Saturday, February 10, 2018

London To Reclassify The Toyota Prius As A Polluter ..... By Gerald Coba.

A change in the way CO2 levels are calculated means new Toyota Prius owners will have to pay the London Congestion Charge

New buyers of the Toyota Priushybrid will no longer be exempt from the London Congestion Charge, after a change in the way its carbon dioxide (CO2) levels are measured moved its official output above the 75g/km exemption threshold.

While current Prius owners won’t be affected by the change, anyone who purchased a new Prius from 1 February 2018 will find their car judged against updated criteria, meaning they will have having to pay the capital’s £11.50 Congestion Charge.

The Prius used to officially produce 70g/km of CO2 when running on 15-inch wheels. This made it a favourite of private hire owners, as they could drive into London while escaping the Congestion Charge. But that figure has now increased to 78g/km, while CO2 levels for a Prius running on 17-inch alloys have increased from 76 to 82g/km.

The rise has come because Toyota is switching the measure it uses to gauge the Prius’ CO2 levels from NEDC to NEDC-equivalent; the latter test was designed to precede the switch from NEDC to new WLTP testing criteria in 2019, and is considered a halfway house between the two measures.

Vehicle excise duty, commonly known as road tax, has also increased for those buying a new Prius: the first-year fee for models with 15-inch alloy wheels has increased from £15 to £90. Perhaps more significantly, Benefit-in-Kind (BiK) rates for business users of the same car have risen from 13 to 17 per cent.

While the Prius Plug-In is also likely to be measured against NEDC-equivalent criteria soon, its lower CO2 emissions of 22g/km (under outgoing NEDC rules) make it highly unlikely its emissions will rise above the 75g/km Congestion Charge exemption threshold.

So You Thought No One Was Listening To Theresa May At Davos....Well Think Again.

Theresa May speech at Davos:

"Uber, a company that's got things wronge along the way, with safety issues and concerns over the protection for its workers.

"The answer isn't to shut Uber down, but rather to address those concerns and to establish and enforce the standards and protection that can make this technology work for customers and employees alike"

Well the French judiciary were listening intently to most of this scripted statement, but decided not to hear the word 'EMPLOYEES'. 


A French court has ruled ride-hailing app Uber is not an employer.

US ride-hailing startup Uber has won a major employment case in France. The French tribunal court has ruled the company is not an employer.

The case was centred around an Uber driver, Florian Menard. Menard argued he was not self-employed and his service contract with the US tech company should be reclassified as an employment contract. This is similar to previous employment cases fought in countries such as the UK.

However, in this instance, the labour tribunal ruled in favour of Uber. It said the app was “in the business of intermediation and not that of a transport service.” This means that Uber is not an employer.
Menard has one month to appeal the ruling.

What was said:
According to the Financial Times, the tribunal said:

Why it matters:
This is a different ruling to how the UK courts approached it. Last year, the London Employment Tribunal ruled that Uber was acting unlawfully by not providing drivers with basic workers’ rights. This includes holiday pay, guaranteed minimum wage, and entitlement to breaks.

In November, a UK judge Jennifer Eady upheld the decision, enforcing it into UK law.

Yet, all is not set in stone. Uber could appeal the appeal decision, which could see the case end up in the UK’s Supreme Court. The French tribunal ruling could have an impact on a later UK-based decision.

In addition, this is all taking place against the backdrop of the European Court of Justice’s recent decision. In December, the ECJ ruled that Uber is officially a transport company, not a digital service.
The ECJ ruling means that it believes Uber is not an intermediation service, the opposite of the French tribunal ruling. It demonstrates how complicated employment issues are in the gig economy.

This is not the first time Uber has been in court in France over its practices. In May 2016, the company faced legal challenges from France’s social security agency, the CNAM. The CNAM argued that Uber had avoided paying millions in employee-related charges because their drivers were not registered as employees.

However, this related to the UberPop service, which allowed non-professional drivers to offer rides on the app. This was later banned after major protests.

This also took down another taxi startup, named Heetch. It relaunched in April 2017 as taxi platform with professional drivers and is now the second-most downloaded taxi app in France, after Uber.

Friday, February 09, 2018

TfL Trying To Disguise The Fact That Cycle Lanes Are Directly Adding To London's Air Pollution


TfL are now consulting on the next stage of the Mayor, Sadiq Khan’s plan to help tackle London’s toxic air pollution, which contributes to thousands of early deaths in our city each year. Although if he was serious about Londoners health, he would be removing the congestion causing CSH segregated cycle lanes and not expanding the program!

