Tuesday, January 31, 2017

In Answer To ITA Statement Of Intent..... By Harry Wall.

   
 

I start this post with the fantastic news that the ITA have reinstated daily direct action beginning March 1st. This is as a result of a failed meeting with COL yesterday. Please note ITA reps didn't fail, COL did, they failed to listen to reason, facts or common sense due to obvious intervention from TFL. So now we have to do it the hard way which I have to say was inevitable but nevertheless at least we tried the right way (again) without success, so now it's game on and I can't wait. I wish it was starting today.

I must say the absence of the main orgs from yesterday's meeting was disappointing, for whatever reasons, I think they all should've been there but in all fairness I don't think it would have changed the outcome, but looks matter to me.

What's been made glaringly obvious from this encounter is that TFL, the City and all those in authority have no intention whatsoever of giving an inch. Even with the WCHCD's involvement in the matter, who in my view have been too silent for too long, no movement towards compromise was at any time forthcoming so in my mind the deals had long since been done, probably over dinner at one of London's lodges.
So it's game on!!

Turning to COs, a recent video clip has highlighted just how ignorant, useless and utterly shambolic these individuals are. Rickshaws were on the pavement outside Selfridges, as usual, touting for business in front of 2 COs who were doing absolutely nothing to stop them. 

When challenged by @Seandrivingabaght the answer was "We're not trained in that". Unbelievable. 

I've made my feelings known that the orgs should set up our own compliance teams to roam London and police the streets ourselves. Teams of volunteer drivers drawn up from a rota on a weekly basis driving round the streets keeping ranks clear of rickshaws, rats and whoever else takes the piss. They could also watch TFL COs and make sure they're behaving themselves and doing their jobs properly. We can't rely on these people anymore, we can't keep hoping something will eventually happen, we have to make it happen now. 

We're now in the mindset where we're taking matters into our own hands and bypassing the orgs that are there specifically to represent us and safeguard our future, but it's happening because we all know they're largely impotent. 

Governed by red tape, restricted by laws implemented for the purpose of suffocating us. This has been the case for too long, which is why we now have ITA, DDD and so on. It's got to the point where I've lost all faith in all the orgs so I say thank God someone took the initiative and went for it.
All praise to them.

This is also born out by the fact a march by drivers families is in the early stages of being organised by Paul Sweeney and Save Taxis. A great idea but at the same time how embarrassing is it that we, as grown men and women, can't galvanise ourselves into a fighting force that the need for a family's march is needed?

It sickens me to think we've reached this point after 5 years of tyranny, having been treated in the most disgusting way possible by TFL for all this time, ignored constantly, shat on daily, laughed at regularly etc,etc, and still we let it happen. There's still a large section of our trade who are willing to let others fight while they work, happy to let others make a stand against injustice and the corruption that's nearly brought the trade to its knees. It both shocks and disgusts me but it's a burden that we must bare in the pursuit of victory in the face of insurmountable odds.

Now we've drawn the battle lines we can't back down now.
To add fuel to the fire, a meeting was held recently at TFL with all the orgs present. The subject of medicals was on the agenda and their latest plan is to no longer accept a medical certificate from your own GP. They plan to make it all in house so you have to use a TFL approved practice, the contract for which will obviously be put out to tender, no doubt doubling the price and providing a nice little kickback for TFL. 

Trevor Merrills told Mike Brown the UCG would not accept their plan and that under no circumstances would he hand over his medical records, at which point Mike Brown said he wouldn't re-license him. 

THIS IS WHAT WE ARE UP AGAINST!!
Once they get their grubby hands on our med records our numbers will fall like a stone. Not because we're all too ill to drive but because they'll use them to make it look like we are.
You know it as well as I do.

Face it, no amount of meetings, discussions or anything else is going to help us keep our jobs. With TFL licensed Uber's working all over the country now this virus has reached epidemic proportions that can no longer be tolerated. The surrounding areas of Heathrow have been blighted for over a year, Gatwick has now been made victim with the local country lanes laden with the filth and Southend has recently been in the news citing two previously imprisoned drivers somehow obtaining a license from TFL and working in the Southend area. 

The LTDA are not going to save us with Mac being more interested in reviewing papers on Sky rather than turning up at demos and branch meetings, not to mention the dreadful feeling amongst its members, the Club have little resources by their own admission and the UCG are bound by section 12/14 and various other laws. That being said they're all pursuing legal routes which, as we all know, take time.
Precious time we haven't got.

So it's down to us as drivers to lead the way and the fight for survival, we must be resolute in our cause and completely unforgiving. When asked for a meeting we accept without canceling or postponing any existing action, no giving time, no favours, no surrender, no backing down, no give and take, GIVE THESE RATS NOTHING!!

