Saturday, September 02, 2017

IGNORANCE IS NOT BLISS. IT’S BLOODY WORRYING! IS THIS THE HIGHLY TRAINED STAFF, MAYOR KHAN PROMISED


A Licensed London Taxi Driver rang 'TfLTPH Directorate' twice, to find out if accepting an App job, outside of his licensed area, was legal.

The conversations which transpired between the driver and TfL staff are jaw-droppingly outrageous.
The first TfLTPH assistant showed the geographical ignorance of an Infant School pupil.
The second TfLTPH staff member showed such profound regulatory ignorance, the driver would have been better off ringing up his local pizza parlour for information.

I blame Transport for London.
TfLTPH are placing untrained, uninformed staff members to man phones, which are supposed to inform Taxi and Private Hire drivers.
Now you know why TfLTPH never replies to our questions. Because they do not know the answers!

Mayor Khan, what the heck are you going to do about this unacceptable situation at TfL's Misinformation Bureau?

Below are the transcripts from both conversations.
I warn you; you will not know whether to laugh or cry.

CONVERSATION ONE:


TRANSCRIPT OF A TELEPHONE CONVERSATION, BETWEEN A TAXI DRIVER [TD] AND TFL TAXI AND PRIVATE HIRE DIRECTORATE [1TFL]. AT 14:04 ON 3 AUGUST 2017.

TfL: Taxi & Private Hire. 1TfL speaking. How can I help you?

TD: Good afternoon 1TfL. I’m wondering if you can help me.
TfL: Yep, how can I help you? 

TD: I’m a London Taxi driver and I’m looking for some information. I’ve asked TfL’s Helen Chapman the General Manager, via email three times, but she hasn’t replied to my emails. She must be very busy.
TfL: I don’t think you’ll get a response from Helen Chapman. What was the query in relation to, sir? What was the query in relation to?

TD: I’m outside of London Stansted Airport, in Essex.
TfL: OK.

TD: And I’ve been given an App job, by one of the taxi apps. Can I accept that booking? I’m outside London, I live near Stansted.
TfL: Are you a Private Hire Driver?

TD: No, I just said I’m a Taxi Driver.
TfL: Ah, alright. So you’re a Black Cab driver and you’ve got a booking through an app?

TD: It’s just come through to me. Can I accept that job on the App?
TfL: Alright.

TD: Can I accept the job?
TfL: It came through to you. You’ve got to collect the customer, yeah?

TD: Yeah, I’m in Stansted now, I leave near Stansted Airport.
TfL: Okay, let me just double check for you. Give me one moment please.
ON HOLD - MUSIC PLAYING
TfL: Hello there. Um yeah, I’ve just spoken to my Team Leader. That should be fine, as long as you’re on an App, you’ll be fine. And should be able to pick the passenger up.

TD: As long as I’m a what, sorry?
TfL: As long as you’ve got confirmation, the booking should be fine.

TD: So, I can work anywhere in the country on an app?
TfL: No, no sir. It’s not like that Sir. It’s obviously is in London.

TD: Stansted Airport is thirty five miles outside of London.
TfL: It’s alright, if your booking is from London, you can collect that person and bring them back to London.

TD: What do you mean, if the booking is from London?
TfL: A booking has to be taken from London. Where’s the booking taken from? Is it from London?

TD: I don’t know. You asked me. I’ll ask you the question; where is the booking taken?
TfL: Well, the company you’re with, where are they located? Where are they based? Are they based in London?

TD: They don’t have an Operator’s Licence, to accept a booking, sir.
TfL: Alright, hold the line a second for me, please.

TD: It’s MyTaxi.
TfL: Okay.

TD: They don’t have an Operator’s Licence. They are not a Private Hire Operator. They are an App intermediary, an App company.
TfL: Okay.

TD: I’m sitting at Stansted Airport. I’m sitting outside Stansted Airport now.
TfL: Okay.

