Saturday, October 14, 2017

Vaughan Williams Gives His View On The Uber Question.

Article in the New Statesman : The Right are defending Uber, because they don't really understand it...

Rest in peace, British capitalism. You had a good run, but thanks to Sadiq Khan’s decision to end Uber’s licence to operate in London, it’s all over now

Click link for article :


It's come to something when a lifelong Conservative voter like me is posting stuff from the New Statesman. Not that I'm likely to fling myself into the embrace of the sinister Mr McDonnell either, as I don't believe in the demonisation and penalisation of financial success and I remember the Brain Drain of the 60s/70s. Perhaps political, as well as physical, homelessness is just another feature of these strange times. 

I'm not sure whether this latest initiative of genius from the Tories is another doomed attempt to get down with the kids, or a defence of robber-baron laissez-faire economics. They are trotting out rehashed Uber propaganda about job losses, when the "jobs" don't exist because the independently-licensed drivers still have the cars so will simply and quickly migrate to other, hopefully more socially responsible minicab platforms. Members of the British public are not as stupid as you seem to think, chaps, and recognise blatant lies when they see them. 

The Conservatives are already vulnerable on the topic of Uber, given the unfortunate association between the Cameron circle and the company, so why on Earth are they queueing up to defend a company which is rapidly becoming a byword for the unacceptable face of capitalism ? 

Uber lost its licence because they it was deemed not fit and proper to run a minicab company. The company's culture has been that of a technology startup - break the rules, the end justifies the means - a stance that is incompatible with providing a safe and socially responsible service to the public in a regulated environment. 

So what is the Government saying ? :

" well, they MAY have been a bit rapey, but hey Sadiq, don't be TOO hard on them. They are known for being sensitive souls desperate to please, so a little slap on the wrist would have been enough. "

In harsh evidence that this vicious over-reaction against a digital innovator will brand the UK as the enemy of progress, I understand that Lyft are in discussions with TfL with a view to providing exactly the same service as Uber, but in a more socially responsible and adult manner.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Uber Lodges Appeal At Marylebone Magistrates Court Over London Ban

REUTERS : Uber has filed an appeal against the decision by London authorities to deny it a licence to operate in London.

Last month, Transport for London (TfL) refused Uber a new private hire licence, saying the ride-hailing firm was not fit and proper.

TfL said it took the decision on the grounds of "public safety and security implications".

The appeal process could take months, during which time Uber can continue to operate in London.

"While we have today filed our appeal so that Londoners can continue using our app, we hope to continue having constructive discussions with Transport for London. As our new CEO [chief executive] has said, we are determined to make things right," an Uber spokesperson said.

Earlier this month, Uber's new chief executive Dara Khosrowshahi met Mike Brown, who runs Transport for London.

Uber described those talks as "constructive", while TfL said the talks "centred on what needs to happen to ensure a thriving taxi and private hire market in London.

Mayor Sadiq Khan said TfL were unlikely to do a U-Turn over the decision at yesterday's Mayors Question time.

The appeal is likely to be heard on the 11th of December.

Source : Reuters. 

Taxi Leaks Comment : 

Why did It take TfL so long to take action over Uber. They've known for months about the 50% rise in Uber driver rapes and sexual assaults, the mountain of RTAs, 13,000 drivers with fake criminal record checks and fake medicals, GreyBall, the spying on passengers, the data mining from passenger phones, the hacked passenger accounts .... And yet they waited for Uber's licence to expire!!!

TfL top management have been 'woefully inadequate' over this issue.  

                WHO WILL BE NEXT TO GO ???

Why didn't they take action and revoke Uber's licence when all this first came to light?

Lyft In Secret Talks With TfL, As They Look To Move In On London Market, After The Uber Ban.

             Lyft's Mike Msserman and Raj Kapoor

Another American eHailing app Lyft, Uber’s biggest rival, is eyeing the London market. Currently, they are holding talks with Transport for London (TfL) and City Hall officials, ongoing for the past year, according to a report in the Telegraph, citing freedom of information records. 

