Wednesday, July 18, 2018

As The Gig Economy Brings Our Trade To Its Knees, Should The PM Be Tried For Treason???

Ever wondered why London is dying on its feet?
Uber eats, Deliveroo etc are killing the restaurants, Netflix is killing cinemas and theatre. 
People are just too lazy to go out.

Then we have the zombies who want everything cut price, saying:
"Why should I have to walk around looking for a Taxi to flag down, when I can use an app!"

These are the lost soles (the walking dead) who are having their phones taken off them by riders on mopeds (taking candy off of babies comes to mind). 

You see them night after night, phone gazing outside restaurants (with 5 or 6 Taxis ranked up orange light glowing) waiting up to 20 minutes for an Uber driver who can't find the street let alone the location. Seeing them throw their hands in the air after the second Uber. Drivers has cancelled at £6 a pop. Or sigh in disbelief when they're told owing to availability, prices have surged by x2.5

They don't see the procession of orange lights driving passed them, along the street, as their focus is firmly fixed to their small phone screen, watching icons move around like ants. We are told that this isn't plying for trade ( plying for hire) as this isn't in real time but actually a screen saver......this is another lie told at the Uber 'is it a meter' case.

Jeff Bezos announced his net worth $150b, marking HM the richest man in history. High streets are being devastated by his internet shopping company Amazon, with packages being delivered by migrant workers bought here from outside the EU to work at less than the minimum wage, by politicians who tell us we have to help these poor unprotected 25 year old children! 

In 1649, Charles 1st was led out through a window to a raised platform in front of Banqueting House on Whitehall and executed on the authority of Oliver Cromwell. 
He had been found guilty of treason for raising an army of Dutch soldiers to fight against Englishmen. 

This is no more than what successive governments have done by flooding the UK market with migrant workers from outside the EU, to work below the minimum rate and take jobs away from the indigenous working classes. 

Should Theresa May and her cabinet be put on trial for treason???

Welcome to the gig economy

TAXI LEAKS EXTRA BIT : by Pail Sweeney 

What has happened to my London !! 
Today on Cromwell Road some lunatic in Black old Audi was driving like complete nut. Basically driving with no respect or regards for our laws. He nearly hit a few pedestrians and missed me by inches. I wound the window down and this idiot, then drove in front of me and got out in heavy Traffic. He was Albanian type, put his head inside my driver window. Lifted his tee shirt, to reveal large knife inside his jean belt area. 

Normally red mist would have descended. And I would have lost it. This was different and something told me to act calm and cool. Which I did and told the piece of scum to disappear sharpish. Best bit and I never ever go down this route was to phone the Metropolitan Police. 
Guess what, Unfortunately they do not have any available cars in the area? 
We are talking about Central London here. 

Welcome to Third World 🌍 Tory London.

Shame He Wasn't Working For Uber...He Could Have Got A Not Guilty From An 'On Side' Magistrate???

Milton Keynes Council and Thames Valley Police have shown London, Reading and York, how to put together a case against a Privat Hire driver, illegally plying for hire outside his licensed area, after TfL and Reading council failed miserably to bring Uber to book.

Still it must be said that Uber appear to bring with them their own sympathetic judiciary and also appear to be able to get away with perjury on an industrial level.
What happened to TFL's duty of care to protect the public???

When was the last time were saw in the media that an Uber driver had been successfully prosecuted by TfL or the Met???

Even the palace terrorist attacker, who drive at a police car and towards the Gates of Buckingham Palace, then attacked police officers with a Samurai sword has had his case thrown out of court as the jury unbelievably couldn't agree that he'd committed a couldn't make this stuf up!!!

The Exhibition Road Uber driver, who ploughed into pedestrians outside the National History Museum had been the subject of a media gagging order....just how deep does government interference and cover ups go??? 

What ever happened to the Leytonstone slasher???

Meanwhile, outside London:
Private hire driver Mobeen Shabbir, has been prosecuted after being caught picking up a passenger illegally - plying for hire - known as ‘blagging’ - in Milton Keynes.

Milton Keynes Magistrates’ heard the case last Friday (13 July 2018) after a joint enforcement operation carried out by MK Council and Thames Valley Police in January 2018.

