Saturday, September 29, 2018

Sadiq Khan...Take Heed : Netherlands To Ban Cyclists From Using Mobile Phones


Dutch cyclists are going to be banned from using their mobile phones while riding their bicycles. Sadiq Khan, please take note!!!

Anything but the hands-free use of mobile phones will be illegal in the Netherlands from July next year. It's about time something was done about the attitude of cyclists in London too, who believe there's no law they can't break. 

The ban will extend an existing law from 2002 making it illegal for car and lorry drivers to use their phones out of hands-free mode. In London, the Met police have been having a crack down on Taxi drivers using their mobiles while being stationary on Taxi ranks......you couldn't make it up. While Private Hire drivers are illegally plying for hire opposite the Kings Cross Taxi rank, undercover police officers with body cams are recording stationary Taxi drivers checking their phone messages/emails and other heinous crimes. Apparently unless you remove the keys, you are still classed as driving, even with the engine turned off. An easy Nick ???

The Netherlands transport minister, Cora van Nieuwenhuizen, told the Algemeen Dagblad ​newspaper that the draft legislation will make it an offence "to hold a mobile electronic device while driving all vehicles", including bikes.  

The maximum fine for breaking the current law is €230 (£205).

"This decision sets a clear standard: if you drive a vehicle in traffic, whatever the vehicle, you do not need to hold a mobile electronic device," Ms van Nieuwenhuizen added. 

Surprisingly, bikes outnumber people in the Netherlands.

Last year, the transport ministry said one in three 12 to 21-year-olds use their mobile phones while cycling.

Phones reportedly played a role in 20 per cent of bicycle accidents involving under-25s, the ministry said.

Friday, September 28, 2018

Appeal : Volunteers Needed For PoppyCab's Remembrance Sunday Centenary


Are you willing to help PoppyCabs this year? Please let me know.

Because this message is sent to several recipients who are unknown to each other when you reply can you please let me know
Name
Phone number
Your location (area)
TX / Vito /TXe 

You can also let me know if any member of your family is willing to help as a marshal or if any of them (older children usually) will be travelling with you to assist in your taxi

If you want to contact me you can do so by email to mike@mikehughes.org.uk, or by SMS to 07973 430022.
You can also follow on Twitter @PoppyCabs

Look forward to seeing you all again this year.

Finally I've attached a copy of this year's flyer which has already been printed. If anyone can help get these out to various locations please let me know.
-- 
Mike Hughes 
A taxi driver licensed for London and Brighton living in Worthing, West Sussex 
Member NMRA British Region sharing know-how

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Who Are The Legal Team From 6 Pump Court Chambers Behind The UTAG Action?


Robert Griffiths QC and Stuart Jessop have been instructed through Chiltern Law LLP on behalf of a trade association representing Hackney Carriage drivers in London to commence Judicial Review proceedings against the Westminster Magistrates’ Court in respect of a decision by the Senior District Judge Emma Arbuthnot on 26th June 2018 to grant Uber London Limited a 15 month licence.

On 18th August 2018 The Guardian published an article claiming that the Senior District Judge has recused herself from hearing any future cases involving Uber after it was discovered by an Observer investigation that her husband had links to the Private Hire Vehicle Operator.



The claim, issued today, has been brought on the grounds that the decision made by the Senior District Judge to grant a 15 month licence to Uber LL is tainted with bias. It will also be argued that the judge made no finding that at the time of the decision on 26th June 2018 Uber was a fit and proper person according to the legislation.


The claim is the start of a series of legal claims which will challenge Uber’s working model and commercial practices as well as the failure of TFL to effectively regulate them.

Uber Among Gig Economy Firms To Face Parliamentary Investigations.


Frank Field MP launches inquiry examining law and enforcement as firms still ‘evade justice’ on worker rights

Uber and courier firms including CitySprint are to be called to give evidence to a parliamentary inquiry into gig economy companies that have continued to deny workers employment rights despite tribunal rulings.

Frank Field MP, chair of the work and pensions committee, is to see if changes to legislation and enforcement are needed to ensure workers have their legal employment rights.

The new inquiry comes after a string of tribunal rulings against companies, including Uber, eCourier and CitySprint, which ruled that couriers and taxi drivers should be classified as workers and be entitled to holiday pay and the minimum wage. The companies failed to deliver those rights across their workforce, and argued that their drivers and riders were self-employed contractors.

