Sunday, June 30, 2019

Uber's Real London Threat Is Ola, Not Bolt, Says Morgan Stanley


Daimler AG-backed Bolt, formerly known as Taxify, just re-entered the UK market two years after its operating license was revoked

Even though Bolt has raised around $190 million to $280 million in funding so far, Morgan Stanley analysts say that Ola remains the main potential threat to Uber Technologies Inc.'s dominance in the London ride-sharing market, despite this month's return of the rival Bolt service to the UK capital,

Ola, owned by ANI Technologies Pvt, has said it will take on Uber in London before the end of the year, while Daimler AG-backed Bolt, formerly known as Taxify, just re-entered the UK market two years after its operating license was revoked for not being fit and proper company and operating without a licence. 
Amazing what a company like this can achieve with TfL once they’ve raised a few bob. 

In the two weeks since Bolt resumed London operations, evidence suggests it is not having a material impact on Uber, according to Morgan Stanley analysts led by Brian Nowak. 

Uber's share of app downloads fell a little after Bolt entered, but has since recovered, they wrote in a report.

The greater threat is likely to come from Ola, the analysts say. If reports are accurate, Bolt has only raised around $190 million to $280 million in funding so far, small fry compared with the $3.8 billion Ola is said to have racked up, according to Morgan Stanley. TfL bosses must be frothing at the thought! 

"We believe Ola is arguably a greater threat if media reports of Ola's entry into London at the end of the year prove accurate," the analysts said.

Morgan Stanley remains bullish on Uber as the strong growth rates it continues to achieve demonstrate the potential for faster ride bookings and more revenue growth through the course of 2019. 

Saturday, June 29, 2019

Women Sexually Abused ‘By Uber Driver’ Receive ‘Significant Damages’ In UK First


Two young women have been paid significant damages by Uber bosses in the first case of its kind in the UK after claiming a driver sexually assaulted them.

The alleged victims, aged in their 20s and 30s, both ordered cabs through the Uber app following separate nights out in Leeds in December, 2015.

Each woman went on to file police reports claiming their driver Naveed Iqbal sexually assaulted them by groping their breasts.
A council investigation found Iqbal, who did work as a minicab driver, had used his brother’s Uber login details to access the app and find jobs under his name.

As a result of the incidents the driver lost his PH license but no criminal charges were levelled against him.???
The two women then employed a team of lawyers at Irwin Mitchell, who argued that Uber was liable for the alleged assaults as it had a duty of care to protect passengers.
In the first case of it’s kind in the UK Uber officials have now agreed undisclosed out of court settlements with each lady.
The first woman was celebrating her birthday on the evening of December 6, 2015, when she claims to have been groped by the breasts two times.
She said: ‘My whole life has been turned upside down since that night.

‘When it first happened, my initial reaction was anger and disbelief, but I very quickly developed anxiety. I was aware that the driver knew where I lived and this made me anxious about being at home.
‘I suffered from poor concentration, a lack of enjoyment and poor motivation, and I had this feeling of being dirty all the time.

‘Everything that has happened has also had a huge impact on my career as I no longer have the confidence to work in a customer facing role.
‘I just hope that by speaking out others who may have found themselves in a similar situation don’t feel that they have to suffer in silence.’
The second woman booked an Uber on December 13, 2015, following a night out with friends.
During the journey she told how the driver began rubbing her leg and touching her breasts, before trying to kiss her and attempting to force her to engage in a sex act.
She said: ‘I now find it difficult to trust others and this has hugely affected my friendships and relationships. I have had a lot of personal issues since the assault.

‘That one night has had such a negative impact on my life, and to hear it had happened to another woman a week earlier was horrible.
‘This could have been prevented. I just hope we can now move on with our lives as best we can.’