Mobeen Shabbir of Luton attended court and pleaded guilty to plying for hire and driving without valid motor insurance in January 2018.

He was fined £40 for plying for hire and £120 for invalid insurance. He was also given 8 DVLA penalty points and has to pay costs of £300, with a victim surcharge of £30.

At the time of the offence(s) his vehicle was operated by Royal Cabs. Mr Shabbir is currently licensed by Aylesbury Vale District Council who will take appropriate action concerning his licence.

The court heard that on 28 January 2018 Council Taxi Licensing Officers and Thames Valley Police were in a marked police vehicle conducting roadside checks on licensed vehicles. At approximately 12:20am police stopped Mr Shabbir’s vehicle on Grafton Street, Bleak Hall and it was found that the vehicle was defective and that the passenger had not pre-booked the vehicle.

Councillor Catriona Morris, Chair of the council’s Taxi Licensing Committee, said:“This case further illustrates the problem of illegal plying for hire or ‘blagging’ that is going on in Milton Keynes - mainly by drivers licensed by other councils.

"This case was not a test purchase exercise but a routine police stop and compliance check which has uncovered a serious unlawful practice where the passenger was not covered by the vehicle’s insurance policy and who’s safety was therefore at risk.

"This case clearly supports the Council’s ongoing test purchase programme and zero tolerance approach to drivers who illegally ply for hire in Milton Keynes."

She added: "This result will hopefully send a strong message to all drivers who want to take un-booked journeys that they will be caught and prosecuted. I would like to commend Council Officers and Thames Valley Police for their excellent work in stopping this vehicle and putting this offender before the court.


Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Police Telling Uber Passengers "Don't Travel Alone, Don't Tell Driver Where You Live After Yet Another UberRape

Unbelievably SAN ANTONIO police are giving out safety tips to young ladies to stop their Uber drivers raping them, after an Uber driver was arrested, following an accusation of sexually assaulting by a female passenger inside her apartment over the weekend.
Did they not consider revoking Uber's licence or at leas telling young ladies to get proper licensed Taxis?

On Saturday, July 14, the woman called police to report that she had been sexually assaulted by driver Jacobo Manuel Gutierrez, 32. 
According to the affidavit, the woman had been drinking at Slackers bar off Nacogdoches Road when she decided to call an Uber to take her home. 

During the ride, the woman said the driver stopped in a vacant parking lot and began touching her without consent.

Sounds familiar to the 48 Uber passengers who were raped by Uber drivers in London last year according to the Met Police statistics. 

The driver then drove the woman home and followed her into the apartment. Once inside, the woman said Gutierrez sexually assaulted her in her bedroom while she was unable to protect herself.

Gutierrez told police that he helped the woman into her apartment because she was drunk. He claims to have left his cell phone in the apartment and returned to find that she had called police.

During a police interview, Gutierrez eventually told officer that he had touched the woman inside the apartment and engaged in sexual activities.

Gutierrez was arrested and faces charges for sexual assault. 

Uber said the driver has been removed from the app and released the following statement:
“What’s been reported is horrible and has no place anywhere. We’ve provided information to the San Antonio Police Department and will continue to support their investigation and proceedings in any way possible."

"Be aware of your surroundings, always be aware of what's going on. This is probably the best advice I can give you," said SAPD Officer Carlos Ortiz.

Ortiz also says it's important for passengers, especially women, to be extra cautious when taking rides.
Along with keeping your eyes and ears open, don't drink too much and make sure the vehicle that pulls up matches the one you ordered. 
"When your vehicle comes up, taking a picture of the license plate of that vehicle, just making sure you have some evidence of the vehicle that you were in. That helps police a lot of times because running a plate - whether it's a Texas plate or not a state plate - gives us information on whole that vehicle is registered to," he said.

When it comes to your route getting home, Ortiz says you don't have to make the trip alone.
"One of the things that another person can do is use the pool or the ride share where you actually have to pick up another patron. This way there's two people in the vehicle," Ortiz said.

You can also use a different destination so the driver won't know where you live.
"Finding a well-lit area, a gas station, maybe that's 24-7 where there's going to be people around. Calling a friend or getting out and calling police. A lot of times we can try to help you out in situations that are tough when you're experiencing some sort of weird environment inside a taxi or maybe even a ride share," Ortiz said.