While the talks don’t actually state Lyft is getting into the U.K. market, they do show it has an interest in that market and in the TfL’s transport policy. 

News of the interest came to light j after TfL declined to renew Uber’s licence, dealing the leading ridesharing company a massive blow to the minicab firms credibility. 

If Uber’s appeal fails, it will no longer be able to operate in the TfL area, paving the way for a competitor to pilfer its market share. 

According to Fred Jones (see video below), Uber has 40,000 drivers and 3.5 million customers in  London, but like everything else about Uber, their numbers appear to be fake and don't add up. 


Lyft’s head of global strategy, Mike Masserman, and chief strategy officer Raj Kapoor have had face-to-face meetings and phone calls with TfL officials throughout 2016.  

The talks focused on the startup’s business model and operations, as well as the London mayor’s new transport strategy for the city. 

Lyft met with TfL in London last December and at that the meeting were Helen Chapman, who is in charge of TfL’s taxi and private hire department, Peter Blake (now gone) TfL’s director of service operations for surface transport, and three unnamed representatives of the Greater London Authority. 

Lyft isn’t registered as a company in the UK, nor does it have a private hire licence. 

A Private Hire operator’s licence is necessary to operate in London, and it should be noted Lyft’s entrance into the London market could face opposition from other PH operators as well as taxi representative groups, as well as the lawmakers. 

Those constituents of London may well be concerned that another new service could add massively to the congestion in London.

Lyft have declined to comment on the report, but given Uber’s current troubles, Lyft could soon be emboldened to move forward with a push into London.


What happens when you have 13,000 drivers with fake criminal record checks and no training ?

Warning!!! Strong language. 

Thursday, October 12, 2017

London Regulator TFL, Will Defend Decision Not To Renew Uber's License In Court: Says Mayor Khan.

At the Mayors Question Time debate this morning,  London Mayor Sadiq Khan face a barrage of sarcastic criticism from GLA member Andrew Boff, over TfL's decision not to renew Uber's operating licence in London. The Mayor went on to say, the city's transport regulator -Transport for London- will defend its decision in court not to renew Uber's license to operate in the British capital. 

This comes despite the apology made to TfL by the Uber CEO, when he came to London. Dara Khosrowshahi, who succeeded Uber founder Travis Kalanick as CEO a month ago, wrote in an open letter: “While Uber has revolutionised the way people move in cities around the world, it’s equally true that we’ve got things wrong along the way. On behalf of everyone at Uber globally, I apologise for the mistakes we’ve made.

London mayor Sadiq Khan says he welcomed the apology by CEO of ride-hailing app, but added, Uber deserved to lose its licence – Londoners' safety must come first.

Uber has until Friday to submit its appeal and can continue to operate until the appeal process has been exhausted, which could take several months. "The courts now will consider the appeal from Uber and of course TfL (Transport for London) will defend the decision they made," Khan said during a monthly question time session.


London’s minicab firms threaten TfL with legal action, over PHV licence fee cost increase

Minicab firms are threatening legal action against Transport for London after it increased the cost of being licenced in the capital.
The industry group representing more than 200 operaters in London has said it will launch legal action against the regulator, warning that the steep rise in costs would put some of them out of business
London mayor Sadiq Khan defended the decision to increase the fees, telling London Assembly members today that he had to cover the cost of compliance and enforcement. "I'm reassured their [TfL's] proposals are good ones," he said when quized on the matter at Mayor's question time.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Uber London needs to file its license appeal this week – what will happen if it doesn’t?

If the ride-sharing startup’s London subsidiary doesn’t file the appeal in time, it will cease to operate in London on Friday 13 October.

Uber lost its private operating license in the UK’s capital city after the transport regulator raised concerns over the way it had failed to report serious criminal offences and its policy over Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks.
TfL has concluded that Uber London Limited is not fit and proper to hold a private hire operator license.

What has happened since the ruling?

TfL made its ruling on 22 September, giving the startup three weeks to file an appeal. Uber has continued to operate in the city during this time. If it does file its appeal today, it will be allowed to operate during the appeals process.

