Tuesday, April 25, 2017

PCS BOSSES JAILED FOR CLOCKING FRAUD, BUT EMIRATES DEFENDS CONTINUED USE OF CRIMINALS’ FIRM

    PCS boss John Murphy.

Remember PCS the Tfl Registered PH Outfit who have a contract with Emirates Airport ?

A couple of years back I was asked  to investigate their Lewisham Office.

There was absolutely no sign of activity at that address, which was alleged to be no more than a front for the company who work mainly in Manchester and Newcastle.

This was reported to TfL who never answered the emails. 

We've been informed that TfL's Operators Licence has finally been revoked, since five Directors were convicted of Fraud at Chester Crown Court and receiving prison sentences totalling nine and a half years. 

Surprisingly, Emirates have continued to use PCS Events, even though the TfL operators licence has been revoked and gone so far as to issue a statement defending the company. 
PCS has been serving our passengers since 2007 and currently handles around 85,000 trips a year, without any incident on record,”

Acting upon further Information from a licensed Taxi drivers association in Manchester, Photo's have been taken showing TfL registered PCD cars still working, still picking up at Manchester Airport in the VIP pick up area.

TfL Licensed Vehicles photographed on Friday 21-4-17, picking up passengers in the VIP area Manchester Airport.


Other vehicles seen licensed by TfL and working from the VIP pick up area are:
MV65ZBJ
MJ15OGR
MJ15OJL
MJ15OHF

If these vehicles are no longer registered with an Operator, they are in fact not Licensed to Pick up anywhere.

This matter has now been reported to TfL.
Plus, our contacts in Manchester have reported the matter there and at Newcastle Airport, where I believe vehicles from PCS are also Operating.

If these cars are operating illegally, then their TfL licence must be revoked, which means they will also be uninsurable to use for hire and reward anywhere in the country.

We have to ask ourselves why a company based up north, would go to the trouble of registering an operating centre in London, then drive it's vehicles all the way down to NSL passing stations in the capital, when they can get vehicles licensed in the cities where they operate. 

Why are they coming to London to get the vehicles licensed?
What incentives are there to be licensed at NSL?
Are these vehicles being given an easy time at NSL centres?

We've seen in the past a case -when TfL was under the directorship of John Mason- where a West London private hire company, produced an envelope full of roundels, when police officers turned up at the operators address. It later transpired that none of their vehicles had attended TfL passing stations and the roundels had been sent out by post......no one was ever prosecuted for this either.

Could it be that this practise is still wide spread and vehicles from around the country are being licensed by post?

After the recent private hire medical and topographical tests scandal, anything is possible as time and time again, TfL have shown they are not fit for purpose in respect of being a licensing authority.

For full story published in Pro Driver Magazine, click on this link below

Stop Using Unroll.me, Right Now. It Sold Your Data to Uber


Tucked away in a rollicking New York Times profile of amoral Uber CEO Travis Kalanick is a tidbit about Unroll.me, a popular service that aims to rescue your email inbox from unwanted newsletters and promotional messages with an easy automated unsubscribe service. The problem is, it’s been selling you out to advertisers, and you should stop using it immediately.

The Kalanick profile says that Uber previously used Unroll.me data to gauge the health of archrival Lyft:

Uber devoted teams to so-called competitive intelligence, purchasing data from an analytics service called Slice Intelligence. Using an email digest service it owns named Unroll.me, Slice collected its customers’ emailed Lyft receipts from their inboxes and sold the anonymized data to Uber. Uber used the data as a proxy for the health of Lyft’s business. (Lyft, too, operates a competitive intelligence team.)

Slice confirmed that it sells anonymized data (meaning that customers’ names are not attached) based on ride receipts from Uber and Lyft, but declined to disclose who buys the information.