Emma Crowther, the legal expert representing the women, said: ‘These are deeply upsetting cases involving two young women who reported being sexually assaulted by someone entrusted to get them home safely.
‘It is even more concerning that if Uber had properly investigated the alleged assault suffered by our first client then we believe that the driver would not have been free to go on and pick up the second woman just a week later, during which it is reported he escalated in his abusive behaviour.

‘Both women are still deeply affected by what happened to them.
‘While nothing can ever make up for what has happened we are pleased to have secured these settlements which we believe to be the first of their kind in the UK against Uber.
‘We now hope that the specialist support the women require will help them try and move forward with their lives.’

Sue Pearce MBE, from Rape Crisis, said: ‘It is always distressing and worrying to hear about sexual assaults and especially those committed by someone who works in a position of trust.
‘The trauma of such assaults can have long lasting effects.’

TAXI LEAKS EXTRA BIT :

Let’s not forget that in London alone (where Uber drivers are registered, because it’s so easy to get a licence with TfL) there’s approximately 11,000 Uber drivers who still have not been dealt with by TfL after obtaining PH licenses with fake DBS criminal record checks.

The fact that UberRape in the capital increases year on year by 30-40%, the fact that TfL swept this fake DBS scandal under the carpet is unbelievable. 

Friday, June 28, 2019

The Sun Shines For The Children At Legendary LTCFC Outing To Southend-on-Sea

On Tuesday 25 June 2019, the London Taxi Drivers’ Charity for Children welcomed volunteer London licensed taxi drivers and 200+ special needs and disadvantaged children to Sainsbury’s (Low Hall) car park in Chingford, where their legendary outing to Southend-on-Sea was about to commence.
As the children arrived, they were greeted by Marco the Clown who certainly put a smile on their faces.
Each driver was given £20 to put towards their fuel. £10 of this was kindly donated to each driver by Shell Stations UK.
Once the volunteer drivers were fed and their taxis decorated, the children and their helpers were allocated their places and the convoy set off for Southend-on-sea. As luck would have it, the rain stopped and the sun came out for the rest of the day!
On arrival at Southend, the children were treated to lunch and then it was off to Adventure Island, chaperoned by the volunteer taxi drivers, to enjoy the amazing rides and attractions. Each child was given a tasty treat voucher. There were lots of bags of Candy Floss being enjoyed during the afternoon.
At 4pm coaches arrived to take the very excited and happy children back to the Cliffs Pavilion for some tea which consisted of healthy sandwiches kindly provided by Shell from the Jamie Oliver Deli by Shell range. Buxton Water kept the children hydrated during the day by supplying bottles of water for each child, along with their helpers and the volunteer taxi drivers.
The children were now fed and ready for the disco! Compere Dave Davies got the children up on their feet before Action Amanda and the Furry Tail Folk entertained the children. They all had a good boogie.
Meanwhile, on the floor, Tracy Wise was entertaining the children with Edwardo and Merlin, both up to their usual tricks performing magic for the children and their families. Barry Harvey, the puppeteer was also working the floor, making the children laugh.
Time for the Best Dressed Taxi competition, the winner picked by Laurence Mutkin, Upper Warden from The Worshipful Company of Tin Plate Workers, Alias Wire Workers. The first prize went to Niki Hunter for his marvel(lous) Incredible Hulk taxi. Niki received £150 in cash.
Alexa Hicks came second and won a trophy for her beautifully dressed taxi. The raffle was won by Nick Mayes who won afternoon tea for two at a prestigious London hotel.
The disco ended at 6pm and the children and their helpers returned to their taxis for departure back to Chingford.
Michael Son, BEM, LTCFC Chairman commented “Our Southend outing was a huge success. The taxis looked amazing with our new branding on and the sight of the convoy travelling to Southend was really something special. 
“Huge thanks to everyone who gives up their precious time for the day, especially our volunteer taxi drivers. 
“It is a humbling sight to watch the determined children go on all the rides and they are truly inspiring. 
“I must also thank our sponsors and committee members for the time and effort that is put into organising Southend each year. It is a privilege to help these fantastic children who are so appreciative of this wonderful day."
To find out more about the LTCFC please visit www.ltcfc.org.uk
About the LTCFC
The London Taxi Drivers’ Charity for Children was born in 1928! With history dating back 91 years, the charity runs annual outings for special needs and disadvantaged children.
The charity also provides funding for appeals in assisting children in need of help.
The committee is run by volunteer taxi drivers and donations go straight towards helping the children.
Article: Debbie Crowley
PR Enquiries: PR@relyable.co.uk
Charity Enquiries: committee@ltcfc.org.uk