This must be the most relentless effort with utmost conviction without stopping as from March 1st.
Behave like TFL and listen to no one, give nothing yet take as much as possible without any mercy or remorse. At the same time be mindful of why WE are doing it ourselves, why it's necessary and who's responsible and never forget.
 
Those in TFL will sort themselves out just like Mason when they realise the ship is hold. You won't be surprised to know he's senior management at a debt recovery company, so he's a senior bully now as opposed to a minor one, but still vile.

Uphill battles can be won and we can prove it, this our chance to prove it, our chance to shine again, so can we show the world we're the gold standard we're supposed to be please and fight tooth and nail beginning March 1st.
Don't rely on the orgs it's up to us, the drivers.

Please, please get behind any driver led movement from now on as I honestly believe we really can make a difference where our reps fear to tread.

Be lucky, Harry Wall.

On-Off Insurance Nightmare, To Become A Waking Reality.


A car insurer has taken inspiration from the likes of Uber and Deliveroo and created the UK's first pay-as-you-go policy.

Edinburgh-based service Cuvva aims to offer drivers an easy and flexible policy, by charging them only when they use their car, plus a monthly subscription fee, to protect their vehicle while it is parked. 

The monthly fee varies from £10 to £30 and can be cancelled at any time, while the on-the-road insurance cost starts at £1.20 per hour.

Previously, the firm has offered by-the-hour cover for people who want to drive friend/family members' vehicles. However, this latest scheme is aimed at younger, inner city drivers who cover less than 4,000 miles a year. This is the demographic which faces the highest insurance premiums – an estimated £2,122 per year, according to confused.com.

Meanwhile, the average premium was £767 in 2016.

Cuvva says its subscription-based policy could save Britain's six million infrequent drivers up to 70% on an annual premium, which equates to between £500 and £1,500 a year.

Each subscription covers only one driver on one car, meaning that if you wish to be insured on multiple vehicles, you would need to take out more than one subscription. Similarly, if two people share a car, they would each need their own subscription.
At the end of a 12-month period, drivers are entitled to a year's no claims bonus, as with a convetional policy.

Cuvva founder Freddy Macnamara, told the Sun: "It was ridiculous that I couldn't borrow a car for an hour, because of the difficulty of getting short-term cover," he said.

"I could order an Uber or a Deliveroo to my house, but I couldn't buy insurance for a short period quickly.

"We realised that we could use the same mechanism to save infrequent drivers a huge amount of money.

"Technology has changed so many industries and given consumers cheaper, more convenient alternatives. Yet car insurance continues to be opaque and inflexible, costing some people a lot more than it should.

"Whether it is borrowing a car from a friend for a short period of time, or owning a car that you don't drive much, many people get an unfair deal when it comes to car insurance."

No Charging Units Planned For Feeder Park, As No One Wants To Pick Up The Bill.


Strange happenings at LTC's Coventry plant as they step up production. It is believed there have been grave concerns about the future of the New London Taxi the TX5, as driver groups voice concerns about affordability. 

It's recently emerged that the fast charging units planned for the feeder park at Heathrow, will not be installed, as both BA and TfL refuse to pay the quarter of a million pound price tag for the sub station and 8 units. 

Considering the TX5 will be the only new cab available in 10 months time, virtually no new charging points have emerged anywhere across London. 

After making a 300 million pound investment in a new plant close to the existing facility (which makes the current range of London Taxis), Geely, is aiming for a ten-fold increase in annual output to around 10,000 cabs and light commercial vehicles by the turn of the decade. They are also looking to sell taxis to major European cities. (With their price tag and no subsidy, good luck with that one!)

Despite industry concerns, the cab-maker has pushed ahead with its investment plans and has nearly completed a new factory in central England. 

LTC, traces its roots back to 1899 and was bought by Geely back in 2013 after a series of Taxi engine fires put the company into administration. Executives have visited cities such as Oslo, Amsterdam, Paris and Berlin in recent months, seeking new markets for the London black taxi. It's not clear whether they will be pushing the expensive new TX5 electric Taxi or will carry on production of the TX4 euro 6. 

Chief Executive Chris Gubbey declined to say which city would be the first overseas market for the cab but the firm will aim to export its new low-emissions model from next year.

"We'll start selling them in 2018," Gubbey said, acknowledging that it will be tricky to break into markets long dominated by other brands.

"They tend to be very nationalistic in their products and I think knowing that, we have to very sensible about what we believe can be our rate of climb in terms of market share," he said, referring to some European cities. 

Gubbey has recently said the Brexit vote and uncertainty around the country's future trading arrangements had not prompted any investment changes but still, there were major concerns.

