Monday, June 30, 2014

It's Not Just The Taxi Trade Who Think TfL Are Totally Failing London...Their Own Staff Ain't Too Happy


  TfL's Internal Staff Newsletter For June 2014:

Official statistics show that prices are still rising more than wages, and the Bank of England is now talking about interest rate rises in the near future. Your cost of living is going up, yet TfL is proposing to freeze your wages. This is a wage freeze that may last for 5 years or more, with any future rises based upon arbitrary ‘market comparisons’.

As a consequence of these proposals, the value of your pension will decline, so you will suffer not just now but in the future.

There are already massive inequalities in pay between staff doing the same job; these proposals will make them worse over time. This comes at a time when TfL has made little or no progress in improving their performance on equality and diversity of staff in senior grades over the last ten years.

To make matters worse, in order to qualify for a non-pensionable bonus you will need to demonstrate that you have met the TfL Behaviours; highly subjective and potentially discriminatory measures which lead the way for favouritism and cronyism to prevail.

But is not just the content of TfL’s Pay for Performance that is unjust and unreasonable. The manner in which TfL has sought to impose these proposals without meaningful consultation with staff unions further demonstrates their contempt for their hardworking staff.

TfL bosses have consistently refused to go to ACAS to seek resolution to this dispute. HR Director, Tricia Riley, has repeatedly said she is willing to negotiate with the unions, yet she has failed to come to the table even once, instead sending others to deliver the message that TfL will not talk about the fundamental aspects of their proposals.

TfL staff have demonstrated their opposition to Pay for Performance with strike action and action short of strike. We will soon be asking members to lobby individual members of the TfL Board of Directors and are building links with press, political and community allies.

Our dispute is escalating. PCS members in TfL are now balloting for industrial action, and support for the dispute is growing stronger both inside and outside of TfL.

No Pay for Performance talks, No P&D talk!

It is vital that we keep up the pressure on TfL; action short of strike is really beginning to bite, particularly non-participation in the P&D Process. 

Managers are now trying to get around this non- participation by asking to staff to complete their P&D on the old form or on blank paper. 

It is important to remember that any information that you provide – in whatever format - will be used by TfL to implement the new P&D scheme. 

It is therefore vital that we do not participate in the P&D process in any way at all. For guidance go to: http://tflunionstogether.org/faq/#short

The solution to this dispute is straightforward. TfL management need to come to the table and engage in meaningful consultation and negotiation; they need to work WITH staff not AGAINST them.
Together we send that message loud & clear. Together we can make them listen.


TSSA, RMT and Unite staged a second day of strike action against TfL’s plans to freeze our pay and slash our pensions. This time the turnout was bigger, better and stronger, with more staff than ever taking action and picket lines at 11 of TfL’s major workplaces and several TICs closed.

Support for our campaign is growing both outside and within TfL, with union membership still on the rise.
If you are not a union member, now is the time to join. Remember, together we are stronger.

Mayor to be questioned about TfL Pay for Performance:

Members of the London Assembly are to question Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, about TfL’s plans to freeze pay and cut pensions of hard working staff, whilst increasing the number of highly paid senior post-holders.

As head of the TfL Board of Directors, Johnson has ultimate responsibility for – and the power to influence – TfL policy and practises. Instead of wasting millions of pounds on his personal vanity projects such as the Routemaster buses and the seldom-used cable cars, many of London’s elected AMs believe that TfL should be recognising the committed TfL staff who keep London moving.

Ten times per year the Mayor is required to attend Mayor’s Question Time to answer to AMs and to Londoners. 
The next MQT takes place on Wednesday, 2 July at City Hall on the South Bank, and TfL’s pay for performance proposals will feature high on the agenda.

If you have any questions that you would like our supporters in the London Assembly to put to Boris Johnson, then email them by Friday, 27 June to: taylorm@tssa.org.uk.

The Mayor’s answers to questions are published on line and we will be sharing them with
union members as soon as they are made available. 

TfL staff and all members of the
Hands off our pay & pensions
public are entitled to attend and view Mayor’s Question Time.