You can have your say (all though it won't make a blind bit of difference as they've already made their minds up, but it looks good on paper) 

From 8 April 2019, the Mayor is (not may, subject to consultation) introducing the Ultra Low Emission Zone in central London, replacing the T-Charge with an even tighter emission standards for diesel vehicles. There will also be new Taxi and Private Hire Vehicle (PHV) licencing requirements from 2018.  It's all about the money.....follow the money!

TfL are not consulting on the Taxi and private hire licensing requirements, announced by the Mayor earlier this year. At least they're honest here....your opinion not welcome.
To help reduce toxic emissions in London caused by congestion as a direct result of the segregated cycle lanes, the Mayor is also now proposing to:

 • Extend tighter emissions standards to the whole of London for lorries, buses and other heavy goods vehicles only in 2020
 • Expand the ULEZ for all vehicles including cars, vans, motorbikes and minibuses up to the North and South circular roads in 2021
This will affect electric Taxis use of their petrol generator which tips up battery power!

Plus hybrids are no longer seen as clean vehicles and will be charged accordingly !

This consultation ends on 28 February 2018, although TfL and the Mayor have already made their minds up what they are going to do!

As with all their other consultations, this one will make no difference to their current plans.  

Even More Road Works On The Way : Smart Cats Eyes To Be Introduced To Roundabouts

Everything to do with the roads seems to be getting the ‘smart’ treatment of late – smart motorways, smart cars. Now cats eyes are the latest part of the road network to get the smart treatment with the introduction of smart cat’s eyes, which are being tested in collision hotspots to try and cut down on the number of accidents.

Intelligent cat’s eyes

The new intelligent cat’s eyes will light up in response to changing traffic lights and make major roundabouts look more like airport runways. It is the first time they are being considered for use in this way and are aimed at improving road safety, according to Highways England.

Some 170 of them are being used on Switch Island in Merseyside where the M57, M58 and three A roads all come together, as part of a £3 million project to improve the area. These new ‘road studs’ will be used to help 90,000 motorists manage the confusion of roundabouts. Cables will be laid beneath the road surface to connect the studs to the traffic lights via an automatic controller unit.

Cats eyes in action

When the traffic light turns green, the LED lights will be used to separate the lanes for the flow of traffic. This helps stop drivers crossing the white lines as they manage their way around the multiple exit roundabout.

The provider of the system, Clearview Intelligence, says that the studs are visible around 1,000 metres away and have already proven to reduce accidents in locations around the country where they are being used. In fact, collisions at some of the junctions have been reduced by up to 50%, the company said.

The system is already in use in Hindhead Tunnel, in Surrey, to help guide drivers through the tunnel. The A2-A20 junction in Kent along with the A41 in the Wirral and the Sheriffhall roundabout in Edinburgh have also been fitted with them, to help improve safety. Highways England are aiming for improved journeys and better safety for drivers with the new systems.

Runway roads

The idea of creating runway style roads is part of the government’s program of congestion relief which is due to start this month and has £220 million in funding. It is expected to take around 12 months to complete, in the Merseyside site, and vastly improve the situation – with 49 accidents in the last two years, it averages one every fortnight.

New traffic lights will also be installed to work with the smart road studs, set at a higher location so HGV and bus drivers can see them easier.

Cats eyes or road studs?

You may also notice another change taking place – cats eyes have undergone a rebranding and are now being called road studs. The reason for this is twofold, both quite amusing for drivers. Firstly, tourists are confused by the term and don’t understand warning signs such as ‘warning cat’s eyes removed’ when driving around the UK.

The other reason is that children were worried as they thought they were real cat’s eyes being embedded in the roads – hands up if you remember thinking that when you were a kid?

Most of us probably did because cats eyes have been around that long. The first ones were made back in 1933 by a man called Percy Shaw. He was driving along a West Yorkshire road and saw his lights reflected in the eyes of a cat walking alongside the road. He instantly realised their potential for road safety and came up with the device we are all familiar with. Cats eyes have been noted as one of the top 10 most iconic designs that the UK has ever created!

So, cat’s eyes are being renamed as road studs and smart road studs to help tourists feel more at ease on UK roads, and to stop children having sleepless nights over the mistreated cats! However, for most of us, they will remain cat’s eyes, no matter how smart they become.

So You Thought She’d Be Safer In An Uber XL, Well... Think Again.

The other night, I spoke to a young man who’d just put his beautiful girlfriend into an Uber, outside the Hakassan restaurant on Bruton Street, after standing about waiting in the freezing cold, even though there were five available Taxis on the rank.

