Friday, March 20, 2020

UTAG Suspend Contributions From Supporters

Suspension of UTAG supporters payments.

Dear Member,

Recent developments in the Governments approach to combating the Covid19 virus has seen a marked downturn in our work levels.

We have no idea how long this situation will last but are fully cognisant of the financial effect facing us all.

For the reasons stated we have decided to suspend all payments toward the £250 Full Member status for the next 3 months. 

This will take effect from today, Friday 20th March and will last until Friday, June 19th.

We shall then review the situation and if work levels are back to normal we shall contact to reinstate your chosen payment plan.

Please be assured that this 3-month break will have no adverse effect on your right to any compensation that may arise from a commercial case against TfL.

Everyone who fulfils the £250 donation criteria will be eligible, despite a payment break.

You do not need to do anything; we will do all that is needed.

We have also arranged a Freephone helpline for any member who may have questions on this or any other UTAG matters.

This number is 0800 302 9460.

Judicial Review 

We applied to the High Court to Judicially Review the decision of TfL to allow Uber's continued operation despite their refusal to renew the ULL operators licence.

This application has been denied by Mrs Justice AmandaTipple.

In the opinion of our QC, her reason for rejection is wholly unacceptable and we have challenged it by way or requesting an Oral Hearing at the High Court. 

This request is a matter of right and we await the date of the hearing.

Such hearings will be conducted by a different Judge and we feel the decision will be reversed, allowing. our JR to go ahead.

We will update you asap.

In closing, we should like to thank all of you for your invaluable support.
UTAG is only as strong as our supporters. 

With your support, we can ensure the future of our world-renowned trade.

Thank you so much.

Best wishes
On behalf of everyone in team UTAG

Angela and Trevor
United Trade Action Group

A message to Taxi App companies, CC clearance companies, representative Orgs and Taxi Unions... now would be a good time to also announce suspension of subscriptions and commissions. 

It will only take one to step up to the mark, and the others will follow!

When this is over, we will remember those who supported us, the drivers.

Thursday, March 19, 2020

LEVC And Black Horse Offer TX Customers Three Months Payment Holiday

In response to the current Coronavirus crisis LEVC and Black Horse have agreed to support our customers by offering a 3 month suspension of finance payments on existing finance contracts. Anyone that has taken out a Black Horse finance product for the purchase of their TX can apply for this payment suspension. 

These are challenging times for everyone but the Taxi trade has endured many tough times over its long and proud history in London and many other UK cities. It will endure this one too! However, we’re aware that we can play a vital role is softening the impact of this current crisis and we recognise your efforts to keep working and keep Britain moving! 

We are hopeful that this current crisis will have passed in 3 months’ time and in the meantime this payment holiday is intended to bridge this period of uncertainty for all of our customers.

If you would like to register your interest for a 3 month payment holiday then please fill out the form on this page.

Once you have submitted this form you will receive an email within 48 hours that will explain clearly how to make a formal application to put this in place for your own agreement. We have asked you to identify the date of your next anticipated payment on this form however please do not make any alterations to your current direct debit or payment arrangements as this may jeopardise your eligibility for a break in future payments.

Please note that filling out this form is not part of the formal application process for a three month payment suspension. 

However, by registering your interest here you will be prioritised when processing of applications begins in the next 48 hours. Full details of the application process will be sent to you once this form has been submitted.

This is all we have so far from Mercedes 


Unfortunately, not everyone is as understanding as LEVC, Black Horse and Ascott’s....
But rest assured when this emergency is over... we will remember those who treated as well against 
those who treated the trade with contempt.

BREAKING NEWS 19/03/2020 Ascott Cabs suspend all vehicle rentals till first of March to help drivers at this difficult time. 
This statement from them:

*An update to all of our drivers - 19th March 2020*

As new reports of Covid-19 continue to develop, the welfare of our employees, customers and drivers is our highest priority.

This is not an easy time for the trade.

In light of the ongoing situation, we will be CANCELLING ALL RENTAL PAYMENTS for our fleet drivers from Monday 23rd March, until Friday 1st May 2020.

We hope that this gives you one less thing to worry about at such an uncertain time.

As much valued customers, we are committed to assisting you and keeping you as up to date as we possibly can.

Stay safe and well!

The Ascott Family.


