Thursday, May 31, 2018

Blast From The Past.... With TfL Run By Cowboys, The Nightmare Continues

   After six demos and two all party engagements, the signs still went up!


I remember, many years ago, the Metirpolitan Public Carriage Office, writing to every licensed Taxi driver saying "their must be no, 'no go areas' in London for Taxis". 
"You will be expected to go to any destination anywhere within a six mile radius (now extended to twelve) or within one hour in duration and their must be no exceptions". 

Now we have a Mayor, in charge of a Transport body (TfL), bent on the destruction of our 360 year old trade by creating 'no go areas' for London Taxis.

We've had 8 years of protest, demonstration, consultation after consultation, engagement and negotiation. Apart from the killer on the knowledge protests, which saw top TfL directors moved sideways, we've had little or no success. 

Last year, after six demonstrations and two bouts of negotiations, we lost access through the Bank Junction, financed by TfL just to speed up bus times. Once through the junction the busses hit chaos which negates any advantage made by the ban!!!
This is about to be followed by a complete ban from Tottenham Court Road, plus Oxford Street and Baker Street are still being negotiated.

Caught up in the middle of this attack on our trade, are the unfortunates, and they are the disabled and less mobile members of the public. Mayor Khan is trying to steal the freedom of the disabled, to shop wherever they like, in order to give way and make more room for the able bodied shoppers who he hopes will travel forwards and backwards on the Tubes new Elizabeth line. 

The most scandalous aspect of these plans being....there are two wheelchair users on the board of TfL who have said nothing in defence of the disabled's right of access and to shop on Oxford Street.

There is as always a hidden agenda and Khan obviously feels he can supply many extra passengers to the new line by making it as difficult as possible for taxis to get to popular destinations around central London. 


PROJECT HORIZON:
Taxi Leaks spoke of Project Horizon several years ago and TfL flatly denied it ever existed.

We predicted back then, that under this agenda, there would be Taxi no go areas, followed by Private Hire rest ranks where drivers could wait to be hired and PH WAVs rank spaces at mainline stations. 

Remember the Gold, Silver and Bronze PH ranking system? It's still there in the background as TfL never fully scrap an idea, they just shelve it till the time is right. 

WE ALWAYS SAID TFL WERE A BUNCH OF COWBOYS


With Country Boy Rett Russell in charge of London's Ambulance service, it's only a matter of time before we see NHS Uber ranks at hospitals around Greater London...an going on TfL's present form, outside Greater London too. 

As Harry Wall said, "History is there to learn from".
Seems our trade has learned nothing

After years of negativity and deterioration, fighting the unfair and elitist United Trade Group, did we not all cheer when Val Shawcross announced the UTG would be scrapped and the gagging order known as the engagement policy would be assigned to the shredder. 

So what is plan B.
It seems the old United Trade Group is to be replaced by the new United Trade group, and the old gagging order known as the engagement policy, is to be replaced by a new gagging order called the new engagement policy. Again the right to exclude any group they see fit to exclude.

And the price for signing away the right to criticise TfL in print or on social media, is a seat at the old fold up table.

Towards the end of this year, the Taxi trade will be expected to purchase the new electric TX5, even though neither TfL, the GLA, the Mayor or our trade Orgs, have bothered to explore the health risks associated with the radiation given off from the bank of batteries inside the vehicle. 

Not only has TfL put us in the predicament of not being able to afford this vehicle by selling our work to a NonDomicile company that pays little to no tax, we now learn this week that the government is likely to scrap the subsidy they were going to give Taxis and private hire to go electric.

But tell me this Sadiq, will the new electric Taxis be allowed to use all these no go areas and eventually replace the dirty buses that are running round, 100% on diesel, as replacement batteries proved to be too expensive ?  

A blast from Taxi Leaks past December 2013


TAXI LEAKS EXTRA BIT 

‘Former TfL commissioner Sir Peter Hendy performs Ian Dury songs’


What A Waste?


Wednesday, May 30, 2018

And So It Begins....Visa Doubles Transaction Charges to 8%


£1bn assault on the High Street: Shopkeepers suffer as Visa hikes fees on card payments. Unfortunately, this will give the green light to increase transaction charges for Taxi drivers taking Card payments. 

It's estimated that shopkeepers will pay £1billion extra a year to payments giant Visa after it hiked fees.

The increase comes as the Taxi trade faced a boom in customers who want to pay by card.

But what many passengers don’t realise is that every transaction costs the driver, and Visa has been accused of cashing in, by hiking its fees.

