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24 February 2017

UPDATE ON BANK JUNCTION NOTHING IS EVER A "DONE DEAL." THE I.T.A. WILL ALWAYS FIGHT ON

PRESS RELEASE FROM THE ITA


After of a series of actions, the ITA met with City of London and Transport for London representatives, concerning the proposed oxymoronic 'Bank on Safety' scheme.

It was evident from CoL and TfL that they were not going to negotiate. Even though CoL and TfL were shown that their data was faulty, to the extent of fraudulent.

The City of London seemed astonished, and Transport for Londonseemed rumbled, when we used their statistics against them.
We proved beyond question that the safest form of transport was Licensed London Taxis.

We showed the City of London our own statistics, proving Buses to be the most dangerous form of public transportation.

Frustratingly the City of Londonrefused point blank, to accept responsibility for its actions. And unsurprisingly, Transport for Londonrefused to accept that its inconsistent statistics were pure conjecture, bordering on make-believe.

The City of London conceded that if its scheme made any part of the City unsafe, it would have to rethink the whole trial period.

Even though the City of London and Transport for London's fraudulent premise of 'Bank on Safety' had been shown to be nothing more than a front for a more baser, mercenary motive, we had to accept that these people only care about their own interests, and democratic negotiations were of no value to them.
So we readied for industrial action.


Empty, dangerous TfL buses

An all-Org Ranks Committee met with City of London on Tuesday. This allowed the matter of Taxi exclusion from Bank Junction, to be broached again.

All the Org members present played their part in pushing home our trade's astonishment and displeasure at being unjustly excluded from the eighteen month experimental period.

The Orgs gave their own report to CoL, proving the displacement of vehicles will cause carnage to the surrounding areas.

Again the City of London refused to negotiate. But after Org reps disproved CoL's argument for our exclusion, the Orgs were able to get assurances that although the experiment will go ahead, we will get two weeks at the end of March, when Cannon Street is finished, to let the LTDA do ANPR analysis on Taxi fares.

If there is an alarming rise in congestion, the City of Londonassured the Orgs it will suspend the experimental scheme. The City of London claims it will not tolerate mass congestion on its roads.

The CoL is adamant it will take the advice of its own commissioned traffic modelling.

However if the traffic modelling proves to be wrong, CoL has promised to suspend its experimental scheme.
If there is an increase in RTA's or congestion, there is an option to allow Taxis into the scheme, to relieve the surrounding area.
The Orgs will be going back to the City of London with their own findings. If, as predicted, the congestion worsens, the Orgs will ask the City of London to suspend its trial.

The Orgs have left the City of London know, in no uncertain terms, that if the City does not suspend the experimental scheme, as promised, the Orgs will take industrial action.
A line in the sand has been drawn.


Chris Hayward - Planning and Transportation Chairman for City of London

In light of these recent meetings, and the unifying agreement of the Orgs, the ITA believes it would be detrimental to this cause, to protest in March.

We drivers expect all the Orgs to keep close tabs on this ludicrous Bank Junction scheme, and to act swiftly if the City of London reneges on any of its promises.



The ITA would like to thank everyone involved; organisers, researchers, negotiators, all the Orgs, and especially all those who gave up their time and money to protest.
There is no such thing as a "Done deal."

Footnote:
"Protests have only been put on hold.
If, as we suspect, the City of London do not keep to their agreement, we will commence daily protests, for the whole of the eighteen month trial period, if need be.
We refuse to bow down to Machiavellian bullies!"

Dads Defending Daughters 24/02/17


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21 February 2017

London Councils Looking To Give Most Taxi Card Work To Private Hire?

TECH WATCH: KNOW YOUR ENEMY


To be clear, ‘Tech’ isn’t the problem, even though the slag dogs would have the public believe we’re vehemently against it. it's the ultra viral way in which ‘Tech’ is being used that's the problem. 

There are three main perpetrators involved, the Government, TfL and Uber. 

In short, TfL with the Governments bidding, is facilitating Uber’s use of technology to shift a State regulated trade over to a corporate controlled service. As far as the policy makers are concerned, Uber were -and still are- the solution.

