Saturday, November 30, 2019

The Net Tightens Around Uber’s Disgraceful Disregard To Safety AndSecurity Issues Regarding Cross-Border Hiring??


Manchester City Council has called an emergency meeting with Uber over concerns about safety and licensing.

It has raised concerns about Private Hire drivers, licensed in Sefton and Wolverhampton.

Councillor Rabnawaz Akbar, who sits on the licensing committee, said Uber was undermining licensing standards in Manchester because of the number of its drivers licensed by other authorities.

Sefton said its licensed drivers were of "high quality" and Wolverhampton said Uber was "fit and proper". Well they would do, because they are profiteering from churning out licenses to drivers who work outside the borough!!!

In a statement, Uber said: "We work closely with licensing authorities across the country and want to reassure all councils that we have robust processes in place."

Uber's licence in Manchester expires on 31 July 2021.
Its licences to operate in Birmingham and Newcastle-upon-Tyne are due to expire next year and in 2021 respectively.

Both will review how the company operates.

Mandatory vetting
Earlier this week, Transport for London (TfL) decided not to renew Uber's licence in the capital after discovering that 14,000 fraudulent trips occurred on the company's app.

These happened when unlicensed drivers were able to use legitimate drivers' Uber accounts.

Manchester City Council's licensing requirements include:
  • Private vehicles can be no more than three years old when their owners apply for a licence
  • Mandatory vetting of drivers in the form of a DBS certificate that is checked quarterly
  • Regular patrols by council officers to ensure drivers comply with its licence

However, other councils have different rules in place.
Under the 2015 Deregulation Act, drivers are allowed to work outside the area for which they are licensed and it’s this, that’s causing major problems 



A spokesperson for Sefton Council added:
 "We are confident that our application process ensures that all drivers and vehicles meet high standards and as long as each application meets all the relevant checks and tests for drivers and vehicles, a licence should be approved."

See this article :

Friday, November 29, 2019

As Spain Heads Towards An Uber One Tiered Service With TraditionalTaxis, Is London Heading In The Same Direction???


From now on, residents in the Madrid region of Spain, who use an UberX app to book a ride... may get a traditional taxi instead of the usual private vehicle for hire, known in Spain as a VTC.

Uber have added this new service, which has been available since Friday of last week, and it was made possible through a change to industry legislation, which now allows for a normal taxi to be booked in advance at a fixed price. 

Is this where we are heading?
A one-tiered system with no visible difference apart from the price of the vehicle used and the 4 years training, doing the knowledge!

Who will want to take the time and expense to train as a licensed Taxi driver, when in three weeks approx, you can be doing the same work, earning the same money as a simple minicab driver ?

Uber's director in Spain is Juan Galiardo:
"Incorporating taxis into our platform is a huge step forward for us, and we firmly believe that the alliance will be beneficial for everyone," said Uber Spain director Juan Galiardo, who announced the initiative a month ago.

When booking a vehicle through UberX, the algorithm will offer users the closest car and inform them whether it is a VTC or a regular taxi. The process will be the same in either case: a fixed price, payment via the app, the chance to rate the driver and the choice of adding a tip or sharing the fare.

TAXI LEAKS EXTRA BIT: 
What he isn't saying....the risks will still be the same with VTC drivers....the ones sharing accounts with unregistered drivers, unchecked drivers, drivers with criminal records.....but you pay your money and you take your chance.

The idea of a regulated service, with legislation laid down through parliament only works if the regulator applies the rules fairly, across the whole of the industry. But unfortunately this hasn't been the case in London regarding Uber. TfL have allowed Uber to run roughshod over the industry, contravening most of the regulative safeguards. 

No other Private Hire operator, has been allowed to get away with so many transgressions. This is led many licensed Taxi drivers to allege that certain directors at TfL must be corrupt. 

Is this the direction the London Taxi trade is heading.....a one tiered service, working at Uber prices?


Uber’s main competitor in Spain, has been offering the possibility of booking a normal taxi in Madrid and Valencia since last summer, but without offering a fixed fare.