This is a capability it’s safe to wager virtually none of Unroll.me’s users are aware of, let alone comfortable with. Indeed, the company’s CEO and co-founder, Jojo Hedaya, immediately penned a pro forma apology blog for the ages, in which he says he and his staff “weren’t explicit enough” about terms that allow, as Unroll.me’s privacy policy puts it, the company to “collect, use, transfer, sell, and disclose … transactional or relationship messages.” Hedaya joins a historic chorus of Silicon Valley executives who say what they always do when they’ve been found out: “We Can Do Better,” as the title of the CEO’s blog post declares:

I can’t stress enough the importance of your privacy. We never, ever release personal data about you. All data is completely anonymous and related to purchases only. To get a sense of what this data looks like and how it is used, check out the Slice Intelligence blog.

This is by all evidence false: If your privacy were important to Jojo Hedaya, the contents of your email, even if anonymized, would not be for sale. Were he ever serious about keeping your inbox private, an apology blog wouldn’t have been needed to begin with. (Hedaya and his co-founder could not be reached for comment.)

At Hacker News, a sort of virtual startup water cooler, a former web developer named Karl Katzke has further alleged in a series of comments that Unroll.me also secured customer emails poorly and that a company for which Katzke worked declined to acquire Unroll.me due in part to concerns over executives’ honesty. In an email to The Intercept, however, Katzke said that while he stands by those comments, “my information is, at best, third person hearsay based on a rumor that was based on hearsay.”

Still, even just based on the facts Hedaya has openly acknowledged, you shouldn’t trust him or his company and should remove Unroll.me’s unfettered access to your Google account immediately, because that’s just what you gave them when you signed up:

       

Here’s how to remove Unroll.me (you can also delete your account following the company’s instructions here):

From your Gmail inbox (or any Google page), click the button with your face on it in the top-right corner, then “My Account.”

Under “Sign-in & security,” click “Connected apps & sites,” then “manage apps.”

           

Find Unroll.me, click it, and then click remove. You might also want to take a very, very close look at any other apps that have been granted the ability to “Read, send, delete, and manage your email.” Do you have a clear assurance that they won’t leverage their access to make money from the likes of Uber? Probably not.


Another Consultation From TfL And The Mayor Caught Out Telling Lies ... By Jm Thomas


Last year's consultation, informed us that TFL would be reducing buses on Oxford Street by 40%. Now, in their infinite wisdom, they are actually considering banning Taxis -and believe it or not, cycles- completely, in a bid to improve air quality and pedestrian over-crowding.

You don't need the brain of Albert Einstein to realise that by doing so, they will be creating absolute gridlock in the surrounding areas. 

The move will force through traffic onto residential streets such as Wigmore St, Mortimer Street and New Cavendish Street. 

Regent Street, already congested for most of the day, will see an massive rise in usage, as will Grosvenor Street, Conduit Street and Berkeley Square. 

Problems along oxfords street are not caused by Taxis or cycles, they are caused by the excessive numbers of buses, empty for most of the day. The current NO VEHICLES except Buses and Taxis rule has never been strictly enforced. 

As the London Taxi is the only passenger transport vehicle which is fully wheelchair accessible, to ban Taxis from Oxford Street is like saying to disabled passengers, find somewhere else to shop!

This is the second in a series of consultations, the first being in November 2016 which ended in January 2017. In that consultation, we were Informed buses would be reduced by 40% with all traffic to be banned by Mayor Khan later in 2020.


Lies, damn lies...and TfL's statistics.
You couldn't make this stuff up, wait a minute... they have!


There has been little to no growth in Taxis, this is TfL misleading the public...yet again.

The growth in private hire vehicles has come from the Mayor's reluctance to ask the transport secretary Chris Grayling for a cap on the granting of  private hire licenses. 

 

TFL's 2nd consultation is now opened.
Please click on the link below and take 5 minutes to fill in the consultation form and help stop this utter madness.


Monday, April 24, 2017

Uber Operating in Southend...Legal, Or Illegal



Just incase you had any doubt, about the legality of Uber operating in Southend, under current legislation

WE MUST LEARN FROM HISTORY ... THATS WHAT ITS FOR ... By Harry Wall


Those of you long enough in the tooth may remember a film years ago called The Knowledge written by Jack Rosenthal.

