Thursday, March 31, 2016

Message to the new Mayor.....by I'm Spartacus.


As we all sit in polluting traffic jams now extending from 6am to  well past midnight, some suggestions as to improve all our lives:

The CC zone operates 24/7 and double yellow lines operate 24/7.

PH can only enter if they have a pre booking, this can be checked by linking the CC APRN with the booking software and the MID database to also ensure the vehicle is insured. The PH industry should have no lawful objection and will reduce touting and many operators will welcome this.

Car parks in the congestion zone closed and given over to housing, those that are left accesibleto disabled drivers with taxi ranks alongside so that the fully accessible wheelchair fleet usage is maximised.

Bus operations reviewed to decrease the frequency of buses in times of low demand.


Increase taxi rank provision in the side streets of Oxford Street stores so that Oxford Street can be considered for pedestrianisation.

As the taxi fleet moves toward ZEC vehicles the situation can only improve if that requirement is accompanied by a drastic reduction in the actual amount of vehicles looking to access the zone often just to effectively ply for hire on an app, it's irrelevant if that vehicle is hybrid or runs on fresh air, it's very presence leads to congestion and pollution.

No doubt paid lobbyists from non UK tax paying companies will be lining up to state it's protecting a monopoly and what about consumer choice.

Those bogus allegations are easy to answer, people will still be able to book a PH vehicle and of course as it's a pre booking as the law requires then those consumers will understand why they have to wait, if they want a vehicle instantly then they can hail or e hail a taxi that will arrive quickly through free flowing streets.

As for the monopoly, quite simply there is none, anyone who meets the standard can become a taxi driver, as for competition each taxi driver 'competes' with every other, there is no pooling of fares!

Whilst we are on about monopoly, is that not what below cost pricing, dubious insurances and the double Dutch and the Irish Sandwich tax mechanisms are designed to create?


This week we had a letter in the Evening Standard from Uber stating that they support the cycle super highway and want more electric charging points installed etc, of course they fail to explain how the money will be found from their pitiful tax contribution!

Still we could always close a hospital or a fire station to help them out.

So Mayor, support London, support this vision.

I'm Spartacus

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Gett Announce Their Intention To Buy Radio Taxis


Press release from Gett:

Gett, have today announced our intention to acquire The Mountview House Group, best known for operating Radio Taxis. This deal will make Gett the biggest black cab app in the UK.

As a result of this deal we will have more than 11,500 black cabs in London. The deal strengthens this part of our business - getting more and more people riding in black cabs and more money in your pocket at the end of the day. This deal is all about strengthening our commitment to the trade and our faith in the long term future of black cabs in London.

In the short term, Gett will still be Gett and The Mountview House Group will still operate Radio Taxis and their other brands. Longer term, we will look for ways to work more closely together as a single business.

One of the aims of this acquisition is to get even more business back into licensed taxis, as part of the fightback against the new challenges you’re seeing on the streets. The Mountview House Group has some fantastic corporate clients that, longer term, I hope you will get an opportunity to serve through Gett.

The Mountview House Group will also bring to Gett their expertise in driver and customer service via their contact centre - areas where, thanks to your feedback, we are investing. We remain committed to having a real person on the end of the phone, to give you help when you need it - and this acquisition will help us do that.

If you use both Gett and Radio Taxis or Xeta then you don’t need to do anything. In time there may be changes to how you access these services but for the moment you can continue using both as much as you want.

Geoffrey Riesel, Chairman & CEO of Mountview House Group said:

“Our board unanimously supports the deal to become part of Gett. The future of the business as well as that of our drivers and clients is well served by becoming part of this exciting high tech brand, not least because of Gett’s world class mobile app.”

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

TfL Notice 9/16.... What You Need To Know About CC Mandate


A letter containing the information below will be sent to all London taxi drivers on or shortly after 29 March 2016.