Monday, January 30, 2017

COMETH THE HOUR, COMETH THE MEN ... By Jim Thomas


I sat in the Kings Cross Taxi Centre last night chatting to my normal crowd, most in their mid 60's to early 70s. Drivers I've respected and looked up to throughout my 43 years service in this trade.

Drivers who back in the day, willingly fought tooth and nail with no questions asked, to kept this trade going strong for many years. I'm proud to call these drivers my friends.

I remember standing shoulder to shoulder with them when we
  • Banged up the car park at the GLC City hall (an operation the military would have been proud of)
  • Converged on Marylebone Council House to protest against Westminster Council's proposed licensing of minicab offices in the West End (a protest boycotted by the LTDA)
  • Stood firm outside Stringfellows and the Hippodrome when they installed the first minicab satellite office style booking desks
  • Blocked in Mr Ali's touts at Cranbourne Street
  • Stood together against the aggressive touts outside the Sports Cafe
  • Formed the first ever impromptu flashmob at the battle of Hanover Square
  • Protested many times at Nobu, Tiger Tiger, Abacus, OnAnon plus much, more.
  • Even got the wife killer slung off the knowledge.

The first 'Hit Squad' I personally got involved with, was formed by a group of drivers who were regulars at the Warwick Ave night shelter. 

Every night we would receive a target which we would pass on by word of mouth, no mobiles back then but sometimes we'd get a message out to the radio circuits. Lords (Dial a Cab) and Mountview (RTG) were very helpful but Com Cab, who back then were part of the LTDA, didn't want to know.

Around midnight, cabs would assemble to block in the touts -who back then were unlicensed- and we would take back the work. A system that worked a treat.

Targets ranged from Hombre's in Wells Street, The Sports Cafe in Haymarket, Stringfellows in Upper St Martins Lane and our biggest threat at that time, Mr Ali's.... A tout from Luton, working from a door way in Cranbourne Street. 
You could say this was the first recognised cross boarder hiring set up. 

Back then, there were no compliance teams, no nighttime  PCO's, all we had to call on was a bunch of Met Cab Enforcement Officers. At first they proved helpful, but unfortunately because of the unrest caused by the IRA, virtually all the Cab Enforcement officers had to be seconded to help special branch and we were left high and dry. 

By the late 80's Jim Wells, chair of the newly formed LCDC, stepped forward and led the troops on a succession of very effective 'hits'. With the mobile phone revolution just about to break, getting the message out suddenly got easier.

Back then, Private Hire wasn't a licensed trade and the Carriage Office had little to no power and so we were at the mercy of what little help we could get from the police.  

Some years later -with Bob Oddy's words ringing in our ears " when minicabs are licensed, touting will be their problem, not ours"- a few cabbies from the London Taxi Driver's Forum, formed a militant group called the TAG Hit Squad. 

Formed mainly to reclaim the work consistently being stolen from places such as Hanover Square, Tiger Tiger, Swallow Street, Nobu's In Berkeley Street, OnAnon and Abacus in the City.  

The Hit Squad was made up of drivers from every org and although the orgs chose not to get involved officially, the UCG committee was right up the front on every hit. Some nights, so many drivers would assemble, we were able to tackle more than one objective. 

Operations were filmed on digital cameras, showing clipboard johnnies openly touting, cabs arriving forming a blockade and the scabs screaming away in the background. As Taxis a received a job from the impromptu marshals it would immediately be replaced by other drivers forming a rolling rank. This kept the Pirates trapped kerbside, sometimes for over an hour.

By now we where under the watchful eye of TfL. As this was before the TfLTPH Twitter account came about, all evidence collated was sent to TfL by email....but with no reply. When I made a formal complaint that we were being ignored, I was told they didn't have the facilities to play the videos. No joking that's what they actually said....
This from the most prestigious Taxi licensing authority in Europe.  

Even so we had some great victories. A rank was put outside the door or the Jalouse club in Hanover Square, which was fed by the shelter rank. Tiger Tiger rank was extended from 2 spaces to 11 cab lengths, putting us bang outside their door, (lost now and moved to the other side of Haymarket). 

Nobu's rank was won after a lady driver was assaulted by a tout outside, she was on Dial a Cab who, along with RTG kept a presence outside the restaurant every night until Westminster finally gave in.

OnAnon's tout outfit, Diamond Chauffeurs, fell victim to the contra flow bus lane. Abacus was given a rank over a hundred yards away on the wrong side of the road, also pointing in wrong direction. It was only after the UCG arranged frequent hits at the bar, the City of London police got involved and the rank decreased in size, was move to the right side of the street. Unfortunately the powers that be left space in front of the rank to allow Diamond Chauffeurs to continue touting.

It was around then, the trade suddenly faced an onslaught from its worst enemies, apathy, complacency, empire building and division. 

