Saturday, January 25, 2020

IMPORTANT STATEMENT FROM THE ITA/DDD


*SERVANT LEADERSHIP*

It is acknowledged among the wise that to be of service, to be of use, is our highest goal.

The ITA/DDD haven't disbanded.
We wait in the wings in case one day we can be of use.

We are not an Org, we never wanted to be and have no political ambitions.

Unfortunately some drivers thought TfL or the councils would come running cap in hand pleading for us to stop our protests after a fortnight. Or that the Tory led DfT would step in to save the trade they tried to destroy.
Rome wasn't built in a day, but some drivers expected our demos to be instant like coffee, but unfortunately we could not convince our detractors to either turn up or shut up.
The Can't Demo, Won't Demo mob, especially the vocal snipers, betrayed this trade to our enemy.
How did these anti-protest pontificators think their sniping and stay away attitude would go down at City Hall?
Did they think they were helping those who were willing to fight, or did they know deep down that their negative rhetoric and inaction would help bolster the enemy's resolve?
Some people want others to fail, to excuse them from the fray.

No one can claim Danny or I have egos - only a close few knew who we were - SPD was our voice and face in the Square and Jim was our voice in print.
We do not feel the LTDA or anyone has jumped on our bandwagon, because we never had one.

No one can question Angie or Trevor, they never sought recognition - they merely wanted what we all wanted.

Mc and Massett are treated with distrust because they have previous.
If they play true to what is expected of them they will pay their share of the £12k for some positive PR and hope the QC comes back with a bowed head claiming we cannot win.
Or they will be expected to pull out before we get to court.
Or they might realise they must do something or be burned alive by disgruntled villagers banging on their castle gates.
Either way I cannot see that trying to get the knowhow and money to the table to fight our case as a bad thing.

No one can touch the UTAG money - that was raised for a specific, altogether different purpose.

The bad feeling between the RLTDA and Mc's LTDA cannot possibly be more important than beating these council locusts, can it?
Danny and I have now had that vendetta thrown in our collective face, as if we betrayed someone or a group of someone's.

I quite like Grant. He is an amiable type of feller.
But I was disappointed that he or someone at the LCDC thought #WhereBusesGoTaxisGo is not worth their £4k split.
To them, it seems, winning back our roads is not as worthy as good public relations, to be seen as part of the Uber appeal playing with the big boys is obviously more important.
What will LCDC's interested party in the appeal achieve for the trade outside of the LCDC looking busy?

All our friendly MP's and Peers have been eaten up with Brexit, the General Election and political infighting during our struggle.
We have to accept that our plight is way down the political food chain.
There is no cavalry on its way to save us. We are on our own.
We have already had the tarmac stolen from under our tires, so if we fight we can either win or remain under siege - we cannot lose, because that has already happened.
TfL, if they wished, could click their fingers and we would have our rights to access whipped away before anyone could say "Leon Daniels."
If we do not fight this expensive legal battle to have our rights of passage enshrined in law, then we will be forever at the mercy of TfL and the anti-Taxi marxists plotting our demise from our own Town Halls.

TfL are to blame for a lot of things, but they are not really stopping Taxis going where buses go. It is councils like Camden, Tower Hamlets, Hackney and Islington who we must take on in court!
And let us not forget the corrupt City of London.

The problem we face is that most drivers do not understand what we are trying to achieve. They just do not get it.

We (Danny, Tommy, Sean Pier, Ossie, Jimmy, Gary, Lee, Andy, Dean, Paul, Mark, etc.) were left disappointed that the LCDC pulled out after saying they would back the legal route.
Let's not beat about the Bush, they welched.
We never once thought that drivers would be up in arms that the LTDA were going to put their fair share into the pot.

I was surprised to say the least that my Tweet "Well done to the #UCG and #LTDA 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻
What happened to the LCDC?" would be met with such vilification.
It seems I can congratulate the UCG, but not the LTDA.

