Saturday, February 15, 2020

Week One And Ola Already Contravening Regulation, Going The Same Route As Uber

It would appear that new boy in town Ola, is going down the same route as Uber. 

A London Taxi knowledge student who has signed on to the app has reported that the Indian instant hailing app is already contravening it’s licence conditions 

But will TfL respond?
They haven’t shown any willingness to enforce the regulations in respect of these new apps that have recently appeared, and at present seem more interested in going the easy route of punishing Licensed Taxi drivers for the heinous, unsafe crime of ........over ranking!!!!

The KOL student posted this on twitter earlier:

Ola UK is failing in it’s duty of care in London. Ola support today confirmed a ‘Rider’ must be 18 to hold a ‘Rider Account’. Yet since Monday the majority of my rides have been ‘Minors’ with accounts. 

Ola say they are given extensive checks on drivers but are student found the only checks done are again online. He said it could be anyone sitting in front of the keyboard, Ola appear to be only too pleased to sign up as many drivers as possible. 

I’ve spoken to other knowledge students who say that the app is being shared with drivers who don’t hold PH licenses, just like the controversy with Uber’s 14,000 trips carried out by 41 unlicensed drivers. 

@TfLTPH This needs addressing 

It would appear that Ola are going down the same route as Uber in respect of the Private Hire Vehicles Act 1998.

How long before TfLTPH  revoke their licence ?
Look how long it’s taken them to deal with Uber.... 8 years now and for the last three at no cost for their licence whatsoever.

Don’t hold your breath waiting for TfL to safeguard the public, as public safety seems to be the last thing on TfLTPH ‘s agenda.

Extra Comment From London Taxi Drivers Forum:
What I want to know is how Ola can claim to have 'High Quality Drivers'?

It's their main selling point on all the billboards.
Who has tested them?
Answer... Nobody!

Trading Standards need to investigate this. The public are seriously being misled.

The only form of transport that can claim to have 'High Quality Drivers' is the London Taxi trade...Period!
That's what the Knowledge is for and the advanced driving test that we all took.

Anything less is absolute bullshit!  

Friday, February 14, 2020


·  Private hire drivers will now be allowed to work simultaneously for multiple platforms, such as local companies alongside Uber.  
·  The move could see work opportunities and income improve for thousands of private hire drivers in the Nottingham area. 

Licensing conditions changed following a campaign by local private hire drivers, which won support from local MPs and then Nottingham City Council. 

Nottingham private hire drivers will now be allowed to work for multiple app-based platforms, as in other major cities in the UK. This change in licensing conditions, which was voted for unanimously by Nottingham City Council's Licencing Committee in December, was temporarily delayed by a failed legal challenge from Nottingham's largest private hire car provider DG Cars but has now come into effect. 

Azeem Hanif, chair, UPHD Nottingham branch, says: "This is great news, not just for Nottingham city's 2,500 private hire drivers but for customer safety. Under the old system, drivers were being forced to work longer hours for less pay, just to make ends meet. Shorter shifts and more control for drivers means safer journeys for customers. 

Councillor Toby Neal has worked hard alongside MPs and UPHD members to put public safety and drivers' rights at the heart of this process. The result for Nottingham will be safer streets and fairer conditions for private hire drivers, so we couldn't be happier."

Drivers will still be required to obtain and hold a current driver and vehicle licence for each driver, but will no longer be prohibited from working for more than one provider at the same time, giving these precarious workers more control over their income and the structure of their working lives. 

The change follows a grassroots campaign by members of the Nottingham branch of the United Private Hire Drivers (UPHD) branch of the Independent Workers of Great Britain (IWGB) union. 

The restriction barring private hire drivers from working on multiple platforms was one of the first issues raised by members of the Nottingham UPHD branch after its founding in November 2017. 

When the branch discovered that there was no basis for these restrictions in government legislation and that in other major cities it is common for private hire drivers to work simultaneously for multiple platforms, a campaign for reform was launched in Nottingham. 

The campaign soon garnered support from local Labour MPs, MP for North Nottingham, Alex Norris and MP for South Nottingham, Lillian Greenwood, in accordance with the party's manifesto commitment to support precarious and gig economy workers. 

Proposals developed by Nottingham UPHD were revised in dialogue with Nottingham City Council and in December 2019 voted for unanimously by the Licencing Committee. 

Source : PHTM on line.

Don’t Cry For Me Camden Council, The Truth Is I Cant Ride A Bike 🎶

Statement on Twitter from Elaine Paige:
What’s happening to London? Tottenham Court Road and Gower Street road closures, more cycle lanes, with no access for cars and taxis. 