TD: And it keeps offering me an App job booking. ‘Phyllis’ came up. She wanted a Taxi back to Southampton. I want to know if I can accept that booking, legally.
TfL: Let me have a look.
ON HOLD - MUSIC PLAYING
TfL: Hello Sir, yeah, I’ve just spoken to my colleague and yeah, because Stansted is part of Greater London, you can actually take that booking.

TD: Because Stansted is part of Greater London I can accept that booking?
TfL: Yeah, you can.

TD: Okay, have they moved Stansted into Greater London?
TfL: I’m no too sure.

TD: Because Stansted is in Essex.
TfL: It’s okay. It is part of Greater London, sir. So it should be fine.

TD: It’s part of Greater London?
TfL: Yeah.

TD: Okay. Well thanks for that.
TfL: No worries.

TD: What if I was in Manchester, could I accept a booking there?
TfL: Umm, not from Manchester, no. It has to be from London or near London.

TD: Near London?
TfL: Yeah, it has to be within London or Greater London.

TD: Right, Greater London? Stansted isn’t Greater London though.
TfL: Okay, but it is part of London, it should be fine.

TD: Stansted is in Essex.
TfL: Sir, the name of it. It’s called London Stansted Airport.

TD: Right, okay. So I can take a booking from London Stansted Airport, as long as it’s got in ‘London’ in the name, I can take it?
TfL: Yeah.

TD: Okay. Does that mean I can take a booking from London Street, in Manchester?
TfL: No, it’s not what I’m saying. But obviously I’ve spoken to my colleague and …

TD: So, what your saying is that London Stansted is in Greater London?
TfL: What I advise you to do, sir - obviously in regards to Stansted you can, that should be fine - but in regards to any other queries you have, I would advise you to put that in writing.

TD: Okay.
TfL: I can give you an email address; where you can email us, and we can get someone get back to you, in relation to that.

TD: I have done; Helen Chapman.
TfL: Helen Chapman won’t get back to you, sir. I’ll have to give you a general email, and they’ll get back to you.

TD: I have done to Neil Hassett, as well.
TfL: Okay, let me give you a general email address. Okay let me give you an email address, and put it in writing to us, and they will definitely get back to you yea?! 

TD: Okay yeah, fantastic. What’s the email, sir?
TfL: TPH.enquiries@tfl.gov.uk

TD: Okay, fantastic. I’ll send an email again. I’ll send you the same ones as I have been sending to Helen Chapman. Hopefully I’ll get an answer. Thank you for confirming London Stansted is in Greater London.
TfL: Yeah, Okay.

TD: Thanks for confirming that.
TfL: No worries. Good day, then.
Taxi Driver: Bye, bye. Bye


END


CONVERSATION TWO:

TRANSCRIPT OF A TELEPHONE CONVERSATION, BETWEEN A TAXI DRIVER [TD] AND TFL TAXI AND PRIVATE HIRE DIRECTORATE [2TFL]. AT 16:53 ON 3 AUGUST 2017.
TfL: Good afternoon, you’re through to London Taxi and Private Hire. You’re speaking with 2TfL, and how can I help you, today?

TD: Hello 2TfL. Was it 2TfL? 
TfL: 2TfL

TD: 2TfL. Hello 2TfL. Yes, I wonder if you could. I spoke with a chap earlier on called 1TfL.
TfL: Okay.

TD: And I asked him a question, I’m a Taxi Driver, and I’ve spoken with the Trade Organisation that I’m in, as well, and they said give you a call, to verify a few things.
TfL: Okay.

TD: If I’m sitting at Stansted Airport.
TfL: Right.

TD: And an App job comes up on the phone. Can I accept that job? 1TfL seems to think I can
TfL: Yes, I believe, erm, if it’s being booked through the App, then yes, there shouldn’t be a problem. Why? Have you been advised otherwise?

