Saturday, August 24, 2019

Breaking News: LEVC Supporting On-Demand RidePooliing


Just when thou thought it couldn’t get any weirder.... breaking new that LEVC allegedly looking to promote a ride pooling on demand bus service. 

The makers of London’s only current available Taxi, the TXe, appear to be promoting this German based private hire styled ride sharing company which is expected to replace certain bus routes with a low emission vehicle.

LEVC put out this tweet yesterday:

Congratulations @kvgOF_mbH @door2doorHQ & the Hopper; a bus-on-demand bookable via app.

This completely new public transport service lets customers indicate their desired pick-up & destination, then an algorithm determines the most optimal route according to their requirements.

Drivers asked (via Twitter) if the drivers of this vehicle will be Taxi drivers, or PH bus drivers, but the company made no further comment. 



REVEALED: Sadiq Khan's car-free day PR stunt will cost Londoners £1 million


London’s Mayor Sadiq Khan’s has posted plans to shut down part of the capital for a car-free day, which is set to cost Londoners £1million.

Khan’s plans for car free day on Sunday September 22nd are set to cost Londoners £1million.
12.3 miles of road – the length of 200 football pitches – will be closed around Tower Bridge, London Bridge and the City of London for “celebrations” forcing commuters to walk, get the tube or get on their bikes instead.

Khan actually wants people travelling on an underground network that is 50 times more polluted than the streets above, and it’s been revealed that the move will cost £1million – paid for out of the Greater London Authority’s group budget. 



£400,000 will go on shutting down roads, managing traffic, site management and security.
(Or as we call it, overtime jobs for the boys).

Another £600,000 will be splashed out on health and safety, marketing, and managing the event. More money waisted with his consultant friends. 

City Hall Tories said the day was nothing more than an overpriced PR stunt. Khan is alleged to have already spent £9.4 million on stupid PR stunts.

Khan has been accused by GLA councillors of wasting £82 million pounds which could have been used to put 1,378 extra police officers on the street. 


Keith Prince AM, the Conservatives’ transport spokesperson, said: “Londoners will rightly be angry to learn that they are having to pay £1 million just to be banned from driving in their own city. 

This is nothing less than a slap in the face and heinous waste of money.

“Londoners worried about the quality of our city’s air will question why the Mayor has chosen to splurge a million quid on a silly PR stunt rather than invest in robust measures to improve air quality. 

“This money could have been used to buy a handful of electric buses, helping to clean up the air in some of our city’s most polluted areas.

“Once again the Mayor has demonstrated that he is more interested in indulging in shameless virtue signalling instead of properly getting to grips with the big issues facing London.”

A huge picnic will take place outside Bank station, and Londoners can take part in a cycle across Tower Bridge.

There will be a hedge maze in Cheapside and kids will be able to go-kart around central London.

Streets will be filled with arts and crafts areas, food stalls and art projects, and there will be places to “sit and enjoy relaxing music”.
The Mayor has said he hopes it will encourage more people to walk and cycle as part of their commutes.

TAXI LEAKS EXTRA BIT :
Sadiq Khan has no money to fight knife crime or extra crime prevention policing, but amazingly finds £1MILLION to fund a car free day. 

He wants to force the public on to a Underground system which has air quality which is alleged to be 50 TIMES more toxic than the roads outside.... this is TRULY EXTRAORDINARY. 


Friday, August 23, 2019

ITA Gets Westminster City Council To Admit The Parking Diesel Subsidy Charged To Taxi Drivers Was Illegal. Refunds Are Available.


As a follow up to yesterday’s expose’ of Westminster’s alleged illegal charges being forced on Taxi drivers, the case was taken up by representatives of the Independent Taxi Alliance (ITA). 

At first Westminster were adamant that the charges were correct and they sent the email posted below to back up their claim to a driver who had parked on a ‘Taxis Only’ bay, displaying a sign that lays out the charge as £1.00 an hour, with a maximum stay of up to 2 hours. There is no mention on the signage of any surcharge. 


Enquiry
Our reference: 10948725
Dear Mr Etheridge
Your case reference:  10948725

Thank you for your comments.   The Diesel surcharge has been in place since 2017 in parking zone F (Hyde Park, Marylebone and Fitzrovia). After the success of the trial in this zone, the Council carried out a public consultation to expand the surcharge city-wide, in line with the commitment made in our 2018 Air Quality Manifesto.

This consultation, held between July and September 2018, received over 1300 responses, with clear support for expanding the diesel surcharge across the city, as quickly as feasible.

Concerted efforts have been made to widely communicate the changes with as many users as possible. Notification was posted on our website: (https://www.westminster.gov.uk/changes-parking-fees-and-charges) from 5 July 2019 with further updates added on 5 and 12 August 2019.  