Taxi fares

On 3 February the Transport for London (TfL) Board agreed to some changes to taxi fares as part of the annual fares review. These changes, which come into effect on 2 April 2016 include:

  An overall increase of 1.6 per cent in taxi fares

  Full removal of the card payment surcharge to passengers of up to 10 per cent or £1, whichever is greater

  A 20p increase in the taxi meter flagfall, bringing it to £2.60

  A change in the end time of tariff 3 from 6am to 5am

  Making changes so that the tariff rate for longer journeys (referred to as tariff 4) changes over on distance instead of at a fixed fare point, as is currently the case

  Extending the arrangements where fares increase by 40 pence if diesel prices increase significantly (threshold of 148.56 pence per litre)

  Introducing a new arrangement where fares decrease by 40 pence if diesel prices decrease significantly (threshold of 72.70 pence per litre)

The 20p increase in the taxi meter flagfall is to assist drivers to cover the costs of accepting card payments, as the passenger surcharge will be removed in its entirety and drivers will no longer be able to pass on any additional costs to passengers. We also anticipate an increase in competition from suppliers which will lead to greater choice and value for money for drivers. We have been meeting and working closely with the card payment providers, and will continue to do so, to ensure that the best possible packages are offered to all taxi drivers. 

All signage or information currently displayed in taxis advising passengers of a card payment surcharge must also be removed by 2 April.

Taxi meter changes will take place over the weekend of 2 and 3 April. To ensure these changes come into effect, taxi owners are encouraged to check the arrangements with their individual meter companies.

Mandating credit and debit card acceptance

On 3 February TfL Board also agreed that all taxi drivers must accept credit and debit card payments, including contactless, with effect from 3 October 2016. This follows a consultation we conducted in 2015, where 86 per cent of over 1,000 respondents were in favour of making it mandatory that all taxis accept card payments.

A copy of the TfL Board paper is available on our website:

http://j.mp/25ui7zS. 

From 3 October the following changes will come into effect:

  All taxis must be fitted with a TfL approved card payment device fixed within the passenger compartment

  As a minimum, drivers must accept VISA and MasterCard credit or debit card payments in your taxi

  You must accept contactless, Chip and PIN and magnetic swipe in your taxi

  New signage, currently being designed, will be made available in the coming weeks and need to be displayed on and within the taxi

We are working closely with a range of card payment system providers to ensure their systems meet the new requirements in good time for the transition. The table on the following page provides you with information on the card payment systems that are currently approved by TfL, and the steps you need to take to ensure their products will be compliant from 3 October. 

 



Receipt printers

Currently, taxi drivers who accept card payments must have the facility to offer a printed receipt on demand, in accordance with our Electronic Payment Guidance. We are currently reviewing this policy and considering whether this requirement remains necessary. We will provide updates on our website tfl.gov.uk/tph and in our weekly email to licensees.

Our vehicle inspection centres

In the coming weeks and months, when you present your taxi for an annual inspection you may be asked some additional questions when booking in your vehicle about what, if any, card payment systems you already use. This information is being gathered in advance of October so we can establish what additional support is required closer to the date the mandate comes into effect. We recognise that for some drivers this represents a big change; we will work with you over the coming months to make the transition as smooth as possible.

Please regularly check our website tfl.gov.uk/tph and the weekly email to drivers for up to date information, including an update on the requirement for receipt printers and how to obtain stickers promoting your acceptance of credit and debit cards, once they become available. You can also contact us by email at tph.enquiries@tfl.gov.uk or call us on 0343 222 4444.

With best wishes

Helen Chapman  
General Manager,

For previous Notices visit tfl.gov.uk/tph London Taxi and Private Hire 
Ends.

Equipment that you will need to install if you use the Miura unit after 3rd October 2016.

    Unit cradle 

    Bluetooth Star Printer 


Action-for-Cabbies - IMPORTANT update ‘What’s Next’

Although the trade has let a perfect opportunity to get TfL in court under oath slip through its fingers, we now have to lick our wounds and move on. 


The Action for Cabbies team have therefore decided to fight two issues which will affect drivers income, issues that has been imposed unilaterally on the trade with no negotiation.

Before reading the ‘What’s Next’ update, please take time to consider two very important questions:

1. Should drivers pay passengers credit card fees?
2. Should drivers be made to have a fixed credit card terminal in the passenger/driver compartment of their vehicle?
 
If you AGREE with TfL that drivers SHOULD pay passengers credit card fees and they should have a fixed credit card terminal in the passenger/driver compartment, then you’ll need to cancel your pledge by 5.00pm on Tuesday 5th April 2016 (within 1 week) giving Crowdfunder 2 clear days to ensure your cancellation is honoured.  