Card sharks: Taxi have seen a massive increase in customers who pay by card for even the cheapest journeys meaning that drivers with company's that charge the extra 20p on top of the transaction percentage, pay even more in fees

Experts warned that some will see their bills more than double. 

Obviously it's not just Taxis who will be affected, payments consultant CMSPI said that increased card costs will hit Europe’s shops for £2billion.

In the UK alone, which has embraced contactless cards and chip and pin, the bill will be £1billion.

Visa Europe has doubled charges since 2015 from an average 4p per transaction to 8p, says CMSPI. 

Firm’s crippling £26,750 card bill 
Hardware store owner Vin Vara says his firm is struggling because of huge bills from credit card companies.
Vara, 58, employs 38 people at 11 Tool Shop stores in London and lost £20,400 in fees last year as shoppers paid by credit card. 

Some 60 per cent of customers pay by card and he expects the bill to rise to £26,750 this year.
He said: ‘People don’t understand the damage this can do. I’m scared for others on the High St about what’s going to happen to them.’
It used to keep just 1.5p of this as profit but now takes 5p after cutting costs, the consultant said.

CMSPI chief executive Brendan Doyle said: ‘This is incredibly disappointing. Visa, a multinational that consistently reports profit margins in excess of 50 per cent on multi-billion-dollar revenues, is piling cost after cost onto retailers and the latest change will be particularly hard on struggling small businesses.’ 

He added that CMSPI will complain to the European Commission about the hike.

Visa has become more aggressive since it was bought by its US sister firm for £15billion in 2016.

Until then, Visa Europe had been owned by banks, including Lloyds and Royal Bank of Scotland, and they made billions from its sale to namesake Visa Inc. 

The American company’s chief executive Charles Scharf plotted to hugely increase fees – in 2015, he said he hoped to ‘expand yields in Europe’.

MPs and business groups called for regulators to step in.

SNP MP Stewart Hosie, of the Treasury Select Committee, said: ‘It’s a scandal card issuers’ fees have increased massively. I would hope and expect card issuers would think again before they impose these costs.’

Meanwhile, High Street retailers face average hikes for UK card fees of 75 per cent, and other European card costs will come close to trebling with an increase of 189 per cent.

James Lowman of the Association of Convenience Stores said: ‘We encourage the Payment Systems Regulator to look closely at these fees to ensure fairness.’

Andrew Cregan, at the British Retail Consortium, also backed intervention by the regulator.

Visa said: ‘The figures quoted are misleading and over-inflated. Our pricing means we can invest in world-leading cybersecurity and consumer protection, in innovation such as contactless and mobile payments, and in providing a global network which enables billions to make purchases safely, securely and reliably.’

TAXI LEAKS EXTRA BIT :
In the past, we've seen many retailers refuse to take Amex because of the time it takes them to pay up. 
We could now see the same exclusion notices regarding payment with Visa cards.

The London Taxi trade haven't been granted the right to choose how they are paid as our largest org says "it was a done deal'....and it was the drivers who were done!

The trade were promised a increase in bums on seats and a massive publicity campaign from TfL.....it just never happen. 

Let's not forget which org came out of a meeting with TfL and said it was a done deal !
They've allowed TfL to mandate us into a position where we are losing our hard earned pounds hand over fist. 



Breaking News : LPHCA Has Lost Its Challenge To TFL's New Operators Licence Fees.


The Licensed Private Hire Car Association (LPHCA) has lost its case against TFL's proposals to increased fees for operators with over 11 vehicles to over £3,000, when they were previously under £3,000. It said the measures could "wipe out" operators, "leaving the futures of many drivers, industry suppliers and others connected to the industry in jeopardy".

The UK's largest private hire trade body, United Private Hire Drivers (UPHD) applied to intervene in the case, which was heard in the High Court, but its application was rejected.

It has argued that the change in fees breaches the Equality Act of 2010 by forcing drivers to shoulder "unfair costs and regulatory burdens" while denying them representation in the stakeholder process.

TfL announced last year that it was increasing charges for private hire operators for the costs of licensing, compliance and enforcement to reflect the growth of the private hire industry and the costs required to regulate it.

The number of privately licensed drivers soared by 78 per cent from 65,000 to 160,000 last year, while the number of vehicles increased from 50,000 to 112,000 over the same period.

TfL expects the cost of enforcement alone to reach £30m - up from a previous estimate of £4m - over the next five years. With the costs of licensing and compliance taken into account, the total reaches £209m over the same period.