A formal Notice of Variation was published in the Gazette on 8 July 2019. In addition, text messages were sent to 116,669 RingGo and Passport customers who have paid to park in Westminster since 25 June 2019, the content of the message was as follows: 'Westminster City Council is expanding its pay-to-park diesel surcharge city-wide from 5 Aug 2019 
https://www.westminster.gov.uk/changes-parking-fees-and-charges.'

Advanced purchase notification was placed on our IVR, App and web payment systems from 5 August 2019 informing customers of the upcoming changes.   All pay to park conditions of use signs, borough-wide, have now had stickers, containing details of the surcharge, affixed to them as appropriate. 
(This statement is incorrect, as you can see from the image below)

   

The diesel surcharge supports Westminster's commitments to a healthier and greener city, as set out in our City for All and Greener City Action Plan strategies.   Further information, which helps to demonstrate the support and rationale behind the scheme, is available on our website at:
https://committees.westminster.gov.uk/ieDecisionDetails.aspx?Id=1046&LLL=0.

Yours Sincerely 
Gordon Deas
Customer Relations Team. 

The ITA then made statements on social media accusing Westminster of illegally obtaining funds from drivers bank account and stated that Westminster should prepare for a series of demonstrations on the scale of the Parliament Square campaign. 

Within an hour, Westminster had a change of mind and this subsequent email was them dispatched to the complainant. 

Enquiry 
Our reference: 11027525
Dear Mr Etheridge,
Your case reference: 11027525

Thank you for your further correspondence received on the 19 August 2019. 

The diesel surcharge does not apply to taxi only pay-to-park bays and, after a further review, I can confirm you were incorrectly charged when parking at location 8942, on 12 August 2019. 

Action has been taken to ensure that the surcharge is not levied against your vehicle when parking at this location again, in the future. 

We apologise for any inconvenience caused.  The amount of £0.50p will be returned to your payment card, as soon as possible, and should be received within the next 3-5 working days. 

Yours Sincerely
Gordon Deas
Customer Relations Team 

Below is a series of Tweets cataloging the the events as they unfolded yesterday. 

“Danny and I both have recordings on of our phone conversations where the #ParkRight representatives were adament that we should be charged the surcharge. There is more to come of this. #ParkRight are due to call Danny tomorrow.
How many other drivers have been illegaly charged?”

Danny has just come off the phone with @CityWestminster after speaking to their extremely helpful supervisor, Scott.

TAXIS WILL NOT BE CHARGED ANY SURCHARGE ON ANY TAXI REST RANK. LEVC'S MAY PARK ON ANY REST RANK OR PARKING BAY FOR 'UP TO' 4 HOURS, FOR THE PRICE OF 10 MINUTES.


TAXI LEAKS EXTEA BIT : 
Again the ITA have come up trumps again, fighting for Taxi drivers rights. 

If you have paid a diesel subsidy to Westminster Council for parking, contact them through their website and demand a refund as you have been illegally overcharged. 

  

Westminster Council Are Charging TXe Drivers 50% Extra Diesel Surcharge


What an absolute liberty from Westminster City Council. 
A friend of mine who driver the new LEVC TXe, has been charged the 50% diesel surcharge 

Westminster City Council has informed Danny Hussey that their 50% 'Diesel Surcharge' on parking (including Taxi rest ranks) not only applies to ULEZ exempt London Taxis, but also the £65k LEVC Taxi "because it is a hybrid".

This cannot be right. 
Look on both the signage plates above, there is no mention of a surcharge... so therefore we believe that Westminster have acted illegally. 

If Westminster are allowed to get away with this, it’s just a matter of time before the surcharge appears in other boroughs. 

This isn’t about cleaner streets, air quality, or pollution control... this is just another cash cow aimed at people with no alternative. 

Taxi drivers are paying £65k to driver a vehicle that’s been forced on them by the Mayor and TfL and now Westminster are using the fact the vehicle has a small petrol generator to over charge the driver using a Taxi rest rank by 50%

We are now waiting to see what our three orgs and two unions have to say about this travesty. 

But we won’t be holding our breath!!!




Thursday, August 22, 2019

Driver's Record Endorsed With Complaint As FreeNow Charge More Than The Metered Fare


A specific complaint has been made against a London Taxi driver regarding FreeNow UK’s policy of allegedly charging more than metered fare via their Taxi app, which in itself could be deemed as a contravention. 

In a reply to the said complaint, TfL say they’ve  taken action... but would not say what action they have taken. 

An FOI request now shows that TfL -having no control over the Third party owners as Taxi apps for licensed Taxis do not need a TfL licence, unlike a Private hire operator- blamed the innocent driver and have endorsed his record for the contravention  FreeNow caused by allegedly charging more than the metered fare.

FreeNow have been in the news of late for a 50% increase of their commission rate to drivers, rising from 10% to 15%. 

