Sunday, June 16, 2019

With TfL Designing Consultations To Get The Result They Want, Should Orgs Be Issuing Templates For Drivers?


In another letter to Taxi Leaks, Greenbadgejohn asks the representative orgs and union:
Why are you letting this happen???

Its a great pity this meeting wasn't held before the taxi age limit consultation, because there were a couple of questions on that consultation that could attract an agreement without causing any dissent and maybe those questions were deliberately inserted to get a common agreement, to bag people into a whole 100% agreement assumption as the RBK&C councillor warned the congregation at the cycle lane meeting mentioned.

This comes as a severe warning to us all, regarding the low integrity and total bias, in the way TFL conducts itself on so called consultations. The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea themselves have called TFL consultatns out with warnings on individual completions... So it must now be highlighted to all of the cabtrade (if they did not know it already by now) that it really is them verses us.... So do your duty when replying to all consultations and complete without giving any leeway.

The question must now be asked...why the representative orgs and Unions haven't in the passed, create a prior template to be followed to the letter by drivers???
Because The Councillor in the previous article warned of tricks ahead by TFL to effctively get their way against RBK&C
So, because of the situation between 'them and us', we must always expect the worse ourselves.

Let's face it, the cycle lobby have been doing this for a while now and this is one reason they seem to always get what they asked for....simply because they know exactly how to ask!!!

Be Lucky... And but be warned.

greenbadgejohn

It's not just in London, Cycle lanes are causing congestion and pollution throughout the UK.



TAXI LEAKS EXTRA BIT:
This is something we've covered before, but since the RBK&C meeting....there's more.

Why haven't senior reps bought up this issue of bias consultation questions at the trade's meetings with TfL?
Or if they have... why haven't we heard about it?

What is it they talk about?
Do they get to talk?
Or are they just given messages to report back to the rank and file?

This is why its imperative that all meetings must be minuted, so we can all find out what is and isn't being talked about.

Why did our largest org and Unite the Union vote against minuted meetings?
What are the frightened of?
Are they frightened we will find out what they are actually saying to TfL?

The UCG, LCDC and the RMT have all asked for minutes to be taken at all meetings, but so far this request has been refused...again the important question here is WHY ???

Saturday, June 15, 2019

Press Release: June 2019 : Annual Day Trip to Worthing for WWII Veterans


Every year since 1948, the Taxi Charity has been bringing veterans to Worthing for the day, to spend time with their friends and enjoy seaside favourites, fish and chips and ice cream.
 
This year’s outing is only a week after many of the veterans spent a week in Normandy with The Taxi Charity for D Day 75, remembering the friends they lost.
 
Over 60 Kind-hearted volunteer London cabbies will pick up nearly 200 veterans and their carers from their homes across the South East on Tuesday 18 June and take them for a much-loved day trip to Worthing.
 
After a pit stop at South Holmwood Village near Dorking in Surrey, for home-made sandwiches, cakes and refreshments the taxis will travel in convoy along the A24 to Worthing. Once in Worthing, the veterans will enjoy a fish and chip lunch with the Mayor of Worthing, Councillor Hazel Thorpe on Worthing Pier. The Mayor, veterans, cabbies and invited guests will hear from guest speaker Paul Raison. National Secretary of the Parachute Regiment Association and enjoy musical entertainment, as well as having the opportunity to catch up with old friends, take in the sea views and grab an ice cream.
 
WWII Veteran, Bill Gladden, 6th Armoured Recce Regiment RAC, says,
“I have been going on outings with the Taxi Charity for many years. The recent trip to Normandy for D Day was particularly poignant as I laid a wreath at the memorial service in Ranville and then met a comrade from my old regiment who I had not seen since June 1944. We both thought we were the only one left! The Worthing outing is a money can’t buy experience where I can meet up with an amazing group of old boys and be taken door to door by one of the volunteer London black cab drivers.”
 
