Saturday, March 14, 2020

Mike Browns Parting Gift... Private Cars To Be Banned In Central London

TfL commissioner Mike Brown,  said yesterday in the Evening Standard, that in the “medium to long term there is a major question to be asked about whether private cars should be in a central city area, in a city that is designed and laid out the way London’s streets are”.

In his interview in the Standard, he added: 
“It’s really not the best way to be travelling around the city.”

But then as TfL’s fortunes are fading fast, that’s exactly what he would say to try to get more people to squeeze onto the tube and buses. 

His comments are an indication  that the transport authority is planning for a largely car-free future in Central London which has been turned into a  congested and polluted mess by bad manning from both TfL and local councils. 

Mr Brown conceded that black cabs and mini­cabs, including ride-hailing apps, would continue to “have a role to play” after private vehicles have been banned. Of course they will as TfL make a large amount of money selling off driver and vehicular licenses. 

Mr Brown, who is standing down in May after just five years as commissioner, also wants big reductions in car use in the rest of outer London.

News that the Mayoral election is to be postponed for a year will see Khans plans to expand the ULEZ area out to the suburbs which could seriously damage his chances of being elected in 2021 as motorists fight back.   


Just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse, TfL plans to take a lane from the extremely busy A40, and give it over to cycling and walking. 

Perhaps the staff who work at Westfield and the BBC can walk or Cycle to work now from the Hanger Lane Gyratory all the way to Wood Lane. 

Should save the Beeb a fortune in Minicab fees

This was sent out yesterday by TfL as part of their weekend traffic updates....
White City - From Monday 16 until Sunday 22 March, the A40 will be closed westbound from the A3220 roundabout to Perryn Road every night between 22:00 and 05:00

This is for cycling and walking improvement works between Acton and Wood Lane. 

Diversions will be in place. Consider taking the A4 if driving from central London

Thursday, March 12, 2020

New Rapid Transport Bus Service to blame for job losses, say Black Taxis Boss

The introduction of the Glider bus service has resulted in 85 west Belfast black taxi drivers losing their jobs, a spokesperson has said.

Brian Barr, transport manager for West Belfast Black Taxis, claimed some users of the rapid tranport system were not paying for tickets and therefore regarded it as a free service, which was affecting the black taxi industry.

Translink, however, said it has no significant concerns about fare evasion and ticket inspectors carry out spot inspections every day at different locations.
London-style black taxis have been operating in west Belfast for more than 50 years.

When the Glider service went into operation in September 2018, West Belfast Black Taxis said it employed 215 drivers, however now it has 130.

Speaking to the BBC, Brian Barr said: "Our main criticism of the Glider would be that due to fares not being taken on board the service. A lot of people feel: 'I'll take a chance. I'll get on it free'.

"If they see a ticket inspector they will then get off. If things persist the way they are going, eventually the Belfast black taxis service could ultimately fade away.

"That is our worry. It's a real big concern at the moment."

The Glider bus service went into operation in September 2018

Mr Barr said the Department for Infrastructure (DfI) agreed to allow black taxis to provide feeder services for those in housing estates on the outskirts of west Belfast to the main Glider route, however this deal was not followed through with.
"They assured us that we would be providing the feeder services, from Whiterock, Glen, and Shaws Road," he said.

"We should have been used. We are part of the public transport network. We have the same licences as Translink. So I don't understand [why] at the last minute, there was a U-turn done and we were not advised."
The DfI said talks had taken place, however they were not successful.

"The Belfast Rapid Transit team engaged with West Belfast Black Taxi representatives in relation to them having a role in feeder services," a spokesperson said.
"However these discussions were not successful and this option was not considered further in the design of the system."

Mr Barr also argued that Translink had an advantage over black taxis as they received a government subsidy.

The DfI provided £94.4m in funding to the Glider service: £48.7m on infrastructure improvements, £24.2m on buses and £7.4m on new ticketing arrangements.

