Monday, May 02, 2016

Emma To Abseil Royal London Building, In Aid Of ROYAL LONDON AIR AMBULANCE.

We're frequently asked to put our hand in our pockets, some do, some don't, some just can't afford to do it.

But this time it's slightly different. 
I would like to take this opportunity, to ask your support for Emma Martin, one of the young ladies from the #SaveTaxi group. 

Emma has given so much to our trade. She was there for us when we needed help.
Lucky to be alive, amazingly, she is still fighting our corner.

This time, Emma is asking for help to raise money for the wonderful service that saved her life.

Below is her story, please read....please donate. 

This is not my usual post, but I would really like your support! Sorry it might be a bit long but I'm sure it makes pretty interesting reading material. 

Back in October I had a serious life threatening accident in which I was saved by the amazing crew from the ROYAL LONDON AIR AMBULANCE!! 

I got crushed between my car and the house and sustained some very traumatic injuries...both lungs punctured, 11 broken ribs, broken vertebrae in my back and a broken collar bone! I was in ICU on life support and the trauma ward for 12 days at The Royal London Hospital!

I was also very well looked after (mentally) by the amazing ladies of the #SaveTaxi group, now very special people in my life, who were a godsend at all times of the day even in the early hours of the morning. (Many laughs we had especially with the amount of drugs I was on). 

It was only a couple of months later, running up and down Pancras Road in my hi viz vest, moving those U***s on, I realising how bad my severley fractured collar bone was. In January I went into surgery where I had a bone graft and metal plates inserted.

Still I wanted to do the demos and fight for the trade to try and do something! 

London is now so congested, I'm surprised that any of the Emergency Services are able to get through the sheer amount of traffic on the streets.

Which is why I want to do something, and give back to the amazing people who saved not only  my life, but many other's lives and maybe someday your's too. (Hopefully they will never have to).

So, as I am on the mend, I am going to raise funds by abseiling  down "The Royal London Building", which will be 17 floors down from the Helipad. 
I don't even know if I'm scared of heights lol!

The Air Ambulance is not Government funded and relies soley on donations
So this is where you could all help me. 

Just £5 would make a difference, but if all you have is a £1 that's fine too. Whatever I can raise, helps this amazing service which I think, is probably needed now more than ever.

If you would like to sponsor me please click on the link below and thank you so much in advance!

Stronger together! 


Sunday, May 01, 2016

Letter to Editor : Touting and associated dangers of unbooked Tom Scullion.

While London is safe for most people travelling at night, we still have major concerns over the dangers of travelling in unbooked minicabs.

All minicabs must be licensed by TfL and must be booked in advance. Any minicab that isn't booked by phone, email, an app or in a licensed minicab office is illegal and unsafe.

Your minicab is classified as unbooked and unsafe, if:

A private hire or minicab driver approaches you on the street
You approach a minicab driver on the street directly, and they accept your journey without a booking - even if the driver is licensed by us
A bouncer, or somebody with a high visibility jacket and clipboard, hails you a minicab on the street
Even minicabs lined up outside pubs and clubs are breaking the law if they accept your fare without a booking first.

Even though Tfl think it is acceptable to jump in an Uber car then make a booking it is not, its illegal.

Uber drivers are afforded more privileges than A Green badge London Taxi driver for example:

NSL testing centre licenses PHV drivers without hire and reward insurance and since this has been brought to tfl's attention they are still blatantly ignoring the law by licensing 700 PHV drivers every week.

Tfl have granted an operators license to Uber who openly encourage their staff / drivers to ply for hire, in fact Uber do not accept pre-bookings which spits in the face of the 1998 PHV act.
Uber drivers are allowed to ply for hire anywhere in the UK eg. Heathrow, Gatwick, Luton , City Airport and as far as Bath.

Ubers terms and conditions and in sec 3 ( acceptance of bookings) it states " You should be aware that the transportation provider to which your phv booking is allocated and who provides transportation services may be licensed in an area other than where the booking is requested or the transportation service is provided" ok well lets look at PHV act 1998 sec4( sub 2) : A London phv operator shall secure that any vehicle which is provided by him for carrying out private hire bookings accepted by him in London is ( a ) : A vehicle for which a London phv licence is in force, driven by a person holding a London phv licence. So no one else can pick up in London unless your licensed in London, What do you think of that then.