Thursday, June 27, 2019

THREE MEN ARRESTED AFTER 'SICKENING AND COWARDLY' ATTACK ON 'GENTLE' TAXI DRIVER


Three men from Widnes have been arrested after a dad was left unconscious from a 'sickening' attack.
The men have been released under investigation as police make further enquiries.
The arrests come after a 'gentle dad' was seriously beaten, leaving him with facial injuries which require ongoing medical treatment.

The dad, a taxi driver from Widnes, was trying to earn a living for his family when a group of people began banging on the boot of the taxi between 1.05am and 1.35am on Saturday, June 15.
During the attack the taxi was in Appleton Village car park in Widnes, at the side of St Bede's Catholic Men's Club.

When the banging began the man got out of his vehicle.
Two men, who were with a woman, then launched their 'cowardly' attack, beating the 59-year-old until he was left lying unconscious in the street.

When he awoke, he called for help and was taken to hospital.
Detective Inspector Ian Whiley, of Widnes Local Policing Unit, said: "This was a sickening and cowardly attack on a man who was simply trying to earn a living for his family.

"It has left him with serious facial injuries that require ongoing medical treatment and the unprovoked assault has left his family devastated – his children are extremely upset and cannot understand why anyone would attack their gentle dad."

"I would like to reassure the community that this appears to have been an isolated incident, we have stepped up patrols in the area and we are determined to establish who assaulted the victim and bring them to justice."

DI Whiley said: "Enquiries are ongoing and as part of our investigation we are appealing for anyone who believes they may have information or footage regarding the small group of people involved in the incident to come forward.

"The same goes for anyone who believes they may have CCTV or dashcam footage of them.
"Perhaps you were in the area and witnessed what happened or saw the people involved, or maybe you recognise the descriptions of them and think that you may know who they are.
"We also want to speak to the group of people who were with the two men and the woman before the attack took place. That group played no part in the assault and may not even know what happened after they left the area."
If you have information about this incident you can contact Cheshire Constabulary on 101 quoting IML 428532.
Alternatively you can contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Update On Cabbies Do Kilimanjaro : Plus, Their Story So Far


Five fat London Cab Drivers, collectively known as Cabbies Do Kilimanjaro who are fundraising to raise £20k for www.taxicharity.org



The team are now only three months away from climbing Kilimanjaro and have lost an amazing 141 pounds between them. Earlier this week, they were delighted to find out that they have been made tourism ambassadors for Tanzania and were guests this week of the Tanzanian High Commission in London


Story so far...
We are five fat cabbies! Five middle aged fat London cabbies. With a mission. Well, actually, we have two missions. The first stage is to lose a combined weight of 25 stone between us. And then, once we’ve climbed that mountain, we’re off to Tanzania to take a stroll up Africa’s highest mountain - Kilimanjaro. Impossible? We don’t think so and we’re a bunch of committed and positive people. And we believe that this is possible. Climbing Kilimanjaro is not for the feint hearted and a massive achievement. But to do this, a certain level of fitness, stamina and determination is needed. We may not have the fitness and stamina just yet. But determination- we have bundles. So how are we going to do what seems to be impossible? 