Friday, June 27, 2014

Uber Now Using Illuminated Signage In Manchester...Will London Be Next?

The Post below was sent to Taxi Leaks Editor, from the Manchester Black Cab Trade Board. 


I believe this sign is Illegal, I've posted the relevant section of the 1981 Greater Manchester Act.

It is quite obvious what Parliament's intention was when this section was implemented. You must not trick the public into thinking you are a Licensed vehicle available for hire. 

The interesting additional feature of this sign, I am told, is that the light goes out when it is mobile with a passenger on board, just as a real Taxi hire light goes out in the same circumstances.

I will of course see that the matter is reported to the local authority, BUT, I doubt they will do anything about it.

It is just one more thing to be added to any further action we need to take against this failing authority.





    Source MCRBlackCab Proboards, posted by AcneDriver.


Minicab Related Sex Crimes Set To Rise Dramatically Nationwide, As Taxi And Private Hire Rules Are Relaxed...by Jim Thomas


Minicabs forming an illegal rank, TfL and City Police turn a blind eye. This is organised crime, on a regular basis. Would you know if driver had a TfL PHV drivers licence?

The case in the article below is at present the exception rather than the rule. But with the new deregulation bill being pushed through by 285 MP's, who are voting along party lines rather than with their conscience, we will see this type of incident in the article, becoming almost common place. 

At present in London, a sexual predator can go along to a number if car lots and buy a cheap minicab vehicle, complete with TfL licence roundels. That same night, could be out mixing amongst the lines of minicabs illegally plying for hire outside clubs and bars, looking for fresh victims.

There are also 10,000 minicab drivers who are not contracted to an operator. Every journey they take is unrecorded, uninsured.
TfL refuse to enforce private hire, concentrating only on licensed Taxis.

TfL are Totally Failing London, Totally Failing the public and putting people in danger. It's time that the government stepped in and investigated why this situation has come about.

This is already the situation in London and now as the deregulation bill passes through, we can expect these crimes to escalate nationwide.

Article from the Slough Express:

Slough Minicab Firm Fined £5153 in total fines for using unlicensed minicab driver.

A £6 fare turned into thousands of pounds worth of fines and costs for a Slough-based mini-cab service.

511 Viking Cars has admitted to sending Osman Ahmed, who did not hold a private hire driver’s licence, to pick up a woman from Wexham Park Hospital on October 23 last year.

Ahmed claimed to have forgotten his ID badge and driver call sign when he was stopped at the junction of Hornbeam Gardens and Upton Road by police and council officers in his silver Toyota Avensis during routine checks.

However follow-up checks confirmed Ahmed was unlicensed.
The woman had called the service’s Slough number but the driver was dispatched from its Windsor office.

By law the company is only allowed to use drivers and vehicles licensed in Slough.

Company director Saeed Ahmed, 54, of Salt Hill Way, Slough, admitted using an unlicensed driver and vehicle at Slough Magistrates’ Court on Thursday, June 19.

He was ordered to pay £1,788 – £750 in fines, £1,000 costs and a £38 victim surcharge.
511 Viking Cars was fined £1,300 and ordered to pay £2,000 costs, plus a £65 victim surcharge.
Ahmed, 32, of Adelaide Close, Slough, also pleaded guilty and was fined £500. He must pay £600 costs and a £15 victim surcharge.

Mick Sims, licensing manager for Slough Borough Council, said: “Licensing rules are there for the primary reason of protecting the public. To flout them in this manner is totally unacceptable and we simply won’t tolerate it.
“It begs the question whether it was all worth it for such a small fare of £6.”


    source: http://www.sloughexpress.co.uk/

Thursday, June 26, 2014

EXCLUSIVE: Move to Faith Lawson House Westminster, Confirmed By Garret Emmerson: And there's more!!!

The long expected exile of TPH has now been officially announced to Staff at Palestra.


In a memo to staff, Garret Emmerson announced :

"As I am sure you know Palestra is busy. The number of colleagues based here has reached a level beyond that which we are able to comfortably accommodate. 
 
