Saturday, October 12, 2019

UTAG’s Applauds Council’s Motion Against Uber Operations In Medway... "TfL, Take Note!"


UTAG should like to thank our colleagues in Medway and Cllr Dan McDonald, for inviting us to this important Council meeting at which, Medway Council passed a motion to support the MLTDA in taking legal action against Uber, over their illegal activity in the Medway towns in which they are not licensed.

This illegal activity in Medway, is predominantly being carried out by TfL licensed Uber drivers.



TAXI LEAKS EXTRA BIT: 
Although this activity has been reported to TfL, they will do nothing to stop it.....but Medway will.

Cllr Jane Chitty who also worked on the motion said: 
Medway Council is a pathfinder in taking action against Uber. 

Also contributing legal advice to Cllr Dan McDonald, was London Suburban Taxi-drivers’ Coalition (Chairman) Les Hoath. 

At last we have a regulator who will finally stand up and support action against Uber.

TfL take note, this leads back to you!


Ever Wondered Why TfL Allow So Many Road Works In Central London At Any One Time? ....£££££££!!!


Ever wondered why there are so many road works scattered around with no obvious plan to alleviate the stress on the smooth running of London’s transport infrastructure. 

We have it on good authority that many essential road upgrades are held up because of the number of emergency issues that take precedence. 

But it’s not unusual to see roads dug up and left, with no obvious work being carried out while the company (supposedly doing the repair) concentrate on other areas. 

It is not unknown that Transport for London charge a rental for road works (one of the reasons why there are so many). But there is no directive on the urgency for work to be completed.  

Transport for London has therefore announced plans to change the way its ‘Lane Rental’ scheme works.

The new scheme will allow Transport for London (TfL) to charge utility companies a higher daily fee (there’s a surprise) for digging up some of the capital’s busiest roads during peak times.

The idea is it will encourage companies to plan the works they need to carry out to fall outside of peak travel times, therefore avoiding extra costs.

But when this is thought through, it just doesn’t add up!
There are two busy rush hours daily...how many utility related road works have been completed in the space between rush hours.... it just doesn’t pan out. Many believe this is just TfL again, using these works as another cash cow, to finance even more harebrained so called safety schemes.  

They have said all the money generated by the lane rentals is reinvested into other disruption-reducing measures. But have been unable to give any examples. 

The proposed changes would see the extent of the Lane Rental network increased to apply to 72 per cent of TfL’s road network, as well as the introduction of a £350 charge per day for works that impact the busiest sections of pavement.

They went further to proclaim that the move is intended to reduce the number of locations where the highest charges apply and reduce the number of hours when charging would apply – helping to promote work at quieter times. (More like as one finishes another begins)
It’s a fact that very few utility based works carry on through the night. 

Companies would also be offered discounts when they meet strict safety standards.

Glynn Barton, TfL’s director of network management: "We’re working very closely with the industry on schemes such as Lane Rental and our Roadworks Charter to reduce the impact of roadworks and to keep people moving safely around the capital."

Well Glynn, this is not a computer model, this is real life and at present your planned schemes are work working.

Proof that these present schemes aren’t working am can be seen in the gridlock on most main roads around the capital. 


How my iPhone landed me with a £476 fine and made me a criminal Interesting article...


I had a similar experience a couple of months ago. I took a young lady to North Wembly the metered fare was £38. 

She got her phone out to pay with Apple Pay, but her battery had died. 
Unfortunately, I couldn’t charge it for her because I didn’t have my own iPhone lead with me. 

So what do you do... She asked for my bank details but I declined the offer and gave her my address instead. She promised to send a check in the post....Needless to say haven’t heard from her since. 

After telling a few friends at various watering holes m, it transpires that she is a serial biller. Even if you charge her phone, the transaction will not clear. 

TAXI LEAKS EXTRA BIT : 
Just like to say to this Financial Times reporter, welcome to our world. 

If anyone knows the difficulty in getting replies or answers to important questions from TfL... then it’s us. 

Try phoning them, it’s like trying to get through to president Trump at the White House. 