It all started with a tweet - “Any other cabbies out there fancy losing weight with me and then climb Kilimanjaro?” I actually didn’t think too many people would be that interested. There was the expected copious amount of leg pulling but what emerged was a group of cabbies who were as serious about this as I was. I started to get a lot of private messages enquiring about this and we’ve ended up with a group of seven cabbies who have committed ourselves from start to finish. 


So, here we are. All with the same goals in sight. Between us, we vary from 22 stone down to 16 and we all have individual targets as far as weight loss is concerned. But with a combined weight of 25 stone to lose, we’ve got to get going and start our new regimes. 

We’ve all embarked on our new regimes. Particularly with eating and exercise. Out with the McDonald’s breakfasts and in with porridge’s, poached eggs and muesli! 

Best wishes, 
Christina

Christina Bowden
Bowden PR
Charity, Corporate, Consumer and Lifestyle PR


Twitter @bowdenpr
Facebook  Bowden PR
Instagram bowdenpr

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

TfL, Forced To Apologise For Offensive Network Ad For New Ride-Sharing Company.


Transport for London has now had to apologised for any offence caused by an ad that it had authorised for minicab ride-hailing app Kapten, that it said it approved "in error" (no the first, this is becoming a regular issue with woefully inadequate TfLTPH)
The campaign themed "Get me out of here" showed a picture of a sinister-looking man. Around the image, the wording: "When you recognise your blind date from the news… Get me out of here Kapten."
TfL have been contacted after a number of critical comments about the ad. Mollie Goodfellow tweeted a picture of the ad, commenting: "It’s funny because women might meet a murderer or rapist on a blind date and might need to escape to protect themselves."
The funny thing is that what people don't seem to understand is that drivers who will be working for Kapten, are the same drivers who work for other e-hailing Apps, like the biggest one who's drivers were responsible for over 50 serious sexual assaults last year along and rising year on. So, an unsuspecting vulnerable passenger could in fact be going from the frying pan into the fire!
TfL said it had decided to take the ad down. This is the second add in recent weeks. A ViaVan ad had previously been removed after showing on of its minicabs, unlawfully picking up passengers whilst parked on a zebra crossing. 
The question still remains through......how are these adds being approved to be placed in front of the public?
Who at TfL, is responsible for these offensive advertisements?
And what are TfL going to do, to insure these type of issue doesn't happen again?
Kapten also apologised for any offence caused and its London general manager Mariusz Zabrocki said: "We received the first complaints on Friday and we started taking down this ad on the same day. 
"TfL contacted us on Monday and we decided together to take it down everywhere in the TfL network immediately." 
TfL provided the following statement: "This advertisement was approved in error and we apologise for any offence it has caused. We are working to ensure that it doesn’t happen again. The advertisement does not meet the requirements of our advertising policy and is being removed from across our transport network. Kapten have also said they will not use this poster in any future campaign."
The matter may have been escalated by Si├ón Berry, the Green Party London Assembly member, who replied to Goodfellow’s tweet yesterday morning with a promise to ask the mayor "how that happened".
Sian went on to tweet "It literally jumps at you with offensiveness and there are supposed to be checks, TfL themselves have good adverts on safe travel so how it was missed I don’t know. Grim."
TAXI LEAKS EXTRA BIT :
Recently we complained to TfL about this ad on London buses showing a minicab with an illegal door ad. 
London's Taxi licensing administrator, who are supposed to be impartial, and enforce legislation laid down by parliament, have grossly failed in their duties. 
It's often been the case when Private hire companies have contravened the Private Hire act 1998, they have turned a blind eye and refused to carry out the enforcement laid down by the act. 
Taxi Leaks recently complained about the VisVan Ad showing a minicab picking up passengers on a zebra crossing we waited for a reply but had to complain a second and third time.
By he time we received a reply, we were told that the VisVan campaign on network stations and in Tube trains, had now run its course and been replaced by new adverts. Also, the VisVan ad had a comment that was totally untrue. At the bottom it made the statement...."London's samartest, cheapest and greenest rides"....as the company were usinging euro 6 Diesel engines, then this claim could be assessed as false and a blatant lie.  
Stalling tactics from TfL not the first time. 
A few years back Uber moved their operating centre from Old Marylebone Road, to new premises in Caledonian Street N1. When we checked, they were still registered with TfL in Old Marylebone Road. The Abstract of Law pertaining to PH says that if a company is found operating from unlicensed premises, then their licence will be automatically revoked and this would count against them being relicensed in future. 
We complained to TfL and received a replying informing us that although Uber had failed to renew their address details with TfL, they had been given 8 weeks grace to update their address. We reported TFL's action to both the LTDA and Unite but neither representative body took action confirming our suspicions of an alleged 'not rocking the boat alliance' between these two orgs and TfL. 

