Saturday, June 15, 2019
Friday, June 14, 2019
FEARS have emerged that Uber are beginning to take a strangle hold on the cab trade in Basildon.
Independent councillor Derrick Fellowes, who represents the Nethermayne ward, is demanding action.
He was amazed by the vast number of Ubers after being shown the controversial app by a taxi driver.
He said: “There were literally five sitting about waiting for jobs.
“I have many concerns. The first being is local taxi drivers are registered and are licensed by the borough council to work here, whereas the Ubers aren’t, they operate here when they’re licensed to operate in London.
“Local taxi drivers go through a number of checks which ensure passengers are safe and they’re driving lawfully, it takes months before they’re licensed. I’m told Ubers can get licensed in a day, which means there’s no guarantee of the same security.
“Taxis are patrolled by the council so provide that safety which Ubers don’t. They’re pinching trade from legit operators which is unfair.”
Mr Fellowes has now raised concerns with the chair of the licensing committee councillor Imelda Clancy, who address the issue with officers. He added: “I hope this will be a step forward in stomping out the issue, protecting residents and taxi businesses.”
Last March, the Uber app was “geo-fenced” from Southend, Chelmsford and Rayleigh, which prevents the driver from operating in the locations. Taxi drivers believe this has caused Ubers to zone in on Basildon.
Martin Taylor, a taxi driver at Direct Cars, Basildon, said: “Having Ubers here has impacted us massively. Our businesses and income has been affected, money has dropped and I’m doing more hours.
“They’re all over the place, at Basildon station, Billericay High Street, everywhere.
“Before we’re licensed, we take multiple tests, CRB checks, medical checks, and a variety of courses, but I don’t think Uber drivers have the same thing.
“They just show their car, driving licence and get a sticker, that’s it, it’s quite worrying.”
Asa Oddy, 43, co-owner of Ace Taxis Limited and WickfordTaxis, said: “The issue is, they’re licensed to operate in London not here, but work here anyway.
“Nobody is stopping this from happening and they’re not being regulated properly.”
FRUSTRATED taxi drivers have accused Castle Point Council of damaging their trade and have launched a petition.
A large portion of hackney carriage drivers in the Castle Point area claim private hire taxis are taking their business, mostly due to the fact they are no longer required to take a local knowledge test before being issued with a license from the council.
The Castle Point website states all hackney carriage and private hire taxis are required to take a local knowledge test to be issued with a license.
However, it has since come to light that two years ago, following a council meeting, a local knowledge test is no longer a requirement.
Dave Wood, a Castle Point taxi driver of 30 years, feels not only are they losing trade because of the number of private hire taxis now working the same circuit, but their lack of local knowledge is reflecting badly on independent hackney carriage drivers like Dave.
The 55-year-old said: “We are independent hackney carriage drivers who work through ABC or Steve’s Radio Cars but we also do pick ups from the station.
“The circuit is now flooded by private hire taxis who also go through ABC and Steve’s to the point we are now getting [fewer] jobs because of it.
“A load of us started doing more station pick ups to get more work, but then private hires were turning up too.
“The fact they are able to get their licenses issued so easily is causing a problem.
“Without a local knowledge test, most of them don’t even know where they’re going, they all use SatNavs. We have started getting public complaints and even customers getting in our cabs and asking ‘do you know where you’re going?’
“We all feel so aggrieved by it all - we have all had to take knowledge tests.”
A petition launched by Dave was rejected on the grounds that no complaints had ever been made since the new regulations came into play two years ago - despite a petition of 94 signatures - and because their was no support from members of the public.
Dave and around 15 of his colleagues headed to the council offices yesterday to demand a right to appeal and get some answers to be told no one was available.
He added: “It’s always been difficult for us drivers to stand together on something - this is probably the first time we have. The feeling is so strong out there because of how we are suffering financially.
“During the last year and a half that this has been going on for I have noticed a decline in my earnings by around 20 to 30 per cent.”
Steve Flint, 59, from Canvey, has been a driver for 24 years in Castle Point.
He claims not a week goes by without a customer complaining about the lack of local knowledge the private hire drivers have.
He said: “I’m not just speaking up for us drivers, but for the general public, and I think that’s the point the council are missing.
“I took my knowledge test to get my license and it took my three months to learn it all before I sat the test.
“A lot of these private hire drivers are breaking the rules by overcharging customers because they have driven the wrong way or taken the longer route, and not a week goes by where I don’t have a customer say that that has happened to them.
“The council says we should respect and treat the general public with honesty and not overcharge, but some of these private hires are not doing that, therefore, they are breaking the rules and the council are contradicting themselves.”
Craig Watts, head of communities at Castle Point Council, said: “The council decision to withdraw the knowledge test was made over two years ago.
"The decision has been subject to examination by the local government ombudsman and no defect has been found in the council’s decision to withdraw the requirement for a knowledge test on first application for a private hire driver’s licence.
“Private hire is a pre-booked service and drivers have the ability to check routes beforehand and given the use of Sat-Nav and other technologies, the requirement for a knowledge test is no longer a key requirement to be satisfied before a licence is issued.
Khans Cycling Commissioner And TfL Told "On a Your Bike" By Royal Borough Of Kensington And Chelsea.
At yesterday's heavily attended meeting between the Kensington Society and TfL, to discuss the proposal for the radicle cycle lanes scheme along Holland Park Avenue, attendees were ask to raise their hand if they were against the scheme...It appeared that virtual all except for the team from TfL and a small group from the cycle lobby, raised their hands.
