Saturday, December 14, 2019

Camden’s Cycling Lobby Are At it Again With A Proposal To Split The Taxi Trade

A letter from former Councillor and now cycling lobbyist Paul Braithwaite, has appeared in the Islington Tribune asking that the Taxi trade be split in two with only electric Taxis allowed to use the three main terminal ranks in the Euston and Kings Cross area. 

The extra pollution he bleats about, mainly caused by Camden Council’s redevelopment of Midland Road seems to have escaped Mr Braithwaite.

His letter appearing in the Tribune:

‘A bye-law that only electric black cabs are legally permitted to queue for pick-ups at our termini stations?’

THREE of our worst pollution hot spots are along the Euston Road, the terminus railway stations of King’s Cross, St Pancras and Euston.

And right now there’s a proposal from HS2 to make things even worse: to cut down more trees on the east side of Euston Square to provide a “temporary” taxi rank next to the existing bus station.

The attractive new LEVC electric black cabs, with zero tailpipe emissions, already represent more than 10 per cent of London’s fleet of black cabs but most of the remaining 18,000 are highly-polluting, dirty, diesels.

Why not a bye-law, on citizens’ health grounds, that only electric black cabs are legally permitted to queue for pick-ups at our three termini statiotaxins?

The taxi lobby would scream and shout but our health (and that of cab drivers too) is surely an over-arching consideration.

Mr Braithwaite’s views do not hold water as Taxi’s waiting in these three ranks are required to turn off their engines while waiting and we see a overhear of Camden’s street wardens on hand to issue fines to drivers found idling. 

Perhaps he should turn his attention to the badly designed redevelopment by Camden’s planners, most with a view of investment in pedal me and cargo bike start up apps! 

There is however a great way to cut pollution in the area.... and that’s to open up Judd Street, remove the cycle lanes from Midland Road and ban Cycles from roads in the area 

Brent Council Bids For TfL Funding To Make Park Royal Industrial Estate Buses, Walking And Cycling Only.

Brent Council could spend more than £1 million to encourage sustainable transport around an industrial area.

Its cabinet agreed to support a bid for funding from Transport for London (TfL) for works in Park Royal.

If successful, a joint initiative involving Ealing Council and Old Oak Park Royal Development Corporation (OPDC) would promote greener and more efficient travel in the area.

The ‘liveable neighbourhood’ scheme would cost more than £11.5 million, with Brent Council contributing £1.1 million, Ealing Council providing £777,500 and OPDC offering £880,000.

Cllr Shama Tatler, who is responsible for regeneration, property and planning at Brent Council, said she was excited by the prospect of working on "the first industrial liveable neighbourhood".

"This would be the first of its kind to have a successful bid and it will transform the area – traffic flow and air quality will significantly improve," she said.

As someone who works in the area, Cllr Margaret McLennan, deputy leader of Brent Council, said she "completely supports" the proposals.

A cabinet report noted there is currently "poor and perceived unsafe access" within the industrial estate to encourage sustainable travel.

It outlined how most employees commute by car but, with improvements, many journeys could be completed by bus or bike.

According to the council, a liveable neighbourhood project would improve road access and safety at the site, create faster and more reliable public transport systems, install a joined-up cycle network and create more green spaces.

A similar bid for Park Royal was rejected in 2017 on the basis that there was a risk the project could not be completed and there was "insufficient information" about bus network improvements.

In this bid, Brent Council would be the lead local authority – and would manage any money granted by TfL – but it would be primarily delivered by OPDC.

After intervention from TfL which includes two virtually unused segregated cycle lanes, a new wider bus lane and a supposed intelligent four way traffic light system... Greenford Road Sudbury Hill now has traffic back ups from the Whitton Avenue, all the way back to the Harrow Road and beyond. 

Traffic gridlock not seen in the area before the so called improvements. It’s as if the planners just don’t have a clue what they are doing and have caused extra congestion resulting in more pollution in the area, defeating any supposed improvements for walking and cycling. 