Although this is the first complaint against a Taxi style app, it probably won’t be the last, as we’ve heard that Gett are now using an Uber style surge pricing system. Both apps have recently removed the word TAXI from their commercial name....(GetTaxi/Gett, and MyTaxi/FreeNow).

Below are the letters sent from TfL to the complainant and the driver. It’s clear from TfL’s letter to the driver, that they hold the driver responsible for overcharging the customer. 


 

TAXI LEAKS EXTRA BIT :
Last year I sent numerous complaints (6 in total) to TfL's Graham Robinson who has till now ignored every one. He has so far made no attempt to contact me and I have been informed by a member of staff at TfLTPH that the email account I used to make the complaint has been blocked, which seriously affected my licence renewal earlier his year.

I will be making an official complaint through my org (LCDC) against TfL's Graham Robinson. 
I sent him a complaint about a Taxi app which was dispatching work to TfL registered Private Hire vehicles through a Taxi App which did not have a private hire operators licence. 

The first email was sent 18th May 2018. 
I resent the email 28th May, 7th June, 28th June, 29th June, 3rd July and 4th July asking why he was ignoring my complaint. 
All emails were CC to my MP Gareth Thomas and Caroline Pidgeon neither of whom contacted me. 

I will post update to the complaint here on Taxi Leaks.....Watch this space 


Big Brother Is Watching You, Why You Should Turn Off Your Bluetooth....by Tony Smith


News in this week from the DEF CON hacker conference in Las Vegas that using Bluetooth is a bad idea and if you want your data/movements/ communications kept secure, you should stop using it...
Seriously, security experts are now saying you should turn it off to stay safe.

This is a massive problem because virtually everyone uses the technology that we've come to rely on to connect our phones, smart speakers, cars, and is found to be problematic for reasons a lot more serious than just pairing issues.

Bluetooth has been shown time and time again to be a security and privacy nightmare, albeit one that can be mostly solved simply by going to settings and swiping the off switch.

But, at the end of the day... it’s up to you... if you want to stay secure, you have to decide to flip that switch.

Bluetooth has long been a dirty word for security professionals. So much so, in fact, that one of the most common pieces of advice given to attendees of the annual DEF CON hacker conference in Las Vegas is to make sure Bluetooth is disabled on their phones. Some attendees even go as far as switching their smart phones to airplane mode while at the show.

This is not just paranoia.
In fact, at this year's DEF CON researchers showed off the ability to use Bluetooth to identify vulnerable Smart phones.

Also at the show, researchers announced a flaw that could allow hackers to both intercept and alter data sent over Bluetooth.

"An attacker is able to the listen in on calls using Bluetooth headsets. They can change the content of, nearby Bluetooth communication, even between devices that have previously been successfully paired," explain the researchers.

That's not all. Just a few weeks ago researchers demonstrated  how AirDrop can be used by malicious actors to determine your full phone number (which reveals a lot about you) due to the way Bluetooth Low Energy works.

This has recently become a problem on London tube trains where unsolicited messages can be sent to a number of passengers in local vicinity. This problem is called Bluetooth flashing.

It gets worse. The main stream media have reported, many stores now use Bluetooth beacons to track the location of individual shoppers down to the inch. That information is often sold or given to advertisers, who then use it to build data profiles on unwitting people just trying to buy a carton of milk.

Essentially, keeping Bluetooth enabled on your phone at all times opens you up to potential hackers, abuse, and privacy violations.

The solution is simple:
Don't use it. Or, if you must, make sure to turn it off as soon as you've unpaired from the device in question.

That precaution may seem like a pain in the neck, but any frustration that comes from repeatedly pairing and unpairing your gadgets pales in comparison to getting hacked or having your privacy systematically violated.

So remember to turn off your Bluetooth, grab some wired headphones, and enjoy the sweet sound of knowing you took a basic digital security precaution.



Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Breaking News : The Battle Against Uber's Licence Renewal Has Well AndTruly Begun.



Statemen From The Chairman Of The London Taxi Drivers Club, Grant Davis 

The battle is well and truly on and this letter with the assistance of Keima Payton has gone to the Mayor.

Rt Hon Sadiq Khan                        
Mayor of London
City Hall
The Queens Walk
London SE1 2AA
5th August 2019
  
Dear Mayor Khan,
Uber Probationary License

As I am sure you are aware on the 31st July 2019 at Westminster Magistrates Court, Uber London Ltd were found guilty of on two occasions allowing its drivers to accept bookings in vehicles without the required hire and reward insurance (penalty imposed £14,000 for each count) and for two offences of failing to keep adequate records (penalty imposed £400 for each count) plus Court costs and victim surcharge. 

It is clear with regard to the large fines imposed, how seriously the Court took these offences, noting (as is relevant) that had Uber London Ltd held a driving license upon conviction of 2 offences of not having in force the relevant insurance they would have been given a minimum of 6 points for each offence and thus would have been disqualified under the totting provisions.

