Saturday, January 05, 2019

Where Buses Go, Taxis Go : 6,725 Were Killed Or Injured By London Buses Last Year, Yet It’s Taxis Being Banned From London Streets


Transport for London says it is "unacceptable" for anyone to be killed or seriously injured by buses as "decisive action" is demanded to improve safety

Figures from TfL reveal a total of 6,725 people were killed or injured by London buses in a year, with Lewisham the third most dangerous borough for incidents involving buses.

The figures, which were complied by the GMB union's London region, are from July 2017 until June 2018.


Warren Kenny, GMB regional secretary, said: "We know that Sadiq Khan considers that the statistics on the numbers killed and injured are chilling.

"So what is needed is decisive action from the top to change the culture at Transport for London to make the safe operation of buses by the outsourced private for-profit operators the top priority.”

A spokesman for the Mayor of London said: "Every single death or serious injury on our roads is unacceptable, and that’s why London is using world-leading technology to make buses safer for everyone on our roads.

"We’ve set ambitious targets to improve road safety to achieve our Vision Zero target of no deaths in or by a bus by 2030 or sooner."

TfL said it was taking "every action possible" to reduce the number of people killed and seriously injured.


It added that better driver training and increased emphasis on safety will help reduce the numbers.

Claire Mann, TfL’s director of bus operations, said: "We are taking every action possible to reduce the unacceptably high number of people killed or seriously injured on our streets.

"For buses, this includes introducing better driver training and a range of improvements to the vehicles themselves."


It aims to eliminate people being seriously injured from crashes by 2041.

TAXI LEAKS EXTRA BIT :

Amazingly, these new statistics have been released just days after the news that the TfL director in charge of London's buses, is to receive an OBE for his services to London's Transport services. 

Daily Taxi Protests Planned:

TfL are currently planning to ban Taxis from certain streets across the capital. The Independent Taxi Alliance (ITA) will be holding weekday protests from the 21st of this month daily until.

The protests will run indefinitely, until Taxis are allowed to go, where buses go. This will include Tottenham Court Road, the Bank Junction, east bound along Vernon Place to New Oxford Street, Haymarket straight into Cockspur Street, Trafalgar Square Into the Strand and every bus lane. 

A spokes person for the ITA said: 

“The Taxi Trade want Mayor Khan to deliver what he promised the trade in his election manifesto.”


The London Cab Drivers Club's pro-active Chairman Grant Davis said:
"As TFL are funding this revamp, you would expect “THEIR” public transport to included.... wouldn’t you? But cars, lorries and taxis are to be banned from Tottenham Court


The ITA Demos will be fully supported by most of the trade representative groups, but the largest org (LTDA) haven't publicly come out in support.

The LTDA are known for their step-blackish attitude and a policy of waiting and seeing. Many in the trade believe that this policy is the reason access to the Bank Junction has been lost and that the org is too friendly with the regulator.

LTDA members involved in the 'London Bridge/Tooley Street' demos in December, were calling for Greneral Secretary Steve McNamara to resign and a #byebyeSteve hashtag was set up on social media. 

Many members were infuriated last year when the LTDA suspended branch elections, but then scrapped the branch altogether. Just after this, over twenty members were then expelled from the association. 

Source : NewShopper

Friday, January 04, 2019

Minicab Drivers Union To Call Series Of Rolling Demo's


Late last night, the United Private Hire Drivers Union, announced that it would be taking to the streets to protest against the Mayors plan to charge Private Hire drivers the congestion charge. 

Although the UPHD have said that Addison Lee and Uber have no intention of passing on the charge to the passenger, Uber’s CEO Dara Khosrowshahi has already stated they are happy to pay and will spread the cost over passenger fares.

Uber are currently engaged in an appeal to the Supreme Court over their workers rights tribunal verdict.  

London’s largest PH union said they will be mounting a series of demonstrating. 

The plan is to target certain areas in a series of rolling drive-bys. 

This is the Statement released on social media last night, by James Farrar, Chair of the United Private Hire Drivers branch of the IWGB

BREAKING: UPHD announces first in a series of PHV rolling demos. 

We're  fighting a congestion charge unfairly levied on PH drivers and to end discrimination at TfLTPH. 

 10am Jan 14th outside Palestra, Blackfriars Rd. 