TD: No, I can’t get an answer. So if I’m sitting anywhere in the country. If I’m in, I don’t know, Southampton or Brighton, or Manchester or Stockport, anywhere in the country. If the job comes through on the App, I can accept the job as a London Taxi Driver?
TfL: Alright, let me double check that. What type of licence do you have? Do you have, do you have an All London, or suburban?

TD: No, an All London Licence, a Green Badge.
TfL: All London, okay, alright. Just bear with me and let me double check that for you.

TD: Thank you.
TfL: No problem, right.
ON HOLD - MUSIC PLAYING
TfL: Hello?

TD: Hello, 2TfL.
TfL: Hello Sir. Thanks very much for your patience. Okay, so I’ve got clarification, and what I’ve been informed is; as long as it’s booked through the App you can take this booking. But of course, what comes into play is that you’ve got an All London Licence. As long as the booking was made from within London, then you are able to take that booking.

TD:  What does that mean? As long as it’s made in London?
TfL: So, say for instance, you … a booking was made in London to go to Sheffield, or something. Whilst you were in Sheffield, you had got another booking.

TD: Yep.
TfL: To come back into London, that booking would have had to have been made from London and requested from Sheffield. So the booking, the booking …

TD: Now I’m really confused.
TfL: Right, so any booking that you take.

TD: Yep.
TfL: Yep. Can only be made from within London.

TD What does that mean? “Made [from] within London.”?
TfL: It allows, so a booking made anywhere in London, you are able to go out of London with, okay. Say, if you picked up someone from London and they were going to Sheffield, yeah?

TD: Let’s forget London,. Let’s say, I’m in Sheffield.
TfL: Right.

Taxi Driver: Let’s say, I’m in Sheffield and I want to go to Southampton.
TfL: Right then, no I don’t believe you can do that, no.

TD: Why is that?
TfL: Because of the type of licence that you have.

TD: Why is that?
TfL: Because you have an All London Licence and not a Suburban Licence. So, that’s where the difference comes in. So, in terms of - you can take people out of London to wherever they want to go. But, say for instance if you’re coming … any booking that’s made in particular. Say you had just taken someone to Sheffield. Okay, so now … 
2TFL HAS A BRIEF INTERNAL CONVERSATION

TD: Sorry, about that.
TfL: No Problem.

TD: Just getting back …
TfL: Okay.

TD: If I’m in Sheffield.
TfL: Yeah.

TD: and I get an App job.
TfL: Yeah.

TD: And it gives me an App job to Southampton.
TfL: Right.

TD: I can’t accept that?
TfL: No, you cannot.

TD: Right. Why not?
TfL: Because you have an All London Licence. You don’t have a Suburban Licence. If you had a Suburban Licence, I believe that gives you the ability to take jobs outside of London.

TD: Right
TfL: So, what I’m saying…..

Taxi Driver: Hold on, let me get this absolutely straight. If I was at Sheffield.
TfL: Yep.

TD: And I had a Suburban, Yellow Badge, Licence.
TfL: Yep.

TD: I could then take that person from Sheffield to Southampton?
TfL: That’s correct. Because that covers that specific area. Your licence only covers you for London. So, hence why I’m saying any booking you take have to be made from London. So you can go anywhere from London. And you can go anywhere to London. As long as the booking was made in London.

TD: Right. And what’s the difference between a Yellow Badge, Suburban Driver doing that? What’s the difference?
TfL: Because they have different rights, to work in different areas. You have All London. They have Suburban.

TD: And Sheffield? Is that covered under the Suburban Licence?
TfL: I believe so, yes.

TD: Right, okay. Well, this gets even more confusing. But thanks for your information.
TfL: No Problem.

TD: Thanks for your help.
TfL: We do understand that it’s a bit confusing. But as I say, as long as you accept a booking that’s made from London, you’ll be absolutely fine.

TD: I don’t understand what that means “As long as I accept a booking made from London.”. The person is at Sheffield Station. Sheffield being hundreds of miles away from London.
TfL: Yep.