Monday, June 24, 2019

Great News : LondonTaxiPR, Winners Of The Best Transport PR Agency For Second Successive Year.

Winners again!!
For the second year in succession, london Taxi PR are very proud to announce that they have won 'The Best Transport PR Agency 2019', in the Business Excellence Awards 2019 by Acquisition International.

This is their second award this year!

Thanks to all their supporters.

      

What is LondonTaxiPR?

LondonTaxiPR has been set up to positively promote & raise the profile of our world famous iconic Licensed London Taxi Profession, through advertising & PR 

Who are we?

LondonTaxiPR was set up by Lee Sheppard, in March 2015. Lee has been a GB driver since 1997. Lee Is passionate about his profession, and says “I felt the need to set this up, with the hope that by bringing about positive Advertising campaigns & PR,  it will help with the future of our trade”

Since starting in March 2015 LondonTaxiPR has grown into a team of 4.

Lee now works alongside,

Andy Scott is an experienced PR professional & Journalist

Andy Perry is an experienced advertising executive who advises & assists on all campaigns

Michael Mongey is a London Taxi driver of 33 years & assists in general running of LondonTaxiPR

WE NEED YOUR SUPPORT 


For all future promotions & advertising campaigns we aim to approach all members from within the trade & ask them to make contributions to our PR fund. We hope that with your help & support we will promote the advantages, benefits & safety of using our iconic service, to the general public & all visitors to our great city. Keeping the world best taxi service at the forefront of Londoners minds.

DONATE BY CLICKING THIS LINK : https://londontaxipr.com/donate/



Selfie Sid Splurges £700k On Gimmicky Cop Shop After Moaning No Money To Fight Knife Crime


A South London police shop, replacing a Station that was closed to 'save money', in area hit by flurry of stabbings and shootings had cost taxpayers £690k despite hardly ever opening!

The 'COP shop' sited in one of London’s bloody knife crime frontline, has cost taxpayers £690,000, despite barely ever being open.
The 'front counter' base, similar to the one in Church Street Lisson grove that purports to replace the massive Paddington Green Plice Station, is just a simple desk inside a disused shop. These shops are meant to replace real police stations that have been axed and sold off in budget cuts.

Officials ar said to hav spent a vast £319,000 on just a refurb job in a bid to give people in Tulse Hill, South East London, the chance to chat to real local police officers and report crimes.

But, locals say it's “always shut”.... despite a host of stabbings and shootings nearby. 

The rest of the total bill – which would have paid the wages of 23 new PCs – is made up of rent, running costs, rates and insurance.

The shock figures emerged after a freedom of information request filed by nation news paper, The Sun.

Despite its lack of use, papers show the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime (MOPAC) agreed to extend the shop’s lease in January 2017.
And it is not due to expire until September 2019 – meaning the total bill to September this year, is likely to top £700,000. And then the lease will have to be renewed, at another cost to the taxpayer.

One local shopkeeper, who did not want to be named, said: “I can’t remember the last time it was open".

‘FAILING TO KEEP PEOPLE SAFE’
“The shutters are always down.
“Everyone round here would prefer more police on the street, instead of this type of white elephant vanity project.
“Shops are for business, not for police to sit in.”

