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.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Councillor Blames Neighbouring Cities For Black Cab And Uber Tensions

Neighbouring cities have been slammed by a leading Coventry councillor amid rising tensions between the city's black cab drivers and private hire drivers from Uber.

In recent weeks, there have been reports of conflict between drivers, with the taxi rank outside Coventry Railway Station the most recent battleground. 

West Midlands Police and the British Transport Police have been called to separate instances of altercations in and around Station Square as the city's black cab drivers take umbrage with the presence of Uber drivers in the city. 

Two weeks ago a man was arrested on suspicion of assault after an incident which allegedly saw a black cab driver stuck by an Uber vehicle. 

The man arrested was eventually released, but tension remains as Ubers, which are unlicensed in the city, continue to pick up fares.

The questions beg to be asked, if Uber lose their licence to operate in London
A) Will they still operated under cross boarder hiring
B) Will TfL do anything to stop them.....???

Private hire firm Uber does not have a license to operate in Coventry, yet tens of vehicles adorned with the Uber logo are regularly spotted in the city.

Neighbouring cities in the West Midlands are licensing drivers from the American firm and many of these are going on to operate out of other locations, such as Coventry.

Across the nation there has been opposition from black cab drivers to Uber and in Coventry it is no different.

The way that Uber operates is vastly different to black cabs and, though the fares may often be cheaper with Uber, those who are opposed to it would argue that the safety and regulation of the drivers are of an inferior standard. 

Despite having no licence, a number of Uber cabs can be found in Coventry
Why Coventry Railway Station?

With no airport, the railway station essentially acts as the gateway into Coventry.

Trains arrive from London, Birmingham and the North, bringing heavy footfall to the area, but many of these people will then be looking for a connection for their onward journey.

Very rarely is the taxi rank outside the station empty, as black cabs have had to pay station operators Virgin a fee to be able to use it. 

But Uber drivers, who cannot use the rank, park up around Station Square, waiting for customers in the nearby area to book a ride using their app.

Though they are not on the rank, the Uber vehicles are doing the same thing that the black cabs are doing - without paying for it.

Cllr Jayne Innes, the Cabinet Member for City Services, has long been championing Coventry's black cab industry. She said: "Our city has a strong black cab fleet. We want people to feel safe, so we have drivers trained in how to spot things such as child explotation.

"Our drivers know the road, and can have proper conversations with customers.

"Uber aren't licensed in Coventry, and they've never even applied."

She added Uber cars were parking outside the railway station saying: "what they are doing is really unfair, and it isn't a level playing field.

"Last Friday (June 8), there was an incident outside the station."

"We are doing all we can to calm things down, but it would help if other councils thought, and behaved more responsibly.

"They are ultimately responsible for altercations such as these."

Cllr Innes stressed that one solution would be that customers should simply choose black cabs over Ubers. But in a message to the city's black cab drivers, she said: "We continue to do everything that we can to solve the problem.

"We are lobbying the government for change, as we feel strongly that the city should be able to decide who can operate here.

"They know that we are trying."

TfL Must Revoke Uber's Licence, Plus All Apps Must Be Lenny Etheridge

Uber cannot possibly win their appeal.

Either way it will be the same outcome  - they'll carry on regardless.

Uber must have their license revoked. If not, they must be regulated to the full extent of existing rules, which so far TfL have refused to enforce.

Running Uber out of town or forcing TfL to apply existing regulations and police them, will have much the same effect.

If Uber lose their final appeal against the UPHD employment case in October, they'll be dead in the water anyway.

After Uber is put down, we still have to ensure all Apps (including our own) are regulated.
At this moment in time there is no regulator for Apps.
Either TfL or the DfT must step up to the plate, accept responsibility and take control of these lawless, unaccountable Apps.
Otherwise our whole trade will become Uberesque; totally reliant upon an App master, as our street hail is hoovered up by App companies with no regard for the driver.

Uber is the beginning of our struggle, not the end.

The reason we are in the shit today is because of past mistakes - we were advised to have 'Ply for Hire' legally defined decades ago when there was no opposition to the definition.
Today we're paying the price of previous apathy.

Don't sell all your tomorrows for today's takings.


Met Police Service, roads and transport constabulary. 

Picking up on Zig Zags. 