Imagine a Green badge driver touting outside their area Gatwick for example the Police would throw the book at them and they would also be arrested for no insurance. Hire and Reward insurance is VOID if you are breaking the law by touting or working outside your licensed area.

The Police turn a blind eye to Uber drivers plying for hire or touting in our Capital 24/7 look at the mainline  train Stations plagued with these drivers plying for hire electronically through their App.   Yet if a Taxi driver has the audacity to over rank its a instant nick. 

One rule for us, and no rules for them.

Be lucky 

Tom Scullion

Bottled It Again?: LTDA Tone Down AdVan Message.

The best thing to come out of Taxi House for many years was the hard hitting AdVan poster, showing the public the true extent of the dangers of using an unbooked minicabs. 

The poster was backed up by a freedom of information request reference number and carried an image that had appeared on TfL's own safer travel at night campaign posters. We know it was having an impact, because the touts and potential predators were getting irate, plus the GMB Union, weren't happy bunnies either.

We also knew TfL would be not be very happy with the content of this poster. 
A certain trade org recently applied to TfL (Under a freedom of information request) for statistics appertaining to minicab assaults and rapes over the last 12 month period. But when given the requested statistics, TfL had back tracked and given stats from a slightly early time frame, April 2014 to April 2015, which gave a lower total. They then asked for these statitics not to be published, as it was feared even though they were lower, could frighten people away from using minicabs. 
However, the TfL statistics were leaked on social media. 

But then Taxi Leaks came into possession of a more recent set of figures which showed a greater amount of sexual attacks
These latest statistics were legally obtained by FOI request from the Metropolitan Police. 

The original AdVan poster was designed by myself and sent to Steve McNamara who replied that he would put this to the LTDA lawyers. Personally, I thought that would be the end of it.

But I was amazed and over the moon, when I found that they had posted a similar poster on the AdVan and it was out on the ranks, informing vulnerable people just how dangerous it could be to jump into a minicab without first booking through the correct channels. 

Unfortunately and true to form, we now find that the LTDA have bottled it with the message and dummed down the statistics.
The wow factor 154 recorded sexual assaults, have been reduced to just 32 attacks, alleged to be Uber drivers. 

Why have the LTDA dumbed down this campaign?

It's not just Uber drivers who are attacking, sexually assaulting and raping passengers. Last year there were 154 sexual attacks, only 32 were alleged to be Uber drivers.

After the leaked Mike Calvey letters, which lead to the Justice for the LTDA Two saga, there are now even more questions that now need answers:
Why have the LTDA dummed down the sexual assaults message?
Who has complained and to whom?
Why would the LTDA take notice of any complaints?

Did the LTDA feel that going with the original poster would mar their chances of getting another executive committee member on the next board of TfL?

Do the LTDA feel that a seat on the board of TFL is worth compromising public safety and letting down their members and the trade?

Should the LTDA resign and break completely from the board of TfL by not seeking reappointment?
Being on the board of TfL is a massive conflict of interest which grossly affects their ability to represent both their members and the Taxi trades best interests.

Was this latest issue a cop out, designed to appease TfL and or the GMB (who also represent licensed London Taxi drivers)?

If they are going to cave in this easy, then they might as well stick the monkey back on the van, because that's obviously how TfL view the LTDA.

While the organ grinder plays the tune, the monkey dances.

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Expelled, For Seeking Answers To Questions : Swept Under The Carpet? ... Not This Time.

This trade IS sleep walking into oblivion.
Certain people we trusted, have been partner to agendas and bad decisions, in full knowledge of the direction we were being taken.

They sat back, said and did nothing. Certain trade reps were/are afraid to speak out, incase they're turned away from the meetings and black balled. Smaller, more militant groups which formed in the wake of the lack of proper representation, were excluded altogether.

A tribal system was set in place, engineered to keep us divided and weak, while affording those complicit, a cosy little number.

Look at the state of our once glorious trade.
The overpriced Taxis, the advertising, some smothered by all over liveries and super sides which tarnish the look of our once iconic vehicles. 

