Saturday, August 03, 2019

Uber Privately Expecting TfL Application To Result In Another Short-Term Licence

Uber Technologies is facing an uphill struggle to secure a long-term licence from London's transport regulator little more than a year after it was forced to go to court to overturn an outright ban.

Uber, the world's best-known ride-hailing service, is privately expecting its application for a permit from Transport for Licence (TfL) to result in the awarding of another short-term licence. 

Industry sources said this weekend that New York-listed Uber had little chance of being granted the full five-year term when a probationary period expires towards the end of next month.

Instead, the company, which has a market value of $68.5bn (£56.3bn), is understood to be resigned to getting a further temporary extension of under two years.

Such a decision would be a blow to Uber, which is used by millions of Londoners and roughly 40,000 drivers in the capital.

One source said that a further 15-month or 18-month licence would underline the extent of the task facing Uber and its chief executive, Dara Khosrowshahi, as it seeks to persuade international regulators that it is a responsible corporate citizen.

So what has happened to make Uber think this way?
What have TfL told them to make them think a five year license isn’t on the table ?

Are TfL hedging their bets, worried about the consequences of a court date which is getting closer, from the UTAG action against them.

Every Cabby needs to get behind UTAG. 
If you want to see TfL taken to task for what they have done to the Taxi trade, click the link below and donate what you can afford. 

Taxi Charity Veterans Travel to the Netherlands for Wandeltocht

This September the Taxi Charity for Military Veterans will take a group of Operation Market Garden Veterans to Holland for Wandeltocht


Every September, the town of Oosterbeek in the Netherlands hosts the Wandeltocht Event the largest organised walk in the world, to commemorate WWII’s Operation Market Garden and the route taken by British 1st Airborne Division as they headed towards Arnhem from the drop and landing zones. 

People head to the town each September to walk the route and participants can choose from the full 40km Wandeltocht to a slightly easier 10km. 

The eight proud London cab drivers will volunteer their time and vehicles to escort the Market Garden veterans to the Wandeltocht on this Taxi Charity trip funded totally by donations. 

The veterans will not be walking the route but will attend as honoured guests to be saluted and applauded by the passing crowds.

Ian Parsons, Chairman, Taxi Charity for Military Veterans said “Operation Market Garden made massive use of Airborne Forces, whose tactical objective was to capture and secure the bridge at Arnhem and to allow a rapid advance by armoured ground units. 

The Taxi Charity is delighted to be once again taking veterans from this iconic WWII battle to commemorate the event and remember the comrades they left behind on the battlefieldsand who now rest in the CWGC at Oosterbeek.”

Frank Ashleigh, a Market Garden veteran (pictured above right) who will be traveling with the Taxi Charity to Arnhem said, “In 1944 I got to the Hartestein on the Tuesday morning and with Lofty Cummins, dug a slit trench in the grounds. All was peaceful. 

The thought that came to mind at this early stage was that this was too good to last. I volunteered to go on a reconnaissance to find where the enemy was located and in what strength. 

We found out only too soon. Surrounded and trapped in the roof of a Roman Catholic church with two other Glider Pilots, we were trapped for four days before they found us and took us Prisoner of War. Altogether a far from enjoyable time, made harder as we had nothing at all to eat for the four days we were in hiding.”

About Operation Market Garden
Operation Market Garden was a WWII military operation fought in the Netherlands from 17 to 25 September 1944 to create an allied invasion route into Germany’s industrial heartland. The operation succeeded in liberating the cities of Eindhoven and Nijmegen and many Dutch towns, creating a 97 km spur into German-held territory.

Market Garden consisted of two operations: Market, an airborne assault to seize key bridges; laying a carpet of airborne troops and Garden, a ground attack moving over the seized bridges creating the salient.

TAXI LEAKS EXTRA BIT : A Bridge Too Far For Uncle Ronnie
On a more personal note, on the 17th September 1944, my mothers brother, Ronald Sharwood, a young man of just 21 years and one of three brothers on active service... was shot in the head by a German sniper as he parrashuted into the Netherlands as part of the First Allied Airbourne Army's role in operation Market Garden.


