Friday, December 06, 2019

‪Don’t Wait And See, Until It’s Too Late, It’s Time To Act Before They Come For You 🔵‬

In Tower Hamlets alone the Liveable Streets initiative includes 17 future schemes that are to be rolled out across the next 4 years.

These (so called) initiatives are being instigated by a company who call themselves ‘Project Centre’ in Islington. 
The latest schemes include...road closures, one way streets leading nowhere, pedestrianisation and green spaces. 

Now, you can sit back and ignore what they are doing... moan on social media all you like... but remember this is just one council in one London borough.
Don't say you haven't been told what they intend to do, because I have been telling you and I'm telling you about it now. 

Remember this, it’s entirely up to you the rank and file can either.
  • sit back and let them take away all the streets they want
  • look at what is happening and sign every petition going 
  • attend as many meetings as possible and let these people know exactly what you think. 
  • Or your can sit back, do nothing like most of our representative orgs and just wait and see...

 Just remember the famous poem by Lutheran Pasteur Martin Niemöller

“Then they came for me... and there was no one left to speak for me”. 

Will you fight back?
Or will you just wait and let them come for you?

Don’t leave it to others do something positive today  

So what can you do about what’s happening to your work place 
Please read this statement from the London Assembly Transport Committee below, who are carrying out an investigation. 

This isn’t a consultation by a local council, this is an investigation by the GLA transport committee

Accessible and inclusive transport

Start date: 23 October 2019
End date: 17 January 2020
The London Assembly Transport Committee has launched an investigation into accessibility and inclusion across London’s transport network and streets.

It is important that everyone can access public transport and London’s streets to travel between homes, jobs, education and leisure activities across the city. However, a range of barriers and challenges keep many from moving around the capital comfortably and confidently.

Our investigation will look at London’s streets and public transport across all modes including the Tube, trains, buses, tram, DLR, River bus, taxis and private hire vehicles (PHVs), walking and cycling. Through this approach, the committee will be able to get a better understanding of Londoners’ “whole journey” experiences. A barrier in one part of a person’s journey can be enough to keep them from getting where they need to go.

Key Questions
What does an inclusive and accessible transport network mean to you?

Have you noticed any improvement over the past few years regarding accessibility and inclusion within London’s transport network and streets? If so where? This could be either an area of London or a part of the network.

What do you see as the main barriers keeping people from using the transport network and streets comfortably and confidently?

Where are these barriers? Are different parts of the network better than others?
What are the main impacts of these barriers?
What are your top priorities for the transport network and streets?

Should some areas be prioritised more than others? For example, technology, infrastructure, or streets.
How to contribute to the investigation

We welcome submissions from any organisations and individuals with views and information to share on this topic. 

Submissions should aim to address any of the questions outlined above, and other issues that are relevant to the investigation. We are keen to hear from transport users, London boroughs, businesses, campaigners, transport experts and anyone else with an interest in this topic. 

To contribute, please send submissions to the committee by the deadline of Friday 17 January 2020 using the details below.

Please note: We will publish written submissions online unless they are marked as confidential or there is a legal reason for non-publication. We may be required to release a copy of your submission under the Freedom of Information Act 2000, even if it has been marked as confidential.

Email submissions
Postal submissions
The Transport Committee, London Assembly, City Hall, The Queen’s Walk, London SE1 2AA
Further information
020 7983 4000
Media enquiries
Lisa Lam, External Communications Officer

020 7084 2713

Former Chancellor George Osborne, Blames Cyclists For London's Traffic Congestion And Pollution.

George Osborne, who served as the U.K.’s Chancellor of the Exchequer under Prime Minister David Cameron from 2010 to 2016, yesterday blamed cyclists for London’s traffic congestion. 

Writing in the Evening Standard newspaper, which he has edited since May 2017, Osborne wrote that London’s “choking gridlock” was caused not by too many motor vehicles... but by infrastructure built for cyclists.