TAXI LEAKS EXTRA BIT: 
It seems the UPHD's Union has learned from the failures of our own largest representatives, theLTDA and their policy of wait and see, with demonstrations being the last straw....a policy which has resulted in the loss of the Bank Junction to the Taxi Trade..

Later, towards to end of January, the Independent Taxi Alliance (ITA) will be calling a series of Daily Demos in the campaign "Where Buses Go, Taxis Go. Could be very interesting in the demos overlap with the mincab rolling protests. 








Guildford Cabbies Quitting Because Of TfL Registered Uber Drivers Working In Guilford Out Of Area


The success of Uber in Guildford has led to a number of cabbies quitting the trade completely, and could drive up the cost of borough taxi licences.

According to council papers, Uber’s popularity has now forced Guildford’s licensing officers to look at increasing charges for drivers to obtain licences and take the Knowledge test – a test all cab drivers must pass to secure a licence.

A one year licence for a hackney carriage will increase by £28.95 to £249.74 in April if the proposals are adopted next week.

The cost of the Knowledge test for a hackney carriage will also rise by £48.05 to £100.50 under the new measures.

And taxi drivers will see the bill for renewing their five year licence go up by £422.43 to £970.97.

The effect on taxi and private hire fees and charges has been laid out in a paper to go before councillors at Guildford Borough Council Licensing Committee on Monday (7 January).

It suggests there has been a drop in the number of licensed drivers in the borough due to a change in the length of time a licence is valid increasing from one year to five years, but also to the impact of Uber in the area.

It states that a number of drivers are now licenced by other authorities with "less stringent requirements" but that the "most notable impact has been the considerable increase in popularity of Uber".

In order to work for Uber, drivers and vehicles must be licensed by Transport for London (TfL) and not Guildford Borough Council.

The report says: 

"We have seen considerable numbers of drivers apply for a TfL licence and as such, the number of applications received has reduced.

"Secondly, due to the increased competition, a number of licence holders have left the trade and not renewed, again reducing the number of applications."

According to figures presented in the report, the number of applications for vehicle licences has dropped from 629 in 2015/16 to 541 in 2017/18.

Drivers taking the Knowledge test or applying for taxi badges dropped from 428 in 2015/16 to 277 in 2017/18.

There are now 61 borough-licensed operators in Guildford.

If approved by councillors the proposals will go out to public consultation and take effect on 1 April.

If objections are raised, the licensing committee will consider the feedback at its meeting on 25 March and set another date for implementation of the new costs.

TAXI LEAKS EXTRA BIT :

Surely, if Uber are encouraging it’s TfL registered Private Hire vehicles to work in an area they are not licensed to work.... and by dispatching them on demand jobs out of area... Uber are breaking the terms and conditions of their probationary licensing extension !

Will TfL Act innediatly and revoke Uber’s licence to operate because of this infringement of the terms of their probation or will they take a leave out of the LTDA book on waiting and seeing 

Thursday, January 03, 2019

Uber In More Trouble As Arbitration Clause Is Deemed Illegal, Unconscionable, By Ontario Court Of Appeal

A controversial clause found in Uber’s contracts for its Ontario drivers is illegal, “unconscionable” and “unenforceable”, the Ontario Court of Appeal declared in a decision released today

The Arbitration Clause declares that all legal disputes between Uber and its Ontario drivers are to be heard in the Netherlands, rather than a local court.

In its decision concerning Heller v. Uber Technologies Inc., the Ontario Court of Appeal concluded that “Uber chose this Arbitration Clause in order to favour itself and thus take advantage of its drivers, who are clearly vulnerable to the market strength of Uber” and that the clause “amounts to an illegal contracting out of an employment standard if the drivers are found to be employees."

“This decision confirms that employment laws actually matter in Ontario, and that you cannot deprive workers of their legal rights under the Ontario Employment Standards Act by sending them 6,000 km overseas to enforce those rights at exorbitant personal cost,” said Lior Samfiru, founding partner of Samfiru Tumarkin LLP and an employment lawyer representing the plaintiff, David Heller, in the class action lawsuit against Uber. “Legal rights are meaningless if there is no mechanism to enforce those rights. Uber’s contract with its drivers seeks to make the enforceability of rights virtually impossible. The court sent a loud and clear message that this is illegal in Ontario.”