I asked him if he thought she’d be safe, in light of the 48 serious sexual assaults which occurred in Uber cars last year, one every eleven days.

He said:
"Don’t be silly man, I only use top end Uber service, Mercs and BMWs...shit ain't gonna happen in one of them, it only happens in Prius UberX cars".

Below is an article from the Islinton and Hackney Gazette last night.

Would you feel safe putting your loved one in Kareem's Silver Mercedes Uber?

A 24-year-old Uber driver stopped and searched by cops was found with a “lethal” lock knife “precariously clenched in between his buttocks”. 

Police pulled over Kareem Worthington of Providence Court, Islington, after he was spotted driving his silver Mercedes “erratically” in New North Road yesterday afternoon. 

Worthington appeared “nervous and agitated”, and when cops saw some white powder which they believed could be a controlled substance, they took him to Stoke Newington Police Station. 

During a strip search officers noticed “something coming out of his backside”. 

“It was a knife,” said Det Insp Paul Ridley.


 Police recovered this knife from between a man's buttocks.

“I’ve come across knives concealed and stored everywhere, but never before stuck up someone’s backside, it’s ridiculous.”

Worthington told police he keeps the knife in his car all the time, and when cops pulled him over he decided to hide it.

He appeared before Thames Magistrates Court today and pleaded guilty to possession of an offensive weapon.

He was immediately sentenced to six months imprisonment.

Worthington was convicted for possession of a bladed article in 2011 and 2012, and was imprisoned for affray in 2014.

Two other men were found with knives during stop and searches by police in Hackney yesterday.

“That’s the scale of what we are dealing with,” said Det Insp Ridley. 

“That’s why it’s so crucial we continue stopping and searching people. There are lots of people out there who are carrying knives.

These questions need to be asked:
Kareem Worthington had two convictions for carrying a concealed weapon in 2011-2012, and a prison term for violence in 2014. 

How the hell did this man get a Private Hire Licence?
How did this man end up working for Uber?

We suspect that this is just one of Helen Chapman's 13,000 PH Uberdrivers with a fake DBS check. 


Well done Grant and the LCDC, proactive, not reactive !

I wonder if he also slammed her for misleading Europe by saying Uber had to be saved and not stopped at Davos?

Thursday, February 08, 2018

Southwark Launches New Anti-Engine Idling Enforcement + Statement From ITA Regarding Bank Junction.

Southwark Council is delighted to announce its latest step towards improving London’s air quality. Cllrs Maisie Anderson, Cabinet Member for Public Health and Social Regeneration, and Ian Wingfield, Cabinet Member for Environment and the Public Realm, joined head teacher Anita Asumadu at Oliver Goldsmith Primary School to mark the launch of the council’s new anti-engine idling enforcement from, 31 January.

Cllr Maisie Anderson said: “Needlessly keeping your engine running pollutes roads, schools and children’s lungs. Asking people to turn off their engine will help create a healthier environment for the children of the borough.

“Drivers will be warned before a fine is issued, but ultimately if they ignore the warning and signs, the parking wardens will have to take action.”

Idling vehicle exhausts choke the air with toxic chemicals like cyanide, NOx and PM2.5 which can lead to asthma, heart disease and lung disease.

From today, council parking enforcement officers will be issuing an £80 Penalty Charge Notice to parked up car, bus, taxi and HGV drivers, who refuse to switch off their engines when asked.

The council has led and encouraged many voluntary anti-idling patrols at known idling hot-spots, to raise driver awareness of the health risks associated with engine idling. They found that most drivers turned off their idling engines willingly, when they were made aware of the implications of keeping them running.

This is the latest measure from Southwark Council’s ambitious Air Quality Strategy and Action Plan, which is part of its longstanding commitment to improve air quality in the borough, with more to come throughout 2018.

The council has also just finished asking residents for their suggestions for locations for electric car charge points, and will begin installing them later this year.

Anita Asumadu, head teacher at Oliver Goldsmith School, said: “Clean air would improve the health of the children at our school and everyone can help.

“The best way to improve your health is to choose to cycle or walk, but another effective way to reduce pollution is by switching off idling engines.”


If idling traffic is so bad for the environment, why are the City of London corporation, carrying on with a crazy scheme that's has caused gridlock for most of the working day surrounding the bank a Junction?

Why won't they hold thei hands up and admit they were wronge?

Statement today from the ITA




After The Ball Is Colin The Cabby.

       Brexiteer Julian Sturdy MP for York Outer.

