Saturday, March 09, 2019

Cribble To Launch Without TfL Licence, Using Unlicensed Drivers !!!


We said this would happen, and now it's all gone Pete Tong. We have a Battle Royal to look forward to on Monday, with TfLTPH's Graham Robertson in one corner, and in the other, new kid on the block Cribble. 

This could all have been avoided had they defined Plying for Hire in Statute, and had proper, binding legislation to govern eHail Apps. 

In answer to TfLTPH General Manager Graham Robinson's threats, Cribble say they will go ahead with the launch of their app and continue to operate without a TfL operators licence and will use unlicensed cars and drivers without DBS and DVLA checks.

Public safety will go right out the window with predators able to sign on with now checks whatsoever. 

WELL DONE TFL, YOU MUST BE VERY PROUD OF YOURSELVES.

A question Taxi Leaks would like an answer to is.....if Cribble were plying for hire via their app, what is it the Uber are doing with their app???

Over to you Graham Robinson, General Manager at London Taxi and Private Hire... 

Below is an email sent to Andrew Antoninat TfL by Cabby Chris Johnson 

I note that TfL has taken notice of my complaint and advised Cribble not to operate - have you revoked the operators licence of Pro Transfer Ltd? 

Now it would seem that Transport for London (TfL) have absolutely lost control of the Private Hire industry, as such lost control of public safety, but even more importantly lost the confidence of the London Taxi Trade which is clearly one of the reasons why Taxi Drivers are suffering from mental health issues.

The Taxi and Private Hire Department are seemingly negligent and/or incompetent under the leadership of Sadiq Khan, therefore, I ask that the London Assembly Transport Committee to instigate a root and branch review of TPH staff and an audit of every private hire operator's licence that is in existence.

Cribble was operating under the TfL Operators Licence of Pro Transfer Limited which according to Companies House was a business name change from Airport Cabbers Ltd in February 2017

Now, this is so frightening from a public safety perspective..and shows that TfL have simply lost control and a review of TPH staff must happen with immediate effect...

Airport Cabbers is a very real live company that is operating from the same address that Cribble was operating from... 704 Cascades Tower, 4 Westferry Road, London, E14 8JN but seemingly doesn't have an operators licence given that it was probably transferred to Cribble.
 
Click the link to book a private hire vehicle with Airport Cabbers here:

It is clear that Airport Cabbers and ProTransfers Ltd (trading as Cribble) both have the same company number of 10519134 - therefore, I allege fraud and/or deception is being instigated here.


TAXI LEAKS EXTRA BIT :

Cribble put out this press release below earlier today. 

Cribble, the driver App that offers customers choice and drivers better pay will launch in London on March 11 without a TFL licensed operator and without TFL licensed drivers.

Cribble has begged TFL to opine for 18 months and they refused to do so until the final hour when they accused Cribble of offering a solution where drivers would be "plying for hire". A test case in July 2018 on the same subject was won by Uber. Somehow TFL imagine that the Cribble solution is so significantly different that they can ban Cribble without a hearing. It's a sham.

With over £1.4M already invested in the App its not a time to give up just because a regulator sends a letter. We would have preferred to resolve this difference of opinion in court but time is of the essence.

We are left with no choice but to launch a new version of our app that doesn't need a TFL licensed operator or TFL licensed drivers. This way, the threats from TFL can't impact the livelihoods of these good people.

We apologise to the TFL drivers who registered on the Cribble App with the TFL licensed operator Pro Transfers in the past weeks. We had no way to know that TFL who added Cribble to their website as a brand of ProTransfers and issued official paper updates to the operator licence would make a u-turn at the 11th hour. It's a disgrace that they didn't opine or explain this "issue" earlier and give us the opportunity to debate. It was a non-transparent decision made behind closed doors. Not legitimate in my view.