Not once did SADP police offer the advice of getting a legitimate licensed Taxi home. 

So the SAPD are saying 
"Don’t travel alone in an Uber, give a fake destination, don't get dropped off at your house, choose a public place, then get a friend to meet you there."
Then hope your account isn't charged falsely for a clean up job.

How is this company still allowed to operate? 

Meanwhile, here in London:  
How many serious sexual assaults are TfL responsible for since they allowed Uber to keep working by not revoking their licence last August when they decided Uber were not fit to operate?

Lives have been shattered which have devastated families across the capital. The TfL commission Mike Brown  and his directors at LTPH are responsible for these ruined lives.... they have blood on their hands for not protecting the public. 

And again, another ride share rapist arrested this weekend. 

His routine earned him the nickname “the ride-share rapist", serial predator finally arrested.

He would drive around to bars and nightclubs in downtown San Francisco and pull up to women who were waiting to be picked up, the authorities said. 

He would pose as their driver, they said, and had a sticker of a ride-share company on his car.
In 2013, the authorities said, he picked up a woman this way — then drove her to another location, where he raped her.

The same thing happened around Valentine’s Day this year. Again he picked a woman up, posing as her driver, took her to another location and assaulted her. Two similar cases followed, and by the time the authorities said he assaulted a fourth woman in June, they had already come up with the sobriquet for the rapist.

Now, five years after the first assault, the authorities have arrested and charged Orlando Vilchez Lazo, 37, of San Mateo County, Calif., in the four cases. 

He faces multiple counts of rape, kidnapping, sexual penetration by a foreign object and battery.
Mr. Vilchez Lazo was being held in the San Francisco County Jail with bail set at $4.23 million. It was not immediately clear who is representing him.

Only One Trade Org In Support, As TfL Fail To Attend KoL Seminar At City Grant Davis

Sean Paul Day with Coutney Connell, David Kurten and LCDC Chairman Grant Davis.

I was very happy to attend the Knowledge of London seminar yesterday at City Hall. 

There were the likes of LondonTaxiPR, LTR, Taxiapp, MyTaxi, and many others all there for one reason, to discuss the knowledge. 

Unfortunately the LCDC were the only trade org in attendance, which I found depressing, if not disgusting if I am honest.

But the icing on the cake was the absence of our Regulator Transport for London (TfL).

The opportunity to discuss the knowledge -which is the bedrock of our industry- with the Trade should be above ‘politics’ and Tfl should most definitely been there.

There were guest speakers including Dean from Wizann, Michael Galvin and also Frances Wyhowska. 

On a real positive note, David Kurten has asked LCDC member, Courtney Connell to address the GLA regarding the plight of the knowledge.

There will be an update in the next edition of the Badge.


It's unbelievably shocking that only one trade org bothered to attend the Knowledge of London seminar, which is the life blood of the trade. Our largest org gets early access to knowledge students from which they increase their membership and yet chose not to attend the discussion on the future of the Knowledge???

We were told by WizAnn that the drop out rate at their Knowledge school is now running at an all time high of 75%. Not only should TfLTPH been in attendance, but there should have been one rep from every representative taxi group. 

Lenny Etheridge saidMany KoL students attend demos and give the trade support. They don't see the proactive fight as negativity. There's plenty of happy slappy tweets on Twitter that motivate them. The word I get from knowledge boys and girls is positive. They are extremely grateful SOMEONE is fighting their corner

Been told today that the United trad group of LTDA, UCG, RMT and Unite were on. A jolly up with manufacturers LEVC....why wasn't hey all at City Hall?

Who are LEVC going to sell their vehicles to if the knowledge dies?

Will they just switch over to producing their electric delivery van?

As Amazon shares rise with more people than every choosing to shop online, perhaps this is where LEVC see their future and not with us. 

When TfL turn around and say....we are not paying examiners to do nothing and as there are so few knowledge students we will be suspending the Knowledge until further will be too late!!!

Below are the interviews recorded after the seminar by London Taxi Radio.


Sean Paul Day chats to Grant Davis (The LCDC), Terry Gibbins (photographer), Lee Sheppard (LondonTaxiPR) and Matt the Cab (LCDC committee), after the event at City Hall.

