Thursday, July 31, 2014

Uber Allegedly Inciting Suburban Taxi Drivers To Break The Law.

It's been alleged, that employees of a certain controversial smart phone app, may be inciting suburban drivers to break the law.


According to TfL, it is illegal for a suburban driver to accept a hiring/booking (pre booked or otherwise) while outside of the area they are licensed by TfL to operate inside.  The journey would also not be covered by their insurance as this would be a case of illegally plying for hire. Driving without insurance is an arrestable criminal offence.

Uber promotional staff are visiting suburban ranks, encouraging Yellow Badge Drivers to sign up to the app. 

We've been informed, that promotional staff are telling  suburban drivers who sign up to Uber, not only will they receive a £50 incentive fee, but also (if they remove their IDs), they can wait around in Central London and can accept work. 

This surely is an incitement to get others to break the law and could in itself be an illegal action? 

But will TfL take Uber to court. The simplest thing to do is revoke their licence with immediate effect.


Or is this latest incident more proof of TfLs bias towards Uber.

Uber's should never have been licensed in 2012, as they did not conform to the conditions of fitness and were using a meter to calculate fares in contravention of the Private Hire Vehicles Act 1998.

It should have been upto Uber's to go to court, to appeal against TfLs decision.

Why would a licensing authority, take the trouble and expence of going to court, to prove legality of an operator they themselves have already licensed. It just don't add up.

This whole Uber issue doesn't smell right and (in our opinion) requires an independent investigation to make sure corruption hasn't taken place, insuring Uber's licence was issued with no complications.

The LTDA should never have taken Uber drivers to court, they should have gone for TfL, for not acting responsibly as a Licensing Authority.

TfL under the watchful eye of Mayor Boris Johnson, Transport Commissioner Sir Peter Hendy and Managing Director of Surface Transport Leon Daniels have a duty of care to their licensees to operate in a clear and transparent manner. 

Over the last 5 years this has not been the case and there have been instances were rules have been overlooked and bent to accommodate certain PH operators.

PH roundels were supplied wholesale to a West London minicab firm, without the need for their cars to be inspected. Ex Director of LTPH John Mason excused this action as just someone doing a friend a favour. 
No one was ever prosecuted.

RD2 were issued multiple licence variations the same day they registered as a PH operator in contra to a TfL policy requirement that PH operators be in business for a minimum of one year before variations can be issued.
After a year of lies from Both the director and deputy director of LTPH, we were finally informed, TfL can do whatever they like and that TfL policy is no more than guidelines.

Now the scandal of Uber being Licensed without conformity or compliance to conditions of fitness.

TfL should be the true target of any legal action:
The Taxi trade orgs need to man up and take on TfL in the courts. 
At present, they are chasing the wrong criminal. 


Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Letters To Taxi a Leaks Editor, Jim Thomas.

Dear Jim
Thanks for including my letter about the compliance officer who abused her power and stopped me working in Bulleid Way, Victoria. If you remember, as I was making my way through Bulleid Way to the RAFT, I was flagged down by a women getting off a coach, who I stopped for. An unmarked car then pulled across my path like a scene out of the Sweeney and a female stuck her hand through my window shouting "Compliance". She had no police or warranted officer with her, so had no right to stop me in this manner. I was livid as my fare was marched away from my Taxi by a tout minicab.

Well yesterday I got a letter from TfL saying that I had been reported for "Plying for hire" nothing else, no Plying on unauthorised standing, plying without a licence or unfit vehicle, simply "Plying for hire".
I didn't know that "Plying for hire" was an offence.

Well to cut another long story short, they've decided not to press forward with her complaint. It seems in their opinion, without hearing anything from me, they have decided I am guilty of an offence which they consider to be a one off. This incident is to remain on my record and I am threatened that any repeat could result in my licence being revoked. 

I am not happy with this and will be taking this further. I will of course keep you informed. 