​A TfL spokesperson said: “The licence fee changes reflect the increased cost of regulation and associated enforcement activity that has been driven by the huge growth in the private hire industry.

“The changes will fund the additional 250 compliance officers who do a crucial job in driving up standards and ensuring Londoners remain safe. After listening to the views of stakeholders during consultation we amended the fees structure to take into account the potential impact on small and medium-sized operators.

“We consider the changes to fees to be proportionate and will be defending our position.”

James Farrar, chair of the UPHD branch of the Independent Workers Union of Great Britain, said: "It's not surprising that gig economy bosses represented by the LPHCA are fighting tooth and nail to pass their cost and regulatory burden on to drivers. But it's dismaying to see TfL work so hard to avoid answering some troubling questions about how it discriminates against 117,000 mostly minority minicab drivers. We have followed this case very carefully and we'll continue to pursue other avenues to challenge institutional racism at Transport for London."

An Addison Lee spokesman said: “We fully support TfL’s efforts to improve safety in the private hire sector through better regulation and more enforcement officers. Addison Lee recognises that these measures need to be paid for and we are happy to play our part through the increase to our licence fee.”

TAXI LEAKS EXTEA BIT : 
London's largest Minicab operator, Uber didn't get involved in the case as its alleged they feel they will benefit from the wholesale demise of the smaller operations, leaving them (with TFL's help) with a virtual monopoly of the Ride Hailing industry. 



Mike Brown Apologises For ‘Ill-Judged’ Expansion Of Cycle Superhighway, Blamed For Gridlock And Increased Pollution

   TfL's Mike Brown       Dr Will Norman 

Farce of the cycle super highways: London transport chief apologises for ‘ill-judged’ expansion that’s blamed for gridlock and increased pollution

Britain’s most powerful transport tsar has now admitted that the the speedy expansion of controversial cycle ‘superhighways’ has actually slowed traffic for motorists.
Mike Brown, the commissioner for Transport for London, criticised the cycle lane expansion in London as ‘ill judged’ and ‘ill thought through’.

He apologised to motorists who say that the segregated cycle lanes are exasperating traffic problems.


Mr Brown, who is a passionate supporter of cycle lanes, said that they had been hurried through under Boris Johnson during his eight-year tenure as London mayor.

Cycling groups, council chiefs and safety campaigners said that the lanes would reduce congestion and pollution - which causes thousands of premature deaths in Britain every year - and that they make the roads safer.

But in practise, the lanes have infuriated most drivers who claim they are stuck in traffic for longer because part of the road has been taken over by bikes. 

Now, Mr Brown's attack on one of Mr Johnson’s flagship policies will likely spark more contentious debate about the further roll out of cycle lanes around the country.

LBC Radio host Nick Ferrari – who claims cycle superhighways have caused the biggest slow down in traffic since the Luftwaffe bombed London in the Second World War - was hosting a debate in London where Mr Brown made his controversial comments. 

Mr Brown said: ‘I apologise absolutely for the way cycle lanes were delivered in the last mayor’s administration’ .

‘I think it was ill-judged, it was too fast and ill thought through in the speed in which it was done, which I’m afraid is the main downside of living in a democracy – people want to do things in their term.’


But Mr Brown also insisted that that the routes have helped save ‘many, many lives’ and made the roads safer for cyclists.  

Fourteen cyclists were killed in London in 2013 but this tragic number dropped to eight deaths in 2016.

Despite his clear concerns, TFL has now insisted that Mr Brown's negative comments about the cycle infrastructure actually referred to the disruption caused by roadworks as too many lanes were built at the same time - and not to any traffic after they were operational.

But the criticism will provide ammunition for those who believe that cycle lanes being built all over Britain are making the roads more congested by reducing space for motor traffic.

Critics claim that this may actually increase  air pollution as cars are stuck on the roads with their engines running for longer as they idle in traffic.

Will Norman, Sadiq Khan's new cycling tsar wants to diversify cycling  to stop London's cycling routes being overwhelmed by middle class me
And so-called 'mamils' (middle-aged men in lycra) were another target for criticism of a burgeoning British cycle culture.

Mammils are dominating the cycling scene in London, leading to a false perception that cycling is not for everyone, Will Norman, Sadiq Khan's new cycling tsar claimed.

Too few females and people from ethnic minority backgrounds are taking to two wheels around the capital and the Mayor's office could introduce 'diversity targets' to combat the figures.

Despite millions being pumped into the cycling infrastructure in London the majority of those making use of it are middle aged men.