The new solution will be different from the system rejected by TFL because it will be completely self-regulated by the users. With the rejected system all drivers had to register various documents and everything was cross checked against the DVLA and TFL databases. The new system won't have any of these controls. Any driver can register just by identifying a type of vehicle (e.g. saloon, convertible, 4*4) and accepting the terms and conditions. Many aspects of the app will remain the same. Drivers will be able to set prices. Passengers will be able to pick their driver based on the type of vehicle, picture of the driver and any other description that the driver cares to add. Whilst the drivers will be able to set the price level the unit of pricing will be different. Pricing will be based exclusively on time with the app estimating the time for a journey. It is unknown how the drivers will use the system. Some might transport dogs. Others might transport the uniforms of TFL staff. Others might offer massage services in their vehicles. The system is completely flexible in that regard and like a dating software falls completely outside the realm of TFL.  The new system is not designed or priced to carry passengers but there are no controls to prevent such use and consenting adults can do as they wish.

TFL may have won the battle but have lost a seat at the table.

Cribble is launching in London on 11 March 2019

TfL Pair Signed Off Bogus Oyster Card Claims By Passengers To Steal £15,000


Two Transport for London call centre workers stole more than £15,000 by signing off dozens of bogus claims for Oyster card refunds, a court heard. 

Ainsley Cornel Dobbs, 32, and Melissa Cantoni, 25, set up fake identities and email addresses to siphon off the money while working at the TfL call centre in Greenwich. 
They authorised Oyster refunds to fictional customers, diverting funds into their own bank accounts and to friends and family. 

The “sophisticated” scam, which went on for seven months, was eventually uncovered after an internal investigation by TfL bosses, prosecutor Mark Hunsley told Blackfriars crown court. 
“These defendants were processing artificial refunds to their own accounts or to the accounts of people connected to them,” he said. 

Father of two Cornel Dobbs was ordered to complete 150 hours’ community service (Tony Palmer)
“The refunds were for those who did not correctly tap in or out, or for cancelling travel cards and season tickets. These refunds are either paid to the bank or to the online Oyster card account to be withdrawn or used for other travel.
“TfL had been reviewing systems and accounts for unusual patterns of high value refunds. The investigation led to these two defendants.”

The court heard Dobbs started the scam in September 2017, making 57 fraudulent transactions totalling £12,634, and he recruited co-worker Cantoni who made a further nine transactions worth £2,847. 
Incriminating messages asking friends and family members for bank details were found on their phones after their arrests in June last year, the court heard. Martin Taylor, representing Italian national Cantoni, said it was an “act of ridiculous folly” to join in the fraud, but she wanted to help pay off her partner’s gambling debts. 

Dobbs is “more than sorry” for orchestrating the scam, his barrister Anthony Heaton-Armstrong said, urging the court not to jail the “kind and helpful” father of two. 

Judge Alexander Milne QC told the pair they had narrowly avoided going to prison, as he gave Dobbs a 14-month suspended jail sentence and Cantoni a six-month suspended sentence.

“It was a cynical and well thought-out fraud over a considerable period of time, breaching a position of trust placed in both of you,” he said. 

Dobbs, of Barking, and Cantoni, from Hornsey, admitted fraud by abuse of position. Dobbs was ordered to complete 150 hours’ community service and Cantoni 100 hours. Both were also told to pay £640 in costs and fees. 


Source Evening Standard 

TAXI LEAKS EXTRA BIT : 

EuroStar Taxi Rank, Midland Road....is to close from 13th March until 12th April, for construction work. Passengers will be directed out of the Pancrass Road exit across the carriageway where all the buses have been diverted, to the Kings Cross Station Rank.... 

So passengers have to leave the station, walk the gauntlet of the parked up touting Privat Hire drivers, pass the undercover cops trying to nick cabbies for touching their phones and make their way to the point of the feeder rank, totally bemused by the fact there is another rank just yards in front by the entrance of Kings Cross drop off point......As yet, there is no word from TfL about where the feed to the rank will go (could be Goodsway or Camely Street) ....You really couldn't make it up, stand by for more utter chaos. 