It is understood that Ubers fifteen month probationary license expires on the 25th September 2019, following a refusal by TFL on the 22nd September 2017 to grant Uber London Ltd a license as they were not a “fit and proper” person within the meaning of the act to hold an operator’s license.

The refusal to grant Uber a license although appealed by Uber London Ltd, was done on the unusual ground of not opposing TFL’s reasons for not renewing the license – in brief they accepted that at the time the license was refused that was the correct decision as they were not “fit and proper”. Mr. de la Mare QC, for Uber London Ltd, even argued that TFL had made the right decision on the evidence at that time, arguing instead that the last 3 inspections showed a “perfect record of compliance” and promising “total compliance to the letter and spirit” of regulatory obligations. This appeared to be a persuasive argument.

In the Judgment of The Chief Magistrate, Emma Arbuthnot, recorded on the 26th June 2018, at para 15 she states:

“Nine months have passed, the changes set out in the skeleton arguments have taken place. The question for this court is whether ULL can be trusted when it says it has changed and whether it will maintain the changes when these proceedings drop away”.

It is submitted that this recent conviction, relating to matters which directly affect the safety of Londoners, is evidence that Uber London Ltd cannot be trusted and establishes beyond all doubt that the changes which permitted Uber London Ltd to be granted a license have predictably not been maintained once legal proceedings dropped away.

Although not the most serious offence for which Uber London Ltd were found guilty at Westminster Magistrates Court on the 31st July 2019; we are sure that you will share our concerns that Uber London Ltd also (on at least 2 occasions) failed to keep adequate records.

Which begs the question; if Uber London Ltd cannot keep adequate records during their probation period when additional conditions attached (which they agreed to uphold) what chance will there be that they keep adequate records when not so heavily scrutinised?

Section 3(3) of The Private Hire Vehicles (London) Act 1998 sets out that TfL shall grant an operator’s licence where it is satisfied that the applicant is a “fit and proper person” to hold such a licence. In granting a license to Uber London Ltd, Chief Magistrate Arbuthnot stated:

40. I have considered the evidence and submissions in the case. I have given particular weight to the conditions that have been agreed between the parties. Taking into account the new governance arrangements, I find that whilst ULL was not a fit and proper person at the time of the Decision Letter and in the months that followed, it has provided evidence to this court that it is now a fit and proper person within the meaning of the Act. I grant a licence to ULL.

41. The length of the licence has been the subject of discussion. The rapid and very recent changes undergone by ULL lead me to conclude that a shorter period would enable TfL to test out the new arrangements. A 15 month licence will enable Ms Chapman and her team to check the results obtained by the independent assurance procedure set out in condition number 4 whilst ensuring the public are kept safe.

Condition 4 is as follows:

4. Independent assurance procedure ULL shall maintain an independent assurance procedure designed to review and validate the effectiveness of its systems, policies, procedures and oversight mechanisms for promoting compliance with its obligations as a licensed operator in accordance with the 1998 Act as well as these conditions.

ULL shall provide TfL with details about all existing and new customer and/or driver safety and security initiatives, safety and security related products and services and the work of ULL’s Safety Team, and the independent assurance procedure shall also include a review of these safety and security initiatives, safety and security related products and services and the work of ULL’s Safety Team.

ULL shall provide the licensing authority with a copy of an independently-verified assurance procedure report produced every six (6) months from the date of any decision granting this Licence together with a summary of actions ULL proposes to take in response to that report.

We urge you to consider, for the purposes of section 3(3) of The Private Hire Vehicles (London) Act 1998 whether Uber London Ltd remains a “fit and proper person” to hold such a licence. 
 
If, as accepted by all (including Uber London Ltd and The Chief Magistrate), the refusal by TFL to grant an operator’s license to Uber London Ltd on the 22nd September 2017 was the correct decision surely now, having promised a “perfect record of compliance” and promising “total compliance to the letter and spirit” which Uber London Ltd have spectacularly failed to maintain, even for the 15 months of their probationary license, it is submitted that a decision must NOW be made to immediately revoke Uber London Ltd’s operator’s license.

The Chief Magistrate was clear of the importance of “ensuing the public are kept safe” which it is submitted can never be the case when an operator permits uninsured drivers onto the street of the capital to ferry around unsuspecting fee paying passengers. Uber London Ltd are not fit to hold a driving license (nor would they if they were an individual) let alone an operator’s license. 

Condition 4 has clearly been breached, the public are not being kept safe – Uber London Ltd are not complying with either the spirit or the letter of compliance and we respectfully demand that action must now be taken to protect the public and restore London’s reputation as a safe city in which to travel.
I look forward to your urgent reply.