If TfL continue with these projects, pedestrian and cycling in the area will only be possible with the aid of face masks to protect the public from the toxic air caused by the badly panned traffic changes 

Friday, December 13, 2019

Just Like Uber, Losses Mount For Indian Ride Hailing App Ola

In its latest move, Ola have started registering licensed private hire drivers in London. Interestingly, although Ola have been in talks with TfL for many months, the London foray only came about 24 hours after Transport for London found that Uber drivers had faked their identities on the Uber app and refused to renew their operators licence.

As India’s leading ride-hailing company, they have losses that have risen from $11 million to $23 million

The SoftBank-promoted ride-hailing company Ola has reported a 92% increase in losses for its cab-leasing business Ola Fleet Technologies, but despite their reported losses, revenue has increased by 59% from 3.70 billion rupees from 2018 to 5.91 billion rupees for the last financial year.

Revenue from the sale of services stood at 4.84 billion rupees. Unlike Uber who own nothing, Ola reportedly owns more than 100,000 vehicles.

Employee benefits expenses rose to 440 million rupees this year from 300 million, while finance costs stood at 1.24 billion rupees, up from 840 million rupees in FY18. The biggest chunk in expenses was depreciation, depletion and amortization expenses – 2.9 billion rupees that increased from 1.86 billion rupees.

Founded in 2010 by Bhavish Aggarwal, this ride-hailing startup is present in more than 250 cities in India with Uber as its biggest competitor. Ola also recently launched the self-drive car rental business with Ola Drive and aims to have a fleet of 20,000 cars by 2020.

With the cab services market nearing saturation, Ola has also diversified into a bike taxi service – Ola Bike – and it commands about 25% of the market share. It is present in 200 cities and has more than 300,000 bike partners.

This service is gaining ground in smaller towns which lack good public transport or last-mile connectivity. Moreover, they are more affordable than cabs, and can zip through congested roads. According to data from PGA Labs, the bike taxi service is now a $150 million market, growing at 20% month-over-month.

Ola also has a presence in Australia, New Zealand and the UK. It launched services in the UK last August in Cardiff and later expanded to Birmingham, Liverpool, Exeter, Reading, Bristol, Bath, Coventry, and Warwick.

Ola’s parent company ANI Technologies on standalone basis had reported a decline in losses from 26.76 billion rupees to 11.60 billion rupees, while its total income grew from 18.60 billion rupees to 21.55 billion rupees.

It plans to go public in less than two years after meeting profitability goals required for such a listing in India. An initial public offering will help many of the ride-hailing company’s investors, including SoftBank, to exit or partially sell their stakes and return funds to their shareholders.

Councils accused of hypocrisy over diesel after 91.6% of fleets found to run on the fuel

LOCAL authorities have been accused of hypocrisy after it was found that councils are punishing members of the public for driving diesel vehicles while running fleets of vehicles that predominantly run on the fuel.

Sixty-two council fleets consist entirely of diesels.

The 320 local authorities in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland that responded to Auto Express’s freedom of information requests are operating 61,045 diesel vehicles — a staggering 91.6% of the 66,617 total. Some 62 council fleets consisting entirely of diesel vehicles.

The fleets include bin lorries, gritters, community minibuses and park-maintenance pick-up trucks — vehicles that are recognised as vital for the ongoing maintenance of our streets. But as many councils clamp down on residents for driving diesel cars, especially in city centres, the motoring magazine branded them “hypocrites” for not switching to electric vehicles fast enough.

Air pollution has been found to cause 40,000 premature deaths a year in Britain, with older diesel vehicles being a large contributor to the problem. Diesel fuel produces fine particulates and nitrogen oxide gases, which can cause respiratory disease and heart attacks. Of Britain’s 5.4m asthma sufferers, two thirds say that poor air quality makes their condition worse.

The UK government has launched a Road to Zero strategy, which aims for all new cars to be capable of “effectively zero” emissions by 2040. The devolved government in Scotland has outlined even more ambitious plans with the aim to end new petrol and diesel car sales by 2032, eight years earlier than the rest of the UK.

Bristol City Council, which has been the most strident in its efforts to clean up with plans to ban all private diesel cars from its city centre by 2021, runs 369 diesel vehicles out of a total of 453 (81.5%). 

