Saturday, July 07, 2018

London Taxi Maker Geely LEVC, Joins Brexit Chorus


Traditional London black cab maker, the Geely owned London EV Company, has also warned about the impact that a hard Brexit could have on business, with its chairman saying it could dismantle Britain's rejuvenated car industry.

Reuters noted Jaguar Land Rover, the UK's biggest automaker and employer, had said earlier a so-called hard Brexit would cost it GBP1.2bn (US$1.59bn) a year, curtailing its future operations in the UK.

"What we really worry about is if there are big difficulties transporting goods via the [English] Channel, whether it's increased costs, or anything else," LEVC chairman Carl-Peter Forster told Reuters in Berlin at the launch of its electric taxi in Germany.

"Even with no tariffs, lorries could still be stuck at the border for days," he said, highlighting how the industry relied on frictionless supply chains to transport components and assembled vehicles back and forth across the channel.

Chief executive Chris Gubbey told Reuters 33% of LEVC's suppliers are in the UK, another third in Europe and the rest elsewhere worldwide.

Reuters noted LEVC spent GBP300m (US$398m) on a new plant in Ansty near Coventry when it made the shift to electric vehicles, the first new automotive plant to be built in Britain in over a decade.

Forster said "if the wrong decision is made" people should have no illusions about the extent of the impact on Britain's car industry which has been undergoing a revival in terms of manufacturing in recent years.

"You won't see it overnight, it's a process that will take 10-15 years.... It would be madness to wake up in the morning in London and read in the papers that there are virtually no carmakers in Britain, it would be a real shame," he told Reuters.

Forster was speaking as LEVC launched the electric version of the traditional black London taxi cab in Germany, where the market is dominated by Daimler's Mercedes, in which Geely also owns a 10% stake.


LEVC hopes that the electric taxi, which is available in the more typical beige colour of German taxi cabs, will find takers as a debate about clean air and urban mobility rages, Reuters said.

The automaker is close to finalising a deal with also Geely-owned Volvo for sales and servicing in Germany.

Gubbey said LEVC was looking to sell hundreds, rather than thousands, of taxis in Germany and wasn't seeing Brexit having any impact on negotiations with potential customers.

Along with the Netherlands, Norway and now Germany, LEVC is also in negotiations in France and has plans to expand to customers outside of Europe from next year, particularly in the UAE, Australia, Singapore and China, Reuters added.

Taxi Leaks Withstands Hacking Attempts And Is Back Up And Running

After a couple of days down time... Taxi Leaks, in association with London Taxi Radio are back up and running,


As we posted last week, the Taxi Leaks Blog have been the target of malicious attacks which have made it quite difficult to keep up our standard of posting.

We know where most of these attacks and potential hacking come from, so therefore we have taken measures to secure our place on all social media platforms and in fact have also branched out into other fields....but more about that later.

One of our problems we believe -facing not only us but every driver posting on social media- is allegedly coming from the Twitter police team, currently working away for TfLTPH. Anyone can be "targeted" by Tfl for anything.... but obtaining a clear judgement by their legal teams... is very different.

 Tfl employees (directors, managers, and others) dislike criticism and take offence very easily, so its not surprising they are behind the scenes scheming and plotting.

In Britain, we still live in a society where we can voice our opinions freely and without fear of twisted retribution in the name of a legal definition "fit and proper person" argument and Tfl know only too well a suspension or revocation will attract a legal challenge and scrutiny if only once on this subject delivering judgement surrounding this clear attempt to close down dissent or critique in UK law under the auspice of the rights of freedom of speech law.

I really wouldn't worry too much about what is voiced on social media if it is presented as either a "question" or a "checked and proven fact"

If this principle is adhered to, there is never going to be any chance of Tfl's underhanded involvement as they will have neither any legal argument or right to be in any position to involve themselves as self righteous regulators of taxi driver trade press or social media commentary remembering their (us) clients pay licensing fees into their bank account and the use of our funds to follow a fanciful argument is a dead end argument. 

