Saturday, March 23, 2019

More Orange Lights Than A Christmas Tree, With The Sound Of Uber PingsRinging In Our Ears

It’s as easy as taking candy from a baby sharing the Uber App with any driver licensed or unlicensed.

Yes, I'm blowing the whistle on public safety.
Chris Johnson 

If you're struggling to find a job tonight, struggling to meet your financial commitments and can't understand where all the work's gone...Then watch the video above 'pings, pings and more pings, and a nice bit of data breach'.

Same old rhetoric from the snowflakey ‘games not dead’ brigade and funny enough, they're right, London's far from dead, there is plenty of work out there.... Unfortunately it's standing in the street gazing at smart phones, waiting for their Uber Slave.

But this isn't about fair competition, this is all about predictor pricing and illegal plying for hire.
So, where’s our work gone... you may well ask!

Basically, it's in the Uber cars that are now openly plying for trade (illegally) all over London...but hold up a minute, isn’t that why we trained so hard, some of us for many years, so we as a trade would have the monopoly to legally 'Ply for Hire'?
Isn't this the reason we go through such rigorous background checks and drive such an expensive compliant vehicle???

Surely our largest representative org (the one with 10,000 members) would be on to this......surely they won't be waiting and seeing...again? 

How did we get to this point???
In 2012, along came a multi-billion dollar company, registered in another country where they pay hardly any tax and no VAT, using drivers who acquired their licenses in a matter of days, with dodgy on-line medicals and questionable criminal record checks.... yet here they are openly plying for hire -in real time on phone screens- 13,000 we were told by a police chief inspector had fake DBS certificates and yet the general manager of our licensing regulator says she vouches for every one of their drivers.

After five years of rapes, sexual assaults, data breaches, customer account hacks, record numbers of RTAs...the regulator suddenly said 'sorry can’t relicense as you are not fit and proper' then ironically, they went to court and virtually defended the company (who incidentall paid TFL's legal costs even though TfL lost the appeal). The Magistrate, Emma Arbuthnot, then gave Uber a (non existent in current legislation) probationary licence. The smell from the courts reeked of conflicts of interest and corruption.  

The company can now carry on regardless in much the same MO as before offering artificial low fares ( illegal predator pricing) which is a massive vote winner for Sadiq we can’t expect any help from his direction.

So why have our regulator defended this company so vigorously???

TfL are set to make 30-million pounds a year from Private Hire again, no help from that area either. 

A bright lanyard, a new diary and the possibility of a few M&S vouchers, ain't gonna save your job!
It's time for all of the Orgs, Unions and drivers to dig into their pockets and throw their lot into the @UTAG17 campaign. No time left now for waiting and seeing.

TFL once told the trade, “if you don’t like it, take us to court” .....and that’s exactly what UTAG intend to do. 

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Black Cabs Can’t Take Disabled To Hospital and Cancer Centre, Yet MPs Advised To Travel in Black Cabs For Security Reasons

MPs have been advised to share taxis when they leave Parliament over fears they could be attacked by angry voters over their handling of Brexit.

Deputy Commons Speaker Lindsay Hoyle said the Serjeant at Arms - who is in charge of security at Parliament - had arranged for black cabs to be on hand to collect them from the Commons.
He also revealed that police around the country had been put on alert over the threat MPs now face.

Mr Hoyle issued the grim warning in an email to all MPs just hours after Theresa May revealed she was seeking a three-month Brexit delay.

The Prime Minister said a longer Brexit delay would risk "endless hours and days of this House carrying on contemplating its navel on Europe and failing to address the issues that matter to our constituents".

Challenging MPs to back her Brexit deal, she said: "That’s what the British people deserve. They deserve better than this House has given them so far. "

In his email, Mr Hoyle said MPs were now "the focal point of public attention in a manner that we have rarely seen before".

"The public is looking to us to resolve the current impasse and it is clear that tensions and emotions are running at an all-time high," he said. "This is to be expected and it is entirely proper that our constituents can express their views and even frustration - but it is essential that it is done within the law.

"Personally, I have never felt this level of tension during my time in the House and I am aware that other colleagues feel the same. Many colleagues have already been subject to widely publicised abuse and intimidation.