We honestly thought everyone would be pleased we got all three Orgs around the table talking to an eminent QC about fighting back, about claiming what is rightfully ours, about legally taking back what has been stolen from us.
Instead we were met with derision and anger because we actually tried to win.

"How sharper than a serpent's tooth it is to have a thankless child!"

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Taxi driver wins bus gates fine battle against Kirklees Council


Mohammed Naim takes case to independent adjudicator after council refuses to cancel fines

Mohammed Naim takes case to independent adjudicator after council refuses to cancel fines
A taxi driver, who was fined for driving through a bus gate, has won a battle to have his tickets cancelled.

Mohammed Naim was caught driving his hackney carriage through a bus gate on Market Street, in Huddersfield town centre, on two occasions in October.

Hackney carriages – taxis which are licensed to ply for hire – are permitted to drive through the bus gate and use the bus lane.
But Kirklees Council issued two £60 fines as Mr Naim had failed to display a taxi sign on the roof of his Vauxhall Astra.

Mr Naim appealed to the council saying his vehicle was a hackney carriage regardless of whether it was carrying a taxi sign on the roof.

Kirklees Council, however, upheld the penalty charges saying: "Hackney carriage vehicles are authorised to access bus gates in Huddersfield but only when they are in use at the time and available for fee paying passenger journeys. Drivers cannot use the bus gate for their own convenience."

But Mr Naim, who has held a hackney carriage licence for 30 years, took the decision to the Traffic Penalty Tribunal who overturned the council's fines.

The parking adjudicator said: "The fact that Mr Naim has not provided evidence he was carrying a passenger at the time is therefore irrelevant. 

The question in this appeal then is whether a potential breach of the licence conditions by failing to display a roof top sign means that the vehicle is no longer a licensed hackney carriage. 


The answer to that question is no and the vehicle remains at all times a hackney carriage...
"I conclude that regardless of whether the roof top sign was present or not, the vehicle was in law a licensed hackney carriage at the time it used the bus gate and no contravention occurred on either occassion."

Mr Naim, 55, of Birkby, said he was pleased with the decision but disappointed with how Kirklees Council handled his case.

He said: "A hackney carriage vehicle is a taxi 24/7 regardless of the roof sign or not. The roof sign was removed because the vehicle had been on the motorway and it is normal practice to take the roof sign off for safety reasons.

"The council left me with no alternative but to appeal against the two penalty charges. Today I have won both appeals.

"Surely the council should (know) better? Disappointed with council's approach to this issue."

Kirklees Council has been approached for comment.

600 Hundred Disadvantaged and Special Needs Children Party in London


On Sunday 19 January, the London Taxi Drivers Charity for Children hosted its annual Mad Hatters Tea Party for over 600 disadvantaged and special needs children, at the Grosvenor House Hotel on Park Lane


The children were entertained with a disco and live music from Britain’s Got Talent’s, Donchez Dacres, tribute acts, Elvis Shmelvis and Ray “Elton” Johnson, dance group, Dance 21, beat-boxer Dana McKeon, Action Amanda, who’s passion is to keep children healthy and happy and the Crystal Palace Cheerleaders. 


The children also enjoyed meeting, characters including Elsa and Anna from Frozen, Alice in Wonderland, Cinderella, The Little Mermaid, the Queens Park Rangers football mascots, characters from Star Wars and Pearly Kings and Queens from many London Boroughs.


The London Taxi Drivers Charity for Children has held a children’s party every year for the last forty eight years and the success of the event is down to the incredible support the charity has from; London cab drivers, charity volunteers and those who help on the day including London Fire brigade, Location Medical Services for their first aid support, Redbridge, Barking & Dagenham and Westminster Volunteer Police Cadets and the Management and staff of the JW Marriott Grosvenor House.


Bradley Winfield, Chairman of the London Taxi Drivers Charity for Children said, “The London Taxi Drivers Charity for Children’s, Mad Hatters Tea Party is such a special day for everyone involved. 


The charity is always overwhelmed by the generosity of those who support this party with donations of their money, their time or their services. 