He was picked up by medics and rushed to a make shift field hospital by American Troops, where he underwent an emergency operation that saved his life.

After the War Ronnie tried to repay his dept of gratitude by working the rest of his life at the American air base at Mildenhall Suffolk.  

New 12 year Taxi Age Limit, Verses The Equalities Act 2010... by Greenbadge John

The recent mini cab appeal against TfL's congestion charge imposition was based on a race issue and was very ill judged except for one thing, this judgement has far more of a legal framework and TFL might wrongly hope to set a legal precedent of which our trade could unduly suffer from.

Why has the brains of our trade ignored such an important argument and why have TFL been allowed to ignore one of the key 11 Characteristics "Age" as set out In the Equalities act 2010, which completely affects thousands of London Taxi Drivers without redress. This impact was even confirmed in the TFL findings of the consultation result when it was published and mentioned a clear deprivation without financial redress?

The Taxi drivers who are most likely to suffer serious losses are drivers who are over 60 and who owned their own vehicles choosing to work Less hours as the got older and paid off their taxis hence creating far less polutions.

I read a recent letter composed by Steve Mc Namara trying to address similar point but he did not once mentioning this clear breach of The Equalities act...why not?

The Equalities Act 2010 states if a clear link of deprevation based on age as indirect discrimination does when an organisation has a particular policy or way of working that applies to everyone, but affects a specific proportion far greater than the rest it is illegal.

TFL clearly states on 2.8 paragraph 5 of the consultation decision: 
The LLA included a review of impacts on groups with "Protected Characteristics". 

It found that 25% of taxi drivers are aged 60 or above and therefore older drivers could be disproportunatly affected by the proposals.

Why has nobody in our unions legal world picked this up?
Why has nobody in our orgs picked up on this?

I found a freedom of information request online from TFL going back to 20th January 2017 giving a breakdown on age of active drivers as follows:

Drivers 20-24 Years old = 45 Drivers 25-29 years old = 296
Drivers 30-34 years old = 665 Drivers 35-39 years old = 1282
Drivers 40-44 years old = 2192 Drivers 45-49 years old = 3976
Drivers 50- 54 years old = 5032 Drivers 55-59 years old = 4148
Drivers 60-64 Years old = 2863 Drivers 65-69 Years old = 2159
Drivers 70-74 Years old = 1324 Drivers 75-79 Years old = 470
Drivers 80-84 Years old = 157 Drivers 85-89 Years old = 13

Total: 24,622.

The Numbers today may have lessened since 2017, but going by the above numbers for argument sake until adjusted, the over 60-64's (2863) can just as easy be adjusted to the over 65's...which in itself is a number of 4123 drivers who simply could not sign up for a new can nor are they finding it an easy task to rent due to decommissioning, & looking at it another way, does anyone really think that if another Charecteristic highlighted under the protection of the Equalities Act 2010 was targeted in their thousands by a policy of government as a consquence of policy change ( eg: by colour, religion, sexual orientation etc) and accepted regardless of public consultation? 

This Consultaion was illegally and clearly constructed to remove drivers of age too....this is apparrent.

Consultation conclusion 2.8 paragraph 5 clearly uses the term 'charecteristics' as it was constructed by a lawyer with the Equalities act 2010 in mind but NOT OBSERVED, and must be urgently investigated and stopped before 1st of November 2019becomes a red line. 

Drivers of age are suffering discrimination today. 
Lets get a list of those drivers together urgently with their hours and losses and put it to whoever will listen, TFL are acting Bigoted and need to be stopped now.

Be Lucky


Friday, August 02, 2019

A New Report Calls For Free Tube Travel And "eScooters For Everyone" In A Car Free London

An equivalent of Uber should be run by Transport for London, Tube travel should be free and there should be "e-scooters for everyone" to cut carbon emissions, a think-tank said.
Taxi leaks say.... they should think again !!!
Can you really see TfL providing eScooters, eBikes, eRickshaws... FREE for everyone 😂😂😂

The Away with All Cars reportby Common Wealth, along with campaign groups We Own It and Greenpeace UK, says London should have no private cars by 2030.