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Reports That TfLTPH Are Having Problems With Taxi Driver Licence Renewals

It would appear that TfL are playing games again, and while Private Hire drivers are Licensed and relicensed at the speed of light, Taxi driver renewals are again (in certain cases taking over four months to complete on line. 

A friend has posted online this communication from TfLTPH:
The Police at Stage 4 are entitled to take 60 days to complete their checks.

This does not mean that they will always take this long but unfortunately until that time has elapsed we are unable to chase them for you. We are unable to guarantee an exact date for when your disclosure will be finalised.

Never one to hold their hands up, TfLTPH are blaming the police. But DBS checks are not the only reason drivers are being held up. 

But don’t worry if you receive this email from TfLTPH, as under the Transport Act 1985 sec17(7), as long as you have completed all the renewal aspects before your current licence expires, your old licence continues to remain in force until you are in possession of your new licence. 

You are legally covered under the act to carry on working although you may be told by TfL you can’t work, but this is a lie on their part. 

The Transport Act 1985 sec17(7):

Where a person holds a licence which is in force when he applies for a new licence in substitution for it, the existing licence shall continue in force until the application for the new licence, or any appeal under this section in relation to that application, is disposed of, but without prejudice to the exercise in the meantime of any power of the licensing authority to revoke the existing licence.

In other words you can carry on working under your old licence until you are in receipt of a new licence or your old licence is revoked or suspended by a magistrate.


Funny through, we hear this same complaint every few weeks, that a driver has been told by TfL, (even after sending in their renewal papers well in advance.... some times four months before the current one expires) that they can’t work as there has been some sort of hold up.
Yet TfLTPH never appear to have a problem, processing 4-600 new Private Hire applications a week!

That’s almost 9,000 in four months yet they can’t keep up demand with renewing a decreasing number of licensed Taxi drivers renewals !!! 

So don’t worry and carry on regardless. 

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Taxi Charity For Military Veterans visit North Cheam Sports and Social Club

On the 5th March the Taxi Charity for Military Veterans escorted over 100 veterans to the North Cheam Sports and Social Club for lunch

The veterans were invited by Taxi Charity supporter and friend, Tony Millard, the Manager of the North Cheam Sports and Social Club, for one final veterans’ lunch before the club closes later this year.

Ian Parsons, Chairman, The Taxi Charity for Military Veterans, said, “Tony Millard is the most generous publican I have ever known. Every year since 2012, he has organised a wonderful lunch for the veterans which they always thoroughly enjoy. 

Tony is a great supporter of the charity and has raised thousands of pounds for us over the years and we are very grateful for everything he has done to promote the work we do.”

Marie Scott, a veteran WREN, who sent messages to and from the beaches on D Day, said “I have been lucky enough to attend several of the lunches that Tony has organised at North Cheam Sports and Social Club. 

They are always a super event, all the staff look after us so well, and we all have a great time catching up with our friends.”

After lunch The Taxi Charity thanked Tony Millard, for his many years of support and presented him with a framed photograph of their WWII veteran collection team who raise money for the club by shaking their buckets at train stations across London.

Fines For Idling To Increase From £20 To £80 In Central London...Follow The Money!!! Plus, Taxi Trade In Steep Decline

As we’ve said all along.... follow the money. 
We’ve seen one catastrophic traffic system disaster after another. Anyone with common sense could foretell the outcome of added congestion, added pollution, longer journey times... everyone that is except the planners! 

No one in their right mind could have made such a mess of the capitals transport system, so it has to be contrived. The proof being that not one council has held its hands up and said we were wrong, we made a mistake and reversed the system back to how it was previously.

Local councils and public bodies such as TfL give Londoners nothing, without looking forward towards a profit of sorts. The Bank Junction ban was never about cycle safety and better bus journey was always about the money and since implementation we’ve seen the CoL making millions in fines. 

Ken Livingston’s philosophy of before you can charge for congestion (pollution), you have to create it, seems to have been taken seriously by London’s planners. 

And now, certain central London councils are set to profit from vehicles standing stationary in the congestion, as fines will be issued by an army of street wardens.   