Update

As you’ll be aware the AFC campaign has been extended until 5.00pm on the 7th April 2016. The extension was granted because many backers wanted to give all drivers who hadn’t previously pledged the opportunity to supported AFC. We were also talking to some larger backers to see if they would be willing to make up the difference.

The current campaign total stands at £351,208 so it doesn’t look like we are going to hit the required £600k to start action against TfL for illegally licencing Uber in 2012.

You probably recall AFC put out an update on the 3rd March 2016 with a one-question survey (independently conducted by AskPOB). We didn’t publish the results of that survey at the time, as many backers wanted the campaign extended for reasons explained above, so the results were held back until now.

The survey simply asked all backers, “Subject to more detail, if the target of £600,000 is not raised by the 14th March 2016, would you transfer your pledge to a Judicial Review (JR) that fights the adverse effects as listed above?” backers were given 3 options, ‘YES, NO, MAYBE’.

There were 1085 responders (out of 3660 registered backers at that time), which represented less than one third of those who’d pledged. 531 said YES, 237 said MAYBE (as they wanted more information) and 317 said NO.

In view of the survey results and combined with the realisation that the £600k target will not be reached, many backers have indicated they would like AFC to use their pledge to lodge a Judicial Review against TfL for the adverse effects of the credit card mandate. 
 
The JR would be focused on drivers being made to pay passenger’s credit card fees and also being forced to have a fixed credit card terminal in the passenger/driver compartment.

Its agreed by most (if not all drivers) that credit card acceptance should be mandatory, but making drivers pay passenger fees and being made to use terminals of TfL’s choice (ones which are listed on their approved list) is simply wrong.

Many drivers already accept credit cards with systems they’ve purchased, so why should they be forced to use another system (at their expense) when they already have a system that works perfectly well.

If TfL are not challenged for imposing passenger credit card fees on drivers, this will be the thin end of the wedge, as 3% will soon become 4%, then 5%, who knows where it will end.

When paying by card for most things you’ll be charged for the privilege, so why are London taxi drivers being singled out. Try paying by card for road tax on the Government DVLA website, you’ll be charged, book a holiday and you’ll be charged, etc., etc., etc.

Putting 20p on the flag full will be deemed as a fare increase by the public, but in reality drivers will be taking a massive pay cut, especially if they do a few long journeys which happen to pay by card.

The 20p increase also penalises passengers who elect to pay using cash, this will result in more passengers paying by card, which isn’t a bad thing but only if passengers pay their own credit card fees.

What’s Next?

If you AGREE with TfL that drivers SHOULD pay passenger credit card fees and that drivers should have a fixed credit card terminal, then please CANCEL your pledge by emailing Crowdfunder. Your cancellation needs to be submitted by 5.00pm Tuesday 5thApril 2016 (within 1 week) or your pledge will be used to help fund a JR against TfL for the adverse effects of the credit card mandate.

Please email your name, email address (which you made your pledge with) and a message simply saying, ‘Cancel my pledge’ to support@crowdfunder.co.uk

WARNING: If you do not cancel your pledge by 5.00pm Tuesday 5th April 2016, any monies pledged will be used for a JR against TfL for making drivers pay passenger credit card fees and for making drivers have a fixed terminal in the passenger/driver compartment.

Website To Be Updated:

The Crowdfunder/Action-for-Cabbies website will be update later today to reflect the changes and will also provide important information detailing the next legal steps.

Please note: 

As the new JR will be lodged within time (unlike the JR against TfL for illegally licensing Uber in 2012) the cost will be a fifth of the original JR as the lawyers do not need to prove continuous breach. Its therefore very important that the new JR is lodged ASAP because proving continuous breach at a later stage can be very costly.

This update will be sent out several times between now and 5.00pm Tuesday 5th April 2016, to ensure all backers have had the opportunity to cancel their pledge, so apologies in advance for the repeated updates.

AFC would just like to thank everyone for the overwhelming help and support its received over the duration of this campaign. Its heart warming to know there are many who really care about this great trade, which has supported many generations for hundreds of years and will hopefully continue to do so for many years to come.

God bless and fingers crossed for the trade’s future.