Name and address withheld.

Letter from TfL licensing below:


Editors Comment:
Reading again the original letter and now this one, in our opinion, this is a clear case of harassment by the licensing authority TfL. A case of a compliance officer overstepping her limited power and actually stopping a driver, in the course of his/her legal right to "Ply for hire" (not yet an offence) and pick up passengers.

This is also a clear example as to why it's imperative that all drivers belong to a representative org or Taxi Union, doesn't matter which one as long as it can provided legal cover. You may never need it, but when you do, it's priceless. 

It's very clear that after recent unrest and direct action from within the trade, TfL are retaliating in a belligerent and vengeful manner towards licensed Taxi drivers.

 
Photo of the week:

WELCOME TO CAMDEN

The borough that allows this freakshow on a daily basis but wants to ban Taxis from using the A400!


Wonder if Leon Daniels has sent this fellow a legal summons for using LUL/TfL's intellectual property?

 


Boris To Introduce New Ultra Low Emission Penalty On Current Diesel Vehicles.

Plans to charge drivers of diesel cars about £10 to drive into central London are being considered.


The levy would be on top of the current £11.50 congestion charge for driving into the centre of the capital.

The Mayor wants the new Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) to be introduced by 2020.

The Times newspaper says he will also lobby the government to increase vehicle excise duty on diesel cars to encourage motorists to move to cleaner vehicles.

Only diesel vehicles meeting the Euro 6 emissions standard will be exempt, while petrol cars registered before 2006 will also have to pay the new charge.

All new cars sold from 1 January 2015 must meet the Euro 6 emissions standard, a stringent European Union directive to cut exhaust pollutants which targets a cut in nitrogen dioxide, seen as an air pollutant.


London, in breach of European targets on air pollution:
A spokesman for the mayor said the plans will be subject to a full consultation and any levy on cars not meeting the Euro 6 emissions standard would be "likely to be a similar amount to the congestion charge".

The mayor's environment adviser, Matthew Pencharz, said: "Over recent years the Euro diesel engine standards have not delivered the emission savings expected, yet governments have been incentivising us to buy them.

Editorial Comment:
The most worrying aspect of this new measure is that Boris has made no statement about an exemption for Taxis and Private Hire. 

If this measure is bought in without exemption, many drivers and most garages hiring out Taxis would face a major financial difficulty. 

The secondhand value of virtually all Euro 5 or lower vehicles will fall through the floor. We need a statement from Boris as soon as possible about the future of pre Euro 6 vehicles.

Boris isn't banning polluting vehicles, he's just squeezing money out of drivers who have had no choice in the vehicles available to them to buy and is raising funds with another tax on hard working Taxi trade.

The problem being NO2 and NOx emissions:
Boris also consciously ignored health considerations attached to the production of new Taxi vehicles. His age limit policy (signed off by the United Trade Group without consultation of their membership) removed thousands of older vehicles from service, consciously knowing they were less polluting in the area of NO2 and NOx particle production.

This new measure isn't about health or cleaner air for London. It's all about the money (AGAIN).

Follow the Money.


Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Studies Reveal Health Risks Of E-Cigarettes

“There’s no such thing as a safe cigarette.” This is a line that has been used to describe menthols, filtered cigarettes, and slims, but it also applies to the latest product for smokers:

The electronic cigarette. 


They have been widely heralded by users and manufacturers as a completely harmless smoking alternative, but there isn’t much research to back up that statement. Recent studies have shown that they still contain tiny particles that can irritate lung tissue and could cause disease.

Modern electronic cigarettes have been available for a decade and have been booming in popularity. Unlike traditional cigarettes, e-cigs don’t burn dried tobacco leaves doused in nearly 600 additives; 69 of which are carcinogenic. 

Instead, a battery-powered device heats a liquid solution (called e-liquid) of nicotine and flavors, creating an aerosol that is inhaled to simulate the physical sensation of smoking in a process known as “vaping”.

