Thursday, September 29, 2016

A Request, To All Licensed Taxi And Private Hire Orgs... From Lee Ward-ALPHA.

I am formally requesting that a committee of Associations be set up from across the country.

This committee will be a steering group for the whole industry, therefore representatives from both tiers are to be included.

This committee will not be for kudos or anything along the lines of 'we did this' 'we got that' it will be purely and simply a group of knowledgeable people who already run Associations, I am sorry but Unions need not apply, you are as bad as the politicians for kudos and no results.

This group will be from across the land, with no borders involved, its purely for the benefit of the trade and the recognition that it requires with the hierarchy.

Together, as a combined and knowledgeable unit we can work to put to bed the growing and desecrating industry issues that are before and upon us.

Please email me at to show your interest in joining forces nation wide.

Time is now to unify and act, time tomorrow to reflect on what could have been achieved.

Thank you

Lee Ward

Greenbadge John's View On The Eventuality Of CC Rental Charges

TFL cannot prevent business owners (Taxi Drivers) from using equipment they already own so the equipment they are forcing into vehicles will eventually become redundant.

All the suppliers of this equipment know this very well, and it will be seen as a duplication of process and go down the same route as the mandated issues of emission abatement fittings and receipt printers..... straight into the dustbin of TFL ineptitude.

The costly route of 'free' fitting this equipment is bound to be clawed back eventually by the complicit companies creating a monthly levy charge which will be introduced as soon large enough numbers have been fitted and as projected profit costing and failings becomes patently clear to them and this will allow the drivers the complete opportunity to bring this un-welcomed TFL intervention to an unceremonious end.

If your Card processing company issues minimum "low usage fees" which may be linked to their own projected monthly fees AFTER you sign for free fitting and non usage quota linked usage basis you will undoubtedly have an immediate cost free contractual exit and cancellation due to a serious financial material fact alteration, so read your contract carefully before signing or ask what will happen if they suddenly introduce monthly fees to cover low usage cost because it will happen.

What will that mean to the TFL mandate who will try to coerce you to pay up by threatening to remove your plate because you no longer have rear card processing usage facilities?

TFL could never win that argument legally without examining the suppliers contract so the mandate would die just as the previous ones have.

Be Lucky

greenbadgejohn (on twitter) 

Carry On, Follow That Camel ! ... By Im Spartacus.

So folks in another travel bulletin, here's how the cab trade works in Dubai.

ALL cabs are owned by the Dubai version of TfL, they maintain the fleet, insure, put the fuel in etc etc bit like the old London General.

Drivers just drive, they sign up as a double team for 7x12 shifts and keep 25% of the clock which is GPS monitored and they all accept cards.

Dubai seemed a safe, clean and law abiding place.

Cabs are usually newish Toyotas or Mitsubishi and the occasional FX4R (joking!) one I rode in had 600,000km on the clock but was clean and well maintained. Fares are about par with ours, drivers pleasant but not that great with any knowledge of Dubai.

Any signs of the U mob you ask? not likely as I say cabs are owned by the transportation authority, why would they give anyone a look in?

The only comparison with U is some of the driving, car drivers will think nothing of reversing a mile or more down the hard shoulder if they miss a motorway turnoff, very relaxing!

The cab drivers respect and regard us as the standard by which all others are judged, they are amazed (as we are) that the authorities in London even allowed PH let alone the bin end Umob!

Interesting place and well worth a visit and by the way I never saw a camel which has given me the right 'ump.

Next reports from Bratislava and Prague soon.

I'm Spartacus 

Sent from my iPhone

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

#SaveTaxi Wheelchair fundraiser success for Canonbury cycle crash victim.

Cycle crash victim Alex Doodle will no longer have to “crawl” to and from the taxis they rely on get to hospital appointments after a #SaveTaxi crowdfunder hit its target of £3,000 within a week.

As reported in the Islington Gazette last week, Alex, who is gender neutral, was put on a lengthy waiting list for a wheelchair earlier this year.

The architecture graduate has relied on black cabs to get around since a crash in Essex Road seven years ago and was “lost for words” when told the news.