The Action-for-Cabbies team

Better off to arrive home poorer but safe, than better off and abused.

   By Marc Turner 

The Dads Defending Daughters group -who campaign for the safety of loved ones during these dangerous and lawless times- brought this sorry account, involving trade stalwart and Mayfair Mob dependable 'Benidorm' Dave, to my attention.

Saturday before last, whilst ranked in Brewer Street, a lone distressed tearful female ran to his cab. Upon entering she shrieked "please lock the doors driver". Dave locked the door and asked her why she was so distressed. 

She explained, that having become separated from her friends, with a powerless mobile, she found herself cashless, needing to get home to Kent. 

She was approached by a man in a car, carrying TFL Private Hire identification, purporting to be a Taxi driver. "Taxi Lady?" he said " where you trying to get to". 

On enquiring his price, he replied with (what nobody expects or deserves to hear)...."OK we can get there then go somewhere private and have a good time together".

Realising he was eluding to 'payment in kind', she exited the scene smartish, leaving this sexual predator sitting in his TFL roundeled car. Luckily, she found 'gallant' Dave on point of the Brewer Street Taxi rank.

Dave managed to calm her down and drove her to her home near Gravesend, where she was able to pay him the fare by credit card.

She spoke of hearing previously from friends, of such advances by touting PH drivers, but never thought it would happen to her.

So questions beg:
Where are the Police?
Where are CEO's? 
Where is enforcement of any shape or form?

Transport for London, sell 125,000 licences over a 3 year period, raking in a cool £37,500,000 in fees. Surely they should be providing a better standard of public protection from sexual predators....New York has an army of 800 Taxi inspectors enforcing their regulations 24/7. 

Where is TfLs enforcement ???

A dozen night time compliance officers hiding in bus shelters, doing two shifts a week is not good enough.
  
     

TfL, you put these PHVs on our streets, it's your job to enforce and protect the public.
 
Dave said the grateful damsel's parting remark was "Londons Taxis are the last and only 'bastion of sanctuary' out there".

Final words go to a recent passenger of mine..."Better off to arrive home poorer but safe, than better off and abused".

Monday, March 28, 2016

Uber minicab seized in probe into 'religiously prejudiced death' of Scottish shopkeeper.

The Uber-branded cab is seized from within the police cordon in Glasgow

A Bradford-registered cab has been seized by police investigating the death of Glasgow shopkeeper Asad Shah - who was stabbed after wishing friends a "very happy Easter".

The grey Volkswagen Passat mini-cab with Uber branding in the windscreen was parked opposite "man of peace" Mr Shah's shop in Glasgow, where he was killed just four hours after posting his Easter message to "my beloved Christian nation".

The vehicle - a private hire vehicle registered with Bradford Council, 200 miles from Glasgow - was within the police cordon set up at the crime scene and was removed by police forensic officers wearing white protective suits.

The forensic officers slowly drove a recovery truck into the cordon and winched the private hire saloon cab onto the back of it before driving away.

It's believed the vehicle, which is feared to have transported Mr Shah's killer to the scene, is now undergoing forensic testing.

The vehicle seizure happened at 2.30pm on Friday afternoon outside Mr Shah's shop on Minard Road in the Shawlands area of Glasgow but has only just come to light.

News of the seizure comes just hours after reports that Mr Shah's alleged killer had travelled to Scotland from Bradford. The suspect is understood to be from the Girlington area of the city.

An Uber spokesman said today that the car was registered to a private hire cab driver in Bradford who last used the Uber app on Monday, March 21.

The spokesman said the car had not been used for any Uber trips in Glasgow and said any driver given a private hire licence by Bradford City Council had to pass enhanced DBS disclosure tests.

Police Scotland today refused to comment on the seizure of the vehicle.

A West Yorkshire police spokesman said: “It is a Police Scotland investigation but they have been liaising with senior officers in Bradford about the community impact.”

Meanwhile a crowdfunding site set up to raise money for Mr Shah's family has reached £70,000 thanks to donations from across Britain and further afield.

Police said on Friday that Mr Shah's death was being treated as "religiously prejudiced".

Mr Shah was a member of the Ahmadiyya sect of Islam which preaches peace and tolerance towards other religions. 