Last week, Uber’s new chief executive Dara Khosrowshahi met with the commissioner of TfL, Mike Brown, to discuss ways for the startup to regain its license.

Uber answers to MPs 

This week, Uber and other gig economy startups like Deliveroo, were in front of the UK government’s business select committee to answer questions over workers’ rights.
This comes after the publication of the Taylor Report, which called for better treatment of self-employed workers.
During the hearing, the startup’s head of public policy, Andrew Bryne, said that Uber had shown “the wrong attitude” on a number of issues.
Byrne added that there was now a path forward with TfL to address the regulator’s concerns.

The Telegraph reported that the company has hired a “TfL nemesis lawyer” to lead its appeal. The lawyer, Thomas de la Mare, has fought battles on Uber’s behalf against the regulator before

Source :

• We know Taxify the company, operated illegally. 
•We know that Uber have been operating illegally...they've said it themselves in two court cases.
•Taxify have had the licence they bought, revoked and have been refused a license by TfL.
•Uber have been called unfit to operate by TfL and been refused a licence renewal.
•Taxify can not operate as a PH operator in London 
•But Uber can carry on while/if and when they appeal.
How does his work???

The final insult??? Sean Paul Day.
Ex PM Dave Cameron accepts job at First Data, a global leader in payments tech who invests in Uber. 


Ex chancellor and editor of the Evening Standard in attempted mugging by an Uber eats biker gang....Karma? 

   Parkinson, Gang Leader     Chowdury, Bought Phones

18 year old Claud Parkinson, was jailed today for five years alongside a 16 year old and a 15 year old who can't be named because of their age. The group made the mistake of mugging the wrong person. 

While they were picking on ordinary members of the public, they got away with 103 robberies in just a few weeks. But were soon caught after the failed phone mugging attempt of George Osbourne, caught on CCTV outside the Langham hotel. 

The phones were bought by 40 year old Chowdhury who sent the gang a price list of what they could expect to get for certain phone models.  

Action caught on dash-cam by editor Jim Thomas. 
Scooter thieves, nicking phone, off a man waiting for an Uber outside Tottenham Court Road tube station.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Are Uber's London Account Numbers Double Dutch ???

The reason Uber won't come clean on this, is that it would expose the reality that if they had the 40,000 drivers, they would be working just over four hours per week says GMB.
GMB comments on the latest set of accounts, for year ending 31 December 2016, released by Uber London, the UK operating company.
Maria Ludkin, GMB Legal Director said:
"Uber could demonstrate its new found humility shown to the Mayor of London by showing a bit of transparency in its UK accounts.
“Uber gives the impression that it has an income of £36.9m in the UK by selling unspecified services to other Uber overseas companies - in other words it is an exporter of services from the UK. What a pile of tosh.
“In fact, Uber sends all the fare income made in the UK to a company in Holland.
"This Dutch company pays 75% of this income to drivers in the UK. GMB is working on the basis that the other 25% is the commission to Uber that comes back to the UK and makes up the lion’s share of Uber income in the UK.
“The reason Uber won't come clean on this is that it would expose the reality that the 40,000 drivers would be working just over four hours per week for Uber. So much for 40,000 jobs being on the line.
“It is high time that Uber stopped the spinning and came clean on what hours its drivers work each week.”

So Uber are worried about the 40,000 jobs they say they are not responsible for. 
The same workers they don’t want to give basic workers rights to
The same workers they are looking to replace with autonomous vehicles as soon as possible 
The word on everyone’s lips is “Hypocrites”
This link below is a must watch:

TfL Ref: FOI-1306-1718
Thank you for your request received by Transport for London (TfL) on 31 August 2017 asking for information about legal costs. Please accept my apologies for the delay in our response.
Your request has been considered in accordance with the requirements of the Freedom of Information Act and our information access policy. I can confirm we hold some of the information you require.
The total expenditure, as at the end of August 2017 and since June 2014, is £291,679. This figure is inclusive of VAT.
We do not hold an expected estimate of future costs and so are unable to provide you with this information.
If this is not the information you are looking for, or if you are unable to access it for some reason, please do not hesitate to contact me.
Please see the attached information sheet for details of your right to appeal as well as information on copyright and what to do if you would like to re-use any of the information we have disclosed.
Yours sincerely
Lee Hill
Senior FOI Case Officer

Was This Uber Driver, One Of Helen Chapman's 13,000 Without A DBS Certificate.