Thursday, July 05, 2018

VOLUNTEER TAXI DRIVERS NEEDED... LTFUC Trip To Southend On Sea.

It will not be long before the London Taxi Drivers’ Fund for Underprivileged Children host our annual day trip to Southend-on-Sea. Every year hundreds of volunteer taxi drivers give up their time for one day to help us to ensure the children and their helpers have a wonderful day out and we would like to say a huge thank you to those who have already volunteered.

We are still looking for more volunteer taxi drivers. If you would like to get involved and be part of this amazing journey, simply register with us and we will be in touch with all the details. Registration details are below. Please pass this note on to any interested parties. Your help is greatly appreciated!

This is how to get involved in this year’s event:

Date 
Thursday 12th July 2018

Start Point
Sainsbury’s Low Hall, Chingford store

Destination
Southend-on-Sea

Finish Point 
Sainsbury’s Low Hall, Chingford store

Competition
There will be a “Best Dressed Taxi” competition so get your thinking cap on.

What to do next
Simply send an email to volunteer@ltfuc.org.uk and provide us with the following details:

  • Your full name
  • Mobile number
  • Taxi registration number

Are you bringing a helper? You are welcome to bring one helper with you, who must be female, over the age of 17yrs and a trusted relative or friend. You will be provided with a helper if you don’t bring anybody.

If you are bringing a helper we will also need to know:

  • Their full name
  • Their address
  • Their date of birth

Once registered you will be provided with an advanced agenda and a welcome pack on the day.

If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to call, text or email your questions to our Driver Liaison Officer, John Godfrey at volunteer@ltfuc.org.uk or you can call John on 07973 313 148.

Thanking you in anticipation, because as always, without YOU THE DRIVER there would be no outings.



Please spread the word 🤞 If you are a Taxi Driver and can volunteer to help us by transporting children and their carers down to Southend-on-Sea for the day on Thursday 12 July, please get in touch 👍 💖 We promise it’s a day you will never forget! 💖


Taxi Leaks Extra Bit :
This year's #PrideLondon takes place on Saturday 7th July and will travel from Portland Place, along Regent Street and end in Trafalgar Square.

London Taxi Journalist Ian Beetlestone will be joining the parade in his specially decorated Pride London Taxi.


Uber relaunches a licensed service in Finland after taxi law deregulation


Flushed with success in London, where they cut through TfL and interested party the LTDA like a knife through butter, Uber has officially relaunchied in Finland, a year after suspending its primary service in the market — when it said it would wait for taxi laws to be deregulated.

Among the changes it was waiting for are the removal of taxi permit caps and fare restrictions. 
Most parts of the Act came into effect on July 1.

The Finnish government said its intention is to modernize the rules to “significantly enhance the implementation of new technology, digitalisation and new business concepts”, promoting competition and working towards the creation of what it dubbed “seamless, multimodal travel chains” — thanks also to a push in the act for data and systems interoperability and open interfaces.

“This Act will give us a genuine opportunity to make mobility a comprehensive service for customers,” said transport minister Anne Berner last year.

Uber says two services that use professional drivers — uberX and UberBLACK — will operate in the Helsinki capital region in Finland, which it notes will includes Helsinki, Espoo, Vantaa and Kauniainen.

Uber is not restarting its unlicensed peer-to-peer service (UberPOP) in the market.

That unlicensed driver option has essentially been outlawed in Europe after the region’s top court ruled in December that Uber is a transport service, not a platform, thereby locking its business into being regulated by existing taxi licensing regimes.

And locking Uber into lobbying city authorities to ‘modernize’ and deregulate taxi rules in its favor — such as by removing permit caps and making it easier for more people to become drivers, Uber intend to flood the market to drive out all competition.

“In the vast majority of the European countries we have been operating under existing transportation laws for years now and were able to scale our business with licensed private hire drivers,” an Uber spokesman told us.

