Thursday, January 31, 2019

Pair Who Robbed Taxi Drivers At Knifepoint Jailed For Nine Years


Aalia Chaudhary and Fizan Syed were both jailed for robbing taxi drivers at knifepoint. Credit: Thames Valley Police
A man and woman who robbed taxi drivers at knifepoint have been jailed.
Fizan Syed and Aalia Chaudhary targeted four taxi drivers in Slough over an 18 month period between November 2015 and May 2017

The pair would order a taxi to Langley and then hold a knife to the driver's neck before stealing cash and valuables.
They were jailed at Reading Crown Court on Friday, January 25 after being convicted of four counts of robbery.

The court heard Syed would sit directly behind the drivers, while Chaudhary sat in the other rear passenger seat.
Chaudhary would speak to the drivers during the trips, but when they arrived at their destination Syed would place his arm around the neck of the driver and hold a knife to their throat.
Chaudhary would then search the taxi for money, wallets and other valuable items before they ran away.

Two of their victims sustained cuts to their faces during the robberies, but have since recovered.
After an extensive investigation, Thames Valley Police traced the pair to an address in Langley.
Chaudhary was arrested on Thursday, June 8 2017, with Syed being caught the following day.
They were charged on Tuesday, October 17, 2017.
The pair denied the charges, but they were convicted by unanimous jury at the court in Reading, Berkshire on Friday, January 11.
Syed, 36, of no fixed abode, and Chaudhary, 36, of Minster Way, Langley, were both sentenced to nine years in jail.

"These were despicable acts on people carrying out a service to the public"
Investigating officer Edward Elms of the Slough Investigation Hub said: "Chaudhary and Syed targeted taxi drivers in the late evening and lulled them into a false sense of security and then robbed them at knifepoint.

"These were despicable acts on people carrying out a service to the public and I am satisfied that they have both been given a significant sentence.
"Thames Valley Police will strive to work to bring offenders to justice in this way, especially for offences such as this which cause a lot of concern and impact to the public.

"I want to thank the victims and witnesses who assisted with these investigations and hope this case will encourage others with any information relating to criminality, or witnessing crimes, to come forward so that we can work together to reduce crime and bring offenders to justice."

Source: https://www.inyourarea.co.uk/news/pair-who-robbed-taxi-drivers-at-knifepoint-jailed/

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Week 2 Day 2 : Thank You TfL For Making Our Demo Successful . Every Journey In Tatters!


Seventh weekday evening in a row and bang on the dot of 4pm, the proactive drivers of the ITA again blocked Tottenham Court Road (TCR). But today we noticed a complete attitude change from the police. 

Someone above decided they would give Taxis the run-around, and road blocks were set up to stop drivers accessing the road from side streets. The only access point being from Charing Cross Road. Drivers were told by the police at road blocks, to head for Oxford Street... but many found the police at TCR were unwilling to let them enter from Oxford street east bound. Shortly after 4pm Taxis traveling east along Oxford Street or trying to turn left from Rathbone Place, were diverted through the no entries into Soho Square, to make their way down to Old Compton left onto Charing Cross. A few Cabs were given access approaching westbound along New Oxford Street.

To stop the cabs heading up to Kings Cross again, at 5 pm TCR had been blocked across the top, cabs were diverted into University Street and then into Gower. 

Unknown to the Police or TfL (who, we've now been inform have taken to directing police action at the protest) today's secondary target was always going to be the Aldwych.  So it turned out, that when the shout went out, to head for our secondary venue, Palestra's Centre Coms did most of the job for us, making passage down towards Kingsway a doddle. 

To make matters worse -or in our case better- TfL decided to stack buses on Waterloo Bridge causing a complete shut down, and along the middle lane on the Strand side of Aldwych, making the through route impassable. 


Job done in minutes, the whole place became a car park and the more the police (under TfL command) tried to fiddle with the traffic, it just got worse. 

This bus decided to do a U-turn outside Law Courts. After half a dozen backwards and forwards manoeuvers, it finally departed in the opposite direction.

TAXI LEAKS EXTRA BIT : 
Totally Failing London. Every journey in tatters!

We had an idea that TfL had become involved yesterday (Monday), as when the main body of drivers tried to leave TCR for the Cross, the lights at the top by Euston Road had been re-phased to just a few seconds on green. This action caused massive problems with private traffic (who had been allowed to enter the free lane by police), which blocked the emergence access. Not only that but at the Cross, TfL buses were being escorted by police motorcycles along the wrong side of Pancras road, out of the chaos.


Then today (Tuesday), talking to a motorcycle cop, we asked why access via the side streets had been restricted.... he said "orders from TfL ... So, we'd like to thank whoever was running the show for TfL at Palestra Centre Coms, for helping us get to our secondary target in just a few minutes. 