Specifically, he blames the Embankment Cycleway besides the Thames. 

Osborne once said he “applauded” the fact London was now “one of the more bicycle-friendly cities in the world” but he has now come out against one of the icons of that friendliness.

He went in to say “some of the cycle superhighways are ill-conceived, causing near-permanent congestion and pollution. The one running along the Embankment is the most obvious mistake.”

Despite the many millions of pounds it cost to create the cycleway, Osborne wants it to be removed and redesigned: “If the current Mayor, Sadiq Khan, started again, with a better design on the Embankment, he would win plaudits and popular support .”

Osborne is the second former Chancellor to object to London’s number of badly designed protected cycleways.

During a debate in the House of Lords in 2015, Lord Lawson claimed that the building of cycleways in London had done more damage to London “than almost anything since the Blitz.”

Nigel Lawson was the UK’s Chancellor of the Exchequer between 1983 and 1989.

Lord Lawson said:
My Lords, we all know the Mayor of London’s addiction to cycling, but is my noble friend Lord Higgins not absolutely right that what is happening now has done more damage, and is doing more damage, to London than almost anything since the Blitz?

His comments were in a debate where fellow Conservative peer Lord Higgins had steered the subject on to cycle lanes, blaming not motoring for London’s foul air, but cycling. 

             Lord Higgins 

He said the “appalling increases in congestion and pollution” were “caused by the introduction of bicycle lanes.”

George Osborne’s intervention is significant because the Evening Standard is London’s leading daily newspaper and can often shape debate in the U.K. capital.

Thursday, December 05, 2019

TFL Revoke 352 PH Drivers Licences After BBC Investigation, But Fail To Revoke Uber

Transport for London (TfL) has banned hundreds of minicab drivers on the back of an investigation into schools fraudulently offering licences.

It was revealed in November that the transport regulator was investigating Vista Training Solutions in Newham and all other centres offering Business and Technology Education Council (Btec) diplomas that can be used to gain private hire vehicle licences.

A BBC London TV News investigation found Vista was giving out licences for a £500 fee, without actually testing the participants.

It prompted a TfL investigation into 2,000 potentially fraudulent minicab drivers.

TfL has now revoked 352 minicab licences, shut down the offending Vista Trainining Solutions and is preparing to ban other private centres from offering licences.

Helen Chapman, TfL’s director of licensing, regulation and charging, said: “We have now revoked the licences of 143 drivers who obtained certificates through Vista Training Solutions and rejected the 209 pending applications using certificates from the compromised college.”

Minicab drivers must complete several requirements – passing topographical tests, medical checks and criminal record checks – with TfL before gaining a private hire vehicle licence.

However, doing the course through a private Btec college or centre was a way around this.
Chapman said it was now phasing this loophole out, after TfL’s investigation.

“The most robust and relevant topographical tests are our own assessments,” she said.
“To eliminate the risk of fraudulent topographical certificates being used as a way to avoid our assessments, we will remove this exemption after February.”

The change comes just a week after TfL banned Uber for harbouring unlicensed and uninsured drivers in a “pattern of failures” around passenger safety.

It was found that these unlicensed and uninsured drivers had taken about 14,000 trips recently.

The investigation also revealed that drivers banned by Uber were making new accounts and still using the platform.

With another 352 unqualified drivers joining the ranks of Uber, the question begs to be asked ...”if TfL can revoke the PH drivers licenses with no continuance should they appeal, under public safety issues.... why didn’t TfL revoke and banned  Uber outright, instead of just refusing to renew their already extended licence to operate in London?”

Typically the BBC is making much about the drivers licenses being revoked after their inside out program, yet have not made any statement about Uber being fully revoked... again WHY?

Why did it take the BBC to investigate this issue, why wasn’t TfL in the case?

Kew Bridge Next To Get TfL Treatment

London's Kew Bridge is next to undergo upgrades, as part of TfL’s plan to introduce a 7km cycle lane and pedestrian area in West London.