Friday, October 11, 2019

‪Medway Council Issues Uber A Warning‬ ‪Your Time Is Up, We’re Coming For You!‬


 Last nights Medway council meeting- started with cross party support for Cllr Dan McDonald’s motion, calling for Medway to take action, along with the Medway Licence Taxi Driver’s Association (MLTDA), against Über. 

Councillors discussed whether Uber has a case to answer in court for operating illegally in the Medway Towns.

Currently Uber are working the area under a ‘Greater London’ licence issued by Transport for London. The MLTDA questioned whether this was actually lawful.

Cllr McDonald asked the council to, "proceed with the appropriate legal action against Uber" and work with MLTDA.

The influx of this ride share company in the Medway area has caused great hardship among local taxi firms.

Debate inc great maiden speech from Harinder Singh, "Uber your time is up, you've had your chance, we're coming for you."

Cllr Dan McDonald of Medway Council said after the meeting:
"Tonight we achieved a real victory against Uber with my motion receiving cross party support to assist the @MLTDA1 with legal action. 

"A significant decision that will send a message to other councils across the UK . Medway is standing by its drivers, Uber we are coming for you".

Lee Ward of Alpha said :

The support and understanding by Medway council has been astonishing!!!

It has put ALL other councils to shame, and I thank you for it.

I also wish to thank @MLTDA1 for their unity in a time when all other areas have lost faith, my hat is off to you guys, really.



Thursday, October 10, 2019

Proposed permanent closure of Beak Street to vehicle traffic from 11am till 7am the following day.


We understand that Westminster City Council is working in partnership with Shaftesbury plc on proposals to extend the Kingly Street / Carnaby Street pedestrianised shopping area further south to encompass Beak Street.  

The pedestrianisation would extend along Beak Street from Warwick Street to Upper James Street.  All westbound traffic on Beak Street would be routed down Upper James into Golden Square and then on to either Brewer Street or Denman and then presumably Shaftesbury Avenue.  

Deliveries would take place between 7 am and 11 am in the morning - when traffic would flow, leaving the rest of the day (and night) from 11am to the following morning at 7 am for pedestrians only and commercial activity though increased pedestrian footfall for shopping.  This proposal would also facilitate increased use of the carriage way for tables and chairs and overflow from the pub.

Marshall Street junction with Beak Street would also be closed with all Broadwick street west bound traffic routed down Lexington. Traffic will be reversed on Bridle Lane.

These proposals are intended to increase comfort for pedestrians and are based on a traffic survey provided by Shaftesbury itself and "generally support the modal shift to pedestrians in this area."

Next steps are an informal consultation with the local community.  If there is "broad support" there will be an experimental traffic order and formal consultation.  
The Soho Society’s own informal survey is at the bottom of the page.
The Councillor responsible is Tim Mitchell who can be contacted as follows:-
Correspondence address:   
Westminster City Hall 
64 Victoria Street
London
SW1E 6QP
Bus. phone:  020 7641 5371 (Cabinet Team) 

TAXI LEAKS EXTRA BIT :

Where do these planners think this traffic is going to go, when they close off streets and so called rat-runs?

I believe this started in the late 70s on the West Way, they closed all the little side street off so if you were stuck in traffic, you just had to sit there, you couldn’t escape. You just added to the congestion and made the jams worse. 

Now they’re doing it in the West End and City...they are closing off streets leaving the traffic no alternative than to stay on the main road m, with all the other traffic and just sit there in the congestion causing more even pollution.

This again proves it’s not about safer streets
It’s not about clean air 
It’s all about the money !!!

Ken Livingston cane up with this plan when he introduced the congestion charge.... before he could charge for congestion, he had to cause it.

Now to charge for an Ultra Low Emissions Zone...they are creating even more toxic air, over a wider area, which will now result in a massive extension of the ULEZ. 

Other questions Taxi drivers should be asking are...
How long have our largest org (via the JTRC) known about this closure?
What meetings have they had with Westminster over this?

Probably be the same silence that the trade was given over their recent secret AGM!


Another Setback For How Dare You, Know-it-all Climate Alarmism, But A Win For Resilient Nature.