Turned out driver was unlicensed and had taken family members car out and App details, whilst Licence Holder was out of UK. 

Driver and Licence holder are now under police investigation for various offences.

Before you use Uber, ask yourself this...

With so many of their drivers sharing their cars and phones.... who’s driving you home tonight ?

LTDA Informs Members Of Central Branch Suspension By Marc Turner.

During the summer of 2016 after the debacle of the LTDA branch election in Harlesdon, general secretary, Steve McNamara freely admitted the discrepancies of that night 'hadn't been LTDA's finest hour, and wouldn't happen again.

Yet yesterday (20/06/18) Chairman Richard Massett announced,(by email) to the chagrin of committed members that the central branch had been temporarily suspended, therefore next Wednesdays branch election  (27/06/18) is postponed due to intimidation and threats to candidates.

During the last forty plus years, branch elections have gone by unheralded/unpubicised. Because that's how the LTDA wanted it. They've always been happy to accept our subs and deal with us at the end of a phone line or across a desk. But woe betide anyone who trys to encroach their inner circle.

During the good times we were all guilty of not paying enough attention to the machinations of our trades biggest org. Yet if we've got anything to thank TfL/government/ Uber for, suppose they've necessitated us to 'naval gaze', by paying more attention on our representation. Needless to say, many were not much impressed with what was on offer. Or they, with members insistance on transparency  and accountability.

Yes, Steve McNamara is an effective, efficient flag waver on behalf of the trade. But he's at the helm of the 'Mary Celeste'. The dead wood, otherwise known as the COM (Committee of Management). Most of them out of the LTDA 'old boys network'. Devoid of enegy, ideas, motivation. They can't even be bothered to show members respect by occasionally  attending  branch meetings. Most probably committee meetings behind closed doors pay better.

Regards intimidation and threats. The 2018 campaign had up to now been  fought impeccably by all four candidates Martin Franks, Russell Smith for Chairman. Sam Houston, Chris Allen, for Secretary.

I'll put my cards on the table and admit to supporting Russell and Chris. I'll reiterate, up until Harlesden, LTDA had chosen their own. Bit like the Vatican, but with out the smoke. Unfortunately, Martin and Sam are 'all our yesterdays'. Whereas Chris and Russell are totally devoted to improving the trade by improving the LTDA.

So if the impending election does materialise. Whether a show of hands, or secret ballot ( more 'mirrors' then smoke on that one) 
For the future of our beloved trade.


Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Use it or lose it: Dozens of Glasgow minicab drivers licenses suspended for NOT living or working there

Dozens of Glasgow Private Hire drivers have their licences suspended for not living there

Licensing bosses swung the axe on a list of cabbies whose registered addresses are outside of the city.

For 19 of the drivers, their time on the road was effectively ended as the suspensions go up to their licence expiry dates.

Manchester, London, Rotherham and Bolton were all listed as addresses, with many of the cabbies having never used their permit.

Ibniamin Khan, was the only one who was given a two-week penalty after he failed to use his private hire car for seven months when he was living in Yorkshire and Germany.

Alex Wilson, chair of the licensing committee told him: “We gave you a licence in 2017 and you’ve not used it.

“If you had read the terms and conditions of the licence you would know that you should have surrendered your licence.

“You are supposed to do that if you’ve not used it within any three-month period.

“You should never have applied for a licence if you had no intention of using it.”

But Mr Khan said: “I haven’t used my licence because I was looking for a car.

“My brother was then involved in a crash and I moved over to Germany to be with him for several months.

“I have now got a car and have moved to Glasgow. I moved here because I want to work here.”

All of those whose licences were suspended were called to appear in front of the committee.

The drivers who had their permits suspended until the end of their licence expiry will have to wait to apply for a new licence if they want to operate in Glasgow.

Source :


Well done to the licence regulators in Glasgow, who have realised what’s been  happening with their registered private hire drivers, and stepped in to take action to stop this practise. 

The minicab drivers will now have to wait until their current PH licence expires before they can reapply ((if they wish to work again but only in Glasgow) 

It's just a crying shame that London's regulators TfLTPH, don't have the appetite to do the same down here, with TfL London licensed Minicabs who are helping to destroy the private hire industries up and down the country. 