"After carefully considering a range of options at Surface Board, we believe the best option is to move our Service Operations Directorate to a refurbished Faith Lawson House in Westminster.
 
"Areas in other directorates that work in partnership on Service Operations projects will also co-locate to Faith Lawson House."
 
So, in line with the Surface Integration Program (SIP), Taxis and private hire will be moved to the Westminster building, along with  Project and Programmes Directorate, Finance, Commercial and IT staff supporting the business.
Along with appropriate Asset Management, Enforcement and on Street Operations and Planning staff. 
Also elements of Victoria Coach Station, River Services and (in their own words) customer experience, in relation to Cycle Hire Transformation and Road User Charging in relation to Group Planning.

Garret goes on to say:
"These changes will also allow us to achieve our long standing ambition to move the (EOS) traffic enforcement team into Palestra, to work alongside London Streets Traffic Control Centre (LSTCC) to focus on minimising congestion through effective enforcement."

So as predicted, the bus boys will be taking over Palestra.

We expect the refurbishment work to begin shortly, and staff to start to move in from October. Over summer we will work on plans of how to best use the space left vacant at Palestra

A member of staff who wishes to remain anonymous said:
They didn't even have the grace to contact each affected staff member personally. Emails were sent to managers which told them as some staff are not on line, print off and stick on notice boards.
It's disgraceful the way we've been treated.


Are TfL Digging In For A Fight? ...by Jim Thomas

It's been alleged that TfL are to batten down their hatches after fears that a United Taxi Trade could be regularly protesting outside the Blackfriars offices of Taxi and Private Hire. TPH are to be farmed out to a little known building, tucked away discreetly behind New Scotland Yard.


Plans to move the whole department, were leaked weeks ago, but were unconfirmed. 
Confirmation emerged yesterday afternoon on social media by a well known Union with links to a Private Hire.


From this October, TfL's controversial Taxi and Private Hire department moves in to Faith Lawson House, another TfL building, situated in the narrow Dacre Street. 

The entrance to the narrow street can be closed off in seconds by a single officer.

Already dubbed "Hendy's Bunker", should this defensive move start alarm bells ringing as to what TfL have in store for the Taxi trade later this year?



Wednesday, June 25, 2014

GLA Ask Boris To Explain The Uber Situation...by Jim Thomas

Boris Johnson has been asked questions by members of the GLA, about TfL's stance regarding the current issue between London's licensed Taxi trade and the SmartPhone based App Uber

    Boris made the statement:

“It is absolutely vital that London should continue to be served by Taxis that have disabled access, that you can hail in the street and that will always have somebody at the wheel who knows the city and who knows what they are doing and who has the Knowledge,” he told the London Assembly.

“That is the service that the black cab trade provides and it will always continue to provide that. What you cannot do is dis-invent technology.”

But our problem is NOT with competition from apps, never has been. 

The Taxi trade is up in arms at the incompetent way TfL are handling this complex issues appertaining to the new wave of companies trying to operate on the outer fringes of licensing legislation. 

For many years the strict enforcement of the London Cab and Private a Hire Acts kept standards high. The London Taxi trade has been renouned the world over as the pinnacle of excellence. But recently TfL have eased restrictions on PH operators and drivers. We now have minicab drivers who don't speak a word of English, over 10,000 minicab drivers not registered with an operator.  Legally, every private hire job has to go through a third party operator and dispatched to a driver after a booking is recorded. Just how do these drivers get work, if not from a licensed operator?

It is also possible for anyone to purchase a second hand minicab complete with TfL Licence Roundel, you don't have to be a licensed driver to buy one. With minicab related serious sexual assaults including rapes currently running at around 25 per week, this just can not be right.

Lines of cars infest the Westend outside most night venues. Sexual predators use these lines of touts to find fresh victims.

TfL and the Met turn a complete blind eye to this situation with the belief, if they don't act knowledge the situation, there is no recorded evidence and therefore no actual problem. But the problem is escalating and the problem is now being picked up by groups such as the Suzi Lamplugh trust and rape crisis centre The Heavens.