Uber driver ‘sexually assaulted a woman’ and told her to ‘stay in the car’ in South London

An Uber driver sexually assaulted a passenger, telling her: “Stay in the car. I’ll make you feel good,” a court heard.

The young woman says she had fallen asleep and woke to find Andrew Aluge, 46, “stroking and caressing” her leg.

He then grabbed her ankle as she tried to flee, she told a jury.

She said: “I suddenly felt really scared like he was going to rape me.”

The woman said she escaped and fled to a friend’s flat nearby.

Aluge denied inappropriately touching her during a trip to Tulse Hill, South London.

He claimed he tapped her on the leg to wake her up and was annoyed because she had her feet on his seat.

Aluge, of Vauxhall, South London, denies sexual assault at Inner London crown court.

The case continues: Source The Sun.

Could this alleged attack have been prevented?
Was this Uber driver one of the drivers with a fake DBS certificate?


          The Real LTDA...Oxford Street's Secret Signs 

Save Black Taxis' Steve Kenton on London Taxi Radio from yesterday afternoon, talking about Taxi-Point. 

Monday, October 09, 2017

Man Fighting For His Life After Being Mowed Down By Another Sat-Nav Gazing PH Driver.

Pedestrian fighting for life in hospital after collision with Minicab  in Belsize Road....source : Camden New Journal

A man is in hospital with “life threatening” head injuries this evening after a collision with a car in Belsize Road.

Emergency services were called to the scene of the collision, at the junction with Abbey Road, at around midday and found a pedestrian, believed to be his his late-50s, with serious head injuries.

He was taken to St Mary’s Hospital, where he is receiving emergency treatment. Police said his injuries are “believed to be life threatening”.

The driver of the vehicle stopped at the scene.

Police have advised motorists to avoid the area, with road closures remaining in place.

Pictures of the scene showed a shopping trolley left stranded in the road.


The new app is coming 

Including the best rates for card transactions in the trade.

The only app run by drivers with all the profits going back into the trade, for PR, advertising and new technologies.

Less than 67p per day. Your destiny is in your hands.

Exclusive...RT Minicab Livery Is Illegal, Say TfLTPH...But Will They Act On It ?... By Jim Thomas.

Taxi Leaks Breaking News 
We asked TfLTPH the question "Had the PH act 1998 been changed to allow full livery adverts on PHVs 

We offered this picture as part of the question .

To be honest, and going on the fact, the last time we asked them a question, after the 70th time of asking and getting no reply.....we didn't anticipate hearing back. 

We also put this photo on Taxi Leaks and copied TfLTPH into a tweet.....

Well, to our surprise, this afternoon we got this back from them.

So there you have it!
The Minicabs currently displaying the RT livery on super sides and rear window....are illegally advertising and should be reported!
We would hope that TfL will come down on this with the same amount of gusto they used when insisting that a copy of the a Taxi magazine was unauthorised advertising, when left on rear window shelves. 

Trouble is, TfL management bottle it when up against private hire companies, as we saw with the Addison Lee Rugby World Cup full lively on a number of their vans. 

Even though there were hundreds of complaints and TPH said the livery was illegal....Addison Lee continued to display until after the tournament had finished. We were informed later that no action was taken against Addison Lee by TfL, in regards to this issue!

So anyway,  let's keep reporting sightings of these RT Minicabs, clear photo showing number plate, along with location date and time....but let's not hold our breath waiting for TfL to take action. 

Could The Leytonstone, Buckingham Palace And Exhibition Road Atrocities Been Avoided... With A More Competent TfLTPH? By Jim Thomas

Leytonstone Slasher, Palace Attacker And Exhibition Road Driver. Did these Uber Drivers Have Fake DBS Certificates?
Could these attacks have been avoided by a competent TfLTPH?