TD: They open the MyTaxi App, they push the button, and I’m sitting outside Sheffield Station.
TfL: You won’t be able to take it, because the booking wasn’t made from London.

TD: If I was a Yellow Badge, I could take that job, yeah?
TfL: Yes, that’s correct.

Taxi Driver: Thank you.
TfL: No problem.

TD: I’ll let my Suburban colleagues know.
TfL: No problem. That’s absolutely fine, sir.

TD: Thank You. Goodbye.
TfL: Thank you. Take care.

TD: Bye, bye.
END

Education! Education! Education!

LPHCA statement on Uber Private Hire Operator License Renewal

The Licensed Private Hire Car Association welcomes the London Assembly unanimous call of 6th July 2017 for Transport for London not to renew Uber’s private hire operator licence.  We wholly support this motion. 

Like many interested groups, as reportedly stated by Mr Kurten AM at the Plenary Session, we have long expressed apprehensions about the poor practices of this business and its structure.  

Over the past few months our concerns have been strengthened by numerous publicly reported events.  These include:

  1. Investigation into correspondence between Uber and the Prime Minister’s Office by the Information Commissioners Office on 13th April 2017.
  2. Competition reduction, attributed to Uber, within the market found by the accountancy firm Moore Stephens on 24th July 2017.
  3. Allegations of passenger fare exploitation by Uber drivers found by Warwick Business School and New York University on 2nd August 2017.
  4. Criticism for failing to report serious crimes, including sexual assault, by Uber drivers from the Metropolitan Police on 13th August 2017.

Further to the above, Uber has been subject to ongoing questions about its working practices, driver engagement and payment of tax.  Uber drivers have also been successfully prosecuted by Transport for London for carrying passengers without proper insurance.  

This followed a complaint, from a Licensed Private Hire Car Association member, that one of their vehicles was being used uninsured by a driver for Uber work.  The lack of robust documentary checks raised additional consternation as to regulatory compliance.

Transport for London also successfully prosecuted Uber London Limited on the charge of Causing or permitting a person to use a motor vehicle on a road (or other public place) without a policy of insurance.

Modernisation of transport services is, we accept, a necessary progressive step but it should not risk public safety or the reputation of the wider licensed private hire trade.  

In adding our support to the London Assembly motion, the Licensed Private Hire Car Association calls for Transport for London not to renew Uber’s private hire operator licence on 30th September 2017. 

[ends]

Friday, September 01, 2017

The Result Of TfL Licensing Uber Drivers, With Fake Topographical Test Results, Fake Medicals and Fake DBS Checks



You really couldn't make it up. 

Buckingham Palace Samurai sword waving terrorist Mohiussunnath Chowdhury, decided to unleash his own brand of terror at the Royal residence of Windsor Castle. 

But as he lived in Luton, had no topographical knowledge of Central London -where incidentally, he 'was' licensed by TfL to work as an Uber driver- he entered Windsor castle into his Uber sat-nav. But like many Uber journeys undertaken by drivers with absolutely no knowledge of London, he ended up at the wrong destination, many miles away from where he had intended to go. 

Instead of arriving at the Royal residence of Windsor Castle, he actually arrived at a London Pub of the same name. 


Below is the court report from the Guardian, it reads like the script to a sit-com. 

It is alleged that Chowdhury, 26, who works as a self-employed Uber driver, had set off from his Luton address about two hours before his arrest and he used his satnav to try to drive to Windsor Castle. After he arrived at a pub of the same name, he drove on and eventually ended up near Buckingham Palace in central London.

He is alleged to have then driven towards a marked police car in a blue Toyota Prius at just after 8.30pm on Friday and stopped. During the incident, he was sprayed by police with CS gas and arrested.

Chowdhury, who wore a grey tracksuit and spoke to confirm his name and address, was remanded in custody. He will next appear at the Old Bailey on 21 September.


This case really does beg the question,
How many more potential terrorists are out there hiding behind a TfL roundel?