Our orgs started to fight each other rather than take on the might of our true enemy. It became more of an uphill struggle as drivers refused to join their colleagues, with just the same faces turning up at hits. 

Even demos called by our so called representative orgs saw many drivers carrying on working or slipping off to play golf. A trade Union leader actually got caught up the middle of a Trafalgar Square demo, with a passenger onboard, claiming he knew nothing about the action. 

The best taxi trade in the world, with the worst leadership, started to fall apart.

Back in 2014 I wrote an article which ended:

Definitely not the trade it once was, now broken and demoralised.
In a recent interview on London Taxi Radio, John Mason admitted he put together the engagement policy, because it was his job to get the Mayor’s clean air strategy past. An agenda which included the Taxi age limit. His policy split the trade and has enabled TfL to walk all over us ever since.

After Mason outlived his usefulness, TfL made it clear he would be sidestepped, which left him no option other than resigning. 

The engagement policy is now dead in the water, but in its wake, has left the constituent members of the United Trade Group locked in a power struggle, constantly at each other’s throats.

Exclusion is still the order of the day with the UTG. Seriously, what benefits can possibly be achieved by keeping the trade divided?
Only Oddy, McNamara, Kelly, Davis and Cox know the answer.

With a truly united trade, we could of had TfL quaking in their boots.
Instead, we got them pissing their pants laughing at us.

Our friend Semtex (who made the original quote, men are coming to kill us) said;
"When the final battle comes, there will be no one left to lead.
Best Taxi Service In The World ? … Not Any More".

We may be down, but we're not out...not yet!
Moving on to today we've seen the formation of two new militant groups, the Mayfair Mob who have been servicing the new Mayfair and City ranks and Dads Defending Daughters, a very active group formed to lead from the front, exposing the rapes and sexual assaults being covered up by our very own licensing authority. 

With our representative orgs resting on their laurels, becoming no more than revenue raising businesses, we've seen the emergence of the most exciting group of all, The Independent Taxi Alliance (ITA). Driver led, with no football supporter mentality, no empire building, no ego's, they have emerged as an anonymous group who will arrange and lead direct action against any form of oppression, harassment, or any action that threatens the  Licence Taxi Trade as we know it. 

We have now rewritten the legion 
"COMETH THE HOUR, COMETH THE MEN".

With the RMT kindly acting as mediators -the only org willing to cross the line drawn in the sand- the ITA will be meeting with the Corporation of London Planning Committee today, to discuss the trades exclusion from the bank junction. Information will be made available as soon as we receive it.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

#DeleteUber Starts Trending After Strike Against Trump's Refugee Ban


Hundreds of people tweeted they are deleting their Uber accounts Saturday amid accusations the company took part in taxi cab strike-breaking in New York during a protests against President Trump's refugee ban.

Cabbies affiliated with the New York Taxi Workers Alliance refused to pick up passengers at New York's JFK airport for an hour Saturday in solidarity with those protesting President Trump's executive order banning refugees and limiting immigration from Muslim-majority countries.

They also sent out calls on social media for Uber and Lyft drivers to join in their show of support for the protests at Terminal 4. The city's taxi drivers are a disproportionately Muslim and immigrant workforce, and many drive for apps in addition to independent for-hire work.

Shortly after the designated strike time of 6 p.m. to 7 p.m., Uber sent a tweet telling customers surge pricing had been suspended.



Since surge pricing increases the cost for passengers when demand is high, suspending it looked to some like an active undermining of the NYTWA's strike. Uber told BuzzFeed News it was aware of the hour of solidarity, which its drivers were free to participate in, and the official strike hour had technically ended 36 minutes prior.

One popular Weird Twitter denizen, @Bro_Pair, tweeted out the following about an hour later.


Others repeated the claim that Uber had actively broken the strike, with some re-posting the full statement from the NYTWA in support of the protests.

"We're sorry for any confusion about our earlier tweet — it was not meant to break up any strike," Uber said in a statement to BuzzFeed News. "We wanted people to know they could use Uber to get to and from JFK at normal prices, especially tonight."

Uber said the tweet about the suspension of surge pricing was intended to alert customers that Uber was a service available at regular, rather than inflated, cost. Uber has received criticism in the past for implementing higher prices during high-traffic times — and for ways its surge pricing affects worker organizing.


Earlier in the day, Uber CEO Travis Kalanick sent an email to employees addressing Trump's executive order with the subject line, "Standing up for what's right." Kalanick is also a member of Trump's new business advisory council.

In the message, he said Uber's "People Ops team" had already reached out to the "dozen or so employees who we know are affected" and that the company was "working out a process" to compensate drivers during the next three months to "help mitigate some of the financial stress and complications with supporting their families and putting food on the table."

Uber maintains that drivers are independent contractors, rather than company employees, a classification that is currently being disputed in a number of courts around the country.