The class action lawsuit filed by employment law firm Samfiru Tumarkin LLP in January 2017 alleges that Uber’s drivers should be classified as employees, rather than independent contractors, and are entitled to minimum wage, overtime, vacation pay and protections provided by the Employment Standards Act. The lawsuit seeks $200 million in damages on behalf of tens of thousands of Ontario residents who have driven for the ride-sharing service since 2012. The plaintiff is represented by lawyers from Samfiru Tumarkin LLP and Cavalluzzo LLP.

The decision from the Ontario Court of Appeal allows the class-action lawsuit to proceed. It was previously stayed by the Ontario Superior Court of Justice on January 30, 2018.

Read the Ontario Court of Appeal decision, written by Justice Nordheimer, here.

Source : STLawyers.ca

Wednesday, January 02, 2019

Friends Set Up Just Giving Page On Behalf Of Ruşit Ataoğlu, The Driver Tragically Killed On A13.


This is for a man who sadly lost his life in a tragic road accident at 1.45am on new years eve. 

A 73 year old woman was driving on the wrong side of the A13 and collided with a 43 year old Ruşit Ataoğlu, driving a black taxi. 

Although the man was not a black cab driver, he has been in the industry for many years as a former proprietor and mechanic, working with cab drivers in many garages. 

The tragic death has devastated the family. His wife and two young children are distraught. 

The kind messages and condolences have been heart warming. 

Many people and cab drivers have suggested raising money for the family at this sad time therefore we thought it would be a good idea to create this crowdfunding page. 

A just giving page has been set up by his friends for donations that will go directly to his wife and two children. 

CLICK ON THIS LINK TO DONATE 👇🏼


Thank you all in advance.

Cabbies unite to share condolences:

Several taxi drivers took to social media to share their condolences for the male fatality, believed to be a London black cab driver.

Many of those who did tweet responding to the sad news were cab drivers themselves.

User @LDNCabbie said: "RIP thoughts are with the families involved," whilst @Robsblackcab wrote: "Terrible. Could have been any of us. My way home every day."

One tweet, from @AndyCabby10, said: "Shocking. So sad. Came home on that stretch of road a couple of hours earlier as, I'd imagine, many other Cabbies did....tragic."

"Dear God just seen the aftermath of horrific crash with London Taxi involved on the A13 eastbound just after Dagenham turn off. Feel sick pray all ok," said one witness.


Read more about the incident here

Monday, December 31, 2018

The Last Post Of 2018 ... Coming Soon, The Taxi Trade's Winter Of Discontent.


As we approach the New Year, it has become obvious the Mayors transport strategy for Central London will see our trade relegated from being the best Taxi service in the world. We are now moving at incredible speed, closer to the Project Horizon goal of a trade half the size (cut down to 13,000) integrated into a one-tier system with Private Hire.

I  remember, many years ago, the Metropolitan Public Carriage Office, writing to every licensed Taxi driver saying "their must be no, 'no go areas' in London for Taxis". 

"You will be expected to go to any destination, anywhere within a six mile radius (now extended to twelve) or within one hour in duration and their must be no exceptions". 

Yet these past two years we've been afforded no protection from the mob wreaking havoc around the Lisson Grove area, which is fast becoming a 'no-go area'. 

Mayor Khan is bent on our destruction after four centuries of our iconic Taxi trade, as he sanctions the creation of more 'no go areas'.

We've had 9 years of protest, demonstration...consultation after consultation, engagement and negotiation and yet our representatives have learn nothing. Our largest org alleged to be too friendly with the commissioner (on-side Mike), recently referred to protesting drivers as loonies.

This year, after six demonstrations, two bouts of negotiations, followed by an extended period of waiting and seeing, we lost access to the Bank Junction. 
The system was financed by TfL in order to speed up bus times. But on closer inspection, once through the junction the busses hit more of Khans chaos which negates any advantage made by the ban.

This is soon to be followed by a traffic ban along a new two way Tottenham Court Road leaving just busses and cycles, with access to Oxford Street/Baker Street in consultation and eTaxi only bus lanes still to come.

Caught up in the middle of these attack on our trade, are the unfortunates, the disabled and less mobile members of the public. Mayor Khan is stealing freedom of movement from the disabled to shop wherever they like, in order to give-away and make more room for able bodied shoppers who he hopes will be traveling back-and-forth with Crossrail's new Elizabeth line (when it's eventually finished, but that's another past the buck scandal). 

