Saturday, November 16, 2019

Good News For Lovers Of Old British Icons... Morris Returns As A Retro Pure-Electric Van Maker

Revived Morris hopes its first van in 50+ years isn't a Minor drop in the ocean

THE MORRIS name is set to once again return to UK roads with this, the ultra-cute retro Morris JE, after a British-based investment firm announced it’s preparing to revive the famous marque.

Warwickshire-based China Ventures is set on reviving Morris’ van-making division, and bringing to market a range of new commercial goods vehicles. 

That means modern day versions of iconic cars including the Morris Minor and Oxford are unlikely to arrive anytime soon, as the company isn’t being brought back as a passenger vehicle producer.

The Morris JE is a light van inspired by the Morris J-Type that was produced between 1948 and 1961. 

Even though the JE very clearly harks back to classic vans, its a thoroughly modern machine. All JEs will be built on a "cutting edge" chassis, Morris Commercial claims, and the JE’s retro bodywork will be made entirely out of carbon fibre -- a lightweight and strong space-age material that costs more to use than traditional materials. 

As a result, the vehicle is expected to be on the expensive side by small van standards, with a base price in the £60,000 ballpark being targeted for the JE’s planned launch in late 2021.

Morris Commercial also says the van will use a "state-of-the-art" battery-electric powertrain, and claims the production-ready van should have a range of around 200 miles on a single charge.
Details on what electric technology the Morris JE will feature remains to be seen, though the company says the JE’s powertrain is "UK-sourced", and has been created in collaboration with the Malvern-based electric vehicle tech developer Indra Renewable Technologies.

It’s also likely the state-owned Chinese car maker SAIC will be involved in some capacity. 

According to the UK government’s Companies House business register, Morris Commercial’s chief executive Dr Qu Li is also a director at the van maker LDV, which is owned by SAIC and already produces pure-electric panel vans and mini buses.

SAIC has also owned the rights to the Morris name since 2007, when it merged with the MG owner Nanjing Automobile -- the Chinese car maker that was advised by China Ventures when it bought the assets to the collapsed MG Rover Group consortium in 2005.

While Morris Commercial says the JE was designed to be "hugely appealing to large and small businesses focused on the environment", it will likely strike a bigger chord with van drivers based in and around busy cities. 

As London and Norwich already have low emissions zones, with areas like Southampton and Birmingham set to follow in the coming years, a pure-electric van is potentially a future-proofed solution for white van men and women who regularly work in densely-populated places. 

Should the Morris JE be brought to market in 2021, it will likely face some extremely stiff competition, as many other van builders have committed to launching low and zero-emissions models in the near future.

London taxi maker LEVC has already revealed plans to launch a hybrid panel van based on its TX taxi, and commercial vehicle makers like Citro├źn, Fiat, Ford, Peugeot and Vauxhall have said they’ll be launching new pure-electric cargo carriers in the coming years. Nissan already sells the pure-electric eNV200, while Renault offers the Kangoo Z.E. and Master Z.E.


Morris made early London Taxi cab... the Morris-Commercial International ‘Upright Grand’ taxicab – nicknamed ‘Uncle Lima’....circa 1929.

A new brand of Taxi was announced into London on 9th February 1929. 

Built in accordance with New Scotland Yard regulations the new Morris-Commercial International taxicab was up to date and convenient in detail. 

Safety glass was fitted throughout, upholstery was real leather. Passenger’s need only press a button and speak in an ordinary voice and a microphone would communicate it to the driver. 

Four wheel brakes would have been better, reported The Times but the rear brakes supplied were efficient, the steel artillery wheels detachable. 

The average turning circle was 24ft 9in.

Licensed to carry four passengers, the taxicab had "plenty of speed" and four forward gears and was suitable for the provinces, as well as London Town. 

This model was also fitted with a shock absorbers, for a smooth ride. 

The Morris Commercial was succeeded by Nuffield Oxford 1947-1953

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Katie Simmonds Says “ Carry On Being The Best”

Katie Simmonds, keeper of the Russell Square Shelter is organising a major collection  in aid of seven Taxi trade focused charities. 

The Charities are:
  • The LTCFC. 
  • The Magical Taxi Tour. 
  • The East London Children’s Outing. 
  • The Albany Taxi Charity.  
  • Taxi Charity For Military Veterans. 
  • The Warm Clothing Appeal.
  • The Cabman’s Shelter Trust.   

