Saturday, September 14, 2019

Are Heathrow Airport Ltd Planning To Replace London Taxis With Private Hire, Like Gatwick and Luton?


Have Heathrow Airport Ltd had enough of the licensed London Taxi trade ?

Are they gearing up to dispatch all Airport rides from Heathrow to Private Hire Drivers?

Will they need a licence to do this (not forgetting that the airport is on private land !

What (if anything is your representative org doing to stop this from happening ?

 

They are currently putting together ‘an operating scheme’ to centralise all PH bookings, operated by or with their involvement !
 This would require PH operators to register within the airports booking system !

They will be incentivising the scheme to PH companies by offering a discount on any emissions charges to road users that may be in place in the near future.  

Let’s reflect on the fact that:
Gatwick got rid of local Hackney’s and sold the work to Gatwick Cars.
 Luton sacked the local Hackney carriages and sold the work to Addison Lee. 

This was posted today by the UPHD:
They'll need a license for that??

@HeathrowAirport wants to become a minicab operator and dispatch jobs.

TAXI LEAKS EXTRA BIT : 

Have a listen to this conversation in a Yellow Cab going from the airport into New York. It shows just how corrupt Uber can allegedly be. 

Camden Councils Failed Road Schemes, Not Only A Danger To Pedestrians But Causing Gridlock And Raising Pollution Levels


DISGRACEFUL 
Camden Council ‘s FAILED road schemes are not only endangering the public with multiple pedestrians RTC’s in Tottenham Court Road,  now the whole area is gridlocked,raising pollution levels and affecting access to and from St Pancras international station

Another two fatal stabbing in Camden, but the Mayor Sadiq Khan is more concerned with the extension of his hugely expensive vanity agenda. 

An agenda that has seen London bought to gridlock 
 
Meanwhile the agenda rumbles on:-
The northwards extension of London’s Cycleway 6 was officially opened yesterday, with more routes due to follow over the next month, says Transport for London (TfL).

The new extension connects Kentish Town with King’s Cross and then links with the existing route originally known as the North-South Cycle Superhighway, whish heads south to Elephant & Castle.

TfL allege improvements to pedestrian crossings, and say the route also improves safety for vulnerable road users at the junctions of Judd Street and Midland Road with the busy Euston Road. Unfortunately Blind passengers visiting the Royal National Institute of the Blind are currently having to be dropped in the extremely busy Euston Road because all traffic except cycles are banned from entering Judd Street plus there is a no right turn into Judd from Tavistock Place, virtually cutting Judd street off from southbound traffic.  

More pollution, more gridlock on the way 

The three other Cycleways nearing completion are:
C20 between Enfield Town and Palmers Green
C17 between Elephant & Castle and Burgess Park – A 2km route in the London Borough of Southwark, which connects neighbourhoods in SE17 to the Cycleway network.
C23 between Lea Bridge and Whipps Cross – A new route in the London Borough of Waltham Forest which adds 8km of protected space to the network, including a complete overhaul of the intimidating Whipps Cross roundabout.

TAXI LEAKS EXTRA BIT:


Dr. William Oliver Norman is London’s first Walking and Cycling Commissioner, working to deliver the Mayor’s pledges to make walking and cycling safer and easier in the capital.

Unfortunately he’s made no commitment to the elderly or disabled. He panders mainly to white middle class wannabe racers who have their own app to record their personnel best times on their journeys and compare them to road racers.

He recently commented: 
“These four new high-quality Cycleways will make it easier and safer for cyclists – enabling many more Londoners to cycle across our city.

Londons Gridlocked Roads Are about To Get Worse. 




Thursday, September 12, 2019

The London roads that will have a new 20mph speed limit from 2020


The London roads that will have a new 20mph speed limit from 2020

We've put together a list of the roads affected
Speed limits in Central London will be reduced down to 20mph on 5.5 miles of road from 2020 onwards.

Transport for London has confirmed that all roads within the Congestion Charge zone and Aldgate Gyratory will lower speed limits to 20mph, reflecting laws that are already in place in outer boroughs.

This is despite drivers taking to Twitter to complain about the new laws.

One person said the news should be "Accurately translated as...we are delighted to introduce the new 20mph speed limit in London as an underhanded way to amass millions in fines & help cut the mass overspend from TFL after years of mismanagement and incompetence."

The move comes as an effort to reduce the number of traffic-related deaths.

