Friday, November 08, 2019

Taxi Drivers Again Being Victimised By TfL. Where Buses Go, Taxis Go...End Of!


Those dropping off passengers at the Grosvenor hotel Buckingham Palace Road,  have been receiving PCNs for stopping on a thick red line. ‬

‪The LCDC have been in Talks with TfL over this situation and have today received this email from  ‬
‪Gary Snewing‬
‪TPH - Ranks & Infrastructure Manager‬

‪URGENT UPDATE ON GROSVENOR HOTEL - BUCKINGHAM PALACE ROAD PCN TICKETS ‬...

‪Most of you will be aware that PCN’s have been issued for stopping in the bus stop outside the hotel entrance where there is currently a thick red line and signage stating no stopping except buses.‬

‪After many phone calls and emails I can confirm that no tickets will be issued for any vehicles stopping after the first bus stop cage (closest to Terminus Pl) whilst TFL continues to look at solutions. ‬
‪I will update you all further next week, have a great weekend‬

‪Thanks‬
‪Gary‬

‪Gary Snewing‬
‪TPH - Ranks & Infrastructure Manager‬


We need this to be sorted out properly, Where Buses Go, Taxis Go. We don’t want to see another situation where we are being restricted in our duty to the passenger to safely take customers from door to door. 

We do not want to be excluded from any kerbside which, as the only fully wheelchair accessible trade in London, would discriminate against disabled passengers.

This situation where we are excluded from kerbsides needs urgent attention from TfL and cannot be allowed to continue. 

More on this next week when we get the next update from TfL. 

When It Comes To Any Scandal Involving TfL‬, Just Follow The Money‬...Plus, Where Did Heidi Suddenly Get These Statistics From ?‬ More Of Khan’s Guesstimates? ‬



Taxi leaks predicts this latest scandal will be forgotten in days! Probably with help from certain trade orgs who won’t want to upset their on-side friend!

Helen Chapman will probably make a statement on the lines that this was not as widespread as first believed (surprise, surprise) and she’ll say something along the lines "they have written to a few drivers who have now got to resit the topographic test again". 
This must not be allowed !

This was an illegal act and the drivers should be prosecuted and have their licenses revoked. 
Not allowed to resist exams after first submitting fraudulent papers. 

But think about it... this collage, exposed on BBC is just one of many outsourced examiners and this scandal was first exposed three years ago.

It’s been going on for three years not just a few months

There will be tens of thousands who have gone through the system this way!!!! 

So why is it that we believe TfL will drag their heals?
probably for the same reason they didn’t do anything in 2016 and why they covered up the 13,000 fake DBS passes?

Think about the cost to TfL if they revoked all these illegal drivers PH licenses? 

DBS disclosure application
£56.85 (online)
£58.85 (paper)
*Licence application fee
£124
Grant of licence fee
£186
Post Office® Check and Send
£7.15
English language assessment (if applicable)
£180 - £200
Topographical assessment (if applicable)
£75
Medical
Fee set by the examining doctor (your GP)

Example total: £644 exc


This new scandal alone, could cost TfL well over £2,450,000 in lost licence fees. 

This is allegedly the reason why they dropped the investigation into the 13,000 fake DBS checks!!!

That one would have cost them over £8,372,000 if they’d have continued to revoke all the suspect illegal licenses. 


So, to those sceptics saying why would TfL want to cover up a scandal of this magnitude....the answer is a whopping £10.5m 


TAXI LEAKS EXTRA BIT:

We now have to put our faith in the hands of a GLA investigation headed by Caroline Pidgeon who posted this tweet yesterday after the deputy Mayor for transport Heidi Alexandra, spoke about this latest expose’ on the BBC. 

                          


This tweet got over 80 comments including this one from Taxi Leaks


               

Remember when TfL told the world that every PHV driver had a criminal record check?


Where did the Deputy Mayor for Transport, who said she didn’t know anything about Transport, get this 3,700 figure from... this has been going on for 3 years and suddenly she pulls this figure straight out of the air.... or is this just another one of Khans guesstimates ?

Whenever TfL are involved, public safety is irrelevant and completely out ranked by revenue. 

The last scandal was broke by an inspector in TfL’s cab enforcement squad.... did he get a promotion for what he’d uncovered .... no, he got booted sideways. 

This time we need to see those involved in the coverup removed from TfL and not the people who have bought this to  the public’s attention

TfL must be worried about this latest scandal as they actually put this tweet out yesterday !


Wednesday, November 06, 2019

After Residents Rebelled Against The W11 Madness From TfL, They Are Now Set To Disregard Consultation Results And Push Forward Regardless


Just when you thought the madness had been contained after a rebellion in W11, TfL ignore local groups, residents and workers in the area and come out with a blatant lie. 