Katie said:
Over the next few Fridays, we will be out collecting at Taxi ranks and hope drivers will spare a pound or two! 

There will be collection tins at all the shelters, Russell Square, Temple Place, Northumberland Ave, Warwick Ave, St Johns Wood, Pont Street, Kensington Park Road and Thurloe Place. 

There will also be collection tins at popular eateries, Astral Cafe, Kings Cross Taxi Centre, Great Suffolk Street, Sapori, and also at Ascots Garage. 


So, keep an eye out for the lovely Katie over the next few Fridays. 
But don’t just wait for Katie to come to you... pop into Russell Square Shelter for a snack and ‘Carry On Being The Best’. 

TV Presenter Trinny Woodall, Among Uber Customers Charged For Journeys They Didn't Take

After an 18 month probationary extension then, then after news they still hadn’t come up to scratch given another 2 months... it has again come to light that Uber are still not protecting its customers data. 

Fashion celebrity Trinny Woodall is among Uber customers who have again been charged for journeys they haven’t taken by hackers. 

Celebrity makeover expert Trinny Woodall is among a number of Uber customers who were charged for journeys they did not take.

The National Transport Authority received a number of complaints from Uber customers who used the popular app in recent weeks.

Trinny Woodall took to Instagram while she was in Ireland last week to complain after she was charged €75 for a short trip from the Merrion Hotel to 52 Merrion Square Dublin.
Other customers claim they were charged up to €200 for trips they did not take.

One woman was charged for three trips within the space of 11 minutes last Thursday - despite not actually using the app, according to her husband Glenn Holmes
"She checked the app and the nearest cab was 20 minutes away so she didn't call one in the end and instead used [a different app].

"She was actually going to an event where Trinny Woodall was speaking and she had mentioned on her social media that the same thing had happened to her.

"My wife was charged for three transactions in the space of 11 minutes, it was impossible for her to be in three cabs at the one time."

Meanwhile, Dubliner Will St Leger said he was charged €70 after he cancelled a driver.
"I got a refund but for someone who may be on a budget having to wait three days to get your money back can be rather stressful."

A spokesperson for the NTA said it appears there was a fault with the Uber accounting system. (or as we would call it, been hacked)

An Uber spokesperson said they are working hard to resolve the issue. (Again, empty words we’ve heard many times before with this company).

"We are in touch with the National Transport Authority. Anybody who has been impacted will be reimbursed in full."

After a 20 month licence extension, it’s crystal clear that Uber’s driving standards haven’t improved.
TfL are putting the public at risk by allowing this company to continue operating. Proving that TfL aren’t fit to be regulator.


Lee High Road this morning !

In True Blue Peter Fashion, Here’s One They Made Earlier In Woking

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

If You Fail To Learn From History, You Are In Danger Of Repeating It

What is it about this greedy practise of up charging (or as we know it, surcharging) introduced by Gett on it’s passengers at certain times of the day, that drivers don’t understand. 

By charging customers a surge-price, it make them no better than Uber drivers. 

Gett can only function with this, if drivers support it, but by supporting it, you are hammering yet another nail in the trades coffin. 

Worst of all are certain Taxi trade media, that know this us going on, knew what was going on before with the cars on the app, and yet still take adverts from this company. 

The LCDC’s Badge publication, stopped taking adverts from Gett when it became crystal clear, the company was dispatching work to private hire cars through the Gett Taxi App. 

Gett do not have the required PHV operators licence which is a requirement under the PHV act of 1998. (Yes they do operate a Private Hire app... but legally, the Gett Taxi app can only dispatch work to licensed Taxis).

A question drivers should be asking, why are TfL sanctioning this practise when it clearly states in the abstract of Hackney Carriage Law, that it is illegal to charge a passenger more than the fare shown on the Taxi Meter, within the Greater Metropolitan Police District?

Is that no longer the case?
If I get a job late at night going in the opposite direction to the way I want to go, can I now legally demand a 66% up-charge???

Customers using the Gett app expect a licensed London Taxi and they don’t expect to be surcharged like Uber customers. 

Is this the reason why Get Taxi dropped the word Taxi from its bane because eventually they want to move away from Taxis? 

Was nothing learned from the Hailo saga. If you fail to learn from history, you are in danger of repeating it...

