Sunday, October 23, 2016

Letter To Taxi Leaks : Taxi Trade Must Call For A Public Dave Davies

I acknowledge that you are trying your best to make things happen. My frustration is that no one seems to listen to what I’m saying (and have been for many years)


TFL is corrupt. It is absolutely pointless protesting to them, meeting with them, speaking with them  or asking for them to do anything.

Sadiq Khan is the same . He promised that he would take action and he hasn’t. He is as much a part of the problem as TFL.

In fact you would not want to engage with him because he will use it as a an opportunity to cover up what is taking place. You would get a sham investigation.


The Standard published an article saying the demo was about bogus medical certificates.


My point was that the ONLY way anything will change is a Public Inquiry.

It is pointless asking TFL  or Sadiq Khan (who is chair of TFL) for a Public Inquiry as it will expose their own corruption.


Chris Grayling is Secretary of State for Transport. He has the legislative power to initiate a Public Inquiry for any  transport related issues. Daniel Zeichner does not have the power to do this although lobbying him may help.


The Taxi trade needs to have a focussed message by calling for a Public Inquiry into TFL because it has failed to comply with Public Law on many issues relating to London Taxis.

It needs to have a clear objective of how to achieve this; perhaps for as many Taxi Drivers as possible to write to their MPs asking them to formally support the call for  A Public Inquiry into TFL by the MP writing to Chris Grayling. 

Any taxi drivers who are constituents in Epsom and Ewell can email Chris Grayling directly asking for a Public Inquiry.

Any future protest needs to be focused on getting the attention of Chris Grayling and the media.   Perhaps outside his constituency office or outside the DFT Great Minster House33 Horseferry Rd, London SW1P 4DR


A protest at the DFT will focus attention on the fact that the DFT are allowing TFL to act with no accountability. It is not acceptable for them to say they don’t have jurisdiction when they clearly have the legislative power to intimate a Public Inquiry.


The protest yesterday did not get the attention of anyone who can do anything about the situation and the media reported it was about bogus medical certificates. As someone else said ; TFL were probably looking out of the window laughing.; they know you can’t touch them by this action.


I have said many times that the Taxi trade needs to do things properly.

A clear message with a clear objective should be delivered by means of a formal Press Release and a formal Press Conference conducted by someone who is competent to do so.

I saw a clip of Grant Davis speaking to a reporter amongst a scrum of drivers all adding irrelevant comments which distracted attention from the clear point that should have been made.


My frustration is compounded by my inability to communicate these points . I tried to give help and yet again it has been ignored.


Its not a case that you need to do some of the above for things to happen. It has to be 100 % correct; The right message , the right objective , proper target for a protest , proper Press Release and Proper Press conference


As always I wish you the best with your efforts.

Good luck.




Please  see the draft letter below. It may be good to send this out to drivers/members and ask them to post /share it?


Dear Taxi Drivers

Please copy and paste the letter below and email to your local MP asking for their urgent support.

A Public Inquiry to investigate TFL is the only way change will happen


Don't forget to add your full name and address or your MP may not reply. 

Dear (your local MP)

Can you please support the call for a Public inquiry to investigate the serious failures of Transport for London?

London is gridlocked and choking with toxic air pollution.

The regulatory body responsible for this is Transport for London, which is a Public Body.

Unfortunately TFL is not structured as a Public Body and does not act  as a Public Body  in compliance with Public Law.

It is structured as a complicated web of private Limited Companies with TFL employees as directors of those companies.

TFL has an annual budget in excess of £11 billion of taxpayers money yet is accountable to absolutely no one.

The structure of TFL and its lack of accountability is something in itself which should be properly scrutinized.


However there are far more serious issues as a result of that lack of accountability.


TFL have failed to act in compliance with Public Law on many issues

London Taxi and Private Hire –LTPH- have failed to regulate properly. 

·         They have issued tens of thousands of Private Hire Licenses without proper background checks, without proper insurance checks , without proper medical checks and with no proper regulation or enforcement.