    

Historic First Female RMT President, Joins Branch Members In Support Of Taxi Protests on International Women's Day.


Ironically, on international women’s day, I was very proud to meet and greet the first ever woman president elected by the RMT Union, Michelle Rodgers. We met in Parliament Square, appropriately under the statue of Millicent Fawcett.


Michelle was in London, heard about the Taxi protests and as the RMT have a London Taxi branch, she came along to show support for the branch members. 


A massive big thank you to all the drivers who put themselves out, to make Friday’s protest the biggest and best attended so far. 

Police made a massive gaff by opening a lane along Parliament Street...to ease traffic which then had to turn left along Bridge Street and over Westminster Bridge. But as the phasing of the lights at the junction of Westminster Bridge is so poor, this resulted in major congestion.  

An ambulance attending an emergency on the bridge was caught up in the mess and eventually had to be driven part way along the segregated bike lane on the opposite carriage way. 


Over the past 5 weeks in Parliament Square, protesting Cabbies have always left a lane clear for emergency vehicles, but the arrogant action of the inspector directing the policing, actually put lives at risk to facilitate TfL, who have been on at the Met to do something about the peripheral congestion caused by the Where Buses Go, Taxis Go protests. 

The police had decided earlier to open the whole Square to through traffic, but changed their minds for fear of the Taxis driving off and implementing a plan B. 
That would have resulted in a game of cat and mouse (if we’d split up and hit multiple targets) they would be chasing shadows for the rest of the afternoon. We've done it before and we can easily do it again.

It was another successful days protest, as numbers have expanded again, with both sides of Whitehall had to be used to accommodate all the Taxis. 

With the many peers and MPs onside, supporting our call for access to all roads and bus lanes (where buses go, Taxis go), we feel that victory is now in sight. These Protests are making waves, and we must carry on. 

     

Same time, same place on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, next week. 

Friday, March 08, 2019

TFL's Graham Robinson Tells Cribble App Drivers They Will Be Plying For Hire .



Important information for private hire drivers

CRIBBLE

We have been approached about a new PHV booking app called Cribble which we understand is due to launch on Monday, the 11th of March

Based on our understanding of how the app works, any private hire driver working via the app would be plying for hire which is unlawful.

Any licensed private hire driver found to be plying for hire - through the Cribble app or otherwise - risks prosecution and licensing action by TfL.

Should the position change in relation to the app, drivers will be notified as appropriate.

Graham Robinson 
General manager London taxi and Private Hire
8 March 2019 

TAXI LEAKS EXTRA BIT:
And another one bites the dust

An open question to TfLTPH General Manager Graham Robinson -who doesn't answer my emails and blocks my Email address at TfL-.....what is so different with Cribble, why are they plying for hire via an app, and Uber isn't ???

     

Peers Ask For New Law, Where Buses Go, Taxis Go


Tomorrow’s protest is the most important protest the trade has ever made. 

Up until now the police have been very accommodating and allowed us to gather in peace. 

But it now transpires that TfL are leaning heavily on the seniority of the met to allow traffic to circumnavigate the protesters in the Square. 

The ITA have been informed, that there is a marked possibility that the square could be sectioned off, with only a few cabs Kettled on the inside track of the square with access in Whitehall  limited as was the case on Wednesday. 

If this is the case the ITA will invoke plan B, drivers attending will be informed by word of mouth and plan be will be announced on all the online platforms to enable drivers to divert to plan B and possibly plan C.

The success of the protests have been confirmed by the fact TfL are desperate and using as much influence as possible with the Met to allow buses to get full passage through Parliament Square. 

Great news has now been announce that a group of peers led by Lord Palmer, will be meeting with the Prime Minister, to deliver a letter demanding Taxis be enabled to use every bus lane under legislation bought in via a new law. 