The Police Wrong Footed :
When the whistle blew at five, the Met motorbikes flew up to the Cross en masse with blues and twos flashing away. Few red faces there then. 

With more drivers joining in day after day, this has been our most successful protest so far, in-spite of the fact TfL tried to pin us down and keep us out.

 Keep it up people and remember:
WHERE BUSES GO, TAXIS GO...

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Shock News As LEVC Lay Off 20% Of It’s Coventry Staff Just 24 Hours After Prince Charles Visit.

Shock news today as we read in the Coventry Telegraph, that Coventry based Electric Taxi manufacturer announces 70 job losses. 

Funny enough, the announcement came just 24 hours after Prince Charles visited the new factory in Ansty

Workers at the LEVC works, that builds the London Electric range extender black cabs, have been told today to expect job losses.

Managers called their production staff together this afternoon and inform them of plans to reduce the workforce by 70. This is around a fifth of the total workforce.

According to the Telegraph, a production worker (who did not wish to be named) said: "We all knew this was coming, but we didn't know the amount.

"There will be another meeting tomorrow where we will find out the criteria - which staff are going.

"We knew that this would be announced as soon as Prince Charles had left.

"We have put our heart and soul into that new building for Coventry, to do Coventry proud again.

"There are some brilliant workers there, the management are not fit to run a factory in Coventry.

"The production manager called us all together today and said there were 70 to go.

"They are looking at five weeks until we don't have a job.

"Because it is a new company, 80 per cent of the workers are new.

"The workers from Holyhead Road can carry their service on, but it will all be new workers that go.

"Our prospects are bleak now in Coventry."

Company statement

A spokesman for the London Electric Vehicle Company said: "2019 will be a challenging year for UK automotive.

"To prepare the business we are reducing the number of agency staff and making productivity improvements.

"We still expect demand for our premium electric taxi to continue to grow over the coming years."

It is thought amongst the trade that the vehicle has been over priced and the number of sales expected have not materialised. 

There are fears amongst the London Taxi Trade LEVC owners, that the company could fail leaving drivers who’ve purchased the vehicle with a very expensive white elephant 

On the electric Taxi front, there has been news the the Nissan Dynano Fully Electric Taxi could be hitting the dealerships in early Spring. 

The Dynamo retails (with subsidies) at a whopping £20,000 less than the LEVC.   

Week 2 Day 2 : Thank You TfL For Making Our Demo Successful . Every Journey In Tatters!


Seventh weekday evening in a row and the proactive drivers of the ITA blocked Tottenham Court Road (TCR bang on the dot of 4pm. But today we noticed a complete attitude change from the police. 

Someone above decided they would give Taxis the run-around, and road blocks were set up to stop drivers accessing the road from side streets. The only access point being from Charing Cross Road. Drivers were told by the police at road blocks, to head for Oxford Street but many found the police at TCR were unwilling to let them enter from Oxford street east bound. Shortly after 4pm Taxis traveling east along Oxford Street or trying to turn left from Rathbone Place, were diverted through the no entries into Soho Square, to make their way down to Old Compton left onto Charing Cross. A few Cabs were given access approaching westbound along New Oxford Street.

To stop the cabs heading up to Kings Cross again at 5 pm, TCR had been blocked across the top, cabs were diverted into University Street and back into Gower. 

Unknown to the Police or TfL (who we've now been inform have taken to directing police action at he protest) today's secondary target was always going to be the Aldwych.  So in turns out, when the shout went up to head for our secondary venue, Palestras Centre Coms had done most of the job for us, making passage down towards Kingsway a doddle. 

To make matters worse -or in our case better- TfL decided to stack buses on Waterloo Bridge causing a complete shut down, and along the middle lane on the Strand side of Aldwych, making the through route impassable. 


Job done in minutes, th whole place became a car park and the more he police (under TfL command) tried to fiddle with the traffic, it just got much worse. 

This bus decided to do a U-turn outside Law Courts. After half a dozen backwards and forwards manoeuvers, it finally departed in the opposite direction.

TAXI LEAKS EXTRA BIT : 
Totally Failing London. Every journey in tatters!

We had an idea that TfL had become involved yesterday, as when the main body of drivers tried to leave TCR for he cross, the lights at he top by Euston Road had been re-phased to jus a few seconds on green. His action caused massive problems with private traffic (who had been allowed to enter the free lane by police), which blocked the emergence access. Not only this but at the Cross TfL buses were being escorted on the wrong side of Pancras road, out of the chaos.


Then today, talking to a motorcycle cop, we asked why access via the side streets had been denied, he said "orders from TfL.....So, we'd like to thank TfL for helping us get to our secondary target I just a few minutes. 

The police however were clueless, when the whistle blew at five, they flew up to the Cross en masse with blues and twos flashing away. Few red faces there then. 