TfL has announced that work would start at Kew Bridge on December 12 to prepare for the new segregated cycling lanes.

TfL director of project and programme delivery Nick Fairholme said the “vital construction work” would require planning ahead by people in the vicinity of the bridge, parts of which will be closed up until late December.

The 7km cycling route, nicknamed Cycleway 9 (previously Cycle Superhighway 9), will run between Brentford and Kensington Olympia when completed.

TfL also plans to open an arch under Kew Bridge, which would allow for step-free access to the Thames Path. TfL and Hounslow Council are yet to confirm the opening date for the arch.

TfL confirmed CVU, a joint venture including Aecom, VolkerHighways and Colas, has been contracted for the job.
CVU was until 2018 contracted to maintain Central London’s highways.

Nearly 1,500 locals responded to the consultation on the plans in August 2017, which make up part of the Mayor of London’s Healthy Streets Approach.

Also this week:
We have asked TfL to explain the reasoning behind the change in the traffic signal phasing Euston Road- Tottenham Court -Hampstead Road Junction....

So far, we’ve had no reply or acknowledgement.  

Wednesday, December 04, 2019

TFL Have Been Served With Pre Action Protocol By UTAG’s Legal Team


Dear UTAG Member,

As we announced via our Twitter feed yesterday our legal team has served TfL with a Pre Action Protocol (PAP) letter.

A PAP letter puts TfL on notice that unless they change the decision to RefuseULL a licence thus allowing them to operate pending appeal, to the correct decision of Suspending their licence to operate, thus stopping them operating until any appeal process is concluded, we shall immediately seek permission to Judicially Review the decision on grounds of Public Safety.

TfL has until 4 pm on Tuesday, December 10th 2019 to reply.

We will update you when we receive a reply from TfL.

Please use the link below to view the full PAP letter.

Once again may I take this opportunity to thank you for your wonderful support toward us and your trade.

Best Wishes

Angela Clarkson

United Trade Action Group

The Only Way Forward: UTAG17’s Legal Team Serve TfL With Pre Action Letter.

Support Those Who Support You And Your Family’s Livelihood...Support UTAG

Important Message 

Earlier,our legal team served an official Pre Action letter on TfL indicating our intention to take them to Court for allowing ULL to operate pending appeal whilst knowing there are still dangers to the public.
All UTAG members will receive a copy tomorrow.

This is what the trade has been waiting for, this is what drivers have been calling for.... Now it’s all up to you the drivers to support this action and get TfL in court. Don’t wait and see.... if you haven’t donated already, do it today, do it now. 

Plus, you don’t have to be a London Taxi driver to get involved with this project. Uber have been causing problems in many areas across the UK. Drivers using licenses issued by TfL have seen working all over the country. 

Join the fight today, follow the links and donate from as little as £5 per week !






We will be posting the UTAG17 letter to members later today, after all members have received a copy by email. 

Monday, December 02, 2019

Another Uber Accident That Wouldn’t Have Happened... If TfL Had Done The Right Thing In The Name Of Public Safety.

It is not of a matter of Uber being allowed to operate under appeal, It’s the difference between TfL refusing to renew a license and a revocation. 

Every accident here-on-in should be considered as a catastrophic failing on behalf of the regulator to do the right thing.

There is no protectionism; Uber lie so people believe that the innocent victims in this battle are the Silicon Valley billionaires pursuing global industry dominance. 

The Economist perpetuate this myth via the IEA, and TfL has bought into this fabrication for 7 yrs. 

The Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) have been accused of offering donors access to government ministers and civil servants.  

This organisation is literally a scourge on transparency in British politics...and they have the cheek to lecture others on ‘protectionism’.

From here on in, victims of Uber rape, Uber sexual assault, Uber road traffic accidents and Uber account hacking, need to directly sue TfL themselves for not revoking this unsafe, unfit operator.

They have the power to do this and would have used that power with any other operator who committed these types of contraventions.

The only way to settle this now is in court !!!