Yours sincerely,
Grant Davis
Chairman
London Cab Drivers Club.

Monday, August 19, 2019

London Taxi PR announces the launch of ‘All Hail the Street Hail’ advertising campaign


London Taxi PR announces the launch of ‘All Hail the Street Hail’ advertising campaign

London Taxi PR (LTPR), an organisation which represents the interests of the Licensed London Taxi profession, has announced the launch of its new advertising and promotional campaign, celebrating 365 years of hailing a London Taxi, ‘All Hail the Street Hail’, which has now gone live across major billboard advertisement locations throughout London.

The campaign, which is being displayed initially for one month at 24 prime central London digital billboardlocation sites, with the assistance of digital media out of home advertising company, London Lites, will also include the usage and display of the advertisement on some rooftop signage display boards of London Taxis.

Carrying the main message, ‘All Hail the Street Hail’, the new campaign celebrates 365 years of the traditional hailing of London Taxi from the street, and will also include some subtle messaging such as, ‘Mobile Data not Required’, and includes a reminder that ALL London Taxis accept all major credit cards as well.

With the increased usage and licensing of Apps to hailTaxis, it was felt that the general public needed a reminder of not only how long the traditional London Taxi has been serving and transporting customers in London, but also just how easy and simple it is to hail a London Taxi rather than using your mobile phone.

Since their formation, London Taxi PR has undertaken aseries of targeted media campaigns, which are being usedby London Taxi PR to promote the benefits, advantages and safety of using the iconic London Taxi to a wide audience.

All the campaigns and publicity that has so far been generated by the company has been funded by fellow London Taxi drivers as well as supportive companies andorganisations, many of whom have signed up to donate to the cause on a monthly basis, indicating how passionate they all are about their industry and the cause.
London Taxi PR. Passionate about promoting and preserving the iconic London Taxi trade and funded byLondon Taxi drivers who care about their industry. 

For more information on London Taxi PR and their campaigns, please visit their website




Dispelling The Myth (Part 2) POSSIBLY THE BEST ARTICLE EVER WRITTEN “WHAT IS PLYING FOR HIRE….BY ALAN FLEMING”

            FIRST PUBLISHED IN 2012 

            Coventry Street, minicab lined.

I  read  with interest in the last edition of United Cabbies News the proposals of  T&PH, for allowing PH ranks. 

Some ten years ago when at the Club I was informed that this was going to be the case in Kingston. I informed the other trade organisations but had no response. 

I did take it up with the then PCO but my observations fell on  deaf ears.  
I thought that your readers may wish to know what constitutes plying for hire.

What is plying for hire? That is a question that we all think we can answer, but can you? Since I first became a cab driver almost forty years ago I made it my business to understand the laws that we have to abide by. Further very early in my time as a driver I spent many hours reading all the stated cases involving plying for hire. Because I have done this many consider that I am an expert on the subject. Knowing what I do it has long been my opinion that the relevant  laws that govern both taxis and PHV are not fully understood by those, who regulate both trades. 

This also applies to those who make the laws and the solicitors who advise them.  Most will know that PHVs  have been licensed since 1976 under the Miscellaneous  Provisions Act. It was always said that London should not and did not need mini-cabs to be licensed as London was a special case. What ever was meant by that has always been a mystery. So now let us get on with the question of what constitutes plying for hire.


There has never been a definitive explanation for this particular part of a taxi drivers daily work. However, Butterworths legal dictionary states that the phrase is akin to waiting. Never the less we have to look at the many cases that have gone to the High Court to find the true definition. I will take you back to one of the earliest cases of unlawfully plying for hire this took place 140 years ago. The location was Harrow  Railway Station in 1871. The case in question is Clarke & Goodge v Stanford. The facts of this case are that a driver a Mr. F G Clarke took up a position on the station forecourt to await being hired. Clarke and the owner of the vehicle obviously felt they were safe as the forecourt of the station was private, but they were wrong. The driver Clarke was convicted of plying for hire and the owner Goodge convicted of owning an unlicensed hackney carriage, which both of them appealed against the conviction.


On April 29  1871 the case came before the Court of the Queens Bench in the High Court.
Lord Chief Justice Cockburn presided over the case accompanied by Mr Justice Mellor and Mr Justice Lush. The conviction was upheld. The summing up of the Lord Chief  Justice is very interesting as you  will read. This was what the LCJ had to say about the activities of F G  Clarke. The carriage was on the private forecourt of the station and was available for anyone who wished to hire his carriage, it was plying for hire.  

Although the place is private property the public are entitled to travel by train, and has a right to pass over the premises of  the railway to get in or out.  Therefore if a man is standing on those premises with his carriage to take persons who are desirous of hiring said carriage, he is plying for hire.  So the essence of plying for hire is being on view to the public at the time of hiring.    Mr. Justice Mellor stated in support the following. 


