Saturday, June 30, 2018

Former TfLTPH John Mason Takes To Twitter, To Give His Opinion On Uber Appeal.

Former Director of TfLTPH John Mason, took to Twitter late on Friday night, to give his few remaining Taxi driver followers, his take on the Uber appeal division and the verdict of judge Emma Arbuthnot. 

In a series of eight tweets John said:

Without wanting to poke the bears that are my last London taxi driver followers, at the end of this week I would put forward the following:

The decision this week was not about whether #Uber should have been licensed. 

I read all the skeleton arguments and supporting evidence and I personally feel that TFL put up a strong justification for their action. Given #Uber agreed that the decision was correct then the Magistrate seemed to only have to decide whether #uber were fit and proper now.

I could be wrong of may have missed it but given the speed it looks like those conditions were provisionally agreed between TFL and #Uber if the Magistrate was minded to issue a licence.

I thought Helen was robust and TFL Counsel Martin Chamberlin was very good. He led the Add Lee Bus Lane action and was very good from my experience.

I do agree with a lot of the irate taxi drivers and indeed PHV operators that are on Twitter that this decision is inconsistent. I agree that smaller operators and individuals would not get such an easy ride if they admitted what #uber had.

I know a lot of cabbies that may end up reading this may still feel aggrieved that they were licensed in the first place. I maintain they were licensed as the met the conditions of licensing at the time.

I struggle to see what legal action the UCG or any other Org can take that may have any chance of success but I’m not party to info and advice they have.

In conclusion, based on what they admitted they did and what TFL started they did, I am surprised. 

I don’t buy into the whole Chumoracy stuff, but in this day and age who know?

Maybe it was the Russians?

We've posted Johns tweets as they appeared on tweeter, we didn't edit spellings as we didn't want to be accused of changing his words.


So what you are saying now is that the court was only interested in the now time as to whether UBER were fit and proper?

So all the years you spent working in the P.C.O  and T.F.L you or your department did not refuse a license to anybody who had a criminal record as all you were interested in was the now time, not the past at all. 

So that would mean that Mr. Perry can have his license back when he comes out of prison, because T.F.L are only interested in now time and not what happened in the past?

Please forgive me if like so many other taxi drivers I have missed your point, but I see UBER as murdering, rapping, lying thieves, that sexual assault women and ruin there lives ...but then I’m just a common taxi driver who knows no better.

Friday, June 29, 2018

Open Letter From Jim Thomas To TfL Commissioner Mike Brown.

Open letter to Mike Brown

Dear Mike, can you please tell us how many laws you will allow Uber to break before revoking their London Licence under the terms laid down in the recent court case by Judge Emma Arbuthnot. 

Uber have been granted a probationary 15 month license in the same way as a convicted felon being let out of prison on licence. One hit and your out. With the felon, first further arrest and back to the nick, so with Uber, one serious complaint about the company and the licence should automatically be revoked. But Mike, is this really the case, will you act on a one hit and your out basis with Uber?...or will all contraventions be dealt with, by a nod and a wink from TfL, as with the 13,000 Uber driver fake DBS certificates...Will the Taxi trade have to take TfL to court to get you to do your job???

The day after Uber were given their probationary license, they carried on breaking the law by picking up passengers outside the Met Police district of Greater London -such as Stanstead and Gatwick Airports, using the Uber app- Under the terms of cross border hiring they can only do this if the customer has requested a trip with a licensed operator in these areas, then the booking is subcontracted over to Uber.... this isn’t happening...Uber are still plying for trade with their app directly in the vicinity of these areas, as they do in many other areas they are not licensed to operate in. 

Will TfL now revoke their licence with immediate effect....?


Also Mike, can you tell me why Graham Rodinson is refusing to answer my question in the recent email I sent him (5 times over the last six weeks).

Uber in Southend: From the Southend

UBER has been told to stay away from Southend after it won the right to operate in London again. Uber cars could regularly be seen picking up at Southend Airport.