At present, black, Asian and minority ethnic groups account for about 15 per cent of cycled journeys in London – around two-thirds less than Transport for London (TfL) estimates it could be. 

Mr Norman told The Independent: 'There is a problem with cycling and the way it is perceived of getting middle-aged men cycling faster around the city, which is not the objective at all.

'It touches on something which is a real challenge for London cycling, which is diversity.'

Too many cyclists in London are middle-aged men according to the city's new cycling chief

London mayor Sadiq Khan said he would make cycling safer around London.

However, members of the London Assembly said it is not being done quickly enough.

Now Mr Norman said more groups should be benefitting from the changes made.

He added: 'Even when we have seen the growth in the number of cyclists, we haven't seen that diversity.

'There are a number of reasons for that. One is that safety is paramount for getting different people from different walks of life cycling: older people, younger people, those from different backgrounds.'

The way in which the gap will be filled, Mr Norman says, is through projects such as promoting electric bikes, cycling courses and grants for community groups who do not typically cycle.


Schemes could be rolled out across London to diversify the cycling scene. (Pictured: One woman cycles among a pack of men)

There was a six per cent recorded rise in female cyclists after the opening of Quietway 1, which links Waterloo with Greenwich, from 29 per cent to 35 per cent.

Mr Khan promised an average of £169m annually for cycling schemes over the next five years.

'Is it ambitious enough in the longer term? I think we need a higher level of change,' Mr Norman told The Independent.

'The target that we have set out in the mayor's transport strategy is over that 25 years we want to shift to 80 per cent of journeys to be walking, cycling or by public transport.

'That is a much more ambitious target and really is fundamentally rethinking the way that we move around our city.' 

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Think Your Online Account Details Are Safe ??? Well, Think Again!!!


A hacker who carried out attacks on a string of companies before selling customers’ data on the dark web has been jailed for more than 10 years.

Grant West, 26, carried out cyber-attacks on high street brands including Sainsbury’s, Asda, Uber, Argos and bookmakers Ladbrokes and Coral.

He obtained the email addresses of more than 160,000 people and sent them phishing scams masquerading as Just Eat to get their personal data.

West, who used the online identity “Courvoisier”, sold the information on the dark web, stashing his ill-gotten bitcoin profits in online caches.

He was sentenced to 10 years and eight months at Southwark crown court on Friday. The judge, Michael Gledhill, described West as “a one-man cybercrime wave” and said he had “secreted away” some of the £1.6m worth of cryptocurrency that is unaccounted for.

He said: “Regrettably, as this case has demonstrated, security of information held electronically is at best poor. When such inadequate security is confronted with a criminal of your skills and ambition it is totally unfit for purpose and worthless.

“This case should be a wake-up call to customers, companies and the computer industry to the very real threat of cybercrime.”

He added: “You have a deep and impressive knowledge of computers and if you had decided to use your abilities lawfully I have no doubt at all that you would have had a very successful career.

“Unfortunately you saw the potential of using your skills to make a great deal of money not lawfully but by crime, blatant crime and your crimes were highly sophisticated.”

West’s two-and-a-half-year scam came to an end in September last year when he was arrested in a first-class train carriage in the act of accessing the dark web. He had been returning from a trip to visit his girlfriend and co-defendant, Rachael Brooks, in north Wales.

West, who was living in a caravan park in Sheerness in Kent, used the stolen email addresses to send out messages posing as Just Eat with offers of cash rewards in exchange for customers filling out a survey.

Respondents were asked to confirm personal emails and supply extra details in order to obtain the reward, which were then harvested by West. The information, which included everything needed to make purchases online, was then advertised and sold to customers from his dark-web shop.

He built up huge caches of bitcoin and other cryptocurrency in online “wallets”. Police also found £25,000 in cash and a stash of cannabis when they raided his home last year.

The prosecution estimated that the total loss to customers and businesses was more than £1m.

A total of £84,000 was fraudulently taken from compromised accounts held at Barclays, costing the bank more than £300,000 to remedy. British Airways also suffered a £400,000 loss after Avios accounts were targeted.

Just Eat said no financial information was obtained in West’s fraud, but estimated the cost of combating the scam at more than £200,000.

Brooks, of Denbigh, north Wales, was previously given a community order after she admitted using the details of two of West’s victims to buy herself a bikini online.

West previously admitted a string of charges including conspiracy to defraud, unauthorised modification of computer material, possession and supply of cannabis, possessing criminal property and money laundering.

He has a number of previous convictions, including drug offences and other frauds.

