Saturday, June 16, 2018

CMT Problem Sorted, Try This Configuration Check Or Change To Landscape Unit.

Wednesday night, something weird happened to my CTM tablet...As I past Half Moon Street on Piccadilly, the unit switched to 'signed out' mode. I rebooted and it appeared to be OK. 
But later that night, as I again past Half Moon Street, it signed off for a second time. I asked on Twitter if anyone else had trouble in this location but no one replied. 

On Thursday the United became very unstable and kept crashing. This time after asking on Twitter, I received quite a few replies from drivers saying they were experiencing similar problems. 

So when I git up on Friday, I took myself over to Kendal Avenue, to report the problems I was experiencing.

I spoke to Jason who told me there was a problem with the older portrait style tablets, as Google had recently made an update to their maps which was memory hungry. This was causing problems with the older units. He asked me if a wanted a different mapping system loaded or....a landscape Unit which comes without maps. I opted to the latter as I have an iPhone and can access Google maps on that. 

The problem is now sorted but I must say I was very impressed at the service from CTM, who couldn't do enough to get me back on the road again. The fitters in the work shop even worked through their lunch brake (although I did say I didn't mind waiting).

If you are experiencing similar problems, before you make your way to CMT,  there is a fix you can try yourself:

I have been asked to post this config check below, to see if that might just save you a trip to the work shop!
• Menu>configuration>about>config check in bottom right hand corner. It should now say "refreshing". 

CMT are trying a different mapping version to see if that stops the unit crashing. 

Please let them know at @cmt_uk_ltd if this has helped. 


While I was their, I asked Jason for an update on the Arro app that works with the unit. He said they have had to concentrated on updating the tip option software on all their units, so had delayed the launch. He said at present about 12 jobs a day are being dispatched and everything is running smoothly. They intend to do a large media launch within the next few weeks

The ARRO app extremley popular in the USA and Canada.

Apparently, there are still quite a few drivers who haven't had the software update, if you are one of these drivers, you should try to get it done as soon as possible. 

Jason also told me that the new units have a tracker system embedded, and they have recently been able to trace and return a stolen taxi to a very happy owner driver.

Union wins first stage of High Court challenge over Deliveroo riders

A union has been given the go-ahead for a High Court challenge over the employment status of Deliveroo riders in the latest “gig economy” case.
The Independent Workers Union of Great Britain (IWGB) wants the court to overturn a ruling which confirmed the “self-employed” status of those working for the delivery firm.
Mrs Justice Simler gave the union permission for a full judicial review of the ruling, given by the Central Arbitration Committee in November last year.
The CAC, which considers union recognition and collective bargaining cases, rejected an application by the IWGB to represent drivers in parts of north London.
The committee concluded that because riders are able to pass on a job to a substitute, or to abandon a job, they were not obliged to provide a “personal service” and therefore could not be classified as “workers”.
The union said that, as independent contractors, the riders are “denied basic employment rights” including a guaranteed minimum wage, holiday pay and collective bargaining rights.
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Crowdfunding for the legal costs of the case has reached £23,000 so far.
Deliveroo claimed a victory after the CAC’s ruling and called for a change in employment law so it could offer benefits such as sick pay to its riders, while “maintaining flexibility”.
Mrs Justice Simler rejected a number of the union’s arguments, but said it was “arguable” that the CAC should have considered the right of the Deliveroo riders to bargain collectively – as enshrined in Article 11 of the European Convention on Human Rights.
No date was set for the case, which will be heard over a day and a half.


Friday, June 15, 2018

TfLTPH Says You Can Fly Your Flag During The World Cup.

There’s been a lot of news, most hyped up PR or fake, about whether or not we can fly the fag of any particular country, (including the St George Cross) on our Taxis during the World Cup. 

This was the headline in yesterday’s Daily Mail. 
"Now taxi drivers are told they can't display England flags during World Cup as council joins Royal Mail in banning them amid fears they could distract other motorists".

We asked TfL for an update on this issue and have now received clear and concise information.

We asked @TfLTPH:
Can we fly the England flag on our Taxis during the World Cup ?