So far, this has been our most successful day, in-spite of the fact TfL tried to pin us down and keep us out.

 Keep it up people and remember:
WHERE BUSES GO, TAXIS GO...

Open Letter To TfL Regarding Taxi Exclusion From Mayor Of London's Plans For Tottenham Court Road.


Subject: Tottenham Court Road exclusion. 

Why are Licensed London Taxis being excluded from TfL, Camden Council and the Mayor of London's plans for Tottenham Court Road?

With the horrendous KSI statistics of TfL's publicly funded, privately owned Bus companies, in stark contrast to the unparalleled safety record of self-sufficient Taxis, it appears there is an agenda by TfL and the Mayor to rob Peter (Taxis) to pay Paul (Buses).

It is TfL who have failed the Bus companies.
TfL and three successive Mayors have tried to propgandise drivers out of cars and on to bikes. But instead, because of TfL's ludicrous road mismanagement policy where buses stand still in manufactured gridlock, users stepped off TfL buses and onto cycles or walked.
Adding to that mix of greed and ineptitude, TfL licensed sixty thousand more Private Hire minicabs than was necessary as a quick drying mortar to London's heavy wall of traffic built into its ever decreasing road space.

As a COPD sufferer I applaud any attempt to filter the air. But to cause such stress and pollution on purpose, for the sole aim of misappropriating taxes to cover TfL and the Mayor's financial ineptitude, is unforgivable.
Their sharp practice will be found out.

It is clear to Londoners that TfL's hierarchy are not very good at their jobs.
It is my personal belief that the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan has a vendetta against the Licensed Taxi trade.
TfL, Mayor Khan and culpable councils like Camden are out to destroy London's 365 year old professional door to door, safe, clean and wheelchair accessible transport service.

You know, I know, London knows, and even those of you who benefit from your elite capture know that walking, cycling and busing cannot cover all the various needs of London's traveling public.
The Mayor and TfL are denying the public a choice.
When Taxi and Private Hire drivers complained about the illegal Uber app and the illegality of disruptive technology, they were told by corrupt politicians and TfL that it was all about 'choice.'
Today TfL, the Mayor and a blackmailed Camden Council are taking that basic freedom away from the public.

Taking into account that Camden Council have little to no choice over Tottenham Court Road, for fear of losing funding, I have two other questions:
Who is funding this fiasco?
Why did Camden Council ask local businesses and residents for their views via a consultation, only to disregard its results?

I hope to hear your response in good time.

Kind regards,
Leonard H. Etheridge.

Fitzrovia News Asks, "What's The Media Reported And Is It Correct?....But Who's Posting The Fake News?

Above are photos taken between 4pm and 7pm at he demonstration on Tottenham Court Road.
Please notice that the outside lane has been kept clear for emergency vehicles.
But if you take a photo after 7pn when the police open the road back up to all traffic, you get a different picture as vehicles hurriedly drive down the empty lane, as in the picture below. This gives a fake news perspective....and guess which picture Fitzrovia Nes went with?....yes you got it, the one below 


For the sixth weekday evening in a row London Taxi drivers have blocked Tottenham Court Road between 4pm and 7pm, and brought the surrounding streets to a standstill. 

Although many people have struggled to get home by public transport, we have found in general, the majority of the public and business owners we’ve spoken to, fully support the Taxi action.

There have been allegations that a number of incorrect statements have been made in both the mainstream media and on social media.

So we thought we’d go over the problem again. 

Taxi drivers have blocked Tottenham Court Road every weekday since Monday 21 January.
This is true !

Why are the taxi drivers protesting and who’s organised it?
The Independent Taxi Alliance (ITA)have organised the protest in response to Camden Council’s proposals “to restrict access to licensed taxis using Tottenham Court Road between 07h – 19h”. They say they will hold a protest every weekday between 4pm and 7pm indefinitely until Camden decides to allow unrestricted access to taxis, Where Buses go, Taxis go...
Also very true !

What has the media reported and is it correct?

Report: Only buses and bikes will be allowed between 8am and 7pm, Monday to Saturday, when Tottenham Court Road is converted from one-way to two-way traffic from March. (Evening Standard, Friday 4 January; Camden New Journal, Friday 25 January).

TAXI LEAKS Verdict: 
Camden Council is due to convert TCR to two-way working from March or April this year. Buses and all other traffic (at first) will run in both directions. There will be no restrictions on other vehicles for the first 12 months. But then from March 2020 there will be restrictions on sections of TCR where only buses and cyclists will be allowed between 8am and 7pm, Monday to Saturday stopping through passage to all except buses and cycles. 

There will be limited access to bits of the road for all traffic such as Torrington Place to Howland Street and Goodge Street to Chenies Street. There will be a couple of difficult to get to taxi ranks tucked away in side-streets, one of which will be laughably in Store Street by South Crescent only accessible from Percy Street or Alfred Place. 