Kalanick also said in the email he would "raise the issue" that the ban "will impact many innocent people" when he attends Trump's first business advisory group meeting in the coming days.

Some tweeted that Kalanick's presence on that advisory group contributed to their decision to delete the Uber app.

For others, it was both the alleged strike-breaking and the cooperation with the Trump administration.

Meanwhile, Uber's rival Lyft announced it would donate $1 million to the ACLU “to defend our constitution” in response to Trump’s order.

A statement from the company’s co-founders, John Zimmer and Logan Green, said they wanted Lyft to be a model for “diverse, inclusive, safe” communities.

“Banning people of a particular faith or creed, race or identity, sexuality or ethnicity, from entering the U.S. is antithetical to both Lyft’s and our nation’s core values,” the statement read. “We stand firmly against these actions, and will not be silent on issues that threaten the values of our community.”

Letter to Editor: Are Gett Overstepping The Mark, Or Is It Fair Business Practice?


Hi Taxi Leaks - 
GETT are now contacting by, text etc, passengers arriving at Ben Gurion Airport, Tel Aviv - Israel's main airport, with the following:

Prebook your ride back home to save waiting time. In case of a flight change, your order will be automatically updated. Due to TLV airport regulations, you're not able to book an immediate ride on returning. Follow the instructions: 

http://bit.ly/1T5GJbh




We shouldn't forget that if a passenger travels to an airport by Taxi they've hired through a radio circuit or online app, then it's a good bet they may want to repeat the experience on the return journey. 
But this situation definitely needs to be monitored very closely. 

Having said that, when are passengers going to wake up to the fact that apps such as Gett and Uber have the ability to track their movements. You give them the right to do this, by agreeing to their terms and conditions when you download and authorise the app. 

Clapham Junction Promotion:
Taxi drivers sitting on the Clapham Junction rank alleged Gett have been stealing their work, by offering free rides to passengers who download and sign up to their app, to advertise their new shared rides platform. A fleet of Gett drivers were being paid £30 an hour to do the jobs and keep returning to the rank.

Surely they can find another way of advertising, without taking the bread out the mouths of hard pressed working drivers!

Have Gett reached their Hailo moment?

When is this trade going to wake up?

Letter To Taxi Leaks : Conclusive Evidence That A Profit Making Company Should Not Be Running TfL


Dear Taxi Leaks
Appertaining to your post about Sky doing away with satellite dishes :
 At first I wondered why this would be attached to this blog. The message is now clear sky has moved with the times and embraced technology. 

However in my opinion the cab trade was never stuck in the past; it was just perceived as being old fashioned but the fact is that it wasnt. 

The trade moved with the times with apps and card machines long before the corruption started with tfl. Technolgy does not change laws. But now Tfl see the london taxi as a threat to their business model. 

Ever wondered why taxi demos never make the news? This thing is massive with the ex prime minister and the ex chancellor with dirt on their hands. There is evidence to back this up if you search the web. 

The deregulation bill of selling licenses to drivers who had been banned in there local authority has made a cash cow for tfl to milk. 

While TfL seem not concerned about renewing taxi renewal licenses on time and not allowing drivers to continue work during the renewal period -incase the driver commits a heinous crime which would put the public at risk- yet they were more than happy to renew out of town minicab licenses who's local authority banned.

Tfl say they are obliged to issue licenses to all phv applicants because there is no cap on there numbers; 
Yet they take 4 months to renew a Licensed Taxi Drivers license and do what ever they can to say they cannot work during the renewal period because tfl is deeply concerned about public safety even though the law says a submitted application is enough for a driver to continue work until their license arrives or a decision not to grant a license is made. 

Tfl have changed the regulation deciding a crb application is now part of the application, when in fact it is a seperate applcation like the mot, plate or tax disc. 

Tfl are so concerned with public safety that they are prepared to issue licenses to out of town drivers who's local authority banned them on safety grounds!
(Channel 4 news: The Leytonstone Slasher, had been diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia and had spent 3 months incarceration, but was still licensed to driver for Uber  see this from his brother.. 
https://youtu.be/YQBdJddkEQI)


This is conclusive evidence that a profit making company should not be running tfl.

Londoners deserve better.

Exposure is the key we have the proof how about a bbc1 documentary?
Paul


Editorial Reply From Semtex:

Paul, a great comment you make and I agree with every word of it. Apart from one bit. The BBC are in it with TFL. 
The BBC have never favoured us and are bias.

About seven years ago, I contacted an award winning top of his game Investigative Journalist. I explained our plight and he was keen to work with me to show what we are up against. It was called Operation Nightingale.