It followed the path of Mick Ford's character doing the K and gave the most true to life portrayal of that agony you'll ever likely to see, complete with an examiner nicknamed the Vampire, who to this day I'm convinced Mr Orme modeled himself on. 

There's a line in that film that's stayed with me all these years, "We live, we never bloody learn".
And we haven't.

We've lived with the Uber virus for 5 years now. We know exactly what it's business model is, we know how it's implemented and we know how it's become part of the social fabric of London. It's been in the national press and it's quite clear those in high office couldn't give a toss.

What have we done in response?
Very little.

Up until last month, although we all knew the truth, nothing was getting in the papers and things were looking grim. All of a sudden, up pops the Daily Mail with a story all about the corruption we've been victim of and a light appeared at the end of that very long, dark tunnel. 


But instead of an all out, guns blazing charge on Whitehall with demands of public inquiries, heads rolling and vindication at last, all we've seen is one demo in Whitehall with a letter asking for an inquiry.

The ITA staged a foot demo but that's unofficial as opposed to an org organised one.

There's another mass lobby planned for Wednesday to demand an inquiry now, but only because a general election has been called and naturally all media attention will be focused on that. 

I understand a snap election can't be predicted, neither can the weather but if you planned a barbecue precautions would be put in place in case it pisses down with rain on the day. Contingency plans must be in place especially in a situation like ours which is so fluid otherwise we gain no traction where we should.

I believe the orgs should have met the day that story went to print and planned a response not seen before and we should have delivered it at the first opportunity, not over a week later. 

An immediate suspension of Uber's license should've been demanded along with resignations from Daniels. Blake and Chapman and that's just for starters.

We should've gone for the jugular every single day with continued, relentless pressure in every corner of the capital. We were in a position of strength then, were not so much now.

Now, we have a young man with a young family who's been in the trade for 4 years leaving because it's become unviable to the point he can't do it anymore, it's just not paying. 


What a waste, we've all seen the sign in his rear window, so sad and such shame on us for allowing it to happen.

We have drivers on anti-depressants, most of us are at our wits end with worry about our future, stories of drivers having meltdowns have become commonplace and I'm convinced some poor soul will succeed in taking his own life if we don't act in a more decisive manner. I read a thread on Twitter recently and the state some drivers are in is very worrying indeed.

 As I keep saying we need to take charge and be proactive instead of reactive, dictate events ourselves for a change, mould the future ourselves and set the stage for the fight of our lives. 

In my opinion Uber is undoubtedly here to stay, it's worth too much money and has become engrained in daily life as the government has seen to it. But that doesn't mean we can't make them pay for it. 

All this bollocks about free markets makes my blood boil as the markets are not free if our families are paying the cost, and they are along with our failing health. The reasons I'm so convinced about Uber staying are quite simple, TFL have come up with a new license system where by they will charge Uber £2.4m for a 5 year operators license starting asap. Add to that Khans reluctance to jeopardise losing all those thousands of votes if he banned them, plus their entrance into the NHS, as far as I'm concerned that license is nailed on.

I wrote a few months ago that Uber getting a foot in the NHS door, was a guaranteed second license... but I was told I was talking nonsense. 


'Country Boy' GarRETT RUSSELL Emmerson being made chief executive of London Ambulance has sealed the deal for me. We all thought he was made the sacrificial lamb but how wrong we were!

To add more credence, he takes up his new role on the 30th May which is the same day Uber receive license number 2.

Talking nonsense was I ?

He's now Uber's inside man and it won't be long before we see Uber written on the side of ambulances just like G4S in Kent.

I'll make another prediction, Hendy will return to our nightmare soon and sling us off the station ranks, putting them up for tender. Soon you'll see ranks for Addison Lee next to Uber ranks. Our ranks will be out by the tradesmen's just like during the Olympics.

"We live, but we never bloody learn".

The government have previous here, first it was the miners followed by the printers. 

Their are some similarities between us and the miners in that a bond developed between a section of the miners as opposed to a large number of scabs who crossed the picket lines regularly which could be likened to those rat cab drivers who willingly choose to work during demos knowing full well their actions counter those of us who are actively trying to save their jobs as well as our own. 

