday and I went along to the new Bang Bang Oriental food hall recently opened in Colindale besides the New Morrisons.

Not withstanding the fact of how enjoyable the experience was.... it really is a nice place to casually eat with a huge indoor oblong area of food vendors of every variery but one massive point to make.... 95% of them had Signs on their counter stating either "Sorry no credit cards" or "No credit cards today" or "Minimum card Payment is £10"

Every one of these vendors are Licensed in one way or another by a variety of bodies such as Local Authority food standards or council registration, Just as every Public house in the country must have Licensing, but not single one suffers the licensing cajolery or inveiglement we all do as self employed business's can you imagine how any interference or threats of closure by any authority would be met by Mandatory compulsions? I have always asked the question as to what the hell it has to do with TFL.

TFL has third party unpaid advertising in my cab against my wishes, and whilst I truly feel Card payments are a benefit these days, normal and fair minimum spend limits should apply by the vendor (me) to reduce the time and clear abuse taken by passengers who try & retry a variety of cards for amounts less than £5 which effectively takes longer than the journey time took and causes delays for surrounding traffic and road users and refusal to accept card payments from inebriated persons who find it too difficult to operate card machines.

TFL should make it public information as to who they use for cashless card processing and how much they are charged in % terms for their business?

We are in the situation we are in because TFL have forcibly compelled taxis to accept Card Payment, We should have the same rates access to the usage criteria TFL has as It is absolutely certain there are huge variations between Oxford Circus's takings which clearly are a universe away from Fairlop Station's takings and which both Stations are on the same Central line System.

As to why trade bodies allowed so much ambiguity into taxi Card processing procedures is a serious concern, but to now find companies coercing drivers into unfair contractual obligations or withdrawing leaving vehicles non compliant is nothing short of a scandal and reminds me of the Van AAken take the money and run debacle of years gone by and which yet again only goes to show how under the auspices of TFL big business's can steam roller the London Taxi Trade and freely escape leaving us to count costs.

Be Lucky,

greenbadgejohn (on twitter)

Taxi Leaks Extra: 
It's been alleged tonight that the card machine supplier who have written to drivers demanding return of equipment for low usage is in fact Taxi World.  

Not a good move for a company trying to promote the new Arro dispatch system to the trade. 

Extra Comment From ex Chair of UCG Len Martin:
If you have your CC machine taken back causing you to fall foul of COF, can you claim compensation for loss of earnings while the cab is out of service? 

If you have a two year contract could you arguably rent a cab for the remainder of the contract at the expense of Taxi World? 

We have a new can of Worms TfL are going to do their best to ignore. 

One of the concerns I had when I opposed mandatory CC machines, I asked "what happens if we end up long term with just two or three suppliers and for one reason or another, over time you end up at odds with each of them, how do you work? 

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Charging Your Electric Vehicle And Boiling A Kettle Will Blow The Fuse Say National Grid.

Electric car owners have been warned that if they attempt to boil a kettle while charging their car it will blow the fuse.

The National Grid expressed concerns that an average size 3.5kW battery charger would take 19 hours to fully charge a car battery, even when it is 25 per cent full.

A “thought piece” document obtained by the Financial Times warned that a more powerful 11kW device would still take six hours to charge a car battery and during that time, the use of everyday items such as kettles and ovens would blow the fuse.

“The average household is supplied with single phase electricity and is fitted with a main fuse of 60-80 amps,” the National Grid said.

“If one were to use an above average power charger, say 11kW, this would require 48 amps. When using such a charger it would mean that you could not use other high demand electrical items...  without tripping the house's main fuse.”

The warnings come just weeks after the Government announced plans to ban the sale of new diesel and petrol cars by 2040 in a bid to encourage people to buy electric vehicles.

However, motoring experts immediately expressed concern, noting that it would place unprecedented strain on the National Grid.

Most electric cars will require a battery capacity of 90 kilowatt hours (kWh) to make journeys of around 300 miles, National Grid believes.

It suggests that the ability to travel longer distances without stopping to recharge will be a “must have” if motorists are to abandon petrol or diesel cars.

The company suggested that building several thousand “super fast” charging forecourts — similar to modern day petrol stations — would be preferable to a "large scale rebuild of the domestic electricity infrastructure" by fitting homes with the maximum 100 amp main fuse.

Michael Gove, the Environment Secretary, has warned that Britain "can't carry on" with petrol and diesel cars because of the damage that they are doing to people's health and the planet.

"There is no alternative to embracing new technology," he said last month.

Source : The Telegraph

Monday, August 21, 2017

London Taxi Drivers Held To Ransom By Greedy Card Machine Providers

Reports are coming in to Taxi Leaks, that some Credit Card Providers are demanding the return of their equipment from Cabbies with a low usage rate.

London Taxi drivers are now being put in a position where they may be found to be un-compliant with TfL regulations. 

We have asked TfL what these drivers are expected to do if these companies won't provide a machine through low turn over?

Typical of TfLs contempt for our trade, we are yet to receive a reasonable answer to the question.

As soon as we get the details, we will be naming and shaming the companies involved and advising all drivers seeking CC equipment not to deal with a company who would put drivers in this predicament. 

Uber Driver ‘Freaked Out’ When The Rape Victim Told Him She Had HIV.

