We said this would happen, and now it's all gone Pete Tong. We have a Battle Royal to look forward to on Monday, with TfLTPH's Graham Robertson in one corner, and in the other, new kid on the block Cribble.
This could all have been avoided had they defined Plying for Hire in Statute, and had proper, binding legislation to govern eHail Apps.
In answer to TfLTPH General Manager Graham Robinson's threats, Cribble say they will go ahead with the launch of their app and continue to operate without a TfL operators licence and will use unlicensed cars and drivers without DBS and DVLA checks.
Public safety will go right out the window with predators able to sign on with now checks whatsoever.
WELL DONE TFL, YOU MUST BE VERY PROUD OF YOURSELVES.
A question Taxi Leaks would like an answer to is.....if Cribble were plying for hire via their app, what is it the Uber are doing with their app???
Over to you Graham Robinson, General Manager at London Taxi and Private Hire...
Below is an email sent to Andrew Antoninat TfL by Cabby Chris Johnson
I note that TfL has taken notice of my complaint and advised Cribble not to operate - have you revoked the operators licence of Pro Transfer Ltd?
Now it would seem that Transport for London (TfL) have absolutely lost control of the Private Hire industry, as such lost control of public safety, but even more importantly lost the confidence of the London Taxi Trade which is clearly one of the reasons why Taxi Drivers are suffering from mental health issues.
The Taxi and Private Hire Department are seemingly negligent and/or incompetent under the leadership of Sadiq Khan, therefore, I ask that the London Assembly Transport Committee to instigate a root and branch review of TPH staff and an audit of every private hire operator's licence that is in existence.
Cribble was operating under the TfL Operators Licence of Pro Transfer Limited which according to Companies House was a business name change from Airport Cabbers Ltd in February 2017
Now, this is so frightening from a public safety perspective..and shows that TfL have simply lost control and a review of TPH staff must happen with immediate effect...
Airport Cabbers is a very real live company that is operating from the same address that Cribble was operating from... 704 Cascades Tower, 4 Westferry Road, London, E14 8JN but seemingly doesn't have an operators licence given that it was probably transferred to Cribble.
Click the link to book a private hire vehicle with Airport Cabbers here:
It is clear that Airport Cabbers and ProTransfers Ltd (trading as Cribble) both have the same company number of 10519134 - therefore, I allege fraud and/or deception is being instigated here.
TAXI LEAKS EXTRA BIT :
Cribble put out this press release below earlier today.
Cribble, the driver App that offers customers choice and drivers better pay will launch in London on March 11 without a TFL licensed operator and without TFL licensed drivers.
Cribble has begged TFL to opine for 18 months and they refused to do so until the final hour when they accused Cribble of offering a solution where drivers would be "plying for hire". A test case in July 2018 on the same subject was won by Uber. Somehow TFL imagine that the Cribble solution is so significantly different that they can ban Cribble without a hearing. It's a sham.
With over £1.4M already invested in the App its not a time to give up just because a regulator sends a letter. We would have preferred to resolve this difference of opinion in court but time is of the essence.
We are left with no choice but to launch a new version of our app that doesn't need a TFL licensed operator or TFL licensed drivers. This way, the threats from TFL can't impact the livelihoods of these good people.
We apologise to the TFL drivers who registered on the Cribble App with the TFL licensed operator Pro Transfers in the past weeks. We had no way to know that TFL who added Cribble to their website as a brand of ProTransfers and issued official paper updates to the operator licence would make a u-turn at the 11th hour. It's a disgrace that they didn't opine or explain this "issue" earlier and give us the opportunity to debate. It was a non-transparent decision made behind closed doors. Not legitimate in my view.
The new solution will be different from the system rejected by TFL because it will be completely self-regulated by the users. With the rejected system all drivers had to register various documents and everything was cross checked against the DVLA and TFL databases. The new system won't have any of these controls. Any driver can register just by identifying a type of vehicle (e.g. saloon, convertible, 4*4) and accepting the terms and conditions. Many aspects of the app will remain the same. Drivers will be able to set prices. Passengers will be able to pick their driver based on the type of vehicle, picture of the driver and any other description that the driver cares to add. Whilst the drivers will be able to set the price level the unit of pricing will be different. Pricing will be based exclusively on time with the app estimating the time for a journey. It is unknown how the drivers will use the system. Some might transport dogs. Others might transport the uniforms of TFL staff. Others might offer massage services in their vehicles. The system is completely flexible in that regard and like a dating software falls completely outside the realm of TFL. The new system is not designed or priced to carry passengers but there are no controls to prevent such use and consenting adults can do as they wish.
TFL may have won the battle but have lost a seat at the table.
Cribble is launching in London on 11 March 2019