Anna Mackenzie, defending, said West has been a cannabis user since the age of 14 and suffered from low self-esteem, lack of confidence, anxiety and depression.

“He has expressed remorse and shame and acknowledges his irresponsibility, selfishness, greed and hunger to succeed,” she said. “He wishes to offer apologies to the victims and businesses affected by his actions.”

Source : The Guardian.

Police Hostility Explained : Met Officers Moonlighting As Minicab Drivers

Almost one in five Met Police officers have secondary business interests, figures obtained FOI request.

Is this the reason why Taxi drivers sitting on Kings Cross rank are constantly being harassed by Met Police officers?


"Hundreds of London police officers are moonlighting as minicab and private-hire drivers",  said the Evening Standard. Perhaps someone should point out to Gideon Jeffrey Osbourne, editor of the Standard, that Minicabs and private-hire drivers are one and the same!

The article goes on to say:

More than 300 Metropolitan police officers have declared business  interests as drivers or chauffeurs, figures obtained under the Freedom of Information Act show.

In total, 5,395 serving Met police officers — almost one in five — declared business interests with the force.

Metropolitan Police Federation chairman Ken Marsh said many of the business interests were likely to relate to consultancy work or property. But he added: “Our job is a professional job and it clearly shows you we aren’t paid a professional salary. You have to ask the question, why does someone need a second job when they’re a police officer? It’s not right at all.”

Police officers declaring business interests included chief superintendents — one of the highest ranks.

But more than 70 per cent of officers with declared business interests were police constables, the lowest rank. A Police Federation spokeswoman added: “The sad reality is that some police officers are having to find additional means to make ends meet. Given the choice, officers would rather not take on a second job, but some unfortunately have no alternative.”

Scotland Yard allows officers to hold second jobs down 

The Met police said in a statement that secondary employment or business interests are permitted “providing it is compatible with being a member of the police service”.

It added: “An officer/staff’s role in the Met will always be considered as a priority over any business interest. 

“The police service, the regulations and procedures that govern external business interests recognise that there is a need to ensure that where officers/staff have secondary employment or business interests that these are compatible with their role and do not create any conflict of interest.” 

The figures come after a warning that key workers including police officers were being priced out of London. Only eight per cent of homes in the capital can be afforded by an officer on an average salary of £44,824, according to research by website reallymoving.com. 

One former Met officer, Claire Hearn, said she left the force after previously juggling her duties with a tea party business.

“It was never a problem,” she said. “But it’s not the sort of job you can do without giving 100 per cent. As the business grew, I realised the passion was with that really. 

“It’s not something that the Met stop you doing — they decide whether it’s something suitable you can do alongside the police.”

Taxi Leaks Extra bit :

I suppose it's a bit like the Standards editor (GGO) moonlighting for Uber investor BlackRock. With reposts of a £600,000 salary for one day a week, you'd think he wouldn't need a second full time job.

Gideon Jeffrey Osbourne, just one of the Tory Chumoxcray who leaned on Boris Johnson, who in turn, leaned on Transport for London to ..."Go easy on Uber".


Sean Paul Day and Mirna Born On London Taxi Radio : Subject, The Apps.

SPD ON LTR


By Mirna Borne / May 29, 2018/ Podcast, SPD at LTR/

Host this week @seanpaulday, Presenters, @mirnaborne

SPD discusses App regulation and criticises the taxi hailing apps for not applying conditions to prevent unsavories  from accessing the platform.

A call for Apps to declare their hand and commit to being ‘plying’ Apps.

Does this put Plying 4 Hire back on the map ? In our opinion it should never have gone away.

SPD asks, what movie and what track would you take with you to a deserted island ?

Also, TAXIAPP, Taxileaks News-Desk and much more ….

Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | RSS | More

Monday, May 28, 2018

The LCDC Questions, Submitted By David Kurten Of UKIP ...And The Mayor's Answer. Part 2.


What exactly is Khan talking about when he answered David Kurtan at Mayors Question Time, saying "designed to ensure London remains the world leader in regulating taxi and private hire service"

Why has no one challenging Khans statement?
Who told him the regulators were world leaders?
London's Private Hire Trade (since the implementation of a Uber) has seen the statistics on PH driver rape and sexual assault go through the roof!
With PH road traffic accidents escalating at an extraordinary rate, we've seen insurance premiums skyrocket. 

TfL have allowed an illegal operation to carry on in London for the last 6 years, while consciously discriminating against Licensed Taxi Drivers struggling to earn a living.