Taxi Leaks Extra Comment : 
It's also been alleged that Unite Taxi branch representatives refused to attend yesterday's meeting solely on the basis that it was chaired by a UKIP while the trade is fighting for its life, Are Unite playing at politics, instead of representing our best interests?

A brief history of trade representation:
Forerunner to Unite were the Transport and General Workers Union, who were representing the Taxi trade so badly that a meeting was arranged and the LTDA was formed. 
(Sort of out of the frying pan into the fire!!!)

Because the lack of fight and poor leadership from the LTDA, the RMT was formed, but they never really got off the ground...just another politically bias group?
Members who were slung out of the RMT, formed the most militant group ever seen in the trade... the original UCG were amazing but after a change of leadership, wanting to be inside tent looking out rather than ioutside looking in, has seen them become a mere shadow of their former self.
Still going strong are the old Metro Owners Club who formed the London Cab Drivers Club (LCDC) 
Their chairman Grant Davis was the only trade rep in attendance yesterday, just remember that the next time your subs are due.

Audio Playe

Monday, July 16, 2018


Everyone should be outraged at the  statement released by The LTDA that  they gave evidence to the Met in relation to claims that ex-Uber General Manager Jo Bertram “misled” the High Court. 

The action taken by The LTDA isn’t merely passivity, but an orchestrated attempt to appear active in their pursuance to bring Uber (or whoever) to book. The reality being, it is yet another postural, but meaningless exhibition that’ll have no bearing on how the company operates, and no consequences for the actual act of perjury which allowed them to retain their licence. 

Let us be under no illusion, the interview with the Met conducted in front of the LTDA’s legal team- which I take to mean Demidecki- is not dissimilar to other demonstrable- yet disingenuous -attempts to satiate the LTDA’s TAXI readership. A tactic used to coerce readers into thinking that the association is at the coal face of the action, whilst at the same time costing The LTDA nothing. 

The reality is this, the legal route offers only two effective options, the first is to serve litigation papers against Uber for obtaining their licence by deceptive means. Most underestimate the enormity of this. In respect of the company’s relationship to the driver, Uber acts as either the principle or the agent (to be determined at the employment tribunal appeal) and there  are 40000+ of them. A licence obtained by fraudulent means would render it null and void meaning  journeys undertaken by its drivers are illegal. As far as Insurance payouts go, you could say, they were compromised somewhat? It beggars belief, that the LTDA have not yet started proceedings. 

The second option, is to file a lawsuit against TfL for breaking a long standing trade agreement by creating a‘corporate structure’ that allowed Uber’s operation to infract heavily on the working practices and earning potential of licensed taxi drivers. 

Certainly, under the previous administration, TfL decidedly went against the true meaning of the law as laid out in the 1998 PH Regulations to assist Uber’s smooth incorporation into the market. TfL would have known the contravention existed and that Uber’s modus operandi was in transgression of it. The consequences here are huge, as it would mean TfL was party to the perjury in the HC (Remember, this was a case brought by TfL seeking a HC ruling on what constituted a meter only) The crux here is, TfL claim to have been hoodwinked by Uber. Yeh, right! 

Everyone should recognise that this is win, lose, or draw for the trade, and what the trade needs - and deserves - is drastically improved representation from The LTDA. The above options are the only effective avenues the trade should be concerned with. Furthermore, there should be zero  tolerance for the tired old distractions that have served as a disincentive to their readership in the past. Will the trade get the representation it deserves? Well, members who have been pushing for it tirelessly for two years have just had their branch suspended, pending an investigation into intimidation tactics being used in the run up to the Branch Elections. Another distraction away from what the LTDA should be doing,  Stalling for time is preferable as effective action could work out quite costly. But surely it’s the members money, and The LTDA should be doing right by them. 

Our fight is with the LTDA until they themselves finally decide to take up the fight. The old coppers club moaning to the Met about Jo Bertram ain’t gonna cut it with me, that’s for sure!

None So Blind As They Who Will Not See....The Debate.

An interesting conversation took place yesterday on Twitter. 

One drivers was was giving it large to the gloom and doomers, saying another cracking night in a record breaking week. 

His argument was that he didn’t recognise what the gloom and doomers were on about, finishing with a shrug of his shoulders. 

Anthony Minas   Lenny Etheridge   Sean Paul Day.