Look at the symbolism.
The different coloured lanyards, diaries, IDs, window stickers, all of which divide the trade further, instead of helping to unite the rank and file. 
We have been forced into subgroups, reducing any form of resistance and diluting the spirit to fight.

Not satisfied with going forward together for the benefit of the trade, building little empires seeking singular glory, dropping a spanner in the works of any plan put forward by others, which failed to result in the complete kudos coming their way. 

They've filled their respective magazines and news letters for many years with self glorification content which further added to diversifying the workforce.

Anyone who stands up and cries foul, is immediately castigated and expelled. 

                   >CLICK HERE<

LondonTaxiPR New Advertising Campaign To Promote The Trade.

Hi all, just a quick post to make you all aware that we at LondonTaxiPR are raising funds for a new advertising campaign. 

The target required is 14k ! The campaign is for advertising the trade in 30 London clubs & bars, as well as in 8 stations. 

The coverage on this is huge, and targets the young social audience, plus all ages passing through the stations. Estimated quality impacts on this campaign is approx 3.5 million. Quality impacts are the amount of times the ads will be physically seen over the 4 week campaign period.

Washroom posters, beer mats, bar towels, mirror signage will all be promoting our trade & service. 
Many have voiced their demands for our trade having positive PR. If you want advertising & PR for our trade then we, at LondonTaxiPR have the campaigns to introduce it. All we ask is for you to back your demands.

Just 1000 drivers contributing £14 gives us this target, the same as 1400 drivers contributing just £10, and all the money contributed by each of you, helps to promote you and your trade. 

To join in & contribute towards this new fantastic campaign, targeting London's clubs, bars & stations audience, go to and click on the PayPal donate link at the bottom of the page. 

This trade has recently shown that it can come together and support positive actions. The generosity shown by the trade in contributing to such actions is superb. Let's make another positive campaign happen. 

You can find out more about us by visiting our website or follow us on Twitter @londontaxi_pr 


Many thanks 

Lee & Gary

Friday, April 29, 2016

Sarah Lacy, founder, Editor in Chief, CEO, On Arianna Huffington Joining Uber Board.

Really sad and hurt and disgusted to see the news that Arianna Huffington is joining the board of Uber. This is a company whose treatment of women has been so horrible that the UN Women's group backed out of a deal with them. That's right: When it comes to women's issues, Uber is "the North Korea" of startups. 

It's an organization that has blamed women's attire or alcohol intake when they've claimed to be assaulted in Uber cars. It's an organization that does marketing stunts alluding to women as prostitutes. 

Not only that, it's an organization that threatens the lives and families of female *journalists* specifically. So Arianna is doubly selling out "her own." 

It gets worse: Arianna was at the dinner where Emil Michael threatened to "go after" the families of me and other journalists in the most disgusting ways you can imagine. And she did nothing. When I asked her she said she didn't hear it. Convenient. I asked if she had heard it, if she would have reported it. She did not answer. 

This is all the more harrowing to me because Arianna was my previous "boss" when AOL bought TechCrunch. And sadly, I was the one who defended her as AOL eroded so much of the value of the brand-- specifically TechCrunch's fierce voice and willingness to call out bad actors in the tech world. 

I was in labor with Eli when Michael Arrington was ousted from the company. He and Heather had promised me the job of editor in chief. It was given to someone else by Arianna while I was in labor. Even then, I gave her the benefit of the doubt as she likely didn't know about this plan. 

But today, I have no illusions that Arianna supports women, journalists or otherwise, if it's remotely inconvenient for her. 

Four years ago, she sent Eli baby presents when she needed me to stay at AOL. Today, she goes to work for someone who actually threatened my family. It's staggering. 

Paul and I have frequently debated what would have happened if I'd stayed at TechCrunch. He'd long argued AOL would have never allowed us to the journalism we've done over the last four years. I argued the right leadership at TechCrunch could have kept the fierce, truth-telling, no bullshit spirit that made it the industry's conscience in it's pre-AOL heyday. 

Sadly, today's news confirms that I was wrong about Arianna. There's no doubt we would have been silenced. 

On one level, I feel like I've dodged a bullet making the decision I did to leave four years ago. But it makes me so sad to see a strong powerful woman in the industry sell out so many other women who don't have a voice. For what? Money? Power? 

THIS is what holds women back in tech, in media, and in any corner of the business world.