Higher end models of e-cigs allow the user to adjust the voltage from the battery, which regulates the intensity of the heating element. As the solution gets hotter, it intensifies the effect of the nicotine hit. 

Unfortunately, these higher temperatures also affect the glycerin and propylene glycol used as solvents within the e-liquid, converting them to carbonyls found in cigarettes such as formaldehyde and acetaldehyde. 

Earlier this year, a study found that increasing an e-cig’s voltage from 3.2V to 4.8V while using an e-liquid with both solvents produced almost as much formaldehyde as a traditional cigarette. While the human body produces formaldehyde as a byproduct of normal metabolic activity in the cells, it is suspected of being carcinogenic when inhaled. 

The same study also found that at lower voltages, e-cigs produced up to 800 times less formaldehyde than a cigarette. While this might sound a lot safer, the size of the vapor particles and the delivery method into the lungs heavily impact the risk of disease.

Particles found in inhaled cigarette smoke have a median size of 0.3-0.5 microns. Testing has found that the e-cigarette particles have a median of 0.18-0.27 microns. About 40% of these particles can travel deep into the lungs and become embedded in the alveoli, where gas exchange occurs. Even if the particle itself isn’t toxic, the size alone places a burden on the lungs and can cause disease. 

As vaping is still fairly new, there just has not been enough time to do the necessary long-term studies regarding health risks. Though these early studies do hint that e-cigs are a better option than traditional smoking, that isn’t really saying a lot, because cigarettes are pretty terrible. 

Even if vaping is better than smoking, it doesn’t mean it’s safe. As its popularity continues to grow, it is important to understand the full risk associated with vaping for both the user and those exposed to the vapor secondhand.


    Source: IFL Science. 

Monday, July 28, 2014

More Disruption From Boris And TfL, At The Hight Of The Season For Taxi Drivers.

Prudential RideLondon – Saturday 9 Augustand Sunday 10 August

 

On Saturday 9 August and Sunday 10 August 2014 the Prudential RideLondon event takes place in London and there will be road closures and changes to the road layout to accommodate the events.  

 

Once again there are four separate events and these are:

-        Freecycle – Saturday 9 August 2014 – this is a 10 mile route in central London

-        Grand Prix – Saturday 9 August 2014 – this is a series of races in St James’s Park

-        London – Surrey 100 – Sunday 10 August 2014 – this is the race for the general public that starts in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, goes out to Surrey and then ends on The Mall

-        London – Surrey Classic – Sunday 10 August 2014 – this is the same as the 100 race but for 150 top cyclists only

 

Routes

Maps showing the routes for the different events can be found here:

-        Freecycle route

-        Grandprix route

-        London – Surrey 100

-        London – Surrey Classic

 

Road closures

To allow the different events to take place some roads will be closed and details of where these will be, the closure times and when the roads are expected to reopen can be found in the leaflets available on our website here. Road closures for the events on Sunday will be in place from 05:00and roads will reopen as soon as it is safe to do so. Roads in east London are expected to reopen from 13:30 whilst in central London all roads, apart from The Mall, are expected to reopen by 20:00.

 

The Mall will be closed from 07:00 on Friday 8 August until 06:00 Monday 11 August.

 

Bridges  

A number of bridges in central London will be closed until the evening on Sunday 10 August but Waterloo Bridge, Blackfriars Bridge and London Bridge will remain open all day.

 

Tour of Britain – Sunday 14 September 2014

 

On Sunday 14 September 2014 the final stage of the Tour of Britain comes to London. There are two races in central London – a time trial and a circuit race – and both of these start and finish around Whitehall and go out to Tower Hill.

 

A map of both race routes is available here.

 

Road closures

Roads along and around the route will be closed to allow the event to take place and Westminster Bridge will also be closed. The first road closure will be from 03:00 and this will be Whitehall (northbound). From 07:00 Whitehall (southbound) will be closed and from 08:00 all roads on the route will be closed. After the event most roads are expected to be reopen at 19:30.