The controversial minicab firm was awarded a temporary licence for the capital this week after previously being denied a five year licence over safety fears for passengers.

The company accepted it had made “serious mistakes” and Transport for London was correct in its September decision. 

But it told an appeal hearing this week it had made reforms. Although the reforms haven’t actually been made public, we just have their word on this. 

Tony Cox, conservative councillor for Shoebury, has been a fierce opponent to Uber due to being concerned about the safety of the the taxi service.

He said: “It’s a hollow victory.

“I was saying long before TFL took notice that Uber wasn’t fit for purpose or to hold an operator’s licence.

“I was shocked it took them so long to do something about it.

“They compromised people’s safety.

“You actually cannot get an Uber car in Southend itself now.

“They are not welcome here and if they ever want to come here I will campaign heavily against them.

“It’s good riddance.”

Uber was asking for a five-year licence when TFL rejected the application but the judge issued the shorter one with stringent conditions after concluding the firm had made “rapid and very recent” changes.

Under the licence, Uber must inform the Metropolitan Police of criminal allegations, face regular independent audits and not employ anyone who has helped evade law enforcement.

Even though Uber won the appeal, they unusually offered to pay  TfL’s £425,000 legal costs.

John Watson, managing director of Southend-based AC Taxis, said: “We as a trade are disappointed with the ruling as there are clearly lots of public safety issues in the way Uber operate.

“These haven’t been addressed, for an example they will be operating in areas where the local enforcement officers will have no authority over them.

“As for Southend, Uber does not have a Southend licence so had decided two months ago to geo-fence their app meaning TFL cars are unable to work in Southend.

“Our view is that Uber is welcome to work in Southend as long as they have a Southend licence so their drivers are kept to the high Southend Safety Standards.”

Mark Flewitt, cabinet member for public protection, added: “We understand Uber has been given a short term licence to continue to operate in London, and we will be monitoring the situation for further developments.”


Thursday, June 28, 2018

Taking TfL To Court? It's All In The Connections Plus Uber's New Conditions Of Fitness.

The London Taxi trade are now up in arms, screaming for a retrial after Tuesdays unbelievable miscarriage of justice. One org, the UCG are calling for crowdfunding from drivers, to take TfL to court. 

But, is this just throwing good money after bad. 

Could ordinary working people really take on the establishment, pricking consciences and actually win?

The court (so we are told) have put a leash on Uber and added a number of conditions to their 15 month probationary license. But who really believes anything will happen if they ere... they will just say as an operator we are not responsible for any illegal action taken by our drivers, who are self employed contractors. 

We will still see the sexual assaults, the rapes, the robberies, the customer account hacking, the over charging. Uber will just say, nothing to do with us!!!

Want to know just how bent this case was

Read this :

Uber drivers now think they are untouchable...this one (AV60XXG) blatantly plying for hire on the Hamleys Taxi rank on Regent Street.

Here below are the conditions of Uber licence. Just click on the link 👇🏻


Let’s take a look at what we are actually up against here- 

Paul Coghlan on FaceBook says:

Tap into Facebook any taxi drivers name and you’ll be connected in one way or another. Friends of friends let’s say. 

Well following on from that analogy, type in a Tory mp’s won’t know anyone they know. 

They will however be connected to the judiciary, Qc’s, barristers, solicitors they’ll also know doctors and dentists. 

They won’t however know any chippys, sparks or plumbers. 

See where this is going. 

When they privately educate their children it’s not just to get a superior education it’s to make contacts. These contacts will be maintained throughout university and their professional working lives. 

Favours can and are called in at any time and even when they mess up, there’s always that safety net or life line because they are protected by the class system and wealth it generates. 

So therefore as the anger over the court case disappears and you just carry on because that’s the only option open to you just remember one very important harsh reality:

No amount of court cases will ever help us because the odds are stacked so high in their favour... you will always run into a friend of a friend, but you can be sure they won’t be your friend. 