It is said there is no plying for hire as the carriage is admitted on the railway premises under certain regulations, that is it is only to carry persons who come by train. But what is the carriage there for? Though the driver makes no sign he is there to be hired by persons who arrive by train, and there is no restriction as to the persons who, arriving by train shall hire the carriage, therefore it is plying for hire.  


          Swallow Street Arch, minicab rank.

Now let me rephrase that comment and apply it to Leicester Square 2009, approaching  Xmas
The cars are in Whitcomb St under certain regulations are only to carry passengers who make a booking  at the ticket office in Leicester Sq.  
But what is the car there for? 

Though the driver makes no sign he is there to be hired by persons who apply to the ticket office, and there is no restriction as to the persons who apply to the office to hire the car, therefore it is plying for hire!

Further to this as you know there is a taxi rank in Whitcomb St outside the hotel were cabs ply for hire, by waiting to be hired. So what is the difference between the cabs on rank and the cars who wait to be hired on the opposite side of the street? The answer is obviously none at all.  So where does this leave PHVs who stand round London, and await to be hired by radio. If they are standing in a public place at the time of the hiring they must be on view to the public. Therefore they are unlawfully plying for hire.

During that same year of 1871 there was another case came before the courts. This was Allen V Tonbridge. The case was about a Mr. Tonbridge who owned a carriage and was allowed to stand on the property of  Cannon Street railway station.  He had permission to do this by the railway company. Tonbridge had placed his carriage a Brougham on the arrivals platform and waited for the train to arrive. 

The sole purpose of this was so that his carriage could be hired, which it was. However, a Met police inspector Robert Allen saw the carriage hired and Tonbridge was summoned. He was convicted of plying for hire in the magistrates court and consequently appealed against, the conviction. The appeal came before what was then known as, The Court of Common Pleas. This was where three Chief Justices sat in Judgement. Counsel for Tonbridge argued that there was no plying for hire as the station was private property.  The senior Chief Justice summed up and delivered this judgement.

Mr. Justice Willes made the following judgement.
The carriage was in the station and was intentionally exposed so as to be hired by any person.  Moreover it was proved that actual application was made to two persons who arrived by train to hire the carriage. And the decision of the magistrates court to convict must stand. As you can see the conviction was based on the fact that the carriage was on view to the public at the appropriate time.

Mr Justice Smith in support agreed with the judgement stating the following.

I base my judgement on the case in the Queens Bench referring  to the case of  Clarke and Stanford V Allen.  This was his judgement. It was held that if a person exposes his carriage where every body passing by may be willing to hire it, that is plying for hire.

I now come to the case of White V  Cubitt 1929 LCJ Hewart presiding in the Kings Bench Division of the High Court. This little escapade occurred in the private yard at the side of The Railway Tavern public house at the junction of, Rocks lane and  Upper  Richmond  road. The owner of the vehicle rented the space in the yard from the publican to carry out his business.  Two ladies walked into the yard from the street and hired the car to go to Richmond Park  Golf Club.  The owner of the car a Mr. Charles Cubitt was seen by Sgt White  of the Met police accepting the hiring, and  Cubitt was summoned to appear in the magistrates Court, where he was convicted.  He appealed against the conviction and the case came before the High Court.

The argument put forward by his defence counsel was that he did not ply for hire in a public place as, the yard was private property. Counsel further laboured the point that the public did not have access to the yard. However the Lord Chief Justice stated the following facts.

Although the car was on private property and the public did not have access to the yard, the vehicle was plying for hire. Again his comments in summing up are very interesting for the following reasons. The Lord Chief Justice made the following Statement. The car may have been on private property but it had been placed  in such a way in the yard and with the gates to the yard wide open, it was on full view to the public. And the conviction in the lower court was upheld. Again I have to say this puts PHVs in a position of breaking the laws of plying for hire. This for the simple fact they are on view to the public at all material times.

Lets us now come  forward a few years to 1946 this is the case of Gilbert V McKay.
McKay had an office in Rupert St. with a sign over the shop window showing that cars were for hire. Several  cars belonging to McKay were standing in the street outside of  the office.
Several people were seen to enter the office for the purpose of paying for the hire of anyone of the cars, in which they were driven away. McKay was charged with being the owner of unlicensed hackney carriages. He was convicted and fined by the Magistrates court and lodged an appeal, the appeal was dismissed. 

The  Lord Chief Justice Lord Goddard had the following to say. In my opinion even if the cars had been standing in a private yard and could not be seen by the public, there could still have been a plying for hire if they had been appropriated for immediate hiring. The important thing here is the reference to a private yard and not on view to the public at the time of hiring. Even more important is his reference to an immediate hiring. This is what was happening in Leicester Sq. As you can see the essence of plying for hire is being on view to the public. Is this the position of the PHV or not?

