Saturday, March 28, 2020

Outside Grodzinski in Edgware Friday 27th March. "If That’s The Law Sir, Then The Law Is An Ass".

A Metropolitan Police officer has been filmed threatening to fine a Grodzinski bakery employee for drawing temporary lines on the pavement to help customers queue at a safe distance from each other.
The officer can be heard outside the Edgware bakery telling the employee that marking “council property” is a criminal offence and that “the law still applies, coronavirus or not” while she insists the spray chalk paint can just be washed off.
The woman says: “It’s to keep my customers safe”.

A passer-by, who filmed the scene on his phone, tells the officer: “This is horrendous. This is ridiculous. He’s giving her a ticket. I guess the police want people to die”.

Referring to the chalk markings on the pavement, the officer says: “Ideally this needs to be taken off”, adding, “The law is the law and that doesn’t change because of what is happening”.
At one point the officer appears to indicate that if the markings had been placed on the window of the shop instead of on the pavement he would not be recording the act as an offence.
“Unbelieveable”, the woman replies.

The man filming says: “He’s giving her a ticket when this is removable,” before addressing the officer and saying: “You want to call anyone above you before you do that?”
“I don’t need to,” the officer replies.
The man behind the camera tells him: “This is the opposite of taking care of the public”.

When the female employee says that she has an outdoor trading licence, which made the marked pavement area her property, the officer replies, “that’s something for Barnet trading standards to look into”.
The Met told the JC the officer ultimately did not proceed with issuing a fine but added: "The actions shown in this video do not reflect the current policing style that the MPS seeks to adopt."

"The officer advised the woman that he was planning to issue a ticket for criminal damage. However, following a further conversation, no ticket was issued," a force spokesperson said.
"The officer has been spoken to and all staff on the borough will be reminded about using discretion where appropriate in these exceptional times."

Source : The JC.

This article is obviously not Taxi related, but it shows the attitude of a police sergeant towards a member of the public, acting on behalf of her customer's safety.

This is the same attitude that Taxi drivers often are faced with by undercover police officers at mainline Taxi ranks.

Recently reported in Taxi Leaks, we saw an undercover police women harassing a driver at Kings Cross rank, then actually tried to submit a false video as evidence in court....when the driver's barrister pointed out that the video was not of the driver in question, the case was immediately dropped by the prosecution. 

The officer says he is issuing a ticket because that’s the Charles Dickens' Mr Bumble said in Oliver Twist..."if that’s the law sir, then the law is an ass.
"If that’s the law sir then the law is a bachelor.
"And the worst I wish is that it’s eyes may be opened by experience -by experience".

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Important Update To Drivers With Expired TfL Plates, Driver Licence Renewals And MOT Certificates

Taxi Leaks received this query below yesterday. We have now researched this and will answer below  

Received a telephone call from a chap on a withheld number, telling me that the NSL testing centre where I had booked an appointment was closed. 

When asked for written clarification by letter or email he refused. 

When I asked (what seemed for him to be awkward questions for him to answer)... he just hung up. 

I then rang TFL, call went into a generic answer machine then hung up. 

I attended a NSL test centre on appointment day, only to find it was closed with sign outside saying “for more information check TFL website”. 

I went on line and checked the TFL website, but no information appeared to be available. 

So cannot contact TFL, cannot replate or test taxis, cannot rebook or book any tests. Cannot get any information on how to proceed. 

Chap on the phone said that I  could not drive the taxi on an expired plate, but then he really did not seem to know anything and just wanted to hang up.

Taxi Leaks Advice To All Taxi Drivers Who’s TfL Licence Has Expired. 

Under the Transport Act 1985 sec17(7) as long as you complied in full with all the conditions, if there is any hold up in renewals to your Taxi driver or vehicle licence, your old licence stays valid until you are in receipt of a new licence or your old licence is revoked 

We’ve put this to TfL and they appear to be dragging their feet. 
It is clear and been confirmed by Leon Daniels on behalf of Sir Peter Hendy that your old plate (under these circumstances) stays valid until such time as you can arrange and attend another appointment with NSL. 

TfL said it wasn’t clear on where a driver stood legally with insurance, driving a Taxi with an expired plate.... so with the help of the LCDC chairperson Grant Davis, we contacted Plan Insurance who said:

Its okay, providing: 
A) your vehicle is road worthy
B) your local licensing authority has not told you to stop 

So providing you have not been personally told you can’t work then it’s ok. 

They added a caveat:
If you have an accident and it transpires you have bald tyres or worn brake pads etc, making the vehicle it unsafe, then you could be in trouble. 

We hope this is crystal clear, and to sum up 
If your vehicle plate expires while NSL are closed, your old plate stays valid and legally you can carry on working, as long as your vehicle is fully road worthy. 

The same applies to the half yearly MOT...

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps says drivers whose vehicles are due an MOT from 30th March 2020 will receive a six-month extension amid the coronavirus pandemic. 

If you haven’t already seen Leon Daniels email and would like to see it, please click link below 

Why is it that TfL constantly drag their feet on this subject and never reply with a definitive answer!

Taxi Leaks editor Jim Thomas contacted Sir Peter Hendy the first time there was a problem with Licence renewals, and drivers were being told that temporary licences had been scrapped and that they couldn't work. 

We pointed out the Transport Act 1985 sec17(7) to Sir Peter, and he apologised (through Leon Daniels) and agreed that drivers could in fact work untill their Licence renewal was either received or revoked.

Leon Daniels went further to say that this also applied to TfL vehicle plates.