The best reply came back from Anthony Minas, who said:
“There’s a difference between doom and gloom...and informative opinion and fact.
Lots of cabbies on here mistake both as the same. 
Good way to look at it: 
Does anyone think Uber would have been in question in the first place if everyone was just positive? 
There needs to be a balance!

“Lots who have been labelled as D&G give up their time & money to try to expose illegality! 
I’m all for positivity of course but if that was the only course of action, we’d be gone already!
Most who call out d&g wouldn’t sacrifice 10min for the trade let alone thousands of pounds!”

Lenny Etheridge also joined the debate with:
“Yep, I see loads of bods hacking away at informative tweets warning of how we're being f***ed over, as D&G.

I too have had a few good weeks.
But I know it won't last if we allow the status quo to continue.

They can't see the storm because their heads are in their lollybags.

“These dismissive drivers, whose elation at earning a fair day's wage drives them to post everything is great, obviously see no danger from Uber and others waiting in the wings, or unregulated apps, or TfL and the Government colluding to do away with the KoL and Taxis in general. (Operation Horizon ‘a one tier system’)

“I promise you, the biggest screamers -if our trade dies a death of a thousand cuts- will be those who couldn't tell the difference between Noah making a racket next door, and a spot of rain.

“Turn left, you get a roader.
Turn right you get a puncture.
That's the nature of the job!

“These blissfully dismissive drivers will be the first in line to demand "How did the Orgs let it happen?"

“But these (mostly) unpaid Org and Union reps will quite rightly reply "How did we? No! How did YOU allow it to happen?”
How did twenty thousand drivers allow it to happen?"

“Carry on happily selling all your tomorrows for the gift of today.
Dismiss those with foresight, as D&Gers.
Let them worry for you.

"Gather ye rosebuds while ye may,
Old Time is still a-flying;
And this same flower that smiles today,
Tomorrow will be dying."

None so blind ...

Sean Paul Day then joined the debate:

What policy has been put in place to ensure the viability of the cab trade? Fluctuations in work flows don’t count

Take a look at the link, and if it concerns you, then rest easy because Leon Daniels has secured a position of senior advisor”

The conversation was bought to conclusion by David, @blackcabLawyer...

“Hi Sean, good point. Hopefully we can keep the legal pressure up and commence a Judicial Review.

“Hopefully the taxi trade as a group will be in a position to decide the most appropriate way to proceed legally, in the next couple of weeks .”

Sunday, July 15, 2018

What's TFL's Connection With Baron Arbuthnot, Nothing To See Here...Mind The Gap!

Thales awarded London Underground Sub-Surface Lines resignalling contract

UK: Transport for London announced on August 3 that it had awarded sole bidder Thales a £760m contract to renew the signalling and train control systems on London Underground's Circle, District, Metropolitan and Hammersmith & City lines. 

Collectively known as the Sub-Surface Lines, the four large-profile lines form a complex network of interlinked routes with numerous junctions which comprises 40% of the London Underground network and carries 1·3 million passengers/day. 

Work is expected to begin later this year. The first increase in capacity would be on the Circle Line in 2021, with the ‘main benefits’ of the project to be delivered by 2022, when the peak train frequency would increase to 32 trains/h in central London. The final improvements would come in 2023, with an increase in peak and off-peak frequencies on the Metropolitan Line. 

The deal replaces a £345m contract which TfL had awarded to Bombardier in June 2011. This was terminated in December 2013, with TfL saying the ‘complex nature of the railway’ meant Bombardier's programme ‘was simply not progressing and there was no guarantee it would have worked’. The contract with Bombardier had itself replaced a previous contract awarded by Metronet to Invensys under the London Underground public-private partnership. 

The latest contract represents a significant increase in cost, but TfL said it would be 18% less per km than ‘the successful modernisation of the Northern Line which was around half the cost of the Jubilee and Victoria line modernisations delivered under the flawed public-private partnership arrangements, ended by the Mayor five years ago.’ 

'Once completed, 60% of the London Underground will have been modernised using Thales signalling technology’, said Thales Chairman & CEO Patrice Caine. 