 

Regards

 

Transport for London – London Taxi and Private Hire  

Email: For enquiries emailtph.enquiries@tfl.gov.uk  

Web: For licensing information visit the TfL website or try TfL’s Common Questions Section

Twitter: You can now follow us on Twitter@TfLTPH

Telephone: For driver and operator enquiries call0343 222 4444, for vehicle enquiries call 0343 222 5555

 

 


Sunday, July 27, 2014

More Free Stuff For Taxi Drivers 😊


         FANCY A FREE CUP OF COFFEE?
     OR WHAT ABOUT A NICE CUP OF TEA


Taxi Driver In Road Rage Gun Attack, Caught On Video.

A video taken from inside a public bus shows a man pointing his gun at a taxi driver in the middle of a flyover along EDSA. 

   Screen shot from Facebook video

MANILA, Philippines – As if EDSA traffic weren't stressful enough, what would you do if you encountered this on the road?

In a video that made rounds on Facebook this week, two drivers were caught in a heated argument in the middle of a flyover along EDSA and near Camp Crame.

In the video, a man wearing a blue shirt, kicked the door of a white taxi and tried to stop its driver from getting out.

He pulled out a gun from a bag as the taxi driver, wearing a red shirt, emerged from his cab, himself holding a sharp-pointed object.

The gun was pointed at the taxi driver, who threw the sharp-pointed object back in the taxi. They argued for a while, but the man in the blue shirt eventually put away his gun and took the sharp-pointed object from the taxi driver.

The video was shot from inside one of the public buses plying EDSA. As the two drivers went back to their respective vehicles, a voice in the background can be heard noting their plate numbers: KDP 313 for the Mercedes-Benz and UVN 607 for the taxi.

But the scene did not end there. As the Mercedes Benz drove off, the taxi driver ran back to his cab and drove off as well, tailing the first car. A few meters away, the taxi cut off the Mercedes-Benz, and they stopped at another side of EDSA for another round of confrontation.

See the video below, as reposted by Youtube user cisconix


Facebook user Mark Norman Mendenilla said after he shared the video on Saturday, July 26: 
“Dapat sa mga ganitong tao eh tinatanggalan ng lisensya ang baril. Paano ba 'to nabigyan ng lisensya eh sa ganitong sitwasyon lang bumubunot kaagad? 
There was never a threat to pull out his firearm.”

(People like these should be stripped off their gun licenses. How did this man get a license if he takes out a gun just in a situation like this? There was never a threat to pull out his firearm.)

The Facebook video by user Naoj Ragiaba had 35,603 shares before it was taken down Saturday. – 


    Source: Rappler.com

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Free breakfast for cabbies: Letter to Editor.

Dear Jim,
 
I’m working with White Hat Bakery, who have a pop up café this summer at The Undercroft, Banqueting House on Whitehall. On the morning of 29th July White Hat will be giving away breakfast goody bags to all London cab drivers who pop in which will include homemade filled focaccia, sweet and savoury Chelsea buns, and a slice of cake.
 
I was wondering if you could help me get this information out to your loyal twitter followers? We are on twitter at @DTbanter, and will be sending out information on the event with the hashtag #breakfastforcabbies. Or please feel free to email me back if you would like any more information.
 
Kind regards,
Katie



 

Operation Simco: Taxi Flash Mob Demo 25/07/14...by Jim Thomas.

Just before midnight last night, hundreds of London Taxi drivers arrived in St James Square for a pre Flash Mob Demo meet up. The word had been put out via twitter's @TaG_Hit_Squad and @Flash_Demo accounts over the past week, with the final destination of the hit kept a secret till the very last minute. 