Blogging about the Finland relaunch, Uber talks up the different course it says it’s seeking to chart under new CEO, Dara Khosrowshahi, writing: “We’ve set a course for more responsible growth with a new approach to building long-term partnerships with cities and regulators.”

In truth Uber has had its course reset after a series of scandals rocked the company and, in Europe, after myriad legal challenges led to regulatory blowback and ramped up public and political pressure on the company to change.

Those external forces are continuing to reconfigure Uber’s business — and in Europe at least to make it better mesh with local civic values.

In London, the company has made a series of changes to how it operates — such as introducing safety caps on the hours drivers can work — changes it made following a shock decision by the transport regulator to withdraw its license to operate in September 2017.

Last week, the company won an appeal against TfL’s withdrawal of its license based on changes it had made since September 2017, though the judge only granted it a provisional 15-month license — with UK regulators set to continue to scrutinize its conduct closely.

Another example of Uber’s regional reconfiguration: An announcement in May that it would expand accident insurance cover for its drivers and delivery workers across Europe.

Last month the company also said it will bring its Jump e-bike service to Europe — with Khosrowshahi claiming the company wants to help cities tackle traffic-related problems such as air pollution and congestion by increasing access to “cleaner transportation solutions”.

In Helsinki, Uber had intended to keep its UberBlack service going for the past year but a spokeswoman told us it did not have enough drivers to provide a reliable service — so UberBlack has not been operational since the suspension. But will restart later today.

Since last August, Uber says more than 250,000 people in the Helsinki area have opened its app despite there being no service in operation — which it touts as showing “clear demand” for its service.

It also notes that Finnish Uber users have taken more than 200,000 Uber trips abroad during the local market pause.

“We’re excited to use our technology to complement existing public and private transport options and to offer an affordable, safe and reliable alternative to personal car ownership. We hope that other countries, where local people are not currently able to use apps like Uber either to get around or to make money on their terms, will soon follow suit,” Uber adds.

Source TechCrunch 



Tuesday, July 03, 2018

Remember Walls Have Ears...And The TfLTPH Twitter Police Are Listening In.


Taxi leaks has known for some time that everything we say on social media is closely monitored by TfLTPH. 

Going back to 2011, our editor Jim Thomas, received an email (still in his possession) from John Mason, on which he'd forgotten to redact the attached train. Further along the line was a communication from his assistant Helen Chapman,  who had been spying on Jim and attached screen shots from Twitter and the London Taxi Drivers forum of virtually everything he'd posted the previous day. 

(Reason for this was John Mason had in fact been blocked by the Forum and most of the drivers on Twitter).

At Taxi Leaks, we've always known TfLTPH take an interest in what we produce as our Stats checker can be used to show certain systems that click onto the blog (in TFL's case, we have a list of terminal ISP addresses). 

A busy day already at Racheal Grundy House
Screen shot from our commercially available Stats Checker program which monitors visitors to Taxi Leaks Blogs.

Recently Taxi Leaks have experienced problems when advertising posts on Twitter. We've appealed several times but have had no communication back from Twitter. Our blog has been flag up as unsafe....which is a blatant lie. Will will continue to post using what ever means we have at our disposal as we won't by bullied off line.

In the past we've posted proof that the LTDA wi-fi set up at Taxi House, was being used to spread discord amongst drivers from different representative orgs using the comment section of The Old Anderson Shelter Blog. When the proof was published in an issue of the 'United Cabbies News', it suddenly stopped. 

Carrying on from this surveillance, it has been bought to our attention that drivers have started to receive threatening letters from TfLTPH's Twitter Police team, over what's been alleged to have been said on social media.
And, it's no good blocking @TfLTPH as we believe their Twitter team are using a number of 'troll type' accounts to follow drivers. 


So please be very careful what you say on all social media platforms as its alleged they (TfL) have also managed to infiltrate private drivers groups on FaceBook. 

It would be a better use of TfLTPH resources to follow up on Tweets like this one below and take action, rather than what a few cabbies are saying to each other!


MP Finds George Osbourne's behaviour over BlackRock And Evening Standard Job, Worrying.