By being there in the Square and by acting peacefully, we have won over many supporters from both Houses. 
If a new law is bought in, it will stop councils such as Camden, Westminster and the City of London banning us from the streets.

Need any proof about who is firm,y behind our demise....watch this periscope edition from LondonTaxi radio, where Sean Paul Day announces the research carried out y members of the RMT.... It's truly shocking. 
Click link below:

     

Thursday, March 07, 2019

TfL Threaten Cribble With Legal Action If They Go Live On 11th March

Michael Stack, Interim Head of Licensing TfLTPH, has threatened new kid on the block ‘Cribble’ in a letter to Parent company ‘Pro Transfers Limited’. 

Stack told Cribble "It is appropriate to warn you that should you look to introduce this solution, we will consider whether licensing action is required to be taken against you as the operator and also against any driver who was available to you and has accepted a booking made via this proposed channel". 

What this in fact means is TFL have made it known that they intend to take legal action if Cribble goes live on March 11.

However, Cribble believe that this threat is idle, since according to Stack "We recognise that this is a complex area of the law and any decision will need to be carefully considered taking into consideration the circumstances of each case".

But this doesn’t mean TFL can't find any laws that are broken. If they thought that, they wouldn’t have contacted the newly proposed App in the first place. 

Stack went on to say "a number of statutory requirements may not be met".

He then explained three concerns which were caveated against current legislation.

In a Social media post to its proposed drivers, Cribble made this statement: 
It's difficult to imagine why TFL would try to obstruct a new model that offers customers choice and tries to bring private hire drivers a little more pay but the politics of black cab drivers and investors with deep pockets cant be ruled out.

The bottom line is that TFL need to put up or shut up. Ends

Let’s all hope that -for the sake sake of public safety- TfL do put up....otherwise it will herald a free-for-all, which could be highly detrimental to the whole taxi and private hire market and flood London’s already congested streets with a new wave of untrained drivers. 

TAXI LEAKS EXTRA BIT :
Good news for the Taxi trade as driver owned, driver run, black cab only TaxiApp UK became a fully fledged Co-operative. The company was registered by GHF Cooperative Association on 26th February 2019.

This company is the only one that's completely run and owned by Licensed Taxi drivers, with no outside pressure from third party investors to take private hire onto the platform.

     


Female Met Officer Who Tried To Prosecute Taxi Driver With Questionable Evidence. Case Dismissed.


We reported last year that the police were harassing drivers at Kings Cross Taxi Rank. Undercover officers were using body worn cameras to film drivers touching there mobiles while stationary on the rank. We now have a case bought to court where an undercover female officer tried to submit questionable evidence to prosecute an innocent driver. 

It has been bought to our attention, that a certain female plain-clothed police officer, intended to offer questionable evidence to a Magistrates court, in order to prosecute a taxi driver who was accused of using his mobile phone while sitting parked, with tripe engine switched off on Kings Criss Taxi rank. 

The officer in question let the matter go all the way to court but suddenly, just as the trial was about to get underway.....she suspected something wasn't right and asked the prosecution to drop the case.

The evidence from the defence team was that the still frame shot of the driver on the original charge sheet and the video from the officers body-cam were not the driver in question but another driver, recorded at a different time to the alleged offence. 

Below is a statement from the driver in question: 
On the 6 May last year at 21:30 I was parked on the Kings Cross Taxi Rank when an undercover WPC approached the cab making notes. She informed me I was being reported for using a mobile phone while on the public highway I had just picked it up to check the battery was charging as I had previously fitted a new cable. 

I thought no more of it as I believed I had done nothing wrong....but to my surprise I received a notice of intended prosecution through the post.  Having taken legal advice, I decided to plead not guilty as I truly believed my action was completely innocent, plus I was very worried as a guilty verdict would put me on 12 points!
I let the payment offer expire and then, when I received the paperwork I pleaded 'Not Guilty. 