A forward command post was set up in Wardour Street, adjacent to the W Hotel. The target, the area around Wardour and Gerrard Street, normally infested and crawling with minicabs, a cesspit of illegal plying for hire and touting. As the barriers lowered into the Tarmac, with military precision, the signal was given and London's finest made their way to the location en masse.

This operation has been our most ambitious so far, with many believing it would be impossible to make much of a mark at this location. 

It didn't take long for the area to grind to a halt. The knock on affect turned Regent Street and Piccadilly Circus into a virtual car park. Drivers stood outside their Taxis, engaging with the public, explaining why the action was taking place.


The format of the Twitter Action Group (TaG) Hit Squad has in the past proved highly effective and had substantial results. Drivers from every section of the trade stood together in true unity. No one caring which org, or what colour lanyard, no egotistic leaders bleating about the size of their membership. Just concerned drivers ready to stand up and be counted.

Places the trade through had been completely lost to the touts have been clawed back.

Successive hits on Swallow Street has seen a marked decline in the number if unbooked touts lining up in the Regent Street bus lane and has resulted in the placement of the Heddon Street rank and Marshals being present on Friday nights.

Other successes in Clapham a High Street (new marshalled rank) and Smiths in Charterhouse Street has won a great deal of our work back from the touts.

Most notable by their absence last night were the authorities. With minicab related serious sexual assaults running at an all time high, compliance from police and TfL is almost non-existent.

We must not rest on our laurels, we have to make the authorities sit up and take notice.

Please follow the; 
@TaG_Hit_Squad and @Flash_Demo
for information of the next Flash Mob Hit.





Taxi Leaks would like to take this opportunity to thank Andy Simco for all the hard work put in to make last nights hit a success. His dedication to making London a safer place is inspirational.

And a special thanks to ever driver who put themselves out to attend. 

Friday, July 25, 2014

20mph But Not For Cyclists: Bus Users Fear Cyclists Clogging Bus Lanes: Should Cycling Helmets Be Mandatory?...by Jim Thomas

London Council to push for borough Wide 20mph speed limit. But it's one rule for Motorists and another for Cyclists.

The London Borough of Southwark this week dismissed reports it wants to enforce 20mph speed limits on cyclists.



Confusion about the council’s intentions emerged after an objector to the council’s proposed borough-wide 20mph speed limit said the choice of the word ‘vehicle’ in the traffic management order should be changed to ‘motor vehicle’ to reflect the fact that the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 governing speed limits specifically refers to the latter. 

But Southwark defended the existing wording, saying: “The Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 does indeed refer to ‘motor vehicles’. 

However, since 1984 cycling as a modal share has grown substantially and the council receives a number of complaints from residents particularly pedestrians about the excessive speed of cyclists. Therefore it would be inappropriate to treat cyclists differently to any other form of traffic and effectively tie the hands of police when it comes to speed enforcement.”

Ralph Smyth, the Campaign to Protect Rural England’s senior transport campaigner, who is a barrister and a resident of Southwark, told LTT: “Southwark is seeking to include pedal cycles within the scope of its borough-wide 20mph speed limit. But the legal power it is relying on – section 84 of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 – only enables highway authorities to create local speed limits for motor vehicles.


So the order is ultra vires – outside its powers – and this risks making the borough 20mph limit unenforceable for motor vehicles too.”

Smyth added: “You might expect to hear about such a hare-brained proposal in some far-flung town where cycling has largely died out. It is really surprising, however, to find it close to the beating heart of the mayor’s cycle revolution in a borough that claims to want to be the best in London for cycling.”

The objector to Southwark’s speed limit order said: “It is not realistic to expect those in control of all non-motorised vehicles to know their speed accurately, and therefore it is unreasonable for them to be subject to maximum speed limits. For example, a cyclist travelling downhill could easily but unknowingly exceed 20mph even without pedalling and it would be unjust for them to receive punishment for doing so.”