The Taxi Rank spaces at the northern end of TCR will remain accessible from Grafton Way. 

Traffic modelling by Camden show that there will be a significant increase in traffic congestion in the surrounding areas increasing pollution levels. Traffic modelling where Taxis are allowed shows that in another model where Taxis were included show that in certain side streets (particularly Charlotte Street) would not have any significant increase. 

There is a series of maps showing the (rather complicated) access arrangements here: https://www3.camden.gov.uk/westendproject/maps/

You may be wondering if there is so much fake news and information flying about, why haven’t Camden Council made a statement. 
Camden have a very expensive press office and public relations team but not one word from them regarding these demos. 

However, we understand that Camden will be making a statement later this week and it will be published in the Camden New Journal on Thursday.  

Monday, January 28, 2019

Sad News Today, As Trade Loses Another Much Loved Colleague.


It is with great sadness that I have to announce the passing of one of the loveliest cab drivers I have ever known. Mark Sherlock (61) who has lost his 20 month battle with a brain tumour, was a dear friend and much loved colleague.

I first met Mark at a trade org meeting in 2010, he said he liked my blog but the spelling was dreadful. 
I explained that I had a mild form of dyslexia that affected mainly my reading ability, so once written, I rarely read back through my posts. Mark offered to proof read and correct posts and within days the blog took on a new professional look, all down to Marks efforts. 

Unfortunately a few years down the line as we had rocked a few boats, the blog came under heavy attack with threats of legal action to all those involved. So I had to distanced myself from the others connected with the Anderson Shelter and carried on alone. Obviously the blog standard noticeably dropped without Marks help. But we did manage to stay in touch through social media and the occasional meeting.

Mark, an established Soul Music DJ, shared my passion for music from the late 60s early 70s. As a young man I would regularly visit the West End clubs and everytime we met, Mark would always turn our conversation back to this time. 

It was always such a pleasure to see Mark walk through the door at the Royal Oak Or Camley Street and I can honestly say, I've never heard anyone criticise or have anything bad to say about him.

My life has been enriched by knowing Mark and my heart goes out to his family and friends. 


Mark was a face that turned up at virtually every Taxi Trade Demo. 

This from Marks friend, Bob Masters :
We are all totally numb at the loss of our dear friend, so where on earth do we find the words to try and say what someone like Mark Sherlock truly means to us….pretty impossible.
Mark was the epitome of what a man should be, a hard working rock of a husband, father and friend, with a passion for music, cloths and the odd pint of Guinness, outside of that, what else is there.
Mark carried an honesty and instant likability that is very rare in today’s world, he was wonderful to have on any event as a DJ, but as a person, you just always wanted him in the room with you.

I would like to thank Tina and all the Sherlock family for allowing myself, all his close friends and those from the extended soul family who could make it, the time to come and see Mark, chat and giggle with him over these past desperate months. We all kinda new what the outcome would be, but still prayed in the hope that someone was listening and that somehow there might be miracle of some sort…silly I know, but hey !!

I already miss our chats, our days out, popping into Soho Radio, meeting up with Eddie Piller, sitting in on his show and grabbing a pint or two, your love of playing/DJing with us all…and your love of the people around you. We shared so many very special times in the last few years, too many to mention right now….but they are etched on my heart for always.

I was SO glad to get to see Mark yesterday, he wasn’t really totally awake, but I said a few things in his ear, he then raised his arm up, so I held his hand, I felt like he could hear me. I whispered to him all his friends names that I could remember and told him how much we all loved him…..then I said goodbye….I’m gonna miss my mate

The world is a lesser place today because Marks not in it, but it could be a far better place  tomorrow if we wake-up and all try and be a bit more like him….he was a one-off.

Rest in Peace now mate, your in a better place….they’re lucky to have you......God Speed xx

TCR Protests week Two : Khan's Lies Must Be Exposed.


As Sadiq Khan, bleats on relentlessly about the poor air quality in London, he knows full well that diesel cars are not to blame for the low standard of air quality endured in our cities across the UK. 

 * Khan knows as fact, that hundreds of transient transatlantic flights are routed out of their way to fly low over London and other populated areas of the UK. 

 * He knows that diesel vehicles are cleaner now than ever before and that overall, traffic volume has not changed much since 2000, up only by 10%, 

 * He knows emission from ground traffic has dropped, as any increase in traffic has been more than offset by improvements in engine technology. 

 * He also knows the only other factor in the equation -aviation- is being deliberately excluded from the entire debate. 

 * Khan knows that his T-Charge is basically a tax on diesel drivers and an attack on the London Black Taxi trade. 

 * He knows the T-Charge will make no difference to the levels of pollution, as several studies have shown. 