Our ageing population can't all ride bikes. Access 2 hospitals, essential services and public transport, all affected. 

With the extensive gridlock producing toxic air through increased emissions! 
SadiqKhan how's this helping?

This madness on Tottenham Court Road is down to a dual agenda from Camden Council. 

They believe if they displace traffic around the borough, Camden will become a pollution free zone. 

It would appear that Camden’s planners do not understand that pollution is not static, it flows across the borough. 

But it’s also been alleged that certain Camden Councillors have a financial interest in a bicycle Taxi and delivery service. 

We seen this for many years now that everything Camden touches turns to congestion.

This Tweet says it all about the arrogant attitude of Camden’s councillors.
Latest no brainers from this loonie council which will greatly affect the every day lives of the residents of Georgiana Street, is no left turn from Hawley Road (Camden Street) into Camden Road which will be implemented on Monday 16th. The Toxic air in their street will increase massively. 

We will also see an increase in dangerous driving at the junction as traffic turns right and then operates a u-turn. 

Another slap in the face for the taxi trade is the impending new no right turn from Goodsway into Camley Street, forcing drivers who wish to use the rest and refreshment facilities at the Kings Cross Taxi Centre have to take diversional routes to access the centre, involving longer journeys, again creating extra preventable emissions. 

City Hall and London Mayor Sadiq Khan, Aline with his Lycra Tsar Will Norman...appear to care not for the elderly, or those with disabilities.

Roads in borough after borough will become no more than race tracks for those on 2 wheels, all under the guise of lower emissions. 

Its a complete con. 
Its social cleansing on a massive scale.

More on Camden’s self inflicted chaos in this post below

Cyclist Albert Beals Letter To Camden New Journal Regarding Tottenham Court Road Taxi Ban

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

If You Think Uber Crashes Are Bad Now, Wait Till They Start Using Autonomous Vehicles

Walter Huang had told his wife that the vehicle's autopilot had seen it veer towards the same barrier where he crashed.

An Apple engineer who died when his self-driving Tesla hit a concrete barrier had previously complained about the car malfunctioning on the same stretch of road.

Walter Huang had been driving a 2017 Tesla Model X near Mountain View in California at the time of the collision in March 2018.

But documents released by the National Transportation Safety Board say the 38-year-old had told his wife that the vehicle's autopilot feature had veered it towards the barrier where he later crashed.

The family's lawyer wrote: "Walter said the car would veer toward the barrier in the mornings when he went to work."

Mr Huang had also described the malfunctioning to his brother and a friend who owned the same model, the lawyer added.

Records from an iPhone found at the scene showed Mr Huang may have used it less than a minute before the crash but, while data had been used while the vehicle was moving, the source of the transmissions was unclear.

Mr Huang's family is suing Tesla and California's Department of Transportation for allegedly failing to maintain the road.

The NTSB said transport officials failed to fix the barrier after it was damaged in another crash, 11 days before the one that killed Mr Huang.

In the Florida crash, Mr Banner had turned on the autopilot of his Tesla Model 3 and taken his hands off the steering wheel 10 seconds before his crash, NTSB documents revealed.

The vehicle then drove under a tractor-trailer that was crossing in front of it, slicing the car's roof off and killing Mr Banner.

The tractor-trailer's driver Richard Wood had said he saw the car's headlights as he pulled onto the highway but thought he had time to make it across.

Data from the Tesla's computer showed Mr Banner hit the brakes less than a second before the crash.

A hearing will be held on 25 February when the NTSB will determine the cause of Mr Huang's crash and make safety recommendations.

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

If you think London’s streets are polluted, wait until you go underground.

Pollution in some Underground stations is up to 30 times worse than what you’d find on the average London street, a new Transport for London study shows.

Tube chiefs today (11/02/2020) came under pressure to reveal full details of the amount of harmful dust on the Underground.

A government study last year found that levels of PM2.5 fine particulates were up to 30 times higher than beside the capital’s busiest roads — and “likely” to be harmful to health.

While the make-up of the PM2.5 particles was different below ground, and passengers were on average exposed to them for brief periods, it called on Transport for London to test for metals including arsenic and chromium. 

Today the London Assembly urged TfL to make public its research by the end of the month. Environment committee chairwoman Caroline Russell said there were “grave risks” associated with all of the chemical components found.

 In a letter to TfL, she said: “Why is TfL not releasing information relating to the levels of arsenic and chromium VI in the public domain?” Mayor Sadiq Khan admitted last month that investigating air quality underground was a “matter of urgency”.
He said there was “currently insufficient evidence of the health effects of Underground particulate matter” but TfL had commissioned King’s College London and Imperial College London to conduct research. 

