Wednesday, October 30, 2019

TfL, Still Putting People In Danger. How Bad Must It Get Before They Act And Do The Right By The Public


TfL must be bought to book over putting the public at risk by continuing to licence this toxic company. 

This post below has recently appeared on Face book 

On sunday at 1.30am, I got an uber from bexley to Swanley. 
My driver was named ajmal...this driver is dangerous and made me feel so scared its unreal. 

He took the dover exit of the M25, down the M20 and missed every exit the sat nav prompted him to take.  I sat in the back asking him to take the exits he should. 

This man chose to ignore both myself and the SatNav !

He ignored my worries and questions, drove down numerous dark lanes that in day light, I might of known where we was...but being as it was 1.30am and pitch black, I had requested we stay on the main roads, after he had taken the incorect exit and i was scared. 

The journey should of been 3.9miles and should take 16mins  but insted was around 19.9 miles and 40mins !!!!!. 

The trip should of cost me £14-£18 but I was charged £38! 

£38 for the privilege of being scared !!!.


After numerous messages to ubers customer service team, the best they can do is give a good will gesture of £20 credit on my uber account, that i wont be using, as I’m scared to get a Uber cat on my own !!!!. 

Today I called the main customer care team to be told my situation basically ‘isnt strong enough to be given the time of day’ by the specialist care team. 

My issue yes I was massively over charged but the main concern over all of this is what if another girl gets in ajmals cab and doesnt argue back to be taken home the correct way?

What if she is too drunk and doesnt realise whats going on? 

What if she calls uber the next day and says she has been raped or attacked? 

Will she be brushed off by uber??? 

Will her situation be strong enough to be listened to?!?!?!? 

Do not get in this mans cab!!!!  Uber Transport for London




This is the standard reply from Uber which in most cases results in no more than an offer of £20 off future Uber rides!

Not very reassuring to someone who’s been seriously sexually assaulted 

WhatsApp hack: Messaging app sues Israeli spy firm for attack that targeted users



WhatsApp is suing an Israeli surveillance company for a cyber attack targeting 1,400 users earlier this year. 

The Facebook owned messaging app is seeking undisclosed damages from the NSO Group for using its services to spy on users in April, according to a suit filed in the Northern District of California court on Tuesday. 

It alleges that NSO employees created WhatsApp accounts to send malicious software to lawyers, journalists, human rights activists, political dissidents, diplomats and senior foreign government officials. The malware was injected by initiating a WhatsApp call which the targets did not need to answer for their phones to become infected.

The hacking tool, dubbed "Pegasus"  could remotely retrieve calls, messages, and location on smartphones running Android, iOS, and BlackBerry operating systems.

NSO Group is reported to have several government contracts around the world for surveillance tools and Pegasus is its most popular products.

It responded to the suit claiming that "in the strongest possible terms" it denied the allegations and would "vigorously fight them". It said its sole purpose was to fight terrorism and serious crime on behalf of intelligence and law enforcement agencies.

A spokesman said: "The truth is that strongly encrypted platforms are often used by pedophile rings, drug kinpins and terrorists to shield their criminal activity. Wiithout sophisticated technologies, the law enforcement agencies meant to keep us all safe face insurmountable hurdles. NSO's technologies provide proportionate, lawful solutions to this issue."

In May, engineers conducting routine security checks noticed the malware in circulation and WhatsApp urged its 1.5bn users to update the app to ensure they were using a safer version. It did not say at the time how many, or whom, had been affected but announced that a "select number" of users had been victims. The bug affected all but the latest version of the app on iOS and Android. 

WhatsApp numbers implicated included country codes from several countries including Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Mexico, Facebook said.

Facebook's lawyers will argue that NSO Group broke WhatsApp's terms of service and broke the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.

In May, the Financial Times reported that a UK-based human rights lawyer had been targeted, along with Amnesty International. At the time, NSO Group’s spokesman said it was investigating but that it "would not, or could not" use its own software to target an individual or organisation.  


NSO, which has used several different names to avoid scrutiny, was founded in Israel in 2010. It opened a marketing headquarters in the US and in 2014, San Francisco Partners, a Silicon Valley-based investment company invested an undisclosed sum into the startup. It sold its controlling stake to Novalpina, a London-based equity company in February. 


Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Stop Press!! Campaign Update……. London Taxi PR reveals ‘significant success’ of the ‘All Hail the Street Hail’ campaign


London Taxi PR (LTPR)an organisation which represents the interests of the Licensed London Taxi profession, has announced the success of its most recentadvertising and promotional campaign, ‘All Hail the Street Hail’, which reported combined street and pedestrian viewing reach figures in excess of 36.8m for the month of its duration.

