Saturday, May 16, 2020

While We Are On Lockdown, ‬They Are Taking Away Our Right To Access London Streets, ‬And It Seems No Ones Doing Anything About It‬

Apart from removing access to roads and bridges, the powers to be are making it almost impossible for London’s Cabbies to continue serving the public. 

News just in...  St Thomas St is being made one way heading west. 

To get to rank at the shard you will have to enter via the east and exit west. The feeder rank has also been moved to behind the two cab rank.

If we do not have access to London Bridge, and if a customer in central London wants to go to London Bridge Station, we can no longer go the most direct route. 

Even though people are supposed to be social distancing, are forcing people to cram onto buses or tubes. Basically (again) the Mayor is putting the public in danger, to increase revenue.

Where are our orgs and unions on these sudden changes?

Although we are in lockdown they are not and should be kicking up a fuss.... they are still charging their members subscriptions  

Perhaps all orgs and unions should make a statement saying they are putting a halt on direct debits until this emergence is over 

Why should we be paying for work they are not doing. 

The Mayor, TfL and the City of London, are forcing the public out of the safest form of transport... and herding them onto packed tube trains and buses where social distancing is virtually impossible. 

Watch this video belowπŸ‘‡πŸΌπŸ‘‡πŸΌπŸ‘‡πŸΌπŸ‘‡πŸΌπŸ‘‡πŸΌ

Friday, May 15, 2020

Mayor Khan Has His Powers Stripped... Whitehall Takes Control Of TfL

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan, last night had his sole decision making powers over transport in London stripped from him, because of the deep incompetence he has shown.

Khan is now Mayor in name only. Unfortunately the residents of London will have to wait till 2021 to take that away from him. 

Mayoral candidate Shaun Bailey said :
This is good news for Londoners, for our economy and for the future of TfL

And I thoroughly welcome Gov representation on TfL's board, and a review of their finances

The Mayor has failed to manage TfL's budget. These bailout conditions will limit any further damage he can cause.


Former Deputy Chairman of TfL Daniel Moylan said:
The sooner TfL issues a s114 notice so that the govt can take it away from Sadiq Khan and send in commissioners to run it for now, the better. No more blackmail.

Campaign consultant and film maker Alex Crowley said: 
Now that Khan has nothing to do...why are we paying him?

MP James Cleverly said:
The government has been forced to bail out TFL and strip the Mayor of his sole decision making powers over transport. 

Khan has shown he wanted the job title but not the job, displaying a complete lack of interest in the good governance of London.

The London Taxi trade will breath a sigh of relief as now is a perfect time for our trade orgs and unions, to secure our future by putting us back into London’s transport strategy. 
WHERE BUSES GO, TAXI GO. 


TAXI LEAKS EXTEA BIT :
We are a unique trade, 100% wheelchair accessible, fully trained in the topography of London with all drivers criminal record thoroughly checked and medically fit. 

The service we offer is recognised world wide as the best Taxi service in the world. 
We now need a Mayor who recognised these qualities. 

Some people just don’t realise when the time has come for them to go...will Khan try to cling on by his finger tips to his well paid office or will he resign?

But it’s not only Khan who should shoulder the blame for bankrupting TfL!!!
Let’s not forget that TfL (a Private company, wholly owned by the government) is also run by an extremely well paid Commissioner (taking home over £500k last year) and an army of directors and managers....560 on over £100k plus bonuses and 40 on over £150k+.

Also while we are talking about these huge salaries perhaps it’s time to examine the wage bill for the mayoral team including deputy mayors earning double what the Prime Minister pockets.  


Thursday, May 14, 2020

While We Slept, The Middle Aged Men In Lycra Advanced Their Agenda Against Us


If someone said "this is the best news to wake up to"...what would you personally think they would add to that?
There has been no more deaths from COVID19 !
They have found a vaccine for coronavirus !
We can all return to normal !
The pandemic is now officially over ! 

Not in Deputy Mayor for Transport Heidi (I know nothing about transport) Alexander's mind.....she thought it was the best news ever that while we all slept, TfL in league with Sadiq Khan's StreetSafe Scheme, covertly implemented a scheme where road space going northbound was halved in order for pedestrians and cyclists could pass each other keeping to the social distancing rule. 

