- Wer mit dem Schwert lebt... as they say in Berlin.
Thursday, April 17, 2014
Wednesday, April 16, 2014
London Private Hire industry questions Transport for London’s fitness to regulate
• Populus poll shows 80% of people are not aware that some cars booked through new smartphone apps are not licensed and compliant with the law and TfL regulations
• LPHCA demands TfL enforce app-based cab companies’ compliance with legislation and regulations
• Offshore companies endanger London public by breaching essential safety requirements
14th April 2014, London UK: The Licensed Private Hire Car Association (LPHCA) – the trade body which represents the interests of licensed Private Hire operators – has lost confidence in the ability of TfL to safeguard public safety as regulator of the London taxi and Private Hire car market. At a recent meeting, the LPHCA’s membership voted a motion of no confidence for TfL to continue as the regulator of the London cab industry.
The LPHCA is concerned about those cab app providers which are operating illegally in the capital - putting London’s world-class safety record at risk. The body is questioning TfL’s fitness to remain the regulator after it has done little to address the activities of some offshore technology companies which provide cab services via apps.
A recent Populus poll carried out by the LPHCA also reveals that Londoners do not understand that some cars booked through new smartphone apps are not fully compliant with TfL regulations. Of the 1,014 people polled by Populus:
• 89% of people said it is very/fairly important that newer app-based cab companies should be required to use TfL-licensed operating centres
• 80% of people weren’t aware that some cars booked through new smartphone apps are not fully-licensed and compliant with TfL regulations
LPHCA conducted the poll to raise awareness of the concerns passengers have, in particular when using minicabs and taxis in London, and to gauge an understanding of these individuals’ perceptions of TfL’s responsibilities as the regulator.
Private Hire companies (minicabs, chauffeur and executive cars) in London are regulated by TfL under the Private Hire Vehicles (London) Act 1998. “The Private Hire Vehicles Act ensures the safety of the travelling public. There is deep-rooted concern and evidence, that new app-based operators are not playing by the rules”, said Steve Wright MBE, chair, LPHCA. “TfL appears to be changing its approach to suit offshore app companies rather than putting the public’s safety first,” he explained. The poll highlighted strong public concern that app companies that have been subject to regulatory action elsewhere should be subject to stringent scrutiny in the UK:
• 70% of people are a lot or a little less likely to use the services of a smartphone app operator that’s been the subject of a complete ban on operation somewhere in the world
• 87% of people agree that TfL should investigate all smartphone app operators to assess their compliance with UK regulations
“Some of these app providers are being allowed to operate in London when they have already been convicted of serious licensing offences in other cities around the world and in some cases, we have even seen evidence of them using drivers without insurance,” explained Wright. “We want to see TfL fulfil its legal obligations to enforce the law effectively, fairly and consistently and so does the travelling public.”
“There have been considerable problems worldwide with these new app providers - including a passenger alleging she had been raped by a driver booked via an app and the death of a young girl on a street crossing by a driver engaged by an ‘app-based’ company,” said Wright.
And Now It's Gone International
The fact is, this is a Public Body, who receive £9 billion a year in taxpayers money and yet they are accountable to absolutely no one.
staff employed by TFL.
Also, could you kindly confirm or deny if Mr Leon Daniels had any involvement verbally or by correspondence with reference to the taxi rank in St Thomas Street, if so, please provide copies.
"They have not replied to your FOI request re Taxi rank placement St Thomas Street SE1 promptly, as normally required by law."
Tuesday, April 15, 2014
Leon Daniels (yes the very same Leon Daniels our friend from the Olympics) seems to be fronting up on cab trade matters for TfL at present.
Taxileaks have sent out its roving reporters to find out what is going on.
The registered office of Über at present, is an office block (Winchester House), on the Old Marylebone Road with many other companies registered there (109 to be precise).
Über started out at 3 More London and was there sharing an office with Norose Company Secretarial Services Ltd, till November 2013 moved to 83 Baker Street, then on to Marylebone in December and will apparently be on the move again soon. Norose is still registered as Übers company secretary.
Über is registered on TfLs web site as Über London Ltd. They were first licensed on 31th of May 2012 and their current licence runs till 30th of May 2017.
What's going on Mr Daniels?
Every PH operator has to have an 'Operating Centre' where bookings are recorded.
It is an absolute requirement and the premises is to accessible at any time for inspections by TfL's Compliance staff.
We can find no Operating Centre address anywhere for Über.
What's going on Mr Daniels?
If there is a compliant from a customer about the fare etc. TfL just pass this on to the operator, currently we can't even find a telephone number for Über, so how can this be done?
What's going on Mr Daniels?
We have all read the TfL statement about a 'consultation' concerning apps. , 'virtual meters' etc.
It does not matter if a PH vehicle is booked on the phone, via an App, the internet or by carrier pigeon, it must always be pre booked and details recorded by a TfL licensed Operator.
The law is absolutely plain on this, anything else is illegal and leaves the passenger and driver uninsured which in addition to a breach of the PH act which TfL have to enforce, it's a criminal offence under the Road Traffic Acts.
Thus far, TfL has failed to act.
What's going Mr Daniels?
We don't want a TfL staged consultation. We want TfL to do its duty!
Just like Brussels and other licensing authorities across the globe.
There are rumours of 'political interference' in this matter.
Monday, April 14, 2014
Click here for TfL Press Release - re Smart Phone Apps.
We’re surprised that TfL TPH issued a Press Notice about Cowboy Cab Apps whilst legal proceedings & discussions are taking place.