"I want to reassure you that measures are in place to allow Members - and our staff - to do our jobs safely."
He added: "Regional police forces have been contacted to ensure that they are not only aware of level of tension felt here at Westminster but in all our constituencies.

"The Metropolitan Police has been left in no doubt that it is incumbent upon the force to take a lead on ensuring Members of Parliament can vote in Parliament without fear.

"We can also take simple steps to improve our personal safety by travelling home from the House by taxi or with colleagues in the coming days. The Serjeant at Arms has made provision for black cabs to collect from within the estate.

"I remain committed to working with all colleagues to meet any security challenges as they may arise."
One MP told PoliticsHome: "Brexit has completely split the country and it seems if you don’t support Brexit you are under threat.

"This can’t be the way our country should operate and MPs should be able to feel safe leaving work and not have to take taxis to get home safely. 
What has this government done to our county?"


MPs should be able to feel safe leaving work and not have to take taxis to get home safely. 
That's right....and disabled people have the right to access all areas that bus passenger and cyclist have. 

TfL Refuse To Talk, The Councils Refuse To Listen, ITA Back In The Square Tomorrow

While our largest representative org sits back and does nothing other than waiting and seeing...tomorrow’s protest in Parliament Square, organised by the ITA, goes ahead as usual. 
We will be also be coming back Monday and Wednesday of next week

Starting on Monday April 1st, the ITA will be going on tour....we will be protesting in Camden, Hackney, islington and the city....venues will be  announced by word-of-mouth.

Counsellors from Camden, Hackney and Islington are using fictitious statistics, pulled out of thin air with no basis in fact. They are coming up with excuse after twisted excuse which has enlightened us to the fact that we are in the fight of our lives.

We will be carrying on the fight to highlight hypocrisy of these Labour councils.
They claim they ludicrous schemes are all about children!

But what you need to realise is that TfL’s buses will carry on regardless down the very same streets Taxis are to be excluded from. 

Do our children only get COPD from Taxis?
Are TfL’s buses COPD free?
As TfL’s underground has the most polluted atmosphere, will these councils be banning the Tube from running through their boroughs?

Make no mistake about what’s going on here....

Unfortunately 95% of our trade think that we few protesters can do just fine without them and they can carry on working.

It’s this 95% who are losing the battle for us.


TAXI LEAKS EXTRA BIT : by Mattblacktaxi

Take a look at this photo, then look again, you’ll see a children’s intensive care ambulance trying to get to @UCLchildhealth through the contrived gridlock in Bury Place, the people who implemented this madness now give themselves "cleaner air" awards.
Hang your heads in shame.


Bishopsgate Buses averaging 5 passengers.


The hypocrisy of CoL, the MayorofLondon and TfL is painfully apparent.
Sadiq Khan's and TfL's war against Taxis, using the guise of pollution, via imagined statistics and manufactured gridlock, is about grabbing passengers out of cabs and shoving them into buses and onto the tube, which is 30 times more polluted than out side in the streets above.


Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Hackney Post : Lack of black cab access could disadvantage disabled passengers

Plans to restrict the operation of black cabs in London will severely impact disabled people’s access to services in Hackney, according to campaigners.

Activists have hit back at claims made by Feryal Clark, a Labour councillor for Hoxton East and Shoreditch, who said that unrestricted access to black cabs is “not a human right”.
The chair of Transport for All, an organisation dedicated to championing the rights of disabled people, said: “The idea that black cabs are ‘not a human right’ is deeply offensive.
“Of course, it’s a human right. Why should disabled people be restricted where the able-bodied aren’t?”

Jimmy Teleford, 53, a wheelchair user and disability rights advocate for local charity Choice in Hackney, said: “For disabled passengers, there is no other choice [but to use black taxis].
“Lots of our service users use the black taxi card scheme and they’ll be affected and I suspect many of them don’t know about it. They’ll find out when they come to the end of their journey.”
“Anything that restricts where disabled people can be dropped off is bad news. I’m sure there will be many disabled people against the idea because it will stop them from taking part in their community,” he added.

The cuts are part of the Mayor’s plan to build an “ultra-low emission zone” to tackle air pollution. Whilst Transport for London has included an exemption for wheelchair accessible taxis- some borough councils have opted to ban cabs in their ultra low emission streets.
Drivers have argued the manoeuvre could disadvantage disabled passengers trying to reach their destination within the restricted zones, with many of them relying on the Taxicard scheme to move around the city.