With Khan's TfL going to the government, cap in hand, for a £4 billion bale out....much tax payers money is being wasted on these vanity schemes designed to please a small group of middle aged men in Lycra (MAMIL). 

Did it escape their tunnel vision that to the left of this restriction is 350 acres of Hyde Park where people can pass each other hundreds of yards apart???

Is the funding for this to be added to TfL's £2billion overdraft?

Also, how enforceable is this?
Perhaps Heidi Alexander could publish the traffic management order !!! 

TAXI LEAKS EXTRA BIT: 
We have already posted a suggestion that we believe is totally workable.

Make the pavements single directional !!!
Let’s make the west side of Park Lane north bound only, and the east side south bound only. This system is free of charge and would not add to TfL's crippling debt. 

Also what about disabled passengers who wish to be dropped on Park Lane, in Heidi Alexander’s and a Will Norman’s brave new world...do disabled people have no rights whatsoever ??? 

Also coming soon to the square mile 


Should the Taxi trade refuse to take part in the Lord Mayors Show this year, after the way we have been side lined by the City of London Corporation ???

Uber Licence Renewal Appeal Moved Back To September 2020


Uber’s licence appeal was due to start on 6 July. But now we hear their appeal has been adjourned until September when it’s hoped the courts will once again be fully operational.

This means that the present legal system, has allowed Uber to continue operating unlicensed, free from licensing fees for over three years while waiting for their appeal to be heard. 

At the first hearing, Uber were controversially given an 18 months probationary licence. Many in the Taxi trade thought that the verdict from Chief Magistrate Emma Arbuthnot was unsafe as there were proven financial links between her husband Baron James Arbuthnot. 

In an appeal of the verdict we were told there are different types of conflicts of interest...Actual, and Assumed. 
The appeal against the verdict was thrown out after the conflict was found to be assumed. 

This has all come about simply because TfL never had the guts to revoke Uber’s licence when all the complaints first came to light. TfLTPH decided to just let their existing  5 year licence run its course and refuse a renewal on grounds Thad the company was unfit to be a PH operator. 

In the eight years since they were first licensed, there have been hundreds of passengers raped by drivers, thousands of sexual assaults, customer accounts have been hacked, passengers overcharged... plus it came to light and exposed by the Sunday Times that 13,000 of the drivers had fake criminal record check certificates. 

Helen Chapman desperately tried to dismiss the 13,000 fake DBS criminal record certificates as a myth at a senior reps meeting. She asked where this figure had come from....it was pointed out the the statistic actually came from TfL themselves in an FOI request made by the Sunday Times. The story also broke on Tim Fenton’s Zelo Street Blog. 

All these offences have more or less been swept under TfL’s carpet. The simple fact is Thousands of lives have been ruined and TfL failed to act. 

City of London To Ban Cars From The Busiest Roads As Lockdown Eases


It’s been alleged by the Financial Times, that the City of London Corporation, plans to ban cars on the busiest roads to help manage the expected return of tens of thousands of commuters to the streets of the British capital’s financial district as the coronavirus lockdown is eased.

In spite of the fact that the Square Mile’s medieval thoroughfares are too narrow to maintain safe social distancing, according to the City of London Corporation, the local authority for the Square Mile, they are intent on pushing city workers to travel in unsafe conditions of packed tube trains and buses. 

The Corporation has drawn up proposals for 12- or 24-hour closures for cars, Taxis and minicabs on its main artery routes to widen pavements for walking, create bike lanes and allow safe queueing for shops and cafΓ©s. 

Are they expecting City workers to travel safely to the City gates and then make the rest of their journey to work in foot?

The Corporation expects many workers to begin returning to offices in the financial district after the UK government this week encouraged companies to start resuming normal operations, albeit with instructions that those that can work from home should continue to do so. 

Many feel that the CoL are taking advantage of the crisis to push forward their war against Cars, Taxis and Minicabs. 

One of the biggest challenges for the Corporation will be dealing with rush hour commuters into the City as lockdown restrictions are eased. 

It is worried that workers will drive to their offices or turn up in Licensed Black Cabs,the safest form of transport under present circumstances.