One of the biggest bugbears of those in control -especially TfL-  is the taxi trades economic ability to hold on to their position of autonomy. Financial independence is problematic for governments and their arbiters, as it allows the independent trader some degree of political sway.  

In the past, London taxi drivers have been able to command a degree of reverence which provided the template for relational equality between driver/ passenger and driver/regulator. As far as the regulator was concerned this was unacceptable. Uber was able to  provide those in power the means to accumulate an entire workforce, enough to fracture the earning capability of a taxi driver with steep business costs. And all without conducting any risk assessment whatsoever. 

The government would also have access to a phenomenal amount of data, and in today's climate, data is currency.  

Much of this data can be used to process and share information that can- theoretically at least- prevent vehicle collisions, keep traffic moving and reduce environmental impacts. It can also be used for their own ends to add weight to their own political decisions. 

Indirectly, you could say, the established apps that use licensed Taxis, whilst much further down the logistical line, are not all that different to Uber. The difference is, the Taxi apps, namely Gett and Hailo (now My Taxi)  do not represent what has become known as the GIG Economy. Instead of extolling the so called virtues of the shared economy, they use established services, mainly locally licensed taxis, in an attempt to compete with the new humongous hybrid that's swamped around towns. 

However, things have changed a lot since Gett and Hailo descended on London claiming to be the solution to the attempted takeover of our industry, and by the time Hailo had shifted over the dark side, the writing was on the wall for any such reverence that might remain.  

They had realised, in order to compete at a global level, they would have to de-shackle themselves from the grip of tight regulatory parameters, and, minimise the cornerstone of our working model -the free- associated 'street hail'  

Make no mistake, in order to  jostle for a competing position in the global market, the street hail has to go.  

Believe me, the term ‘an equal playing field’ -a saying the trade has bought into to some degree- is firmly meant for their benefit, not ours. The commission based apps consider the street hail as an impediment to fair competition. Ever wondered why the big players have never lobbied to support the defining aspects of what differentiates taxis from Private Hire? 
Well now you know.  

Uber are a monstrous inefficient pita in London, sold on the basis of streamlining working practices with less down time and fewer people using private cars, when the reality is, the total opposite is true. There are 40,000+ of them -10 cars for every one person requiring a ride-  crawling and stalling  around, hanging it up in dense urban areas hoping to snatch a fare. 

Likewise, the exploitation of taxi,  either now or in the future, is the only way the Corporate owned apps can survive.  So what's new? 

The money men would always take their opportunity is if there was an opening to do so, and believe me, that opportunity has been handed to them on a plate. 

TfL have gone to great pains to filter the modus operandi of taxi drivers out of public consciousness to the point where we are not considered an option to an entire generation. This would've been fine if, at the same time assisted Uber by stripping away regulations that govern legitimate PH, even to the point of blatant state assistance in the high court. 

Gett responded by disregarding any importance of tariff structuring has for the service provider by setting up its own haddock pricing system based on its own data amassing. It has also gone to  war on the street hail, offering incentives to drivers to convert the work across to the app. 

What we as taxi drivers are experiencing,  is not a straight forward taxi war that the media would have you believe, but a corporate battle for market domination in a bid to take control of logistical services, and we  are one side of the cannon fodder they are using to do battle with. In and of ourselves we do not pose a threat to the financiers war and when the time is ripe, the corporate ‘taxi’ apps will drill us down to a one tier system quicker than you can tell Gett to Get lost. 

The  policy makers are on this course of believe that data and technology will save hundreds of millions, interesting then that the Government this year CUT TfL's budget dramatically. History however tells us money merely shifts to different pockets. One thing is for certain, they don't want, surplus money- or any money- sitting in the service providers pockets, be it the pockets of taxi drivers or those that go the way of the  SatNav swamp (You see why they see them as the same as us).    

The real solicitude of the matter is, if  we accuse Uber drivers as being slaves and eulogists of their own demise, then so are we, just because the trades not so demoralised that the established apps stay constrained to using a certain product, doesn't mean their ultimate goal to transfer labour over to the money men isn't in the cards. 