This practise alone, is blurring the lines and could eventually be seen as instrumental in the adoption of a one-tiered service (as with the covert Project Horizon, a TfL agenda recently denied by Mayor Khan at MQT). 

Below is an interview with a customer who is far from happy after receiving a 66% up charge on his bill. He says he will never use the app again. 

The Video Below Is A Must Watch:
Tweet from Taxi driver John on Twitter last night:
“So I just picked up this gentleman from the city and dropped him at Montague Square. He started the conversation off and I think you might be interested in this”.

Tuesday, November 12, 2019


Despite so called man made global warming, we are about to go into an extremely cold winter. 
Certain London councils will be issuing tickets to Cabbies who don’t want to freeze to death in their cabs while sitting in them for extended periods with the engine on, keeping the heater given out warm air 

Their is a law that workers do not have to work in certain temperature.... but, does this human right, not extend to London Cabbies. Will you risk your health by working in freezing conditions?

There are a few unfortunate Cabbies that, owing to the way the trade has been attacked on all fronts by councils and even our own regulator TfL have fallen on very hard times. 

It’s more than you would think. The rest stop where I stop at night for a cuppa and a chat, there is regularly half a dozen drivers bedding down for the night. If they can’t heat their vehicles over night, how long before we find the first cabby, seriously ill or even frozen to death?

Insisting Taxis turn off their engines while stationary is not going to solve any pollution issues as many drivers will be put off ranking in the cold and will just continue circulating with greater engine revs, therefore adding even more exhaust gasses to any perceived problem. 

In much the same way as the new traffic systems (mainly in Camden, Islington and CoL) where through routes have been blocked, causing drivers to take longer routes around the divisions adding extra mileage, and again producing more exhaust gasses... it just doesn’t make sense. (Unless you follow the money!)

The idea of turning London into a carbon copy of Amsterdam or Copenhagen is causing massive congestion. It doesn’t take a genius to see what the problem is.... it just doesn’t work. 
It also doesn’t take a genius to work out why they are intent on pushing ahead with these ridiculous schemes.

Have no doubt, there is only one reason why TfL and certain local councils are pushing this agenda forward, and it’s got nothing to do with safety for walking and cycling. It’s all about the future instillation of a Carbon Tax... the next big thing to bolster their failing budgets. 

Ken Livingston showed them the way, his philosophy was “before you can charge for congestion you have to cause it!”...and he did just that. 

TfL and Khan are taking this a step further with their updated philosophy of “before you can charge for pollution, you have to creat it”....and that’s exactly what they are doing. 

The Taxi Trade have become no more than a porn in this game of aggressive persecution. Over the next year we will see more road space taken away, more places where we can’t pick up or set down, more Bus Gates and more exclusion from existing bus lanes. All CC’ed up, issuing fines left right and centre. 

Are you going to sit back and wait and see... or are you going to join your colleagues with militant actions?

Doing nothing, isn’t a solution, if you are not part of the solution, then you are part of the problem. 

We are about to go into a “Winter Of Discontent”. 
Watch this space for updates!

At a recent meeting at City Hall, drivers informed Assembly members about the covert agenda of Project Horizon. 

A question was put to Sadiq Khan at MQT and he came back with a written answer that this project was internal and had no effect on the Taxi Trade. 

Going on the ‘guesstimated’ statistics he presented to the GLA about the pollution attributed to London Taxis, would you ever believe a word that came out of this man’s mouth. 

Just watching Sean Paul Day's YouTube video from the previous post, it's easy to see there's definitely been an agenda against us, with our regulator supporting a certain USA minicab App. 

If the air quality in London is so bad, should we all insist that the heating be turned off in government and council building. Will they allow themselves to work in freezing condition throughout this coming winter... of course they won’t. But they will expect you to sit there on a rank and freeze! 

Monday, November 11, 2019

EXCLUSIVE...SCAMS : TfL Exposed By London Taxi Radio

TfL Totally Inadequate and Totally Failing London  

London Taxi Radio's Sean Paul Day, highlights investigations from the BBC, The Sun and LBC, which stretch back over a period of four years, that show TfL are not doing the job that licence payers are paying for. 

Through careless outsourcing and a massive lack of enforcement, TfL are putting the public in danger of serious injury and sexual assault. 

How has this situation been allowed to develop, and most of all, why has nothing been done to stop these illegal activities that are facilitating seriously dangerous behaviour towards the public. 