Speaking today, Dr Mohammed Iqbal, President of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in Bradford, said: "I feel very sad for the victim and his family, for our Ahmadiyya community because we know we face these dangers and for Bradford.

"It is a tragedy not just for those directly involved but also for the wider community because it will bring negativity to Bradford which we don’t want."

Dr Bary Malik, also from the Ahmadiyya Muslim Association in Bradford, said sympathies had been sent to Mr Shah’s family.

He said he was a friend of the victim and had got to know him from time spent in Rabwah in Pakistan, where the shopkeeper had been born.

He said: “I know the man and his family. He was very well-known. Of course we have sent our sympathies from here in Bradford."

He said it was "sad" that such an incident had happened and added that the fact the death was being treated as religiously motivated made it "even more tragic."

He said: "We hope that justice will be done soon.”

Police have arrested a 32-year-old Muslim man belonging to the Sunni sect over the death. The man will appear in court in Glasgow tomorrow (Tuesday).

Just hours before he died, popular Mr Shah had taken to Facebook to say: "Good Friday and a very Happy Easter, especially to my beloved Christian nation."

And he added: "Let's follow the real footstep of beloved holy Jesus Christ and get the real success in both worlds."

In previous posts, he spoke out against violence and hatred and called for "unconditional real love for all mankind".

Mr Shah's family revealed today that they now fear for their lives following his death, which has caused widespread anger and grief.

Naz Shah, Labour MP for Bradford West, said: “Hatred is hatred, and there is no room for people who expect tolerance and respect for their religion but do not think they should give it to others.

“I am absolutely appalled, I have spoken to the Council of Mosques and will be speaking to other people about it, and I will be putting out further statements.

“I had heard rumours the man was from Bradford but I had no idea he was from my constituency."

Serving Female Police Constable Finds That £1,150, Is The Price Of Bilking A London Taxi.

PC Nicola Elston, a serving Metropolitan Police officer attached to Lambeth borough, has been ordered to pay £1,150 after a jury found her guilty of jumping out of a taxi in Croydon without paying .

PC Nicola Elston, 28, a serving Metropolitan Police officer attached to Lambeth borough, was found guilty following a three-day trial at Southwark Crown Court.

The jury found her guilty of making off without payment of a taxi fare in Croydon on June 27.  The driver alleged that when he tried to detain her she assaulted him, but the jury found her not guilty of assault. 

The WPC elected to have her case heard in a crown court and had pleaded not guilty to both offences.

PC Elston was sentenced to a £150 fine and £1,000 costs.

A Met spokesman said the officer's duties remain restricted. He went on to say, "Now that the criminal proceedings have been completed, we will be able to complete our misconduct process".

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Freelance Journalist, Anna Rhodes, Doesn't Read Her Own Headlines.


Anna Rhodes, freelance journalist has made quite an insulting statement this weekend in the Independent newspaper. She said: 

Let’s take a second to review the situation here -  black cab prices in London are extortionate. To take a journey from Covent Garden to Bethnal Green, you’re looking at racking up a fare of around £30 if you’re lucky (I speak from my own experience). This fare price is cut by a third when travelling in an Uber.

The reason Uber is so popular with Londoners is that it is cheap, cheerful – and safe. 

Looks like Anna doesn't read her own headlines. 


We have all seen the thousands of photos and videos of Uber crashes as their drivers take their eyes off the road to look at their phones and sat navs. Who can forget this one, where prince Harry's outrider was hit by an Uber car who pulled straight out of a side road without looking. 


Just over two weeks ago, the trade was shocked by the horrific death of a young toddler as an Uber driver ploughed into his buggy. 


Then earlier this week, just a few hundred yards from the death crash, a Chinese couple were mowed down by another Uber driver, outside the Albert Hall.


Uber Drugs?...no problem!


Today, I've been sent this harrowing tale from a young lady from Leeds who's friend was the victim of an attacked by another Uber driver. Read her story below.

Dear Taxi Leaks, not sure if I can post this on here so let me know if not.

Today 26/03/2016 
My friend Rachel was out on her motorbike at work (Food delivery) in Leeds City Centre She came to a motorbike parking bay next to the Merion Centre  and a Uber Taxi was parked in the bay. She asked the driver to move out of the bay as its motorbikes only. The driver got out of the car and continuously punched my friend even when on the floor covered in blood.