Uber driver’s ‘sex attack victim had to comfort him when she said she had HIV’

Suleiman Abdirizak denies the allegations 

An Uber driver who put his penis into a passenger’s mouth ‘freaked out’ when the victim told him she had HIV, a court heard.

Suleiman Abdirizak soaked his penis with water from a squash bottle and had to be calmed down by his victim, who reassured him he would be fine, it is claimed.

The 42-year-old, who has been charged with rape, had pulled into a dead end in east London and climbed into the back seat, Snaresbrook Crown Court was told.

Prosecutor Sarah Morris said the victim had been out for a meal, but felt unwell after drinking a bottle of wine and ordered an Uber to take her home.

Abdirizak picked her up on November 10 last year but stopped in Buckle Street, Stepney, and stroked the woman’s thigh as she slept, jurors heard.

The woman ordered an Uber but was raped by driver Abdirizak, it is alleged. 

Miss Morris said: ‘He got into the back and put his penis into my mouth. He said, ‘I’ll only drive you if you suck my dick’.

‘She told him a lie, she told him she had HIV to keep him away from her.

‘His telephone shows that for nine minutes they were in fact in Buckle Street, which is where the rape took place.’

In a police interview, the woman said: ‘I don’t know how I thought of this idea to lie to him, I said I have an illness and you don’t want to sleep with me.

‘He thought it was an STD or something, I told him I have HIV and have had it for five years.

‘He got out a squash bottle from his car and started washing his mouth and penis because he though he was contaminated.

‘I know he was freaked out. I said ‘I’ll walk you through it, I have had it for five years, don’t worry about it’.’

Abdirizak of Rifle Street, Poplar, denies one count of rape.

He claimed the woman told him to drive somewhere private and stop the car so she could be sick.

The trial continues.

TfL Take Over Five Months To Answer LCDC's Email Calling For Resignations.

Peter Blake, Siwan Hayward, Silka Kennedy Todd

Email sent to Peter Blake Tph today from the LCDC:

Dear Mr Blake, 

Could you explain some recent issues for me that I've tried to raise in Licensing & Compliance Meetings but to to no avail? It often seems the purpose of the meeting is to avoid answering rather than to engage constructively.

When are TfL going to bring the PH Topographical Knowledge Testing in-house to stop the type of allegation in the Tweet constantly being made by PH Drivers on Social Media?

As Topographical Knowledge Testing is fee-based, any new investment is related to fees. Why is Silka telling us 'there is no magic money tree!' in relation to questions about investment in the Knowledge or promoting the Knowledge?

Taxi & PH Licensing is also ring-fenced. Again, why is Silka telling us 'there is no magic money tree!' in meetings?

I've asked Silka, on several occasions, to provide us with detailed accounts of where our licence fees go. Can you please provide these figures as far back as possible......unless, of course, you have something to hide?

PH Driver licence fees are amongst the lowest in the Country-why were they frozen when enforcement was inadequate? What plans have you got in the consideration of  raising them?

Can you also explain what Siwan Hayward's role is now? 
I note from recent emails that she is Head of Transport Policing and not Deputy Director of EOS. 

In light of recent letters and emails that we are receiving, can you explain that for us? 

Can you also explain the performance related aspect? 
I'm reminded of a previous email to me from yourself, in which you said something along the lines of 'Siwan Hayward has my full backing'. 

Are you prepared to resign given the woefully inadequate responses coming from TfL and Siwan's involvement in these emails?

It's often been reported that Ms.Lloyd Hayward is a big supporter of Uber & thinks they do a fine job. We have FOI's coming in daily now that show otherwise. I'm sure you've read the stories in all the National Newspapers. 

Are you aware that TfL's figures are being replicated outside of London due to the lax standards at TPH made worse by a loss of control over Cross Border Hiring?

When Professor Alexis Jay took over the inquiry at Rotherham, she asked 'who knew what when and what did they do about it?'

Can we expect the same level of answers from you given Silka has replied on your behalf on the 18th of July, that there is no malfeasance in public office:

Dear Grant
I am responding to your email of 20 February
alleging “malfeasance” by TfL. 
I apologise for the lengthy delay in providing you with this response.
We have considered the contents of your email. We are seeking new powers from government where we consider intervention to be necessary but not possible under the current statutory framework, such as for example in relation to growing PHV numbers and cross-border hiring. However, many of the matters raised in your letter are common to licensing authorities for taxi and private hire services across the country and would require the government to bring forward legislation that applies nationally in order to provide an effective solution.
We do not accept your assertion that TfL is selectively enforcing the law or that there has been misfeasance in public office. Where there is evidence that the law has been breached, swift and appropriate enforcement action will be taken.

Given recent revelations in the National Media from FOI requests that show a complete disregard for enforcement, can you explain Ms.Kennedy Todd's email?

We would appreciate a more prompt reply from the the one that took 5 months and not to be fobbed off by more spin and waffle.



Mark White

Taxi Leaks Extra Comment : 
Just to confirm the utter contempt that TfL have towards the Licensed London Taxi Trade, please see the post from @TfLTPH made on Twitter recently. 

With all th scandal that's been in the media over the last week, TfL are now on the ropes with regards to Uber's relicensing. 

But it appears the only org punching their weight are the LCDC, but unless TfL are put under pressure from all angles, we are in danger of letting them slip off the hook.

Latest good news:
Allegations have beenmade on the Uber drivers forum, that the Met Police may put in an objection to Uber's relicensing.