Some weeks later I got a copy of her Statement against me and a still photo from her body cam footage showing a picture of an offence being committed.... I thought I had better change my plea to Guilty. But, after closer inspection, I notice the driver in the photo wasn’t me, my lawyers applied for the full body cam footage and yes it appeared to be someone else.

I am of the opinion that, to get me to change my plea...the officer had submitted a false statement, along with a questionable still photo and video, that wasn't me. 

My barrister chose not to disclose these irregularities and was relishing the thought of tearing her to pieces in the witness box, but as my name was being called she called the prosecutor to tell him to drop the case. She kept it going with the questionable evidence till the very last minute, hoping I would change my plea. But, at the very last minute, I believe she suspected her attempt to railroad me photographic evidence that clearly wasn't me, had been detected and her nerve went.

TAXI LEAKS EXTRA BIT :

This has caused the driver a year of stress but now it's finally over for him, now it’s her turn, as he intends to take this further. If this officer is found guilty of perverting the course of justice, there are implications for every driver this WPC has harassed and prosecuted over the passed year to eighteen months. 

We will keep you informed of our future progress as it could affect every driver who has been prosecuted by this WPC. 

Tuesday, March 05, 2019

TfL Announce Extension To Tottenham Court Road Scheme Covering New Oxford Street, Bloomsbury And Holborn


Just when you thought it couldn’t get any crazier at Camden, with the aftermath of destruction, congestion and added pollution in Fitzrovia and Midland Road.... it appears the lunatics have completely taken over the asylum.

Camden have publish plans to remove the Holborn gyratory, with areas between New Oxford St and Great Russell St to be part-pedestrianised. 

In addition, there are to be segregated cycle lanes along High Holborn and Theobalds Road, apparently to improve safety. The announcement was made by TfL who say that six cyclists have been killed in the area in last 10 years, but it’s been alleged that most of the cycle killed or seriously injured have resulted from collisions caused by buses. 

While London is rocked by the frightening number of violent stabbings and after police numbers have been slashed to the bone to ‘save money’, London’s Mayor Sadiq Khan -who in the middle of the current knife crime crisis has decided to jet off on holiday to Morocco- has handed out £53.4 million to neighbourhood schemes to reduce car use and improve air quality and the environment.

The protected cycle lanes will be installed along the length of High Holborn and Theobalds Road. 

Sections along New Oxford Street and Great Russell Street, will be closed to all traffic and pedestrianised. 

Sections of Bloomsbury Way (like much of Tottenham Court Road) will become bus and bike only. 

Work is likely to start in January 2021.

Other projects include £15.5m for the eastern part of the Square Mile to reduce through traffic and create a zero emission zome.

TAXI LEAKS EXTRA BIT :

I wonder how Camden would look today, were Phil Jones, Georgia Gould and Adam Harrison, blind, disabled or confined to a wheelchair???

Soon there will be no place in the centre of London available for Taxis. This has been reflected in the number of students undertaking the Knowledge of London course, now at its lowest ever with under 180 students currently on TfL’s books. 

While our largest our waits and sees, a policy that has seen the trade banned from the Bank Junction, the umbrella group known as the Independent Taxi Alliance have been protesting (now entering its 7th week) against the exclusions.

Join us this Wednesday at 1pm Parliament Square.  

On Demand Bus Services And New Vito Euro6 Minicabs (Project Horizon In Full Flow) by Sean Stockings


Private buses be like…
It is quite astonishing to think that whilst TFL is cutting buses in aparticular borough (Sutton) it is simultaneously lobbying and consulting for Viavan a private company backed by Mercedes Daimler group who are worth Billions.

Routes 410 , 433 were cut back earlier last year and the 154 this year.

According to TFLs own 2018 figures its buses are expected to cover only 283 million miles in 2019-2020 compared to 302 million miles in 2018 – a 6 percent cut in service volume in two years.