MOPAC first took out the lease on the shop in February 2007.
It has since spent £155,400 on rent, £130,600 on other costs and £85,000 on rates and insurance on the property.

The Met said it had “a view to exiting the lease in September 2019” but claimed it had “not permanently closed” the shop.

David Spencer, of the Centre for Crime Prevention, blasted: “As London finds itself stuck in a downward spiral of violent crime under Sadiq Khan’s mayorship, it absolutely beggars belief that police stations are being closed down, where people can access police services and get support quickly and easily.

“Even more staggering is the fact that they will still be coughing up huge sums in rent for an empty space while in neighbouring streets the capital’s knife crime epidemic continues to rage.

TAXI LEAKS EXTRA BIT:
It has been bought to our attention that even if you can find a police station still open, they are refusing to take in certain property found in the Taxi. 

You are now expected to drive to drive the Baker Street, put your vehicle on the rest rank in Marylebone Road (if you can find a space) and walk around to the 'Lost Property Office' at 200 Baker Street. But, the Office is only open Monday to Friday 8:30 till 4pm.

REALITY CHECK ! in Response To Comments On Social Media.....by Sean Paul Day


Firstly, it's absurd to suggest TfL don’t know the protests are happening. 

I deal with TfL police/Met/ MPSRTPC most weeks and depending on what other events require additional deployment their attitude can range from mildly accommodating to assertively aggressive. Believe me, TfL know the demos are happening as 36 bus routes have to be diverted. What the Met  really hate is for us to move about; the threat of which, allows the protest in the square to be constant. 

Relevant bodies at TfL have proposed talks but The ITA have categorically refused on the basis that the proposed dialogue is not genuine nor is it intended to sort the problems out. 

Being invited around the table is NOT the end game and six years of a phoney engagement policy is testimony to that. As far as the ITA is concerned, DIALOGUE IS DONE. Either TfL address the situation with credible and acceptable solutions or WE PROTEST.....or shall I say the core 500 WILL PROTEST. 

One thing is unequivocal, the ITA will not be complicit in enabling punitive policies being implemented against the cab trade. FULL STOP! 

Most of you would have read Paul Goghlan’s acutely observant post on FaceBook with optimism. 
Few however, will have grasped the nucleus of the point he was making. 
To emphasise it somewhat, the decommissioning of thousands of taxis will leave the cab trade unable to fulfil its remit as an official, city-wide taxi service. And yet the reduced fleet - and subsequent upturn in work- has everyone jumping for joy as though the waves from an oceanic drought have come lapping back to the shore.

Dear god, I can only smash my  bloodied face against a brick wall for so long. 

By all means don’t demo, sit on your hands and cheer-lead what this page offers. I’m all for that, but whining on because someone’s tried to wake up the status quo is something I’m not gonna lose sleep over. 

Deleting posts that stir up mild conflict has more to do with dissipating dissonance than it does supporting the trade. For goodness sake, allow the space for healthy debate - and the facts - to prevail. 

Defending doing nothing IS NOT THE ANSWER. There’s no need to fall apart at the seams in defiance against a non-compliant message. Criticism doesn’t warrant a call to action where the ensuing result is to cling to the prevailing slumber. Cognitive bias is not a sign of collective strength, and believe me, parallels drawn with the LTDA is not a good look. Surely there are times you should lead your men into battle for f*ck sake! 

That said, some frayed knots need sealing...

Bank Junction was lost by the LTDA. The ITA was asked to cease demoing so the City and the LTDA could collate data pertaining to the adverse effect that restricting access would have on our earning potential. This could not proceed if the protests continued. 

All those with memories a little more robust than a gnat reaching the end of its life span, will recall me arguing against adversity in favour of halting the demos as I believed the stats would determine the trades quickest return through the Junction.  