They’ll be the ones keeping you in your place. 

So what we’ll do is blindly keep hoping that the next case will be the one then the next one. It won’t... because it’s all a done deal. (Where have we heard that before)

The only real course of action is mass scale riots and anarchy which won’t happen either because 

A) we are not French or Italian

B) the feral youth are too busy growing a bit of puff and robbing a Rolex here and there. 

Sad times, be lucky, Paul.

Cabvision's tweet :

In the face of adversity, what's needed is clear heads and a considered tongue. It cannot be in anyone's interest if civil war breaks out regarding granting of a license.This is not the time or place to air grievances

Wise words from Lee but unfortunately the knives are already out.
Rank and file drivers are finally calling for change, not more of the same.

More cities announce congestion charges in fight against diesel

More cities announce congestion charges in fight against diesel

In January of this year, the UK Government was issued a ‘final warning’ from the European Commission about the poor levels of air quality – it was found that there were repeated breaches of the limits in 16 different areas, with Birmingham and Leeds consistently among the worst areas. The fines for such breaches could total in the region of £60 million.

As a response to that, there are plans for two new congestion charging schemes to come into force on the 1st January 2020, which could see some vehicles paying as much as £100 per day to enter the city centres.

Clean air zones

Both Birmingham and Leeds city councils are looking to introduce schemes similar to London’s ULEZ (Ultra-Low Emission Zones) in a bid to tackling the ‘crisis-level’ air pollution found in the cities. Only vehicles that meet Euro 4 for unleaded (generally manufactured after 2006) or Euro 6 for diesel (2015 onwards) would be exempt from the charge, although it’s thought that Leeds will only target the commercial vehicles such as taxis, buses and HGVs, whereas Birmingham will look to the private motorist also.

A spokesman for Birmingham City Council stated that the charge wasn’t about making money, that all surplus would go back into the city’s transport budget, and that this was purely as a measure to tackling city-wide pollution levels. The charge will cover every single road within the city centre, aside from the A4540 middle ring road; a perfect way to create a congestion zone.

Birmingham council’s own analysis into air quality found that the high pollution levels were responsible for shortening the lives of at least 900 residents.

A different route for Leeds

Leeds City Council will also be introducing a congestion charge, but amidst the plans, they have also stated that their end goal is to make the air breathable (rather than financial gain), so they’ll be looking to support businesses running HGVs or coaches with grants of up to £19,000 to retrofit emission reducing tech, equally, taxi drivers will be eligible for funding of up to £3,000 to help them swap over to electric or hybrid power.

Further still, the initial plan to charge £100 per day for the most polluting vehicles has been halved to just £50, and the restricted zone has also been reduced – this seems a genuine plan to try and address the issue of air quality, rather than penalise the motorist – they won’t be charging private motorists to enter the city.

There’s also talk of alternative measures such as ‘no idling’ zones outside schools and having car-free days within the city centre.

The bigger picture

Whilst the plans still need to be approved by Parliament, you’d say it was a rather safe bet that this will be happening on the proposed date in January 2020, and the question is – will this be extended to other areas?

Birmingham council runs under the West Midlands Combined Authority, which also controls Coventry, surely the next step is to roll the plan out to the extended reaches of the authority? Just as London is widening their ULEZ zone for 2021, taking in all of inner London, Birmingham will look to incorporate the surrounding cities as part of the ‘tackling pollution’ strategy.

Coventry City Council are under heavy criticism for the treatment of motorists as it is, with official bodies such as the Traffic Penalty Tribunal branding them “delusional, reminiscent of King Canute” in respect to parking restrictions, which have earned the council over £1.5 million. Will this be the Golden Egg for the council?

What about you?

Although still over a year away, the plans to introduce a congestion charging zone, Clean Air Zone, ULEZ, T-Charge or any other form of penalty to the motorist will have a very real effect on many of us. A great deal of families already monitor their spending closely as a result of increasing fuel costs, and paying a further £10 per day to enter a city centre isn’t going to make things easier.