Recently we saw the Taxi trade unite and take to the streets to bring this problem to the attention of the worlds media. TfL's PR department went into full throttle. Using placed media articles, threats against drivers, the implementation of the public order act, our message was almost lost. The theme of the demo was portrayed throughout the media as being against Uber. They even ignored 30 foot banners which advertised TfL as "Totally Failing London".

Yes Uber is a problem, currently breaking all the rules with TfL bending over backwards to facilitate them.

But still, our main problem is the belligerent bias towards us from this incompetent licensing authority.

The only course of action open to us now is continued direct action and we again must take to the streets en masse.

Taxi regulations war heats up, as Northern MP raises concern over deregulation plans

North East MP Grahame Morris warns of the impact of removing taxi regulations, believing they will put the public at risk



A taxi war has gone to Parliament as North East commissioners and politicians try to prevent a rule change they say could let sex offenders drive taxis.

Labour is battling deregulation plans which, it says, could see “rogue or unlicensed taxis” able to operate across the country.

In the North East, Easington MP Grahame Morris has led the charge in Parliament, telling MPs this week that “the real public safety concern is the number of bogus, unlicensed taxis that operate and pose a threat to the welfare of women travelling home late in the evening”.

He added: “Last year there were 250 assaults and 56 rapes. Measures that will make that situation worse by making the system more difficult to enforce – that is what the Government propose – should surely concern the Right Honourable Gentleman and the whole House.”

His concern comes after police commissioners united to oppose Government red-tape cuts.

Under the proposals, firms operating private hire vehicles, also known as minicabs can contract out bookings – so customers phoning one firm for a cab might find a car from a different firm turns up outside their door.

A ban preventing taxi owners from allowing other people to drive their vehicle will also be lifted.

Other rules will mean councils review licences every three years for taxi and private hire vehicle driver licences, and five years for private vehicle operator licences – while they are currently free to renew licenses annually if they wish.

Labour MPs say the changes will put the public at risk by making it harder for councils to ensure people with criminal convictions are stripped of their licenses.

Northumbria Police Commissioner Vera Baird and her Durham counterpart Ron Hogg have already had their say. Mrs Baird said public safety would be put at risk under the changes, while Mr Hogg linked the cut in red tape to the potential risk to women getting into cars alone.

The Government has insisted its plans would not put people at risk, saying it is only licensed taxi drivers who will be taking on jobs.

Tom Brake, the Deputy Leader of the House of Commons, said: “I agree that the Government, local authorities, the police and campaigning organisations should do everything they can to ensure that women and other users of private hire vehicles use only licensed vehicles, and that there is a strong clampdown on those who are operating illegally.

“Again, I do not think that anything the Government are proposing in these clauses will have the effect that the Honourable Gentleman seems to be saying they will.”

    Source: The Jounal 


Everyone say thank you to this man. 
He's Tom Brake MP (LIB-DEM) FOR SUTTON IN SURREY AND DEPUTY LEADER OF THE HOUSE OF COMMONS. 

PREVIOUSLY FROM LEICESTER, HE'S RESPONSIBLE FOR PUSHING THROUGH CLAUSES 10,11 & 12 THROUGH PARLIAMENT.

HE APPARENTLY BACKS ORGANISATIONS THAT PROMOTE BETTER HEARING. 

WHAT A REAL SHAME HE WASN'T HEARING BETTER WHEN HE DECIDED TO TAKE THIS ON?

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

285 MPs Vote Through Clauses 10,11,12 Of The Deregulation Bill, 23 June 2014


John McDonnell (Hayes and Harlington, Labour)
I am also opposed to the Bill because of its reforms relating to taxis and public hire vehicles which, as has been said today, will put the travelling public at risk. There will be no effective control over who will be plying that trade. Last year there were 200 incidents of attacks on people travelling in private hire cars in London, where this type of legislation already applies.


Bob Stewart (Beckenham, Conservative)
Is it correct that a person who runs a licensed taxi company, for example, is responsible for everyone who drives for that company? If so, that person has the responsibility to ensure that his or her drivers act properly and are properly checked.