Councillors recently confirmed plans to purchase 64 new diesel vans, according to Auto Express.

London has introduced a £12.50 daily charge for diesel vehicles that do not meet the Euro 6 emissions standard to enter the city centre ultra-low emission zone (ULEZ), but 89% of the 4,844 vehicles operated by London councils run on diesel, with at least 724 (15%) still being pre-Euro 6. The mayor, Sadiq Khan, has blasted diesel cars as “dangerous to health”.

The Local Government Association (LGA), which represents English and Welsh authorities, told Auto Express that “councils are eager to switch to electric vehicles or low-emission alternatives where possible,” but “the vast majority of the types of specialist vehicles councils operate do not have viable electric alternatives because they don’t exist”.

TfL Response to UTAG Pre Action Letter

Late on Tuesday, December 10th 2019 we received TfL's reply to our Pre Action Letter, which we shared with you last week.

Our QC has given us clearance to share this reply with you.

The content is arrogant, hubristic and disingenuous; it also shows the utter contempt in which TfL hold our trade and the lack of care for public safety.

We shall leave you to draw your own conclusions as to the response but would point you to a couple of relevant sections in this, to our mind, totally biased reply.

On Dec 5th, Mr Khan in conversation with James OBrien on LBC stated one reason to refuse a licence to ULL on the grounds of public safety was that 'the experts found that 'THE UBER SYSTEMS ARE NOT ROBUST', however,
Sec 2c of the reply seems to ignore the experts.

Sec 2d refers to TfL's concern that revocation would seriously impact the drivers and passengers.

Absolute nonsense, Kapten, Ola and Bolt could employ the drivers and the passengers could migrate to one of those apps in a heartbeat.

TfL's main responsibility is that of public safety, NOT the driver's jobs or public's travel arrangements.
They can both be catered for elsewhere.

The letter is totally unacceptable but we expected nothing else from this useless, inadequate and clearly biased regulator, and consequently, our legal team have been preparing papers for a JR well before any reply was received; in fact, they started to prepare as soon as the PAP letter was sent.

We shall be lodging Grounds for Appeal with the High Court as soon as the preparatory work is complete.
and keep you all up to date as things progress.

The links to the reply and Mr Khans interview are below.

Thank you for your solid support.

Best wishes

Trevor Merralls & Angela Clarkson

United Trade Action Group

New Year New Challenge for London Cab Drivers

After three London cabbies lost twelve stones and climbed Mount Kilimanjaro in 2019 for charity, the new year is heralding a much bigger challenge for a group of thirty London Cab Drivers

Two of the original Cabbies Do Kilimanjaro, Daren Parr and John Dillane, have embarked on a much bigger challenge for 2020. Thirty London Taxi Drivers responded to a request to change their lives, by losing weight, getting fit and climbing Kilimanjaro, while raising money for the London Taxi Drivers’ Charity for Children and a children’s community project in Tanzania.

But Daren and John will be pushing themselves even harder in 2020. Not content with climbing one mountain their challenge will be to climb Mount Meru first and then meet the other Cabbies at the foot of Meru’s neighbour to attempt the six-day ascent to reach the summit of Kilimanjaro.

London Cab Driver, Daren Parr, says, “Climbing Kilimanjaro was the hardest thing I have ever done in my life. The cold, the relentless climb, the lack of sleep and the altitude sickness, all combined to make us all feel very miserable, but this was a challenge for charity, and we weren’t going to give up. John and I tripped and stumbled up the final 600 metres but standing on the roof of Africa and seeing the curvature of the earth was the most incredible sight and made all the days of pain fade away.”

London Cab Driver, John Dillane, continued “We never expected to do a second challenge, but we had so many fellow cabbies who were inspired to join us in Tanzania, that we decided to do it again. As if it wasn’t hard enough climbing Kilimanjaro, Daren and I decided we needed something new to challenge us. 

I suggested we climb Mount Meru, before climbing Kilimanjaro and that was it, without hesitation we looked at each other smiled and nodded!”
The thirty male and female Cabbies have begun the challenge to lose a massive 52 stones and are being supported by Be Military Fit who are helping them devise training plans to ensure they are fit enough to climb Kilimanjaro in September 2020.