The result is traffic congestion, air pollution and Londoners being exposed to serious safety and security risks.

·         They have introduced a Taxi Age Limit based on false evidence that the newer taxis were less polluting. More than 10,000 London Taxis have been scrapped at great expense to drivers for no proper purpose. Trade organisations were misled by TFL that this policy would reduce air pollution when the technical evidence clearly showed the older taxis were less polluting

·         There is no proper process or consultation with many of the other decisions made by LTPH in relation to Taxis and Private Hire

TFL have also failed on many other issues.

·         They have failed to comply with proper planning process. The Cycle Lanes which have contributed to the gridlocked streets and therefore more air pollution is one example. TFL ignored the Planning process claiming the project was ‘road improvements’ and not a change of use, even though they were changing the use of the road specifically for cycles. The result is clear to see.

·         They have failed with proper procurement process. This includes the Garden Bridge project and the Old London Underground projects which have both failed to comply with proper lawful process.

·         The number of empty buses driving in central London causing congestion and pollution has increased, and at the same time the Directors of TFL hold significant shares in the bus companies.


In December 2014 the GLA Transport Committee filed a report about TFL following an extensive inquiry, in relation to Taxi and Private Hire. The report listed many failings and described TFL as ‘Woefully Inadequate’. The result of that report was absolutely nothing. 

This confirms two things; firstly that TFL are failing and not acting in compliance with Public  Law and secondly that they are unaccountable. They just ignored the Transport Committee inquiry and report and took no action.


Public Law

It is a requirement of Public Law that decisions made by a Public body or someone in Public Office follow correct procedure, are rational and evidence based, for proper purpose, proportionate and properly reasoned. These criteria exist to ensure that decisions made by a Public Body result in effective policies and strategies.  It is extremely important to acknowledge that these criteria are not just an obligation they are legal requirements and the failure to comply with these requirements is the reason why TFL’s decisions and  strategies have failed.


The legal requirements for a Public Body are to

1/Follow correct procedure

2/ Be Rational and Evidence based

3/Have proper purpose

4/to comply with the European Convention for Human Rights

5/To be Proportionate

6/To be properly Reasoned


TFL have failed to comply with these requirements.


Public Inquiry

It seems that the Government has taken no notice of many complaints about TFL (including by MPs) and the obvious failings, despite the clear lack of compliance with Public Law and the clear harm to the Public (from air pollution , sexual assaults, and the numerous accidents in London caused by unregulated drivers) 
The ONLY reasonable solution is for the failures to be properly investigated in the format of a Judicial Public Inquiry

Certain characteristics can be identified in those public inquiries that have taken place:
·         Widespread loss of life
·         Threats to public health or safety
·         Failure by the state in its duty to protect
·         Failure in regulation
·         Shocking events
1.      Allegations of serious misconduct and prima facie merit have been made against those acting, or purporting to act, on behalf of the state and
2.      Those allegations are sufficiently widespread and are being treated sufficiently seriously by those outside Government to undermine the public’s confidence in the integrity of the State and in the rule of law and
3.      The allegations relate to a sufficiently defined event or series of events to allow an inquiry to be given proper and clear terms of reference and
An inquiry would represent the most effective means of establishing the merit of the allegations made and so of restoring public confidence.
It is the best possible way of establishing why previous TFL strategies have failed so that these mistakes are not repeated and proper effective urgent action is taken in the future.


Regards (Taxi Drivers Name, Badge No and Fulll Address)



Saturday, October 22, 2016

London Thunderbird Taxis Are Go...

Watch our for five Thunderbirds taxis in London this weekend!

The publicity stunt hosted to celebrate the new series of ITV’s Thunderbirds Are Go, will see five traditional London black cabs transformed on October 22 and 23 into either Thunderbird 1,2,3 or 4. A tribute to Lady Penelope’s iconic six-wheeled pink Rolls Royce, FAB 1, will also be available to hire.