Watch this expose’ from London Taxi radio, you will be shocked at the disregard TfL hold your safety in    

Sunday, November 10, 2019


Sky News this afternoon:
Poppy Cabs on Westminster Bridge, celebrating ten years of taking Veterans free of charge, to attend the remembrance services and then back to their home, station or hotel afterwards. 


It’s estimated these Cabby volunteers, make over 1,000 free trips to and from the services. The Poppy Cab service is now spreading and we have recently heard it is up and running this year in Edinburgh and Swindon.  

Below, Poppy Cabs Swindon giving free rides to veterans 

The Poppy Cab initiative was originally started back in 2009, when under the direction of Sir Peter Hendy and dispite appeals, TfL decided to shut down the tube network for maintenance work. It was believed that this action would leave many veterans stranded and unable to make the services. 

A group of concerned London Taxi drives, decided to offer their services to help any veteran who was stranded, get to the cenotaph. It was also decided at that time to extend this free service to pick up veterans and also take them back to mainline rail terminals, plus a selection of clubs and hotels.

Poppy Cabs even getting a mentioned on the BBC this year.


The BBC implying that TfL may have something to do with this... but that’s just not the case.
Poppy Cabs has always been an initiative completely led by Taxi Drivers

The cost of rememberance is great, but the cost of forgetting is much greater!
It appears Poppy Cabs has finally been given the recognition they deserve, by the TV news channels and the press both national and local.... but it’s taken ten years for this recognition. 

But kudos is not the reason the Taxi trade do this.... they do this to say thank you and to say "we will never forget what these veterans have done for us". 

And This From ITV London News :


At the going down of the Sun, and in the morning...

Not only did we get great TV and news paper coverage this year, we also got coverage on radio. LBC gave us a shout out and also posted an article about Poppy Cabs on their website.

There has been some concern in certain quarters over the amount of plastic used in the millions of Poppys sold and disposed of every year. 

There is a recycle scheme available at most supermarkets organised by the British Legion.

From next year the Poppy stem will be make out of a completely biodegradable plastic

The Health Of Cleaners Working On A Polluted Tube System...Not Monitored As They’re Not Directly Employed By TfL

It has recently been bought to our attention that TfL and the Mayor have one set of standards for air quality on the roads, but a much lower set of standards for air quality on the Tube system 

The standards that effect the health of people working on/travelling on the Tube are much lower than World Health Organisation’s guidelines.

Amazingly, TfL fail to monitor the health of cleaners who are employed to clean and minimise the dust on the Tube, because these people are not direct employees of TfL. 

This situation is now under investigation by the London Assembly.... but although they investigate issues that matter to Londoners, the GLA can only acts as a check and balance on TfL and the Mayor, and have no real power to do anything other than suggest. 

This bellow from London Assembly Website 

Poor air quality on the London Underground has been a concern to Londoners for some time.  The level of dust on the Underground is one of the main concerns, due to the potential health risks it could pose to both passengers and workers.

The London Assembly Environment Committee started an investigation on tube dust in May this year.

Chair of the London Assembly Environment Committee, Caroline Russell AM said:

"While we heard TfL is meeting current standards to protect workers’ respiratory health on the underground, we are challenging how confident TfL is with these standards, especially as they are lower than the World Health Organisation’s guidelines.

"TfL relies on people to clean and minimise tube dust on the London Underground. 

The RMT Trade Union told the Environment Committee that the cleaners’ exposure to dust and pollution is not monitored, as cleaners are not directly contracted by TfL.  

This raises concerns as TfL needs to be aware of the impact of poor air quality on all staff working on the Underground.

"The Environment Committee will publish its findings on tube dust once the ongoing investigation is finished but, in the meantime, we’ll be keeping a close eye on TfL’s response to recent investigation findings."

Tower Hamlets To Disregard Consultation Result and Go Ahead With Wapping Bus Gate: Please Sign Petition

What’s the point in having consultations if Tower Hamlets just ignore the findings that don’t suit their preposed  schemes. 

 In the consultation carried out earlier this year, 68.9% of Wapping residents want residents vehicles allowed through the Wapping bus gate vs 22% not. 

68% also want taxi access vs 26% not. 

The council's decision overrides our democratic vote. If you agree, support this  petition (use link at the bottom of this post)

We the undersigned petition the council to make Wapping residents' vehicles and taxis exempt during the operating times of the bus gate in Wapping. 