The Mayor's Cycle Commissioner (Will Norman) starting the ball rolling by trying to convince the audience that it was a complete 'Myth' that cycle lanes caused congestion and pollution, but he was almost laughed off the stage.
Councillor after Councillor received standing ovations...some for over three minutes, as they told the residents that they and the council would in no-way be supporting the scheme.
GLA Councillor Tony Devenish told the audience to be vigilant, as TfL do not normally listen to residents. He said it was extremely important that residents from all over should respond to consultations...and also to be very careful, as if you support any part of it....TfL will put you down as supporting a scheme 100%.
Cllr Devenish went on to say "the scheme being proposed here, is a bad scheme" to loud cheers and applause from audience.
The small group from the militant cycling lobby were heavily outnumbered by residents, local businesses and transport groups, who spoke out against the scheme.
After the meeting Will Norman and the TfL contingent said they were disappointed that the council appear to have already made up its mind, even though the consultation isn't complete.
The good news is that as these proposed cycle lanes would be on a road that comes under the authority of Kensington and Chelsea, the council have confirmed, they will not be supporting the scheme.
So, it seems that the outcome of this meeting, is that the Mayor's Cycling Commissioner and TfL were told by the residents and council members of the a Royal Borough, "on you bike, we ain't having it".
Wednesday, June 12, 2019
Tuesday, June 11, 2019
A black taxi used by a charity to give free trips to military veterans to memorial events has been vandalised.
No Bus Lane Access, No Rental Taxis, Limited Airport Tags, Station Rank Permits, How Far Will You Bend Over???
Monday, June 10, 2019
Letter To Taxi Leaks From Gerald Coba : Senior Reps...Or Just Messengers, Plus TfL COs Over Stepping The Mark Again !
Sunday, June 09, 2019
In June 2018 Esme at just 22 months old was diagnosed with high risk acute myeloid leukaemia whilst on holiday. She spent five months as an in-patient at the Royal Marsden, Sutton and received a stem cell transplant in September after three rounds of intense chemotherapy.
After six months of steady recovery, in April we heard the news we've dreaded; the leukaemia has returned to Esme's bone marrow.
In the US and other private centres, second transplants are offered within one year. For her second transplant the plan would be to use an adult (rather than original umbilical cord) donor and manipulate more 'graft versus host effect' to eradicate the leukaemia - so there is every hope for a permanent cure.
Esme's parents, Will and Rebecca, are desperate to save Esme's life. She is their only child and Rebecca suffered 4 miscarriages (and 3 operations, one which nearly killed her) to bring Esme into the world. Throughout all her treatment Esme has been the epitome of resilience, positivity and cheekiness, and deserves a shot at a permanent cure for life.
Unless you wish to specify a donation is solely made for Esme’s benefit, any monies unspent will be donated to The Children's Cancer and Leukaemia Group. If you make a donation specifically for Esme's benefit and for whatever reason we don't require private funds, we will reimburse via the platform.
For larger fundraising ideas/ enquiries please contact email@example.com
Please note: we were able to adjust our original target down from £500k to £400k target based on our best and latest understanding of figures shared by the team at the Royal Marsden who on 14th May confirmed that they will allow us to self-fund.
Have the public been hoodwinked into paying the ULEZ charge, to protect Uber’s saturation of London?.
At one time adding over 600 vehicles a week to the total amount of cars working on the app. The proliferation of Uber licenses have caused a major delay in Licensed Taxi Driver and Taxi licence renewals.
New data shows that Uber minicab drivers are carrying fare paying passenger for less than half their shift... this raises serious concerns, the ride-hailing giant is massively adding to pollution and congestion.
Drivers are having to work long hours, most are working between 12 and 14 hours a day, as the fares are so low, with many drivers paying the company 35% of the fare in commission. A new report in the Sunday Times today, shows that these vehicles are driving around empty for well over half their shift.
The data shows drivers in London spent more than a third (35%) of their time cruising looking for work and almost a quarter (23%) of their time just driving empty to a location to pick up a passenger.
The data also shows vehicles only have passengers on board for 42% of the time. That’s 58% of their 12-14 hours driving round empty.
The Mayor of London (Boris Johnson) was ordered by government ministers to "go easy on Uber" and Uber's path to their launched into Britain was eased, with a promise that its smart technology (which matches passengers with the nearest vehicle plying for hire) would reduce traffic. But the time spent cruising round empty was never taken into account.
Questions should be asked why was the Mayor of London leaned on to go easy and why has the minister for transport, refused to put a cap on their numbers ?
With Sadiq Khan and TfL constantly reducing the amount of road space available to vehicles in the capital, the congestion and pollution is set to get much worse.
Taxi Leaks Extra Bit :
It has also been bought to our notice that TfL are also protecting Uber by flat out refusing to answer a request to regularly publish the sexual assault and rape statistics of Uber passengers by drivers. They say to do this may seriously affect Uber’s business model and could put people off using the private hire app.
So now TfL have put protecting the Uber app, over protecting the public.
But again, this was to be expected... after they (TfL) swept the fact that 13,000 of Uber’s drivers had fake DBS certificates under the carpet. Recently at a senior reps meeting TFL's general manager tried to deny the figure was ever 13,000, till it was pointed out that the statistic was in fact TFL's own published figure.
The fact that many Uber drivers had acquired medical examinations 'ON LINE' was also kept quiet and only came to light after being exposed in an article in a nation newspaper.