Naturally, being in a city centre means there are good public transport links, but that’s still further cost, and if the taxi/bus/coach companies are adding an extra £100/day to their overhead, that cost will simply be passed on to the consumer, or it will force the taxi drivers out of town.

Adding a congestion charge to enter a city will simply push consumer prices upwards – imagine a small logistics company that has just ten HGVs delivering to a city centre, that’s £1,000/day or £365,000 per year increase in overhead – this is no longer just about the motorist, this is the UKs economy.

Will a £10 charge prohibit people from entering a city centre? What sort of effect do you think this will have on the consumer economy? 

Is this just another Tax set lie so people will pay it... like the congestion charge in Central London ???

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

But Be Honest, What Else Did You Expect From Uber, The Tories And TfL After Waiting And Seeing???


Robert Cardwell:
All the women’s lives ruined forever through rape and sexual assault all the people injured and killed in all the accidents all the data breaches suicides of all the poor souls this company has walked over and they still get another licence...
I have to ask all @TheLTDA members "have you not asked your org how come they didn’t know about the connection between the Tory’s and yesterday’s Magistrate the fact that she’s married to a Tory MP? How can an org as switched on as @TheLTDA miss something as important as that ???"

The Taxi trade has always had a football supporter type mentality...if we were a football team, would it be time to sack a clueless manager and get a new one???

Unite's Cab Section Glasgow said today...
The impartiality of the legal system in the UK took another blow today. Emma Arbuthnot gave Uber it’s London licence back this aft. She is married to Tory MP, James Arbuthnot. He was made a life peer by David Cameron in 2015. David Cameron warned Boris to back off Uber when PM.


So Uber admits 2million illegal journeys a week for six years with 2,500 drivers under investigation for various crimes, 154 sexual assaults last year including 48 UberRapes, 3 alleged terrorist attacks from Uber drivers, the hacking of customer accounts, spying on customers even after they've left the car (GreyBall), 13,000 fake CBR checks, thousands of fake medicals, operating from unlicensed premises etc...what ever happened to Khan’s promise of one hit and they’re out?

Sadiq Khan tweeted:

Uber has been granted a 15 month licence to operate in London by Westminster Magistrates Court with a clear set of conditions. Uber remains strictly on probation, and @TfL will monitor it closely. No matter how big or powerful you are, you must play by the rules.

All they had to do was say sorry and TfL give them a 15 month licence. 

Does that mean that if Warboys and Perry say sorry they can have their Taxi licenses back???


Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Judge Emma Arbuthnot Deals London Taxi Trade A Slam Dunk...In-spite Of All The Evidence

   Emma Arbuthnot.            Husband Baron James Arbuthnot 

Day two of Uber's licence appeal, the court heard from Uber's QC that in their opinion they haven't been operating illegally (even though this has been proved in two previous court cases and was confirmed by Tom Elvidge yesterday. They also denighed that they have been dispatching 2 million jobs illegally on a weekly basis for the last six years. (Also confirmed by Elvidge).

Senior District Judge (Chief Magistrate) Emma Arbuthnot, who's husband ex Tory MP and front bench minister, now Baron James Arbuthnot-thanks to close chum(ocracy)  David Cameron- had to decide if the decision by TfL not to relicense was right or wrong. She has to decide today if Uber are fit and proper.

As the gallery filed back in the Judge started talking about booking process.
Elvidge accepts it was false.
She then said "I have to find if this was deliberate, it would be unfair if I found on dishonesty without hearing from those involved but Uber painted a force picture".

The decision:
Uber granted 15 month short term licence pursuant to complying with a list of conditions. 
How predictable...
According to the LTDA Twitter feed, the Magistrate was overawed by the scale and worldwide interest in this case, standing up to a $70 billion dollar company was just too much for her!

Unbelivably she has gone against all the evidence and granted Uber a 15 month breather.

Not unexpected the LTDA went from being "an interested party" to "its not our case it's TFL's"....