TfL have allowed an operation to continue knowing drivers had fake medicals, plus an alarming 13,000 drivers with fake criminal record DBS certificates.....how can Khan make his statement when he knows TfL have allowed this???

Hotels.com held a survey of the public around the world and it was the London Taxi trade voted the best in the world for eight years straight.....not the regulators who would feature somewhere close to the bottom.  

What Khan should have said:
London has the best and most stringent regulated taxi service in the world... but with a virtually unregulated and unsafe private hire service which has been allowed by TfL to put public safety below profit. 

TfL have purposely blurred the lines between Taxis and Private hire to dilute the complaints about rape, serious sexual assault, fraud, hacking and poor standard of driving. 

It's alleged that TfL has purposely dragged down the best Taxi service in the world, with the intent on introducing a one tier system which they can then milk the life out of to fill the void in their £1bn budget deficit. 
 
TAXI LEAKS EXTRA BIT : from Mark White.

Unreal answers back from the Mayor yo
Our questions asked by LCDC

Uber (1)

Meeting: Mayor's Question Time

Date: Thursday, 16 November 2017

Reference: Question 2017/4382 

Main question! from David Kurten

LCDC have levelled some serious allegations at TfL, alleging that there was an arrangement with Uber to streamline PH licences, and that "malfeasance" by a public body took place, with licences sold for mass profit, deliberately flooding the market, without considering the impact on driver's incomes, congestion and pollution. Have you investigated these allegations?

Answer: The Mayor

There has been no collusion with Uber. All taxi and private hire drivers must provide information proving they meet a range of strict criteria to ensure they are of good character. This includes an enhanced DBS check, information provided by the Driver and Vehicle Licencing Agency, and any other evidence provided to Transport for London.

Intervention to curb growing numbers of private hire vehicles and cross border hiring is necessary, but not possible under the current statutory framework. These issues are common to licensing authorities for taxi and private hire services across the country and I have called on the Government to bring forward legislation that applies nationally in order to provide an effective national solution.

Letter to David Kurten AM 
From Mark White, (LCDC) 

Hi David,

Could you please ask the Mayor if he has read the investigation into Taxi Licensing that appeared in The Times during May? 


In an e-mail from Uber, dated the third of March 2015, Jo Bertram thanked TfL’s Surface Transport Management’s Leon Daniel’s and Peter Blake for meeting with her to help ‘best streamline the PCO licensing process’ and ‘pre-screened applications’. Does the Mayor still stand by his answer that “there has been no collusion with Uber”?

Given the evidence of ‘collusion’ and the number of improperly obtained Criminal Record & Background checks, will the Mayor now order an investigation into the way in which Uber ‘streamlined’ the application process, so that ALL Drivers are both ‘safe and suitable’ to hold Taxi & PH Licences?

Does the Mayor accept that many of the responses from TfL’s Taxi and PH Department have been at best misleading and often disingenuous, given the evidence that is beginning to emerge?

Does the Mayor agree that he is ‘Officer-led’ on his responses re: Taxi and Private Hire? 

Mark White
(LCDC)

Man who pretended to be taxi driver (Minicab driver) to trap and rape woman is jailed. So The Police Are Now Referring To Minicab Drivers As Taxis Drivers !!!

Have we finally lost our identity ???
Trade representation have said nothing, as our right to exclusive call ourselves Taxi drivers, disappeared in deregulation by stealth.

This post below appeared yesterday on the Met Police Website. It appears it's not only nation/local press and all TV and radio news stations referring to Taxis and Minicab drivers as Taxi Drivers, but the Met as well. 

All part of this government and TFL's alleged agenda to implement a one tier system?


A man who pretended to be a taxi driver before locking a woman in his car and raping her has been jailed. 
Keith Gillings, 67 (09.01.50) of Hanway Road, W7 was sentenced at Harrow Crown Court to life imprisonment for rape, with a minimum to serve at least nine years before he can apply for parole.
The court heard how on 25 July, 2017 the victim, a 47-year-old female was drinking with friends in Hammersmith. At approximately 23:00hrs, the victim left the pub and got into a vehicle she believed was her taxi.
The driver (Gillings) took the victim to her home address where she collected money and requested the driver to take her to a local shop to get some tobacco. Sometime later she realised that the driver was not going in the correct direction and when she questioned the driver he advised that he knows a different shop that would still be open. 
As the car (notice car, not Taxi) approached traffic lights and slowed down the victim attempted to get out of the vehicle which was locked, the driver grabbed her wrists and prevented her from getting out. (This would not be possible if the vehicle was a licensed Black Cab)
They then went to a block of flats where Gillings dragged the victim into a flat on the second floor and raped her, twice.
After the attack the victim managed to escape from the flat and run away. Gillings gave chase but could not catch her.
After an extensive investigation, Gillings was arrested in August and charged on 04 August, 2017, with two counts of rape. He was jailed on Friday, 25 May. 
Detective Sergeant Trevor Struthes, from the Met's Child Abuse and Sexual Offences unit (CASO), said: "Officers carried out a thorough and in-depth investigation which brought a violent and depraved man to justice. They worked tirelessly to support the victim through this ordeal and got her the best possible result when they arrested and charged Gillings.
"He will be spending nearly the remainder of his life behind bars, where he will not be able to attack and harm any other women again."