Graham Pike, one of the London cabbies taking part, and a committee member of the Taxi Charity, said: “Our annual Worthing trip is something we look forward to all year. It’s a pleasure to treat these ladies and gents to a trip to the seaside as a way of saying ‘thank you’ for all they’ve done for us.”
 
 TAXI LEAKS EXTRA BIT :
 
Date - Tuesday 18 June 2019
 
The cabs will drive through the High Street in Worthing to reach the pier and are due to arrive between 12.00 and 12.30pm (dependent on traffic)
 
This will offer a superb photo opportunity.
Interviews can be arranged with a veteran, a taxi driver or Taxi Charity Chairman Ian Parsons
 
 
About the Taxi Charity
 
The Taxi Charity for Military Veterans was formed in Fulham in 1948, to work for the benefit, comfort and enjoyment of military veterans and arranges many trips every year for veterans from all conflicts.
The charity offers international trips to Holland, Belgium and France, day trips to concerts or museums, transport to attend fundraising events, as well as special days out to catch up with friends and comrades.

To fund and facilitate these outings, the charity is wholly reliant on generous donations from members of the public, businesses and trusts and the amazing group of London licensed taxi drivers who offer their time and vehicles for free.
 
To find out more about the charity or to donate visit the website http://www.taxicharity.org/.
Twitter @TaxiCharity
 
 
Contact
 
Christina Bowden
Bowden PR
 
 
christina@bowdenpr.co.uk
 

Friday, June 14, 2019

Fears As Uber 'Takes Stranglehold Of Basildon Cab Trade'.

FEARS have emerged that Uber are beginning to take a strangle hold on the cab trade in Basildon.

Independent councillor Derrick Fellowes, who represents the Nethermayne ward, is demanding action.

He was amazed by the vast number of Ubers after being shown the controversial app by a taxi driver.

He said: “There were literally five sitting about waiting for jobs.

“I have many concerns. The first being is local taxi drivers are registered and are licensed by the borough council to work here, whereas the Ubers aren’t, they operate here when they’re licensed to operate in London.

“Local taxi drivers go through a number of checks which ensure passengers are safe and they’re driving lawfully, it takes months before they’re licensed. I’m told Ubers can get licensed in a day, which means there’s no guarantee of the same security.

“Taxis are patrolled by the council so provide that safety which Ubers don’t. They’re pinching trade from legit operators which is unfair.”

Mr Fellowes has now raised concerns with the chair of the licensing committee councillor Imelda Clancy, who address the issue with officers. He added: “I hope this will be a step forward in stomping out the issue, protecting residents and taxi businesses.”

Last March, the Uber app was “geo-fenced” from Southend, Chelmsford and Rayleigh, which prevents the driver from operating in the locations. Taxi drivers believe this has caused Ubers to zone in on Basildon.

Martin Taylor, a taxi driver at Direct Cars, Basildon, said: “Having Ubers here has impacted us massively. Our businesses and income has been affected, money has dropped and I’m doing more hours.

“They’re all over the place, at Basildon station, Billericay High Street, everywhere.

“Before we’re licensed, we take multiple tests, CRB checks, medical checks, and a variety of courses, but I don’t think Uber drivers have the same thing.

“They just show their car, driving licence and get a sticker, that’s it, it’s quite worrying.”

Asa Oddy, 43, co-owner of Ace Taxis Limited and WickfordTaxis, said: “The issue is, they’re licensed to operate in London not here, but work here anyway.

“Nobody is stopping this from happening and they’re not being regulated properly.”

  

Cabbies: ‘We’re Losing Out Since Council Scrapped Patch Knowledge Test!'

FRUSTRATED taxi drivers have accused Castle Point Council of damaging their trade and have launched a petition.

A large portion of hackney carriage drivers in the Castle Point area claim private hire taxis are taking their business, mostly due to the fact they are no longer required to take a local knowledge test before being issued with a license from the council.

The Castle Point website states all hackney carriage and private hire taxis are required to take a local knowledge test to be issued with a license.

However, it has since come to light that two years ago, following a council meeting, a local knowledge test is no longer a requirement.