I didn't know anything about the protest, but as I sat in stationary traffic at Cromwell & Queensgate, wondering what the holdup was, the phone rung.... it was my friend Paul from 'Black Cab Now', asking "are you on the demo?"
"well I am now", I replied.

I stayed with the protest for about an hour until we were all told to go back to work.

As it finished, I picked up Julian Sturdy Mp and took him to Vauxhall. 
We had a chat about recent events and the Tories support of an illegal plying for hire app. 
But I must say I found him very naive. 

He talked about intelligent technology doing away with manual jobs of which I asked, 
"if the jobs are going to go...then what future have my grandchildren got?". 

I told him there's no way I wanted to revisit the 1800's because this will finally kick everything off....and, don't expect the police to maintain law and order. 

I have told my daughter who is in the police force, that by the time this is happening, you are no longer go home and protect your own family.

His face dropped dramatically and he offered no further convocation. 


Julian Sturdy wants ministers to prioritise easy migration after Brexit, but supports intelligent technology which will remove jobs???

You couldn't make it up!

How do these people get elected?

Three Cabbies have committed suicide in New York in the last  three months, over the collapse of their industry due to Uber. James O,Brien explained why we hold the men who greased Uber's passage into London with such contempt.

Social Media Proves To Be Big Success At Tory Fundraiser Ball Flash Demo

Although it was thought a bit late in the day, the London Taxi trade showed just how powerful social media can be at getting the message out to the fleet.

Word had been received that Theresa May and most of her cabinet would be attending a ball at National Histor a Museum. 

Many drivers felt May's speech at Davos, showing Tory support for the unfit Uber company, was an insult to our 364 year old trade. A message was put out over social media, asking drivers to attend a mass “ply for hire” flash demo at the NHM to protest against Tory Chumocracy.

The idea was to get there just as they were all leaving around 11,  and stop the Uber users from getting picked up. The uber cars already there, would also be blocked in.
The demo was very noisy but well behaved, with drivers outside circling the exits and beeping their horns. 

Although no suspension had been posted, the official rank had been cordoned off by yellow plastic cones. But after just a few minutes, drivers ignored the cones forming a rolling rank. Police who were there in large numbers, stood back and didn't get involved.

Because of the lateness of the shout, it was believed that Taxi numbers attending would be low, so the idea was to slowly drive around in an oval outside the entrance. But well over 100 Taxis turned up, enough to cover 2 of the 3 exits. Drivers who took fares not going far, returned.

One of the party goers told London Taxi Radio live on Periscope, that Boris had been heckled loudly as he tried to leave in a car by a side entrance (so much for the famous Boris bike). But he was spotted by a driver whose voice just happened to be in very fine fettle.


Guests requiring Taxis as they left the £15,000 a table (10 settings) fundraiser, were politely shown to cabs by impromptu marshals but phone gazers were left to roast.

The demo was good natured and lasted for about an hour. Around midnight, the drivers melted back into the normal traffic. 

Over a hundred Taxis turned up to protest. Not bad for an on the spur of the moment call out.

Well done to all the drivers who gave up their time. 

Plus a big thank you, to presenter Joe Cartwright and cameraman John Cox of London Taxi Radio, who made a live broadcast of the whole demo on Periscope.

Also thanks to TAXIAPP for their support last night.


Possibly the best appeal by a cab driver....ever

Please watch Paddy's Video

Wednesday, February 07, 2018

TfL Senior Managers, Like Rats Abandoning A Sinking Ship...As They Face Losses of £968m


It appears TfL have grossly mismanaged the Tube, just as they have grossly mismanaged Taxi and Private Hire. The Mayor who chairs TFL's board acts as if a deficit of £968m is nothing to worry about.

Last week, TfL announced they were facing a possible £400m shortfall in their finances. 

It now appears that TfL haven’t been completely truthful about their budget deficit. (There’s a surprise)

This week an internal email has been leaked to the media which shows that the deficit TfL are facing is well over double the amount stated last week. 

The leaked email given to the BBC, describes the finances of TfL, “like a household budget that couldn’t  afford to pay the mortgage”.

Insiders at TfL have voiced considerable anger at the scale of the cuts they face.

The email says TfL "will make a loss next year of £968m".

Many senior managers have already left, new Tube trains have been cut and bus services will be reduced by 7%.

Commentators say the organisation is facing a perfect storm financially.

TfL, Totally failing London.....again 


Tuesday, February 06, 2018

Didn't Take Uber's Competitors Long To Find Themselves In Court! (Wheely Quickly)

Well, it didn't take new boys on the block Wheely long to go and get themselves dragged into court. 