“I’m still in shock and so grateful,” she said. “Black cab drivers continue to be my lifeline while government policies and funding cuts hinder my ability to live independently and have my basic needs met. A group of people in a trade also threatened took the time and effort to help me. 

“They have given me more than a wheelchair – they have given me independence.”

Alex, who says she has been living off full fat milk because she spends all her money on cabs and mental health services, is looking forward to getting out and about again.

“I will be able to go to a hospital appointment, look around the shops or even go to an art gallery,” she said. “It’s been over seven years.”

The next target is wheelchair-accessible accommodation. Alex is currently in a first-floor flat in Englefield Road, Canonbury, waiting for an adapted home to become available – but just 28 have been let in the last two years. The council says it is doing all it can.

Alex, 44, continued: “When I eventually move, I will live with more dignity and feel less degraded as one of my conditions makes it look like I’m having a stroke so I’m basically on the floor for hours or days or trying to drag myself on one side to the bathroom.”

Cabbie Terry Vaus started the fundraiser. He said: “It’s fantastic news. I never thought when it started it would go so well.”

Editorial comment :

A big thank you to all contributors who have made Alex's dream come true and a very big thank you to all at Sherbet Taxis for their generous contribution. 

It's what Cabbies do 


The ITA have advised me that their decision is based upon the current state of trade reticence.
The trade seems to take comfort in the fact that the Mayor of London is trying his utmost to combat Uber and its powerful friends, to save our three hundred and fifty year old iconic trade.
That may or may not be true - only time will tell.

He is also trying his best to placate a huge number of dissatisfied Taxi drivers, who feel they have been thrown overboard in favour of a rich American conglomerate who pays nothing into our economy, but relies upon UK government subsidies to pay their impoverished 'employees'.
The Mayor's promises have allowed the more apathetic amongst us to plead for a respite while we wait ... wait for what exactly?
Wait until May comes and goes, and Uber renew their license?

The majority of the Taxi trade never Demo.
The majority of the Taxi trade are only too willing to let the minority speak up for them, while they carry on regardless.
The majority of the Taxi trade like to moan about work or the lack of it, or about the roads, or Uber, or TfL, or official statistics that other proactive drivers have uncovered for them - but moaning is about as far as they are prepared to go.
The majority of the trade will not fight, and are not worth fighting for.

Think of the drivers with huge housing costs, children to keep and an overpriced taxi to maintain, who cannot make ends meet; who are pulling their hair out in sheer frustration, caused not by their incompetence, but by TfL's criminality.

Our fight is not against the Mayor.
Our fight is not against the ineffective GLA.
Our fight is against injustice. It is against the deregulation and destruction of our trade.
Our fight is against Cameron, Osborne, Johnson, Anderson, Kramer, Javid and all the other corrupt officials with a vested interest in overseeing our demise.
Our fight is against Daniels, Bertram, Hendy, Mason, Emmerson and all those who seek to destroy our trade for their own personal gain.


Hire and reward insurance.
This is already the law.
The fact that it has not been enforced, says more about Transport for London (TfL), than it does the Mayor.

Extra ranks.
For who? Minicabs to sit on, whilst Compliance Officers lounge in some burger bar, out of sight?
What good are extra ranks if they are not policed?
I bet the fog-lit minicabs are jumping for joy though.

Access to more bus lanes.
Why are we not allowed into all bus lanes anyway?
Cycles use them - and they slow buses up far more than Taxis ever could.
And what about Tottenham Court Road?
We know all about the 'Great Bus Scam', but how many buses need the whole of Tottenham Court Road to themselves?

Agreed fare in advance for Private Hire customers.
Another rule that TfL have not enforced.
Private Hire (minicabs) have always been required to quote a fare in advance of the journey.

Phone contact with Customer Service.
TfL are rewriting the rules to accommodate Uber.
Landlines may become a requirement of the past.
What is the point of having any rules or regulations, if they are changed to accommodate the highest bidder?

More Compliance Officers.
Are any of these new officers going to come out after dark?
The lot we have at the moment seem anything but nocturnal.
They drive around during the day, jumping out of vans to nick Taxi drivers fouling ranks, but once the sun goes down they are nowhere to be seen, except a handful huddled in McDonald's, whilst minicabs rank up outside clubs and restaurants with impunity.