Uber Execs Under Investigation For Bribing Foreign Government Officials


Uber is set to start rebuilding its reputation after a summer of scandal. It just needs a couple of weeks without any bad news — for example, that the Department of Justice is taking “preliminary steps to investigate whether managers at Uber Technologies Inc. violated a U.S. law against foreign bribery.”

That’s the bombshell takeaway from a new Wall Street Journal report, which alleges that Uber may have violated the  Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. The FCPA makes it illegal for a US person or company to bribe a foreign government for favorable treatment. 

The WSJ doesn’t know which country (or countries!) may have been the recipient of bribes, but given Uber’s rapid expansion and general disregard for the rules, the list of possible places is nearly endless.

This isn’t the first bad news Uber has had from the government. A separate investigation is reportedly running into a program called Greyball, which Uber used to evade regulators in cities where it was operating against local regulations.

Under former CEO Travis Kalanick, Uber expanded at speed, but left a trail of destruction and bad PR in its wake. 

It frequently moved into a city before it was allowed to by local regulation, started up with low cost to get the local population on board, and then waged a public publicity battle to get its service legalized to some degree.

In the process, it frequently operates on the edge of the law. 

Because of its drivers’ status as contractors, rather than employees, it would be drivers having their cars seized. Uber would appear to be untouchable and able to conduct its business with little consequence.


TAXI LEAKS EXTRA COMMENT: 

Meanwhile, back here at the O2 in Greenwich, round the corner from the TfL Riverwalk Building, Uber have been given a pick up waiting area....or as we call it, a rank

Source : BGR

Unconfirmed Reports Have Been Posted On Social Media, That The Factory Building The New Electric Taxi Has Burned Down

Latest News Update From LEVC:

The London Electric Vehicle Company (LEVC) made this statement on Twitter at 12:30'pm today. Their new factory in Ansty, where the TX is located was unaffected. 


The fire yesterday evening was a along a boundary fence at their old factory. 



From the BBC

More than 40 firefighters have tackled a blaze at a disused factory in Birmingham.

The fire on Holyhead Road, Handsworth, started just before 05:00 BST, West Midlands Fire and Rescue Service said.

The A41 Birmingham Road had to be closed earlier between Halfords Lane and Middlemore Road.

Jim Sinnot, from the fire service, said wood and cardboard inside the factory was ablaze and investigations into the cause are now taking place

From The Coventry Telegraph :

Latest Update 
Suspected arson behind LTI factory

The cause of a blaze which saw a 10 metre high fence engulfed in flames in an alleyway behind the LTI factory is this morning being investigated.

Fire crews spent more than two hours tackling the inferno last night which lit up the night sky.

The fire started around 8pm and crews didn't leave until 11pm.

The alleyway is between the factory in Holyhead Road and Duckham Court and the fence acts as a sound barrier between the two.

Pictures have emerged of the fire lighting up the night sky.

New details are emerging this morning of what happened last night.

Stay with us for the latest updates and the morning news and travel.

KEY EVENT

As daylight emerged this morning, it was clear what damage had been done to the fence.

It is clear from the video how much of the fence has been burnt to a shell.

Piles of debris have now been left on the ground where it fell. 

Sparks fly from flames during blaze

Sparks fly from the flames 

Sparks were flying from the flames which were reaching dizzying heights above the houses.

The fence was ten metres high, and there has been a lot of damage to the fence.

KEY EVENT

Remnants of the fence this morning

Damage from the fire behind LTI overnight

The first pictures of the damage done to the fence are emerging. 

Around 15-20 metres in width has been burnt to a shell.

There is debris around the site and the cordon which has been set up by fire service is still in place.

Some of the beams are hanging off the frame of the fence. 

Firefighters at work

Firefighters work to tackle the raging fire

Firefighters worked for more than two and a half hours last night to bring the blaze under control.

Two crews were on scene, one from Binley and one from Coventry - good work to the firefighters who stopped it from spreading.