About Cabbies do Kilimanjaro
After successfully raising £18,000 for The Taxi Charity for Military Veterans in 2019 by losing 12 stones in weight, getting fit and climbing Kilimanjaro, two of the original Cabbies Do Kilimanjaro, Daren Parr and John Dillane, have put together a much bigger challenge for 2020.

A group of 30 London Licensed Taxi Drivers, will be attempting to lose 52 stones, get fit, with the support of Be Military Fit and then travel to Tanzania where Daren and John will climb 4,562 metre Mount Meru before being joined by the rest of the cabbies to climb 5,895 metres, to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro.

The Cabbies do Kilimanjaro team is hoping to raise £7,500 for the London Taxi Drivers’ Charity for Children and £2,500 for a children’s community project in Tanzania

Follow their progress on;
Twitter @cabbiesdokilimanjaro
Facebook CabbiesDoKilimanjaro
Instagram Cabbies_do_kilimanjaro

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Fuming taxi drivers slam ‘nightmare’ changes at Brighton station

Brighton’s Taxi Drivers are  up in arms as they say they’ve seen a 30 per cent drop in their business, since their Taxi rank was moved from the front of Brighton station to the rear.

They were furious when the rank was relocated behind the station last month and have complained to Govia Thameslink Railway.  

Govia plan to turn the old space into a “covered pedestrian plaza” with a café and an area for bikes. (Where have heard that before?)

They say the new rank is larger and allows quicker access for journeys out of the city.

But taxi drivers say they have lost nearly a third of their income since the move.

Niti Halili, 48, from Whitehawk, has been a Brighton Cabby for 10 years. He said: “I’ve seen at least seen a 30 per cent drop in business.

“It’s bad. We have to work longer hours just to make a living.
“It’s becoming hard. We’re losing time, money, and jobs. People coming out of the station just don’t know how to find us”.

“We’re losing all the work we used to get out the front. When customers see us right in front of them, they’re tempted to get a cab. Not any more. Now it’s a nightmare.

“The new rank is causing a major bottleneck. It’s one in, one out. It limits business and it gets very congested.”

Other Cabbies said their business had taken an even greater hit. Cabbie Mina Guirguis, 34, said: “I’ve seen more than 30 per cent of my business go. It’s more like 40 per cent.

“It’s so much more difficult to drop and pick off customers. It’s left me so stressed.”

Govia Thameslink Railway has been contacted for comment.

At the time of the move, the company’s lead facilities manager Karl McCormack said: “The rank is moving because 16.5 million use the station now each year and it simply isn’t fit for purpose for the number of vehicles.”

He said the company recognised the potential concern from the taxi trade and had “a new wayfinding campaign within the station to help passengers find their way to the new rank”.

He said: “We have advertised the new rank extremely clearly with vinyl floor stickers along the walking route from the ticket gates, banners on the walls of the station, fences and in the location of the old rank, new signposts, station PA announcements, posters, and messages put out on the trains as people arrive.

“We have also given taxi drivers leaflets showing the location of the new rank for each driver to give to their passengers when dropping off.

Drivers Warned Not To Offer Lifts For Profit This Christmas, Following Reports Of Services Being Offered On Social Media.

Drivers are being warned not to offer people lifts home for profit this Christmas, following reports of people offering their services on social media. 

Those offering lifts may see it as an easy way to make some extra cash to help cover their motoring costs or pay for Christmas – while people accepting them may think they can save money on a taxi fare home.
It seems the public are prepared to put them selves in all sorts of danger, if they think they are saving a few pounds!

But GoCompare Car Insurance is warning that drivers advertising their services in this way and making a profit would effectively be acting as an illegal taxi service.

They may end up committing several offences and invalidating their private car insurance policy – meaning they would not be covered in the event of an accident.

Pembrokeshire County Council has recently gone on record saying "we had been made aware of "illegal taxis" operating in the county – mainly young drivers offering "lifts" on social media.
"legitimate taxi drivers need to go through rigorous checks to ensure that they are safe and suitable to transport people".