THERE’S ONLY ONE WAY TO STOP THIS HAPPENING TO OUR TRADE, ONLY ONE ROUTE OPEN TO US....ONLY ONE GROUP WILLING TO TAKE TfL TO COURT 

AND THATS UTAG17 

Click on this link and sign up today to save your trade, because no one else will do it for you, it’s something you now have to do for yourself...👇
                  UTAG17

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Ola Announces London Launch And Wants To Offer All Legitimate UberDrivers A Place On It’s App


Smart Phone app Ola, has fired the starting gun in the race to recruit Uber drivers and customers, announcing it will soon launch in London.

The Indian ride-hailing app today announced it had begun on-boarding drivers in London and would launch in the coming weeks.

The company had an apparent jab at Uber, saying the launch meant “50,000 licensed drivers (funny how this total keeps rising, gone up 10,000 over the weekend) will now be assured that they can continue to provide mobility services in London”.

The announcement came just one day after Transport for London (TfL) refused to grant Uber a new operating licence for a “pattern of failures” around passenger safety.

The regulator said it was not confident the app had a “robust system for protecting passenger safety”, after it found unlicensed and uninsured drivers using the platform.

The Silicon Valley giant will appeal the decision and can continue to operate in the capital during this process.

Ola launched in the UK in Cardiff last year and now has drivers in Birmingham, Liverpool, Exeter, Reading, Bristol, Bath, Coventry and Warwick.
TfL awarded a licence to the app in July, but so far, they haven’t launched in the capital yet. 

Simon Smith, Head of International, Ola said: “We have built a robust mobility platform for London which is fully compliant with TfL’s high standards. 
“We have had constructive conversations with the authorities, drivers, and local communities in London over the past months, and look forward to contributing towards solving mobility issues in innovative and meaningful ways.”

An Uber spokesperson said it would continue to support its drivers.
“Drivers are at the heart of our service and thousands of people come into work at Uber every day focused on how to make their experience better, on and off the road,” they said.

“Whether it’s being able to study for undergraduate degrees with Uber Pro or stronger insurance protections, we’ll continue working to improve the experience for and with drivers.”

Ola’s launch announcement comes as it was revealed that competing ride-hailing app Bolt is just weeks away from securing $100m (£78m) in new funding.
Sources said the Estonian company would cement itself as a $1bn unicorn company with the new funding, according to Sky News.




TAXI LEAKS EXTRA BIT :
This announcement from both Ola and bolt completely destroys any fears that Uber drivers will be thrown out of work. 

There is space on these apps that can accommodate all Uber’s London work force. 
Many Uber drivers already work on multi platforms and have done for some time. 

Most of the politicians and celebrities in Uber’s pocket who are shouting about these poor drivers not being about to support their families are being paid to spout this untrue rubbish. 

With this announcement from Ola, their arguments no longer hold water!!!


So perhaps now we won’t see any more of these unfortunate videos plastered all over social media from the seriously uninformed such as Conservative GLA members Andrew Boff and prospective Mayoral Candidate Shaun Bailey. 



Both using this situation as a political football, but in this instance, they’ve really made fools of themselves 



So not to worry Andrew and Shaun, the rapes will continue
The serious sexual assaults will continue
The discrimination will continue
The customer account hacking will continue
And the crashes will continue

George Osborne’s London Evening Standard sells its editorial independence to Uber, Google and others – for £3 million


Exclusive: Newspaper promised six commercial giants “money-can’t-buy” news coverage in a lucrative deal, leaving millions of Londoners unaware of who’s paying for their news.

London’s Evening Standard newspaper, edited by the former chancellor George Osborne, has agreed a £3 million deal with six leading commercial companies, including Google and Uber, promising them “money-can’t-buy” positive news and “favourable” comment coverage, openDemocracy can reveal.

The project, called London 2020, is being directed by Osborne. It effectively sweeps away the conventional ethical divide between news and advertising inside the Standard – and is set to include “favourable” news coverage of the firms involved, with readers unable to differentiate between "news" that is paid-for and other commercially-branded content.

Leading companies, most operating global businesses, were given detailed sales presentations by Evening Standard executives at the newspaper’s west London offices in an effort to sign them up to the lucrative deal.