“The inquiry will, I hope, shine a bright light on the extent to which justice is being evaded in the gig economy,” said Field, who resigned the Labour whip late August. “We will be looking to suggest any immediate changes that are required, both to the law itself as well as its enforcement, to ensure no company is able to evade justice.”

The inquiry launches as Uber continues to fight a 2016 tribunal ruling that said its drivers were workers and not self employed. The latest round is expected to be heard at the court of appeal late in October. Since the tribunal ruling Uber has offered some improved conditions for UK drivers, including limited insurance, limits on working hours and a 24-hour phone line for support.

Uber has repeatedly insisted that most of its drivers wanted to retain the flexibility to choose their own hours. However, the firm continues to face criticism over conditions. Couriers working for its Uber Eats takeaway delivery service this week protested outside the company’s London head office over a change in pay structure, which they said left them out of pocket.

In November 2017 CitySprint was accused of making a mockery of Britain’s employment rights system after changing couriers’ contracts rather than giving them the minimum wage and holiday pay, despite losing an employment tribunal case on the issue.

In May 2017, eCourier, a subsidiary of Royal Mail specialising in same-day deliveries, admitted it had incorrectly classified a London-based bicycle courier as an independent contractor and had wrongly denied him standard employment benefits. The company immediately announced a review into how it could implement the same worker status “for colleagues where it reflects their actual working arrangements with us”.

Ian Oliver, chief executive of eCourier, said: “We did carry out a review of our fleet of drivers and identified a group who we felt could be ‘workers’. Accordingly we changed their contracts to provide benefits such as holiday pay. They were also offered a workplace pension.”

But the Independent Workers’ Union of Great Britain said it was frustrated that there had been no sign of significant change. Jason Moyer-Lee, general secretary of the union, which has been involved in a number of tribunal actions on workers’ status, said: “For a couple of years now we have been winning tribunal claims against courier and private hire companies. Yet despite this somehow these workers are still not getting the rights they’re entitled to. The enforcement system is clearly broken and this inquiry will shine a welcome spotlight on its abject failure.”

Field will be gathering evidence from individual workers, legal experts, enforcement specialists, trade unions and companies, with a view to publishing his findings alongside a series of recommendations before Christmas. The government’s director of labour market enforcement, Sir David Metcalf, will also be invited to contribute to the inquiry.

Source : The Guardian 

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Press Release : United Taxi Action Group Launch Judicial Review Of Uber Decision


London taxi drivers have commenced a JR of a court decision to allow Uber a licence. 

The High Court action is based on a conflict, bias, apparent bias and flawed reasoning. 

It seeks to quash the judgement which allowed Uber to operate for a further 15 months. 

The action seeks a re-hearing with a newly constituted court. 

It is the first part of a three-phase legal action which will include TfL and Uber.

Papers have been filed for a judicial review of the decision by Westminster Magistrate Court to give Uber permission to continue to operate despite the company admitting that it had repeatedly failed to conform to the law. The action is being bought by the United Cabbies Group (UCG) on behalf of the United Trade Action Group (UTAG).

It’s solicitors, Darren Roger of Chiltern Law, has instructed Robert Griffiths and Stuart Jessie if 6 Pump Court Chambers. 

The claim which was filed Yesterday is based on the admission by the courts Chief Magistrate, Emma Arbuthnot, that she was conflicted in the case. Last month The Guardian reported that her husband worked for one of Uber’s biggest investors. The revelation printed Ms Arbuthnot to rule herself out from future cases involving Uber. 

“By admitting it was big enough to stop her hearing future cases, it shows that she had no right to sit in the case in which she gave Uber a green light” said Angie Clarkson of the United Trade Action Group. 

The High Court action will challenge Ms Arbuthnot’s decision on the basis of actual and apparent bias. The claim will also look at the reasoning behind her decision to renew Uber’s licence for 15 months. It will argue that the extension resulted from unreasonable implausible and illogical reasoning. 

It will also highlight how the judge made no finding that Uber was a “fit and proper person” according to the legislation. Despite this, she still granted the licence. 

The claim is the start of a series of legal actions which will challenge Uber’s business model and commercial practices as well as the failure of TfL to effectively regulate them. 

“The legal storm clouds are gathering over Uber. It’s reckless approach to the law is finally catching up with it” said Trevor Merralls of the United Cabbies Group. 

TAXI LEAKS EXTRA BIT : by Lenny Etheridge. 

A dozen or so tried and trusted proactive Taxi drivers attended a United trade meeting yesterday, all came away with big smiles and a positive spring in their step.