This verdict has stunned the London Taxi and private hire trades.
Over 100 London cabbies and have been handing their badges back to TfL over the lady 18 months. 
Hundreds of Private Hire operates have been put out of business, not being able to compete with Uber's subsidised predator pricing.

British justice at its best???
Or as Mr Bumble said when being removed from his parochial office "If that's the law sir....then the law is a ass. If that's the law sir then the law is a bachelor. And all I hope sir is the law learns by experience sir. 

Is there a case for a class action for compensation to drivers who've had their legitimate work stolen illegally over a six year period???
Uber employee lied on oath...
TfL directors lied to the London Assembly on multiple occasions...
Even after complaints, TfL allowed Uber to carry on operating from an unlicensed operation centre until they applied for a licence variation... 
TfL directors and managers hid illegalities and swept damning statistics under the carpet on a regular basis....

Wes Streeting MP on FaceBook.

As a final f@@k you to the British justice system, Uber have agreed to pay TFL's legal costs of £475,000. 

Never heard of a losing party being awarded ćosts before!!!
So TFL's legal team...who affectively lost this case, the same team who lost the meter case, and lost the case against Diamond chauffeurs, still get weighed off with 475 large for a few days work.

Looks as if Uber are helping to fill TFL's billion pound short fall in this year's budget.
Who said you couldn't buy

The judge in the Uber appeal case Emma Arbuthnot is married to James Arbuthnot the Tory MP who was caught up in the expenses scandal in 2009

Wolverhampton Minicabi protest off after council bosses threaten legal action

The West Midlands Private Hire Drivers’ Association (WMPHDA) had organised the ‘go-slow’ protest for Thursday over Wolverhampton Council’s private hire licensing system, which they say makes to too easy for people to get a licence. 

It was due to take place on Thursday and could have seen the city centre grind to a standstill, with hundreds of drivers travelling from all over the country to take part. 

But the protest has now been called off after the authority threatened to invoke legislation designed to stop car cruisers, which forbids large numbers of vehicles driving in a convoy or causing an obstruction on a public highway, whether moving or stationary. 

Bosses at the WMPHDA say they plan to apply for a temporary suspension lifting the injunction, allowing them to run the protest at a later date. 

Spokesman Shaz Saleem said: “Due to the bullying tactics of Wolverhampton Council, Thursday’s protest has now been postponed. 

Shaz Saleem, Ebrahim Suleman and Raheel Shah have helped stage previous taxi protests in the city 

“This is not the end of the matter. We will be applying for the injunction to be lifted temporarily, and we are also looking at other protests such as a walking march through the city. 

"If the council wants to play games we will fight back.” 

The protest was to see private hire vehicles drive through the city at 20mph. 

It was widely publicised on social media and had attracted interest from drivers from all over the country. 

Council licensing manager Chris Howell, said the authority had not received official confirmation that the protest was off. 

He added: “The council are in discussions with the organisers, to ensure that the safety of the public is not unduly compromised, and will continue to seek an agreement through dialogue which will prevent drivers from carrying out a reckless and potentially illegal protest within our city.”

Monday, June 25, 2018

The Court Case Of The Year ... TfL v Uber... Let Battle Commence...Case a Updates As a They Come In.

TfL’s refusal to grant Uber an operating licence last September not only sent shockwaves through the company it ignited a political battle with govement ministers who had heavily campaigned for Uber to be given an easy ride. 
But so far, its customers would hardly have noticed, as the company has been allowed to continue operating in the capital, having appealed the decision immediately after. 
This morning, that came to a Uber, TfL and London’s media descend on Westminster Magistrates Court for the appeal hearing. 

It kicks off what is expected to be a three-day hearing during which Uber will try to argue that it is no longer the bad boy of the tech industry.