Among those that have paid half a million pounds each to be involved are international minicab-app firm Uber, which is facing an imminent court appeal against the decision to cancel its licence to operate in London. 

The Evening Standard has previously come under fire for not declaring Osborne’s £650,000-a-year part time job with the fund managers BlackRock, who hold a £500m stake in Uber.

Read the full article from opendemocray.net, click link below. 

Why Didn’t TfL Revoke With Immediate Effect?...They Have The Power.


The news that Uber has been refused a new 5 year licence has turned into a massive PR campaign. 

They have embarked on an email campaign to their account holders, which is also being supported by notable celebrities and political figures. 

Uber now have 21 days to register an appeal which will then go through the court process. This could take anything up to 2 years, a period that will allegedly see them operating in the capital without having to cough up the licence fee. 

But there is a burning question in the Taxi trade:
Did our regulator handle this issue to the letter of the law?
Or did they again show favouritism to this company? 

Why have Uber only been told their licence won’t be renewed and allowed to go through the appeal system, when any other PH operator would have had their licence revoked much earlier, when their catalog of disastrous failures first started to hit the headlines. 

Below are two documents.... first one is TfLs statement, re passenger safety. 


The second document is from the  Private Hire act, abstracts of law.


The burning question ....Why didn’t TfL revoke Uber’s operator’s licence, with an immediate effect?
THEY HAVE THE POWER TO DO THIS....

TAXI LEAKS EXTRA BIT: 
What provision is in place to stop uninsured journeys from taking place?

If  TfLTPH consider Uber not to be Fit and proper on safety grounds, why was 17(2) of the 1998 PH Act not invoked to stop them operating under appeal?


The trade has no alternative but to JR the decision.

With thanks to Heather R and SPD. 

Monday, November 25, 2019

Press Statement From UTAG, Going Forward After Today’s Decision To Not Relicense Uber


Dear UTAG member

Today, TfL has refused to relicense Uber which is, of course, the correct decision.

Thanks to your backing and trust in us we were able to instruct our legal team to construct solid, in-depth and incontrovertible reasons why Uber has never been, are not now and never will be Fit and Proper to be entrusted with an Operator Licence.

Without your support, we would not have been in a position to take such action; 

The fight is not over; Uber will undoubtedly appeal but please be assured we are already in contact with the legal team to discuss our next move and will update you accordingly.

We will not sit back and leave it to TfL to robustly defend their position in any appeal; they cannot be trusted to remain anything but neutral.

TfL has allowed this rancid company to operate as it saw fit for the last 7 years and UTAG will hold TfL to account in court.

We have prepared a press statement the link to which is below.

Once again we thank you all for backing us and your trade.



TAXI LEAKS EXTRA BIT:
UTAG showing they will not rest on their laurels and will take the fight to TfL. Unlike others who will be waiting and seeing, whilst spouting it was all our work lol. 

Calls to ban Uber in Medway is backed by council

"This is excellent news and a long time coming," said Mr Smith, who has campaigned for years to get Uber cabbies stopped from operating in the Medway towns.

"How Uber has been allowed to get away with operating like it does all over the country is beyond belief.

"We have always said if Uber wants to work in Medway, do the 'knowledge' and get a proper licence, like our drivers.



Coming Soon.... Round Two!!


BREAKING NEWS UBER LONDON LTD, REFUSED LICENCE RENEWAL FROM TFL

So, TfL have informed Uber they are not going to relicense them, and here we go on the merry go round again as Uber appeal. 

The case probably won’t be heard in court for at least six months and Uber’s lawyer will claim that they’ve now changed and another extension will be handed down. 

And they will just carry on as normal. Rapes won’t go down, sexual assaults won’t diminish, crashes will get worse, customer accounts will still be hacked. 


But let’s not forget the people who will soon be coming up for re-election who have lobbied hard from this toxic company. 

People who are paid by tax payers money, lobbying for a company that avoided paying tax. An openly gay member of the GLA lobbying for a company that discriminates against the LGBT community. 