This is absolutely outrageous ! Is this the type of drivers Uber hire ? They already have terrible rep when it comes to been absolute menaces on the road but to attack a member of public like that is out of order. My friend is in the hospital and her nose is bust up pretty bad but The driver is now in custody thankfully. Apparently their was about 20 witnesses around the area and someone managed to record the incident. 


Please share this all over Facebook. Uber need to give answers about this ! 

Uber number 2094 reg plate AK60 FPT. 

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Knowledge Students Statistics, Supplied By TfLTPH.



With thanks to Les Hoath 

Good first step Wes. ..... By I'm Spartacus.

Earlier this week we had Wes Streeting MP for Ilford North introduce a 10 Minute Rule Bill.


For those of us not up to speed on the ins and outs of the Luddite procedures of Parliament, these bills (proposed acts of Parliament) are usually introduced to give publicity for a particular issue, the MP has to speak for 10 minutes and then a vote is taken (that's called the first reading) and if voted Aye as opposed to Noe (see what I man about Luddite) it proceeds to a second reading, they are usually opposed by the government but every now and then they do become law.

So let's look at  Wes is proposing in outline:

English Language Tests for PH, Realistic insurance, Stronger PH Topo testing, taxation rules.

All good stuff, well maybe but no doubt some of the 250k PR budget of uber will be 'persuading' opponents in the house to fight it all the way, they don't want any regulation here or anyone else.

Osborne, Javid and Cameron are already in the tax avoiding rule breakers hutch, but it only takes 12 fair minded patriotic Tory M.P.'s to stand up and be counted, sorry 13 as Ian Austin Labour MP is already in the uber camp.


We await, but why oh why Wes did you not take this opportunity to define Plying for Hire? 
That could have dealt with the illegality of exhibition and availability of an on screen picture and a meaningful pre booking interval, maybe if it gets that far someone will introduce it as an amendment to the Act, some of us will be proposing that.

Expect those who wish to see us gone move heaven and earth against us, that probably includes TfL!

As Mr Al Fayed of Harrods fame once said 'you can 'hire' an MP as easy as walking out of the store and hailing a cab.

So Wes and co. Let's prove for once that he was wrong about the first part so the second part can carry on.

On behalf of us, the wheelchair users, tourists, those without smartphones or postcodes, those who wish a tour or want to avoid a jam, the hard of hearing or poor sighted, those without credit cards, they need taxis, they need expert drivers with real skill, they NEED us.

Stand strong.

I'm Spartacus

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Despite A Rise In Reported Incidents, British Transport Police Are To Axe Sex Crime Unit.

A high-profile police unit that investigates sexual offences on the Tube and railways is set to be disbanded.

The specialist crime team was created by the British Transport Police to tackle unwanted sexual behaviour on public transport such as groping. 

It had officers who actively searched for offenders on the capital’s transport network.

The move comes despite figures showing a huge rise in the number of crimes being reported.

Between last April and December there were 1,603 reports of sex offences on the Tube, trains and buses in London, compared with 1,117 for the period the previous year — an increase of 43.5 per cent.

Last month, Labour mayoral candidate Sadiq Khan urged the BTP to crack down on groping as a top priority.

The unit is being axed as part of a structural review by the BTP, which will also see the team handling assaults against Transport for London staff scrapped.

Two specialist crime teams will remain in London, covering theft of passengers’ property and bikes.

Editorial Comment:

As we look forward to the 24hr night tube, it's comforting to know that although your mother, wife, daughter, sister, may be at risk to a sex attacker on the tube, at least your bicycle will be safe! 

             Just visualise the phone call:

"Hello, is that the police....I've just been raped on the Piccadilly line"

"Sorry Madam, nothing we can do, budget cuts"

"But he escaped on my bicycle"

"Stay where you are miss, we have an armed response unit on its way"


Wednesday, March 23, 2016

The Demo May Have Been Postponed....But You Can Still Make A Difference And Fight Back Today,

Upset that demo's been postponed?

You can still fight for your trade today. 
Let's get those responsible for our demise in court.

All you need to do is pledge the 2 hours takings you would have lost today...with £350,000 already in the pot, another 8,000 x £35 would make it happen today.