There's an old saying, "Make hay while the sun shines".
Everyone was expecting the work to drop off dramatically when our friends from the middle east went home. Instead there appears to be a massive surge (excuse the pun) in Taxi street hails. 

Have the public finally seen sense, and are flocking back to the Trade?
No such luck. 

So what's behind the increase in work levels over the last week or so...Could it be the thousands of Uber drivers on suspension?

To find out what's happening, we have to look back to the TfL letter sent out to 13,000 beer drivers last month.

As the news filtered through to the trade at the end August, claims were made that TfL had known since January about the fake DBS certificates. A massive scandal ensured, allegations were made that top TfL managers had already swept the issue under the carpet.

But the information, (discovered by the LCDC team), was fed to the national press. It was apparent that 13,000 uber drivers had presented fake DBS applications.  

As the news broke in the media and in an attempt to cover their backs, TfL sent every applicant with a suspected unsafe DBS a letter, explaining they had 28 days to reapply... or their licence would be suspended. 

The 28 days are now up.
Taxi Leaks has been informed that the DBS service have struggled to cope with the mass excess of reapplications. 
Under normal circumstances, flat out the DBS handle an average of 4,000 applications a month. It became apparent two years ago, they were struggling with this number, which often results in Taxi driver renewals not being processed on time. 

Last month, they were given an extra 13,000 to deal with -in one month- a seemingly impossible task, to an already over stretched service. 
So the inevitable appears to have happened and allegedly, over 10,000 Uber drivers have had their licenses suspended pending resubmission. 

At a meeting with trade org leaders, Helen Chapman  explained; not only did she feel it was 'not necessary for the 13,000 to resubmit', but also stated to those present that she believes whole heartedly, 'all those who would reapply, would pass'.

See Taxi Leaks 11/09/2017

Was it not Helen Chapman who put out statements to the trade and the press that 'all private hire drivers have an enhanced DBS checks...the same stringent checks that Taxi drivers have'....?

In a recent poll on Twitter, 98% Taxi Leaks readers felt if just one Uber driver's resubmission for a DBS is refused, Helen Chapman should resign!

It's time to pay the piper Helen. 
If just one applicant is refused on grounds of a serious offence, Taxi Leaks readers feel you have no option other than to join the recent exodus of TfL managers.

It will make an interesting FOI request to find out if the Uber drivers in the Palace attack or the Exhibition Road atrocity, were on the list of fake DBS applicants. 

TFL's arrogance and incompetence has again, put the public in grave danger. 

Sunday, October 08, 2017

Licensed to kill?' by I'm Spartacus

So yet more scenes of mayhem and carnage on London's streets as pedestrians are mown down outside the Natural History Museum.

Let hope all those injured make a full recovery but we can be sure the event will haunt them forever, today the accident investigation teams will have the cameras and tapes out doing their job, but if you really want to stop recurrence you have to deal with the root causes.

1. The practice of accepting hirings (I won't insult your intelligence by calling them a pre booking) whilst in a moving vehicle must cease forthwith, it isn't safe UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES. No more platitudes and weasel words BAN IT TfL.

2. The exhibition of vehicles available for hire (Eastbourne case refers) was, is and will remain plying for hire, it's this mechanism that causes job offers to appear on a screen so that a driver has to interact with a screen within seconds when their eyes should be on the road, as above BAN IT TfL!

3. The nonsense (only in London by the way) that a PH registered vehicle can be driven by a non PH licensed driver, bearing in mind the shocking rates paid to drivers this leads to the inevitable use by 'cousins, uncles and brothers' driving these vehicles and undertaking bookings or as we know Plying for Hire via an app.
Again stop this now by as a first step introducing fleet insurance & secure recognition logins whilst the law is amended.

Why do you think some operators are spending millions on lobbying to prevent fleet insurance rules, withdrawal of 'on screen ranks', or booking time limits or even the simple provisos of a telephone line, NOTHING BUT NOTHING must get in the way of the 25% cut that goes offshore. 