TfL said it was investing £2.3bn to ensure 80% of journeys were by walking, cycling or public transport by 2041.

The RAC said many people needed cars.

The report says the number of cars in the UK has grown in every year since the end of World War Two, and increasing distances were travelled by car, making transport the "UK's largest sectoral source of carbon emissions".

It says that even though London is "consistently ranked in the top 10 cities worldwide for high-quality public transport", it is also the most congested and one of the most polluted cities in the UK.

To counteract this, the report says private cars should have "disappeared from Greater London" by 2030 with alternatives being accessible on a TfL app, including walking routes, buses free for Londoners, tram and Tubes, E-bikes, e-scooters, car shares and e-rickshaws.

The report says London is one of the UK's most congested and polluted cities, despite good public transport links. What it failed to mention was most of the congestion has been caused by the Mayors segregated cycle lanes with certain road and junction exclusions, causing major gridlock in surrounding areas.  

Caroline Russell, Green Party member of the London Assembly, described "everything in this report" as "possible".

"We need major change like this to tackle the climate and air pollution crises," she added.

A TfL spokesperson said: "We're investing a record £2.3bn in creating healthier streets where walking, cycling and public transport are the natural choice for all journeys and we want 80% of journeys to be made in these ways by 2041."
Perhaps they should be investing these billions in the Met to make safer streets. Healthy streets are pointless if you are in danger of being stabbed walking along.

Again this idea of banning all cars from central London will see the disabled trapped in their homes. 
It is discriminatory against certain residents in favour of people, many of whom don’t even live in central London. 

Nicholas Lyes, RAC head of roads policy, said many private car journeys in London were "driven by need, rather than choice".

He added: "Our own data suggests that 72% of Londoners say they would find it very difficult to adjust to life without using their vehicles."

But TfL have never taken notice of the majority, one look at their recent consultations show that they ask certain questions, disregard the answers they don’t like and just go ahead and do whatever they want !

It’s On The Cards...Uber Backed Electric Scooters Looking For Segregated Scooter Lanes.

It’s On The Cards...Uber Backed Eclectic Scoots Looking For Segregated Scooter Lanes.

On the biased BBC, this morning, interviewees were talking about how clean electric scooters are and how they fit in with the Mayors walking and cycling plans for cleaner air in London.

One interviewee said that they were safer than cyclists as virtually ever scooter has a flashing light on the rear unlike cycles who are mainly unlit at night. 

He went in to say that as the rider stands upright, they are more visible than cycles. 

The cyclist lobby however have a different view saying that the scooters are extremely dangerous to cyclists and pedestrians.... pot calling the kettle black perhaps?

TfL are looking to regulate the vehicles and (according to the BBC broadcast) are leaning towards implementing a system of segregated lanes designed specially for the scooters. 
(Nice contracts handed out to one of their larger stakeholders)

The Taxi trades largest union will probably wait and see before they comment on the affect of a new plethora of segregated scooter lanes and the impact to the already gridlocked transport network. 

Not a word this morning about the recent death of Emily Hartridge. 


TfL are chomping at the bit, as they look forward to a new income stream, selling permits for on road electric scooters, using segregated cycle lanes. 

Will TfL be looking to recoup their buget spent on cycle lanes by selling permits to cyclists ???

Television presenter Emily the first Hartridge is believed to be person to die in an accident involving an electric scooterin the UK.

But how common are they and what is the law?

In London, they are illegal on pavements and roads and can only be used on private property and parkland. 

This week has seen action from the Met, mainly in Islington where over 100 scooters have been stopped and given a verbose warning 

How popular are they?
Electric scooters are two-wheeled scooters with small, electric motors to power them, which have become increasingly popular in the Capital and can be found in large numbers in most European cities and in the US.