This is quite serious and could affect their operators licence as they have been summonsed to appear at Thanes Magistrates court (Bow Street) on the 22nd of February 2018.

A complaint has been filed that on the 17/01/2018 they failed to accept a booking for a vehicle, required by and on behalf of a Mr Doug Paulley, who wished to be accompanied by a disabled person. 

The reason for the failure to accept the booking being that the disabled person would be accompanied by an assistance dog.

This (apparently) is in contravention of section-70(1) and (4) of the Equality Act 2010. 

As this company is a competitor of Uber, one wonders if the Tories will now mount an on-line petition an door to door canvas, in support of this disabled person.....
Perhaps the Prime Minister would like to show her support (and that of her husband's) at the next PMQT  for this disabled person and his dog. 

Anyway, for all there big flashy cars and smart suits, apparently if your disabled....forget it. 




On Monday Grant Davis represented the London Cab Drivers Club at a meeting with Tfl, in regards to the on going situation with Driver medicals. 

This all stems from the expose in The Sun Newspaper where certain PH drivers were actually “buying” their medicals without undertaking the proper medical tests. In some cases, it was alleged that medical checks were being carried out on-line. 

Tfl are now looking to outsource the medicals to as of yet a “unknown” private medical provider and thus bring parity with both sides of the industry where we all would have to take the exact same medical examination. 

At present, the cost of these medicals will be in the region (they say) of between £100 – 150 and the provider must have locations around London and also provide parking facilities. As we’ve seen with TfL regarding PH Licence costs, this price could change dramatically once established. 

At Monday’s meeting, Tfl went on to say that the return of unsatisfactory medical forms is at 60% and they hope by outsourcing, this will be cut?

It was revealed in the Sin last year that many private hire drivers had submitted unsatisfactory medical firms but it is our belief, that as with the 13,000 fake DBS criminal record checks TfLTPH took no action in regards to the medicals. 

Grant Davis said the LCDC, are not comfortable with this! The majority of taxi drivers have a properly registered GP and again this appears to be the result of a knee jerk reaction to the amount of abuse by PH drivers who have lived in the U.K. for such a short space of time. These drivers may not even have a GP, but they want to get a PH licence in London and having a medical is a requisite to do so.

Grant went on to say, the Club feels there is a lot more work to be done on this issue. 

Read the full article in the Sun, click link below


We been receiving messages from drivers who have contacted their own GP/practises. 

We've been informed doctors/practise managers are concerned about this apparent loss of a much needed source of income but even more so by fact another third party will be given access to private medical histories.  

Every Taxi Driver needs to contact their own doctor and give them the link to this post.

Doctors I’ve spoken to today are incensed at this ill thought out decision from TfL. 

Monday, February 05, 2018

Hero black taxi driver refuses to accept money after rushing family across London

Tributes: L-R Olivia, Sebastian, William and Izzy, OIivia's twin sister. (Front L-R) Baby Zach, and parents Chris and Katy Shaw

A family have praised a hero cabbie who refused to accept payment for a fare when he rushed them across London to be with their dying daughter. 

Katy Shaw, 62, and her husband Chris, 65, were in Oxford Street when they received a panicked phone call from their daughter Izzy, 24, who had found her twin sister Olivia face down in her bed.

The couple immediately hailed a black cab and directed it back to their home in Herne Hill, south London, while on the phone to Izzy and paramedics.

But when they arrived, they received the heartbreaking news that Olivia had died.

While the cause of death is not clear, her family believe it could be due to an underlying heart condition. Post mortem results are expected this week.

Tragedy: Olivia Shaw's parents fear she died of an undiagnosed heart condition

Mrs Shaw, a teacher, said: “We jumped in a taxi and kept calling home for news, and of course for that whole journey, the longer the resuscitation was being attempted the more we realised it wasn’t good.

“When we arrived back the paramedics were standing waiting for us.”

Mr Shaw, who is retired, added: “Throughout the journey, the taxi driver was very calm about saying “which way do you want me to go?”.

"He was really calm, going as fast as he could without endangering us or others. He was such a lovely guy.”

After the paramedics told the family Olivia had died, the taxi driver sobbed and refused to accept the fare.

Mrs Shaw said: “People always say that black cab drivers are too expensive or they do this or that but we were in such a state and he showed us so much compassion and how kindness can make a difference to other people, especially when they are in their darkest moments.

“I think he should be recognised generally by people for what he did and we thank him for being so generous to us.” 

The family have started a fundraising campaign for medical research into unexplained deaths in honour of Olivia, who graduated from the University of Essex with a psychology degree last year.

Source : Evening Standard.