More journeys are carried out centrally so Sadiq Khans Fare Freeze which has made these cuts necessary is essentially "Less well off" (Jeremy Corbyn quote) TFL customers having to subsidize more affluent customers in zones 1-3.

Getting the bus is the most affordable motorized transport option available for Londoners who perhaps have to travel too far to cycle or have a disability that doesn’t make cycling an option, any reduction in bus services has a disproportionate impact on the lowest paid doing the most arduous jobs, not exactly what I would expect from a Labour mayor.
 
TFLs private bus consultation details include wheelchair accessibility (One space), six buses to be run from existing garages and an ability to stop every 200 meters, "it is expected the cost of a fare would be morethan a standard bus" and "we do not propose to integrate with the TFL Oyster card payment" and "during the journey to the customers destination, other customers will be picked up if they are travelling in a similar direction, with minimal impact on journey time", leaving it up to a private company to decide what "minimal impact" and "similar" is can only end in tears as London has seen with Ubers over supply of vehicles gridlocking virtually every transit hub.

This would mean that buses low paid customer base would be priced out of bus usage, as would be pensioners and disabled "Freedom Pass"holders. This is a slippery slope to go down, private companies have no intrest in servicing passengers with special needs or destinations out of the way that would interrupt their earning efficiency, think of how many Ubervehicles are wheelchair accessible for example…virtually none.

They would only be interested in the routes that would yield the most profit for the minimum investment, TFL and councils thinking the private sector will "do the right thing" is incredibly naïve.


How this will eventually play out is the very passengers who need the buses the most will be the exact ones whom this policy will let down the hardest and leave virtually cut off.
 
Last year when the trade learned of TFLs Duke St Hill proposed prohibition of Taxis we demoed to be included in any future plans (being part of TFLs transport network), allegedly Mike Brown gave the trade the wink and said "all we need to do is fill out the consultation", this is nonsensical advice given the template of the Tottenham Court Rd consultation that wanted Taxis included but was ignored by Camden Council or that Mike Brown personally endorsed our exclusion from bank junction (even thought the General Secretary of the LTDA said 'Mike Brown is inside) which the majority were using simply to escape the Embankment CSH gridlock -cause a problem, displace traffic then shut off the roads…genius!
 
Mike Brown is essentially Gaslighting the Taxi trade, we predict why we are being excluded and he says its all in our minds.
 
Gaining Vital Junctions be like..
Our exclusion from Bank Junction was under the pretense of #BankOnSafety suggesting that it was OK for buses to use the junction because they were safe (over 20’000 safety incidents in the last 3 years alone, an average of 4.3 people killed or seriously injured every week over the last 5 years) and exclude Taxis as we are unsafe (Ironically the safest form of Transport currently under the TFL umbrella by a huge margin).

The detail of the bus routes using Duke St Hill is 6 routes (2 of which are night buses only), suggesting that our exclusion would speed up these few buses is ludicrous, what is going on here?

Remember my old mate Leon Daniels? 
His latest venture is Optibus, you guessed it.. a private company that will specialize in smaller dynamic buses just like Viavan.

Stopping Taxis using 'Roads' they’ve been using for hundreds of years will only hinder our competitiveness, fiscal viability and consumer allure.

Ubers next product to be unleashed on London is Uber Pool Express, you guessed it, minibuses that will qualify to use all the newly prohibited junctions.

These private high capacity Private Hire Vehicles are the next stage in TFLs "vision" for London (remember Project Horizon?), another product adding more vehicles to an already overburdened road network that will operate uncannily like Taxis.

Uber Pool Express has failed in every city it’s launched but "rideshare" is how companies like Uber, Jedi regulators into believing basic regulation is a hindrance.
 
A detail of Viavan’s employment contract is that if Viavan are forced to comply with VAT and employment laws then Viavan has the right to sue their drivers.

This detail has been picked up UPHD and TFL and Sadiq Khan are all aware, how can the LABOUR Mayor and TFL give Viavan a contract when they are this exploitative?
 