It means that from next year two fifths of London's roads will have 20mph speed limits.

And the fines if you break these are not to be joked about - you'll face a penalty of £100 at a minimum and three points on your licence if you break the speed limit.

But which roads are affected?

Lambeth


Lambeth Palace Road
Albert Embankment
Lambeth Palace Road
Lambeth Bridge

Westminster


Millbank
Millbank
Victoria Embankment

Southwark


Goodman's Yard
Borough High Street
Great Dover Street
Blackfriars Road
Druid Street (the part between Tower Bridge Road and Cruxifix Lane)
Crucifix Lane
Cruxifix Lane
Bermondsey Street (between Crucifix Lane and Tooley Street)
Queen Elizabeth Street (between Tooley Street and Tower Bridge Road)

City of London


Lower Thames Street
Victoria Embankment
Upper Thames Street
Lower Thames Street
Minories

Tower Hamlets


Prescot Street
Tower Hill 
Leman Street
Mansell Street
Prescot Street

10 Years of “Poppy Cabs”. London Cabbies will make over 1000 free taxijourneys for veterans as part of the “Poppy Cabs” initiative


Started in 2009, the Poppy Cabservice is now an integral part of the annual Remembrance Service in London. This years service falls on the 10 of November.

In 2019, its tenth year, Poppy Cabs, driven by proud London Taxi Drivers, will again make it much easier for veterans and especially those veterans using wheelchairs, to plan their travel, to attend the Remembrance Service. 

Funded entirely by the taxi drivers, this is seen as one of the highlights of the taxi year when drivers make a special effort to pay back the debt owed to our military veterans.

Mike Hughes, Independent Coordinator Poppy Cabs and London Taxi Driver, said:
“The Poppy Cabs service is an integral part of Remembrance Sunday, involving hundreds of proud London taxi drivers coming together to support our country’s veterans. 

“In recent years over 5000 veterans have used the free service and this initiative perfectly demonstrates the amazing spirit and generosity of kind-hearted London cabbies.”

Taxis participating in the service are identified by the Poppy Cablogo placed on the windscreen.


‘Turn up and Go’ locations in London include
• Victory Services Club
• Union Jack Club
• Royal Hospital Chelsea
• Kings Cross (main line)
• Liverpool Street
• Paddington (main line)
• Fenchurch Street
• London Bridge
• Victoria (main line)
• Victoria Coach Station
• Waterloo (main line)
• Euston
• Marylebone

In addition to these locations there are special pickups for wheelchair users, those with ambulatory problems and larger groups. Most veterans are taken to Admiralty Arch for the service and parade, but some are taken to other locations including Westminster Abbey, Hyde Park Corner and Grosvenor Gardens, where there are special services.

Return journeys begin from Westminster Bridge, where 150 taxis will take the veterans back to locations across the capital. There is also, subject to security arrangements, a limited pick up from Spring Gardens, Admiralty Arch.

Other taxis are waiting nearby to fill the holding area as soon as the parade finishes, giving the returning veterans a smooth, uninterrupted service.

All London taxis are wheelchair accessible.
Follow Poppy Cabson Twitter @PoppyCabs

For further information contact
Mike Hughes by text on 07973 430022 or by email mike@mikehughes.org.uk.

   
  

Council Take Action Over Illegal Minicab Parking, Obviously Not In Central London.


A private hire driver who used a fake blue disability badge to park in a restricted street, has been fined hundreds of pounds.

Josh Elvin, 29, used a counterfeit blue badge to park his black Toyota Auris on Derby Road and Leighton Street in January 2019, avoiding fees.

But Croydon Council officers spotted the badge and recognised tell-tale signs that it was counterfeit.

In an interview with the private hire driver, he claimed it belonged to a friend but was unable to provide their name.

Elvin, of Vanguard Close, admitted two counts of fraud when he appeared at Camberwell Green magistrates’ court on Tuesday  (September 10) and was ordered to pay two fines totalling £750, plus costs of £450 and a £35 court surcharge.

Councillor Stuart King, cabinet lead for transport and environment, said:
“Blue badges offer a lifeline to people who would otherwise struggle to access community facilities and this driver was selfishly and fraudulently occupying spaces he had no right to.

She went on to say:
“We are committed to supporting our vulnerable residents, and stopping fraudsters from taking parking spaces from those genuinely in need is one way to help them

UCG’s Legal Team Get False Accusation Against Member, Thrown Out Of Court.