Private Hire paying their way on compliance costs.
This is a common sense piece of husbandry.
And a good reason to lower the extortionate price of the Taxi license. I say extortionate, because the trade gets nothing back in return.

Minimum 3 year UK DBS.
A huge step in the right direction.
Dads Defending Daughters called for five years minimum citizenship - but at least three years citizenship is better than a letter of good conduct from an embassy who has little to no knowledge of the applicant.
These new measures might save a person from being raped or murdered.
As our Mayor stated, "Even one is one too many."
Unfortunately, this decision is not in the hands of Sadiq Khan.
This is new legislation we are seeking.
Do not underestimate the bought and paid for MPs and journalists, who will oppose this legislation in favour of thirty pieces of silver. For them, rape is merely collateral damage.
This legislation must be implemented in every workplace, where any applicant is left in charge of children and the vulnerable.
Dads Defending Daughters would like to see DNA tests brought in for all applicants.

The Mayor's intention for minicab proprietors to have Fleet Insurance.
How will this affect Uber? Uber claim they do not have a fleet. They are an IT company.
Finance for fleet insurance will be levied upon the individual driver by the employer.
This is just political rhetoric.

Reviewing ride-sharing with DfT.
Another rule change that our Mayor has no jurisdiction over.
Except those who directly benefit financially, who on God's green earth thinks sharing a minicab with strangers is a good thing?
It is bad enough that the minicab driver may be an unchecked stranger. Now the greedy bastards want our daughters and sons to get into a minicab with strange passengers too!

Topographical tests.
Who cares about Mickey Mouse topographical tests?
It is not the Knowledge of London.
The public will be led to believe minicab drivers actually know what they are doing.
Great public relations for the likes of Uber.

Driving tests.
This is something that is not feasible, and leads me to question the Mayor's motivation.
There are not enough examination centres available to take on an extra hundred thousand advanced driving tests over three years.
Nor is there enough time to allocate and carry out all these tests. Let alone the driving lessons needed to achieve a high enough level of competence.
The Mayor is anything but stupid. He knows this cannot be achieved. Yet he promises it. Why?
It is simpler for TfL to insist that every minicab applicant must have a DVLA pass certificate before applying for a minicab license. And has not merely exchanged their foreign license for a UK one.

Transparency and demarcation for cab related criminal offences and KSI statistics.
Already we are seeing that these are nothing more than meaningless words printed in a quaint little pamphlet, to appease a few worried Taxi drivers.
Where are the Freedom of Information statistics, which were due to be published on 20th September 2016?
Our trade organisations cannot get an acknowledgement, let alone any answers.

Reviewing in-venue minicab operators.
Reviewing what exactly?
Do you believe this dangerous practice will be rectified?
On what grounds?
TfL gave an Operators License to an IT company, for crying out loud!
They sell roundels to absolutely anyone!
They allow unchecked drivers to ferry the vunerable around!
They are never going to change this lucrative activity because of public safety issues.


A full Public Enquiry into Transport for London's corrupt relationship with Uber.
Are we just going to get on with our lives, like this never happened?
Are we supposed to forget those innocent victims of rape and sexual assault?
Are we supposed to forget those drivers who lost their homes?
Forget those drivers who suffered divorce?
Forget those drivers who suffered bankruptcy?
Forget those drivers who are so behind with mortgage payments it will be five or even ten years before they are back on track?
Forget those drivers who had to seek employment elsewhere?
Forget those drivers who suffered a nervous breakdown?
Are we supposed to forget the people who instigated this misery, and let them ride off into the sunset with a golden handshake and a brand new promotion?
Not bloody likely!

No more ineffectual enforcement.
We demand that Compliance Officers do the job they are paid to do.
Are we supposed to sit idly by while minicabs shit all over compliance loopholes, basking on our Taxi ranks, plying for hire in Mayfair and the City?
Is our 'right to work' not worth fighting for?