They have exploded in popularity since scooter-sharing schemes (from the likes of Uber) took off in about 2017 and are now available in more than 100 cities across the world.

Cities including San Francisco, Paris and Copenhagen have piloted a scheme to let people hire an electric scooter in a way similar to city bicycle hire.

The Court of Appeal and our Judicial Review : Update on Uber must pay all of its taxes

Earlier this week we heard that the Court of Appeal had refused us permission to appeal against the decision not to make a protective costs order.  This confirms us in our choice to switch strategy to a judicial review of HMRC's failure to raise a protective assessment against Uber.

As matters stand, we have a hearing on 6 November to consider HMRC's application that key elements of its case not be made available to the public. Uber will be attending and arguing that HMRC should not be able to disclose anything about its affairs to us - despite the very clear language of section 18(2)(c) of the Commissioners of Revenue and Customs Act 2005. 

We will say that this is a case about securing public confidence in the proper administration of the tax system cannot sensibly be heard out of public eye. Let the sun shine in, we say, and let the people know why, remarkably, HMRC appears to be allowing Uber to dodge hundreds of millions of pounds of tax every year.

Although we were forced to pay Uber over £100,000 of costs (consuming almost the entirety of what we raised) we do not presently plan to ask for further funding to pay for the judicial review. 

It is possible that that situation will need to change but we are keenly aware of the commitment we made to you, our funders, to try and chase down Uber's VAT dodging and we do not seek to escape or avoid that commitment,
Jo Maugham QC

Mayor's minicab congestion charge 'not unlawfully discriminatory'

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan's decision to introduce the congestion charge for minicab drivers is not unlawfully discriminatory, the High Court has ruled.

The Independent Workers' Union of Great Britain (IWGB) has said it intends to appeal the ruling. 
The union claimed removing minicabs' exemption from the £11.50 daily fee indirectly discriminates against a 94% black and minority ethnic (BAME) workforce.

The union argued Mr Khan's decision, which came into effect in April, disproportionately affects BAME drivers, while drivers of London's traditional black cabs - 88% of whom are white - remain exempt from the charge.
IWGB also claimed the decision disproportionately affects women, who are more likely to work part-time, and disabled passengers, whom they claim will be adversely affected by a reduction in the number of available minicabs.

But, giving judgment in London on Wednesday, Mr Justice Lewis dismissed IWGB's claim.

The judge said the decision was "a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim, namely the reduction of traffic and congestion within the congestion charge zone without reducing the number of designated wheelchair-accessible vehicles".

He added: "The aim that the defendant sought to pursue, namely achieving a reduction in the number of private hire vehicles in the congestion charge zone, is a legitimate one adopted as a measure of economic, social and environmental policy."

He added: "There are no other less-intrusive measures which could realistically achieve the same aim."
Following the ruling on Wednesday, IWGB general secretary Jason Moyer-Lee confirmed the union would pursue an appeal against the ruling, saying: "The IWGB is not about to give up at the first set-back."

He added: "The judge, defendant Sadiq Khan, and we all agreed that this charge is bad for ethnic minority and female drivers.
"The question is whether or not the mayor can legally justify it by showing it's reasonable and there were no better alternative measures to reduce congestion.

"He hasn't done this and the judge adopted the incorrect legal test when assessing the matter. So now we take the fight to the Court of Appeal."

In a statement after the ruling, a Mayor of London spokeswoman said: "We are pleased with the judge's decision.

"Removing the congestion charge exemption for private hire vehicles, apart from those that are wheelchair-accessible, is an important part of our plans both to reduce traffic volumes and congestion in London, with the additional benefits of reduced air pollution."

City Hall tries to face down councils blocking cycleways

London's City Hall has sent a message to councils that try to block segregated cycle lanes and upgrades to pedestrian crossings, by considering ways to grab control of local roads.