And they replied :
You can. Just make sure that it is secure, doesn't obstruct the windscreen or windows and is not in the passenger area.

They were also asked this by another driver:
as u allow all kinds of marches with all kinds of flags every weekend..can I put a st George's cross in my back window to support my team in the world cup.thanks in advance

And they gave this advice:
Flags must be secure, and not obstruct the windscreen or windows. They must not be in the passenger area.

So... as long as it’s secure and doesn’t obstruct the windows and is not physically in the passenger compartment, you can display the flag of St George on your Taxi. 
But we must stress this is London's regulator TfL. There are one or two councils around the UK that have banned the flag of St George on Taxis and Private Hire vehicles. 

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Safety In Black Cabs....The Sean Paul Day.

London's Taxi Orgs And Unions To Meet, Hosted By The RMT At Unity House.

Senior reps from all orgs, will be attending a meeting today, hosted by the RMT at Unity House. 
But there is only one org that actually had funds to make a sizeable bent in the fight against the TfL/Uber's strangle hold on our trade.....and the sad fact is, they held on to their 'War Chest'. 

The evidence was always out there:
Time line in this months red hot Badge, from the 3



Mayor Sadiq Khan City Hall
The Queen’s Walk London 
6th June 2018 
SE1 2AA 

Dear Mayor Khan, 
Thank you for your letter dated 30th April in reply to our letter I sent to you on the 5th April.
Having read your response, although at the time one paragraph (see below) was seemingly correct, subsequent events prove that this was not the case. 

“ Turning to the concerns you have raised about Uber, as I have made clear on several occasions, all applicants for private hire operator licences are required to demonstrate that they comply with Private Hire legislation and Uber London Limited (ULL) was licensed as a Private Hire Operator in London 2012, having met the same pre–licensing requirements as any other applicant for an Operator’s licence at the time.” 

2012: At the time of licensing TFL were made aware of concerns regarding the recording of bookings. Why didn’t TFL check their systems instead of relying on Uber assurances? 

2013: Clifford Chance on behalf of the LPHCA writes to TFL stating that it is the driver who accepts the bookings - this is a precursor to the TFL model investigation. 

2014: TfL conduct Uber model Investigation (approx. 7 months). At no stage did Uber demonstrate to TFL that their systems were compliant, they just accepted assurances. 

2016: The LCDC were given transcripts of the Toronto case involving Uber on the 25th May and we put it straight out on social media. TFL would have been aware of this at the time and later they used it on their Uber refusal letter. 

2016: (October) Employment Tribunal Hearing, it was again stated that the driver takes the booking, this was also used in the Uber refusal letter from TFL 
2016: (October) Helen Chapman writes to Uber just after the Employment Tribunal Hearing to discuss how bookings are managed. 

2017: (16th May) TFL writes to Uber requesting permission for an I.T systems architect to visit ULL and review the way the technology and booking process works. This is SIX MONTHS after the Employment Tribunal and a full year after the Toronto case became widely publicised. 

2017: (26th May) Uber receives a four-month licence (under the 2012 licensing criteria), although it is abundantly clear that TFL have STRONG suspicions that Uber systems were not compliant. 

2017: (7th August) Deloitte’s report states that Uber systems are non-compliant. 

2017: Uber licence refused. 

As you can see Mayor Khan, there were many occasions where TFL could and should have accepted their legal responsibility of a Regulator and revoked Uber’s licence. 

One can only hope that the Law Courts do a far better job of the law than TFL have over the last six years.

Yours sincerely 
Grant Davis 
Chairman LCDC 

At one stage, Taxi Leaks pointed out to TfL that Uber were operating from unlicensed premises in N1, with their operators licence issued to an addressed in Old Marylebone Road (Winchester House).

TfL gave Uber 6 weeks grace to get a licence variation. Any other operator would have been shut down immediately under the standing legislation. 
And yet the truth was, Uber weren't operating from any address in London, but from servers in Holland!!!

We had the lies from TFL's 'Leon the Liar', it's not a meter, they have on/off insurance, they have a customer help phone line....

The Times and Sun, simultaneously broke the story of Uber driver's fake medicals.