For the first time ever, scientists have found corals that were thought to have been killed by heat stress have recovered, a glimmer of hope for the world’s climate change-threatened reefs, says Phys.org 

The chance discovery, made by Diego K. Kersting from the Freie University of Berlin and the University of Barcelona during diving expeditions in the Spanish Mediterranean, was reported in the journal Science Advances on Wednesday.

Kersting and co-author Cristina Linares have been carrying out long-term monitoring of 243 colonies of the endangered reef-builder coral Cladocora caespitosa since 2002, allowing them to describe in previous papers recurring warming-related mass mortalities.

"At some point, we saw living polyps in these colonies, which we thought were completely dead," Kersting told AFP, adding it was a "big surprise."

Coral are made up of hundreds to thousands of tiny creatures called polyps that secrete a hard outer skeleton of calcium carbonate (limestone) and attach themselves to the ocean floor.

Heat waves kill these animals--by either essentially roasting them alive or causing them to eject the symbiotic algae that live within them and provide them nutrients, thus leading to coral bleaching.

A quarter of the coral cover of Spain’s Columbretes Islands was lost to a particularly extreme heat wave in 2003.

Time running out????
But the researchers found that in 38 percent of the impacted colonies, the polyps had devised a survival strategy: shrinking their dimensions, partly abandoning their original skeleton, and gradually, over a period of several years, growing back and starting a new skeleton.

They were then able to gradually re-colonize dead areas through budding.
In order to be sure the polyps were in fact the same animals staging a comeback, rather than new coral created through sexual reproduction, the team used 3D computer imaging to confirm the old, abandoned skeleton was connected to the new structure.

This process of "rejuvenescence" was known to exist in the fossil record but had never before been observed in coral colonies that exist today.
Kersting said the finding opens up the intriguing possibility that other modern corals around the world--such as those in Australia’s dying Great Barrier Reef--might be applying similar survival strategies, though further investigation is required.

TAXI LEAKS EXTRA BIT :

Wednesday, October 09, 2019

PayPal investment In Uber Is Down By $228 Million After Uber Shares Sink



(Bloomberg) -- PayPal Holdings Inc. will report a $228 million loss on investments before taxes in the third quarter, driven in large part by a bad bet on Uber Technologies Inc. just before it went public.

The San Jose, California-based payments company said the investment in Uber, for $500 million at the initial public offering price, had declined 34%. Another investment, in Latin American online retailer MercadoLibre Inc., had declined 10%, PayPal said.

PayPal’s stake in the world’s largest ride-hailing business was tied to what the companies described as a closer collaboration on payments technology. Uber is the most prominent app to use PayPal’s nascent Pay With Venmo feature. But Uber’s stock has under-performed due to a combination of slowing growth and accelerated losses

In an email, a PayPal spokeswoman cited the "inherent difficulty" in predicting the stock market for the mismatch between its previous forecast and the reality. The company will report financial results on Oct. 23.

TAXI LEAKS EXTRA BIT :

Any cabby using PayPal to clear credit cards ("cause it’s cheap") is no better than the people who use Uber. 
Please think again and take a look at CabVision’s new brilliant deal.

PayPal was originally promoted by Taxi App... before their Uber investment. 

Taxiapp have told Taxi Leaks, it’s beyond their control to take those already using the system off, as it may leave drivers without a CC solution. 
They also made it clear that since the investment, they no longer promote PayPal to its new members. 

The drivers can use their own CC clearance card system or go via the app which is Strype.

Why support companies who haven’t got out best interests at heart. Support the people who support the trade.  

Also on Bloomberg today:

Decision to allow 'double swiping' for Wandsworth Taxicard holders praised


Taxicard offers subsidised travel in licensed taxis and private hire vehicles to residents with serious mobility impairments or who are severely sight impaired.

Previously in Wandsworth, only single swiping was allowed.
Single swiping is when a Taxicard user takes a trip, they swipe their card on a machine held by the taxi driver. This registers that they have used one of their allocated trips and allows for the subsidy to be applied to the fare.

Swiping twice deducts two trips from a user’s allocation and allows for a double subsidy to the cost of the trip. However, it also doubles the minimum user contribution required.