TAXI LEAKS EXTRA BIT : 
The above report is from the Metropolitan police who are now referring to both Taxis and Minicabs as Taxis. 
Taxi leaks has this message below to the both editor of the Metropolitan police website and Detective Sergeant Trevor Struthes. 
The 1998 Act prohibits the use of certain words in advertisements for private hire
services.
A PHV operator must not use the words ‘taxi’, ‘taxis’, ‘cab’ or ‘cabs’ or any word which is closely similar to these as to be likely to be mistaken for it in any advertisement including using such words in links to Internet web addresses.
Any operator who uses these words in an advertisement is guilty of an offence and liable on summary conviction to a fine up to £2500.
The use of the words ‘minicab’, ‘mini-cab’, or, mini cab (whether singular or in the plural) does not constitute an offence.

Sunday, May 27, 2018

The LCDC Question, Submitted By David Kurten Of UKIP ...And The Mayor's Answer.


Meeting: Mayor's Question Time

Date: Thursday, 17 May 2018

Reference: Question 2018/1265 

Main question.......David Kurten

TfL allowed Uber to operate in the on-demand market without changing the legislation, holding a consultation or informing the Taxi Industry. Taxis and Private Hire (PH Vehicles) now operate in the same market. Taxis (stringently regulated) have to compete with PH who benefit from light touch regulation. TfL decide what vehicle Taxis drivers drive and set their fares, leaving drivers with no control or choice with regards to costs. PH Operators on the other hand have the flexibility to bring down fares and PH drivers have multiple choices of vehicles to keep their outgoings to a minimum. How do you expect the taxi trade to survive in London with such disparity created by TfL?

Answer..........The Mayor

Transport for London (TfL) regulates according to standards that are provided for in primary legislation and regulations designed to ensure public safety.  It also regularly consults on changes to taxi fares and tariffs.

As you will be aware my Taxi and Private Hire Action Plan contains a number of measures to maintain a vibrant two tier market in London that gives space for all service providers to flourish. This includes measures designed to improve safety in the private hire industry and to support our world renowned taxis.

TfL recently published a new policy statement setting out how private hire and ride-sharing services will operate in London in the future. The policy has been written in response to changes in the private hire industry and the many new services being offered. It has been designed to ensure London remains the world leader in regulating taxi and private hire services while maintaining public safety.


TAXI LEAKS EXTRA BIT :

WTF is Khan talking about "designed to ensure London remains the world leader in regulating taxi and private hire service"
Why is no one challenging Khans statement?
Who told him the regulators were the best in the world?
London's Private a Hire Trade (since the implementation of a Uber) has seen the statistics on OH driver rape and sexual assault go through the roof!
TfL have allowed an illegal operation to carry on in London for the last 6 years. 
An operation which has drivers with fake medicals and an alarming 13,000 drivers with fake criminal record DBS certificates. TfL have allowed this???

Hotels.com held a survey of the public around the world and it was the London Taxi trade that was voted the best in the world for eight years straight.....not the regulators who would feature somewhere close to the bottom.  

What Khan should have said:
London has the best and most stringently regulated taxi service in the world, but with a virtually unregulated and unsafe private hire trade allowed by TfL who obviously don't care about public safety. 

This video below is a must watch and a warning to those who think we have nothing to worry about!

Click the link 

A Fifth Brother Cabbie Takes His Own Life After Income Plummets Due To Competition From Uber.

body found floating in the East River earlier this week was positively identified as cabbie Yumain “Kenny’ Chow – the latest financially struggling taxi driver to lose his life as the industry reels amid competition from ride-hail services like Uber and Gett (private ride-hail service in NY)

The 56-year-old, who left his car by the East River, was last seen on May 11. He had been stressed about a $700,000 mortgage on his taxi medallion that he couldn’t pay off.
“We are mourning today,” Richard Chow said in a family statement. “My brother lost hope as many other medallion owners looking for justice and fairness have.