The council also said police will be targeting those suspected of acting illegally – and anyone thinking of offering lifts for payment should be aware that they will not have the appropriate insurance – and if caught they could face a fine or be banned from driving.

GoCompare, which reviewed 362 private, fully comprehensive car insurance policies found that private car insurance policies typically prohibit "passengers carried in the course of a business for hire or reward".

One in 10 (10%) policies provide no cover for lift sharing and where private car insurance permits lift-sharing, it is restricted to social journeys and drivers are prohibited from making a profit.

Lee Griffin, chief executive of GoCompare, said: "The rising cost of motoring coupled with the current financial squeeze for many people has made lift sharing an attractive proposition.
"Most insurers will allow genuine lift sharing and there are loads of legitimate schemes across the UK

"But drivers are not allowed to make a profit from their passengers and can only charge enough to cover petrol and other costs.
"If drivers make a profit, insurers are likely to class the lift share as a taxi service, for ‘hire and reward’ and invalidate their policy.

"As well as the driver breaking the law, passengers are left incredibly vulnerable by illegal taxis and people need to be aware of the dangers."
Cllr Phil Baker, from Pembrokeshire County Council, previously expressed his concerns about social media platforms being used to offer "cheap lifts".

"I would urge everyone not to accept these offers regardless of how attractive the fare may sound," he said.
"You may be compromising your safety and the consequences could be devastating".

Has Uber Always Been a CriminalOrganisation ? 

Uber, that most ethical of ride-hailing companies, is in hot water once again. This time it isn’t for slashing drivers’ pay so low they can barely survive or having an institutionalized culture of sexism -- I’m sure its PR department only wishes it could throw out the canned lines it has prepared for such situations. 

No, this time it’s thanks to CEO Dara Khosrowshahi, who chose to do his absolute best to dismiss the gravity of the execution and dismemberment of Washington Postjournalist Jamal Khashoggi, to avoid angering the Saudi government and Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman -- you might know him by his initials, "MbS" -- who have invested billions in the company.

In an interview with Axios on HBO, Khosrowshahi called Khashoggi’s brutal, premeditated murder at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul -- which the Saudi state actually tried to cover up by sending out someone of a similar build wearing his clothes -- a "mistake," akin to an Uber autonomous test vehicle running down a pedestrian. In fact, he went further, saying that "people make mistakes, it doesn’t mean that they can never be forgiven." 

In other words, let’s forgive the definitely-not-a-murderous-dictator "MbS," who’s reported to have directly ordered Khashoggi’s assassination -- otherwise Uber might not keep getting the Saudi money that funds their billion-dollar losses quarter after quarter.
Unsurprisingly, pretty much everyone other than maybe a few Saudi officials were shocked at how Khosrowshahi not only made the statement, but didn’t change his tone even after the Axios journalists pushed back. 

You might imagine his shocked colleagues gasping off-camera as he defended murder as a "mistake" -- and, sure enough, the next day a statement from Khosrowshahi appeared explaining that he "said something in the moment that I do not believe." Sure, Dara.
But anyone who’s really paid any attention to Uber’s history shouldn’t be surprised at all. 

Uber’s whole business model was premised on criminality -- the willful, systematic flouting of local taxi regulations, based on a wager that the company could retroactively absolve itself by getting the laws changed via big-money lobbying. With that kind of mission, it’s not surprising its executives had blood on their hands long before they started taking Saudi blood money. It comes from a mindset that pursues growth at quite literally any cost -- human or financial.

The Human Cost of Uber
The last time anger at Uber’s terrible culture and business practices erupted, it was in reaction to the company’s breathtakingly cynical attempt to break a JFK airport strike waged by New York taxi drivers in protest against Trump’s Muslim ban. At that time hundreds of thousands of people deleted the app

After the recent Axios interview, #BoycottUber started trending in what will hopefully be a much-needed renewal of the previous boycott that could bring the company to its knees, but a blasé attitude toward human suffering and death is characteristic of the company.
Take the example of Elaine Herzberg, who was run down by an Uber self-driving vehicle on a test run in Tempe, Arizona. In his interview, Khosrowshahi called her death a "mistake" -- a claim as misleading as calling the vehicle "self-driving." 