 * He knows it will make no difference to people’s health or save any lives. 

 * He knows that the easiest way to improve air quality is to re-route transient aviation away from UK populated areas or away from UK airspace altogether.

He knows because he's been told him and supplied supporting evidence by email, by phone to both his mayoral Office and his parliamentary office. 

We know he got them because it's been checked...but guess what… not a single response to any of them. Not one single word. 

Therefore, Look-up.org are currently preparing a legal challenge in the form of a Judicial Review of his plans to charge people to drive into London as they feel Khan is deliberately ignoring the true cause, which will amount to an unnecessary tax on people who rely on their vehicles to live and work in London.

See more, use this link below:


TAXI LEAKS EXTRA BIT :
Celebrity support for the Tottenham Court Road demos, has been followed by support from the House of Lords :

Sunday, January 27, 2019

Cyclist Albert Beals Letter To Camden New Journal Regarding Tottenham Court Road Taxi Ban

   Man behind the looney traffic systems in Camden...Labour Cllr Adam Harrison.

Letter from Albert Beale
Hi there - I'm a cyclist who supports the cabbies over Tpttenham Court Road - see my letter
below to the CNJ.

I do wish some cabbies wouldn't be so down on cyclists. It's the private cars, and - especially - the lethal minicabs, which we should be united in opposing.

There's room for taxis and buses and bikes on the road together - but 90% of private cars in central London aren't needed and we should get rid of them.

I think cabbies and cyclists should more frequently make common cause; over TCR I'd say our interests coincide. I find a cycle space which is actually a shared space with just buses and taxis (professional drivers), like TCR ought to be, is sometimes safer than a "bikes only" lane with private traffic such as minicabs nearby, since they often ignore cycle lanes and stop in them.

  Albert Beale

LETTER TO CAMDEN NEW JOURNAL (CNJ)
I travel round central London every day - by bike, on foot, and sometimes by bus; and I recognise that London's black cabs are an important component of the city's public transport system. 

So I'm outraged by Camden Council's plan to stop taxis sharing the space with buses on Tottenham Court Road ("Road-block cabbies" - front page, 24 January CNJ); the demonstrators have my full support.

You report that Cllr Adam Harrison claims taxis will still be able to go within 60 metres of University College Hospital - but patients who can walk 70 yards can probably cope with a bus; one of the points of a taxi is that it can get you right to (or from) the door. And I know people with impaired mobility who'll no longer feel able to shop in that road if they don't have the option of hailing a cab if they need one.

Cllr Harrison - who seems destined to be known as the Chris Grayling of Camden Council - also claims that the road scheme will help with traffic flow, pollution, and cycling safety. 

This might be the case if the ban on private cars in Tottenham Court Road operated round the clock. But those of us who use the road all the time know perfectly well that the danger and oppressiveness of cars in the area is often at its greatest in the evening, after the congestion charge stops, so letting cars into the road then is nonsensical. 

With the road being two-way, there'll no longer be space for separate lanes for buses, taxis and bikes, so it's self-evident that Tottenham Court Road will be far more dangerous for cyclists than it is in the evenings now, and buses will be gridlocked. (And the cycle lanes in Gower Street will just be a bit of paint on the road, providing no real protection from the two-way motor traffic being introduced there.)

And if this wasn't awful enough, what about the situation at Princes Circus, also being dug up as part of the road scheme? 
The tallest and most magnificent of the trees there, which has no doubt stood in front of the Shaftesbury Theatre since the venue opened over a century ago, has survived nearby World War Two bombs, as well as everything that London could throw at it - including a major revamping and reversing of the roads there about 40 years ago. 

But it's now being destroyed to make way for traffic, sacrificed to some Camden planner's vanity project. Yes, there'll be a few saplings planted to "replace" it. But every single reader of this issue of the CNJ will be long dead well before any of them is even half the height of the magnificent tree being unnecessarily killed off. This alone is enough to demonstrate the falsity of claims that the road changes are for environmental reasons.

Camden Council should be ashamed.

Albert Beale

TAXI LEAKS EXTRA BIT : 
Just a quick caveat to Alberts letter:-
Camden's Councillor Adam Harrison insists that the road scheme will help with traffic flow, pollution, and cycling safety....we would just like to point out to him, the utter caranage that Camden have already recently caused by blocking the entrance southbound to Judd Street. 

Midland road is now gridlocked most of the day, going all the way back to Camden Town. As Judd Street is home to the Royal Institute of the Blind...perhaps Cllr Harrison could offer an explanation we could use when dropping a blind person on a major road like Euston Road, telling them "you'll have to find your own way from here as Camben saw fit to block the road off to all but cyclist". 

Is this Cllr Harrisn's vision of helping with traffic flow, pollution and cycle safety.....stationary traffic spewing deadly fumes along the whole of Midland and Euston Roads????

