Thursday, May 23, 2019

Thinking About Work This Bank Holiday WeekEnd...You May Want To Think Again

Road and travel updates from TfL for this bank holiday weekend :
Bus and road users may be affected by the following changes this weekend. We expect to run a good service, but buses may be delayed, diverted or stop short of their normal destination. 

Whitehall - From 11:00 until 14:00 today, Thursday 23 May, Whitehall will be closed in both directions between Parliament Square and Horse Guards Avenue. This is due to a wreath laying event. 

Westminster - From 01:00 tomorrowFriday 24 May until 01:00 on Thursday 6 June, Parliament Street will be closed southbound at the junction of Parliament Square. St Margaret Street will also have lane restrictions northbound on approach to Parliament Square. This is due to works on behalf of Parliamentary Estates for the refurbishment of Westminster Palace. 

Old Street – From 21:30 on Friday 24 until 00:01 on Bank Holiday Monday 27 May, Old Street west and City Road south will be closed while we switch to two-way traffic at Old Street roundabout. The Inner Ring Road will remain open through Old Street and signed diversion routes will be in place. Roads in the area are expected to be a lot busier. Allow more time for your journey, or consider making your journey by cycling or walking. 

Two-way traffic will be introduced at Old Street roundabout at 00:01 on Bank Holiday Monday. If you are driving through the area, please be careful while pedestrians, cyclists and other traffic get used to the new two-way system. For more information, visit our travel advice page

Euston Road - From Saturday 25 until Bank Holiday Monday 27 May, Euston Road lane one of three will be closed westbound. This is due to High Speed Two (HS2) works. 

St James’s Park - From 06:00 until 23:59 on Saturday 25 May, Horse Guards Road and Horse Guards Parade will be closed. All other roads surrounding the park will be closed from 07:00. This is due to an event. 

Wembley Stadium - From 14:00 until 18:00 on Saturday 25 May, Wembley Stadium will be hosting the League Two Play-Off Final football match between Newport County and Tranmere Rovers, with kick off at 15:00. Large crowds and increased traffic levels are expected in the Wembley area before and after the game. Roads likely to be affected include the A406, A1, A40, Harrow Road, Wembley High Road and roads around the stadium. 

St James’s Park - From 00:01 on Sunday 26 until 20:00 on Bank Holiday Monday 27 May, the following roads will be closed: The Mall, Spur Road, Birdcage Walk and Horse Guards Road. This is due to the Vitality Westminster Mile and Vitality 10k events. 

Wembley Stadium - From 14:00 until 18:00 on Sunday 26 May, Wembley Stadium will be hosting the League One Play-Off Final football match between Charlton and Sunderland, with kick off at 15:00. Large crowds and increased traffic levels are expected in the Wembley area before and after the game. Roads likely to be affected include the A406, A1, A40, Harrow Road, Wembley High Road and roads around the stadium. 

Central London - From 08:00 until 14:00 on Bank Holiday Monday 27 May, the following roads will be closed: The Mall, Trafalgar Square, Strand, Aldwych, Fleet Street, Chancery Lane, Holborn, Holborn Viaduct, Newgate Street, King Edward Street, Angel Street, St Martins Le Grand, Cheapside, King Street, Gresham Street, Lothbury, Batholomew Lane, Threadneedle Street, Bank Junction, Mansion House Street, Queen Victoria Street, Cannon Street, New Change, Newgate Street, New Fetter Lane, Fleet Street, Strand, Whitehall, Parliament Street, Parliament Square and Great George Street. 

Additionally, London Bridge will be closed northbound. This is due to the Vitality 10k, which is expected to start at 10:00. Large crowds and delays are expected along the route of the run. 

Wembley Stadium - From 14:00 until 18:00 on Bank Holiday Monday 27 May, Wembley Stadium will be hosting the Championship Play-Off Final football match between Aston Villa and Derby, with kick off at 15:00. Large crowds and increased traffic levels are expected in the Wembley area before and after the game. Roads likely to be affected include the A406, A1, A40, Harrow Road, Wembley High Road and roads around the stadium. 

West Cross Route - From Bank Holiday Monday 27 until Thursday 30 May, the West Cross Route will be closed in both directions between Westway (Northern Roundabout) and Holland Park (Southern) Roundabout each night from 22:00 until 05:00the following morning. This is due to a crane operation. 

Baker Street - Until 17:00 on Tuesday 28 May, Baker Street will be closed northbound between York Street and Marylebone Road. Traffic will be diverted via Gloucester Place up to the junction of Park Road. From 08:00 on Tuesday 28 May until 13:00 on Saturday 1 June, Gloucester Place will be closed to all traffic between Taunton Place and Dorset Square. Traffic will be diverted via St John’s Wood Road, Edgware Road and Marylebone Road. These closures are due to Westminster City Council works to complete the Baker Street two-way scheme. 