Labour Councillor Simon Hogg said the decision to allow double swiping will help disabled people who can’t use the bus or Tube get out.

“Wandsworth is a great place to live but some people find it a challenge to travel around the neighbourhood," he said.
“The Taxicard scheme helps disabled people who can’t use the bus or Tube to get out and about with subsidised taxi trips.

“It’s good news that Wandsworth Council has reformed the scheme to broaden the horizons of local people.

“Huge thanks to Labour councillor Annamarie Critchard for her hard work behind the scenes to make this happen.”
The issue was last formally considered by the council in 2009 where it was decided not to allow double swiping, largely due to financial reasons.

TfL currently fully fund the Taxicard scheme within the borough with no additional budget contributions from the General Fund," a report prepared for the meeting in which the scheme was approved read.

"It is unclear if the proposals in this report will result in a significant increase in the use of Taxicards to a level where the council exceeds the TfL allocation.

"However, it is estimated that usage would need to increase by approximately 50 per cent before this would be breached.
"This will be monitored closely and, if it proves to be the case that the allocation is exceeded in either the short or longer term, the council will need to review its decision."

As part of the approval it was said the council will review the impact of the implementation of double swiping in 12 months’ time and thereafter annually, with particular reference to the funding made available by Transport for London, to determine whether it can be extended for a further year.

Taxicards can be used 24 hours a day, 365 days per year subject to the availability of vehicles. Individuals can use them up to a maximum of 104 times per year.

Press Release In Support of Better Mental Health Provision by TFL for London’s Black Cab Drivers

SOS Silence of Suicide has been working closely with some London black cab drivers in an attempt to understand the psychological challenges that both the job, and industry regulations stipulated by TFL, impact upon these men and women in their professional and private lives.  Reports of depression, stress and anxiety are growing by the day and changes urgently need to be made to bring about improved mental health.

Continuous support is offered by ourselves free of charge and there are many other charities and groups who can provide much needed assistance – there is no doubt that those who are an historical and much loved part of the London landscape are fighting to earn a living above the national minimum wage, whilst having to operate within a regulatory climate that reduces their freedom of movement and hence their earnings.   

In comparison, other taxi operatives in the City are free to operate without the same restrictions, creating an unfair working environment.  It is not difficult to see why poor mental health is on the rise.

SOS were shown a confidential email recently, received from the Sarah Hope Line (a counselling service funded by the TFL) and written to a cab driver who had been utilising this service that should, in theory, help him and others.  His initial belief, and relief, that TFL were attempting to offer support, quickly evaporated when he was told that he could not discuss the causes of his poor mental health if they related to issues at work.
  In this particular instance, the driver concerned was told he had to manage his own traumas outside of counselling.

It is quite ridiculous to suggest, let alone enforce, the ethos that you cannot discuss the issues that may create, or compound, poor mental health at counselling sessions, and the attitude of the SHL has been poor, uncaring and dismissive. They are certainly not displaying the professionalism or empathy required whilst purporting to help those in crisis. We have written ourselves asking for an explanation of their protocols, but have been met with silence.

Caroline Pidgeon MBE, a member of the Liberal Democrats in the London Assembly, is addressing the concerns of these drivers directly.

SOS will continue to offer unwavering support to the drivers and we hope that the near future sees TFL working to provide a counselling service that does not restrict freedom of speech amongst its clients.  After all, being a regulator does carry responsibilities to those it represents and those responsibilities need to be recognised, and honoured, in a correct way.

A documentary, made by Jasper Warry from Hello Deer Productions called ‘Driven To Despair’ can be viewed by clicking HERE
SOS Silence of Suicide.
October 2019

Tuesday, October 08, 2019

Lawyer Wants To Know Why A Convicted Minicab Driver’s Association With Uber Has Been Covered Up.

    
An Uber driver who knocked down a 27-year-old man who died at the scene has been jailed for four and a half years 

The court heard that Adefemi Adebisi was so high on drugs, the police reading was off the scale. 
It was also reported to the court that at the time of the incident, he had been drinking alcohol and cans of red bull, which were found littered in his Prius . 