Ronnie Cowan Sir Bernard Jenkins Baroness Browning

Ronnie Cowan of the Scottish Nation Party spoke out in parliament about worrying impropriety of former Chancellor George Osborne. In a debate about the Thirteenth Report of the Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee, he said:

"As Sir Bernard Jenkin mentioned, the situation with George Osborne has been particularly worrying. That the former Chancellor of the Exchequer has been taken on as an adviser to the BlackRock Investment Institute on a salary considerably in excess of his previous salary as Chancellor, in a sector that he was responsible for regulating, seems to show little care for even the appearance of propriety among Ministers. 

"That the body that was supposed to be regulating the revolving doors between Government and industry had to hear that he had accepted a high-profile position as editor of the Evening Standard in the news, without him having consulted them or waited for clearance, shows that the system is broken. 

"That the president of BlackRock could tell investors that there is no way of knowing whether Mr Osborne will draw on (or disclose or use for the benefit of yourself or the organisation to which this advice refers) any privileged information that he gained from his time in Government shows that this is an absolute mockery.

"As the hon. Member for Harwich and North Essex said, the ACOBA chair, Baroness Browning, said to the Committee:
Every bus driver and hairdresser you know should apply for any of those jobs. I can tell you factually, not one applied.”

Sir Bernard Jenkins called on the government to;
considered the Thirteenth Report of the Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee, HC 252, Managing Ministers’ and officials’ conflicts of interest: time for clearer values, principles and action, on the role and effectiveness of the Advisory Committee on Business Appointments (ACoBA); 

notes that ACoBA regulates applications for business appointments by former Ministers and civil servants who have recently left the public sector; 

he believes that ACoBA is an ineffectual regulator which fails to inspire public confidence or respect; 

expresses concern that the Committee’s inquiry revealed numerous gaps in ACoBA’s monitoring process with insufficient attention paid to the principles that should govern business appointments; 

agrees that failures of consecutive governments to address ACoBA’s deficiencies have damaged public trust in politics and public institutions and led to repeated scandals; 

calls on the Government to bring forward major reform by introducing a principles-based system to ensure that individuals act with integrity and behave according to those principles; 

and further calls on the Government to fund independent checks by ACoBA across all Government departments and executive agencies to reinforce those principles.

https://www.theyworkforyou.com/debates/?id=2018-06-28b.1130.0&s=taxi#g1134.0 

Monday, July 02, 2018

Skateboader Left Critical After Failing To Hear Approaching Electric Uber Prius

A skateboarder was left critically injured in a road crash after failing to hear an approaching electric Uber Prius minicab. 


Theo Fallstrom, 24, suffered a brain haemorrhage, broken left shoulder and damaged right ear in the collision with the Uber hybrid Toyota Prius in Mayfair

But he was saved by medics from London Ambulance Service and London Air Ambulance who arrived in minutes.

Today his mother called air ambulance medics “the SAS of first responders”.

Mr Fallstrom had been skating home at around midnight in Albemarle Street and had been unable to hear the car, powered by its quiet electric motor.

LAS was on the scene in three minutes, followed by an air ambulance fast- response car, four minutes later. Its medics Dr David Cooper and paramedic Rob Twitchen put Mr Fallstrom in an induced coma to protect his brain and he was taken to the major trauma centre at St Mary’s Hospital, Paddington.

He spent about three weeks in a coma and more than a month of rehabilitation at Wellington Hospital, St John’s Wood, where he had to relearn to talk and walk. His mother Leonie, from Holland Park, told his story at London Air Ambulance summer gala last week.

After the accident on August 20 last year, Mr Fallstrom was bleeding from his ear, flailing around and punching out due to the brain damage. Ms Fallstrom said: “He didn’t hear the electric Prius. The driver on his way to collect a fare didn’t see him.” Describing the effect on the windscreen of him slamming into it she added: “Theo hit with such force he scored a bullseye.