A DfT spokesman told LTT that the only mechanism by which cyclists could be prosecuted for speeding was via Section 28 of the Road Traffic Act 1988, which covers “dangerous cycling”. 

Southwark this week sought to clear up the confusion. Mark William, Southwark’s cabinet member for transport, said: 
“The council sees the establishment of a 20mph borough as a significant step forward in ensuring the safety of all road users not least cyclists and pedestrians. To achieve this we feel that all vehicles should limit their speed to 20 mph.

“The report to determine the statutory objections relating to a borough-wide 20mph speed limit makes it clear that orders made under Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 can apply to motor vehicles only and as such any prosecution by the police for breaches of the speed limit under that Act would be limited to motorised vehicles only. 

Accordingly the traffic order will be amended to make reference to ‘motorised vehicles’ only.”

Other Cycling News:
Bus users fear cycle lane snarl-up

London Travelwatch is pressing Transport for London to quantify the delays that buses will experience from a proposed new cycle superhighway.


TfL is consulting on plans for superhighway 5 through Vauxhall and a redesign of the junction outside Oval Tube station. The plans include a 1.4km two-way segregated cycle track from Oval over Vauxhall Bridge to Pimlico, which will be created by taking road space away from general traffic and buses.

“TfL’s documentation gives great detail about the benefits it sees from the proposals,” 
said Stephen Locke, chair of the passenger watchdog. 
“It also acknowledges that there will be some delays to bus passengers because the space available to buses will be reduced. But it doesn’t give bus passengers any idea of just how much longer their journey will take.” 

Locke has also voiced concern that plans to install bus stop bypasses on the route, will create conflicts between cyclists and passengers.

Mandatory helmet law wouldn’t discourage cycling, says Transport Research Laboratories:

Helmets: TRL says attitudes to helmet wearing more favourable:

There is no evidence to support the belief that compulsory helmet-wearing for cyclists would lead to a big drop in cycling, consultant TRL said this week.


TRL’s intervention in the helmet debate came as Jersey became the first jurisdiction in the UK to pass a helmet law, making it compulsory for child cyclists under 14 to wear a helmet. Parents face a £50 fine if their child is caught cycling without one.

    
    Source: Transport Extra.




 

Desoto Cabs Want To Scrap Their £5.4m Yearly Medallion Cost In Bid To Compete With Uber.

San Fransico cab company president Hansu Kim, says he's ready to switch the way his business is regulated and thereby compete, and defeat, the likes of Uber and Lyft.


DeSoto Cab may soon enter the disruption business.
The taxi company, one of San Francisco's largest, may exploit the same "loopholes in the regulatory process" that allow Uber and Lyft to exist and thrive, according to the San Francisco Examiner.

Hansu Kim, president of DeSoto, says that his 204-vehicle fleet, part of the 2,000 or so regulated and permitted taxis in San Francisco, is "bleeding money" -- thanks to the "different" rules that apply to taxis and to Uber and Lyft.

For example: the transportation network companies -- the fancy name for what the so-called "ride-share" companies do -- don't have "taxicab medallions" from the city, a requirement that costs DeSoto $5.4 million a year, the newspaper reported.

If DeSoto switched to a "charter-party carrier" license, or TCP, they'd be able to do the same thing as Uber and Lyft -- and spend much less money in order to do it.

Kim is sanguine about his chances against the ride-share giants: " Given the same rules, I'll beat them all day long," he told the newspaper.

That way, he could compete with the "ride-share" companies -- and still provide a regulated product.

More Than 30 Maryland Cab Companies Suing Uber

More than 30 Maryland cab companies are suing Uber, saying the company is hampering their ability to do business.

The lawsuit was filed Thursday in Baltimore Circuit Court, reported the Baltimore Sun. The lawsuit claims Uber's surge-pricing model is similar to price fixing, and the car service is creating an unfair marketplace.

Taxi companies have begun to fight Uber, a popular ride-sharing company that uses an app to summon rides. 