Uber will argue they have made a series of changes to its app, changing the way the company operates in London since September, including flying chief executive Dara Khosrowshahi into London for crisis talks with TfL commissioner Mike "on side" Brown. (Funny though, Mike "on side" Brown has refused point blank to meet with Taxi trade and recently ignored a Scheduled quarterly Commissioners meeting wit senior Taxi trade representatives.
The company will hope the changes - such as improving the way it deals with complaints - are enough to not only convince the court that it has turned over a new leaf, but TfL itself. Having the regulator onside will be a big help in this court battle. 

One the table today is Uber's record number of rapes, sexual assaults, customer accounts hacked, overcharging, discrimination towards customers, road traffic accidents and incidents, fake medicals, 13,000 fake criminal record DBS checks to name but a few.
Uber have operated illegal from day one! The big problem being that certain senior TfL officials knew this and covered Uber's back.

For Londoners who have come to rely solely on Uber (until the price surges), this week’s appeal could have big implications, but it is just as important for the company itself.
London is one of Uber’s most profitable markets ' the Jewel In The Crown'...and its continued operation in the capital is crucial to the ride-hailing app as it seeks to stem losses and prepare for an initial public offering next year. 
It is also a pivotal moment for Mr Khosrowshahi himself, who has sought to reform the company under his watch. A stamp of approval this week would burnish his credentials significantly.

But can TfL be trusted. 
Look at the mess their legal teams made of the meter case.
They've had evidence which should have shut the company down from day one and they've done nothing with it.
They knew in January last year about the fake DBS certificate and under Helen Chapman's watch they buried this by October. 

Just received the following information by FOI of Badges surrendered: 
Last year 1144 GB, 193 YB. This year so far 483 GB (that's approx 80 per month), 60 YB. V concerning! This does not take into account those who have left the trade but still have a bill. 
(With thanks to Matt the cab)

Source : Telegraph, Sunday Times, Mirror : Image Orion Gotch.

  In the dock Jo Bertrams replacement General Manager Tom Elvidge

Tom Elvidge appeared to be, uncomfortable and nervous a founding to tweets from the LTDA, when asked to confirm that the app used to send bookings straight to Car! “Yes”

TfL QC “ but that means that around 2 million offences were committed every week by drivers using your app?”
Elvidge “yes”

TfLs QC “ it wouldn’t be unfair to say that in the past “ Uber have said whatever suited it to say in any given particular circumstance ( referring to HC & employment cases)!

Magistrate to Elvidge re GreyBall, “ Are you saying Uber employed someone who did not understand how the system worked?”

Elvidge said, “I regret our actions re the communications around Greyball”!

TfLs QC to Elvidge “ a cynic might say Bertram was replaced to enable you to re apply for s licence?”
Elvidge “ it’s regrettable that TfL had to find out about Ripley from a news report”

Elvidge now being crossed on data breach:  
TfL QC“you said ULL were only given limited information on data breach by Uber in San Fransico .
Elvidge replied “ it ( the data breach) was handled in a totally appropriate way”

TfL QC to Elvidge “ the handling of this ( the data breach) was not a good start to your new reformed system, was it”?

Up till now Elvidge has been given a tough time, but then TFL's QC started to put ideas into the throw.

TfLs QC Isnt it true Uber’s culture was one of ‘tell the regulator as little as possible?’ Elvidge “ it was a corporate culture under previous leadership

Tfl QC to Elvidge “ is it possible that in just 9 months Dara has changed this culture?

Looks like all those meetings between Mike Brown and Dara K have paid dividends 

   Fred Jones And Laurel Powers Freeling

Fred Jones now in the box, looks slightly more confident than Elvidge

Fred, Jones is being walked through his evidence by Uber’s QC.
He's mentioned ‘ Metropolitan Police Service 23 Times so far! 
Keeps on about the ex ‘ Metroploitan Police Service’ person they've employ now!
It's obvious he's been rehearsing in front of the mirror.
His lawyer, obviously embarrassed, says MPS, but Fred keeps on referring to them as the Metropolitan Police Servce”. !!!