But then again, we've seen the contempt TfL have for anyone other than their 'Golden Boy' partner Uber. Even commissioner Mike Brown couldn't be bothered to turn up to the commissioners meeting with senior Taxi trade reps last week, yet we hear he has had multiple top secret meetings with Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi.

Monday, June 18, 2018

Uber Driver Hoped To Be Killed By The Police Outside Buckingham Palace Court Hears.

Brave police officers grappled with a sword-wielding ISIS supporter in his uber cab after he had rammed their van outside Buckingham Palace, a court heard today.

Mohiussunnath Chowdhury exchanged punches with officers as he tried to pull out the four foot samurai sword in a planned suicide attack, the Old Bailey was told.

Chowdhury drove at police outside the Palace repeatedly yelling “Allahu Akbar” when tackled by officers who eventually overpowered him with CS spray, jurors heard.

Two officers were left with cuts to their hands following the attack at around 8.30pm on August 25 last year, just months after the London Bridge attack which left eight dead.

Chwdhury wanted to attack police outside Buckingham Palace with a Samurai sword because he hated the Queen and “her soldiers”, a court heard.

The 26-year old drove into the path of a marked police van in a blue Toyota Prius on Constitution Hill at it was said.

As officers approached his vehicle he reached for the sword and yelled “Allahu Akbar” before he was subdued by with CS gas.

Three hours before the attack Chowdhury left a suicide note on his sister’s laptop before driving to the Palace saying he wanted to attack the Queen and “her soldiers”.

The note read: “By the time you read this note I will be in paradise with Allah.

“Tell everyone that I love them and that all should struggle against the enemies of Allah with their lives and property.

“The Queen and her soldiers who all burn in the Hell fire. They go to war with Muslims around the world and kill them without any mercy.

“They are the enemies that Allah tells us to fight.”

He then went to a Sainsbury’s and bought a sharpening tool to use on the sword.

In the months before the alleged attack Chowdhury “self radicalised” by watching beheading videos and declaring his support for ISIS.

He also praised the Westminster Bridge attacker Khalid Masood in WhatsApp chats with friends, the court heard.

UK citizen, Chowdhury was charged with preparing an act of terrorism, by buying the Samurai sword and a knife sharpener.

At the Old Bailey today (Mon) he sat in the dock wearing a dark red jumper and now sporting a beard and long hair, he smiled and waved to family members in the public gallery when he was brought into court from the cells.

Timothy Cray prosecuting told jurors the defendant “sharpened and honed” the weapon before he left his home on August 25 last year.

He said: “The defendant was driving his motor car just outside Buckingham Palace in central London.

“Coming down the other way was a marked police van coming from Charing Cross Police station.

“The defendant swerved his car through traffic cones into the path of the van.

“The officers initially thought he was drunk or on drugs.

“But as the investigation was to prove, we say, this defendant had something far more serious in his mind.

“Three hours before he left a note on his sister’s laptop at the family home.

“He was planning to get to paradise by becoming a martyr, fighting the enemies of Allah.

“These officers were not special terrorism officers or armed officers.

“They didn’t know they were approaching a man armed with a sword, he was going to be a martyr and express hatred to the Queen and her soldiers – in his mind that included the police.

“It was only due to the bravery and quick reactions of police he was stopped from doing something even more serious.”

As officers got to the side of the car they heard him say “it’s all a bit f***** up”, before he reached back to take the black-handled sword from its sheath.

“PC Ian Midgley managed to get into the passenger side and stop him from getting the sword out from its sheath.

“A desperate struggle with officers followed while he was punching at them and they were punching at him.

“All the while this was happening he was shouting the words ‘Allahu Akbar’ over and over again.

“By this time the officers believed they were getting a terrorist attack.

“This was just six months after the murders with a car on Westminster Bridge and the attacks on London Bridge three months later.

“So now they have a man in a car in London in one of the most prominent locations with a sword attacking police officers.”

After the CS spray was used the weapon was taken from the defendant, the court heard.

One officer suffered a cut to his palm and the other a cut to his finger.

It is understood that no members of the royal family were in Buckingham Palace at the time, with the incident sparking a large evacuation around the palace, St James’s Park and The Mall.

Mr Cray added: “There’s no doubt in the interview with police he confessed that he had planned to confront the police as he saw them as people who do the dirty work of the UK government.

“He agrees he had a sword, he agrees he said what he said about the Queen, her soldiers and police.