“NYC has to act as soon as possible on bringing fairness and a level playing field to the taxi industry before other medallion owners gets so depressed so that, out of desperation, they take their own life.”

NY Taxi Workers Alliance Executive Director Bhairavi Desai noted that Chow’s income “plummeted” in the last five years “even as he worked increasingly grueling 14-hour-plus shifts to make ends meet.”

“Make no mistake: the crisis that took Kenny’s life and the lives of four others pushed to suicide in recent months was entirely preventable,” Desai fumed.

“City Hall allowed Uber, Gett and Lyft to expand unchecked, devastating the lives and livelihoods of New York City’s professional drivers. There are real human consequences to a business model predicated on destroying labor standards and treating workers as expendable.”

Kenny Chow moved to the US from Burma when he was in his twenties and bought his medallion in 2011, when rates were at a record high and just before Uber and other rideshare app companies moved into the New York City market, his brother said.

At least five for-hire drivers have taken their lives in the past six months.

Chow’s family filed a missing-person report May 12. Cops found his vehicle on 86th Street and East End Avenue, just a block from the East River.

Chow and his wife, who was recently diagnosed with cancer, were in such dire financial straights that they couldn’t pay for their daughter to go to college and she had to return home.

Chow’s family feared the worst after a man’s badly decomposed body was discovered floating in the East River near the Brooklyn Bridge on Wednesday morning. 

Emergency responders pulled the decaying corpse from the water near Furman Street and Clarke Street in Brooklyn Heights at 9:30 a.m.

Watch sad plea put out by family for missing Taxi driver 

Source : NYTimes 

TAXI LEAKS EXTRA BIT:
 
Let’s not forget...in Dublin after deregulation of the Taxi trade, 50 Licensed Taxi drivers took their own lives 

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Uber Lose Judicial Review Against TfL’s Voice Contact Requirement.

The Court of Appeal decided yesterday, TfLs requirement on Private Hire operators to have a voice contact capability for customers is lawful.

  

From 1st October all Private Hire Operators must be contactable by Phone.

TfL brought in the requirement back in 2016 to make it easier for passengers to complain or contact the operator in the event of an emergency. 

Hold on a minute didn’t TfL’s Leon Daniels go before a GLA transport committee and say that Uber actually provided the customers with a voice/phone contact ?

Didn’t Leon Daniels give out the phone number in front of a packed gallery of irate taxi drivers?

Was TfL’s  Leon Daniels lying to the GLA transport committee?

         

After the regulation was bought in, Uber took TfL to court and won the case to have the  requirement removed. 

Yesterday, the appeal by Transport for London was heard in the Court of Appeal and the original High Court judgement was overturned.

The Court of Appeal held that Mr Justice Mitting was wrong to rely on the distinction between an emergency requirement and the voice contact facility, which was not raised in the consultation or suggested as a less burdensome alternative by ULL. 

It accepted TfL's evidence introduced on the appeal that an emergency requirement would not be practicable, would not achieve the same benefits, and would not necessarily be less burdensome. The Court of Appeal also held that, because the emergency requirement would not achieve the same benefits as the voice contact requirement (speed of response and customer comfort outside emergency situations), it was not a less burdensome alternative. 

It rejected ULL's arguments that the benefits outside of emergency situations were negligible.”

Hold on a minute!

Haven’t we been shown evidence by journalist Tim Fenton that the Uber app is actually serviced by Uber BV and not Uber LL?

Haven't we been shown evidence that TfL have known about this since 2014, but said nothing and failed to stop the illegal operation ?


Does this mean that Uber BV can carry on disregarding any or all of TfL’s regulations?

Again, Uber can appeal this JR decision, but it’s highly unlikely...as after stating publicly they are making efforts to conform to regulation and move forward, the last thing they want to do is make enemies in the justice system with their current licence appeal is running.

Oh what a tangled web they weave....etc.

Should Daniels And Co Have To Face The Court
To Explain Lies He Told To Support An Illegal Operation???



TAXI LEAKS EXTRA BIT :

Option 1.... Rape line
Option 2.... Sexual assault line
Option 3.... Account hack line
Option 4.... Guide dog discrimination line
Option 5.... Gender discrimination line
Option 6.... Accident line
Option 7.... Journey direction complaint line
Option 8.... Driver mastibation line.
Option 9.... Driver watching porn whilst driving line
Option10... Talk to a live operator in Mumbai