Over the last year, we’ve seen a biased agenda of harassment aimed squarely at the Taxi trade, allegedly coming from the Blackfriars area. 

Drivers renewals taking unreasonable amounts of time, medicals, allegedly lost in the post and worst of all, Taxi drivers being harassed by undercover Cab Enforcement Unit Officers using surveillance equipment to try and catch out drivers touching mobile phones while sitting stationary on Taxi ranks, mainly at Kings Cross and Waterloo. 

While Private Hire drivers openly wait to be hired and even tout customers at the Pancras Road set down for St Pancras, it appears that PCOs and CEUOs spend most of the day trying to catch out only Taxi drivers. 

We saw a case earlier this year when a driver was supposedly video’d touching his phone by a female undercover Cab Enforcement Unit officer. 

The case was about to be heard in court when the defence team pointed out to the prosecution, that the video offered in evidence, showed a completely different driver and the case was immediately dropped. 

More recently, a young lady driver was accused of having a defective tyre and was asked to attend TfL bringing her badge and bill....But as she’d taken the vehicle to a garage who found that the tyre was in fact legal, which she refused. 

The case was presented to the CPS. 

But the young lady, a member of the United Cabbies Group, received expert help from a legal team supplied by the UCG, who’s expert witness tore into the CEU and the case has again been dropped. 

This was the statement put out by the United Cabbies Group, yesterday:
Our female member  who was berated by a rude and irate CEU Officer, and accused of having an illegal  tyre, has had her court case dropped.

Excellent work by our solicitor Darren Rogers of Chiltern Law, who submitted an expert witness statement to CPS...ends.

The agenda against the trade continues as it’s become apparent that the TfLTPH twitter account has stopped taking complaints about PHVs parking on Taxi ranks, driving down one way streets the wrong way, combined with the removal of night time PCOs checking ranks for contravention. 

One female CO told a driver and his customer that he couldn’t use a hand held iZettle Credit Card machine and that the passenger had to use the machine fitted in the back of the cab (not true). This is really unacceptable behaviour from these TfL employees. 

We’ve heard from a reliable source that most of the extra COs Sadiq Khan talks about at the GLA transport committee, have been seconded to Bus and tube revenue protection duties (checking tickets).

TfL have also made it impossible to report offences of this nature, using their online website, as you cannot complete a complaint form against a PHV, unless you have the name of the company and details of a journey undertaken. 

New Electric LEVC Taxis To Target Berkshire Private Hire Community


Endeavour’s LEVC specialists at the Slough-based franchise are Will James (left) and Tom Probyn, pictured with the new taxi-minicab

They will be enabling the county’s private hire drivers to switch to more environmentally-friendly and cost-effective vehicles is the objective of Berkshire’s first electric taxi-minicab franchise, which has opened in Slough.

Operated by Endeavour Automotive, sales and service for the London Electric Vehicle Company (LEVC) is being shared with Endeavour’s Volvo dealership on Bath Road. 

LEVC believes that private hire drivers of diesel vehicles could save over £100 per week in fuel alone by switching to a new generation hybrid-electric vehicle, where all four wheels are electrically powered. A small petrol engine acts as a range extending generator for the batteries.

Established seven years ago, Endeavour Automotive expanded into Berkshire earlier this year with the acquisition of Volvo Slough and the company is one of three UK franchisees for LEVC’s plug-in hybrid electric taxi.

Commenting on the launch of its second LEVC outlet, John Caney, Chief Executive Officer, Endeavour Automotive, said:
“Endeavour is a people driven business and we’re constantly looking for new ways to help communities by offering more sustainable and cost-effective transport options. 

Our latest LEVC franchise in Slough provides a unique opportunity for private hire drivers across Berkshire to look at the financial and environmental merits of switching to this zero emission capable taxi, which would bring long lasting benefits to the whole area over time.”

According to data from 2018 published by Public Health England, Slough residents are among the most affected by air pollution in the South East. As a result, Slough Borough Council is looking at proposals for the establishment of a Clean Air Zone (CAZ) to tackle air pollution, as part of its Low Emission Strategy, which is accelerating the uptake of cleaner vehicles and technologies.

Slough has also designated five Air Quality Management Areas (AQMAs) to reduce levels of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) which breach the national average, including junctions 5 and 6 of the M4, as well as the town centre.