Each car will be transformed with wings, personalised number plates and what are being billed as ‘rockets’ – though even the Tracy family have to abide by the law. Scott Tracy, who drives Thunderbird One in the series, will give every passenger a mission and each cab will be driven by a take on Penelope’s Parker.

Thunderbirds Are Go is ITV’s reboot of Gerry Anderson’s classic Thunderbirds (1965) which continues to draw in new fans to the incredible Gerry Anderson original 51 years on from its original production.

Even if you're not into the International Rescue team and their escapades, the brightly coloured taxis are well worth looking out for, as they're charging just £1 for a ride within central London.

You'll find the ThunderCabs flying around near major tourist attractions including Madame Tussauds, the Science Museum and the London Eye. 

All proceeds will be donated to The Children’s Trust Charity, the UK’s leading charity for children with brain injury. Rides can be booked on October 22 and October 23 from 9am to 5pm.

Midnight Flash Demo, Joined By Exciting New LED AdVan.

It's no big secret....the London Licensed Taxi Trade find their licensing authority an embarrassment !

Late last night, London's finest, decided to bring to public attention, the disgusting bias and scandalous agenda being waged against the Taxi trade by licensing authority TfL.

While TfL's PCOs visit mainline stations harassing hard working Taxi drivers with Badge and Bill checks and operation Neon officers casually saunter from McDonalds to Starbucks around Mayfair, illegal touts are openly touting, encouraged by TfL's lapsed attitude. One of the worse areas appear to be the Shoreditch High And surrounding streets.

It's been alleged for years by disgruntled Taxi drivers, that TfL, their COs and City police turn a blind eye, letting the touts clear the streets, because it's cheaper than actually policing the area and keeping the public safe. 

It's also alleged, 75% of all minicab sexual assault and rape victims, have been picked up outside clubs are bars in the Shoreditch area.

Concerned members of the Flash Demo group were joined by other groups such as the Dads Defending Daughters, Mayfair Mob and the ITA. Drivers assembled at Finsbury Square at 11:30 pm and on the stroke of midnight, made their way to Shoreditch, bringing the area to a complete standstill. 

The night time protest also saw the latest addition to the trades armoury, a LED screened AdVan. Financed by the brand new -driver owned, driver lead- TaxiApp. 


This latest Demo is the third in eight days. 
A spokesperson for the drivers said:
"We intend to step up our action now, and could be having three demos a week, eventually increasing to daily demos, if TfL keep choosing to ignore us."

The spokesperson went on to say:
"TfL must be worried, as all the different groups are uniting. The recent protests have also attracted support from the majority of trade representative orgs. The one thing TfL fear is our unity. There seems to be only one org who refuses to support the latest wave of action and there's no prizes for guessing which org that is.

"The police were initially caught out but were in good spirits and some even told protestors they supported our action."
"Initially the protests was kept between a small group of individual drivers, but by word of mouth, surprisingly we saw over 300 drivers turned up".

As the protest dispersed, drivers were adamant that more flash style action needs to take place, as a compliment to main line demonstrations.

Taxi Leaks Afterthought:
Do you find it disturbing, that some of our Orgs are now condemning drivers for doing what the Orgs used to do?

Friday, October 21, 2016

Friends In High I'm Spartacus

Good piece on the landline, but it goes deeper, much deeper.

If anyone would care to visit you'll find an article on there from a chap called Daniel Korski which is a list of reasons why Brexit triumphed leading to the demise of Cameron.

Daniel Korski is a self confessed policy wonk and free marketeer (although quite who is made free has never been clear to me apart from the rich free to pay the poor less), anyhow this chap worked for Cameron in number 10 on policy matters at a senior level.

The second paragraph in his article stated that they (Cameron and the In campaign) used Uber's 'customer' base for propaganda in some way yet explained.