Even though The ITA had paved the way for the ‘all trade’ negotiations they were never invited to attend the meetings and despite a sterling effort made by the ITA and Ray from the RMT (who submitted collision and congestion data respectively) those negotiations subsequently failed from the outset (they were told that a traffic order had already been instructed and that Bank Junction was it not up for negotiation) 

Why? Well for one, there were no demands made and no timeline for when those demands should be met. Which in my book is nothing short of LUDICROUS! 

The impact assessment that was carried out by the LTDA was so far-fetched that the remake of Journey to the Centre of the Earth carried more credibility, and it was dismissed out of hand. Surely, it is inarguable that trade representatives need to understand what the fight is to be able to contest it? 

Not dissimilarly, and for the record, the negotiation policy is - and has always been- a total utter catastrophe for our industry, simply because it has taken away the threat drivers hold over policies implemented against the trade. 

WHAT WILL IT TAKE FOR DRIVERS TO GET THEIR HEADS AROUND THIS?

The political route is redundant because the trade has absolved itself of bargaining power. TfL’s  negotiating policy has succeeded In the trade believing it has achieved its end result by merely being invited around the table. 

IT HAS NOT! THE TRADE HAS BEEN RENDERED IMPOTENT! 

We have gained nothing, yet TfL has garnered a firsthand gauge on what the cab trade can - and more significantly - what the trade CANNOT do. It is the biggest disservice that the trade has ever inflicted upon itself.

Why does the trade think the traditional way of refusing to accept adverse policy isn’t permissible through the engagement policy? 

Why do we accept everything TfL lumbers us with? 

Why can we no longer say that we do not accept policies that work against our best interests? 

Why can’t we tell TfL that they need to find another solution? 

We have absurdly allowed them to take away the threat of collective rebellion, that’s why! 

I repeat for the millionth time;

THE POLITICAL ROUTE ALONE HAS UNEQUIVOCALLY FAILED. 

If McNamara believes the political route alone will win the day - as he has done for the last 11 years - then why doesn’t the cab trade have ONE SINGLE MP asking questions on our behalf on the floor in the House of Commons? 

Why don’t we have representatives that can offer deputations and give evidence in our favour at local traffic management meetings? 

It’s an unmitigated farce and we’ve fallen for it hook, line, and sinker; all to protect a bunch of 70-80 year-olds that wouldn’t know their arse from their elbow when it comes to the future of ‘eco-transport/smart-city‘ solutions. 

Do not delude yourselves for one moment that cosying up to Wes Streeting will save us. And if McNamara is so keen on him why didn’t he have the diplomatic courtesy to greet him at the branch meeting organised by his own members? 

Streeting’s failed ten minute bill was a PH Bill to benefit minicabs. No doubt his 60k per year fee to host the APPG will keep him paying lip service to the trade for as long as he needs to (Wes and Sadiq will not politick polemically) And aren’t we glad we have MyTaxi and Gett speaking for us on our behalf? Just in case you WEREN’T wondering, TAXIAPP, which offers the only alternative working model to the corporate based apps and as a Cooperative is best suited to represent drivers, is excluded. I wonder why that is? WAKE UP!

The protests are uneventful because the majority of drivers won’t demo, much the same way as they won’t fill out consultations, lobby their MP, contribute to UTAG, support LTPR, or attend the Mayor’s QT once a month. In fact, drivers will spend more time arguing against the demos - and support each other arguing against them - than they would if they turned up for just three hours per week. And most who claim to be adherents did the one offs - not the daily ones; day in day out.

Excuses, Excuses, Excuses. 

The time and frequency of the protests are determined by those who attend- and rightly so.  If we still did 4pm - 7pm, five days a week there'd be half a dozen die hards, two mop heads and a broom stick willing to attend. Still, as far as I’m aware, taxis are officially included in the remodelling of Tooley St. If I remember rightly, the ITA inadvertently let that victory slip three weeks before Christmas, which just so happened to be five months before the Adams Family at Woodfield Rd -or is it Great Suffolk St-  decided to tweet it out.