TfL should not have waited till the licence extension expired, they should have revoked Uber’s licence after the 13,000 fake DBS and Medical certificates expose’, after it was found they weren’t reporting complaints of sexual assaults, after it was found they were letting drivers upload fake documentation and insurance cover notes, after the fake topographic test results, after the two court cases. 

That way Uber would of had to cease trading as with Taxify. 
But doing it this way is a cop out as Uber can carry on as normal while on appeal. 

Will we see Uber just change their name and be granted a new licence like Taxify, who now trade under the name of Bolt. 

It appears we have a regulator who is scared of its own shadow and commands no respect, a regulator who again puts revenue above public safety. 

Enter UTAG17 stage right !!!

TAXI LEAKS EXTRA BIT :

Helen Chapman, Director of Licensing, Regulation and Charging at TfL, said: “As the regulator of private hire services in London we are required to make a decision today on whether Uber is fit and proper to hold a licence. Safety is our absolute top priority. While we recognise Uber has made improvements, it is unacceptable that Uber has allowed passengers to get into minicabs with drivers who are potentially unlicensed and uninsured.

“It is clearly concerning that these issues arose, but it is also concerning that we cannot be confident that similar issues won’t happen again in future. If they choose to appeal, Uber will have the opportunity to publicly demonstrate to a magistrate whether it has put in place sufficient measures to ensure potential safety risks to passengers are eliminated. If they do appeal, Uber can continue to operate and we will closely scrutinise the company to ensure the management has robust controls in place to ensure safety is not compromised during any changes to the app.”

Is Helen Chapman coaching Uber on how to get round this refusal, she didn’t give this information to Taxify????



Read the official press realise notice from TfL: click this link below
https://tfl-newsroom.prgloo.com/news/tfl-press-release-uber-london-limited-found-to-be-not-fit-and-proper-to-hold-a-private-hire-operator-licence

TFL'S DECISION SUPPORTED BY SADIQ KHAN.


Sunday, November 24, 2019

Are TfL Really Expecting Taxis To Carry A Trackable Chip, To Allegedly Join The Fight Against Potholes ???


We all know they are the scourge of roads and motorists, with councils left facing millions of pounds in repair bills every year.

But special monitoring technology has been developed at the University of South Wales (USW) which could help to find potholes before they get worse.

It works through a dashboard device that collects real-time data.

While sat-navs give the driver a profile of the road ahead, this small device records the profile of the road surface.

If a vehicle is travelling the same route every day, data it gathers can highlight potential problem areas.

Trials have already been carried out with taxis and buses operated by Transport for London, plus highway maintenance vehicles in Northern Ireland and delivery cars working for Bristol Community Meals.

Councils are to trial a new system of repairing the pot holes using recycled plastic. 



The material is melted and placed over the pothole

The system collects details of the smallest change in road vibrations, particularly potholes, feeding them into a real-time map.

"The key problem councils have is knowing exactly where new problems form on the roads," said the man behind the device, Kevin Lee, managing director of Cardiff-based Mobilized Construction and is being supported to develop the system by USW's Centre of Excellence in Mobile and Emerging Technologies (CEMET).


He said the system solved the three main problems caused by failing roads: the fall in safety standards for motorists, cyclists, and pedestrians, the extra financial impact of road repairs and the environmental and time cost that road closures cause.

TAXI LEAKS EXTRA BIT:
Be honest, with all that’s been happening with TfL over the last few years, would you put a chip on your Taxi that would tell TfL exactly where and when your vehicle has been and where it is now?

Would you trust TfL with this data?


Is this just another con from TfL to close more roads for extended unnecessarily long  repairs, causing even more congestion and pollution ?

I know one Taxi that won’t, under any circumstances be sporting a TfL GPS chip.  

Saturday, November 23, 2019

Claire’s Unmanned Road Works Initiative Has Had 7 Out Of 8 Victories SoFar


Since Monday, I’ve reported 7 fake roadworks and know of 1 reported by someone taking my lead... and within 24hours, five of these fake roadworks were completely removed!! 

Question their authority..why are we allowing this ??
London is being mugged off

Use Claire’s template it really works a treat. 
So far 7 of the 8 reported  unmanned road works have been removed in a matter of hours.  