In D.C., taxis affiliated with the D.C. Taxi Operators Association closed down Pennsylvania Avenue last month in a protest against Uber that gridlocked traffic.

Virginia has barred Uber from operating in the state, and in San Francisco, the head of one of the oldest cab companies in the city has said that: 
"traditional taxis may not survive 18 months in the face of competition from Uber."

Maryland has become a new battlefront for the dispute, with cab companies lobbying against proposals to regulate Uber differently than cab companies.

The cab companies claim that services like Uber aren't regulated the same way that taxis are. Uber has countered that the ride-sharing model isn't a taxi service, and pointed to the consumer demand for the product.

Two of the companies that sued in Maryland -- Barwood Tax and Sun Cab -- are based in Montgomery County.

An Uber spokesperson says it's too early to comment on this lawsuit, but the company will defend itself if it has to.

    Source NBC: Bay Area.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Has the Mayor's unlawful Taxi Age Limit, put the public at risk?...by Jim Thomas.

Literally thousands of perfectly good London Taxis, with many more years service left in them, with better emissions than current models are being taken off the road, under the Mayors unlawful 15 year age limit scheme.

Unlawful?
The fact is, it's a requirement of Public Law that the decisions of the Mayor and TFL are evidenced based.

The Mayor and TFL conducted no testing whatsoever to prove that scrapping older taxis was a valid strategy.

After singling out Taxis as responsible for almost 30% of the recorded air pollution levels on London's roads (again without evidence) the Mayor and TfL announced that a fifteen year age limit on Taxis would be bought in to combat the ever increasing pollution levels. 

Since the Age Limit was introduced in 2012 many thousands of FX4s and TX1s have been unnecessarily removed from service as licensed Taxicabs.

There has, however been no improvement in pollution levels. In fact it's got worse.

The Defra report, released in May 2013, showed that newer taxis are no cleaner than older taxis (as for f-NO2, they were actually creating more pollution).


THE 1999 TXI -T366 WAS AS CLEAN AS THE NEW TAXIS FOR MOST EMISSIONS 
AND WAS CLEANER THAN NEARLY ALL TAXIS FOR PARTICULATE MATTER.

But it gets a lot worse, as there is a more threatening problem:
The Mayor's Taxi Age limit has thrown up a major new problem and that is a ready supply of cheap London Taxis. Under current legislation these vehicles can legal be sold on to anyone, complete with TfL licence plate.

A growing number of old vehicles, complete with TfL plate are being seeing plying for hire on London's streets. Amazingly, the same regulations apply to licensed PHVs which also can be sold on complete with TfL roundel, to anyone with the cash including sexual predators, who may be using these vehicles to obtain fresh victims by touting outside clubs and night venues.

And it gets worse:
Currently both the Met and TfL do everything in their power to manipulate and suppress the true cab related, serious sexual assault figures. 
It's alleged, if a victim is raped or sexually assaulted in an unlicensed minicab, it's not recorded as cab related. It has also been alleged that if penetration doesn't take place, then in many cases the attack is recorded as common assault. 

TfL's record of non-enforcement of PHVs is a major contribution to the sexual assault statistics. 

Solution is simple:
1. Scrap the Mayors age limit scheme and return to the requirement of requesting all TfL plates and roundels be surrendered when vehicles (Taxis and minicabs) are sold on. 
2. Return to the requirement of change of ownership inspections at NSL centres.
3. It must be a requirement that licensed Taxi and PHV owners be fit and proper to enable them to hold a licence.

This would not cure the problem completely, but it would take many unlawfully plated vehicles out of the system and would make it harder for predators to blend in, within the ranks of licensed touts and clipboard Johnnies. 

As the Rape and Sexual Assault figures continue to spiral out of control, both the Mayor and TfL's transport commissioner ( I am not a moral compass) Sir Peter Hendy, should be held to account for there disgraceful non-action on this issue.