Deputy mayor for transport Heidi Alexander has asked Transport for London (TfL) to investigate whether control of Holland Park Avenue and Notting Hill Gate can be taken from Kensington and Chelsea Council and added to TfL's own 'red routes'.

The news comes after Kensington and Chelsea and Westminster councils scuppered plans for cycle super highways in their area despite a large number of collisions being recorded.

Kensington and Chelsea withdrew support for a £42m cycleway between Wood Lane and Notting Hill and London mayor Sadiq Khan has lost hope of building a CS11 cycle superhighway between Swiss Cottage and Oxford Circus after Westminster won a court case.

A cycleway on the borough boundary at the bottom of Holland Park is still an option.

Adding more roads to TfL's strategic ‘red route’ network would involve approval from the transport secretary; however City Hall appears keen to send a message to recalcitrant authorities it accused of 'holding the city to random'.

The controversial Holland Park scheme that the local authorities cancelled is the kind of situation where the mayor's office wants to keep 'all options on the table'.

Sources said there have been 293 collisions over the last three years there alone, and the vast majority of serious injuries have been to cyclists and pedestrians.

TfL statistics revealed a 14% annual rise in cyclists killed or seriously injured. There were 12 cycle deaths and 771 serious injuries last year, compared with 10 fatalities and 675 serious injuries in 2017.
Ms Alexander said: 'When it comes to saving lives on the capital’s roads, tackling our toxic air and improving the environment, nothing should be taken off the table. That is why the mayor is exploring all possible options that are available to him.

'As thousands more people walk and cycle across London, it’s unacceptable that someone’s life may be put at risk simply because they’re stepping across a borough boundary.'

Tuk-tuk Private Hire Firm Coming To A Rank Near You..... Soon

Why not, what will the Taxi trade do.... nothing again, other than wait and see. 

They will probably call themselves Tuk-Tuk Taxis as not one Taxi org or union has ever fought for us to keep our name, just look at the BBC always calling minicabs Taxis.... where are the complaints.... they just don’t happen

We even have one Taxi App who have given themselves a 50% increase in commission from 10% to 15% and still their drivers say nothing and just pay up. 

Not only that, these third party Taxi App companies owned by multi-national companies have already taken the word Taxi out of their name, plus they actually sit down with TfL and decided what we can charge, even though they are not licensed by TfL in any way.

They decide whether we have an increase or not and TfL listen to them as major stakeholders. 

Taxi Trade media won’t say anything about them as they relish in advertising revenue. 
I wonder what would happen if we demanded to sit in on their board meetings and set the directors wages and bonuses. 

Amazingly, the only App, TaxiApp which is solely owned by Taxi drivers is not allowed in revenue meetings. 

But as Bob Oddy once said, it’s not what the trade wants or needs ... it’s what it will stand
And going on recent form, our trade will stand the three card trick, time and time again. 

Now we have a tuk-tuk private hire firm has been given the go ahead to operate in Cardiff, which is eyeing up the London Market. Why not... we already have illegal electric rickshaws with the authorities unwilling to police the situation. 

Customers will be able to use a ride-hailing app (it’s that phrase again...ride hailing, which really means paying for hire) to book the electric vehicles, also known as rickshaws, which seat two passengers. The Mayor is going to love this and make no mistake, TfL will licence them 

Cardiff councillors gave their backing to the plans for zero emission rickshaws at a special meeting on Tuesday.

A reportsaid the vehicles, called Zbees, would be used for short distances in the city and Cardiff Bay.

The firm said its vehicles had zero emissions as they operated on battery power.


In addition to Cardiff, Coventry could be set to welcome pedicabs and Tuk Tuks to its streets - though a timescale for this is not yet known.

Last year, it was revealed that plans to introduce the quirky modes of transport were given the green light by the council - ahead of an expected tourism boom.

When introduced to the city, the new pedicabs and tuk tuks, which will be powered by pedal or a small motor, will operate near the railway station and the inner ring road.
Motors will be electric or zero-emission capability engines and drivers will only be permitted to accept pre-booked fares.