“He needed to be put in a coma, and fast. [The medics] called for silence and performed the complex task. London’s Air Ambulance are the SAS of first responders. These absolutely incredible people and their speed and expertise.”

Theo, a chef at Daylesford organic shop in Marylebone, cannot remember the accident. It was regarded as a “no fault collision”. Theo said: “I feel put back together. If it wasn’t for their speed and skill I wouldn’t be here or quite possibly not able to speak or walk.” It costs £8 million a year to keep LAA’s two helicopters and fleet of fast cars in operation and most is raised from donations. 

It's All Been A Game Of Connection. After Our Dunkirk Moment, We Fight Them On The Streets.


Remember the Leytonstone Uber driver slasher attack?
Turned out he'd been sectioned under the mental Health act, had been on medication for mental health problems....but TfL gave him a private hire license to driver for Uber. After initial reports of the attack, subsequent news has been removed from Peres and TV news channels!


Then the story broke in the press, about Uber drivers buying fake medical pass certificates online.

Reports of an illegal immigrant Uber driver with fake documents, who ran down 11 pedestrians outside the Natural History Museum...sanitised from national media other than the headline "It wasn't a terror related attack"!!!

Then last week, after admitting in court they processed 2 million illegal jobs a week for almost 6 years (that's approx 624,000,000 jobs in total)...after the hacking of customer accounts, after using GreyBall to avoid detection from regulatory agencies, after the biggest data lost in history and after admitting they failed to pass on customer complaints of driver sexual assaults to the Police...Uber are given new 15 month licence by a judge with links to David Cameron's chumocracy!!! 

Now we're informed that an Uber driver terrorist, who wanted to be a martyr, attacks police outside Buckingham palace with Samurai sword, shouting "Allahu Akba...shoot me"......and after 19 hours of deliberation, the jury can't decide if he's guilty of an offence.


Helen chapman who covered Uber's back after finding they had been licensed illegally, then swept under the carpet the fake medical, the 13,000 fake criminal record check DBS....promoted from General Manager to Director, just before she leaves on maternity leave....


But then failure has always been rewarded by TfL. 
Look at the packages received by recent director departures....its scandalous. 
Performance related bonuses they call it....we know it as back handlers and pay offs. Some of the more recent departures should have wound up in court facing malfeasance charges. 


Has London Fallen???
TfL certainly has.

TAXI LEAKS EXTRA BIT :
The catastrophic events of the last few weeks has seen the London Taxi trade go through its Dunkirk moment. 
We must now realise that our problem will not be solved by our current trade leaders, men without a plan are not a solution but part of the problem. 

Waiting and seeing, hoping to rely on legislation laid down for our protection by parliament, was the worse strategy trade orgs could ever have employed. 
They just ignored (changed) legislation and ran roughshod over the British legal system, directed by high ranking  government officials.
Our troubles will not be solved politically, or through the court. Don't even think of compensation....it won't happen.

The unfolding events of the past few weeks have been orchestrated to climax just as we see our work levels reaching a seasonal peek. Drivers have been silenced as tourists fill the capital for Queens and Wimblebon. Followed by the arrival of our guests from the Middle East. 

But what happens in September when they all leave? 
We've just gone through one of the worste kippers the trade has ever seen. Yes there will always be the carpet brigade, the lucky few, but generally it has been awful out there. We've seen over 1,500 drivers leave the trade. 

They're taking away our streets, taking away our ranks and taking away our sole right to ply for hire. But there's one thing they can't take away from us and that's our Dunkirk spirit. The spirit to reform and fight back.
The London Taxi trade has the ability to bring this city to its knees. We can shut it down costing businesses many millions of pounds on a daily basis....it may sound futile to some, but it's all we have left. 

After Dunkirk, Churchill stood up and said "we will fight them on the beaches, we will fight them on the streets....well that's all we have left....the streets and that's where we must take this fight.

But when the bugle is blown...will we step up and answer the call ?