Their was also a women's movement not dissimilar from our own Save Taxi girls who worked tirelessly to help the menfolk in the struggle.

Thatcher's victory was achieved through a plan hatched some years before by right wing Tory MP Nichols Ridley who was a founder member of The Selsdon Group of free market conservatives. It was drawn up in the aftermath of the Heath government being brought down by the 1974 coal strike. 

It was called the Ridley Plan and was design to defeat a major strike by a nationalised industry. It was leaked and published by the Economist in 1978 but the unions, including the NUM showed no interest in it and made no attempt to adapt in order to avoid future defeat which was a mistake they paid dearly for.


Three of the points from the plan could be attributed to Cameron's involvement with Uber.

1, "Coal stocks should be built up at power stations" or issue as many PH drivers as possible ready to take over from Cab drivers.

2, "Plans should be made to import coal from non-union foreign ports" or import foreign non-union labour.

3, "Non-union lorry drivers to be recruited by haulage companies" or ignorant non-union minicab drivers to be recruited by Uber London.

This may all be nonsense but I see a recurring Tory pattern here. In order to fight these slags we have to understand there thought process. 

All they're interested in is our demise regardless of the cost, human or otherwise. They hold all the cards including the legal ones, they control the media, the police, the public perception of us which they control through the media along with there ultimate trump card, our license. 

Add to that a Labour Mayor with his own agenda that reflects the Tory aim and they've got it made except for one thing, nasty bastards like us with an attitude of nothing to lose.

I think the time is coming when orgs become irrelevant which will upset the apple cart because TFL and the government rely on them to keep order in my opinion, mainly due to the fact an org can be used to interact with a trade as opposed to individuals. 

That irrelevance will happen eventually because they haven't evolved as they should have. I don't think they've listened enough, done enough or been aggressive enough. 

I was interviewed on LTR in December and I made that plain, I was on LTR in January at Peak Friens with the org leaders and I asked why a strategy or plan hadn't been formed and I was dismissed as a nuisance. 

I said that, as a trade we should have began this year in the most aggressive way possible and that it was vital we did so but it fell on deaf ears. I don't profess to have all the answers but as already stated Ive seen an obvious trend that should have been addressed long before now that's resulted in the sorry state we're in. 

The Daily Mail stories are obviously a welcome sight and, as previously stated, a job very well done by those responsible in LCDC as well as Guy Adams. 


However, they will only benefit us if we add our voices and weight to them. We can't just hope someone, somewhere takes up the mantle for us. 

We've tried that on many occasions and been shafted, inquiries have been called and that's only right but we must push the issue daily in pursuit of them being authorised. 

We can't just hope they're granted because it won't happen, it's the political way to sweep shit under the carpet and we can't let that happen with this, the goal is too precious.

Three dates in May need to be made to count. 18th, 23rd and the 30th. 

The first is Mayors question time at City Hall, the second is a national day of action called Lockdown London arranged by the GMB and the third is Uber license renewal day. 

Question time at City Hall must leave Khan in no doubt he's in trouble when he grants that license with us making his life as miserable as he's allowed ours to become. 

GMBs day of action will also be held all over the country and is designed to pressure authorities into giving Taxi/PH the level playing field we all deserve and I would urge everyone to take part, as we no longer have the luxury of reliance on our own ranks to stand firm with us anymore and our trade orgs haven't been able to arrange a national action so why not. 

The third is self explanatory and I consider that one to be the biggie, that's the one that all orgs need to concentrate on and I really hope they've got something planned that drives home a real statement of intent.

Rumblings are already in place for driver led action which I will be only too happy to take part in soon and it's purely because patience has run out. 

May will be an important and defining month for all of us and unfortunately it's come at a time when drivers are unconcerned with the consequences of there actions which is a fault I lay firmly at all the orgs doors for reasons already outlined. 

The anger and fury has reached a point now where it's beyond fever pitch, it has a real tangible feel about it but needs to be harnessed properly to avoid unnecessary incidents.