Furthermore, for the ralliers that never attend the demos, but holler to do bridges, even though most bridges are exclusion zones and an arrest order would be automatic, we still should do bridges... or Hogarth Roundabout... or the Spur Road on the M4. Who do you think would take the hit if we did carry out those suggestions? I sure as hell know the non-attendees of the current protests wouldn’t, especially whilst there’s hay to be made due to 1000’s of cabs being decommissioned! Whoohoo! 

The old adage that even predates the The LTDA COM, that you can lead people to water, but you certainly cannot make them drink never rang truer. But what I find inexcusable is the apologists who try to brand drivers who are fighting for the future of all of our livelihoods as the bad guys.

Could anyone of those, please tell me, what is more serious than protesting being taken out of crucial elements of the Mayors transport strategy? 

What is more serious than protesting the local implementation plans that adhere to the Mayors transport Strategy that allows the borough councils the autonomy to restrict access to taxis? 

What is more serious than protesting being downgraded to a mode of transport that is considered no different to a car driven for private purposes?

What is more serious than protesting not being deemed as an integral part the public transport solution which will displace us into all other traffic; forcing us around costly, time-inefficient routes?

What is more serious than protesting being systematically replaced by ‘dynamically routed, on-demand’ hopper bus services? Whether you agree that this service will succeed or not is not the point.

What is more important than protesting the engineering of a reduced fleet which will influence mainline stations to offer ‘holding spaces’ for private hire (demonstrable already at Heathrow, City Airport, ExCel, Westfield) and eventually opening them up for tender? Why does anyone think we are any different to LUTON!!!! 

AND THERE ARE DRIVERS WHO WILL STILL FIGHT AGAINST DRIVERS WHO ARE PROTESTING?!? 

As far as the trade goes, we desperately need to find a better system for governance. Many of the irreversible risks that now threaten our trade originate from a rapid pace of industrial development coupled with the monopolisation of emerging technology and an adamance by TfL not to enforce existing legislation

Conveniently for TfL, the system currently in place to represent the trade - and effectively manage many of issues we are facing is done by using yesterday’s tools and by the same people. As a consequence, the necessary action is either not taken or is taken too late, while the problems and risks the industry faces continue to grow and mutate. 

The LTDA, UNITE & TFL are NOT apathetic or indifferent to what is happening, they have a totally different agenda to the rest of us. If denial is the issue then there is little more I can do, or say, to convince you that if we don’t defend our working practices now,  we won’t have the collective strength to do so in the future.

For reasons of clarity. I would be willing -for this trade- to stand in the middle of Piccadilly Circus, naked, with my thumb up my arse, and pirouette for 25 hours a day if I thought that drivers would support me in defending our working practices. It is however, self evident, that 20k plus drivers will not. But one thing I do know is, there are 400 who would walk through the desert with me if I asked them to and that makes it worthwhile. And the same goes for me, for them. And I hope one day the whole trade will benefit, not just those fighting for us week in, week out.

To conclude (if you’re still reading this then I advise not to  pause as it is likely to be deleted) it’s not the 400 who are protesting who will lose the trade access to infrastructure. It won’t be down to the core of the ITA men and women. It’ll be the sterility of those handing our profession over to TfL enabling them to force a one tier system. And disgracefully there’s drivers on here who don’t attend the demos that say, “TfL don’t even know the protests are happening” At least see the blatant hypocrisy- or idiocy through ever increasing blinkered eyes. 

Hate on me as much as you like, but it’s the ‘work-on's’ and the ‘stay-at-home's’ who weaken our fight EVERYTIME. And it's the media snipers who strengthen TfL's resolve. Quislings all, shameless and dishonest!  

It is only the self-entitled who believe that intransigence - when all else is rapidly changing around us - will prevail. 


Fill ya boots, make hay while the stations are going unserved.

Be Lucky

Sean Paul Day.