This below from Air Quality News: 
Drivers who leave their engines on when stationary could be fined up to £80 under new powers approved by the City of London Corporation today (March 9).

The Planning and Transportation Committee has backed an improved approach to the (perceived) problem of idling by increasing the maximum fine to £80, it had previously been limited under the Environment Act to £20 if paid on time.

The project is funded by the Mayor of London’s air quality fund and it will see officers from 32 London authorities joining together to target idling engine drivers.

The officers will initially issue warning notices to drivers, with the prospect of an £80 fine for non-compliance.

The city corporation will also lobby the Department for Transport for new signs to be installed across the city to educate drivers on this restriction as air quality campaigners are calling the current system of enforcement ‘not fit for purpose’.

Just think about what’s happening here!
Most Diesel engines today are cleaner than ever before, most being euro 6. 

There are now more cleaner diesels, more fully electric vehicles, more hybrid cars, buses, delivery vans than ever before.... and yet poor air quality caused by gridlock congestion, is escalating and spreading across London like a virus. 

Yet TfL and local council seem to be blind to the cause and affect of their new traffic systems inflicted on motorists and in most cases against the will of residents. Biggest insult to Londoners are the consultations that TfL and councils appear to take no notice of. 

This latest announcement about the increase in fines proves what we have been saying all along. 

  • It’s never been about safer streets 
  • It’s never been about cycle safety
  • It’s certainly not about air quality 
  • It’s all about the money.... end of!

London’s Taxi Trade In Decline:
TfL official statistics for last 12 months, show a marked decline in the number of Taxi drivers and Taxis, while Private Hire increases at a rate of knots. 

824 Taxi drivers left the trade
1088 Taxi vehicles decommissioned


4735 private hire drivers up, 
111,176 in total 

8680 private hire vehicles extra
96,074 in total.

Also, we’ve seen a massive decline in the number of Knowledge of London students 

Less than 1000 total candidates on the Knowledge of London

56’s - 471
28’s - 302
21’s - 170

Monday, March 09, 2020

Coronavirus Tube fears as TfL worker at Palestra tests positive for killer bug and UK toll hits 280

A TRANSPORT for London worker has tested positive for coronavirus in the capital’s traffic control centre building.

Worried staff at Palestra House, in Blackfriars, were told this morning that a colleague had been infected with the deadly virus as the number of UK cases today climbed to 280.

Worried staff at Palestra House, in Blackfriars, were told this morning that a colleague had been infected with the virus
London Mayor Sadiq Khan said people are unlikely to be advised to stop using public transport during the outbreak

London Mayor Sadiq Khan said people are unlikely to be advised to stop using public transport during the outbreak

But TfL staff were ordered to attend work as usual after the office where the person worked was thoroughly deep cleaned.

The building is home to the Surface Transport and Traffic Operations Centre, which monitors traffic congestion, incidents and major events in the capital.

The infected patient worked for TfL within the building but not in the control centre itself.

A source said: “Staff were only told about the case this morning and were shocked they were still allowed in to the office.

“They are worried but bosses have assured them it is safe for them to be there.”

There have been 280 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the UK, including 51 in London.

Three people have so far died after testing positive for the bug, two men and one woman.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan said people are unlikely to be advised to stop using public transport during the outbreak.

He said last week: “I don’t foresee a situation where we’re advising people not to use the Tube or public transport, but we review this each day.”

TfL said: “We are working closely with Public Health England and are following their advice after a member of staff tested positive for Covid-19.

“The safety of our staff and customers is our top priority, so we are taking all necessary precautions and a deep clean has taken place within the building used by the staff member.”
Source : The Sun, The Metro, Apple News 

You couldn’t make it up !!!
Sadiq Khan telling workers in London to stay home from work and self isolate, work from home 

Unless you work for TfL.... then it’s a different story. Palestra has been deep cleaned, tube stations and carriages have been fumigated and deep cleaned.... every one working for TfL is expected to turn up for work regardless. 

So again it’s one rule for TfL and a different one for everyone else.