Dave Wood, a Castle Point taxi driver of 30 years, feels not only are they losing trade because of the number of private hire taxis now working the same circuit, but their lack of local knowledge is reflecting badly on independent hackney carriage drivers like Dave.

The 55-year-old said: “We are independent hackney carriage drivers who work through ABC or Steve’s Radio Cars but we also do pick ups from the station.

“The circuit is now flooded by private hire taxis who also go through ABC and Steve’s to the point we are now getting [fewer] jobs because of it.

“A load of us started doing more station pick ups to get more work, but then private hires were turning up too.

“The fact they are able to get their licenses issued so easily is causing a problem.

“Without a local knowledge test, most of them don’t even know where they’re going, they all use SatNavs. We have started getting public complaints and even customers getting in our cabs and asking ‘do you know where you’re going?’

“We all feel so aggrieved by it all - we have all had to take knowledge tests.”

A petition launched by Dave was rejected on the grounds that no complaints had ever been made since the new regulations came into play two years ago - despite a petition of 94 signatures - and because their was no support from members of the public.

Dave and around 15 of his colleagues headed to the council offices yesterday to demand a right to appeal and get some answers to be told no one was available.

He added: “It’s always been difficult for us drivers to stand together on something - this is probably the first time we have. The feeling is so strong out there because of how we are suffering financially.

“During the last year and a half that this has been going on for I have noticed a decline in my earnings by around 20 to 30 per cent.”

Steve Flint, 59, from Canvey, has been a driver for 24 years in Castle Point.

He claims not a week goes by without a customer complaining about the lack of local knowledge the private hire drivers have.

He said: “I’m not just speaking up for us drivers, but for the general public, and I think that’s the point the council are missing.

“I took my knowledge test to get my license and it took my three months to learn it all before I sat the test.

“A lot of these private hire drivers are breaking the rules by overcharging customers because they have driven the wrong way or taken the longer route, and not a week goes by where I don’t have a customer say that that has happened to them.

“The council says we should respect and treat the general public with honesty and not overcharge, but some of these private hires are not doing that, therefore, they are breaking the rules and the council are contradicting themselves.”

Craig Watts, head of communities at Castle Point Council, said: “The council decision to withdraw the knowledge test was made over two years ago.

"The decision has been subject to examination by the local government ombudsman and no defect has been found in the council’s decision to withdraw the requirement for a knowledge test on first application for a private hire driver’s licence.

“Private hire is a pre-booked service and drivers have the ability to check routes beforehand and given the use of Sat-Nav and other technologies, the requirement for a knowledge test is no longer a key requirement to be satisfied before a licence is issued.

CityMapper To Exit The OnDemand Bus And RideShare Minicab Business.


Transport app Citymapper was said to be, a reliable, even admirably inventive, but not all its experiments work out. Today, the company announced it’s shutting down its hybrid bus and minicab service, previously known as Smartbus, then SmartRide, and then, simply, Ride. 

Ride was always a confusing experiment, available only in Citymapper’s home city of London. It started with a pair of buses in 2017, which serviced routes that the company’s data said were underserved by public transit. Then in 2018, it became SmartRide, with buses replaced by eight-seater vans that allowed them to be registered as private hire vehicles rather than buses. Eventually, the company added shared minicabs to its roster. 

But Citymapper Ride never made it out of London....shape of things to come perhaps for ViaVan???
In a blog post, Citymapper said it would find these drivers “good places to work,” but that regulatory constraints and a desire to focus on other projects meant Ride has had to end. 

The other projects in this case are just one: Citymapper Pass. This lets Londoners pay a weekly subscription to access a range of services including trains, buses, and bikes. Pass was launched earlier this year, and Citymapper says it will soon hopes be adding London's black cabs and minicabs to the service’s top tier (perhaps they should have thought to ask us first if we wanted to be added) to make up for the loss of Rideshared Minicabs.

