Thursday, January 29, 2015

An open Letter To The Media : The Best Taxi Service, With The Worst Regulators....by Jim Thomas.

The London Taxi trade is currently engaged in a fight for its life on multiple fronts.

Under attack from a billion dollar multinational company, out to destroy the worlds Taxi trade. A technology company with no respect for Taxi regulations anywhere in the world, who also believes theirselves to be above the law.

Under attack from environmentalists who see our only manufactured, only authorised vehicle as the devils child. With a Mayor about to introduce (in 2018) conditions of fitness that no current produced vehicle can meet.

Worse of all, Under attack from our own licensing authority who have bent over backwards to make legitimacy easy for big money operators, who do not meet required conditions of fitness and operate in a grey area outside the Private Hire Act 1998.

Sir Peter Hendy's present directorate, refuses to accept responsibility for adequate on street enforcement, which has seen minicab related crimes, including serious sexual assaults, spiral out of control. 

To add insult to injury, they have manipulated statistic in an attempt to justify their lame actions. The Met Police have openly admitted that sexual attacks that go unrecorded have gone from 80% in 2010 to 90% at present. This gives a false reduction in recorded statistics.

TfL presently have a team of 68 cab enforcement officers. In a 12 month period last year, they were responsible for a pitiful 34 convictions for illegal touting. Other cities around the country realise this figure over a busy weekend. 

We have seen the line between Taxi and Private hire eroded in the media to such an extent that the BBC inside out London documentary, presented by Louise Hulland, found 90% of night revellers don't know the difference between licensed Taxis on a rank and a line of un-booked minicabs outside a night venue. 
(One of the major causes of minicab predator sexual attack).

After a mass of complaints, the GLA held a review of TfL's handling of the Taxi and Private Hire trades. The transport committee's report found TfL "Woefully inadequate" and has submitted 19 serious recommendations. 

If the situation continues as at present, we could see the complete demise of the worlds best taxi service (a title awarded to London's taxi trade for the last six years running). The London Taxi service is the gold standard that other Taxi services around the world aspire to.

Since TfL took over the responsibility of administering the Taxi trade from the Met, the trade has more or less suffered in silence. But the worm has finally turned. Their seems to be a new fire in the belly of the rank and file driver and 2015 is about to become the year the trade fought back. 

After five years of carrot and stick management where TfL, with the help of an unfair engagement policy, managed to keep the trade representative orgs and unions fragmented, their greatest fear is about to be realised as the Orgs and Unions finally strive to achieve unity. A historic meeting took place at the LTDA's Taxi House on Monday, where previously excluded groups were invited in for talks.

If TfL fail to respond to the GLA recommendations by March and the Mayor pushes the trade for a 5 year reduction in the present 15 year Taxi age limit, our drivers will have no option other than to use the only weapon left in their arsenal.

We have the ability to bring the working Capital to a complete full stop, on a regular basis. Obviously this is the very last thing we want to do, but we will if we have to. The next few months are critical to our survival. We will not go down without the fight of our lives.

Our trade is self-financing and drivers have gone through the arduous knowledge of London, a process that turns out Taxi drivers of the highest standard. The Knowledge is completed at the drivers own expense and carries no cost to the tax payer. The trade receives no government subsidy, unlike other modes of transport.

We do this to win the sole right to ply for hire and all we ask in return is for our right to ply be protected and policed by our licensing authority.



13 comments:

Paul B said...

Everyone in the trade should countersign this letter!

This letter is now to be known as:

The Thomas Declaration'

I am happy to sign and proud to do so.


Anonymous said...

I really do fear for the trade, not just from TFL and their inept handling of touts,sat offices etc but this weeks Tott CRT rd and embankment cycle superhighway road changes completely takes away the point of the knowledge and our ability to pick the best routes a sat nav wouldn't , journeys will have increased cost and time making a taxi ride less appealing to the public, I regrettably believe we are being forced out if existence as we don't play the envelope game the large PH firms do both legally with political donations and the under hand option to, I hope I'm wrong but don't see a future unless changes are made and soon

Anonymous said...

What I have just read is a shout of desperation from a lone cab driver. Unfortunately, in his analysis of events he has carefully chosen colourful words such as: "Historic" and "Carrot and Stick" to gloss over the real truth!

Its going to take a lot more than a call from the wild and an open letter to motivate the cab trade at large...

You are going to need the full support of the trade press and real commitment from all trade orgs...
(NO COCK UPS THIS TIME).

250, 000 leaflets containing the correct information to convey the message.

Receipt pads exposing the TfL miscreants for what they realy are.

Furthermore, scupper any chances of Boris Johnson being elected in Uxbridge. Hit him where it hurts NOW, before the general election with a SACK BORIS campaign.

The time to act is NOW, NOT LATER!

Dizzy said...

Je suis Thomas!

Anonymous said...

Why is there no limit to the number of phv badges,they limit the number of AL badges, This is the biggest threat, you can not keep putting these phv cars into london, the over supply of leagle phv and the total lack of the law regarding the scab touts is the big problem. The apps are here to stay, we need to embrace them, even try and do a deal with Hailo , we back them 100% if they only supply taxis, probably to late now , but we need to find one or two apps and stay with them, and back them100%.We need to stop the over supply of phv cars, tfl need to be held to account on there phv strategy, if they have one.We need to protest weekly , we need to stick together as one, we are the best in the world, but that point alone is not enough to save this trade, stick together and start to get the word out there.

Anonymous said...

Why is there no limit to the number of phv badges,they limit the number of AL badges, This is the biggest threat, you can not keep putting these phv cars into london, the over supply of leagle phv and the total lack of the law regarding the scab touts is the big problem. The apps are here to stay, we need to embrace them, even try and do a deal with Hailo , we back them 100% if they only supply taxis, probably to late now , but we need to find one or two apps and stay with them, and back them100%.We need to stop the over supply of phv cars, tfl need to be held to account on there phv strategy, if they have one.We need to protest weekly , we need to stick together as one, we are the best in the world, but that point alone is not enough to save this trade, stick together and start to get the word out there.

Chris said...

You lot really are delusional. Why do you think PH and uber are so popular? Because they offer people like me - your customers - a better service than black cabs.

Stop grousing and provide what your customers want.

Anonymous said...

What is it that customers like you, want Chris ? Can you be specific ?

Anonymous said...

Just as I thought! Another Uber driver!

Curious said...

Come on Chris ...

what is it then that customers want ?

How is the service better ?

If its just price, remember who sets the meters running rate.

Anonymous said...

Ignore him ! Just another bottom feeding troll !

dms0001 said...

Chris wants, a taxi that will either sit, wait or follow him around,24HRs a day, until such time as he wants or needs it. Once needed, he only wants to pay for the actual trip from A to B, no waiting time, or a meter charging time in traffic or lights. He wants to pay a pittance, because he feels anyone can do the job with a sat nav & a car. Also wants to be able to insult or abuse, whomsoever is driving, telling them what to do, turn the radio off & on, or simply argue for the sake of arguing over the route taken, even if it's a pittance. he doesn't want the driver to have a life, recreation, or family life, nor a regular pay-packet to structure said drivers life around. Chris & his Ilk are envious of the times when one could simply own a slave. Now days, it's called an immigrant, who will take the excrement from such as Chris, whilst looking for alternative employment.

Anonymous said...

Dms 0001 beautifully put regarding Chris, spot on.