Currently only buses and bicycles will be exempt during operating times (weekdays 5.30am - 10.30am and 4pm - 7pm). 

However, this decision by the Council severely restricts the movement and access of Wapping residents at peak times to and from work and schools. 

The Council's decision to make only buses and bicycles exempt from moving freely through Wapping furthermore ignores and contradicts the findings of the consultation report (Document Reference: 5318 Date 15.05.19) whose findings clearly indicate that 68% of Wapping residents and 52 - 74% of total respondents are in favour of residents' vehicles and taxis being exempt from the bus gate during operating times. 

Justification for this petition is given below.
i) Residents' Vehicles:
The report shows that 68.9% of respondents from the consultation area (1,528 respondents, 96% of whom are Wapping residents) voted that residents south of the Highway or south of the Ornamental canal SHOULD be given access through the bus gate during operating times. 

Furthermore, 52.6% of ALL respondents (2,370) voted for residents south of the Highway or south of the Ornamental canal to be given access through the bus gate at operating times. 

Only 22% of Wapping residents voted for buses and cyclists ONLY to be given access through the bus gate. 

This means that 2 out of 3 Wapping residents want their vehicles to be ALLOWED through the bus gate. 

The Council’s decision to make only buses and cyclists exempt from the bus gate does not reflect the views of the majority of Wapping residents and total respondents.

Although 53% Tower Hamlets respondents voted for buses and cyclists only to be exempt, these respondents EXCLUDE Wapping residents and will not be inconvenienced as local residents will be by residents’ vehicles not being allowed through during operating times.

ii) Taxis:
74% of all respondents (2,370) voted that taxis SHOULD be allowed through the bus gate. 

68% of Wapping residents (nearly 1,528) voted that taxis SHOULD be allowed through the bus gate. Only 26% of all respondents votes that taxis should NOT be allowed through. 

Again, this means that more than 2 out of 3 Wapping residents and total respondents want taxis to be ALLOWED through the bus gate. 

The Council’s decision not to make taxis exempt again does not reflect the views of the majority of Wapping residents nor total respondents.

49% of Tower Hamlets respondents voted that taxis should NOT be allowed through the bus gate, but this is ONLY 3% more than the 46% who voted that taxis SHOULD be allowed through and by no means indicates a majority. 

It is important to note again that the respondents from Tower Hamlets EXCLUDE Wapping residents and will not be inconvenienced as local residents will be by taxis not being allowed through the bus gate.

Many of the free text comments in the consultation mentioned that taxis are a vital part of travel within the Wapping area. 

Many residents class this mode as part of public transport. 

Several comments suggest that taxis are preferred to the 100 bus due to its sporadic service. 

This will be worsened by the increased traffic on The Highway when the bus gate comes into operation, as the 100 bus will be caught up in the tailback of vehicles who now need to make their way along The Highway to Tower Hill. 

The report states that a lot of respondents said if taxis were to be barred from passing through the bus gate they would be unable to get around the area with ease.

The Council's decision therefore ignores the needs and the views of the population who were consulted and does not align with the findings of its consultation report.

Many Wapping residents depend on forms of transport other than buses and bicycles to go about their business on a day-to-day basis.

These include:
* Disabled Wapping residents requiring taxis to get to and from work
* Families within Wapping dropping their children off at school en route to work
* Families dropping their children off at schools outside of Wapping en route to work
* Transportation to and from Wapping to airports since buses cannot be guaranteed to accommodate luggage and Wapping Overground station does not have elevators to transport suitcases.

While the Council is likely to argue that Wapping residents can use Wapping Lane, Garnet Street and Glamis Road as alternative routes out of Wapping, this decision neglects to consider how Wapping residents will be inconvenienced by having to join the already heavily congested traffic load on The Highway to make their way in and out of the area, which will cost them additional time and money and negatively impact their wellbeing and quality of life, and will add to further congestion.

This Petition runs from 30/10/2019 to 15/12/2019.
1165 people have signed this Petition.

Just a note to all Taxi drivers, you can sign the petition as someone who works in the area. You do not have to be a resident or have a local post code to be eligible to sign this petition.

Gina Hayden, author of Becoming a Conscious Leader said: 
Taxis have always driven through Wapping without ‘disaster’. They are an integral part of the way we get around. 

However, these are not ‘my arguments’ but the views of 68% of Wapping’s residents, who clearly want access