 
Our Cabs be like…

TfL have just licensed ViaVan who will be using Vito Euro6 diesels, in spite of the fact that form 1st January 2018, they mandated the London Taxi Trade could no longer register new diesel vehicles and we now have the option if only one vehicle to buy new....the LEVC TXe.

We have seen the agenda over the last year to exaggerate our emissions footprint whilst simultaneously attempting to reduce the age limit of our cabs, a fact that most of the GLA , Mayor and all the media refuses to acknowledge is that at no stage did we have any say in what vehicle we drove and had to buy, TFL made this decision at every level, they are culpable, no one else, to try and insinuate that we don’t care about London’s air quality is ridiculous, you would be hard pressed to find any other group of workers who are more exposed than London Taxi drivers.

By trying to separate us from their transport network and attempts to class us as just another private car TFL are trying to distance themselves from previous woeful decision making.

If TFL are adamant that the age limit has to be reduced then they need to reimburse drivers who have bought the vehicle that they dictated.
A worrying rumour is that LEVC are going under...I hope this is not true, as this would leave any owners in the precarious position of not getting spares and not having a valid warranty.

A recent TFL FOI revealed that in 2018 they licensed over 46’000 diesel PHVs (52%) and 8367 for the first time (18%), so in 2018 the cab trade was forced to buy a £63k vehicle without adequate infrastructure to cleanup London whilst TFL licensed over 8000 new diesel PHVs .
 
Our market is now flooded, TFLs rationale at making us buy a £63k cab in this current climate that they created is a workers abuse.
They have been forced to introduce Congestion Charging and ULEZ on Private Hire Vehicles because there are now so many.
James Farrar has been throwing some wild language around, with reference to these charges, if you want your members not to pay it then simply get a WAV vehicle or better still invest 3 years of your life learning how to get around London. The knowledge is a meritocracy, just do the work and you will pass James.

For more on this issue, please see Tim Fenton's excellent post on the Zelo Street Blog
Click link below
 
 
TAXI LEAKS EXTRA : 
The Knowledge of London has been devastated over the past five years, just look at he list below to see how the numbers have fallen. Mike Brown and Sadiq Khan, promised to promote the KoL....just another lie from the dynamic duo. 
Knowledge Students: 
2014... 2059
2015...1173
2016... 689
2017... 409
2018... 176 (end of July)

Number of Taxi Driver Green Badges
14/15... 22,500
15/16... 21,759
16/17... 21,300
17/18... 21,026
18- current 20,532 

Monday, March 04, 2019

Week 7, Protest 22...Still Going Strong And Still Not An Issue With The MSM....by London Taxi PR.


So once again, 7 weeks into the London Taxi demos against the road restrictions, we saw NO main stream media coverage of this important topic. 
These restrictions affect the jobs & livelihoods of 23,500 working individuals in London. 
Is this not an issue?


They also affect the ability of ALL Taxi passengers to be able to have the right to choose their preferred mode of public transport in London. 
This is important for those who have disabilities, the elderly, the infirm, or who have respiratory problems. 
Is this not an issue?


The restrictions are putting a restraint of trade on the London Taxi profession. 
They are restricting the freedom of movement they have had for 365 years, to move freely throughout London, and be an integral part of London's public transport system. 
Is this not an issue?


To the main stream media!
We will be back at Parliament Square 1pm-4pm on Wednesday. 
If you wish to come down and see exactly how important this issue is to the 23,500 professionals, we would love to see you and gain some coverage, for what we feel is a VERY important issue for London. 
See you there?

TAXI LEAKS EXTRA BIT :
London Taxi Radio Exclusive...
London Assembly Member Keith Prince, talks to Sean Paul Day and Jon Cox at City Hall about the issues facing the Taxi Trade....a must watch. Click link below.