TFL QC “ your previous reporting ( of crimes) policy was not good enough, was it?” 
Fred tried to go on about “Metropolitan Police Service” but QC says, never mind MPS and TfL what’s yr opinion?

Fred withdraws a comment that a 2nd sexual assault could not have been prevented had Uber reported the 1st allegation against their driver! Not a great move from Fred!

Fred try's to defend Uber's failure to report serious allegations as a failure of process, not policy-!!!

Next  it's Uber non exec director Laurel Powers Freeling, not surprisingly tells the court how Uber want to change!
TfL QC takes Laurel through the long long list of companies she works ( and is paid for!) “what percentage of your time do you spend on Uber?”
She answers “lots” - But when pushed, Laurel conceded it’s only4 days a month with Uber!

TfL QC asks Laurel, “ it’s fair to say you don’t have a lot to do with the day to day running of Uber?”
“Yes as a non exec director I don’t”

TfL QC to Laurel, "What would you say to someone who says, your new protocols have only been in place for 4 months, how can you be sure they work?"

Well that's it for today....more to come in day two, tomorrow...Chapman expected to give two hours of evidence on day 2

Judge says she will be able to give decision tomorrow. 


Last week, LCDC chairman Grant Davis sent these pictures to Tfl showing a PH Uber licensed by TfL with a light on the roof and he ask what the hell is going on here???
They came back to him saying, "the picture sent really doesn’t look like proof"....... 

The very next night the LCDC  sent them another picture that hopefully Tfl can act on!!
But don't hold your breath!!!

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Glasgow Shows The Way Forward Again By Investigating A Cap On Private Hire Vehicles

GLASGOW is driving ahead with plans to potentially cap the number of private hire cars in the city.

The Licensing and Regulatory Committee at Glasgow City Council agreed to commission an independent expert to research the “drdprovision, use and demand for the services of private hire cars” across the city.

Changes to the law by the Scottish Government make council’s free to cap the number of private hire vehicles operating within their boundaries.

Councillor Alex Wilson, convener of the committee, said: “I welcome the fact that the Scottish Government is looking into guidance for local authorities to cap private hire car numbers and to give us a robust policy where we can actually take this forward.”

Last May, amendments to the Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982 made by the Air Weapons and Licensing (Scotland) Act 2015 came into effect.

They allowed licensing authorities to refuse to grant an application for a private hire car licence on grounds of over provision.

Councillors were told there are 4,820 private hire cars registered and 3,527 licenses in Glasgow at the committee meeting on Thursday.

Unite’s cab section is in favour of the legislation and has in the past demanded the council put its foot down on bringing forward the appointment of an independent expert.

The black hackney drivers claim that supply is outstripping demand in the taxi trade, meaning full-time drivers are having to work longer hours just to get by.

The move to appoint an independent expert was actually agreed last November but the council was waiting on “legislative guidence” from the Scottish Government, but that guidence has not yet been published.

Now, councillors have decided to wait no longer and push ahead to procure an independent expert to carry out the substantial audit.

“I do think this would allow an opportunity for Glasgow to lead the way in terms of licensing policy yet again,” said Councillor Rhiannon Spear.

Councillor Robert Connelly supported the council pushing ahead, saying: “As no time scale was given by the Scottish Government, it could take quite a long time.”

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Red Sun group is helping to bring the MetroCab back to London’s taxis fleet

Zhejiang Geely is not the only Chinese company that has backed a plant in Coventry to tap opportunities from the electrification of London’s taxis.

Red Sun Group, a privately-controlled conglomerate based in Nanjing that has more than 10,000 staff and annual turnover of £2.6 billion (US$3.46 billion), announced a tie-up three months ago with British company Ecotive to supply an alternative electric-petrol hybrid taxi.

“Red Sun wishes to invest in facilities for the new breed of commercial vehicles powered by the tried and tested, highly efficient hybrid Ecotive vehicle platform, starting with the production of the MetroCab,” it said in a statement in March.