Of course, Citymapper isn’t the only transport company that’s attempted to reinvent the bus. Lyft and Uber have launched similar services with shared vehicles on fixed (or semi-fixed) routes, without great success. Even Elon Musk used to envision his grand Hyperloop project as a sort of public transport carrying shuttles full of pedestrians. That was before he narrowed his plans — both literally and figuratively — to simply putting cars in tunnels

When it comes to disrupting city infrastructure, Citymapper’s plans, too, have diminished in scope. The last day of operations for Ride will be on July 14th

Khans Cycling Commissioner And TfL Told "On a Your Bike" By Royal Borough Of Kensington And Chelsea.



At yesterday's heavily attended meeting between the Kensington Society and TfL, to discuss the proposal for the radicle cycle lanes scheme along Holland Park Avenue, attendees were ask to raise their hand if they were against the scheme...It appeared that virtual all except for the team from TfL and a small group from the cycle lobby, raised their hands.



The Mayor's Cycle Commissioner (Will Norman) starting the ball rolling by trying to convince the audience that it was a complete 'Myth' that cycle lanes caused congestion and pollution, but he was almost laughed off the stage.

Councillor after Councillor received standing ovations...some for over three minutes, as they told the residents that they and the council would in no-way be supporting the scheme.

GLA Councillor Tony Devenish told the audience to be vigilant, as TfL do not normally listen to residents. He said it was extremely important that residents from all over should respond to consultations...and also to be very careful, as if you support any part of it....TfL will put you down as supporting a scheme 100%.

Cllr Devenish went on to say "the scheme being proposed here, is a bad scheme" to loud cheers and applause from audience.

The small group from the militant cycling lobby were heavily outnumbered by residents, local businesses and transport groups, who spoke out against the scheme.

After the meeting Will Norman and the TfL contingent said they were disappointed that the council appear to have already made up its mind, even though the consultation isn't complete.

The good news is that as these proposed cycle lanes would be on a road that comes under the authority of Kensington and Chelsea, the council have confirmed, they will not be supporting the scheme. 

So, it seems that the outcome of this meeting, is that the Mayor's Cycling Commissioner and TfL were told by the residents and council members of the a Royal Borough, "on you bike, we ain't having it".

Rapturous applause as Councillor and planning officer @jthalassites states he is hugely supportive of cycling, but @RBKC are unable to support @TfL @willnorman plans for Holland Pk/NHG due to impact on trees, congestion, bus stops; 
"presenting enormous problems for residents...just not the right proposal"  
               

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Brentwood Taxi Drivers Forced To Listen To Ban Uber Meeting Through Open Windows


Brentwood taxi drivers have been forced to listen to a council meeting discussing whether to ban Uber from the area through open windows after a packed room saw some drivers banned from entering.

Uber could be forced to leave the town after taxi drivers claimed that they were threat to the taxi trade.

The Planning and Licensing Committee for Brentwood Borough Council and Brentwood taxi drivers have met to discuss the possibility of banning Uber from the area.

However, due to the lack of space at Ursuline Convent School in Queens Road and seats quickly being taken up, some drivers were reportedly blocked from entering the meeting.

The problem was solved by taxi drivers who were fortunate enough to grab a seat, as they opened windows in the room to allow those outside to hear what was being said.

Uber drivers are not currently licensed by Brentwood Borough Council, but are licensed by Transport for London (TFL).

The Brentwood Borough Taxi Drivers Association (BBTDA) has written to Brentwood Borough Council detailing the issues that say they are facing due to the rising number of drivers in the town who are licensed elsewhere, like Uber.
The BBTDA say Brentwood Council "has no control" over the vehicles registered to TFL and are therefore unable to deal with any complaints and issues that may arise.

They also claimed that the changes were causing "the erosion of localism and a local trade based upon drivers who live and work in the borough and develop strong and positive relationships with their customers".

The licensing officer’s report recommends that the council consider the representations from the BBTDA, and to agree for a letter to be sent to Uber asking them to withdraw from Brentwood or to apply for an operations licence with them.