Private Hire Demo :
The Private Hire demo arranged by the  United Private Hire Drivers Union (UPHD) didn't fair as well as the ITA protest today, with very few Minicabs turning up.
It's been alleged that most of the private hire Uber drivers, made their way to Parliament Hill Feilds after a glitch in the programming of their sat-navs. 

Sunday, March 03, 2019

When Your Back's Against The Wall, Stand Beside Drivers With The Dunkirk Spirit, Not Vichy Collaborators.


The trade is now more fragmented than any time in our past history. Our current orgs have recently tried to put their differences behind them, but it didn’t take long for the back stabbing knives to come out. It appears our largest org are seemingly fearful of doing or supporting anything that goes against TfL. 

When the groups recently asked for all meetings with TfL to be minuted, both the LTDA and Unite voted against this.... what is it they are scared of their members finding out?
Is it what they’ve said, or what they’ve not said? 

The trouble is they appear to have a strangle hold over the majority of drivers who bother to belong to a representative group. 
Who would have thought that drivers who fought so hard, over 3-4 years to become Cabbies, could be simply bought off with legal cover and a free diary!

But the tide is turning as more and more orange lanyards attend Parliament...

That’s why umbrella groups such as the ITA and UTAG are so important.

Drivers can unite irrespective of the trade politics that have always held us back. 

In the past, we’ve learned that the word of a certain org can't be trusted. Waiting and seeing and Mike Brown’s on side did the same for us at the Bank Junction, as the iceberg did for the Titanic.
It’s a lesson to be learned and no matter how sweet an offer looks, we must never make the same mistake again. 

The Independent Taxi Alliance is exactly that....an alliance of drivers, independent of any org and completely driver led. As we've been told on many occasions, it doesn't matter what colour your lanyard, it's only the badge on the end of it that really matters. 

Why wait till it’s too late...come along and speak to the drivers taking part in the protests in Parliament Square.... be proactive not reactive, the time for waiting and seeing is well and truly over. 

Our largest org doesn’t support our direct action, in fact they've referred to protesters as 'Loonies'. Don’t let one man’s collaborating agenda destroy our trade, plus be aware of his trolls spreading fake news and lies over social media.

"We have. No intention of selling, stop telling lies", they said, but now the truth is out. The next biggest lie is that drivers are being victimised for not sporting blue dots given out to drivers wanting to attend the protests. This again is fake news.... The blue dots were instigated at the request of the Met, to be able to recognise drivers wanting to join the protests at entry points accessing Tottenham Court Road, then Parliament Square. As soon as an officer spots the blue dot, he should remove cones and allow access. This saves time interviewing and redirecting non-combatants. 
Being peelable, the dots can be removed after the protest and reattached for the next. 

Positive Action, Positive Impact.
Our actions are having a massive impact on the bus companies and Monday’s protest is crucial. TfL are putting pressure on the Met, as so many routes are affected. 

Having completed a record breaking 21 protests over the last 6 weeks, we can't rest on our laurels. It's time to escalate the action. With enough attendees, we could hit two or even three venues at the same time.

But on the other hand,if the protests dissipate, it's very unlikely we will ever see anything like this again. 
It will be a case of just watching our historic trade disappear before our very eyes, destroyed by TfL’s ‘Project Horizon’.

I hear drivers argue at eateries saying "there will always be a Taxi trade", it reminds me of what the miners thought back in the Thatcher days".
 
We are very close to achieving our aims. The ITA through a supporting org Chairman, have met with members from both Houses of Parliament who have shown great support. Plus disabled groups have turned out to show support.


TAXI LEAKS EXTRA BIT :
 Read this piece below, the London taxi trade should try to look upon the blue dot protestors as the Americans looked upon the British Tommy during the war.
When your back is against the wall, you want to stand shoulder to shoulder with troops full of the Dunkirk spirit, not Vichy collaborators.

       

In six weeks I have not spoken to a member of the public who has been against what we are highlighting. The licensed cab trade will not stand back and allow autocratic authorities to stamp over a hard working, tax paying, law abiding work force.