We now come forward in time to 1962 to the case of Rose V  Welbeck  Welbeck motors being the first minicabs to hit the streets in London. This was brought to court by a London cab driver, Emanuel Rose. The car was standing in the street at Stratford Broadway obviously waiting to be hired. The police were summoned to the scene by Mr. Rose and the upshot was that the driver of the car was summoned to appear in court, for plying for hire.

When the case was heard the magistrates court dismissed the case so an appeal against the decision was entered. The case came before LCJ  Parker in the Queens  Bench division of the High Court. The car had Welbeck motors emblazoned on the side of the vehicle and a telephone number.  It had been argued by counsel for Welbeck motors that the advertising on and the appearance of the car  were incapable of conveying to the public an invitation that the vehicle was for hire. The following is the judgement of LCJ  Parker.

 It is perfectly true that the inscriptions were advertising Welbeck motors and if you ring Welbeck 4440 you can have one of the vehicles that they hire, known as a minicab.  He went on to say that the inscription was saying more. What it was saying was the following. I am one of those minicabs and I am for hire, I think in that connection that the reference to minicabs is important as it is saying I am one of those vehicles and I am for hire. And referred the case back to the lower court where Welbeck motors were convicted for plying for hire. Again the conviction was due to the fact the vehicle was on view to the public.

Just a few days later the case of Vincent V Newman came before LCJ Parker the circumstances were similar. The vehicle had been stood in Addison Crescent were it was observed by a police officer and was summoned to appear before the Magistrates court, for unlawfully plying for hire. The magistrates dismissed the case and the Met police appealed.

The appeal was upheld and referred  back to the Magistrates, where the driver was convicted. Once again due to the fact that the car was standing in a public place.

I now come to the most recent case which occurred in Eastbourne in 2000. This case came before Lord Justice Pill and Mr. Justice Bell. This was in the Queens Bench division of the High Court. The case had been brought to court by Eastbourne Borough Council against two PHV drivers. They had been found on the rank of the forecourt of Eastbourne station.  And were summoned under sect.37 of the Town Police Clauses Act of 1847 of plying for hire without a licence. The magistrates dismissed the case on the grounds that the forecourt was not a public place.  Lord Justice Pill quoted the case of White V Cubitt  where a vehicle parked in a private yard was plying for hire, as it could be seen from the street. He went on to say applying the principle in White V Cubbit since a vehicle parked in the station forecourt was likely to attract custom from members of the public using the adjoining street, the defendants were plying for hire. Again we have the situation of being on view to the public.

This now brings me to the situation  in Leicester square where the theatre ticket booking office has been licensed as a Licensed PHV Operator centre. Not only has it been licensed it advertises the following by a revolving neon sign, the following message.  Need a safe journey home fully licensed private hire minicab service available here. 

That in itself is unlawful as it is soliciting business and is tantamount to touting, under sect 167 of the Criminal Justice and Public order Act 1994.  The cars are parked up like a taxi rank in Whitcomb street and are waiting to be hired, and are on full view to the public.  A person goes to the booking office hires a car and is taken by a marshal to the waiting car. This is a repeat of Gilbert V McKay 1946 which was judged by LCJ Goddard to be plying for hire. 

Now Westminster City councils director of transportation Martin Low states this is not plying for hire. Well I have news for Mr. Low he is 100% wrong.  For his enlightenment and for the PCO I will tell you why.  Sect 35 of the London hackney carriage act of 1831 states the following.  Every hackney carriage which shall be found  standing in any street or place, unless actually hired, shall be deemed to be plying for hire, this is what the cars were doing in Whitcomb St.  The powers that be would of course argue that the cars are not hackney carriages. Well the 1907  London Cab and Stage Carriage Act sect. (6) is laid out like this.

It Is hereby declared that for the purposes of any Act relating to hackney carriages, stage carriages, metropolitan stage carriages, or cabs,  in London, the expressions “ hackney carriage,”   “stage carriage”  “metropolitan stage carriage,”  “or Cab,” shall include any such vehicle, whether drawn or propelled by animal or mechanical power.
As you will have observed a hackney carriage is a vehicle that is not necessarily a taxi, although a  taxi is a form of hackney carriage.   What this means is that any vehicle that carries passengers is a  hackney carriage. 

As you all know a hackney carriage to be able to carry passengers for hire, has to be licensed under sect 6 of the Metropolitan  Public Carriage Act 1869. The offence that was being perpetrated here is that we had a situation where unlicensed hackney carriages were plying for hire.  The cars in Whitcomb St may have had a PHV licence,  however, they were  in fact unlicensed hackney carriages.  Therefore as the vehicles were unlicensed all persons who entered one of these cars were a passenger in an uninsured vehicle. And this with the approval of the police and TFL/ PCO. 