Wednesday, March 18, 2020

UCG Letter To The Chancellor of the Exchequer, The Rt Hon Rishi Sunak

17 March 2020
The Rt Hon Rishi Sunak MP Chancellor of the Exchequer HM Treasury
1 Horse Guards Road London SW1A 2HQ

Dear Mr Sunak
I am writing to you as the General Secretary of the United Cabbies Group on behalf of our members to ask you to urgently announce the range of measures the Government propose to implement for self-employed sole traders.

London’s Taxis have been seen on the streets of the capital since the 17th Century. In 1654, an Act of Parliament was passed making taxi driving a profession. 

Thisprofessionismaintainedbytheinfamous ‘Knowledge of London’. Introduced as a requirement in 1865, the Knowledge spurred social mobility, allowing working class people to find solace and pride in a trade that encompassed London.

As you will appreciate the Government advice to travel only if necessary, alongside the decision by the Prime Minister yesterday which resulted in the closure of theatres and other key hospitality venues has had a significant impact on our members who now face an unprecedented drop in demand and ultimately income. 

This comes on the back of a challenging period over the past weeks due to large numbers of Londoner’s being encouraged to work from home and many organisations avoiding all but essential business travel.

We acknowledge these are unprecedented times and our trade has been swift to act; taxi proprietors and suppliers began contacting drivers to pass on significant reductions in taxi rents and servicing where this was possible to do on Sunday evening. 

Some drivers have been able to secure payment breaks for a short period of time and the 3-month mortgage holiday will help others. The HMRC offer of time to pay will provide some support.

Whilst each of the 20,000 drivers runs a de facto individual business, we have no commercial premises as our taxis ply for hire on the streets of London but we have had the same or greater impact on our trade as those faced by small businesses and the tourism/hospitality sectors we service. 

We have significantly high costs to operate our business due to the conditions of fitness we are required to work within, yet we have been excluded from the £3,000 cash grant you propose to grant to 700,000 small businesses. The extension of this grant to the taxi trade would be a financial lifeline

The announcements to date do not go far enough for self-employed taxi drivers who make a significant contribution annually to HMRC. 

The lack of action at this stage will leave our members and their families with no income and unable to meet their financial commitments. 

This is not acceptable, and time is not on our side. Action to rectify this hardship is urgently required.

I request to meet with you as soon as possible to discuss what emergency action the Government can take to ensure taxi drivers and their families are fully supported in these exceptionally difficult times.
Please contact me on 020 7100 5206 to arrange a meeting to discuss this urgent issue. Yours sincerely

Trevor Merralls 
General Secretary 
United Cabbies Group

Trevor Merralls also wrote an open letter addressed to the Secretary of State for Health Matt Hancock MP

"Dear Mr Hancock

"I am writing to you as the General Secretary of the United Cabbies Group on behalf of our members to ask you to give serious consideration to the way in which London Taxis can be effectively utilised as part of the range of measures the Government propose to implement for Covid-19.

"As referenced in the Coronavirus Bill temporary legislation which focuses on dealing with easing of the burden on frontline NHS and adult social care staff London’s longest serving public transport provider, London Taxis, are still operating and can provide a fully inclusive and accessible door to door service which can be utilised to act and support the emergency services to deliver people, medicine and other necessities.

"Some of the proposed changes as referenced in the Coronavirus Bill temporary legislation focus on dealing with easing the burden on frontline NHS and adult social care staff, and some support people and communities in taking care of themselves, their families and loved ones, and their wider community.

"Similar to the Royal Mail’s position, the London Taxi Trade is well positioned in view of our purpose built vehicle where the partition can be clinically sealed, our unique training and enhanced vetting to support essential public services, provide a link to deliveries to the elderly, vulnerable and those self-isolating in and around London is this unprecedented crisis.

"Sanitisation is being carried out by drivers to ensure a safe clean environment for the travelling public and with a significant downturn in workload due to the Government’s advice on self-isolation and social distancing, are uniquely placed to play our role and Londoner’s where we can.

"As you will appreciate the Government advice to travel only if necessary, alongside the decision by the Prime Minister yesterday which resulted in the closure of theatres and other key hospitality venues has had a significant impact on our members who now face an unprecedented drop in demand and ultimately income.

"Yours sincerely
Trevor Merralls
General Secretary
United Cabbies Group"

TAXI LEAKS EXTRA BIT : from Frank Bullit
Now the NHS Is under unprecedented pressure and stress due to the Corvid19 virus, 
some people are saying, all those who use 
TAX Avoiding corporate’s like UBER... have played their part in undermining revenues which could have been used for the current NHS emergency




Monday, March 16, 2020

In The Event That TfL Licensing And Vehicle Passing Closes Due To pandemic

There has been talk that TfL may shortly be closing down certain services. Drivers have asked what happens if they close the passing stations?