Cab drivers are to enter their ninth week of protests as they try to halt the proposal which will see parts of the capital restricted to walking, cycling and “ultra-low emission vehicles”.
Grant Davis, 55, head of London Cabs Drivers Club (LCDC), said: “Black cabs are the only way disabled people can get from door to door in London.

“In my taxi, I pick up everyone from mothers with children, to elderly and disabled people. If you ban taxis from roads what you’re doing is banning our passengers, fellow members of the public, from having access to all these roads.

“I thought it was transport for all, I thought the members of the public in a wheelchair have the same rights to someone able-bodied who can walk.”
Driver, Garry Batter, also said: “There are 3.5 million people commuting to London every day and a lot of those people need transport door-to-door. I picked up a wheelchair passenger that said taxis are his life-line.”

Alan Benson, a Transport for All activist, said the plans to improve air pollution and congestion are “also beneficial for the disabled” but the unintended consequences could negatively impact their contribution to society.
According to Hackney council’s plan Shoreditch will no longer be accessible by most cabs, with many drivers complaining about how this “premature decision” will affect not only their performance and income but also passenger rights.

However Lee Sheppard, 49, a black cab driver and director of LondonTaxiPR, said that the argument would only stand up if 51 per cent of taxis were electric.

“To discriminate against the 95 per cent when actually only 5 per cent of them are electric puts pressure on drivers and passengers so we can’t go about fulfilling our job,” he added.
The Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) will be in place in central London from 8 April 2019 in the same area as the Congestion Charge.

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Minicab Gets Stuck At 45 Degree Angle On Ramp At Media City

A minicab got stuck at a 45 degree angle when it got caught on a moving barrier at Media City.

The driver was following a delivery van when the ramp was raised at 8.20am on Tuesday, an eyewitness said.

Both the driver of the New Moon cab and the passenger escaped unharmed, the company's director said.
He joked that the experience was like a ride at Oblivion at Alton Towers.
The driver, who didn't want to be named, said: "There was a car in front of me. I was going behind to drop off a passenger.
"The car in front was about 20ft away from me. The barrier was on the ground. Then the barrier went up.

"I didn't know there was a barrier. I thought it was a normal road."

His boss Muhammad Ilyas said: "It came up all of a sudden. It was like Oblivion at Alton Towers."
"He's unharmed. He had to wait for a couple of minutes. Someone came and put it down."

Radio producer Rebecca Kelly was on her way to work at the BBC when she spotted the minicab driver extended in midair.

She said: "I was walking past and took the photo at 8.20am. I saw the  driver and the passenger still in the car as I went past, and both were safe."

She took a quick snap of the bizarre sight and put it on Twitter with the caption 'oops'.

Her tweet attracted a few comical replies, with follower Adele writing: "Yeah it's bad to laugh...but I did."
Another follower Nigel tweeted: "I’m sorry I shouldn’t laugh but..."

While Jayne Collinge added: "Someone didn't read the sign."
Landowners Peel have been contacted for comment.

Hackney cyclist attack: Man in critical condition after being kicked off bike by fellow cyclist in London

While the Taxi trade protest in Parliament Square, fighting for their livelihoods, asking for no more than to be able to do the job they’ve been doing for many years.... this story makes headline new all over the MSM.  

A London cyclist is in a critical condition in hospital after being kicked off his bike by a fellow rider, causing him to crash into a car.

The 30-year-old victim was riding his bike in Wallis Road in Hackney at around 12.45pm on Sunday when another cyclist caught him up and began to cycle alongside him.

Scotland Yard said the attacker then kicked the victim off his bike, resulting in him falling off and colliding with a parked car.

The victim was taken by ambulance to an east London hospital, where his condition is critical.

The other cyclist sped away in the direction of Berkshire Road.

The motive for the attack is not known, according to police, who have released CCTV images of the incident and are appealing for information.

The suspect is described as a white male in his 20s or 30s and police want to hear from others in east London who may have encountered the cyclist.

A Metropolitan Police spokesperson said: "Officers also want to hear from anyone who may have been threatened or assaulted by this suspect in and around Hackney."