Source : BDaily.com

Geely have already shown off their model that will target the private hire market. 
Based on London’s new black cab, the TX Shuttle is aimed at airport transfer services and private hire firms (Source : AutoCar)


This Is Not A "Computer Says No" Story. An actual heartless Employee At TfL Came Up With This Decision.


Tristan Fontagio, 39, said he was left distraught during his son Cassius’ multiple appointments and open heart surgery

The dad said he "genuinely forgot" to pay the congestion charges during the traumatic months of appointments before being hit with the £460 fine.

But Tristan said he was stunned at TfL’s reply to his appeal that saw him offer to pay the congestion charge and detail the stress his family had been under.

The letter reads: "Although you have informed us of personal pressures that you were under at the time of contravention, TfL having considered them, does not on this occasion accept this as a valid reason for neglecting to purchase a charge."

"My son had his heart cut out of his chest, and I was dealing with all of that. There was no empathy or compassion at all."


London Mayor Sadiq Khan even stepped in after Cairis Hickey’s tweet about TfL’s letter went viral.

Tristan said he was horrified at the language he too had received from TfL after he had tried to explain the horrific past few months.

This is not a "Computer says no" story. An actual heartless monster working at TfL that came up with that decision. 

Cassius is now doing well, but faces having more operations in his future.

Helen Chapman, TfL’s Director of Licensing, Regulation and Charging, said: "We are extremely sorry for any distress caused to Mr Fontagio as a result of this penalty charge, which shouldn’t have been pursued.

"We are currently reviewing how we handle sensitive cases to avoid errors that could cause undue stress to our customers."



Interesting Reading For The Cycling Lobby From The New Zealand Transport Agency


A code of conduct issued by the New Zealand Transport Agency, tells cyclists before cycling on the road you must know the road rules!

They rules apply to cyclists as well as those who use motor vehicles.
The rules help to prevent crashes and reduce risk and injury

Isn't this exactly what TFL's Vision Zero is all about.
Isn't it time this code of conduct was issued to all cyclists in London's ?

1. The wearing of cycle helmets must be made law as is with motor cycles.
2. Boating the traffic lights must also be mandated 
3. Cycle lights are essential and must be fitted to all cycles
4. Cycles must not be fitted with sidecars. 

To allow this code to be enforced all cycles must be fitted with registration plates. 



There’s no denying the importance of road safety. It’s a topic that continues to be in the spotlight for both encouraging and tragic reasons. Regardless of whether you’re behind handlebars or a steering wheel, it’s important to have an understanding of the road rules that apply to cyclists.

It's not just New Zealand that has a code of conduct for cyclist. 
See this article below from The Bike Exchange Australia 

Sunday, September 08, 2019

Another Day Another Bus Collision Another Pedestrian Taken To A&E. When Will TfL Act?


Another TfL Bus has ploughed into a pedestrian waiting at a bus stop, this time outside Tottenham Hale tube station. 

When are TfL going to revert back to the old Met system that forbid Bus drivers to also hold a PHV or Taxi licence. 

We’ve seen an increase in Bus collisions lately and we’ve also noticed many PHVs with TfL roundels, parked outside London Bus garages. 

Report below from the Sun app. 

A MAN has been taken to hospital after a double decker bus crashed into a bus shelter outside Tottenham Hale tube station.

Images from the scene showed the front of the bus badly damaged and the ground covered with glass from the shelter.

The collision occurred on Saturday evening, with police called to the Ferry Lane station just before 8pm.

London Ambulance service confirmed that a pedestrian was taken to a major trauma centre with leg injuries.

The station was closed in the wake of the incident.

One witness tweeted footage that appeared to show crowds gathered around someone lying on the ground next to the shattered bus stop.

She said: "Literally just witnessed this driver go straight into the bus stop and a few people.

"I’m shaking from the sound and noise.
"My heart dropped in my stomach."

It is not yet known what caused the crash.

ROUTES DIVERTED
Transport for London said the bus station had been closed and a number of routes diverted.

A spokesperson added: "We are working closely with the bus company, Go Ahead London, and the police to investigate this incident and understand its cause.
"Any death or serious injury on London's roads is one too many, which is why we are committed to a Vision Zero approach to eliminate this by 2041."
A London Ambulance Service spokesperson said: "We were called at 7.51pm today to reports of a road traffic collision involving a pedestrian at Tottenham Hale bus station, Haringey.
"We sent an incident response officer and an ambulance crew to the scene.