‪If @TfLTPH do close licensing and passing stations because of this Pandemic, ‬don’t worry.... as long as you’ve completed all necessary applications, your existing licenses, which includes your cab licence plate, will stay valid until the passing centres or the licensing centre reopen.‬

‪You are legally covered by the Transport Act 1985 sec17(7)‬

Below is confirmation from the former TfL Director Leon Daniels. 
Apparently this arrangement is not extended to private hire. 

Dear Mr Thomas,
I refer to your email to Sir Peter Hendy regarding the provisions of section 17(7) of the Transport Act 1985 in relation to taxi drivers renewing their licences. Please accept my apologies for the delay in providing a reply.

As far as is possible we will issue a driver his or her new licence in advance of their old licence expiring.

However, this is dependent on the driver submitting a complete and timely application, which includes the result of the DBS check and any other information that is required, as we cannot make a licensing decision until this information is received. 

It is therefore imperative that drivers start the application process in good time to allow for all necessary checks to be completed before their licence expires.

Where we are provided with a complete application, including the results of the DBS check and any other necessary information, but have not yet made a licensing decision before the old one expires, the existing licence will remain in force until a decision is made in accordance with section 17(7). 
In these circumstances, a driver will not be issued with, nor require, a temporary licence pending a decision being made on their application.

Please note that contrary to the comment in your email, section 17 of the Transport Act 1985 only applies to London taxi driver and vehicle licences, not London private hire vehicle driver licences.

Kind regards

Leon Daniels | Managing Director  
Transport for London | Surface Transport | Palestra |
11th Floor - Zone R4| 197 Blackfriars Road|Southwark|SE1 8NJ

We’ve heard the news over the weekend that certain Taxi garages have reduced their rental fee, which is helpful at this time.

We now have good news from Credit Card equipment provider CMT. 
in a customer email today they stated:
CMT’s pricing policy of not charging monthly fees means that you will not be penalised if you’re not working. Similarly, no minimum usage criteria will apply so that our payment system remains truly pay-as-you-go. It is important to us as a company that you are not penalised if you’re unable to work or, in cases such as with COVID-19, penalised because the work simply isn’t out there.

But it doesn’t end there.

All of us in the Taxi industry, Drivers, Businesses & Service Providers alike will already have felt the effects of a downturn in passenger numbers. Looking at the timelines suggested in the news regarding the spread of COVID-19, it looks highly likely that this downturn will last weeks if not months. As a result, effective from Midnight today (17th March) through to 1st June, we have removed ARRO’s 8% commission fee. Whether the ARRO job is an e-Hail from a passenger or a Concierge ride from a Hotel or Hospital no fee will be charged.

Sunday, March 15, 2020

Gary gets an unexpected extra woman gives birth in the back of his cab.

London Taxi driver Gary Wilson, was driving a couple to University College Hospital in central London on Thursday as the mother-to-be had gone into labour.

During the journey they asked Mr Wilson to pull over and "all of a sudden the baby came out", he said.

Paramedics arrived and took the family to hospital. The girl was named Camille and the family said she was doing well.
During the journey, the father had asked Mr Wilson how long it would take to get to the hospital before telling him: "I don't think we're going to make it."

"I heard the mum make a lot of noises in the back and I thought 'oh my god'," the cabbie said.

After the father called the hospital and 111, he handed the phone to the Mr Wilson who coordinated the arrival of paramedics while the baby was born.

Within half an hour the dad came out of the taxi with the baby and said 'I'm sorry about the mess in your taxi'," Mr Wilson said.

The family, who asked not to be named, later sent a message thanking him for his help and to offer to pay to clean the cab, adding they "won't forget you and your cab".

Mr Wilson said he was just "happy it all turned out well".

TAXI LEAKS EXTRA BIT: from Taxi Leaks roving reporter Mick the Governor

Taxi Leaks Roving Reporter Points Out An Ever Increasing Sight On London’s Streets.

It’s alleged that the practise of PH drivers, taking their eyes off the road to glance at the Sat Nav on unfamiliar roads, is causing a massive strain on the emergency services, yet TfL and Mayor Khan continue to ignore this problem and refuse to reintroduce advanced driving tests.
There are now nearly 120,000 PH drivers on the roads of the capital, yet licensed Taxi driver numbers are falling rapidly.