Anyone who witnessed the incident, who recognises the man shown in the CCTV, or has information that may assist police is asked to call Central East CID via 101 quoting CAD reference 3718/10MAR19.

To remain anonymous call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Source : Independent 


Labour peer Robert Winston has asked about regulating cyclists. An imagined transport minister responds


Monday, March 18, 2019

Just When You Thought It Couldn’t Get Any More Crazy, Along Come Islington Council. Islington Statement Of Intent

Statement of Intent - announcement by Cllr Claudia Webbe, executive member for environment & transport - Transforming Old Street and Clerkenwell Road

18 Mar 2019
Islington Council is committed to transforming the Old Street and Clerkenwell Road corridor into a ‘Healthy Street’, which prioritises walking, cycling and public transport. Consequently, the council is developing plans to close Old Street and Clerkenwell Road to through traffic.
This project will improve safety particularly for pedestrians and cyclists.   It will improve air quality and help make the area greener, healthier and a more attractive place to live, work, play and do business.


We are developing a design to transform Old Street and Clerkenwell Road so that it meets our Healthy Streets principles, enabling walking to be enjoyable and businesses to continue to thrive and which is part of the network of cycle routes in Central London.
A key objective will be to eliminate through traffic and make the route safer for pedestrians and cyclists so that it meets our commitment to eliminate deaths and serious injuries on our roads to zero.
In the 60 months up to February 2018, there have been 193 collisions along the corridor, resulting in 210 casualties; of which 24 were classed as serious and 186 as slight. 
Consequently, it is necessary to significantly reduce the number of vehicles driving along the corridor so that journeys along the Old Street and Clerkenwell corridor prioritise pedestrians, cyclists and public transport users.

Aims and objectives

The aim of the project is to significantly reduce traffic on this route to improve conditions and rebalance the roads in favour of pedestrians, cyclists and public transport. 
The objectives for the improvements of the Old Street and Clerkenwell Road corridor are to:
  • enhance the pedestrian experience through improving the streetscape and public spaces;
  • encourage and provide better facilities for increased levels of cycling;
  • improve public transport journey time reliability and seek to maintain or improve access to public transport and interchanges;
  • avoid through traffic being diverted from the corridor to local streets;
  • improve air quality and health;
  • eliminate fatalities and serious injuries;
  • prioritise local access for cyclists and pedestrians; and
  • maintain adequate local access for residents and business access for servicing and deliveries.
The proposals for the Old Street and Clerkenwell Road corridor will be coordinated with the redesign of the Old Street Roundabout.  Enabling works have begun on the roundabout, with the majority of the construction works taking place throughout 2019 and 2020.

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Poor Judgement From Sadiq Khan And Yet Again, Not One Word From Our Largest Org.

It now appears that Sadiq Khan, the CEO of our regulator TfL, has become the face of our competitor. 

Surely it can't be legal for the Mayor to promote a third party company and allow them to use his image on adverts plastered all over the tube and busses. 

Known by the nickname selfie Sid, Khan has banned images of females in bikinis, fast food and sugary drinks on TfL advertisements. Yet appears to have given the go-ahead for his caricature to be used to promote a service using vehicles he has personally banned the taxi trade from using (the euro6 diesel engined Vito). 

London Assembly Councillor Keith Prince, had this to say about the adverts :
"I can understand why Black Cab drivers might be upset by this.".....he went on to post the image above of the poster on his Twitter account. 

Unfortunately missed by Cllr Prince, this poster appears to promote Private Hire vehicles picking up on zebra crossings, an all too common sight now on London's roads, putting pedestrians at grave risk.

Yet TfL, our regulator appears by sanctioning this poster, to be giving the thumbs up to ViaVan cars picking up on zebra crossings. 
Talk about hypocrisy, Mr Browns boys take the biscuit.

London Bus Watch 
83  Bus Drivers reported injured in Bus Collisions in 2018. 
13 Hospitalised, 
11 With severe injuries. 
That's nearly 2 Bus Drivers injured PER WEEK in Bus Collisions.

Yet it's Black Cabs that are excluded from the Bank Junction, with future exclusions from Tottenham Court Road and Tooley Street (on safety grounds)