The overall budget for Sub-Surface Lines modernisation has been confirmed as £5·41bn, a reduction of £131m from an estimate announced on March 24. This total includes the cost of 191 S-Stock trainsets ordered from Bombardier, and related platform lengthening, track and depot works. The work is to be delivered within the existing TfL Business Plan, and the programme is expected to have a benefit-cost ratio of around 4·7 to 1. 

The project ‘will transform the journeys of millions of our customers, significantly increasing service reliability and frequency’, according to London Underground Managing Director Nick Brown. ‘We have a very clear delivery plan and timetable for the work and, as we have done with the modernisation of the Northern Line, we will keep London moving and growing as we do it.’ 

Once the Sub-Surface Lines have been modernised, work would begin to introduce new trains and control systems for the Piccadilly, Central, Bakerloo and Waterloo & City lines.

A Blast From The Taxi Trades Past, Going Going....And Still Going

The Austin FX4 taxi was a mainstay of city life for years, but it's rapidly disappearing off our roads, due to old age. Before they're all gone, here are some interesting variations, you might never have seen.

Evening News.

For a while in the 1960s, they found favour with the publishers of the London Evening News as the basis for a newspaper delivery van, with the super-tight turning circle being particularly appealing. 


Later, the Birmingham-based Austin dealership and conversion specialists Startins offered an FL2-based hearse in limited numbers.

Below, you can take a look at some of the other conversions carried out on these models, plus an extraordinary pastiche model produced by a specialist Japanese manufacturer.

Nubar Sarkis Gulbenkian
Armenian petroleum magnet and socialite.

“I’ve had good wives, as wives go, and as
wives go, two of them went!”

“I wanted my taxi dolled-up, more comfortable inside
and more distinguished outside, without losing its mobility.

People recognize it. After a party or an opening they come and tell
me where it is and I don’t have to wait.”

The Gulbenkian taxis

Nubar Gulbenkian – odd name, and an even odder taste in cars. Usually described simply as an 'eccentric millionnaire', Mr Gulbenkian made his money in oil, and had a particular penchant for the London taxi, taking delight in reciting the well-rehearsed line: 'It turns on a sixpence, whatever that is!' to anyone who’d listen.

However, far from slumming it in a bog standard model, he used a relatively small amount of his vast wealth to have his own eclectic design of bodywork applied to the car. The result can be seen above, this being one of two FX4s he had converted by Battersea-based coachbuilders FLM Panelcraft Ltd (who also worked with Crayford on the BMC 1100 estate and P6 Estoura). 

Unlikely as it may seem, these contraptions proved to be quite sound investments: the second of his two FX4s cost him £3500 when new in 1966 – for which he could have bought two 3.8-litre Mk2 Jaguars! – yet it managed to achieve £6300 at auction five years later. It came up for sale again in 1993, this time making £23,000…
Royal Mail van

This boxy FL2-based mail van underwent trials with the Post Office at the beginning of 1967, to see whether the car’s much-vaunted turning circle would make it a worthwhile basis for a delivery vehicle. It seems the idea was scuppered by the van’s tall rear bodywork, which while offering an impressive 200cu ft load capacity, was found to make the van unstable when fully loaded. Needless to say, it was consequently not adopted for service.

London Taxi Exports Laundalette

Bedfordshire-based taxi specialists London Taxi Exports offered this stylish laundalette as an after-market conversion. Externally, the well-integrated black 'Everflex' roof was set off by chrome bumpers (where available) and side trims, alloy-look wheel trims and a specially-designed front grille.

Inside, features for the driver include power steering, an Italian wood-rim steering wheel and an RDS radio, while rear passenger compartment benefited from re-upholstered seats, special side trimming and new carpets. London Taxi Exports also offered a range of other conversions, including a cabriolet (which retained the rear side windows and framework); a delivery van, with twin rear doors; and a ten-light stretch-limo, longer than either of the semi-official versions featured below.

Stretching it

The general design of the FX4/FL2, with the emphasis placed on space for the rear-seat passengers, readily lent itself to use as a limousine. During the 1970s, following the introduction of legislation which all-but killed the market for the FL2 as a hire car, Carbodies and Mann & Overton decided to market the model as a limousine, and in the mid-1980s Carbodies introduced the London Sterling limousine to the US market, but both those versions used the standard wheelbase and bodywork. Here we take a look at a couple of attempts to provide a limousine with even more space.