Last year the Sunday Times broke the news that 13,000 Uber drivers had fake DBS certificates and TfL had known but swept it under the carpet

We were told all drivers would have to reapply, but this didn't happen.
Then at the employment tribunal, it came out again, that Uber's bookings are taken by the driver in vehicle and TfL never so much as batted an eyelid! 

If/when Uber lose their appeal, the orgs will be falling over themselves shouting "it was all our work". 
But the truth is it was the hard work a just handful of ordinary, unpaid militant drivers, supported by those who actually turned up at demos, who fought tooth and nail to expose the corruption. 

Our full respect must go to the unsung (unpaid) heroes, such as the three drivers who acquired and sorted through the hundreds of FOI requested emails, showing TfL knew exactly what was going on and bent over backwards to help Uber cover up its compliance issues. With the help of a supportive journalist they managed to get Inspector Bellany's letter published in mainstream media.

This evidence has been put out there and yet the trades most of the trade's orgs have gone along with the instruction of let's wait and see....

As we run out of time, we can only hope that this meeting will be the springboard to take the orgs together in the same direction.

Let's also look at the wonderful 'done deal' over the mandate of CC acceptance.

On average, Taxi drivers are currently paying between 3.5 and 4.5% in transaction charges, with news that charges may soon be going up....and yet TfL, who insisted we take cards, and can only use TfL approved service providers, pay only 1% on their contactless transactions on Tubes and buses. [Who can forget deputy Mayor Isabel Dedring's words "the Taxi trades transactions will be handled by our gold standard partners].

The TfL/Gett Email Paradox. They Can't Answer, Otherwise TheyCompromise Uber's 5 Year Operation.

   Gareth a Thomas MP    Caroline Pidgeon AM 

Approximately four weeks ago, on the 18/05/2018, I sent an email to Graham Roberts (TfL) asking two questions. I believed at that time as I do no, there was no way he could give a truthful answer, as it would incriminate TfL in a conspiracy of bias against the London Taxi trade. 

My suspicion has now come to fruition, as I have had no reply, even after resending the email twice (29/05/2018... 07/06/2018). In all three emails, I also copied in my MP Gareth Thomas and London Assembly Member Caroline Pidgeon.

The email, to TfL suggested:
According to the abstract of law, all Private Hire work must be dispatched by a private Hire operator and cannot be dispatched by an unlicensed operation. We know as fact that Gett do not hold a PH licence for their Gett a Taxi app although they have another company One Transport that does. Gett have had a recent promotion, where Privat hire vehicles could be booked by customers on the Gett Taxi app.

I went on to ask the question:
By dispatching work through their Black Taxi only smart phone app, directly to Private Hire drivers, driving TfL licensed Private Hire Vehicles (Porsches), are they in contravention of the Private Hire Vehicles Act 1998?

If Graham Robinson answered in the affirmative, then all jobs dispatched in this manner are/were illegal, then this surely compromised the Porsche drivers PH hire and reward insurance, making every journey undertaken, illegal. 

Many complaints have been made to his department, so I asked Mr Robinson why had TfL allowed this operation to continue knowing full well that the jobs being undertaken were in contravention of the 1998 Act....but Graham hasn't answered and to be fair he can't answer!!!

TfL couldn't stop Gett dispatching Private Hire work without a licence because that's exactly what Uber have been doing for the five years (2012-2017) and are still doing today....with TfL's full blessing!!!

     Italy Showing London The Way Forwad 

Under Peter Hendy and now Mike Brown TfL have knowingly let Uber dispatch illegal jobs through an unlicensed Dutch company, for five years. The public have been using a service that is in contravention of any H&R insurance, yet TfL's directors have covered Uber's back (and on multiple occasions).
Now that Uber have confessed they were acting illegally all along and after making sweeping changes to their modus operandi, they are begging to be forgiven (in their usual manner of its easier to ask forgiveness than permission). 

By answering the email, TFL's Graham Robinson would have compromised TFL's past performance, also confirming the bias and lies from their senior employees.

I have now written to my MP and various London Assembly Members asking them to take up this issue with TFL's Mike Brown.
I will post updates as and when I get replies back.