Oxford Street – From Tuesday 28 May until Sunday 16 June, Oxford Street will be closed between Orchard Street and Oxford Circus. North and southbound routes crossing Oxford Street will remain open. This is due to Westminster City Council maintenance works. The surrounding area is likely to be busier than normal and buses will be on diversion so check before you travel

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Edinburgh taxi emissions rules relaxed due to lack of second hand vehicles

Councillors have been accused of creating a “false economy” for cabbies as taxis being brought into the Capital for the first time will be able to meet less strict emission standards than touted - due to a lack of affordable second hand vehicles on the market.

Under a rule change agreed by the city council’s regulatory committee, taxis being licensed in Edinburgh for the first time, which were expected to meet high Euro 6 standards by April 2020, will now only have to meet more pollutant Euro 5 rules. Current licensed taxis must be upgraded to Euro 6 standards by March 2023.

The city council’s regulatory committee agreed to relax the rules after granting around 150 exemptions since the rules were introduced in October 2018. Licensing officials said that around half of the requests for exemptions, which are heard behind closed doors, have been approved by councillors – including some for Euro 2 standards.

Cabbies will now be able to buy Euro 5 vehicles to use in the Capital. Licensing bosses hope that eventually, cheaper second hand Euro 6 taxis will be available.

Regulatory services manager Andrew Mitchell told councillors that relaxing the grace period would give the taxi trade “some breathing space”.

He added: “Committee have allowed Euro 2, 3 and 4 vehicles to operate beyond the deadline.
“On reflection, I think some relief for the second hand market maybe proportionate. At present, buying a Euro 6 at second hand is just not an option.”

Earlier, councillors heard from solicitor Jonny Nisbet, speaking on behalf of the taxi trade, who warned that cabbies were left with the option that “either you find an exemption or you find a brand new vehicle”.

Last week, the council’s transport and environment committee pressed ahead with draft proposals for a low emission zone (LEZ). Under the plans, taxis would have until the end of 2021 to meet Euro 6 standards in order to enter the city centre.

Vice-convener of the transport and environment committee, Cllr Karen Doran, said: “I don’t know how can we make an argument that it’s financially viable for someone who can’t afford a Euro 6 now to buy a Euro 5 and then a year later buy a Euro 6.
“I don’t actually understand how this policy is going to work or how it’s going to help taxi drivers in any way.”
More than 500 taxis have already been upgraded to meet the new conditions.

Cllr Steve Burgess said: “My concern is what that does in terms of incentivising a move in the taxi fleet to less polluting vehicles.
“I need to be reassured that by relaxing a policy like this, we are not deincentivising a move to a cleaner fleet.”
Cllr Hal Osler warned that the council was risking making the situation even worse for taxi drivers and creating a “false economy”.

She said: “I cannot see in any way, shape or form, these prices reducing and suddenly there being a flood in the market. People will know that people will desperately want these vehicles. I’m really concerned that we are actually facilitating this.
“I do have an enormous amount of sympathy for the industry and I don’t want to make the situation even worse. It will become impossible to seek those number of vehicles that they require.”
But SNP and Conservative councillors voted in favour of relaxing the rules.

Regulatory convener, Cllr Cathy Fullerton, said: “We do recognise the cost of replacing taxis and private hire cars with brand new Euro 6 models and this minor change will allow operators more flexibility to make the change to clean, efficient vehicles whilst maintaining the original timetable.”

Source : Edinburgh evening news

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Will You Stand And Fight, Or Will YOU Just Wait And See Till Theres NoWhere Left To Ply?

Westminster are still having a pop at the iconic London Taxi Trade.
With news to come this week that the London Taxi Trade is to be excluded from a further number of bus lanes, to be replaced by ViaVan and GoAhead on demand buses.... we now get news of another Taxi Rank silently disappearing before your very eyes.

The Curzon Street Taxi 'Rest Rank' Number 4949, which still has the TfL sign up, BUT HAS NOW BEEN PAINTED OUT !! 
Cars are now parking on it. 
Apparently Westminster Council would only allow a new rank outside the Lansdown Club if the trade was will to give up spaces from somewhere the rank that used to be used for the Mirabell restaurant was chosen by the joint ranks committee. 

Many drivers are upset at losing this space as they use it to leave their taxis there while making use of the rest facilities in the Washington Hotel. The rest rank meant they didn't have to leave their cabs on a working rank. 

Better use of these spaces would have been outside Annabelle's, which can be extremely busy at times and has never had a proper rank. Drivers have to resort to a pop up rank most evenings. 

But it gets worse....

These new services, on demand minibuses are going to be slowed in the very bus lanes that we are going to be excluded from 

Are you going to stand still and bend over for this.....or will you come along and join the 'WHERE BUSES GO, TAXIS GO' CAMPAIGN.