I funded it myself and it cost just under £5000, yes FIVE GRAND ! We spent 6 weeks out on the streets in the early hours of the morning collating a ton of hard evidence on film. During it, I had a blade pulled out on me, was followed home by a tout and only managed to lose him at Chislehurst and was rammed in Piccadilly causing 2 grands worth of damage to my cab.I was gobbed at by the Egyptian doorman of Crazy Larry's .Most of it was all caught on film.

Despite the attack on myself my cab and the film crew I thought, well at least we got what we came for.
I told the whole trade and eagerly awaited the airing on BBC1 with the popcorn out.

I could never tell you how I felt when it was transmitted. The BBC absolutely annihilated our trade insinuating it was a turf war and we were just unhappy that we had come up against some competetition and didn't like it. I felt a right prick !

I will never forgive the BBC for that betrayal and huge loss of my money. I got my own back two years later though. But that's not for now. Another day maybe !

Other than that Paul a great comment mate. Just don't trust the BBC.

Semtex. 

Friday, January 27, 2017

SKY TV, TO DO AWAY WITH THE NEED FOR A SATELLITE DISH

Whether you’re a fan of the service or not, Sky has defined the way that we consume television in the UK.

It has first and foremost been the satellite dish company, until now that is.


The company has announced that starting in 2018, customers will be able to get Sky Q without the need for the satellite dish.

This is a major step for the company, but one that is not entirely unexpected.

With its release of Now TV offering up Sky’s services over the internet and without the need for a monthly subscription this is seemingly just an evolution of that way of thinking.

Sky haven’t gone into the specifics of how it will be able to offer this service, but it has said it will be delivered over the Sky Q box using broadband.

Sky has once again recorded solid financials for the year however its profits took a hit thanks to the staggering cost of securing the Premier League rights.

The company signed a colossal £4.2bn three year deal which marks a significant increase over the amount paid the last time the rights were up for negotiation.

And It’s All Done In The Interest Of Public Safety.... By Lee Ward.


Let’s look at these public safety interests shall we, I mean, this is what EVERY authority across the land champions on about when it comes to policy changes.

The post only this week in Taxi Leaks (shown here) explains how in York they have dropped the requirement for a telephone number to be displayed on the company signage on the side of a licensed vehicle, and only require a web site should it suit the company it relates to. And yes London, I know that a Private Hire company is not even allowed a sign on the side down in the smoke, but do you now think that was a good idea to fight against? Because I don’t.

So, York have changed the rules and reg’s, but why have they, do we know or just speculate about the whys and what nots…

It’s simple really, so simple it’s laughable, but the joke is on the local authorities and not on us as a trade.
Has anyone looked at Linkeden, or is everyone on Craigs List or Tinder these days for searching for local….. 

Professionals?
Let’s look at a few of Ubers people, for simple examples shall we?

Jo Bertram – General Manager Northern Europe
​Uber
​McKinsey & Company
​Accenture
Fred Jones – General Manager UK and Ireland (Uber not Scooby Doo)
​Uber
​Accenture
Mustafa Khanabha
​Uber – General Manager
​Virgin Startup
​Printsource
​Digital Limited

Now, I could go on and on with these profiles, but what’s the point, enough has been shown already.
 
Let’s look at these people and what they specialise in, and I will assure you now, it’s NOT the Transport Industry that we work hard and take pride in, far from it.
 
Accenture looks the ideal candidate to start with, it seems a common denominator at this moment in time, so what does Accenture do as a business?
 
Well, let’s see shall we?
 
I love a conspiracy theory, so let’s make one from the facts given on Linkeden, to the facts given on Accenture, sorry if I break any copyrights by copy and paste, sue me…oh wait, can you sue someone who has nothing? Well, if you can I put an early plea in and offer 50p per week your honour…
 
Accenture’s front page on their Website shows this;
 
Accenture Strategy shapes our clients’ future, combining deep business insight with the understanding of how technology will impact industry and business models. Our focus on issues related to digital disruption, redefining competitiveness, operating and business models as well as the workforce of the future helps our clients find future value and growth in a digital world.
 
All interesting stuff already, except for the disruption part, I don’t agree with that.
 
A disruptive advance is something like the combustion engine, or the light bulb, those were disruptive, both of them put the things they replaced out of use (horse and cart and the candle), therefore disrupting that industry… please don’t give credit to Uber by saying that they are disruptive, because they are not, they are simply an app based service attempting to provide what the industry has provided for many a year, I don’t call that disruption, I call it advancement, credit where credit is due, provided it sits within the law of course…
 
But I digress, lets look at another page from the great Accenture web site shall we..
 
The page headed LATEST THINKING is a great one, it reads;
 
Digital disruption used to be about new entrants upending incumbents to re-write the competitive rules. Now the incumbents are back in the game using digital to drive business advantage. Redefining the rules, roles and resources to become giants of disruption.
 