Amazingly, we've had virtually no help from disabled group lobbyists (probably worried about losing their funding should they go against TfL) and the wheelchair users -past and present- on the board of TfL have said nothing in defence of the disabled's right of access and the freedom to shop on Tottenham Court Road, Oxford Street and Baker Street.

There is (as always), a hidden agenda...'Project Horizon', plus Khan obviously feels he can usurp many extra passengers onto the new line by making it as difficult as possible for taxis to get to popular destinations around the capital.

PROJECT HORIZON:
Taxi Leaks has been speaking of Project Horizon for several years now after it was discovered by accident published on the Internet (now removed) and TfL have always denied it ever existed.

We predicted back in 2009, that under this agenda, there would be no-go Taxi areas, followed by Private Hire rest ranks where drivers would be allowed to rank and wait to be hired. On top of this, we now predict that PH WAVs will soon be allowed to rank at major venues and mainline stations.
 
With no current regulation on Taxi apps, it seems we could be sharing virtual ranks with on demand private hire, sooner rather than later. 
(This could change though as Chris Johnson has now reached his total to take his case against the apps forward)

WE ALWAYS SAID TFL WERE NO MORE THAN A BUNCH OF COWBOYS:
With Country Boy Rett Russell (Garrett Emerson) in charge of London's Ambulance service, it's only a matter of time before we see Uber on-demand immediate hire ranks at hospitals around Greater London. 

We are supposed to learn from past history, but it seems our trade representatives have learned nothing.

After years of negativity and deterioration, fighting the unfair and elitist United Trade Group (UTG), did we not all cheer when Val Shawcross announced the group itself would be scrapped and the gagging order known as the engagement policy would be assigned to the shredder. 

But then, the old United Trade Group was replaced by the new United Trade Group. Another lesson not learned.

To further the progression of Project Horizon, TfL has placed the trade in the predicament of struggling to afford new replacement vehicles, by authorising just the one highly expensive vehicle and giving our work to a non-domicile company which pays little to no tax here in the UK. 
We have also recently learned from the Mayor's statement at City Hall, that the subsidy on new Taxis will only be available for the next 250 vehicles off the production line, many of which are already on order to larger garages.


The Worm Is Finally Turning....Its Time To Put Up The Fight Of Your Lives...If The Trade Is To Survive.
 
The trade's rank and file drivers will be disregarding weak leadership and fighting back on a scale never before seen on our streets. If the trade orgs leaders won't support the coming actions, they will be deemed part of the problem and dealt with accordingly. 

No longer lions led by sheep...
The Independent Taxi Alliance (ITA)
Coming later this month, no more waiting and seeing.


Keep an eye on social media for updates later this month. 

TAXI LEAKS EXTRA BIT :
As we say farewell to 2018, we were greeted with the insulting news of an OBE for the man, under who's watch we saw 
• The licensing and expansion of an illegally operating on demand car service app, decimating the livelihood of many Taxi and private hire drivers. (Question: why was the Deloitte's report silenced???  Why wasn't the meter verdict challenged when it became apparent that Bertram had lied under oath??? In the Uber licensing appeal, why did TfL only appear as an interested party??? ) 
• The standard of passenger safety on buses went through the floor, with KSI stats from Bus collisions going through the roof. (17 serious injuries from collision per day in the first quarter of 2018) 
• London's roads ground to a halt... in gridlock caused by incredibly bad planning and a complete lack of understanding in the capitals traffic needs. TfL commissioner went on recorded saying the segregated cycle lanes were rolled out to quickly without adequate planning!

Leon Daniels is to be awarded an OBE for his services to London's Transport....He's better known to our trade as 'Leon the Liar' after allegedly misleading the GLA transport committee twice with lies that supported the ongoing licensing of the Uber platform. 
Lie 1. 'Uber drivers have special on off insurance'... completely unsupported by the Association of British Insurers.
Lie 2. 'I have with me the contact number for Uber passenger help line'. The number he gave the GLA was in fact Jo Bertram's personally ex-directory number. 
TfL then changed the licensing requirements to make a passenger contact landline unnecessary. 

Leaving TfL facing a £1bn budget deficit, Leon was awarded a £500,000 bonus for having his employment 'terminated'.