Tom Brake (The Deputy Leader of the House of Commons; Carshalton and Wallington, Liberal Democrat)
Certainly, that is my understanding. The operator is licensed as such and needs to check all the drivers who are used by that firm.

Graham Jones (Opposition Assistant Whip (Commons); Hyndburn, Labour)
The Minister says that an individual who is unable to order a private hire vehicle from their favourite firm is in the same position if the company locates a private hire vehicle from another local authority. On many levels, that is wrong. When that individual flicks through the “Yellow Pages”, as the Minister describes it, they can choose to look for a company in their area. 

This proposal will allow the company to take charge, and that taxi could come from another area with different standards. 

The choice is therefore removed from the fare-paying customer. 

Does the Minister accept that the customer is in control when they look through the “Yellow Pages”, but not when the job is passed from one operator to another who locates a taxi from outside the area?

Tom Brake (The Deputy Leader of the House of Commons; Carshalton and Wallington, Liberal Democrat)
Yes, when people use “Yellow Pages”, they may well be in control of their choice of private hire firm, but I thought the point that the hon. Gentleman and other hon Members were making was that there was a risk in a job being passed on by a local reliable firm to another operator. 

I would suggest that the risk of simply going to the phone book is much greater than using a local reliable firm whose reputation relies on delivering a good service, whether it does so directly or by subcontracting to another firm in an area where it cannot operate. With our system, security is enhanced, rather than damaged in the way he suggests.

The hon. Member for Easington referred to the need for a comprehensive, nationwide review and reform of private hire. He is probably well versed in private hire and taxi matters. He will understand how difficult it is to get a comprehensive, nationwide review of services. 

I suspect that there have been attempts under our Government and under Labour Governments to get that comprehensive review under way. It is not straightforward, and it is not something that happens overnight. We have an opportunity in the Bill to introduce some small measures, supported by the Law Commission. We have chosen, rightly, to proceed with them now, and that is the right action for the Government to take.

The hon. Gentleman also referred to the Disclosure and Barring Service. There is an automatic update system. It is an optional service for local authorities, which can judge whether to use it. Crucially, three-yearly licence renewal is seen as best practice. That applies in London and half of all authorities outside London.



COMMENT:
Can all the MPs who have wet ink on their fingers as the deregulation bill passed yesterday - PLEASE STAND UP & BE COUNTED!

285 CONS & LIBDEMS ACCEPTING IT'S PERFECTLY OKAY FOR ANYONE TO DRIVE A MINICAB WITHOUT A LICENCE! WHAT PLANET DO U PARASITES LIVE ON?

214 SEX ATTACKS 2013, 54 RESULTING IN TRIALS - ALL BECAUSE PRIVATE HIRE VEHICLES IN LONDON THAT WERE BORROWED BY ANYONE WERE NOT STOPPED!




Government To Make It Easier For Applicants With Criminal Records To Acquire Taxi And Private Hire License

Cautions and minor convictions to disappear from DBS checks.

The Supreme Court has handed down a very important ruling with regards to the disclosure of police cautions and minor convictions. The Court ruled that the disclosure of cautions and/or minor convictions would be incompatible with human rights legislation in England and Wales.

In particular, the ruling affects those applying for certain kinds of jobs involving work with children or the vulnerable.

Although this case was not a licensing case, it is likely to have ramifications for licensing and particularly taxi and private hire drivers.

At the moment, the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 states that, after a period, a person’s criminal convictions become “spent” and therefore don’t need to be disclosed to prospective employers. A caution is spent as soon as it is given.

However, certain types of employment, including taxi and private hire drivers, are exempt from the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act. Exempt jobs are those working with children and vulnerable people and for these jobs all convictions and cautions which would otherwise have been spent were disclosed.

However the Supreme Court ruling, upholding a previous Court of Appeal ruling, will now change this. The effect of this ruling is likely to result in a change in law that will require the Home Office to filter certain types of convictions and cautions rendering licensing authorities unable to take previous convictions and cautions into account when determining the fitness of applicants for driving licences.