“He accepts he wrote the note and accepts he wanted to enter martyrdom.”

Mr Cray held the large sword in front of the jury to show the size of the weapon.

Jurors were told the defendant came from an educated background and started an English degree before dropping out and becoming an Uber driver in London.

But months before the alleged attack Chowdhury began searching for ISIS beheading videos in the wake of the Westminster and London Bridge attacks.

He also discussed the attacks on WhatsApp, praising the attackers and adding, “I support ISIS”.

Mr Cray added: “He became more interested in terrorism looking for videos of beheadings in Chechnya and by ISIS in the Middle East as well videos of as Jihadi John.

“This self-radicalisation was something he chose for himself. He did not come from a troubled part of the world, he came from an educated background.

“He told one of his friends who tried to talk him out of it ‘I’m already radicalised’.

“He also sent emojis of an Arabic-looking figure, a knife and soldier.

“There’s loads of evidence he hated the UK and he’s said he was going to stand up the the enemies of Allah.

“On WhatsApp chats he said ‘the U.K. government was a Zionist force’ and all who protect the Zionist law is an enemy of Allah.”

The court also heard Chowdhury changed his WhatsApp profile picture to a green bird just before the attack – a reference to martyrdom, the prosecution say.

Chowdhury claims he only wanted to get himself killed during the attack.

His sister became concerned about his views on Islam when he suggested watching Channel 4 drama The State about British-born ISIS fighters, the court heard.

Mr Cray said: “The crown suggest that his claims he only meant to kill himself is simply untrue or so far from the truth that is makes no difference. Why would he sharpen the sword if he didn’t meant to kill anyone else.

“We say this defendant did absolutely everything he could to prepare for an act of terrorism.

“In fact there is a clear possible evidence he did bring terror to the streets of London by trying to attack police officers right outside Buckingham Palace.”

Chowdhury denied one count of preparing a terrorist act.

The trial continues.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Sajid Javid Has Phone Stolen By Moped Thieves, As He Calls For A "Taxi" At Euston.

Sajid Javid said he was lucky not to have been stabbed or beaten up after moped thieves stole his phone.

He had reached for his mobile to call a 'taxi' outside Euston station in north London, when criminals appeared ‘in a flash’ and grabbed it.

Knowing what we know about Sajid Javid (he was party to the Tory Chumocracy that licensed the illegal instant hail app) and how he feels about London's Licensed Taxi would be a good bet that the Metro has it wrong (not for the first time) and that Sajid was actually calling an Uber.

‘It was brand new. Before I knew what was happening, it had gone. They just rode up, grabbed it and zoomed off,’ the Home Secretary said.

‘I was angry and upset but thought myself lucky not to have been stabbed or beaten up like many other victims who fall prey to these vicious criminals.’

What they are saying on Social Media :

Michael McIntyre was also targeted by moped thieves for his Rolex watch.
Mr Javid said: ‘It happened in a flash. I was walking out of Euston station and reached for my phone to call a taxi.’

He spoke about the incident after Michael McIntyre was robbed of his watch by moped-riding thieves.

The comedian was on the school run in his Range Rover in north London when thugs smashed the windows before stealing the Rolex.

Sajid Javid, who is in charge of the nation’s policing and security, said the incident happened during his previous role as Communities Secretary.

The revelation comes amid concerns of a wave of violent crime in some parts of the country, particularly in London and other big cities.

Mr Javid, who has four children, admitted he worries about them if they are out late and his parental concern drives him to tackle the problem.

‘Our streets should be safe at all times, you shouldn’t have to worry about things like knife or other crime,’ he said.

Theresa May has acknowledged concerns about moped gangs, but insisted police were being given the powers they need to crack down on crime.

Earlier this month the Prime Minister was challenged about the Government’s response to criminals using mopeds to carry out robberies and other crimes.

She said former home secretary Amber Rudd held talks with police to make sure they had the powers they needed to be able to chase moped-riding criminals.

‘This issue of moped crime is one that is of concern for people,’ the PM said.

Source : Metro.

The footage below was shot by DashCam, a few weeks ago. Just 29 seconds from the moped spotting the victim, doing a U-turn, mounting the pavement, and taking the phone straight out of the young ladies hand. 

I tried to warn her but she was too engrossed in her phone. 

Click this link to view DashCam video...