We know from FOI that this chap Korski was on the circulation list of correspondence about Uber from Leon Daniels of TfL and that Leon attended meetings with Korski.

Why is a TfL official copying him in?

We know again from FOI there was significant telephone and email traffic to and from 'Dear Jo' at Uber from Daniels including on a Sunday morning.

These are the facts as we know them.

So we can attempt in a vacuum to join the dots up, we can reasonably speculate that these conversations weren't about inadequate driver checks, non insurance, tax avoidance etc etc and the need to stop this.

Any answers Leon?

We can speculate that that the licensing authority seemed happy to risk the livelihoods and living standards of many thousands of their licensees and endanger the public for someone's short term political gain.

Again Leon, we are not alleging anything just seeking clarity.

It certainly makes the call for a high level parliamentary enquiry essential and to have Korski, Daniels, Bertram and if need be Cameron before the committee.

That is certainly something both us and PH must call for TODAY, this is about democracy, rule of law and the possible subversion of the impartial quasi judicial licensing process, again we allege nothing but we seek the truth.

What of Korski and Cameron?

Cameron has been described as the worst prime minister for a hundred years (that is saying something!) and he is disappearing into well heeled obscurity, but it's the obscurity he won't like but it's well deserved.

Korski remains active, obviously an intelligent chap but on reading his article, he doesn't seem to have the wisdom to truly grasp the dynamics at play and makes the common mistake of politicos blaming the delivery of the message for the failure rather than the fundamental flaw of the message.

We're still here, bloodied but unbowed, we will still be here when the EU, Cameron, Daniels, TfL and  Uber are long forgotten.


We're just much better at our jobs than they are or were!

I'm Spartacus

TfL To Drop Requirement For Private Hire Operator To Have A LandLine. Ignoring Consultation Result

Someone pinch me it really 2016.
After reading be latest diatribe spewed out from Blackfriars, I'm truly beginning to think we a stuck in 1984, or living in North Korea. 

For 4 1/2 years TfL have continued with a light fingered approach and ignored, Uber's reluctance to conform to regulations set down by acts of Parliament in a number of Hackney Carriage acts, Cab Orders and the PHV act 1998. 

Number one on the long list of noncompliance must be the failure to insure their drivers were fully insured, closely followed by them never having an accessible landline for pre bookings and customer contact (a requirement for licensing as a PH operator and covered by the PHV act 1998)

Let's not forget the jaw dropping saga, as Managing Director of Surface Transport Leon Daniels explained to a benign GLA Transport committee, all about a mythical on off insurance policy (which according to the Association of British insurers never existed in the first place). 

This lead on to more lies about Uber's landline which when asked by GLA members to supply, he said 'haven't got it to hand right now', then on a subsequent occasion,  supplied the private number of Uber's director of operations, saying it was the illusive pre booking line. 

When pointed out who was at the end of the line, Daniels added 'it wasn't mentioned in the act that the landline had to be a permanency'. Much concern has been shown over this issue, so TfL in their infinite wisdom, held a consultation. 

Now we find in light of the consultation, even though the majority voted to keep the landline requirement, TfL have decided to drop it, saying they feel the consultation could have been filled out by aggrieved Taxi drivers. 

Meanwhile we've had to watch PH applicants licensed with fake medicals, fake topographic test passes, not being in possession of Hire and Reward insurance.

While we've been harassed for over ranking, we've seen compliance walk by PHV's openly plying for hire, sometimes sitting on licensed Taxi ranks....and while all this has been going on, Licensed Taxi regulations have been updated and will be vigorously enforced by a new army of compliance, no prisoners will be taken. 

We've been told:
 •You will take CC
 •You will take contactless payments
 •You will absorb transaction and incidental charges
 •You will gave a paper, printed receipt
 •You will remove all previous stickers 
 •You will replace with TfL authorised stickers
 •You will buy a Purpose built electric Taxi vehicle

The list seems to be never ending. 
If all this wasn't ridiculous enough, we come to yesterday's unbelievable edit from TfLTPH, who now informs us 
You cannot refuse Scottish notes

News to the Bank of England's banking code on legal tender.