Sunday, July 01, 2018

Transport for London holding £321m 'cash mountain' left on dormant Oyster cards


Warning millions in potential refunds has gone unclaimed as scheme celebrates 15th anniversary

Transport for London (TfL) has been urged to help customers reclaim their share of the "cash mountain" sat on dormant Oyster cards as the contactless scheme marks its 15th anniversary.
Official statistics released by the transport authority show the total balances and deposits on cards that have not been used for more than a year currently stands at £321m.
Lib Dem London assembly member Caroline Pidgeon has accused TfL bosses of remaining "incredibly quiet" about the growing pot of cash sitting in dormant Oyster accounts.
"As we celebrate Oyster's success we should not overlook the staggering rise of dormant Oyster cards, creating an immense cash mountain for TfL," Ms Pidgeon said.


“The total amount left on dormant Oyster cards is soaring, almost certainly in part due to the increasing number of people who have switched to contactless payment.
"TfL never stops bombarding us with advertisements and information campaigns, but highlighting this cash mountain is one issue that they remain incredibly quiet about. 
"It is time TfL devoted far more time and energy telling the public how they can get their own money back."
More than 100 million people have used Oyster cards since they were launched on 30 June 2003.
The scheme has revolutionised the way in which public transport is paid for in the capital and can be used for travel by Tube, rail, bus, boat and cable car.
Fares are capped, meaning users will never pay more than they would for an equivalent paper ticket for their day's travel.
Oyster users are able to reclaim the £5 initial deposit they paid for their card, as well as up to £10 pay-as-you-go credit.
However, few are choosing to do this and the TfL is sitting on an ever increasing fund of cash accumulating on dormant cards.
The figure has risen by almost £100m in the past two years, up from £223m in August 2016.
The transport authority is however planning for a £1bn deficit next year after a fall in passenger numbers prompted by factors such as changing work patterns and the rise of internet shopping has hit its revenues hard. 
Several Tube upgrade programmes have been shelved after it lost a government grant worth £700m a year, while a significant number of bus services are also due to be cut.
"The Oyster card is an essential part of London and we're delighted with how popular this innovation has become in the last 15 years," said Shashi Verma, TfL's chief technology officer.
"It has transformed travel on public transport in London, become a world-recognised product and helped provide more affordable and convenient travel for everyone."


The transport authority is however planning for a £1bn deficit next year after a fall in passenger numbers prompted by factors such as changing work patterns and the rise of internet shopping has hit its revenues hard. 
Several Tube upgrade programmes have been shelved after it lost a government grant worth £700m a year, while a significant number of bus services are also due to be cut.
"The Oyster card is an essential part of London and we're delighted with how popular this innovation has become in the last 15 years," said Shashi Verma, TfL's chief technology officer.
"It has transformed travel on public transport in London, become a world-recognised product and helped provide more affordable and convenient travel for everyone."
Additional reporting by PA
The transport authority is however planning for a £1bn deficit next year after a fall in passenger numbers prompted by factors such as changing work patterns and the rise of internet shopping has hit its revenues hard. 
Several Tube upgrade programmes have been shelved after it lost a government grant worth £700m a year, while a significant number of bus services are also due to be cut.
"The Oyster card is an essential part of London and we're delighted with how popular this innovation has become in the last 15 years," said Shashi Verma, TfL's chief technology officer.
"It has transformed travel on public transport in London, become a world-recognised product and helped provide more affordable and convenient travel for everyone."
Additional reporting by PA
The transport authority is however planning for a £1bn deficit next year after a fall in passenger numbers prompted by factors such as changing work patterns and the rise of internet shopping has hit its revenues hard. 
Several Tube upgrade programmes have been shelved after it lost a government grant worth £700m a year, while a significant number of bus services are also due to be cut.

"The Oyster card is an essential part of London and we're delighted with how popular this innovation has become in the last 15 years," said Shashi Verma, TfL's chief technology officer.
"It has transformed travel on public transport in London, become a world-recognised product and helped provide more affordable and convenient travel for everyone”.

TAXI LEAKS EXTRA BIT :

Sean Paul Day on London Taxi Radio 




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