Also St Pancras, one of the busiest passenger terminals in Europe is now a no go area as passenger are getting stuck in the chaos as they come out the station to the Taxi Rank. Unless of course they happen to have bought a cycle on holiday with them. 

The question should be put to Cllr Harrison, 'How many extra preventable deaths have you added to Khans total for London.... caused by Camden's horrendous traffic disrupting systems'.

Cllr Adam Harrison is Cabinet Member for improving Camden’s environment.
So far the Cabinet have manage to cause utter gridlock along Tavistock Place, forcing westbound traffic onto Oxford Street and Euston Road. Their no-left turns along Vernon place and Southampton Row has cause massive gridlock most of the day resulting in loner journeys causing more emissions. And now Judd street closure. How have they managed to get away with these utter ridiculous systems, under the banner of improving the environment??.   

These people should be held accountable for the destruction they are causing to our city. 

Wonder what TfL and the Mayor think about the new bus journey times along Midland Road???

A WORD FROM OUR ROVING REPORTER IN PARIS :
The new traffic scheme at St Pancras is absolutely incomprehensible to us in Paris. Gare du Nord / @Eurostar Station (N.1 busiest station in Europe) is an area strictly restricted to TAXIS/buses/emergency vehicules - for maximum fluidity and swift access.


ITA London Taxi Protest continues tomorrow  
MONDAY 28TH JANUARY  4pm Tottenham Court Road :  
Try to be on time as it’s going to get interesting !!!

Saturday, January 26, 2019

Heidi Set To Meet The Wrong Association... That's No Longer The Voice Of The Taxi Trade

   
So, Heidi Alexander (allegedly the least informed member of the GLA) who has been conspicuous by her absence since being made deputy mayor for transport, announces she will be meeting with the LTDA to discuss the recent demos on Tottenham Court Road. 

We ask the question WHY ???

Perhaps someone should tell her that as far as the majority of the trade feel, Steve McNamara doesn’t speak for us.

After years of inaction and his wait and see policies, the message was put out at the London Bridge Demos when a massive banner was unveiled across the front of four Taxis spelling out loud and clear “Steve McNamara is not the voice of the Taxi Trade”.

 

It would be like myself going into Iceland store and demanding to see the manager, to discuss the price of sausage rolls in Greggs !!!

Heidi and Mike Brown can have as many secret meetings with Mr McNamara as they like but he no longer commands the respect of the majority of London Taxi drivers. 

If Heidi wants to talk to the trade about the ongoing industrial action, then she needs to make contact with the proactive organisers -being the ‘Independent Taxi Alliance’. 

They are the ones calling the action and Mr McNamara is in no way connected to the implementation of the protest. In fact recently, in an email to Mike Brown, he referred to the demonstrators as ‘Loonies’.

Heidi, you can make contact through the chairman of the Licensed Cab Drivers Club, Grant Davis and he can arrange a meeting with the ITA committee. 

Remember Heidi, talk to the organ grinder....not the monkey. 

TAXI LEAKS EXTRA BIT :

UTAG is the group that the trade has needed for years, we deserve proper representation and justice.
This is real, this is happening
 
  

It Couldn’t Get Any Crazier, Or Could It ... Follow The Money

Just When You Thought It Couldn't Get Any Crazier....Along Comes Camden's Looney Council.

     

The highly controversial plan to ban cars and cabs from Tottenham Court Road has led to a major protest from taxi drivers this week. But, just when you thought it couldn't get any crazier along come the Lycra clad planners from Camden who have now announced that not only will Tottenham Court Road be Buses and cycles only....they are also going to put a new cycle lanes along the two way Gower street where all the other traffic will be squeezed into.....a sort of Victoria Embankment, part two. 

The plans – due to be introduced in March – are part of a radical revamp that will see Tottenham Court Road and Gower Street turned into two-way routes with vehicles banned between 8am and 7pm.

This week, cabbies formed a complete blockade of the road each day and have vowed to continue their protests against Camden Council indefinitely

The protests, organised by the Independent Taxi Alliance (ITA), saw drivers parked their black cabs on the road, blocking traffic heading north to Euston Road, leaving a third lane free and clear for emergency vehicles.

The drivers, along with residents and business owners, are calling on the Town Hall to lift the restriction on cabs, adding: "They could reasonably include taxi access to bus lanes which would enhance the efficiency of the system and relieve congestion in surrounding streets ."

The radical cab drivers group, whose rush-hour protest caused gridlock in surrounding streets, has warned that it will not back down and that demonstrations will continue indefinitely. They said they would be "back every day, same time, same place... we refuse to be destroyed by you!".

Relatives and patients at University College Hospital’s Macmillan Cancer Centre were worried they would be stranded after treatment, but volunteer Taxi drivers were reported to be leaving the blockade and driving cancer patients home for free.