These wives, mothers, sisters daughters, have put their normal lives on hold. Out on the street, on the ranks, in the shelters and cafes, fighting for your survival.
Don't let their passion become another victim of cab trade apathy.

Certain people have done their best to sabotage this action, after all, there's possibly a spare seat going on the board of TfL when the new Mayor takes office.

But do you really want another 4 years of inactivity at TfL board level?

How much longer do you believe our 350 year trade will survive.

Reports coming in thick and fast of drivers leaving the trade, having to seek other employment as mortgage payments are not being met.


Let's get TfL in court p, where they belong.
There's on,y one criminal in the cross hairs and that's TfL.
Let's make them accountable for destroying our trade.
Let's take no prisoners 

Never give up....never, never surrender 

Don't forget 
If you don't get in the ring, you can't win the fight.

Click on this link below and pledge today
>www.crowdfunder.co.uk/Action-for-cabbies<


Letter To Taxi Leaks : TfLTPH Using Private Hire Vehicles Act As A Cash Cow.

I would like to publish the following letter through Taxi Leaks bearing, in mind we have the ears of MP's now:

In the late 90's, we were informed; "When minicabs become licensed, touting will become their problem, not ours"

A Potted history of the Private Hire Vehicles Act act.

Before the Private Hire Vehicles Act1998, London was lawless. Everyone and anyone who wanted to earn an extra few bob become a mini cab driver in their own cars without any insurance or criminal checks it really was the "Wild West". The Police had zero interest in addressing any issues as they needed to clean up the streets in the West end at the weekends, as the demand for Taxis well outstripped supply.

When the PHV act was drawn up it had three separate but connected stages.

1. Operators license: 
In brief, an office or building with the appropriate planning permission the ability to record the details of every booking and the ability to report data on all bookings.

2. Drivers  PHV Licence:
CRB checked and linked to ONE  PHV operator.

3. Vehicle Licence:
A TfL inspection which ensured the driver was connected to an operator and had the correct Hire and Reward insurance over and above private social domestic and pleasure or full comp insurance. 

Under the Public carriage office (PCO) everybody either complied or died.

Since Transport for London (tfl) took over the reigns:
They saw this as a cash cow business opportunity and as from 2012, with the advent of Uber, they have relaxed the law to the point of " do what you want, we don't care" attitude as long as long as we make money.

Tfl have always clamped down on any indiscretion  for the Taxi trade, which I totally agree with, but have turned a blind eye to the PHV market.

I cannot believe there is no mechanism to make a complaint against a PHV driver with tfl 100,000 plus PHV drivers are above the law and complaint to tfl is just forwarded to the Operator and forgotten. This is completely against " The Natural rules of justice".

PHV drivers were granted a license for a particular area of London and directly connected with a registered operator for e.g Toms cars based in the Angel, punters could walk into they're high street office and order a mini cab and the operator would take the booking, allocate a driver to do the job -to Hackney- for example, the driver would then carry out the booking at a fixed rate agreed upfront, then return to the office and sit in the queue waiting for his next job.

The same system applies to Yellow badge suburban Taxi divers, they can only work the parish or local area take a job in your area complete to and return to base.

Stay with me please..

The radio circuits such as Dial a Cab, RTG, and CompCab have had an automated despatch system light years ahead of mini cabs  since 1960's and has always led from the from in terms of technology the first to introduce GPS and auto despatch to remote terminals in cab but and this is very important, always complied with PCO and tfl's rules and regulations.  

I was delighted to hear today a bill will be amended in the House of Commons around the tightening of the rules around the 1998 PHV act.

My view is simple, every operator should provide Hire and reward fleet  insurance to comply with the 1998 PHV act and the driver must work for one single registered PHV licensed Operator. Because at this moment PHV drivers are affiliated to several different mini cab companies at the same time which goes completely against the act. They are virtually plying for hire with several platforms which is illegal.

The new revisions to the act must include one driver attached to one operator.

Think about this, if the onus of responsibility around insurance is with the operator, then any other bookings outside the said operators remit the car is not insured.

For the avoidance of doubt, if I work for Addie Lee who provide a car and relevant insurance and I sign up to Uber and moonlight accepted a job from Uber and have an accident would Addie Lee's insurance cover this journey???  

Tom Scullion.