Don’t wait for orgs that are complicit in the trades downfall!
Protesting won us back Tooley Street and a reprieve at Tottenham Court Road !!!
The petition to stop the madness at TCR has over 25,000 signatures so far. 

You can help by signing and getting all family members and friends to sign up today
Click this link :

Come along to Parliament Square on Wednesday 1pm and fight alongside your colleagues. 

Monday, May 20, 2019

Lords Debate Baroness Says Heathrow Passengers Should Use Public Transport And Not Taxis

     Baroness Randerson and Baroness Jones 

Our old friend from the Green Party, has now laid her cards on the table. Love her or hate her, Baroness Jenny Jones has never changed her values. 

The noble lady has asked in the Lords: 
The Airports Commission suggested that Heathrow should go ahead, but it was using quite old data from the Committee on Climate Change, as well as overly optimistic projections for new technology. In view of the new date that the Committee on Climate Change has given us of 2050, and because of the climate emergency which has been declared at the other end of the building, surely it is time to rethink Heathrow and to actually reduce airport capacity in a steady way.

This is exactly the question you expect from Jenny. 

My Lords, the Government take their environmental commitments very seriously indeed. The Airports National Policy Statement sets out several strict environmental red lines that must be delivered for a third runway to gain development consent. They include no expansion if the applicant cannot demonstrate that the scheme would not materially impact the UK’s ability to meet its climate change obligations both now and in the future.

On the other hand, her noble colleagues, thinking about their frequent trips to their exotic tax havens are looking at a different way to tackle Climate change by getting the public out of their Taxis, Private Hire and rental cars.... in favour of public transport, the improved Piccadilly Line and the new HS2. 

My Lords, the percentage of people travelling to Heathrow by public transport has fallen in the last year or so, with more people using taxi services. However, the Government’s plans for Heathrow require an ambitious increase in the use of public transport—one of the red lines that the Minister referred to. That is necessary if the planned reduction in carbon emissions is to be achieved. 
How do the Government intend to ensure that far more passengers and employees take public transport to Heathrow?

Came back with:
The noble Baroness is right: surface access to Heathrow is absolutely critical as we look to expand it in future. One of the reasons Heathrow was chosen was that it is already very well connected. There will be improvements to the Piccadilly line, as well as HS2 and Western Rail access coming from the west. I will see Heathrow on Friday and will take it up then.

Lord Haselhurst (CON) said you would have to be a supreme optimist to believe Heathrow’s third runway would be available by 2025 and that we should instead be investing in better rail links to other airports around the country. 

Admitted to having a registered interest, but went on to say:
My Lords, does the Minister agree that investing in alternative fuel sources for flights in the future would be more beneficial than people who use airlines regularly preaching to other people that they should stop using them to go on holiday or for commercial purposes—particularly when they have the comfort of flying first class. 

I think what the noble gentleman was trying to infer, was this not a case of the Kettle calling the pot Black ?

Taxi Leaks would like to ask just the one question of the noble Lords and Ladies:
Working towards Zero carbon emissions by 2035....if we do ever achieve a state of zero carbon emmissions, what's going to keep the trees and plants alive ?????

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Uber Accused Of Failing To Pay £1bn VAT

If you backed & helped fund the @GoodLawProject VAT UBER case then your money was not wasted. Judgement day is coming never lose faith. 

The Good Law Project posted this tweet on Twitter today :
As the Sunday Times reports, we will, early next week, sue HMRC for failing to act in relation to Uber's tax dodging.

If you backed the UBER VAT case it’s progressing. 

Now it’s time to back @UTAG17 for £5 Per week less than your coffee bill per week 
The Taxi industry seeks change then make it happen....... 

San Francisco's Uber-Nuisance Probe Gets Go-Ahead From Court

Uber Technologies Inc.was ordered to turn over to the city of San Francisco data about how many of its drivers are responsible for illegal parking, traffic congestion and safety hazards.

A California appeals court rejected Uber’s argument that the information was properly given to a state regulatory agency, the California Public Utilities Commission, and shouldn’t be turned over to San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera. Friday’s order affirms a lower-court ruling in San Francisco’s favor.

The city wants the information for an investigation based in part on a police department study showing that car services like Uber’s account for about 65% of violations for driving in and blocking transit and bicycle lanes, failing to stop for pedestrians and illegal U-turns.
San Francisco’s probe also seeks to determine if Uber is underpaying its drivers in violation of the city’s minimum wage laws. Shares of the ride-hailing giant have struggled after its May 9 initial public offering, in part under the weight of questions about the viability of its business model -- specifically whether drivers will be compensated as employees or remain independent contractors as Uber treats them now.

“We do not and cannot know at this juncture what the City Attorney will choose to pursue, let alone whether or not any legal action it undertakes will hinder, aid, or have no impact upon the CPUC in its regulation,” the appeals court ruled.

Uber spokesman Matt Kallman didn’t immediately respond to an email after business hours seeking comment.

Source : Bloomberg