Sect  4 of the 1831 Act states that  every  carriage with two or more wheels which shall be used for the purpose of  standing or plying  for hire in any street road or public street  or road at any place within 5 miles now 12, from  the  General  Post Office  in the City of London,  whatever  may be the form or construction of such carriage,  or the number of persons which it shall be calculated to convey, shall be  deemed and taken to be a “  Hackney  Carriage” within the meaning of this act.

It seems quite obvious that a pedicab is a form of hackney carriage as it  has 3  wheels, and is propelled by mechanical power, that being the pedals.   Further as  they wait to be hired they  are plying for hire. The Pedicab comes within the scope and definition  of a hackney carriage. Any hackney carriage that takes passengers for hire has to comply with the Metropolitan Conditions of fitness (MCF)  This is covered by the  1934  London Cab Order, Statutory Instrument 1634. Therefore as Pedicabs  do not comply with the MCF  they cannot wait to be hired.  As I have said earlier the essence of plying for hire is being on view to the public at the time of hiring.
Further as has been stated in many cases if the vehicle is waiting to be hired, it is plying for hire.

So as you will observe the brain dead at TFL/ T&PH  do not know what they are doing, or do they?  For hear we have a group of people who do not  know the laws that they are charged with enforcing. The phrase, “Not  Fit  For Purpose” comes to mind.


MORE COURT CASES
During that same year of 1871 there was another case came before the courts.   This was Allen V Tonbridge.  The case was about a Mr. Tonbridge who owned  a carriage and was allowed to stand on the property of Cannon Street railway  station.  He had permission to do this by the railway company. Tonbridge had  placed his carriage a Brougham on the arrivals platform and waited for the  train to arrive. The sole purpose of this was so that his carriage could be hired,  which it was. However, a Met police inspector Robert Allen saw the carriage  hired and Tonbridge was summoned.  He was convicted of plying for hire in  the magistrates court and consequently appealed against, the conviction.

The appeal came before what was then known as The Court of Common Pleas.   This was where three Chief Justices sat in Judgement. Counsel for Tonbridge argued that there was no plying for hire as the station was private property.  The senior Chief Justice summed up and delivered this judgement. Mr. Justice Willes said: “The carriage was in the station and was intentionally exposed so as to be hired by any person.  Moreover it was proved that actual application was made to two persons who arrived by train to hire the carriage. And the decision of the Magistrates Court to convict must stand. As you can see the conviction was based on the fact that the carriage was on view to the public at the appropriate time.”

Mr Justice Smith in support agreed with the judgement stating the following.
“I base my judgement on the case in the Queens Bench referring to the case of Clarke and Stanford V Allen.  This was his judgement.  It was held that if a person exposes his carriage where every body passing by may be willing to hire it, that is plying for hire.”

I now come to the case of White V Cubitt 1929 LCJ Hewart presiding in the Kings Bench Division of the High Court.  This little escapade occurred in the private yard at the side of The Railway Tavern public house at the junction of, Rocks lane and Upper Richmond Road. The owner of the vehicle rented the space in the yard from the publican to carry out his business.  Two ladies walked into the yard from the street and hired the car to go to Richmond Park Golf Club.  The owner of the car a Mr. Charles Cubitt was seen by Sgt White of the Met police accepting the hiring, and Cubitt was summoned to appear in the magistrates Court, where he was convicted.  He appealed against the conviction and the case came before the High Court.

The argument put forward by his defence counsel was that he did not ply for hire in a public place as, the yard was private property. Counsel further laboured the point that the public did not have access to the yard. However the Lord Chief Justice stated the following facts. Although the car was on private property and the public did not have access to the yard, the vehicle was plying for hire. Again his comments in summing up are very interesting for the following reasons.

The Lord Chief Justice made the following Statement.  “The car may have been on private property but it had been placed in such a way in the yard and with the gates to the yard wide open, it was on full view to the public”. And the conviction in the lower court was upheld. Again I have to say this puts PHVs in a position of breaking the laws of plying for hire. This for the simple fact they are on view to the public at all material times.

Let us now come forward a few years to 1946 this is the case of Gilbert V McKay.
McKay had an office in Rupert St. with a sign over the shop window showing that cars were for hire.  Several cars belonging to McKay were standing in the street outside of the office.
Several people were seen to enter the office for the purpose of paying for the hire of anyone of the cars, in which they were driven away.  McKay was charged with being the owner of unlicensed hackney carriages.  He was convicted and fined by the Magistrates court and lodged an appeal, the appeal was dismissed. 

The Lord Chief Justice Lord Goddard had the following to say. “In my opinion even if the cars had been standing in a private yard and could not be seen by the public, there could still have been a plying for hire if they had been appropriated
for immediate hiring”.  The important thing here is the reference to a private yard and not on view to the public at the time of hiring. Even more important is his reference to an immediate hiring.