However, legal advice provided to the council concludes that by a legal definition Uber are not ‘operating’ in the town and are not doing anything unlawful.

TAXI LEAKS EXTRA BIT:
Just another council that have found out too late that the law doesn’t appear to protect the licensed Taxi Trade in their area. 

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Charity Black Cab Used To Transport Veterans To Memorials Have Been Vandalised



A black taxi used by a charity to give free trips to military veterans to memorial events has been vandalised.

The Taxi Charity for Military Veterans helps World War II veterans and helped transport our war heroes to Normandy last week for the D-Day commemorations.

The drivers, who provide this service free of charge, spent a week in France, but on the final day in France, the cabs were vandalised.
The cabs were parked all week outside a hotel in Port Le Plaisance in Caen. On Friday evening, about five of the cabs were vandalised with wind screen wipers, wing mirrors and aerials ripped off.

Black cab driver Mike Hughes revealed: "We’ve gone to our taxis this morning to find that several have had their wiper blades broken off and other damage.

"Our mechanics have patched them up as best they can but this mindlessness has spoilt the start of our final day. But WW2 spirit will not let it beat us."

The total cost for the repairs will be upwards of £500 on top of the travel costs and lost income for the week. The charity has agreed to pay for the repairs, but that is money that could be better used helping our war veterans.

A JustGiving page has been set up to raise money for the repairs - if you want to donate to The Taxi Charity for Military Veterans, click here.




Tottenham Court Road Closed As Bus Knocks Down A Pedestrian. First Blood On Camden Council's Hands



First blood on the hands of both Camden Council and the Mayor of London who are completely responsible, for this horrific road traffic accident involving a pedestrian and a bus at the junction of Tottenham Court Road (southbound) and Torrington Place. 

The news broke earlier today on Twitter that Tottenham Court Road had been closed due to an accident involving a bus and pedestrian. 

Caroline Russell tweeted she was sorry to here this, hoping they are ok.... but that’s just not enough !
It’s these lunatic traffic schemes that are causing (in Caroline’s borough of Islington) massive congestion, massive pollution... yet we are constantly told by councillors like Caroline, the toxic air is killing children at an alarming rate.... and yet her council have implemented schemes that have virtually bought her borough to a standstill.

At the Bank Junction, traffic in surrounding areas has been bought to gridlock, to facilitate faster bus journeys through the junction, and as such, there has been an increase in bus/cyclist/pedestrian collisions. 

Time to admit TfL and the Mayor (who oversee most of the more ridiculous schemes) aren’t fit to do the job they are handsomely paid to do. 

Khan has already admitted his expert advice is no more than guesstimates. 

Mike Brown take home pay has recently been published, with a laughable performance related bonus, he took home over half a million pounds last year...In his role of commissioner, he regularly can’t answer questions from the GLA. 

Time to go Sadiq !
Time to go Mike !

TAXI LEAKS EXTRA BIT :

Just run this past us again, 
Wages £508,301, and can’t answer this simple Question ?? 

Can’t even go into detail !! 

Sounded like he hasn’t got a clue. 

Question is has he got back to you yet Keith Prince AM ??  

Cos The Trade is waiting ??

Click this link below and see him as he gets caught out ! 


Something else that definitely hasn't been explained to drivers....the rank outside Heals.
It's on the southbound carriage way. 
We need to be facing a rank with our near side to the kerb, to facilitate wheelchairs and buggies. 
There are no 'No Uturn' signs and no unbroken white lines ... So do we Uturn onto the rank and then what....Uturn off or carry on southbound ?
Or, do we cross the southbound bus and cycle traffic and put on the rank pointing north ?
Have buses and cycles been warned to give way to Taxis with their ramps extended out into the road ?
Will buses patiently wait for us to load disabled passengers or mums with prams ?
None of these questions have been answered by TfL, or Camden Council !

And same again with the rank outside Spearmint Rhinos, if called over to the hotel, the traffic will be held up in both directions as the Taxi dangerously crosses over the two carriageways, and two lines of cyclists who, let's face it, aren't the brightest when it comes to safe riding. 
Is this contrived so when Taxis are banned from the street, the council can say.....well it was deemed to dangerous ?