The campaign, which celebrated 365 years of being ableto traditionally hail a London Taxi, went live across 24 prime major billboard advertisement locations throughout central London and has been reported as one of London Taxi PRs most successful campaigns to date.

Produced in conjunction with digital media out of home advertising company, London Lites, All Hail the Street Hail also included the usage and display of the advertisement a number of rooftop signage display boards on London Taxis.

All Hail the Street Hail not only drew significant response and positive feedback & comments from those within the profession, but was also referred to by London Lites as, One of their most interactive and responsive campaigns they have had.

Speaking about the success of All Hail the Street Hail, London Taxi PR founder and Director, Lee Sheppard, stated, This proves just how successful and responsive one of our campaigns can be. Our intention has always been to produce and release a new campaign every month, and we hope thaby revealing the viewing stats for this latest campaign will encourage more from the profession, not just drivers but businesses as well, to get on board and support London Taxi PR in what we do.
Lee added, We would also like to extend our sincere thanks to London Lites and look forward to working with them again soon.

The campaign celebrated 365 years of the traditional hailing of London Taxi from the street, and will also carried subtle messaging such as, Mobile Datnot Requiredalong with a reminder that ALL London Taxis accept all major credit cards as well.

The reasoning behind the campaign was to not only remind the general public how long the traditionalLondon Taxi has been serving and transporting customers in London, but also just how easy and simple it is to hail a London Taxi rather than using your mobile phoneas has been witnessed with the increase in mobile apps to hail Taxis.

Since their formation, London Taxi PR has undertaken aseries otargeted media campaigns, which are being usedby London Taxi PR to promote the benefits, advantages and safety of using the iconic London Taxi to a wide audience.

All the campaigns and publicity that has so far been generated by the company has been funded by fellow London Taxi drivers as well as supportive companies andorganisations, many of whom have signed up to donate to the cause on a monthly basis, indicating how passionate they all are about their industry and the cause.
London Taxi PR. Passionate about promoting and preserving the iconic London Taxi trade and funded byLondon Taxi drivers who care about their industry



For more information on London Taxi PR and their campaigns, please visit their website http://londontaxipr.com

Monday, October 28, 2019

Les Hoath (Chairman) London Suburban Taxi-drivers’ Coalition, Gives Updates On Sutton On Demand Buses And TfL's Lack Of Taxi Rank Enforcement



Taxi Leaks has been asked to post the following information as a follow up to two articles posted on Taxi Leaks. https://andersonshelter.blogspot.com/2019/10/a-pilot-of-gosutton-on-demand-bus.html?m=1

Th first update pertains to the vehicles being used as a 'bus service' in Sutton, which under legislation should have more than 9 seats, charge per person, and stick to a ridged route and time table.
So why are the vehicles and drivers licensed as PHV & PHD.

What is ‘hire or reward’?
Where minibuses are operated as a core business activity for personal or commercial profit, this is deemed to be for ‘hire or reward’. Hire or reward' encompasses any payment in cash or kind by (or on behalf of) passengers which gives them the right to be carried.

Some commercial businesses i.e private nursing homes and school nurseries etc, operate minibuses as a small part of their business activity. In these cases, because the business gets paid a fee by their clients to be residents of their home, or children in their care, which indirectly includes the use of the minibus, this would be classed as ‘hire or reward’. Other examples of ‘hire or reward’ include where petrol money has been taken for taking children to school every day; or where courtesy coaches have been provided by a hotel as part of their amenities.

If the minibus is to be used for 'Hire and Reward', then a Passenger Carrying Vehicle (PCV) - Category D Licence is required.


Driving a mini-bus with nine seats or more, for hire or reward
In most circumstances you will need to obtain passenger carrying vehicle entitlement (PCV) which will involve a requirement to meet higher medical standards and take a further driving test. You will need to apply to your appropriate Traffic Commissioner and fulfil the necessary legal requirements. If you are being paid to drive a minibus for hire or reward under a PCV Operator’s Licence, you can only do so if you have full Category D1 entitlement obtained through the passing of the theory and practical test for this class of vehicle irrespective of when you passed your driving test to drive a car.

However, up to two vehicles each carrying no more than sixteen passesngers can be used for hire or reward under a restricted PCV Operator’s licence by a person or company that is not in the business of carrying passengers in vehicles adapted to carry more than eight passengers i.e by a taxi firm, where use of this size vehicle is not ‘regular’.

If you drive a minibus for an organisation under the minibus or community bus permit scheme, you will not need to have the higher PCV entitlements. Application can be made to a voluntary organisation that is acting as an umbrella body or alternatively the Traffic Commissioner.