 Can you see the pattern unfolding here?
As Taxi regulation are aggressively tightened up, private hire regulation has being relaxed. And where legislation seemed to be solid, TfL top officers have coached Uber on how to circumnavigate you regulations. 

So why do we find ourselves in this uncomfortable position?

Uber's licence runs out in the spring of next year. TfL and the Mayor office are reluctant to take any action that may halt issue of a Uber's renewal. So any action against uber will be postponed until after they are relicensed. 

TfL say if you have head rests on the passenger compartment side of your partition window, then the CC sticker must go on the seat really couldn't make this crap up....

You will probably need a boxful of these stickers as they don't stick very well to the plastic which is not a smooth surface and will peel off very easily. If a passenger removes, you won't see it until you make a concerted effort to observe. 

Top caption shouldn't read should read Mockery.
Question: Who gives these people jobs?
Ask yourself: Would Uber stand for this?


Thursday, October 20, 2016

Taxi Vigilante Catches Uber Cars (Licensed by TfL) Illegally Working Egham Railway Station, in Surrey.

Salvatore Barrile has been a Hackney Carriage driver for 16 years in Surrey - and said the situation was bigger than many might think

A self-styled "vigilante Uber hunter" has been filming himself as he takes-on what he claims are illegally-parked minicab drivers parking in disabled bays.

Salvatore Barrile, alongside a group of taxi drivers "fighting for their livelihoods", has been challenging private hire drivers parking illegally in taxi rank bays at Egham Railway Station, in Surrey. 

The 46-year-old, who has been a Hackney Carriage driver for 16 years in Runnymede borough, said the situation was bigger than many might think.

"It isn't just parking on non-authorised taxi bays."

Mr Barrile has documented his woes with drivers over the months, taking pictures and video of various cars parking in both disabled and taxi bays, 

A spokesman for the national taxi hailing mobile app said he "believed" both minicabs featured in Mr Barrile's videos were "Uber Partners".

Meanwhile, the Transport For London Taxi and Private Hire vehicle checker was able to verify both minicabs in the video are licenced in London, meaning the two drivers caught on camera were carrying out trips in the Runnymede area.

A spokesman for Uber added the company "will remind drivers that have carried out pre-booked trips from Egham Station where they are able to park".

Uber drivers fall into the Private Hire Vehicles category of the licencing rules which means that, once a licence is obtained, the holder can "take pre-booked jobs in an area covering a radius from that borough" according to advisory literature on the Runnymede Borough Council website.

This means in boroughs which do allow Uber drivers to operate such as Windsor, Maidenhead, London Boroughs and Woking, the holder can then use their licence in "a radius" from that area.

But Mr Barrile believes these rules make a "mockery" of the licencing system.

"As a taxi licenced by Runnymede, I have to follow all the regulations including a topographic knowledge test of the area, proof that I can drive safely by doing a driving test too," he said.

A self-styled "vigilante Uber hunter" has been filming himself as he takes-on what he claims are illegally-parked minicab drivers parking in disabled bays.

Salvatore Barrile, alongside a group of taxi drivers "fighting for their livelihoods", has been challenging private hire drivers parking illegally in taxi rank bays at Egham Railway Station, in Surrey. 

The 46-year-old, who has been a Hackney Carriage driver for 16 years in Runnymede borough, said the situation was bigger than many might think.

"We are getting flooded by Uber drivers coming from all over," he said. "It is going on every day. I just hope people understand the effect Uber is having on our livelihood

And in the meantime, all those drivers coming from outside the area don't have to follow any of these regulations."

He also claims Uber is "overworking" its drivers by making them work "over 16-hour days", an allegation refuted by an Uber spokesman.

"Licensed private hire drivers who use the Uber App are independent contractors who are free to log into the app when and where they choose," he said. 

Source :