A National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) report released in November 2019 revealed that Herzberg was killed because the self-driving team only coded the system to look for pedestrians in designated crossing areas, so when the sensors picked up Herzberg, the system didn’t know what she was or how to react to her until it was too late. Fatal oversight seems a more accurate description, but, as usual, don’t expect those who programmed it to be held to account. Herzberg’s death remained just another statistic.

Her life wasn’t the only one lost to Uber’s Silicon Valley–style "move fast and break things" philosophy. In his book Super PumpedNew York Times reporter Mike Isaac describes founding CEO Travis Kalanick’s "quest for global domination" -- and all the lives it destroyed in the process. In India, Uber drove down wages for drivers to such an extent that an angry mob dumped the corpse of an Uber driver on the company’s front doorstep. 

Another driver committed suicide because he couldn’t afford his car payments, and a number of others self-immolated. You’d think that would be enough for company leadership to reassess, but it didn’t end there.

The executives didn’t care if their aggressive, highly subsidized entrance into new markets decimated livelihoods, so when taxi drivers in Mexico who "had spent thousands of dollars on licenses, permits, training classes, and other state-mandated items" suddenly saw their rides drop off when Uber arrived, they were angry. 

In retaliation, Uber drivers were robbed, attacked, and sometimes even killed. The situation was similar in Brazil, where the company let drivers sign up with just an email address or phone number and accept cash payments. Uber launched at a time when unemployment was at an all-time high and crime rates were soaring. 

How nobody at Uber HQ thought that would be a problem remains a mystery, but Isaac writes that "[c]ars were stolen and burned, drivers assaulted, robbed, and occasionally murdered. [. . .] At least sixteen drivers were murdered in Brazil before Kalanick’s product team improved identity verification and security in the app."

And while those tales might make it seem that the carnage was contained to poor countries, that’s not the case. In December 2018, the New York Times reported that three taxi owners and five professional drivers had committed suicide in the past year. 

Douglas Schifter, who killed himself outside City Hall, explicitly blamed Uber for his decision to take his own life because it made him have to work a hundred hours a week just to survive. Unlike taxi companies, which are highly regulated and whose vehicle numbers are capped in major cities, Uber doesn’t follow the same rules, has consistently fought basic background checks and safety training, and floods cities with as many vehicles as will drive for it.
That’s only a partial account of the mayhem caused by Uber. 

There’s more that could be said about how Uber’s sexist workplace has affected both the women who work there and those who use its service. Isaac reports that Kalanick believed any accusation of sexual assault or harassment against a driver was a personal attack against Uber -- "Uber was the real victim, he felt" -- and sometimes when a case was dropped, "a round of cheers would ring out across the fifth floor of Uber HQ." These are the people the business press once hailed as visionaries and paragons of leadership.

Uber Hasn’t Changed
Uber has a long history of ignoring or dismissing the human cost of its business. 

Isaac confirms the executives "had major blind spots because of their fixation on growth, and their casual application of financial incentives often enflamed existing sociocultural problems." The company may try to claim that’s all in the past, but Khosrowshahi’s response to Axios’s questioning on Saudi Arabia and Khashoggi’s murder conclusively proves that’s bullshit.

Uber is still cutting drivers’ wages to try to reach profitability, forcing them to work longer hours to earn the same income. 

It’s fighting California’s new labor laws that require the company to make drivers employees, giving them the same legal rights and protections as other workers. It’s still artificially subsidizing Uber rides to make them cheaper than taxi fares, destroying the livelihoods of taxi drivers in the process. And it will take money from whoever’s offering

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

London Taxi PR double awards winning success

London Taxi PR is once again delighted to announce that it has been once again recognised for its achievements as a leading global brand PR agency, by being rewarded with not one, but two major awards in the Aviation & Aerospace Awards 2020, organised by Corporate Vision (CV) Magazine.