The Tickford limousine

Tickford and Carbodies had been rival coachbuilders since the 1930s, but in the mid-1980s they collaborated to produce this one-off long wheelbase FL2-based limousine. With the extra length achieved by the fairly simple expedient of inserting a windowed fillet panel between the front and rear doors, the extra space liberated in the rear compartment was quite remarkable.

Fitted out with a couple of walnut-veneered cabinets – housing the obligatory cocktail set, sound system, TV and video player – there was still generous accommodation for four passengers, with the seats set facing each other. Sacrificing the cocktail cabinet would have allowed five to be carried, while also fitting an extra rearward-facing seat in place of the entertainment cabinet would have increased the passenger count to six.

The Coleman Milne limousine

In 1986, Carbodies commissioned this conversion from coachbuilders Woodall Nicholson (also responsible for building the Maxi-based Aquila) to see whether it might provide entry to a new market niche. The conversion – handled by WN’s limousine-and-hearse division, Coleman Milne – involved rehanging the rear doors so that they were forward-hinged, and then adding a further pair of forward-hinged doors, as well installing an extra row of seats in the retrimmed rear compartment.

The car gained some exposure ferrying special guests to and from the 1986 British Motor Show but no further examples were built, presumably due to the high costs involved in comparison to the production cars which Coleman Milne were used to converting. It has to be said despite the extra length of this car over the Tickford conversion – and indeed, its extra doors – the Coleman Milne’s rear compartment looks rather cramped and uninviting by comparison.

Faking it…
The Mitsuoka Yœga

Around a year after the FX4 had been replaced by the TX1, Japanese company Mitsuoka came up with this extraordinary pastiche (call it a tribute if you must) in 1998. Based on the home-market only Nissan Cube (itself a development of the March, or Micra), the Yœga did at least have one feature the FX4 could never boast – a hatchback. Quite what the PCO would have made of it, however, is anyone’s guess…

When production of the Yœga ceased, Mitsuoka became the official Japanese importer and distributor for the TX1′s replacement, the TXII, which used the Ford DuraTorq engine in place of TX1′s Nissan unit.

Zombie proof TX4 
From the imagination of London based designer Donald O Keeffe with his love of horror films.

Part Sourced: Honest John.

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Brighton And Hove Taxi Reps To Meet With Lewes DC Over Uber Advising Drivers To Use Easy Option In Andrew Peters

I have another meeting with Lewes DC next week along with Sean Ridley of Unite and George Beresforth ..Independent rep

This was my original statement to Brighton & Hove HNews which I fully expected to be edited down: 

We are very pleased that Lewes District Council has now taken steps to bring the conditions of licensing for LDC hackney carriage and private hire vehicles.


As the conditions of Brighton and Hove licence vehicles are much higher than that of Lewes DC, Uber was giving recruiting information on its website by providing the comparison of time and costs to obtain licences between Brighton & Hove and Lewes DC to be able to work in Brighton & Hove. 

Brighton & Hove
Total estimated cost of obtaining a PHDL: £1112
Total estimated time to obtain a PHDL: 40 weeks
Total estimated cost of obtaining a PHVL: £134
Total estimated time to obtain a PHVL: 2 weeks

Total estimated cost of obtaining a PHDL: £422
Total estimated time to obtain a PHDL: 8 weeks
Total estimated cost of obtaining a PHVL: £186
Total estimated time to obtain a PHVL: 2 Weeks

This is due to Uber in creating ‘Mythical Uber Regions’ in an attempt to calve up the UK and to reinvent the UK Licensing Authority areas by dividing the UK into nine ‘ Mythical Regional’ areas. This can only be seen as an attempt by Uber to create extraordinary larger licensing areas to try to change national Legislation via ‘Uber Stealth’. 

Brighton & Hove is in the ‘ South East Uber Mythical Region’ and Uber is encouraging out-of-town hackney carriage and private hire vehicle’s such as those from Lewes DC to predominantly work in Brighton & Hove

The difference in the standards required was put to the Licensing Panel at the Brighton & Hove Uber Renewal Hearing in April 2018 by the GMB and referred to by the Panel when the Uber representatives were questioned as to why its website looked as if it was encouraging drivers to obtain a licence in Lewes DC to predominantly work in Brighton & Hove.