Documents which go before the Corporation’s planning committee on Thursday for approval, say: “Many of the Square Mile’s streets, pavements are too narrow to maintain safe social distancing, even if only a small proportion of the City’s workforce initially returns to work. 

In some streets it is likely that existing arrangements will be a danger to the public.”
So why are they pushing workers towards the dangerous packed tubes and buses 

The first phase covers Cannon Street, Cheapside and Poultry, Old Jewry and Coleman Street, Lombard Street, Leadenhall Street and St Mary Axe, Threadneedle Street and Old Broad Street.

Catherine McGuinness, policy chief for the Corporation of London, said this was a “pivotal moment” in dealing with the pandemic. “Getting to the workplace safely is going to be key.”

They make it clear that if the plans work, the Corporation will consider making road closures ‘PERMANENT’ to support its longer term goals of reducing vehicle traffic to improve air quality.

Ms McGuinness said this would be a “first step in a radical strategy” that will see the City move away from private car use. “Coronavirus has given us an extra impetus.”

The plans say that “in order to maintain social distancing and manage travel demand, there will be a medium-term need/desire to limit the number of people working in offices on any given day”. 

“Even a small increase in the number of people using cars, taxis and private hire vehicles to commute is likely to lead to an unacceptable level of congestion on central London’s street network,” the plans add.

TAXI LEAKS EXTRA BIT:
It appears that the City of London Corporation is pushing it’s city works, to travel dangerously (in complete disregard of social distancing) on packed Tubes and Buses. 

There has been no regard for disabled city workers unable to  ride a bike or walk, with many of the City Tube stations no having facilities for disabled passengers.  

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

United Private Hire Drivers Union, Accuses TfL Of Institutional Racism Over ClingFilm Screens.


This is not safe....this is not approved....It’s cling film.

Yesterday, the UPHD issued a statement saying to London Mayor Sadiq Khan and his side kick (“I don’t know anything about transport”) Heidi Alexander, saying that TfLTPH refusal to allow safety screens in private hire vehicles.... placing drivers and passengers at risk as driver death rates soar.

They claim that this is Institutional racism! 
They also insist that this less than arms length relations with operators approach is a lethal combination.
Is TfL guilty of 'Institutional Racism' or are they using their role as regulator to protect the public ???

As far as we know, PHVs have always been permitted to have protective screens fitted, as long as they are TfL/PCO compliant. 
Most of these cheap screens, like the cling film one in the images above are deemed by TfL to be unsafe. You cannot protect the public -on the cheap- If screens are fitted they must be safe and TfL approved.

The UPHD need to find a new argument, playing the race card is deplorable. 

At present these PHV drivers are getting away with the cling film screens as there are very few TfL COs around. 

One reason why these drivers are chancing there arm is alleged to be the fact that the head of TfL compliance Cliff Llewellyn has left and is now working as compliance manager for new kids on the block Bolt.



TAXI LEAKS EXTRA BIT : 70% increase in cycling...really Heidi???

 

That 70% increase in cycling clearly evident (not) in N4 again at 9am today

DashCam Video kind permission of Glen Aulto.

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

CAMDEN CAMPAIGNERS Calling For Temporary Wider Pavements To Accommodate Pedestrians And Cyclists During Coronavirus Lockdown To Be Made Permanent. (There’s a surprise)

Pavements in Camden High Street and the Kilburn High Road have been extended with Transport for London (TfL) installing barriers which are fencing off parts of the street which are normally traffic lanes.

Agnes Peyser, from the Life in Kilburn community group, said: “With the lockdown, people should be a bit more ambitious. 
Is she advising people break the lockdown rules en masse and all charge down to the High Road???

Traffic is given priority over pedestrians and it is time that should change.” She says. 

She has urged TfL and local authorities to do more, adding: “Any improvement is welcome and we are getting there except they are not doing it along the whole road – it is not going to work. 

The measures cover Willesden Lane and West End Lane but ignores the top and the bottom of Kilburn High Road which leaves challenges.”

People are still required to keep a two-metre gap from others, even if lockdown measures are eased.

Taxi Leaks: In Our Opinion!
The solution is very simple.
All the council needs to do is make the pavement, one way. 
Let’s say going north up Kilburn High Road... northbound on the right, and southbound on the left. 