In other words, it says that Digital Disruption used to be about new entrants winning over the holders of office or post (incumbents) to re-write the competitive rules…erm, ok, but is that not what Uber are doing anyway by talking local authorities into changing their conditions? How is that then as Accenture call it Latest Thinking..or am I getting this wrong?
 
Now call me sceptical…and I trust a few out there said loudly “Wardy you are sceptical” but what does this all show in real life terms?
 
Well, to me it shows that Uber have enrolled the finest in selling issues to the authorities, be that on local level or the actual government, yes, they are that good and I tip my hat to them.
 
The question I would love to ask them is that, when they have finished with this market and left it in whatever state it is then in, where do they go from here, because they are not attached to this as we are, they are purely working the ropes as they are employed to do so, oh don’t get me wrong, I am not expecting them to read this and admit what I say is true then send an email of resignation with immediate effect because I have pulled on their heart strings, if I thought that I would have sent this message much sooner, but I truly would love to know one day when this has all blown over and been dealt with what their thoughts were at this time…. Maybe I will find out, like we will find out the war crimes of the second world war…one day…
 
The fact of the matter is this, and its very simple, Uber have enrolled the best salesmen that this country has to offer, because they are not selling double glazed windows or second hand cars (and I give no disrespect to the people that do) but they are selling idea’s and statistics to convince the local authority to do as Uber would like nationally and not just as Uber require locally, because the more local wins they have then the more national support they gain.
 
As Uber says, its easier to ask forgiveness than it is to ask permission….
 
Unfortunately, we have a lot of local councillors that have no idea of what this industry is about, and love the sales pitch of what they hear as a multi billion dollar company, but like any politician, they only hear what is told them and do not go out and educate themselves on what is being explained to them.
 
Can we win? Maybe !!
 
Do we continue? Definitely !!
 
Do we educate out local councillors? Absolutely !!
 
 

Thursday, January 26, 2017

York Council Relaxes Regulation To Suit Uber, Taxi Drives To Demonstrate at Council's Offices.


Taxi drivers to stage anti-Uber protest in York at 5pm tonight.

TAXI drivers are planning to gather outside a city council meeting to protest against rule changes which they say will lower standards in the city.

GMB, the trade union for taxi and private hire drivers in York, is holding a rally outside City of York Council’s West Office jus before the meeting due to start at 5.30pm.

Members are angry that Uber drivers will be allowed to display just a web address, and not a telephone number, on the side of their cars. A telephone number has been mandatory for years and drivers say they are outraged that the change was made without consulting them.

York private hire driver Terry Osborne said: “For as long as I can remember our vehicles have had to have a number on the side for safety reasons.

"If somebody’s mother or father wanted to know if their son or daughter was on their journey home, perhaps stuck in traffic, they could simply ring the taxi or private hire company who would radio through to the driver and reassure them of their children’s safety.

"Now you would have to email somewhere abroad and we have examples of emails not being answered until the next day.”

Mr Osborne added: “I’ve known drivers be declined a licence because the telephone number wasn’t displayed and suddenly Uber come along and standards drop.”

The meeting will see the council’s ruling executive decide whether to adopt new licensing policy

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

What Statistics Did The CoL Corporation Use To Excluded Taxis From Th Bank Junction ? ...by Jim Thomas

WHY HAVE TfL GIVEN £250,000 TO PART FUND TAXIS BEING EXCLUDED FROM BANK JUNCTION?

Below is the recorded statistics for 2016, at least 69 people killed.

Both TfL and the Met refuse to release timely collision data.

Please note that from these statistics we have ascertained that:

18people were killed by Lorry drivers.

9 people were killed by Bus drivers.

7 people were killed by Motocyclists

1 person was killed by a cyclist

And 1 person was killed by a Taxi. 

Remaining 33 were killed by cars. 

Could someone from the City Of London Corporation please tell my what statistics they've  used to determine, it would be safer to exclude Taxis from the bank Junction. 


LATEST PEDESTRIANS AND CYCLISTS DEATHS IN LONDON


2016 recorded fataleties:


04.01 Amanda Coppen, 44; killed by a bus driver in Greenwich

08.01 Unknown woman, 72; killed by a motorcycle rider on the Old Kent Road

08.01 Unknown man; killed by a bus driver in Kingston

12.01 Elsie Sprague, 87; killed by a car driver in Leytonstone

17.01 Parmjit Singh Karir, 55; killed by a car driver in East Ham

02.02 Unknown man, 50s; killed by hit-and-run lorry driver in Greenwich

03.02 Unknown man, 58; killed by a motorcycle rider in Harlington

05.02 Johanna Hedger, 85; killed by a lorry driver at Elephant and Castle

07.02 George Beresford, 21; killed by a car driver in Purley

08.02 Unknown man, 59; killed by a lorry driver in Enfield

12.02 Kim Briggs, 44; killed by a bicycle rider on Old Street

19.02 Christian Jansen, 35; killed by a car driver in West Drayton

22.02 Dean Langford, 24; killed by a car driver in Hanworth

04.03 Unknown man; killed by a bus driver on Stamford Hill

07.03 Konstantin Fadeev, 1; killed by a car driver in Kensington

11.03 Unknown woman; killed by a bus driver in Mitcham

11.03 Unknown man, 80; killed by a motorcycle rider in Lee

24.03 Unknown man; killed by a coach driver on Mile End Road

29.03 Osman Ebrahim, 21; killed by a hit-and-run driver on Old Street

30.03 Unknown man, 88; killed by a hit-and-run motorcycle rider in Shepherd Bush

07.04 Mohammad Abdul Muqtadir, 78; killed by a car driver in Redbridge

10.04 Unknown man, 27; killed by a lorry in Brixton

20.04 Unknown woman, 85; killed by a lorry driver in Sutton

20.04 John Still, 67; killed by a car driver in Mitcham

25.04 Unknown woman, 57; killed by a lorry driver in Park Royal

27.04 Herta Groves, 95; killed by a lorry driver on Wigmore Street

07.05 Marie Scott, 75; killed my a moped rider in Holloway

11.05 Christopher Holt, 58; killed by a car driver in Rainham

23.05 Magda Tadaj, 24 ; killed by a lorry driver in Croydon

23.05 Mervyn Sherman 82; killed by a TfL bus driver on Oxford Street

24.05 Marion Lambert, 73; killed by a bus driver on Oxford Street

25.05 Frank Cubis, 75; killed by a van driver in Ealing

31.05 Basant Lal Sharma, 91; killed by a car driver in Wanstead

31.05 Arran Draper, 18; killed by a lorry driver in Poplar

01.06 Unknown man, 50s; killed by a lorry driver in Victoria

02.06 Mircea-Stefan Ivanescu, 3; killed by a car driver in Stanmore

03.06 Unknown woman, 76; killed by a car driver in Queen’s Park

04.06 Paul Weidlich, 54; killed by a car driver in Deptford

04.06 Dan Stephenson, 45; killed by a bus driver at Aldwych

05.06 Shirley Clayton, 81; killed by a motorcycle rider in Croydon

02.07 Unknown man, 47; killed by a bus driver in Chiswick

29.07 Ying Tao Killed by a Lorry driver at Bank Junction 

03.08 Samuel Mtepuka, 86; killed by a lorry driver on Regent Street

11.08 Unknown woman, 67; killed by a car driver in Petts Wood

26.08 Unknown woman, 85, killed by a lorry driver in Southall

31.08 Makayah McDermott, 10; killed by a car driver in Penge

31.08 Rozanne Cooper, 34; killed by a car driver in Penge

13.09 Sheila Karsberg, 79; killed by a lorry driver in Camden

13.09 David Batcup, 64; killed by a car driver in Balham

23.09 Stephen Herrick Requawa, 71; killed by a lorry driver in Earl’s Court

30.09 Aaron Matharu, 11; killed by a car driver in Cranford

01.10 Unknown man, 27; killed by a car driver in Lewisham

20.10 Laura Murray-Woodford, 31; killed by a van driver on Ludgate Hill

24.10 Lucia Ciccioli, 32 ; killed by a lorry driver in Battersea

31.10 Filippo Corsini, 21; killed by a lorry driver in Knightsbridge

04.11 Beryl Chenery, 81; killed by a car driver in Bexleyheath

14.11 Shabanti, 30s; killed by a lorry driver in Woodford Green

16.11 Lord Taylor, 87; killed by a van driver at Millbank

17.11 Joanna Reyes, 37; killed by a car driver at Limehouse

19.11 Brent Franciskilled by a TfL bus driver at Mornington Crescent

25.11 Unknown, 95; killed by a taxi driver in Ilford

28.11 Tim King, 50; killed by a car driver in Sidcup 

29.11 Christine Linda Luscombe, 58; killed by a coach driver at St. Pancras

01.12 Steve Wightwick, 38; killed by a hit-and-run van driver in Buckhurst Hill

10.12 Nahid Islam, 15; killed by a motorcycle rider in Belsize Park

13.12 Unknown man, 63; killed by a car driver in Earl’s Court

16.12 Andrew Lindup, 36; killed by a hit-and-run driver in Enfield

16.12 Unknown man; killed by a lorry driver in Fulham

17.12 Ronald Cardenas, 32; killed by a car driver in Willesden 

22.12 Unknown, 80s; killed by a car driver in Sydenham