A meeting between myself and the Unite representative Sean Ridley on April 18 2018 with Lewes DC raised the issue of Lewes DC being used as the lower end of licensing requirements for drivers who have no intention of ever working in Lewes DC because of the lower Conditions of Licensing

This is the result of the Deregulation Act 2015 which allowed what is known as ‘Cross Border Hiring’ which has been exploited by the likes of Uber to use drivers and vehicles from licensing authorities which have lower standards of licensing requirements to predominantly work in areas that have much higher standards. This is exactly why cities such as Brighton & Hove have been flooded with out of town private hire drivers/vehicles from places such as Reigate & Banstead, Sefton and Wolverhampton. Wolverhampton is by far the worst culprit having issued some 7500 + licences in 2017 compared to a mere 700 in 2014.

What will now happen is that ring fenced licensing revenue from those Licensing Authorities f higher conditions of licensing will now drop as cheaper and fast track licensing will be sought from councils with lower requirements.

In fact in 2017 Uber attempted to lower the standards of the licensing requirements of Brighton & Hove City Council in the removal of the ‘Knowledge test’ as the Uber legal representative stated that the use of SatNavs was in fact better. Fortunately the local councillors put Uber straight on the this and refused the proposal.

At the time of our meeting with Lewes DC we were told that there was a backlog of around eight weeks as council had been flooded with applications for licences since Uber had given out information that it was cheaper and quicker to obtain a licence there rather than in Brighton & Hove if the intention was to predominantly work in Brighton & Hove.

However at the time our meeting with Lewes DC we were informed that the current ‘Conditions of Licensing’ were now being looked at with the view for a complete overhaul and this could not come soon enough.

Historically Lewes DC would only have a few driver & vehicles applications a week but this took a dramatic upturn since that announcement on the Uber website resulting in the backlog and we can express some sympathy for Lewes DC as it has been exploited by Uber for its own cause.

Because of the flood of Lewes DC vehicles predominantly working in Brighton & Hove over the last few months the Brighton & Hove trade have has supplied Lewes DC with countless reports of its licensed vehicles not complying with the current ‘Conditions of Licensing’ where the driver/proprietor and even the council itself have breached its own Conditions of Licensing.

We have had to alert Lewes DC about ‘Dual Plating’ whereby the council does not allow a vehicle to be licensed in one area as well as in Lewes DC which the council contravened. 

Additionally we had to alert the Lewes DC about issuing a licence plate to a saloon vehicle that stated it was licensed to carry 5 people where this was clearly wrong along with Lewes DC drivers removing signage for whatever reasons.

Currently there are numerous Lewes DC hackney carriage and private hire vehicles showing expired licence dates on the vehicle plates

Effectively the Brighton & Hove trade has become the unpaid policing of Lewes DC private hire and hackney carriage vehicles.

However after months of the trade lobbying both Lewes DC and Brighton & Hove City Council we are pleased that Concordant Arrangements have now been put in place which means that the Brighton & Hove Enforcement Officers who make regular checks on the local licensed vehicles now have the power to carry out the same inspections on Lewes DC drivers and vehicles. We will now monitor the costs of this to ensure that the Brighton & Hove trade will not be paying for Brighton & Hove Council to be the exclusive Enforcement body of Lewes DC drivers and vehicles.

We are pleased that Adur DC have also granted the council with the same ‘Enforcement’ powers on Adur licensed vehicles but unfortunately other licensing authorities have refused to do the same.

Lewes DC Revision of Licensing Conditions

It is now very encouraging that Lewes DC appear to be taking responsibility in instigation a revision of the Conditions of Licensing. However we are greatly concerned where it has been reported that:
“The penalty for prospective taxi drivers found cheating on a knowledge test is also set to increase, with the introduction of a three-year ban. Currently a prospective driver found cheating on the test will be barred from re-taking the test for one year only.”

Just that statement alone puts Lewes DC in a concerning perspective.
Surely any potential driver of a Lewes DC licensed vehicle that has been “...found cheating on a knowledge test..” should be banned for life as that person is supposed to be ‘Fit and Proper’ to hold a licence to have the full responsibility for the wellbeing and safety of the public. Indeed it hardly compliments any licensed Lewes DC driver as no one will ever know if such a driver had previously tried to cheat the system.