Red Sun said it would commit more than £100 million for a new plant to be built by CAD CAM Automotive (CCA), in which it has a significant shareholding.

CCA, based in Coventry, is a provider of lightweight aluminium vehicle bodies for the “special vehicles operations” of Jaguar Land Rover.

Two years ago CCA and Red Sun said they were finalising a merger involving £300 million of investment over five years.

The plan, which would “create up to 1,000 jobs”, would start with a £50 million “new energy” vehicle research and development centre, CCA said in a statement at the time.

Red Sun’s chairman Yang Shouhai, a former county-level agriculture and rural affairs cadre, announced in March that the new factory would have an annual output capacity of 300,000 vehicles.

CCA has a product design and engineering heritage that stretches back for more that a century. The company supplied bodies to British car marques MG and Aston Martin from the mid-1990s to the mid-2000s, as well as the first 200 bodies for London’s black cab.

The MetroCab is a British brand of taxicabs first introduced in the mid-1980s and was produced until 2006.

Its ownership had changed hands several times, and has since the early 2000s been owned by Ecotive, a unit of electric cars to monorail projects developer Kamkorp Group, which is owned by UK-based businessman Kamal Siddiqi.

Kamkorp has been developing a hybrid Metrocab since the mid-2000s and has built multiple prototypes.

Red Sun, which started its automobile operations three years ago, will also form a joint venture with a mainland Chinese company to build a separate “green, smart automotive base” capable of producing 500,000 units a year, Yang added.

Late last year, the UK Court of Appeal upheld a 2016 verdict by the London High Court to dismiss a claim by Geely’s London Electric Vehicle Company (LEVC) that the Metrocab’s design was a copy of its TX4 product and earlier models of the London black cabs.

The court threw out LEVC’s attempt to trademark the shape of London's traditional black cabs, on grounds that the shape of the vehicles lacked “distinctive character” and was not a “valid registered trademark”.

LEVC chief executive Chris Gubbey said the appearance of rival car makers would not affect their strategic plans.

“I don’t see the competition changing our forecasts or what we want to do over the long term,” Gubbey said. “There are moves to emulate what we’ve done, which is an endorsement in a way … monopoly is never a good position.”

Friday, June 22, 2018

Lisson Grove Muggers Nicked, Plus 4 Men Stripped Naked By Machete Wielding Muggers

We finally have some good news....yesterday, the Lisson Grove thieving muggers, picked on the wrong Taxi driver and not only got the hell knocked out of them by a cabby (former ex-army bodyguard), but the police managed to arrest 4 of these despicable lowlifes. 

Great news...and leads nicely into this story from Cabby Ray McGarry: 

       Ray elaborating on the night's event

Around 1:30 am on Thursday morning, Ray dropped a lady passenger off at South End Green in Hampstead. As he cleared his meter, his attention was drawn to four fully naked men frantically waving (their arms) at him, screaming for help. 

Ray's first thought was to lock his doors, but the four pleaded with him to let them in the Taxi, saying they had been attacked by a pack of machete wielding muggers. 

The muggers had threatened the four men (all in their 20's) telling them to hand over phones, watches, wallets car keys and unbelievably, all their clothing.

Ray let the four into his cab and pulled away to a safe location, where he phoned the police on 999. 
Amazingly, it took the police well over 15 minutes to arrive (which, when you're in this predicament....would seem like eternity). Unfortunately, by the time the police arrived, the attackers were probably at home, sorting out who was having what phone, who was getting the Rolex and who wanted Nikes. 

Ray said:
"When the police van arrived, the police jumped out and surrounded the cab like something out of Starsky and Hutch, and I could see them really struggling to keep a straight face".

The victims were escorted out of the cab and into the van, to be taken to the station. Ray's details were recorded and he was allowed to go on his way.

It's getting serious out there, with Cabbies being robbed, mugged, attacked....cabs being broken into and even stolen. So with this in mind, it's even more important to keep yourself secure.

There's an old Cabby saying, if in doubt....keep them out.