That way TfL and local councils Brent and Camden don’t have to spend money with a third party, hiring in temporary fencing and traffic cones..... 

Wonder if any of these campaigners have any financial links with the company who rents out traffic logistics???
(Just as the councillors behind the pedal me bike schemes in Camden were alleged to be). 

On Twitter yesterday...
Green Party activist and GLA Member Caroline Russel said:
Following the confusing message from the PM last night, it is urgent that the ULEZ and C Charge are now reinstated to prevent pollution and gridlock.

If even a fraction of the people who normally travel by tube were to get in their cars we would have gridlock preventing emergency services getting round and during a respiratory pandemic its not a great idea to increase air pollution either.

Leader of the GLA Susan Hall came back with:
Caroline now is not the time for people to  start on motorists. 

Londoners will want to get to work as safely as possible and if that means by car so be it. 

Not everyone can ride a bike and many disabled can neither walk or ride a bike. 
This is not one size fits all and I am concerned that narrowing roads will cause even more difficulties for motorists. 

Let’s just remind ourselves what Camden’s improved cycle lane system has actually done to traffic in the Midland Road and Fitzrovia area.....



TAXI LEAKS EXTRA BIT :
Ms Peyser said that the inside lane should be fenced off for use by pedestrians and cyclist!!!!

So in her opinion, it’s ok for sweaty Lycra clad midlife crisis snowflakes to cycle passed pedestrians and brake social distancing rules. 

A better solution for cyclists surely would be to use alternative quiet streets???

If the one way system were to be introduced, apart from the financial savings it would bring, cyclists should stick to using the road, or they could actually dismount and use the pavement walking two meters behind the pedestrians.


So, who wrote the article for the Camden Journal ????



Surely not πŸ‘€!!!!

Monday, May 11, 2020

Update On The Tottenham Court Road Area With Camden Councils Schemes.


A number of Taxi drivers who are isolating, haven’t worked or been in town for a couple of weeks, have asked Taxi Leaks what’s happening around the Tottenham Court Road area with Camden Councils schemes. 

TfL’s official line:
Tottenham Court Road is now two-way. The new southbound lane is for buses and cyclists only at all times until spring 2020. All traffic can continue to travel northbound until the entire scheme is completed

We have now received this update from Camden council:


Coronavirus (COVID-19) update

Due to the impacts of Coronavirus (COVID-19) our West End Project contractors Eurovia has closed down the main sites of Gower Street and Princes Circus from Monday 30th March.

Following a review of working practices on site Eurovia  determined it is impracticable to be able to maintain the 2m distancing guideline set by the government. For the safety of their site personal they have now withdrawn all staff except for a skeleton crew to maintain safety on site.

All areas have been made safe and then all work stopped. Barriers remain around areas on Princes Circus but all other areas have been cleared. 

All resurfacing works have been cancelled until further notice.
The area continues to be monitored by a small team on site and the 24 hour contact number and email address are still active should you need to get in touch.

This pause will have an effect on the programme and updates will be added as the full impact becomes clear. 

At present our enclosed site at Whitfield Gardens run by Idverde will continue, but this is being monitored daily.

Tottenham Court Road
Whitfield Gardens construction is continuing which includes removing the old paving and furniture. The roots of the trees have been protected and restoration of the mural has begun. 

Work to restore the mural is continuing the team from Global Street Arts will be following Coronavirus (COVID-19) procedures including 2m distancing on site.

Tottenham Street is closed between Whitfield Street and Tottenham Court Road from February 14th – June 26th.
Parking bays on Whitfield Street have been suspended and the entire area will be fenced off throughout the works.

Whitfield Gardens is being transformed by our contractor idverde whose working hours are Mon-Fri 8am to 5pm and Sat 8am to 1pm. Global Street Arts are restoring the Fitzrovia Mural during these times.

Taxi And Private Hire Drivers Across The Country, Warned By Taxi Licensing Manchester That Gettransfers Is Operating Without A Licence And All Bookings Are Illegal.


Statement from Taxi Licensing, Manchester:
It has come to the attention of the Licensing Unit that a significant number of both Hackney Carriage and Private Hire drivers have signed up
with a company known as Gettransfer... and that this company is actively
involved in dispatching private hire work across the country directly to drivers.  