Capping of minicab licenses.
The government's own transport committee has spoken out against the complete and utter chaos caused by TfL's chaotic road strategy.
The transport committee are fed up with TfL issuing six hundred minicabs every week onto our roads, condoned by the Secretary of State for Business (BIS) and Department for Transport (DfT), and exacerbated by TfL's disastrous Cycle Superhighway.
Day-long congestion and rising levels of pollution is literally choking the life out of 9,500 Londoners every year.
BIS's solution to finding jobs for the unemployable, via mini-cabbing, is ruining Londoners lives.
Big and small businesses are moving away from this purpose built madness, every month.
London is not open - London is locked shut!
This is another problem that is outside the remit of Mayor Khan.
We demand that DfT and BIS curtail this ludicrous situation, promoted by Uber-loving Sajid Javid before he was banished to the political underworld by Theresa May PM.

Greed got us into this mess, and greed will keep us there.
The greed of an uncaring government, who would see us go the same way as the miners, printers and shipbuilders, so they could line their own pockets.
The greed of TfL management under orders from Cameron and Osborne, who in turn were under orders from 'Government' Sachs and other unctuous investors.
These obscene gluttons see rape and sexual assault as acceptable collateral damage, in their grubby quest for a bigger return on their investment.
These gannets are prepared to destroy the lives of good men and women, so they can gorge themselves on the profit of our misery.
Greedy self interested Taxi drivers would rather work on, than fight to stop this unprecedented rise of rape and sexual abuse in minicabs.
Greedy blinkered Taxi drivers with their heads buried in their lolly-bags, would rather let someone else take the time and effort to fight for their jobs.

We will not Demo for the sake of Demoing.
We will not Demo simply because we are angry.
We will not Demo against a fair and proper Mayor.
We will Demo against an unfit and improper regulator.
We will Demo against an unjust government.
We will Demo when they refuse to listen.
We will Demo when they refuse to answer.
We will Demo when they refuse to be accountable.
We will Demo to reverse unfair decisions made by unjust officials.
We will Demo to be heard!

"The belly is a rascal, it doesn't remember how well you treated it yesterday, it'll cry out for more tomorrow." — Alexander Solzhenitsyn

The UTG Done Deal Credit Card Mandate Omni Shambles Rolls Jim Thomas.

Last Thursday night, CMT's complete system shut down and driver's could not sign in, or clear a payment for hours.

In just over four weeks time, under the proposed Unite Taxi group(UTG) done deal regulations, this would mean many thousands of Taxi drivers having to stop work and go home... until the system's restored back up and running properly. 

Currently many CMT machines have a software bug, which appears to stop the PEDs logging on for long periods of time. This could also result in many drivers having an early bath. I personally contacted CMT UK on their Twitter feed one evening when I couldn't sign in, hoping for a help line phone number and was given an email address -not quite what I was hoping for.

But CMT are not the only equipment with problems.

The iZettle Muria MO10 units are currently printing out receipts containing the drivers full name, home address and telephone number. Many drivers are giving these receipts to customers, completely unaware their personal details are emblazoned on them.  

To be fair, this whole issue has been a complete shambles from the start. Badly planned, badly thought out, with almost no import sort from drivers, or driver's groups.
The start date for the Card Mandate has been put back by 4 weeks, while the requirement for rear fitting has had to be been postponed till 1st January. 

Speaking to a compliance officers over the weekend, they informed me that interdepartmental memos are flying around like confetti. Apparently the right hand doesn't know what the left is doing (their words not mine).

Driver Safety:

Driver safety issues with the rear fitment of Card readers still haven't been addressed by LTPH. General Manager Helen Chapman said at the LCDC AGM, 'we have no data to show this may be a problem'. 

As yet, the main body of trade drivers....the 80% not on social media, haven't received a word of notification from TfLTPH so far.

What's your experience of problems concerning these new rear PEDs?

Use the comments section below to air your fears about issues relating to the CC equipment. 


UBER POOL IS TO SHUT DOWN, after numerous incidents of assault, sexual and violent, culminating in the murder of a Uber Pool passenger in Farringdon.
Incredibly, this scheme was given TfL's blessing as their was no data available to show Helen Chapman there might be a problem. 

Will we have to wait for a first murder to get these CC machine put back in the front of the cab where they belong?