 PCV (PSV)
Getting a PCV driving licence (previously known as a PSV - Public Service Vehicle)

If you want a licence to drive a minibus,and you currently hold a valid full driving licence you will need to apply to the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) for a provisional entitlement to drive a PCV. You will need to complete the application form D2 and the medical report form D4. These are available from the DVLA form ordering service. The D4 has to be completed by a doctor (including a doctor’s fee of £50-£70) and you will need to meet the PCV eyesight requirements. There are also requirements ie. being of good character and over 21 years of age.

The UK driving theory test was introduced in July 1996 as a written examination and updated to a computer based test in 2000. The test is conducted by the DSA (Driving Standards Agency). The PCV (D1) driving test is similar to the test taken by coach drivers, only the vehicle you would drive is a minibus. The Driver CPC Module 1 PCV theory test costs £50.00 and.is divided into two separate parts; the Multiple Choice Test (100 questions) £35.00 and the Hazard Perception Test (19 interactive clips) £15.00.

The multiple choice questions are about a wide range of driving related topics such as  the HIghway Code, vehicle weights and dimensions, drivers' hours, the carriage of passengers, hazard perception, environmental issues plus other matters relating to passenger carrying vehicles and driving law. Mock theory tests can be found on the DSA website www.dvsa.gov.uk

The second part is the Hazard perception test which must be passed at the same time.  The pass mark for the multiple choice part of the theory test is now 51 out of 60 . Those taking LGV or PCV (lorry or bus) tests must also score at least 50 out of 75 in the hazard perception test. If you pass one part and fail the other you'll fail the whole test, and you'll need to take both parts again.

From 1 January 2012, new theory tests will be introduced using questions and answers that the candidates will not have had access to - a change to the Q&A banks that had previously been published by the Driving Standards Agency since theory tests began in 1996. 

From September 2008 new legislation will require drivers with vocational licences (PCV D or D1 categories obtained by a separate test) to undertake additional regular training and be required to undertake and pass an additional Driver CPC module containing case scenarios before you’re even allowed to take practical driving lessons in a minibus in order to keep their vocational licences valid. This training is to ensure that all bus and coach drivers understand their responsibilities and keep up to date with new laws and regulations.

The PCV minibus practical driving test lasts 90 minutes . During the driving test the examiner will give you directions which you should follow. Test routes are designed to be as uniform as possible and will include a range of typical road and traffic conditions. More information is available on the Transport Office website.

What are the rules on drivers’ hours for minibuses?
 Further information on both the EU and Domestic Drivers’ Hours Rules is published by VOSA in (PSV 375) obtainable as above.   
A vehicle which is being used on a Section 19 permit is still a public service vehicle and is subject to domestic drivers’ hours rules when a person is driving in the course of his/her employment. Therefore if payment to the driver has taken place (unless it is out of pocket expenses) then domestic drivers’ hours rules apply.
Domestic drivers’ hours rules do not apply for the private use of a minibus or when permit vehicles are driven by volunteer (i.e. unpaid) drivers.
Obviously if a vehicle is being used as a PSV on a Regular Service (local/ non local) then the relevant domestic drivers’ hours rules apply (or in the case of a route exceeding 50 km, EU Hours’ Rules).
For PSV non-regular services when a minibus is being used for a non-regular national service, then domestic rules apply. For international services then the EU rules apply.
If a minibus is being used for international journeys (including private use) then EU drivers’ hours rules apply.

Minibus permits
Minibus and Community Bus Permits (Section 19 permits) are issued to organisations concerned with education, social welfare or other activities of benefit to the community. They allow certain organisations, including schools, to make a charge without having to comply with the full public service vehicle operator requirements and without the need for the driver to have a PCV (Category D1 or D) entitlement.

Certain organisations can apply for a Minibus Permit, (Section 19 -Transport Act 1985) for vehicles that can carry between nine and sixteen passengers. The Permit allows organistations like volunteer groups concerned with education, religion, social welfare, recreations and other activities that are beneficial to the community to make a charge without having to comply with the full passenger carrying vehicle entitlement (PCV) operator licensing requirements and without the need for their drivers to have PCV entitlement.

Many community transport organisations and charities now operate minibuses under a section 19 permit which, allows for the service provided to be for the organisations’ own members or for groups of people whom the organisation serves. Such organisations can charge or accept a form of remuneration for providing transport at a level to recover some or all of the costs of running the vehicle, and may even include an allowance for vehicle depreciation but the service must not be provided to members of the general public and the charges made must be on a non-profit basis. This non-profit requirement extends to cover any direct costs connected with a particular trip such as expenses incurred by volunteers, but not the wages of any staff involved.

A driver of a Section 19 permit minibus can either be paid or an unpaid volunteer.
It should be noted however, that volunteer minibus drivers who passed their car driving test after 1st January 1997 are restricted to drive minibuses which weigh no more that 3500kgs gross vehicle weight.