According to their website this company has its registered office in Cyprus and operates worldwide.  

A London telephone number is shown on the website but we are reliably informed that this line is answered abroad and does not relate to a physical London office.  

Gettransfer does not hold
a Private Hire Operator Licence with Manchester City Council.

This message is to remind Private Hire Drivers that in order for them to carry out a legitimate private hire booking, a Private Hire Operator, licensed by Manchester City Council, must be involved in the process.

This ensures that the legal requirement for the 'trinity' of licences all issued by the same licensing authority  i.e Operator, Vehicle and driver, is met. 

If any private hire driver is currently accepting work directly
from Gettransfer.com or any other similar organisation or thinking of signing up, then you will be acting illegally and may be prosecuted for both Licensing and no insurance offences.

Whilst a Hackney Carriage and its driver holding both licences with Manchester can legitimately accept pre-booked work from such companies (as
the requirement for a licensed Operator to be involved does not exist), we would encourage drivers to do their research on companies and exercise caution when choosing any such company to work for.

PLEASE DO NOT RESPOND TO THIS EMAIL - THIS IS FOR INFORMATION ONLY.

Regards

Taxi Licensing Team
Manchester City Council


TAXI LEAKS EXTRA BIT: 
Must be really great to have a responsible licensing regulator, who puts public safety before revenue. 

When Gett (London) were dispatching work through their Gett Taxi app (Not their PH app) to Private Hire Porches, we complained to TfL’s Graham Robinson that Gett we’re illegally dispatching work to Private Hire Drivers and by accepting this work the PH drivers were contravening 2 licensing offences.... he never replied to our email 18/05/2018 
He also ignored 6 follow up emails from us up to the 04/07/2018

General Manager, Taxi & Private Hire, Transport for London 

We later found out through a third party contact, that all three of our email addresses had been blocked from TfL’s system. 


So again TfL were bending over backwards to protect illegal PH operations.  

Sunday, May 10, 2020

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps Announces Governments Plans To Fast Track The Trial Of E-Scooters


On Saturday 09 May 2020 - MP Grant Shapps Secretary of State for Transport announces fast tracking trials of E-scooter from next year to next month, and fast tracking the trials from four local authorities to every region in the country that wants them - in a bid to get E-scooter rental schemes up and running in Cities as fast as possible.

As usual he's dressing it up as saving lives through reducing air pollution - even though he appears to have his own aeroplane. Sounds to me like a short cut to deregulation, and a danger to both rider and pedestrian.


This comes just days after Uber announced it was leading an investment round of $170 million in scooter-rental company Lime, a lifeline for the company reeling from plunging customer numbers and companywide layoffs. 

Are we again seeing the government bending over backwards to shore up the currently failing minicab firm, who tried to make its fortunes on the back of paying its workers slave wages. A company not fit for purpose considering the amount of customers raped and sexually assaulted by their drivers. 

13,000 of their drivers with fake criminal record checks, millions of  customer accounts hacked and no one seemed to care simply because they were cheap. 

We've all seen how dangerous these e-scooters are and up till now they have been illegal to use on the public highways and streets. The police just turned a blind eye and now the government are going to push through what they refer to as trials in certain London boroughs. 

Expect to see a massive strain on the NHS as the casualties start to build up -just what we don’t need at this present time.

Amazing coincidence (not) in the timing of these trials, being so close to the Uber-Lime announcement. 

PEOPLE IN SAN FRANCISCO ARE PISSED OVER ELECTRIC SCOOTERS TAKING OVER THE CITY....a must watch video



TAXI LEAKS EXTRA BIT :
In the above statement by the Transport Secretary, he announced that pollution is responsible for 20,000 premature deaths each year...

In the video (link below), a renowned professor of respiratory medicine debunks this claim of thousands of deaths due to pollution in London

https://youtu.be/JKygNf6CKns

Questions that need answers 
Will the Transport Secretary Grant Shapps now put an upper limit on the number of private hire vehicles. And also refuse to issue any new driver applications until the London fleet is reduced by at least 50%???

Will he also refuse to relicense ride share companies who don’t pay tax and are not registered in this country???

If he’s so worried about pollution will he take VAT off the price of ULEV and All Electric Vehicles???