This is the big one, the one Taxi drivers on social media, around tea stalls, in greasy spoons and sat in cab shelters have been calling for and dreaming about.

  

TAXI LEAKS EXTRA COMMENT : from Jim Thomas.

We know this isn't going to be easy, because there are far too many drivers out there who are totally disinterested with trade matters. They don't do social media, they rarely read taxi trade printed media and don't mix much with other drivers. These are the ones we have to reach!

There will soon be leaflets available which volunteers will be distributing at most ranks. Don't just read them, pass them on. Tell the next driver to read and pass on.

You can also help by spreading the word.
While you sit on a rank, talk to and discuss UTAG's action and try to get as many if your trade friends interested as possible. 

As Trevor Merralls  said in his interview on LTR, the more drivers who sign up to this action, the cheaper it becomes individually.

A Touch Of The Dunkirk Spirit...
Last night a line was drawn in the sand, every moan, every criticism, all past baggage was left behind as the most proactive drivers and stakeholders stepped over the line, came together and formed the Untied Taxi Action Group. 


This isn't about if....this has already begun, the papers have been served.....And now it's your turn, to become proactive, support your trade, your livelihood, after all... it's what puts the food on your table for your family.

Or, are you going to sit back and watch everything you worked for on the knowledge of London disappear before your very eyes? 

TAXI LEAKS LAST WORD : by UTAG
We are thrilled to announce that as a result of the meeting with stakeholders yesterday, a total of £100,000 has been pledged toward UTAG Legal action by four of them. 

Three more have confirmed they will be donating even though they could not make the meeting. Wonderful generosity.

Naturally we cannot name them for confidentiality reasons.

We hope eventually we can name them as they have been absolutely superb and deserve our total support toward their businesses.

A founder stakeholder and true UTAG supporter has already put his head above the parapet 
 

Monday, September 24, 2018

The Task And Finish Report We've All Been Waiting And Seeing For....Read It Here For Yourself.


Below is the independent report re: 
Taxi and private hire vehicle licensing... 
Recommendations for a safer and more robust system

This report is said to set out the Task and Finish Group's recommendations on taxi and private hire vehicle licensing.

Click on this link below to download the report:

This report presents the views and recommendations of the Task and Finish Group’s Chair on taxi and private hire vehicle licensing.

TAXI LEAKS EXTRA BIT : 
This weeks Staristics from TfL :

Taxi and Private Hire
Information about the number and type of licence issued will be updated regularly. The following figures cover the week ending Sunday 23 September 2018:

Taxi driver licences - 23,493: a decrease of 8 on the previous week, 13 licences are new. Of those taxi drivers, 20,559 hold All London licences, and 2,934 hold Suburban licences.

Taxi vehicle licences - 20,519: a decrease of 11 on the previous week, 28 licences are new.

Private hire driver licences - 109,042: a decrease of 150 on the previous week, 101 licences are new.

Private hire vehicle licences - 87,576: an increase of 91 on the previous week, 480 licences are new.

Private hire operator licences - 2,315: an increase of 2 on the previous week, 6 licences are new.

Knowledge of London 
The number of candidates studying the Knowledge of London is currently;
1,349 at Stage 3 (down 4 from last week).
410 at Stage 4 (down 5 from last week).
281 at Stage 5 (down 3 from last week).

In addition, as of August 2018, there were 4,252 candidates that had not yet reached Stage 3 (this figure may include inactive candidates).


Fantastic News As High Court Judge Blocks TfL Appeal Over Westminster Council Blockage Of CS11


High Court judge Sir Ross Cranston, who last week blocked Transport for London’s (TfL) plans to begin building the CS11 cycle superhighway in Swiss Cottage, has denied TfL permission to appeal his judicial review ruling.

The judge has also ordered TfL pay Westminster Council’s legal fees. They must agree a figure or pay £50,000 within 14 days of the order, which was made today.

Campaigner Jessica Learmond-Criqui, who was a named party in the judicial review proceedings, told the Ham&High: "Have TfL learned nothing – rather than reading and absorbing the comprehensive defeat from last week, reviewing their processes and learning from the judge’s criticisms, TfL just went for an appeal. How clear does the judge have to be about his decision?"

A TfL spokesperson called the judge’s decision "procedural". They said: "We can still apply to appeal at the Court of Appeal, and we remain in discussions with Westminster regarding payment of legal fees."

Source : http://www.hamhigh.co.uk