RWhen we've had problems in the past with minicabs touts forming their own ranks outside clubs and bars, and because of TfL’s lack of enforcement, drivers took it upon themselves to do something about it.
Tiger Tiger and the OnAnon bars were surrounded every night by Minicabs claiming that had the right to rank outside because Dismond Cars held a satilite office licence. Disgruntaled Cabbies felt enough was enough, and so reformed hit squads -groups of vigilante Taxi drivers- which proved to be very effective.
As the illegal minicab ranks started to appear outside clubs and bars, hit squads blocked in the touts and took back the work. The militant groups of drivers stopped the work being stolen.
Back in 2014, troubles re-emerges and so black cab drivers again took the law into their own hands by targeting illegal minicabs in London's West End. The problem was highlighted in the BBC Inside Out programme. (See video below) 'How Safe Are Your Taxis' produced for the BBC by Manami Szymko.
"London's Taxis rated the safest in the world"... Says BBC's Louise Hulland.
Cabbies again formed squads, the most militant being ‘The TaG (Twitter Action Group) Hit Squad. track down illegal drivers and roadblock them, as they seek to preserve their night-time trade.
By the end of 2015, we saw the rise of the more organised hit squad (The Mayfair Mob) Their action in itself, saw many more ranks appear. Drivers showed a black cab presence was required outside restaurants and bars such as Hakassan, Nobu, Novikovs, The Arts Club and Forge in the City Of London.
But now we have a serious problem that could split the trade in half. A problem that could hasten the demise of our right to ply for hire.
AND IT APPEARS THE FIGHT HAS GONE OUT IF THE TRADE.
Sitting on Taxi ranks at stations, hotels, bars and restaurants, Cabbies are seeing black cabs (most with livery from Gett or MyTaxi) pull up and spirit away jobs that should be going in the waiting Cabs plying for hire on the rank.
We’ve even seen Minicabs working on the same app (Gett) as Taxis!
One Taxi garage owner has recently removed Gett livery from all his rental Cabs and the London Cab Drivers Club (LCDC) have refused to carry Gett’s adverts in their Badge publication.
Things are starting to come to a head with reports of violent arguments outside bars and restaurants, not between Taxi drivers and touting Minicabs, but between ranking drivers and Gett and MyTaxi drivers.
The silence from our largest orgs is deafening !
TAXI LEAKS EXTRA COMMENT: by Lenny Etheridge
I find it increasingly difficult to believe anyone, especially Org leaders and reps, cannot grasp the genocidal ramifications of unregulated apps.
Trade reps who accept unregulated apps, are willing coconspirators of this trade's demise.
TAXI LEAKS EXTRA BIT:
ITS ALL GOING TO GETT UGLY AT HEATHROW:
It has now been bought to our attention that HEATHROW airport is about to introduce a turn up and go service later this summer, to facilitate the increase in app pick ups. Drivers on prebookings from Gett, MyTaxi, Addison Lee and Uber, will be allowed to go straight to terminals to pick up.
Again, we will be seeing drivers on these Taxi apps jumping the queue and taking work away from drivers already doing five hours in the feeder park.
Will Jaguars be added to the Gett app, to replace the Porsche promotion....driven by Minicab drivers recruited from One Transport ?
A sort of one tier service heralding things to come?