It is a real privilege to be part of this annual event and to see so many deserving children, their parents, guardians or carers, enjoying this magical afternoon.”

About London Taxi Drivers' Charity for Children
The London Taxi Driver’s Charity for Children arranges days out in the UK, for special needs and disadvantaged children and provides funding to support children who need recreational, technology and mobility equipment. 
Founded in 1928, the charity is funded totally through donations and supported by an amazing group of volunteer London Taxi Drivers who give up their time to take the children and their carers on day trips. 

Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cornwall is Patron.

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Deputy Mayor For Transport, Heidi Alexander’s reply ‬to Labour Councillor’s objection to proposed left turn ban, reads like a comedy script‬

Tottenham Court Road goes Buses and cycles only in just over a months time.... but if you think that’s the end of TfL meddling in the transport structure of the borough run by Lycra clad loonies... thing again!!!

Resident campaigners  are re-bolstering their efforts to halt plans by Transport for London’, to introduce a block on the current left turn from Camden Street to Camden Road.

The transport authority are to introduce a pedestrian crossing across Camden Road by the British Transport Police headquarters, which will be facilitated by the new no left turn. 

Local residents say they support the crossing, idea but urge TfL to consider other options on the proposed ban, including add­ing a traffic filter light onto the traffic signals.

Phil Kemp, who lives in Jeffreys Street, said it will push traffic trying to get to Holloway across the junction, then using residential streets as rat runs to get back onto Camden Road. It would then only be a matter of time before the Council blocked entry to the local streets, causing another no go area similar to Fitzrovia.  

Even the Camden Cycling Campaign are against the ban! They said many on two wheels were concerned that banning the turn will put more traffic on the side streets. Funny though they’ve never come out about other Camden schemes that have done just this. 

Writing in the Local paper this week, Kate Gemmell from Tenants Residents Associations Camden Town (TRACT), said: “The issues with the junction could be addressed with a bit more Intelligent planning, common sense and adjustment to the traffic light sequence and an introduction of the 20mph speed limit to both Camden Street and Camden Road through this busy section of town.”

Labour ward councillor Richard Cotton said the plans were “disastrous” for residential streets.

“The traffic is like water, it has to escape somewhere,” he said. “I did write back to them and said it seems to me that almost everybody has been ignored.”

In a letter to Andrew Dismore, London Assembly member for Camden and Barnet, Heidi Alexander, the deputy Mayor for Transport said the junction was “one of the most dangerous junctions in London”.

The response to Cllr Cottons request by Heidi Alexander is more like a script for stand up night at the Apollo. 

Responding to concerns about traffic on residential streets, she said: 
“As with all TfL schemes, this change has been modelled and TfL is confident that traffic is expected to disperse over a wider area. 

When alternative options were considered, which did not include the banned left turn, traffic impacts on Camden Street would likely result in vehicles seeking to ‘rat run’ to avoid the traffic queue leading up to Camden Road. 

This traffic queue would also have resulted to delays for the 10,000 bus passengers that travel through the junction in the morning peak.”

Proving that Heidi is definitely not the right person for the Mayors deputy on Transport matters... but then, we already knew that (roll on the Mayoral elections)

TAXI LEAKS EXTRA BIT : 
Let’s hope all the residents of Camden  remember Heidi’s reply at the up-coming elections and they vote accordingly. 

Objections and representations on TfL’s plans can be made until February 6. Mr Dismore said it was a “pity” that TfL had not listened to residents’ feedback.



  On reflection:
This again is more proof, if any were needed, that cab drivers are their own worst enemy. 

This proposal got through on just 300 votes on the consultation. 
Cab drivers didn’t bother to vote, just like they (95%) don’t bother to protest or demonstrate.... they expect others to fight the fight for them while they just continue to work on.

They don’t do consultations and they don’t do on-line petitions. 
Funny enough, half the trade believe that they pay associations and unions to fight for them on their behalf.... wonder how many of these drivers still believe in Santa Claus and the tooth fairy ???