NB. Schools must hold a ‘Section 19 permit’ if minibus journeys are funded to any extent by outside sources such as parents or parent teacher associations. Schools and educational establishments who do not charge their pupils do not normally need a section 19 permit. See driving a school minibus.

Section 19 permits can be obtained from your local Traffic Area Network Office or visit the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency website: www.vosa.gov.uk.

Driving a school minibus abroad
The Section 19 permit arrangements apply only in the UK and you cannot take a permit minibus abroad, if it is used for hire or reward, unless you hold either PCV D1 or D entitlement. When a school minibus is taken abroad, a tachograph must be fitted and used throughout the journey , observing EC drivers’ hours regulations.


How can I tell if a minibus is being operated on a commercial operators licence (PCV) or under a section 19 permit?

Above the tax disk on the windscreen of the minibus should be another disk. If the minibus is being operated under a PCV licence the disk will be either blue or green. A white disk indicates that the minibus is being operated under a section 19 permit.



A Section 22 (Transport Act 1985) permit allows a minibus to be operated by bodies on a local bus service on a voluntary non-profit basis but only using unpaid volunteer drivers. Application needs to be made to the Traffic Commissioner for your area.

Section 19 and Section 22 permits are only applicable to the United Kingdom.

What are the rules on drivers’ hours for minibuses?
Further information on both the EU and Domestic Drivers’ Hours Rules is published by VOSA in (PSV 375) obtainable as above.

A vehicle which is being used on a Section 19 permit is still a public service vehicle and is subject to domestic drivers’ hours rules when a person is driving in the course of his/her employment. Therefore if payment to the driver has taken place (unless it is out of pocket expenses) then domestic drivers’ hours rules apply.

Domestic drivers’ hours rules do not apply for the private use of a minibus or when permit vehicles are driven by volunteer (i.e. unpaid) drivers.

Obviously if a vehicle is being used as a PSV on a Regular Service (local/ non local) then the relevant domestic drivers’ hours rules apply (or in the case of a route exceeding 50 km, EU Hours’ Rules).
For PSV non-regular services when a minibus is being used for a non-regular national service, then domestic rules apply. For international services then the EU rules apply.

If a minibus is being used for international journeys (including private use) then EU drivers’ hours rules apply.
This Guide is only intended for general help; it is not a legal document. Therefore you should seek your own legal advice if you have any doubts with these issues.


See also Renault Trafic LL30 9 Seat LWB, Ford Custom Tourneo Titanium 9 Seat, Lightweight minibuses for car licences


This Guide is only intended for general help; it is not a legal document. Therefore you should seek your own legal advice if you have any doubts with these issues.

TAXI LEAKS EXTRA BIT : Article Two

https://andersonshelter.blogspot.com/2019/10/what-are-tfl-waiting-for-why-did-uber.html?m=1




Taxi Ranks
 
http://content.tfl.gov.uk/taxi-drivers-abstract-of-laws.pdf

40. Appointment of and Regulations for taxi ranks (London Hackney Carriages Act of 1850 s4) TfL may appoint taxi ranks and make regulations as to the limits of the ranks, the number of taxis to be allowed to ply for hire there, the time during which they may ply for hire and also for enforcing order at the ranks, and removing any person unnecessarily loitering there.

It is TfL/T&PH (Gary Snewing – Rank & Infrastructure Manager) who appoints the ranks, therefore, it is their responsibility for enforcement and not down to the local councils.


Yours Sincerely


Les Hoath (Chairman)
London Suburban Taxi-drivers’ Coalition

What Are TfL Waiting For, Why Did Uber Get A Further Two Months Probation ??


For some time now, TfL have refused to take reports of PHVs illegally parked on Taxi ranks through their Twitter feed. 

We have been asking them for months to explain why this has happened and as of yet, had no reply except a DM message saying that it is explained fully on their website. 

The TfL website states that you can only report a PHV contravention directly to TfL through their site if the rank is on a red route. Otherwise the contravention needs to be reported to the relevant borough council. 


This again is a complete white wash from TfL as local boroughs day that penalty notices can only be issue in situ by borough wardens or parking marshals.

As most of the contravention are taking place by Uber cars parked up waiting for a ping... Is this another example of TfL covering the back of their largest stakeholder?

TfLTPH have put a virtual stop on PCOs patrolling the ranks at night (operation Neon), and have of late only been concentrating on harassing only licensed Taxi drivers at mainline stations such as Kings Cross, Paddington and Waterloo. 

TAXI LEAKS EXTRA BIT:

Between 26 June 2018 - 20 August 2019 there were 822 complaints against Uber drivers... 242 of those complaints were for inappropriate behaviour including ‘Sexual assault’ . 

Why are TFL even considering relicense them???

          
Notice there are is no serious sexual assaults or rapes on this list!!!

In TfL language... serious sexual assaults including rape, is inappropriate behaviour!!!