Town Hall environment chief and avid cyclist, Adam Harrison said "the changes would improve traffic flow and air quality." Isn't that what they said about the CSH along the embankment.....and we all know how that turned out!

The Labour councillor added: "Central London is afflicted by high levels of congestion and air pollution (mainly caused by Camden's unbelievably stupid traffic systems and the proliferation of empty buses) this is not a situation any of us should have to put up with any longer." 

Camden should consider doing something about the heavily polluting and congestion causing buses. We mustn't forget that this private bus companies are subsidised and often flood the streets with empty buses.  

He went on to say "Camden Council has agreed to the West End Project because of our strong belief that an urban environment doesn't have to be an unhealthy one." Funny, he never once mentioned the £37m bribe from the mayor and almost bankrupt TfL to pay for the project (allegedly, only on the terms that Taxis were excluded). 

Camden did carry out a consultation a few years back where residents and businesses voted that Taxis should also have access to the whole of Tottenham Court Road. More recently residents of Fitzrovia voted for the one way scheme on Tavistock Place to be returned to the previous two way system.  

The Town Hall added that research showed the vast majority of people using University College Hospital travelled by public transport and would not be affected by the changes (and yet the Hospital itself lobbied for a taxi rank), with bus journey times and reliability improving. -It is our belief that Camden's research is biased and flawed, as access to shops, businesses, residential properties and the Hospital will be severely restricted for vulnerable and disabled people.

The scheme was introduced to coincide with the opening of a Crossrail station at Tottenham Court Road (which has now been delayed), which is hoped to be bringing thousands of extra visitors to the area.

Camden haven't taken into account the type of shops on Tottenham Court Road, Habitats, Ikea and electrical outlets. Can't see too many shoppers with flat-packs, items of furniture, TVs and HiFi systems getting home on a bike or bus! 

Also, can't see people coming from stations and airports with luggage being dropped in Euston road and told they have to walk the rest of the way to the Grafton Hotel on foot.  

The recent article in the Camden New Journal "Cabbies launch ‘war of attrition’ against Town Hall", right at the end gives the game away. It says:

Developer Derwent London is building offices on the western stretch of the road. A new "pocket park" in what is now Alfred Place will close the back street to all traffic.

So, that’s what this is all about, same as Chris Hayward’s building projects at the Bank Junction ...Follow the money!!!!!

TAXI LEAKS EXTRA BIT : from actress Samantha Renke 

  

I travel at least 6 times a week by black cabs it’s the only way to maintain my independence but with pedestrian zones and low emission zones being enforced my independence is suffering ! This must stop & we need to support the disabled community & the black cab trade!

Serious Impact Of A Ban On Black Taxis From Tottenham Court Road.


Letter From Daniel Howard, Campaign Director Stop CS11

• FOLLOWING this week’s black taxi demonstrations against Camden Council’s ill-thought-out plan to ban all vehicles (including licensed black taxis) from Tottenham Court Road from Monday to Saturday, 8am to 7pm, have the council considered the impact of significant amounts of displaced congestion and therefore increased pollution, on the surrounding residential roads?


Many people now have very serious concerns about the accountability and scrutiny of Camden’s highways management department given that the results from the public consultation showed almost 60 per cent of respondents were strongly opposed to their proposed plan to ban black taxis from Tottenham Court Road and we are calling for an immediate investigation into what is going on there.


Furthermore, many disabled and vulnerable road-users including members of the Royal National Institute for the Blind as well as hospital patients (some of whom will arrive in emergency ambulances) who need to access University College Hospital at the top of Tottenham Court Road have expressed their worries about how this scheme will impact on them.


We are calling on Camden Council to immediately halt this disproportionate, ill-considered and illogical scheme, to consult with all stakeholder groups including the emergency services, disabled road users and London’s Licensed Black Taxis and to undertake all the necessary legal considerations. Only then will Londoners have faith in Camden Council’s ability to manage their road network.


DANIEL HOWARD
Campaign Director
Stop CS11

Friday, January 25, 2019

Looking Good For Dynamo Launch Early This Year.

Email from Dynamo’s manufacturers 

We are hoping to launch Dynamo early this year, although we cannot confirm exactly when. The issue has been that the demand for the new 40Kw battery worldwide, which is also in the Leaf as well as the e-NV 200 has far exceeded the expectation level and of course the UK is just one of the markets that Nissan sell in.

Our 1st 40Kw vehicle has just arrived, then it will be converted and type approved, also TFL approved for London, after which we will be taking orders. We currently have outstanding orders to fulfil, as we thought we would have had the launch earlier. As I say nobody factored in the worldwide popularity of the new 40Kw battery. We anticipate existing orders to be delivered in the spring of this year, new orders will be later during 2019. We are currently working on the supply chain in order to ensure that’s stable. Many different companies contribute to the supply of components for Dynamo, not least Nissan with the donor vehicle, it's important for obvious reasons that we have the supply stable and reliable.