   The Supreme Court has handed down a very important ruling with regards to the disclosure of police cautions and minor convictions. The Court ruled that the disclosure of cautions and/or minor convictions would be incompatible with human rights legislation in England and Wales.

In particular, the ruling affects those applying for certain kinds of jobs involving work with children or the vulnerable.

Although this case was not a licensing case, it is likely to have ramifications for licensing and particularly taxi and private hire drivers.

At the moment, the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 states that, after a period, a person’s criminal convictions become “spent” and therefore don’t need to be disclosed to prospective employers. A caution is spent as soon as it is given.

However, certain types of employment, including taxi and private hire drivers, are exempt from the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act. Exempt jobs are those working with children and vulnerable people and for these jobs all convictions and cautions which would otherwise have been spent were disclosed.

However the Supreme Court ruling, upholding a previous Court of Appeal ruling, will now change this. The effect of this ruling is likely to result in a change in law that will require the Home Office to filter certain types of convictions and cautions rendering licensing authorities unable to take previous convictions and cautions into account when determining the fitness of applicants for driving licences.


Editorial comment:

The Taxi and Private Hire trades has seen a substantial drop in standards since TfL took over licensing responsibility from the Metropolitan Police.

The strict annual mechanical overhaul and full inspection, has been reduced to no more than a couple of MOTs and a quick safety check.

Private hire drivers who can't speak the English language are allowed to drive minicabs.

PH drivers are allowed to be licensed while not signed on as working for a Private hire operator. 
(Where do these drivers get there work from?)

Private hire vehicles are allowed to be sold on the open market, while still licensed, to anyone including those not licensed as PH drivers.
(Tools of the trade to a sexual operator)

Illegal plying for hire has disappeared almost completely from the crime statistics, with TfL's policy of non enforcement of private hire.

As satellite offices have expanded across the capital, we have seen the occurrences of minicab related serious sexual assault, including rape, go through the roof. Even Steve Wright MBE (Chaiman) of the LPHCA says they should be scrapped.

This can't go on. This has to be given to the nation media.



Operation Vector: Hertfordshire Police launch crackdown on illegal minicab firms.

Police in Hertfordshire have launched a series of operations to target taxis and minicabs found breaking the law.



Hertfordshire Road Policing Unit, along with those in Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire forces, have set up Operation Vector to check private hire cars and Hackney carriages across the county.

The aim of the campaign is to make sure the vehicles and drivers comply with the law and terms of their licences, so the public can be confident that vehicles are safe and legal.

In unannounced spot checks, taxis and minicabs will be checked for faults or defects while background checks on the drivers will also be carried out by police officers.

Sgt Sam Cordingley, who is leading the operation in Hertfordshire said: “While we believe the vast majority of taxis and private hire vehicles operating in Hertfordshire are safe to use, it is important that if they fall below the required standards, then action is taken against them.

“We take this very seriously and any drivers found to be flouting the law or the terms of their licence, may find that their license is suspended. This work is being done to ensure that the public can be confident that the taxis they get into provide a safe and secure means of transport around the county.”

Officers from safer neighbourhood teams and the special constabulary will also be supporting the operations.

Police and Crime Commissioner David Lloyd said: “The public needs to know that when they get into a taxi or pre booked minicab in Hertfordshire, that the vehicle is maintained to the correct legal standard and that the driver is a safe person to travel with. By taking this kind of action ‘upstream’, we can protect people from harm, stop them becoming victims and make Hertfordshire an even safer place to live for everyone.”

Monday, June 23, 2014

Dear Boris...an open letter to the Mayor of London from Taxi Leaks Editor Jim Thomas.

Dear Boris

Thought I would save TfL and yourself the cost of a judicial definition of the word Taximeter.

If you or your team of 76 lawyers and 11 outside legal consultancies  (who by the way, cost the London tax payer £15 million a year) had taken the trouble to read the London Cab Act 1907, that you are so fond of quoting to the media, you/they would have been able to find, in section 6, a clear and concise definition that's already available.

Jim Thomas

Editor Taxi Leaks.


London Cab Act 1907
Sec 6

Definitions.