Come along tomorrow and let them know how you feel about these crazy schemes 
PARLIAMENT SQUARE
1pm till 4 pm.

No Bus Lane Access, No Rental Taxis, Limited Airport Tags, Station Rank Permits, How Far Will You Bend Over???


They are taking away your bus lane access and giving it to an on demand minicab service, who will be able to purchase the very vehicles TfL and the Mayor have stopped you from using... 

They are expelling you from streets, in fact the Mayor is providing funding to local councils to exclude you from these streets...

They are decommissioning Taxis at a rate of knotts creating a shortage of available rentals, with the knock on affect, that rentals are going to keep rising. Allegedly (according to a tweet from the LCDC), two of our very own representative groups, the LTDA and Unite are encouraging the Mayor to put up even more funding to speed up a reduction of the trades fleet, which will cause even more shortages...


Our largest org appears to be doing and saying nothing to find a solution to the problems caused by TfL’s woeful incompetence. 

Although they do appear to be using certain problems to promote membership to their org, instead of finding a permanent trade solution.  

Their policy of wait and see, in many drivers opinion, lost us access to the Bank Junction. 

TfL are having secret meetings with just two “on side orgs” 
Meetings are completely un-minuted. Can you guess who they are....

All this going on and yet the vast majority of the trade have become so apathetic, they appear to have already given up and have no stomach or backbone for a fight. 

And that’s exactly what the ITA are doing every Wednesdays in Parliament Square.... the same few hundred faces week after week, are turning up to fight for the survival of their trade. 

If the Bard were here today, he would say:
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers and sisters.

Those of you who carried on working with your heads in the sand, should think yourselves accursed you were not there. 

You hold yourselves cheap while others speak, who fought with us here in Tottenham Court Road and Parliament Square. 

We now go into week 21 of a fight that could well have been over in just a few days had 10-15-20 thousand drivers turned up day after day to fight.

  

Latest news, they now want to ban you from the royal parks... think about this, they are not just talking about Serpentine Road but all access to eight Royal Parks. 

TAXI LEAKS EXTRA : 
Let's not forget the prediction made by Taxi Leaks in 2010 after first finding out about Project Horizon.
We alleged TFL's intention was to cull the whole trade back to just 12,000 drivers (Max), bus lane access would go to private companies paying for access (currently being trialled with ViaVan in South West London). Station ranks would only be accessible with permits charged on a similar basis as the Airports. There would be only a finite number of permits available at each station as PH vehicles will eventually be able to ply for hire on private property rail station ranks. (Addison Lee drivers currently allowed to wait to be hired on the drop off at Euston... to be allocated passengers. PHVs allowed to disregard Taxi only access signage at Paddington to pick up and drop off)

No one believed us back in 2010, but the nightmare has already begun and will escalate as no one's doing anything to stop it. 
(Except that is for the ITA band of brothers and sisters)

WEDNESDAY JUNE 12th 1pm till 4pm Parliament Square, Whitehall, Bridge Street, Great George Street and Broad Sanctuary. 


Police have instruction to give unrestricted accrues to all drivers wishing to join the protest. 

Monday, June 10, 2019

Letter To Taxi Leaks From Gerald Coba : Senior Reps...Or Just Messengers, Plus TfL COs Over Stepping The Mark Again !


So, Sadiq Khan and TfL like putting out statistics. Yet after a recent freedom of information request, TfL refused to give out the rape and sexual assault figures for passengers in Uber cars! 

So here are statistics Taxi Leaks has managed to acquire
Rapes and sexual assaults 173% up over last four years 2014-2018

There has been a 44% drop in cases being bought to court

Plus only 1in 25 cases result in a prosecution 

Prosecutors are being encourage to drop,cases at an early stage. (Source, BBC News)

Back in the real world the number of registered Uber drivers working the app, rose from 17,000 to 45,000 from 2014-2018. Coincidence ????