TfL as a last resort after an operator was given ample time to up its game decided to not renew a licence, followed by a maelstrom of comment from ill informed politicians who if they purport to be even half competent should have researched even a tiny bit, but hey why let the facts obstruct political point scoring?

So citizens there we have it a stark choice.
Do we have a set of rules, conditions and standards that protect the public and uphold the declared intent of TfL, the Mayor & government for a two tier Taxi & PH system that is safe?

Some in the trade fight shy of parallels with other tragedies, but as anyone who has seen the smouldering tomb of Grenfell Tower and will never forget it, knows that it's a failure of regulation, enforcement and standards that have led to so many deaths.

So let's ignore all the 'free trade & consumer choice' bogus arguments that don't withstand even a moments scrutiny and I probably suspect that as deaths and serious injuries only occur a few at at time, it’s somehow acceptable!

What kind of city do we want?

I'm Spartacus. 



Bush Rank... A Rank Too Far For Compliance? Plus Another TfL Manager Gone?

Night time ranking on the Bush Rank, is getting to be a nightmare. I have to regularly compromise my safety, by getting out of the cab to move the minicabs off. These cars  constantly use the rank as a rendezvous point for their customers. When you ask them to move, you get nothing but abuse.

Click this link to see what we have to put up with:

Arriving back at the rank later, it was full with cars that had to be ejected ....not always as easy as it sounds, over the last three to four years, they've become extremely more aggressive....even threatening violence. 
Friday night was no different, I could have been bang in trouble, were it not for the two Cabbies who saw I was having trouble and pulled behind me, got out and backed me up.

The Minicab above YA12UWU, threatened to run me over and when I stood in front of him to take a photo, aim the car right at me. He then backed up, stopping me from getting back into my cab. Eventually he pulled forward to let his passenger in, but then reversed back against th flow of traffic and shouted a volley of four letters words at me, even though he now had two passengers on board.

It's a regular occurrence, when they do eventually move off the rank, they just pull over and double park, blocking the exit of taxis from the rank.

There's a camera pointed straight at the rank, but it appears not to be used. If it were, the word would soon filter through to the Minicab fraternity. 

What is it about the words "TAXI RANK"....that Minicab drivers don't understand?

Every night, there are posts on social media complaining about the situation and yet, all the years I've used this rank, I've never once seen a TfL Compliance officer there. Yet they regularly turn up at the Westfield rank to Badge and Bill the drivers.

The side entrance to th shopping centre in Wood Lane has also become a private hire rank and often causes congestion with minicabs parked along Wood Lane. Again, never see a CO there either. 

Perhaps the McDonald's on the Green isn't up to compliance standards!!!
Funny though, a tream of TfL COs were seen leaving the Mc Donald's in Queensway, on Friday night.

Taxi Leaks Extra Bit:
There has recently been a change of attitude on the TFL-TPH Twitter account. Every complaint used to be passed on to the appropriate department, but it now appears they are not responding to many policy questions! 

Last month, I asked a question -what legislation gives COs the power to remove news papers from Taxis- 70 times (yes seventy times) over the course of a week.
Funny enough...I didn't get one answer. 

Taking The Proverbial:
More recently we've seen PHVs with supersides and rear windscreen adverts. I asked TfL when the legislation was changed to allow this. 
Again, they've decided to ignore the question...but then surprisingly decided to get involved in the conversation that followed. 

This just goes to show the arrogance we have to put up with from the management of TfLTPH. 

So from now on, it looks like TfLTPH, are under starters orders only to respond to compliance reports, customer complaints and queries about licence applications!

How can you have any respect for this licensing authority, when it's clear they have no respect for us as a trade.

Taxi Leaks Extra News.
Semtex coined the phrase "Men are coming to kill us".
Well, we've survived the onslaught, and what comes around....goes around. 

So it's goodbye from them and it's goodbye from him....with more to come I'm told.... 
But who will be next as TFL's house of cards collapses ??? 

Seems TfL are having a much needed clear out...not before time, as they say!!!

Taxi Leaks Final Bit:  

                    Gone, but not forgotten !