(1)In this Act the expression “stage carriage” has the same meaning as in the M1Metropolitan Public Carriage Act, 1869, as amended by this Act, the expression “cab” has the same meaning as the expression “hackney carriage” has in that Act, the expression “fare” includes any payment to be made for the carriage of luggage on a cab, and any other payment to be made in respect of the hire of a cab, [F1the expression “London cab order” has the same meaning as in the Metropolitan Public Carriage Act 1869] and 
the expression “taximeter” means 
any appliance for measuring the time or distance for which a cab is used, or for measuring both time and distance, which is for the time being approved for the purpose by or on behalf of [F2Transport for London].

(2)It is hereby declared that for the purposes of any Act relating to hackney carriages, . . . F3, or cabs, in London, the expressions “hackney carriage,” . . . F3 or “cab” include any such vehicle, whether drawn or propelled by animal or mechanical power . . . F4

(3)In this Act the expression “London” means the Metropolitan Police District and the City of London.

[F5(4)Any power to make a London cab order under or by virtue of this Act includes power to vary or revoke a previous such order.]


    With thanks to J Daggers.


Sunday, June 22, 2014

UberGate: Watch Steve McNamara and Geoffrey Riesel's Media Interview.

Boris explains to the GLA, current TfL advice, "there is no breach of the law", in Uber's operation.
Great interview with Steve McNamara on ITN included in the clip shown on the Telegraph website.



Radio Taxis Group CEO Geoffrey Riesel, passionately speaking out in defence of the Licensed Taxi Trade.

Reminding the public that hire and reward regulations are there to protect them.





    Source: Telegraph and Huff Post.


In The News today:

Uber gets Dutch office up to speed on tax.

Uber's Amsterdam office advertised for an international specialist to ensure its tax requirements are "implemented optimally".


Uber, the controversial internet taxi booking company, has had a bumpy ride over its tax arrangements in recent weeks.
The industry body for hire cars and taxis, the Licensed Private Hire Car Association, claimed Uber is breaching UK regulations by booking fares through an unlicensed Dutch company, Uber BV.
That Dutch operation is clearly keen to get its paperwork in order. Uber recently posted a job ad for a “results-oriented” international tax specialist to work in its Amsterdam office. Duties included executing “tax planning initiatives” and ensuring tax requirements are “implemented optimally”.
Also on the list of desired skills was knowledge of transfer pricing – the system of setting prices for transactions between two divisions of the same multinational group that has reportedly allowed Amazon, Starbucks and Google to move their profits from high-tax to low-tax countries.
Uber, however, declined to comment.

    Source: The Telegraph





Hertz Having Discussions About Teaming With Uber


Unlike much of the hotel industry with Airbnb, Hertz, the second largest U.S. car rental company behind Enterprise, sees Uber as a threat unless Hertz adapts. The company is study and having discussions about partnering with Uber.

Hertz, is looking to broaden its business and could allow its cars to be rented via Uber and its controversial smartphone app, Group President Michel Taride told Reuters.

Uber’s app – which summons rides at the touch of a button and prompted protests by taxi drivers in London and Paris earlier this month – has revolutionised travel in many American and European cities by allowing customers to order and pay for a private hire car with its application.

The app links to GPS systems to locate users and have a nearby car pick them up.

It could tempt customers using Hertz’s short-term rental service, Hertz 24/7, where vehicles can be hired from 5 pounds ($8.48) an hour, also often for quick, immediate journeys.

When asked whether Hertz cars could be hired via the app, Taride said the door was open to such a move but said the firm had not taken any decisions.

“You could,” he said. “We could cooperate with these people, absolutely yes.”

“We’re having conversations, I can’t disclose with whom, when so forth…”

“We are even having a group of high potential employees doing studies for us … Contacts are being made. There is a need for cooperation here.”

Any deal or partnership would be a coup for the San Francisco-based Uber Technologies Inc., valued earlier this month at $18.2 billion, just four years since its 2010 launch.

Hertz, formed in 1918, is valued at just over $12 billion and operates in 145 countries with Taride acknowledging that Uber and rivals could be a threat if the company does not adapt

    Source: Reuters