According to TFL's own statistics, 13,000 Uber drivers had acquired their Private Hire Licence using DBS certificates obtained from an unreliable source. TfLTPH's General Manager Helen Chapman, said that every driver on the list would be contacted in writing to re apply for a police check DBS. 

Only 2,600 drivers were contacted and the issue was dropped. 
General Manager of TfLTPH said she would personally vouch for all the drivers on the list!
Has any one checked to see if any of the 13,000 have committed rape, sexual assault or other serious crime???

This whole situation is a disgrace. 

  

And, it doesn't stop there.
The sun discovered that Uber drivers were obtaining medicals without actually being examined by a doctor. Many medicals (which should include eye tests and blood pressure examinations) on line, how is this possible. 

Shouldn't bells be ringing when we hear that the Uber driver, who set out to assassinate a member of the royal family, who attacked police officers in the Mall with a Samurai sword got off!
Or what about the driver of an Uber car, without a PH Licence, who was said to be using an Uber app (not registered in his name) with passengers in the car....mounted the pavement outside the National History Museum and run over and injure almost a dozen pedestrians. 
This case has never come to court, or if it has, it's been kept out of the national press. 

The question here is WHY???
Why have alleged terrorist attacks from Uber drivers been treated so leniently ?
Why were fake medicals accepted by TfLTPH ?
Why were the fake DBS certificates swept under the carpet ?

The last question:
Why are TfL refusing to release the rape and sexual assault figures being withheld ? We know the answer to. 
TfL have told senior trade reps that they are concerned that if these statistics get out, it may put passengers off using private hire vehicles. 

But that's another question that needs an answer!
What are these TOPS and senior rep meetings really all about?
Nothing has ever come from any meeting with TfL, so why do we meet with hem at all ?

All that happens is TfL tell the trade what they intend to do and the reps go back and tell their members.
Surely the best way forward would be to scrap the engagement policy which has kept the trade divided since it was introduced back in 2010. 

If TfL need to talk to the trade, they should come to us, all of us, no matter how small a representative body is, or how much they pay in subs, if a group represents drivers it should be on the list for every engagement which must be minuted and released to the trade ASAP after the meeting. 
There must be no more secret meetings and done deals. 

Perhaps they shouldn't be called senior reps, they should just be called messengers!


TAXI LEAKS EXTRA BIT : 
Again today, we hear that TfL COs have been overstepping their authority at the Kings Cross station ranks. 
Passengers have been stopped getting in the point cab on feeder ranks which are ranks in their own right....by these COs and also drivers have been stopped from moving up to queues of passengers while Badge and Bill checks are undertaken. 

This is unacceptable.

Why are these COs not trained to a better standard, with a knowledge of the law. They are not law enforcement they are there only to check Badge and Bills when convenient.

Just more proof (if any was ever needed) that TfL have an agenda of harassment against the London Licensed Taxi trade and its drivers. 

 

 


Sunday, June 09, 2019

Please Help Little Esme Reach Her Third Birthday


Sometimes it’s hard to ask as our trade is always being asked to put their hand in their pocket to fund this that and the other. 

But sometimes, something comes along that just breaks your heart. Please help us raise all the money needed for Esme’s transplant. Please help this little angel reach her third birthday. 

  

This is Esme. Esme is 2 years and 7 months old. She loves lions, narwhales and playing hide and seek outside. Right now we have no guarantees she will see her third birthday...

In June 2018 Esme at just 22 months old was diagnosed with high risk acute myeloid leukaemia whilst on holiday. She spent five months as an in-patient at the Royal Marsden, Sutton and received a stem cell transplant in September after three rounds of intense chemotherapy.

After six months of steady recovery, in April we heard the news we've dreaded; the leukaemia has returned to Esme's bone marrow.
We have sought the advice of several leading, global consultants that specialise within high risk AML.  They have emphasised heavily that Esme's best chance of cure is a second transplant ASAP. 
We are now fundraising to afford this treatment as in all likelihood it will not be available on the NHS. NHS policy is typically not to offer second transplants to patients who relapse within 12 months, but due to the aggressive nature of her disease, Esme simply may not have that long...