The historic 300 year old trees, the lungs of W11 have been removed....replaced by scrubs. Traffic has been covertly photoshopped out as if it didn't exist.

Have a look at the image above, who n their right mind believes that Holland Park Avenue will look like this when TfL planners have finished!!!

We would submit the absolute chaos of Old Street roundabout as evidence that TfL planners have completely lost their hold on reality. 

TfL have now tweeted this post: 
We’ve set out next steps for vital walking and cycling improvements between Wood Lane and Notting Hill Gate

Following feedback we’ve reviewed our plans, which will protect more trees and we’ll be talking to local groups and @RBKC and @LBHF to gather their support....

And yet, just a look through the returning comments would show sane, rational people that nobody in this area, is interested in this fairytale. 

Comments include: (Those against)
• No room, London is not big enough! But you will still go head with your madness!
• @RBKC @LBHF Don’t support it it will gridlock the whole area and Business’s will suffer trust me and not TfL they have ruined London with their pathetic plans go and have a look around the city rd and Old st that’s just for starters
• A total fabrication , it’s deception nothing less
• RBKC are in bed with developers. They plan to remove social housing. Then replace it with trendy flats....(allegedly).
• Once again a computer generated image that claims to show what it will look like when finished is a total lie!
• Just curious how can TFL who are basically bankrupt even consider spending Taxpayers money on these projects.
• More fantasies and complete b... ...t from TFL.
• And cause more traffic congestion
• God help London.
• Please someone stop this madness.
• SCRAP THE SCHEME Use the money to house the homeless and feed the poor. 
• You literally won’t stop until you’ve f@@@@d up every way in, out or around London.

We could find only two tweets in support :
• ban on EUC's, ebikes / scooters is moronic, will increase traffic, and traffic deaths, but it will also at least save me from moving back. I mean they will be legal regardless, you need them more than you need cars. It's just boring that it will take you morons 5 years to learn.

But then this person actually lives in New York so should be discarded !

• City network of transport of the corridor to convention of route for the city to journey of investment operational to the policy of transport of London for the directive by evolution.

To be honest, we are not sure if that one is against or for !

Tuesday, November 05, 2019

Nothing New To See Here.... Is It Now Time For Our Three Orgs and Three Unions To Unite And Take Action? ...Waiting And Seeing Doesn’t Work !


What we witnessed last night, was no revelation!
This story first broke as an exclusive in the Sun newspaper on the 2nd October 2016. 

TfL said it would be immediately sorted and of course....it wasn’t. 

Now the story has hit the BBC again and as before TfL day it will be sorted, yet we all know it won’t. 

BBC have always known about this issue and yet amazingly are quite comfortable in putting their own staff at risk by using private hire over licensed Taxis. 

TfL are making a fortune, churning out Private Hire Licenses to anyone who has the cash. It’s no longer about public safety... it’s now all about the money. 

Caroline Pidgeon, deputy chair of London's Transport Committee, tweeted yesterday saying  she’d been on BBC Radio London’s Petrie Hosken’s show discussing fraudulent qualifications being bought by Private Hire drivers to get a licence. 

She went on to say "We need to raise standards for passenger safety. TfL needs to get a grip on this". 

But why would they, this issue isn’t new... we’ve known about what’s going on for years and they did nothing then and will more than likely do nothing now. 

It’s time to stop talking the talk. It’s time they started to walk the walk. Even our own orgs and unions seem to be in hibernation over this issue, they’ve also known about this for many years. 

It’s time to forget the petty tribalism with these orgs and unions, it’s time they formed the War Cabinet that John The Cabby Kennedy suggested over 10 years ago.

The trade needs to be proactive and not ‘wait and see’ reactive.... that’s always proved not to work and we’ve always lost out waiting and seeing. 

Caroline’s tweet was replied to on Twitter by Mattblackcab. 

Matt said:
It’s just endless, the ignoring of these incidents for the sake of revenue streams by TfL has to stop. From terrorism, rapes, sexual assault, gun & drug dealing, scams, hacks and crashes, it’s seemingly being ignored by Transport for London. 

Does revenue outrank safety?

We are talking about the greatest city on earth being run by some third rate dictatorship.

How on earth did London Transport run this city on a fraction of TfL’s budget? 
£12B PA!!

We as a trade are sick to the back teeth of this removal of the taxi trade from Mayor of London’s transport policy, in favour of the mass licensing of sub standard drivers, posing as professionals under the guise of progression.

We have to put a stop to TfL’s culture, where money seems to outweigh public safety.