Claire said :
I totally believe this proves TfL are purposely creating traffic jams and the illusion that london has too many cars on the roads..

When the true fact is london has lost miles of road space due to extended pavements, cycle lanes, bike docking stations and now unmanned road works. 

If london really had too many cars on the road.. then there would be as many parked cars as moving cars... look around there are miles of vacant car parking spaces everywhere except in the centre.. it’s an optical illusion... But, don’t take my word for it check yourself how many cars were actually sold in london over the last few years... I bet it’s not even half the number that was being sold ten years ago... and ten years ago ... traffic moved faster than today. 

In just a few minutes on Google, I found that UK new car registrations fell in May by  4.6%, with 183,724 units registered. 

To June 5th this year the market was down 3.1% with 33,000 fewer cars registered, compared with the same period in 2018. 

Claire Zazzara. 


TAXI LEAKS EXTRA BIT :
Claire’s template below can be used to report unmanned road works/ roped off plant equipment to all councils and for Red Routes to TfL.

Report: Obstructions made by builders works. 
Location: Harrow Road, Paddington Green. 

There is absolutely no reason for this cones blocking off access to one lane of traffic at this location. It is causing chaos and adding to pollution and is totally unnecessary. 

I am requesting that these cones/plant equipment be removed as soon as possible, or that you provide me with a copy of the relevant permit, licence or link to the legislation that permits this major road to lose one lane heading eastbound for no good reason. 

I look forward to your prompt reply
Ends. 

And that’s it... just copy and paste (changing the location) to the applicable council website. 

So far Claire has complained to: 

Harrow Road/Paddington Green,


Westminster Bridge


Park Lane/Stanhope Gate,


Charing Cross Road/Lichfield Street 


Goswell Road/St Johns Street

  

Pelham Street/Brompton Road

  


High Holborn/Smarts Place...

Claire has proved that these unmanned road works and unlicensed storage facilities for plant and equipment can be cleared away pretty quickly. 

But don’t sit back and leave it all to Claire... try it yourself. 
There’s quite a bit of self satisfaction attached to getting this stuff removed and streets reopened. 

It is our opinion that TfL are weaponising congestion to raise revenue to fill their £1bn budget deficit. To get the most out of charging for congestion, you have to create it and that’s exactly what TfL and many local councils are allegedly doing.

Also to those who chose not to protest over losing access to road space



Friday, November 22, 2019

Canary Wharf And Canada Water Evacuated As Toxic Air Fills Stations, Putting Passengers Health At Risk.


Canada Water and Canary Wharf Tube stations were evacuated at rush hour this morning.

Footage was published on Twitter showing Canada Water packed as people were funnelled into a bottleneck trying to leave the station.

Passengers posted video of the scene on Twitter, showing a haze in the air on the crowded platform. 

TfL responded by Tweeting: "The issue was investigated and was found to be dust from the ventilation and not smoke. Sorry for any panic caused."


TfL again trying to trivialise what actually happened, instead of telling the public the truth.... this was toxic fumes that they normally vacuum from the system and distribute through ventilation shafts on to the roads above. 

A passenger at North Greenwich tube station said that an announcement was made saying the two stations had closed while "high dust levels were being investigated". 
So now toxic PM10s are now only dust when it comes to the tube?


TfL have know for years that the air on the Tube network is highly toxic. Instead of dealing with this massive problem, the air is sucked out of the system and distributed into the atmosphere of the streets above, through a network of ventilation shafts like the ones that are highly visible at Warwick Avenue and Swiss Cottage. 

TAXI LEAKS EXTRA BIT : 

TfL has accepted the recommendations in various reports and say they will carry out further monitoring and testing of dust samples.

They insist that while the tube operates well within the Health and Safety Executive specified limits, it has set an “informal target” to limit exposure to dust.

So if the tube operates within the Health and Safety Executive specified limits, and given that the pollution from the tube system is anything up to 30 times higher than the streets up above.... why is the Mayor screaming that we have an air quality emergency on our streets and yet, never mentions the tube ??? 

The question begging to be asked is : Does the tube have a different Health and Safety Executive specified limit, to the roads above....if so, why ???