Taxi Leaks has posted the email on many occasions and we have also sent copies back to new directors and managers at TfLTPH.....yet every time a driver asks if they can work, there seems to be a problem......There is no problem other than TfL have failed to put this Infomation in an accessible place on their extremely inadequate website. 

We will now be making an official complaint about this as we believe, this confusion is deliberate

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

The Taxi Charity Reaching Out To Self Isolating Veterans

London Cabbies do so much already to support veterans but when the Coronavirus restrictions came into force, they all wanted to offer more help to ensure that in their time of need our veterans get the care, help and regular contact they need while they are self-isolating.

The Taxi Charity for Military Veterans has asked London Cabbies if they can help veterans by collecting essential shopping or by keeping in touch regularly by phone.

A card was delivered to all the veterans that the charity works with, asking them to Keep Calm and Carry On.

The card from The Taxi Charity reads:
Dear Veteran,
We are not making light of the current situation. Far from it! We are still here and don’t want you to suffer in silence. Should you need any help, or a chat please get in touch

The card provides the veterans with a list of contact telephone numbers for London cabbies that they can call on for help or for a chat.

Ian Parsons, Chairman, Taxi Charity for Military Veterans, said, “When I asked for additional support from the London Cabbies who volunteer for the Taxi Charity, I was overwhelmed by the response. The Cabbies do so much already but they all wanted to offer more help to ensure that in their time of need our veterans get the care, help and regular contact they need while they are self-isolating.”

The Taxi Charity has had to put all its fundraising activities on hold due to the Coronavirus restrictions so if you could help the charity please do consider donating at;

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 The Netherlands, 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
07984 433614

French Government Mobilises An Army Of Licensed Taxis To Transport Front Line Key Workers

The French Government  has today (March 24th 2020) launched its mobilization of licensed Taxis in France, for hospitals staff and nursing staff. 

The plan is that passengers will not have to directly pay the Driver. The hospital pays the driver through an account and the French government/NHS then reimburses the hospital. 

Unfortunately, we appear to be two weeks behind everyone else, maybe Matt Hancock and Boris Johnson can sanction a similar scheme to run here in the UK. 

Our taxis service is the golf standard and has regularly been voted best Taxi service in the world. But unfortunately at this present time, it's redundant and most Cabbies are now out of work.

Celebrity motoring correspondence Quinton Wilson said on Twitter:
 UK Govt should pay for NHS and key workers to use London’s fleet of black cabs to get to vital jobs. Central divide between driver and passenger make them much safer than public transport. 

But are things about to change?
This today in Parliament 👇

“This army of drivers need work and could have financial reward for their services if the Government wish to do so.

“Can the Government start to use the army of taxi drivers up and down the country who know their geographical areas and their communities, to deliver the food and essential parcels to the millions of people who have to be in lock down to stand any chance of being alive at the end of this pandemic?

“Please can we have reasonable reassurances and support during this difficult time so we taxi drivers can lend a hand to support our government and the public of which we serve well. 

Taxi drivers are seen as a special emergency service to many year-in year-out. I believe the great British public will agree.
“Let us help deliver to save lives.”

Taxi drivers in Barrow are facing huge drop-offs in business following the closure of pubs and restaurants.

One driver, John McDonald, said his takings had taken a huge hit.
“I worked a 12-hour shift and I only made a tenner,” he said.
The 65-year-old said he would carry on driving despite suffering from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, a lung condition that puts him among the group of people classed by the Government as vulnerable.

The Mail understand Barrow Council has told taxi drivers who are struggling to pay fees to renew their licences, that they may be able to take part payments and defer the rest to a later date

Sunday, March 22, 2020

While Hero Taxi Drivers Are Working Free Of Charge To Support NHS Staff And Charities, Ministers In Talks with Non-Tax Paying Uber

While Hero London Taxi drivers all over the capital are helping NHS staff and charities completely free of charge, government minister are in talks stringing up a deal with non-tax paying Uber. 

While all London Taxi drivers are heavily regulated, fully insured and have completed enhancedcriminal record checks, ministers are striking a deal with a company unlicensed and currently only operating while on appeal, after being refused a licence by TfL for being not fit and proper to carry the public for hire and reward. 

Uber have been plagued by reports of their drivers raping, seriously sexually assaulting and defrauding passengers. Uber drivers have been arrested for planning terrorist attacks, drug running and carrying weapons. Also it’s not uncommon for drivers to be prosecuted for operating without the proper insurance. 

Last year 13,000 of their drivers were reported in the national media for having fake criminal record DBS certificates and buying medicals on line. 

 Yet ministers are ready to hand this company a contract to ferry NHS staff to and from work. 

1) Thanks to London Taxi driver Stewart,  for helping to delivery our Easter egg donations and snacks and coffee to everyone at the Great Ormond Street charity. 

Top fella who did this selfless act free of charge, even during these uncertain times. 

2) Arrived at Morrison’s supermarket and found this excellent human being, offering Taxi rides home to elderly and disabled customers completely free of charge. 

No work on the street unrealistic waiting times on station ranks, and rather than sitting at home doing nothing, this London Taxi hero decided he would rather spend his day helping those in genuine need. 

3) This sign in a Taxi window was spotted on the rank at Kings Cross Station ‘NHS workers, ride for free, just show your ID. 

This sign and similar signs have been spotted all over London Taxi driver heroes, offering to give there services free of charge to help NHS workers. 

These heroes stories have been seen all over social media, but virtually nothing in the press or on TV news channels. 

Yet as a kick in the teeth to the trade, we read this in the press.