The second photo shows sparks flying as the fire dies out and remnants of the fence can be seen. 

We have reporter Enda Mullen live from the scene. 

KEY EVENT

The fence is already well ablaze by this point but with their quick work, they tackle the growing flames. 

How high is the fence?

The fence which has gone up in flames is in fact around nine to ten metres high.

Flames from the blaze towered over the houses on the estate behind the factory at the height of the fire.

08:48

The flames have engulfed the area and were reaching heights higher than the houses. 

No roads are closed

Although the alleyway is closed, there are no road closures in place that we know of. 

We have a reporter going to the scene this morning where we will find out what damage has been done. 

Alleyway cordoned off

The alleyway where the fire started is this morning cordoned off. 

It is currently being treated as a “hazardous area”.

Watch Commander Forrester said: “We have this morning cordoned off the alleyway where it happened.

“There are metal beams which are hanging down and although they are secure, if there is a big gust of wind they could potentially cause serious injury.

“It is cordoned off as a hazardous area and whoever responsible for the fence will be clearing it up later today.”

The location of the fire

KEY EVENT

Fire treated as suspected arson

A fire which broke out behind the LTI factory in Coventry last night is being treated as suspected arson.

Coventry Fire Station’s Watch Commander Ry Forrester told the Telegraph this morning that the fire started in an alleyway between the LTI factory and the housing estate behind it. 

He said: “We got there just minutes after the first crew arrived.

“It started in an alleyway between the housing estate and the LTI factory, but the ten metre fence caught fire.

“We are treating it as arson.”

Thursday, August 31, 2017

After Week Of No Comments, Palace Knife Attacker Finally Outed In Court As Uber Driver.

Last week, after the Palce knife attack, the main media failed to make any mention or connection, of the terrorist/attacker being an Uber driver. They also failed to mention he was driving a TfL registered Minicab.

But today the news has finally been posted on the BBC news web spite. 



News today that Chowdhury was in fact an Uber driver has now started to trickle through to the Nationals, which is extremely bad news for the eHail app.


So now we have both the Leytonstone slasher and now the Palace knife attacker, both confirmed working for Uber. That's along side the confirmed 48 sexual attackers and rapists.

For the past week, TfL have again protected their partners 'employee', refusing to comment on whether Mohiussunnath Choudhury was licensed as a PH driver at the time of the attack. 

Independent checks have shown that TfL had a driver registered by that name on the day after the attack.... but this licence (number 252605, expiry date, 11/04/2020) has now been removed from the TfL licence checker database.


TfL Protecting Their Partners?

TfL Compliance teams (COs) have been demanding Taxi drivers on ranks, remove copies of Taxi newspaper because -in their words- the headline is misleading to the public. 


COs at first were insisting that this headline was misleading, but when it was pointed out that this headline was in fact true and had appeared in national newspapers, they switched to insisting that it was unauthorised signage. It was then pointed out that this was not signage, just a newspaper left in the Taxi.

TfL are now pointing to an obscure notice put out in 06/2014. Which dealt with uncomplimentory signage (Totally failing London stickers) aimed at TfL failure towards the Taxi trade.

It's scandalous the way TfL bend over backwards, refusing to answer Taxi trade questions and in some cases refused Freedom of Information requests made on behalf of Taxi representative groups.

In a recent tweet, the London Cab Drivers Club pointed out they had to wait five months for TfL to reply to an email.

The man who was arrested near Buckingham Palace armed with a 4ft sword has now been formally charged with a terror offence.

Mohiussunnath Choudhury, 26, was charged by Scotland Yard following last week's car attack on police near the royal residence.

Three officers suffered minor injuries in the incident after he allegedly drove a vehicle at them just after 8.30pm on Friday and then reached for the sword.

Choudhury, from Luton, will appear at Westminster Magistrates' Court later on Thursday.

He faces the charge of engaging in the preparation to commit an act or acts of terrorism on Constitution Hill.