The court was told that Adebisi not only went over the pedestrian with the front wheels, but also went over him with the back. The coroners verdict was death by asphyxiation.

The case took two previous attempts and over two years to come to court before concluding.

The family of the victim Joshua, an English graduate who was working as a lecturer at a college, gave an emotive set of statements.

His mother detailed the devastating effect his untimely death has had on the whole family - his elder brother, younger sister, husband and herself.

Mrs Hayes, said: "This man is a habitual risk taker...without due care for his passengers, other road users and pedestrians. He could have eased our burden by pleading guilty and saved us years of pain leading up to the trial."

The case was reported in the national press in February of 2019 and also in the LTDA’s Taxi paper. 

But Adebisi was simply reported as being a minicab driver. 
The fact he was an Uber driver had suddenly been hushed up. 

A lawyer has now come forward, wanting to know why Adebisi’s association with Uber had been totally cleansed from media reports, when it had been confirmed in court that he was working for Uber and had an Uber passenger in the vehicle at the time of the incident? 

It also came out in court that Adebisi did not have the appropriate medical checks but was still issued with a Private Hire Licence by TfL. 
Something else that simply vanished from the case in the media. 

It is widely known amongst the Taxi trade, (purely because it was reported in the Times news paper) that there are another 13,000 PHV drivers without proper documentation, a fact that TfL tried to sweep under their carpet.

            

TAXI LEAKS EXTRA BIT: 
It is our belief that this case was held back until Uber were granted their probationary extension licence, because it involved one of the drivers reported to be on the 13,000 list exposed in the Times article. 

It is also our belief that the trial this year was white washed because of Uber’s probationary licence ending in September. 

Many drivers are wondering why the Ltda, with all their so called ‘in house’ lawyers, failed to investigate whether this driver was working on the Uber app at the time of this sad incident?




Monday, October 07, 2019

Corporate Greed Killing The Trade ....Supported By Mushrooms And Turkeys Voting For Christmas.


What’s been happening lately with London’s on line Taxi Apps, is slowly destroying an industry with 4 centuries of excellent service to the capital. 

It’s been likened to the corporate greed that destroyed the Taxi industry in Chicago and New York. (Click On The link below to read the full Chicago and New York story)

• We’ve seen these so called ‘Taxi apps’ charge more than the metered fare (supported by TfL), 
• We’ve seen them dispatch jobs to private hire cars, without a private hire operators licence for their Taxi app! (Supported by TfL)
• And now we now have an app that switches the meter off, and then operates in the same way as Uber. (Again, supported by TfL)

But these apps are not only supported by TfL, they are also supported by the drivers who have given up statutory rights to work these third party corporate apps. 

Why would TfL support illegal acts from corporate app groups?.... let’s not forget Project Horizon, which aims to see the trade beaten down to half it’s size, and swallowed up within a one-tiered system with Private Hire using certain ranks. 

It’s alleged TfL are getting drivers used to paying for their jobs, in the form of commission (in some cases 15% on jobs), so they won’t rebel when the system of permits for mainline stations hit the trade. 

How long before we see these in every hotel, restaurant and shopping centre 

We now have a situation where Taxi customers leave a restaurant, stand beside a rank full of Taxis (who have been mandated to take all credit cards) and use their phone to book a Taxi from an app on their phone. We’ve seen them stand there in the cold, wind and rain with their dinner dates looking bemused!

The drivers doing the app jobs have no issue picking up beside a rank full of Taxis or with paying for their work. Yet these same drivers shout the place down when they are ranking on a hotel and a Taxi turns up, picks up a job with cases and then bungs the door staff. 

TfL have been highly successful so far in splitting the trade (divide and conquer), by using their links to certain working groups and even two of our supposedly representative groups.


There have been drivers who have in the past, stood up and fought back, only to find that their own colleagues didn’t support them.... and in certain cases, these proactive fighters have been excluded from once militant social media groups who have now become infiltrated by persons with financial conflict of interest leaving the group benign.  

The main body of trade drivers have been likened to mushrooms (kept in the dark and fed crap by certain representative orgs and their respective Taxi media).  