TAXI LEAKS EXTRA BIT : 
This story first broke in October 2016 and it’s still going on!
13,000 fake DBS checks swept under TfL’s carpet 10,400 Uber drivers still out there who have had no proper criminal record checks 
See this video from the Sun exclusive back in 2016. 

              

Other TfL scandals yet to be investigate
• PH driver using the wrong insurance to save money as PH cover for a Prius starts around £4,500!

• Fake insurance Hire and Reward cover notes!

• Prius cars cloned to save on CC charges, insurance and licence fees!

• We have so called Taxi drivers at Heathrow who were given a quickie knowledge on line, asking passengers for post codes of popular London hotels such as the Dorchester and Savoy!

• Multiple drivers working on the same licence!

Another scandal not being investigated...someone inside TfLTPH is allegedly passing on information and data. 

Retired and lost badge numbers being passed onto criminals who are producing counterfeit Hackney Cab badge and bills!

Drivers who are retiring and are decommissioning their vehicles are suddenly being inundated with calls from LEVC! 
Complete misuse of stakeholder data!


BBC Investigation Shows Hundreds Of London Minicabs Could Be 'Working Illegally'


It comes as no surprise after the recent scandal, of thousands of minicab drivers being licensed using fake criminal record checks and fake medicals. After being exposed was then sweater under TfL’s carpet ...now a BBC investigation finds that thousands of London minicab drivers may be working fraudulently after buying qualifications, the BBC has found.

Legally, prospective drivers must sit mandatory exams to get a licence. But a BBC undercover investigation has exposed colleges cheating the required tests. 

Transport for London (TfL) said it would immediately investigate at least 1,667 applications in light of the evidence. But they said they would investigate the 13,000 drivers implicated before but only wrote to 2,460 then scrapped their investigation. 



TfL, who were found to be ‘Totally Inadequate’ as a  licensing authority by a GLA transport investigation in the past said it was "deeply concerned" by the findings.

The growth in minicab booking firms such as Uber have seen the number of private hire vehicle licences in use that were issued in the capital surge by 86% between 2011 and 2018, from 61,200 to 113,645.


Under the minicab application process, along with a criminal record check and medical test, (which we’ve seen drivers fake) drivers must sit a topographical exam and an English test at one of eight official TfL testing centres.

Evidence of these exams can also be accepted via other qualifications including BTecs, which are usually taken at private colleges and centres.
This is where the trouble has been brewing!

It’s not just in London though, the qualification can be used to gain a minicab licence from many councils across the UK.

One of these colleges, Vista Training Solutions in Newham, east London, offered to take the tests for several BBC researchers for £500 per BTec.


At a mandatory English and maths assessment answers were read out to eight candidates taking the BTec fraudulently.

Registers were falsified before the online BTec exam was taken by the managers on the candidates' behalf.

The researcher, who had neither attended any classes nor completed an exam, received a BTec level two certificate in Introduction to the Role of the Professional Taxi and Private Hire Driver.

Another undercover BBC researcher, who had also done nothing other than pay, subsequently received a certificate stating he had passed his BTec level two.

Vista was one of several centres the BBC heard was facilitating fraudulently obtained qualifications.

During undercover filming Gerti Qamili, a college manager, bragged he personally had helped "over 300 students" fraudulently achieve the qualification.

The scam has been completely successful, winning licences from TfL for more than two years, Mr Qamili said.

He warned the researchers "not to tell anyone that someone does the test for you".

TAXI LEAKS EXTRA BIT:

Let’s not forget, this isn’t anything new....it was exposed in the Sun at the same time the online and fake medicals were exposed and yet after two years, it’s still going on 


Caroline Pidgeon, deputy chair of London's Transport Committee, said: "Passengers are getting into those vehicles, and they need to know they're safe.

"To hear parts of that (qualifications) are being forged around London, that's not right, that's really worrying and TfL need to get a grip on this."

Helen Chapman, a director at TfL, said: "It is deeply concerning to learn that some colleges or schools could be illegally providing certificates.

"We will support the relevant authorities with any wider investigations into these organisations. We will take immediate action against any driver identified as fraudulently obtaining a licence."

TfL said all new applications in which the topographical test had been taken at a private college rather than at one of its eight official examination centres had now been put on hold. 

But we’ve heard this before from TfL with the DBS scandal exposed in the Sunday Times. 




Will this just be another scandal to be swept under the carpet ???

The question now is why have TfL allowed this to happen? 
Should the responsibility for licensing Taxis and Private Hire be taken away from TfL, who again and again show they are inadequate as a regulator?

This story will be featured on BBC London TV News and Inside Out on BBC One in London on Monday 4 November at 19:30 GMT and afterwards on the iPlayer.