"We treated a man at the scene for leg injuries and took him to a major trauma centre."
A spokesperson for the Metropolitan Police said: "Police were called to Tottenham Hale bus station on Ferry Lane, at 7.51pm on Saturday, 7 September to reports of bus crashing into the bus station.
"Officers and the London Ambulance Service attended.
"One man was found injured.

TAXI LEAKS EXTRA BIT 
This below from twitter today:
I’ve just been told by my very reliable source why this is happening with the Routemasters! 

Just sent this! They power surge & @TfL are refusing to admit there’s a problem! 

They literally take off on their own and the driver completely helpless! 

Just like the Croydon tram cover up!

@BBCTomEdwards I’ve got a story for you if you want to investigate these routemaster crashes which @TfL are trying to cover up, as they’re suffering from power surges which basically causes them to take off on their own but TfL are refusing to admit this! 

Have a very reliable source!

What my source stated is exactly this when whatsapping earlier 

"Yes mate, it's supposed to be electric up to about 10mph the diesel engine kicks in, but you can get an unexpected surge and it takes off, TFL are denying any such thing"

Is this driver fatigue or a technical problem, only an third party investigation will get to the bottom of this as TfL alone can’t be trusted. 

We will have to see if the BBC are willing to investigate this problem. 


Chris Johnson’s Update On MyTaxi (Now FreeNow) Employment Tribunal - Summer Update

*MyTaxi (now FreeNow) Employment Tribunal - summer update*

Further to your fantastic support in raising £18,000 to bring an employment tribunal claim against the taxi app booking company FreeNow - I am bringing you a short update regarding our progress.

As I’ve discovered, bringing a legal challenge against anyone requires a significant amount work to frame the argument and fully explain to our lawyers the legal challenge that you are seeking to bring - in short, the lawyers argument is only as good as the information and detail that they receive.

Over the last year or so, I have produced five bundles of documentation over many painstaking hours to clarify that I was/taxi drivers are “limb-b workers” and not “self employed contractors” as FreeNow claim that we are within their documentation.

I would like to add that the diligence that I have put into this case has been significant and I have left no stone unturned - this diligence is important to me on a personal level, given the fact that so many people have financially supported the case and anything less I consider would have been disrespectful to those backers.

I would like to extend my gratitude once again to the Independent Taxi Alliance “ITA" &  the Real LTDA who have been fantastic supporters and an equally important "thank you" to everyone who has helped me get to where we are today.

Dates to note:

27th September is the date for producing a finalised paginated bundle of evidence;

18th  October is the date for the exchange of witness statements;

Skeleton arguments follow some time after in preparation for the employment tribunal hearing in early January 2020.

*Change to the driver T&C's - why understanding what Uber does is important.*

You’ll note that sometime in the spring 2019 Uber changed their driver terms and conditions – it is widely considered that they will struggle to win their employment claim against their drivers in the Supreme Court. As such, Uber drivers will be rightly classified as “workers" rather than “self employed contractors” this will eventually further raise tensions whether Uber are liable to pay VAT on the full fare as the “supplier” of the transportation services.

It's alleged that Uber's cynical change to their drivers T&C's is reflective of an acknowledgement that they will lose their supreme court employment challenge and subsequently lose the argument that they are not liable for VAT on the full fare.

What Uber will probably say is: *“hey yeah, we accept our employment and VAT liability and here you go, here is all of the £ millions of pounds that we owe, but we only owe this on the old driver T&C's – look, we have a shiny new set of driver T&C's and there is no way that drivers can be “workers” under these terms"*

This is the usual "fuckwittery" of Uber and these "gig economy" companies - trying whatever trick in the book to avoid their financial responsibilities.

So, it seems that Uber are attempting to give themselves a “lifeboat” to jump into once they get spanked by the employment courts and the VAT man.

*I’ll leave you to be the judge as to why FreeNow changed their driver T&C's.*

I'll continue to show my disappointment that our trade publications advertise companies that are deliberately trying to undermining the employment and VAT laws - those laws that grant employment rights to workers & pay for our vital emergency services and hospitals - as such, I'll never understand the advertising policies of the taxi publications.

I’ll next update you when I have further information.

Once again, thank you for your continued support.

Best wishes

Chris.

@InThePinkTaxi