This could be done if the orgs step up and dispense with procedure, protocol and being nice. (Some may say they have already but I'm not convinced). 

Change from being reactive to being proactive and remove some of the fear we all have for the future. Make a stand that can't be misconstrued, change the situation from being one of us asking for meetings to one of them begging us for them.

If the orgs can't do it, we have to do it ourselves.

Our future and that of our families is in our hands and if need be we must take charge. Please don't let this opportunity pass us by, we won't get another one, EVER.

WE MUST LEARN FROM HISTORY, THATS WHAT ITS FOR!!
I don't want to see scenes from the miners strike happening here but I have visions of it happening if we're not careful. I here drivers talking about having nothing to lose and that's worrying. 
I'm reminded of that line in the film:

"WE LIVE, WE NEVER BLOODY LEARN!"

Be lucky. 

Harry.

Extra Comment : By 

From Paul Coghlan

The time for peaceful protest has passed. 

On a side issue 23 years of being in the west end at night watching the scum, has taught me how to hustle a living. 

Must I join this scum to feed my family as I can't see myself entering another profession at my age. 

Personally I'd rather fight to save what i have worked so hard for and by fight I mean by any means necessary.

From John Gerber

Please tell me why no one appears to be pushing in light of the Daily Mail articles the likes of Cameron, Osborne, Khan, Boris and TFL for a full response to the allegations.  


The silence is deafening and IMO shows their intentions to try and sweep this under the carpet.  As you say Harry here is an opportunity that we should be jumping on.  If we are waiting for the public to jump on it clearly that is not going to happen.  

On the face of it the general election is bad for us because everyone is so wrapped up in this.  But we should turn that around as an opportunity to push it to the forefront of this election by showing how corruption is rife in this government.  

The trade has to understand the power to try and stop this injustice is only going to happen by us.  In the main the media are as much wrapped around Uber as the government and the public don't care.  

So as you say Harry where are the battle plans and why so far has there only been one demo and a polite request for a parliamentary enquiry?

Editorial Comment :
Since publication, we've susiquently learned that the Mayor's Question Time for 18th May has been dropped. 

Friday, April 21, 2017

We've Said It Before And We'll Say It Again, Follow The Money...Did You Really Think TfL Wouldn't Relicense Uber.

Uber could pay up to £2.1 million for a five-year licence under proposed changes to minicab fees announced by Transport for London today. 

The car hire app, which has around 30,000 drivers in the capital, faces higher fees to reflect the transport body’s increased licensing and enforcement costs. 

Up till now TfL enforcement has been woefully inadequate. 

A new five-tier structure, which will apply to all minicab firms, will help fund the 250 extra compliance officers being hired to check insurance and other paperwork in a bid to raise industry standards.

TfL, launched a consultation into the fees yesterday, said the charges would make sure operators paid according to the resources required to regulate their operations. 

It would mean that the smallest minicab firms, those with fewer than 10 vehicles, pay £2,500 for a five-year licence. Currently those with more than two cars pay £2,826 regardless of the size of their fleet.

Uber and Addison Lee (which has almost 5,000 drivers), would pay £166,000 for a five-year licence, plus £68 for every vehicle registered.

In both cases the number of vehicles is thought to be lower than the number of drivers in operation.

The capital’s minicab industry has grown dramatically from 65,000 licensed drivers in 2013/14 to more than 117,000 today. The number of vehicles has increased from 50,000 to 87,000 over the same period.

TfL estimates that its enforcement costs alone over the next five years will reach £30 million, up from a previous estimate of £4 million.

The total projected cost for licensing, enforcement and compliance — to crack down on illegal and dangerous activity — for taxis and minicabs over five years is £209 million.

Editorial Comment :

Up till now, TfL's enforcement has been no more than a joke. With COs spending most of their time harassing working Taxi drivers forced to over-rank because of the shortage of rank spaces to accomadate 21,000 Taxis.

TfL’s Helen Chapman said: “The operator fees system is no longer fit for purpose.”

That's funny Helen, we know something else that's not fit for purpose....