It is not only a Taxi for London, but nationally also; we expect to be selling Dynamo in many cities around the UK, including Liverpool, later in 2019/early 2020

Whilst we know and fully acknowledge that it’s not the Taxi for everyone, those who do adopt slightly different working practices and make it work for them will see that it will be, and without question the most cost-effective Taxi ever to ply its trade.

It is the only 100% electric, side wheel chair accessible Taxi on the market, it emits zero tailpipe emissions, 100% of the time.

The Dynamo comes with Nissan proven worldwide reliability and fuel running costs as low as 3pence per mile., compared to Diesels at 24pence per mile. Annual servicing at circa £220 is a fraction of the current Petrol/Diesel versions. The tested range is 174 miles, in a daily operating city environment, I would assume a range of around 130/140 miles to be real, and this will cover most shifts. If more miles are required it may need to be put onto a rapid charger for 15/20 minutes once on a shift, although I doubt many drivers will need to do this.

This is the slightly different working practice that in some cases will need to be adopted, but by doing this there will be a big financial and environmental benefit.

In most cases the driver will charge at home, do their shift and go home again. Reading everything I have in relation to the Nissan Leaf and e-NV 200 the worst-case scenario the consumption is 3.7 miles per Kw/h, bearing in mind it’s a 40Kw battery - 3.7 x 40 = 148 miles.

In today’s market of unclean air and fierce competition for fares, Dynamo will deliver many of the solutions, enabling the driver to become more profitable and at the same time no longer contributing to the air pollution issues. It will be permitted to travel on all public highways in London, there will be no restrictions as its 100% electric.

In short it just works.

We are hoping that the launch price will be £45,495 after the Government grant of £7,500 has been removed.

We will be offering bespoke finance packages, tailored as close as we are able to individual needs.

Thank you once again and I look forward to talking to you shortly

Kind regards

John Heath

Market Development Manager


TCR Shop Owners And Store Management In Talks Today With CamdenCouncil...The Fight Goes On


While the LTDA play the "Wait and See Game," ProactiveITA drivers took to the street.

What better way is there to raise revenue than to manufacture road network pollution hysteria by removing carriageways, re-phasing traffic lights, then imposing a TAX to make the public pay for the pollution that you have created... Genius.
Meanwhile down in the underground, the air is said to be up to 30 times more toxic than out on the street....but then, they can’t TAX themselves.
Shop owners and store management are in talks today with Camden Council over their Tottenham Court Road fiasco. (We will bring you updates as soon as we hear back)
Protestors have also recurved huge support from residents of Goodge St, Grafton Way, Tavistock Pl, Maple St, Bedford Sq...
Everyone, without exception, expressed how contemptuous Camden Council have been towards their concerns.
So, who’s to blame?
Look at leaflets below who do you see?
We can blame Camden Council and quite rightly so... but Camden are following Sadik Khan‘s transport strategy.
 If Camden refuse to follow the Mayors TS, they will lose funding.
Allegedly, this Bus Drivers son hates Taxis.
Whatever happened to "I’m going to be the renaissance of the London taxi trade, I don’t want them to go the same way as the red telephone box".
Like Uber’s 13,000 fake DBS certificates, all swept under the carpet no doubt.
Make no mistake, the Mayors Transport Strategy mirrors that of the government’s. Transport Secretary Grayling and the DFT promote walking, cycling, and buses.
Was it and oversight that they left the door-to-door wheelchair accessible system out of their equations?
Let’s not forget that we are also to blame... This trade should have had protection put in place 10 maybe 15 years ago.
But our trade orgs and unions were guilty of not looking forward. They were on fit for purpose and failed their members on a humongous scale.
There is no doubt about it, we’ve been let down

Is this what you want to see traveling up TCR, along Oxford Street, Regent Street, Queensway, Knightsbridge, Edgware Road, Kensington High Street???
Because that's what the Mayor wants 


TAXI LEAKS EXTRA BIT : In  Our Opinion 
The LTDA are the largest trade org and have been for decades
Bob Oddy was a TfL board member for many years. Oddy’s laissez-faire with his position and responsibilities leaves him culpable for the shocking position we are in today. As does Steve McNamara’s apathy
Why do you think I minority group like the cycle lobby achieve so much?
Because they know what they’re doing.
When the DFT or TfL make changes, they look to the trade largest org and what do the largest org do….Apparently nothing, aided and abetted by their subscription paid members.... who like mushrooms have been kept in the dark.
       
The fight goes on today 4pm till 7, Tottenham Court Road.
If you care about your trade your job your livelihood...be there