At the start of the year we were looking at exclusion from streets, bus lanes and in certain boroughs, whole areas. 

A call went out from the Independent Taxi Alliance to protest. We saw a regular body of approximately 500 proactive drivers answer the call, who turn out regularly for over 6 months. 

But, that’s just 3% of the trade, who were willing to fight for their survival. While 97% of their colleagues took the opportunity to carry on working. 

The General Secretary of our largest org decided not to support the protests for inclusion into the Mayors Transport Strategy and full inclusion to all bus lanes (Where Buses Go, Taxis Go). 
He also refused to support the protests over our exclusion from the Bank Junction, going as far as referring to the demonstrators as LOONIES.   

We are looking forward to a future of exclusion from many more bus lanes, replaced in part by a ride share company who have been allowed by TfL and the Mayor to purchase a Euro 6 Mercedes that are banned in our case. 


We are also looking at being banned from whole areas in boroughs around London despite the fact that we are the only fully wheelchair accessible service (at our own expense). 

Decommissioning has also been handled extremely badly by TfL. 
Our older working vehicles have been scrapped at a frightening pace leaving many drivers, without workable vehicles...and in certain cases of older drivers forced to retire. 

The London Taxi trade is now liken to the black knight in the Monty Python film ... where his limbs are hacked off one at a time as he tells himself to carry on ‘it’s just a flesh wound’... while waiting for the eventual final blow. 



Is this what the future holds for our trade....reduced to no more than electric Tuk-Tuks ?


Sunday, October 06, 2019

Ubers House Of Cards Is About To Collapse As Law Firm 'Rosen' Prepares Class Action For Investors.


UBER Business Wire NEW YORK -- Rosen Law Firm, a global investor rights law firm, continues to investigate potential securities claims on behalf of shareholders of Uber Technologies, Inc. resulting from allegations that Uber may have issued materially misleading business information to the investing public. 

Rosen Law Firm is now preparing a class action lawsuit to recover losses suffered by Uber investors. 

According to the lawsuit, the Registration Statement was false and/or misleading statements and/or failed to disclose that: 
(1) at the time of the Offering, Uber was rapidly increasing subsidies for drivers and customer's rides and meals in a bid for market share, which caused the Company's sales and marketing expenses to swell; 
(2) Defendants were cutting (or planned to cut) costs in key areas that undermined the Company's central growth opportunities; 
(3) as a result, defendants’ statements about Uber’s business, operations, and prospects were materially false and misleading and/or lacked a reasonable basis at all relevant times. 

When the true details entered the market, the lawsuit claims that investors suffered damages.

A class action lawsuit has already been filed. 
If you wish to serve as lead plaintiff, you must move the Court no later than December 3, 2019. A lead plaintiff is a representative party acting on behalf of other class members in directing the litigation. If you wish to join the litigation, go to http://www.rosenlegal.com/cases-register-1650.html or to discuss your rights or interests regarding this class action, please contact Phillip Kim, Esq. of Rosen Law Firm toll free at 866-767-3653 or via e-mail at pkim@rosenlegal.com or cases@rosenlegal.com.

Follow us for updates on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/the-rosen-law-firm or on Twitter: https://twitter.com/rosen_firm or on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rosenlawfirm.
Rosen Law Firm represents investors throughout the globe, concentrating its practice in securities class actions and shareholder derivative litigation. Rosen Law Firm was Ranked No. 1 by ISS Securities Class Action Services for number of securities class action settlements in 2017. The firm has been ranked in the top 3 each year since 2013. Rosen Law Firm has secured hundreds of millions of dollars for investors. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. 

TAXI LEAKS EXTRA BIT:
What we as a trade must never forget, are the investors who were told "we will destroy the traditional Taxi trade and take over, then increase our prices....Blah blah blah 

We must never forget these other companies who were prepared to sit back and watch our trade destroyed in the name of greed. 

And yet there are drivers out there, actively using a CC clearance system by a company who invested £500m in a company setting out to wipe us out.... all because they are cheaper than the others CC companies. 

It makes drivers using these systems no better the the people who use Uber