In the US and other private centres, second transplants are offered within one year. For her second transplant the plan would be to use an adult (rather than original umbilical cord) donor and manipulate more 'graft versus host effect' to eradicate the leukaemia - so there is every hope for a permanent cure.

Esme's parents, Will and Rebecca, are desperate to save Esme's life. She is their only child and Rebecca suffered 4 miscarriages (and 3 operations, one which nearly killed her) to bring Esme into the world. Throughout all her treatment Esme has been the epitome of resilience, positivity and cheekiness, and deserves a shot at a permanent cure for life.

Unless you wish to specify a donation is solely made for Esme’s benefit, any monies unspent will be donated to The Children's Cancer and Leukaemia Group. If you make a donation specifically for Esme's benefit and for whatever reason we don't require private funds, we will reimburse via the platform.
To read more of Esme's story, click here.

For larger fundraising ideas/ enquiries please contact info@esmelionheart.org

Please note: we were able to adjust our original target down from £500k to £400k target based on our best and latest understanding of figures shared by the team at the Royal Marsden who on 14th May confirmed that they will allow us to self-fund. 

Please note: upon re-admission to RMH on 20th May our team confirmed that the NHS has turned down their Individual Funding Request (i.e. a request for Esme to be exempted from their policy), meaning that we do indeed have to self-fund Esme’s transplant.?

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Have the public been hoodwinked into paying the ULEZ charge, to protect Uber’s saturation of London?.

Just a few of the Uber crashes seen on a daily basis, putting a massive strain on the emergency services.

In just seven years they have added over 60,000 vehicles to London’s already congested roads since their licensing in July 2012 ?

At one time adding over 600 vehicles a week to the total amount of cars working on the app. The proliferation of Uber licenses have caused a major delay in Licensed Taxi Driver and Taxi licence renewals.

New data shows that Uber minicab drivers are carrying fare paying passenger for less than half their shift... this raises serious concerns, the ride-hailing giant is massively adding to pollution and congestion.

Drivers are having to work long hours, most are working between 12 and 14 hours a day, as the fares are so low, with many drivers paying the company 35% of the fare in commission. A new report in the Sunday Times today, shows that these vehicles are driving around empty for well over half their shift.

The data shows drivers in London spent more than a third (35%) of their time cruising looking for work and almost a quarter (23%) of their time just driving empty to a location to pick up a passenger.

The data also shows vehicles only have passengers on board for 42% of the time. That’s 58% of their 12-14 hours driving round empty.

The Mayor of London (Boris Johnson) was ordered by government ministers to "go easy on Uber" and Uber's path to their launched into Britain was eased, with a promise that its smart technology (which matches passengers with the nearest vehicle plying for hire) would reduce traffic. But the time spent cruising round empty was never taken into account.

Questions should be asked why was the Mayor of London leaned on to go easy and why has the minister for transport, refused to put a cap on their numbers ?

With Sadiq Khan and TfL constantly reducing the amount of road space available to vehicles in the capital, the congestion and pollution is set to get much worse.

   

Taxi Leaks Extra Bit :
It has also been bought to our notice that TfL are also protecting Uber by flat out refusing to answer a request to regularly publish the sexual assault and rape statistics of Uber passengers by drivers. They say to do this may seriously affect Uber’s business model and could put people off using the private hire app.

So now TfL have put protecting the Uber app, over protecting the public.

But again, this was to be expected... after they (TfL) swept the fact that 13,000 of Uber’s drivers had fake DBS certificates under the carpet. Recently at a senior reps meeting TFL's general manager tried to deny the figure was ever 13,000, till it was pointed out that the statistic was in fact TFL's own published figure.

The fact that many Uber drivers had acquired medical examinations 'ON LINE' was also kept quiet and only came to light after being exposed in an article in a nation newspaper.