This double awards success has seen London Taxi PR being named as not only the Best Public Transport Promotions Group (UK), for the second year running, but also and importantly, receiving recognition for the recent highly successful ‘All Hail the Street Hail’ advertising & promotional campaign, which has been recognised as the Best Public Transport Advertising Campaign (UK).

This is particularly significant for the ‘All Hail the Street Hail’, which was not only London Taxi PR’s most successful campaign to date, but also one that reported and achieved combined street and pedestrian viewing reach figures in excess of 36.8m for the month of its duration earlier this year.

The campaign, which celebrated 365 years of being able to traditionally hail a London Taxi, went live across 24 prime major billboard advertisement locations throughout central London.

Produced in conjunction with digital media out of home advertising company, London Lites, ‘All Hail the Street Hail’ also included the usage and display of the advertisement a number of rooftop signage display boards on London Taxis.

‘All Hail the Street Hail’ not only drew significant response and positive feedback & comments from those within the profession, but was also referred to by London Lites as, ‘One of their most interactive and responsive campaigns they have had’.

Both awards validate the significance and importance of the work that London Taxi PR have been producing to promote the London Taxi profession through the media and other outlets.

Corporate Vision (CV) Magazine has an experienced and passionate following of over 130,000 readers worldwide. With over 551,000-page views in the last 12 months, CV Magazine continues to serve as a leader in bringing cutting-edge and quality news from across a myriad of industries.

This latest award recognition went through a number of highly involved stages for a company to be declared a winner.
A voting form was placed live on the magazine’s website for just over 3 months. Notification was then sent out to its readership base (130,000 worldwide) to let them know voting was open and in addition it was also posted on various social media platforms to help encourage the voting form to be shared. An in-house research team then compiled a case file to help support each of London Taxi PR’s nominations in front of the judging panel. These case files contained various information found online such as; company history, services, articles, press releases, client testimonials, information on the campaigns and much more. Once the case files were completed they then got passed to the judging panel who discussed and deliberated in order to decide who they believe deserved to win.

Since their formation, London Taxi PR has undertaken a series of targeted media campaigns, which are being used by London Taxi PR to promote the benefits, advantages and safety of using the iconic London Taxi to a wide audience.

All the campaigns and publicity that has so far been generated by London Taxi PR has been funded by fellow London Taxi drivers as well as supportive companies and organisations, many of whom have signed up to donate to the cause on a monthly basis, indicating how passionate they all are about their industry and the cause.
London Taxi PR. Passionate about promoting and preserving the iconic London Taxi trade and funded by London Taxi drivers who care about their industry.

For more information on London Taxi PR and their campaigns, please visit their website

WWII Veteran Receives the Dutch Liberation Medal On 5 December 2019WWII veteran Tom Schaffer was presented with the Dutch Liberation Medal

The Dutch Liberation Medal was presented to Mr Schaffer at the annual Taxi Charity for Military Veterans Christmas lunch in South East London, by Lieutenant Colonel Rob Arts, Military and Air Attaché and Deputy Defence Attaché, from the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

Lieutenant Colonel Arts, the Dutch Military and Air Attaché and Deputy Defence Attaché Lieutenant said, “It is such a privilege representing my country at this Taxi Charity event and presenting our liberation medal to Mr Tom Schaffer. I am really humbled, also by the enormous number of letters sent by Dutch children, illustrating the Dutch gratitude and respect for our World War II liberators will continue big time.”

Tom Schaffer, said, “It is a real honour to have been presented with the Dutch Liberation medal by the Dutch Military Attaché, surrounded by so many friends. Next May, I will be travelling to the Netherlands with the Taxi charity to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Dutch Liberation and I will wear this medal with immense pride.”

Tom was also presented with some of the four hundred Christmas cards that had been sent to the Taxi Charity to distribute to WWII veterans from Dutch school children.

About the Dutch Liberation Medal
The Dutch Liberation medal is presented as a token of gratitude from the people of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to those men and women who contributed to the liberation of the Netherlands during WWII.