TfL has previously identified 31 stations on the Victoria, Piccadilly and Northern lines as among the “dirtiest” for dust levels. These included Finsbury Park, King’s Cross, Piccadilly Circus and Bank
TfL said today that preliminary results indicated that levels of arsenic were less than one per cent of the regulatory limit and chromium VI levels less than 10 per cent of the limit.
Lilli Matson, TfL’s chief safety, health and environment officer, said the particulates found on the Tube “were not known to have the same adverse health effects” as those above ground, which are carcinogens.  She added that TfL spent £60 million every year cleaning trains, stations and tunnels.

Source: Evening Standard. 

Also See Taxi Leaks Article : TfL's Dirty Little Secret:


Something else for you to read while you're sitting on a rank, waiting for a job!!!

"There are too many people making too many disjointed decisions"
Says Steve McNamara, chief executive, LTDA

How London got rid of private cars – and grew more congested than ever.

Monday, February 10, 2020

Yet Another Ride Share Instant Hail App Hits London Today.

Another ride-share instant hail app Ola launches in London on Monday. 

India-based minicab firm Ola claims it will “focus on drivers, safety and a collaborative approach”. Something we’ve already heard from Uber but who are currently fighting an appeal after being refused a licence for failing to focus on customer safety and being unfit to hold a PH licence. 

Along with Ola, the London Taxi trade faces stiff competition in from other mini cab apps such as Bolt, Kapten and Kabbee.

Ola was founded in 2011 and began operating as a trial in the UK in South Wales in August 2018.

20,000 drivers have already signed up to Ola's platform in London, but unfortunately for the public, most will be Uber drivers working on a second or third app. 

The minicab firm said it has 20,000 drivers signed up to its platform in the capital and will be “fully operational from day one”(Today).

Something you won’t read about in the story out out in the media from Ola. 
We mustn’t forget that these drivers signing up for Ola are recycled from Uber, where 13,000 have been shown to have fake criminal record checks and unbelievably 600,000 complaints in just the first 6 months of last year. These are the same drivers who have recorded 100’s violent rapes 1,000’s of sexual assaults, large amounts of hacking and customer fraud, on a scale never before seen in the private hire market. 

In articles in today’s media Ola state: To make the app appealing, drivers will retain all of their earnings for the first six weeks and will then benefit from “market-leading commission rates”.

The company described its approach to passenger safety as “industry-leading”, through measures such as 24/7 voice support, an option to share journey details with friends and family, and in-app emergency features.... something they Uber always boasted about which didn’t stop the 600,000 complaints from passengers  rolling in, while they were on probation over the first 6 months of last year. 

It also pledged to maintain its “collaborative approach” with regulators and local authorities.

Simon Smith, head of Ola International, said: “The overwhelmingly positive reception to Ola since launching in the UK in 2018 illustrates the significant demand from drivers, riders and communities.

“We are working closely with drivers to build a high-quality and reliable service for Londoners.

“Launching in London is a major milestone for us and we are keen to offer a first-class experience for all our customers.”

Ola say they will be offering passengers the choice of using a private hire vehicle or a taxi. While this may be the case in the provinces, it certainly isn’t the case in the Capital, where no Taxis will be signing up to a minicab app. 

Uber who made the same promises on multiple occasions says its London operation has 45,000 licensed drivers and 3.5 million customers.

Transport for London rejected Uber’s application for a new licence in November 2019 due to “several breaches that placed passengers and their safety at risk”.

In spite of the multiple rapes, sexual assaults and fraudulent actions, Uber has been allowed to continue operating while it appeals against the decision... simply because TfL just let their licence probation expire, instead of revoking their licence as they would with any other minicab or Taxi operator. 

Same uninsured drivers, same predators, same drug dealers, different company !  

In an already over saturated market, which is currently seeing London streets gridlocked (so much for cleaner air quality)...why have TfL licensed so many minicab operator licenses?

Many of these companies are registered abroad and don’t contribute to the exchequer by paying their fare whack of Tax!!!
We ask, are TfL putting their own interest above that of the tax paying public, and just scooping up the licence fees... having no regard for these companies tax contributions?

Another question that needs answering:
Uber have records of all the journeys (14,000) completed, which were illegal because drivers who were uninsured, had fake documents, accepted the bookings.

Why haven’t TfL or the CPS prosecuted Uber or the drivers themselves ???

Perhaps Andrew Boff, Shaun Bailey or Greg Hands, would like to answer these questions ???