About the Taxi Charity
The Taxi Charity for Military Veterans was formed in Fulham in 1948, to work for the benefit, comfort and enjoyment of military veterans and arranges many trips every year for veterans from all conflicts.
The charity offers international trips to Holland, Belgium and France, UK day trips to concerts or museums, transport to attend fundraising events, as well as special days out to catch up with friends and comrades.
To fund and facilitate these outings, the charity is wholly reliant on generous donations from members of the public, businesses and trusts and the amazing group of London licensed taxi drivers who offer their time and vehicles free.

For more information, to arrange interviews or to request images please contact
Christina Bowden
Bowden PR

Monday, December 09, 2019

TfL’s Dirty Little Secret... 160 Ventilation Shafts In London, Spewing Out Toxic Fumes From The Tube System.

As air quality and pollution has become fashionable to bleat about, TfL and certain London councils have used this propaganda to disguise their true agendas, which has seen London bought to a virtual gridlocked full stop.

Over the last year to 18 months, we as a trade have been under constant attack from many central London Councils and also from our own regulator. Our working road space has been reduced dramatically...the places where we can legally pick up and drop off are disappearing at a rate of knots, affecting the livelihoods of many drivers.

There are a few unfortunate Cabbies that, owing to the way the trade has been under constant attacked, have fallen on very hard times and it’s more than you would think. Drivers have fallen behind with mortgages, some have lost their homes, their marriages have broken down and they have lost their families. Many drivers are living day to day in a knife edge. 

The night rest stop where I go for a cup of tea and a chat, has a number of cabbies who can regularly be seen bedding down for the night in the car park. But with new bylaws seeing councils issuing penalty charge notices for stationary vehicles left with their engines idling, as drivers heat their vehicles over night, how long before we find the first cabby worried about extra bills, 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 could be put off ranking in the cold, and may well continue circulating, pumping out even more alleged toxic fumes, therefore adding to any perceived pollution problem.

The irony is, councils own guidelines say that employees should not work in temperatures below 13° centigrade. 
Again ironically, Westminster will ticket drivers with engines running on Warwick Avenue rank, yet TfL are allowed to pump out toxic fumes from the tube using the ventilation shaft by the side of the rank.

But, it’s not just Warwick Avenue, there are 160 tube ventilation shafts scattered around central London 

This is the vent for the tube on City Road.

When you did the first run in the blue book, did you ever notice this beautiful feature in the middle of Gibson Square...yes, it’s another ventilation shaft for the tube spewing out toxic air.

This feature above is a secret tunnel that leads from Park Crescent to the other side of the Marylebone Road, into Park Square... but another secret, it’s also another example of a toxic ventilation shaft.  

Meanwhile back to the 'Mean Streets'.
New traffic systems, mainly in Camden, Islington and City of London, widely used side roads (lovingly referred to as rat-runs) have been blocked, causing drivers to take longer routes around divisions adding extra mileage, making passenger trips more expensive, and again producing more exhaust gasses... it just doesn’t make sense. (Unless of course you follow the money!)

The idea of turning London into a carbon copy of Amsterdam or Copenhagen is causing massive congestion and 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. Again....follow the money!
Just investigate who is behind the sudden upsurge in cargo bikes!!!

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 or air quality. For instance how many BBC staff or workers and customers at Westfield, want to walk west along the A40 to Park Royal and beyond....but just in case they do, TfL have built them a walking and cycling lane along this major heavily used clearway with plans to go all the way to Uxbridge, reducing the number of lanes in places from three to two....and again causing extra unnecessary congestion and pollution. 

The Next Big Thing!
It’s all about the future instillation of a Carbon Tax, 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.

A lovely monument in Paternoster Square?
Nope, it’s another ventilation shaft from the tube

There seems to be a few disbelievers who are saying the tube is electric so how can that pollute with toxic air....if this is your argument, the link below is for you 

On the 17th October 2011 Robin Taylor made an FOI request asking TfL for the location of all the 160 ventilation shafts. This request was refused by TfL. 


The Taxi Trade has become a pawn in this game of aggressive persecution. Over the next year we will see more road space taken away, less places where we can’t pick up or set down, more 'Bus Gates' implemented and more exclusion from existing bus lanes all CCTV’d up, and raring to go, issuing fines left right and centre.

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

Watch this space for updates!