Now I could write aplenty extolling the virtues of TAXIAPP UK and  I totally understand that drivers need to earn money. I am, after all,  a driver myself with no other means of income, but I cannot stress this enough, we have a finite period of time to ring fence ourselves from the rapacious take over of our livelihoods, and I firmly believe it can be done. 

We can carry on pretty much as we are but we need our own technological solution. To dismiss it leaves us all hyper vulnerable. The truth be told, the trade knows not what to do now anymore than it did four years ago. Sure we might be a little better connected politically, but only as a result of almost losing everything.

The black cab trade is like no other, in that it has never aspired to emulate any other taxi service. It has been held in such high esteem by far surpassing any other taxi service in the world, but it has been hijacked on its one major weakness. As sole traders we have never needed to be interconnected in the way that we do now. And that is what the fat corporate money men are rubbing their chubby little hands together to control. 

So here's the deal,  if you're going to work the established apps then at least fight fire with fire and help transfer  passengers over  to TAXIAPP UK. The app is a non profit venture, neither can it be sold for profit. Any surplus money the app does make will be used for marketing and PR. In just four months TAXIAPP UK has produced more advertising than the established apps have ever done. Us Drivers are the product, the sales team, and the the solution. We are what the slag-dogs are willing to haemorrhage money to possess and we  are everything that's needed to be a formidable force. 

If we must fight a guerrilla fight then so be it. But know this, if we want to continue working as we do now then it's not as simple as merely evolving to accommodate  technology, but to fully recognise the way technology is being used to destroy us. This time we can't go it alone, this time it really is a numbers game.
Let’s step up the way we see business.

See you out there on the mean streets

Sean Paul Day- TAXIAPP UK
 

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Assembly Member David Kurten Asks The Mayor Questions About TfL Ubers Operating All Over UK


London UKIP Assembly Member David Kurten, has been listening to the London Taxi trades complaints on the way TfL has been dishing out Private Hire licenses like confetti.  

In a post on Twitter he said 
Reports of TfL licensed #Uber vehicles operating all over Britain Abound.
 
"I have put several questions to the Mayor this month about private hire vehicles and cross-border hiring.

"This month's answers should be given by next Monday and published here: http://ift.tt/2kFZLgB;"

Below is a list of the questions David has put to Mayor Khan.
 




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Croydon Tram Crash : TfL Say All Claims Settled, None Are Outstanding...

Croydon tram crash survivor's compensation plea

A self-employed labourer unable to work since the Croydon tram crash is seeking full compensation after struggling to pay his rent.

Patrick Freeman, 62, fractured his right shoulder when the tram crashed moments before it reached Sandilands Junction on 9 November 2016.

Mr Freeman has to date received £2,000 from Transport for London (TfL).

He said he has been advised by a surgeon that he will only recover 50% of the use of his arm.

Earlier on Monday, the Rail Accident Investigation Bureau (RAIB) said the seven people who died in the tram crash fell out of windows as they shattered.


Mr Freeman was among 16 others seriously hurt in the crash

Mr Freeman, not a regular tram user, was staying in the New Addington area for a few days while refurbishing a house nearby.

He told BBC London he received the payment of £2,000 from TfL on 12 December, but is now seeking full compensation for loss of wages. 

He said: "The loss at the minute is about £6,000-£7,000 in wages. I have a little bit of savings... I've had to use that to pay my rent to live on."

He added: "Its not our fault it happened. Whoever caused it, whatever happened there, it is definitely not the fault of the people on the tram."


A spokesman for TfL said it had paid more than £500,000 in financial support following the crash.

In a statement, TfL said: "We believe all requests for payments made to date from those injured in the incident have been paid and none are outstanding.

"We urge anyone needing further support to contact us straight away for help

The seven people below who died, fell out the windows as they shattered.

    Phillip Logan,       Donald Collet,     Robert Huxley 

Mark smith, Dane Chinnery, Phil Seary, Dorota Rynkiewicz

Investigators said initial indications showed passengers were "ejected or partially ejected" from the tram.

They added the brake was applied two and a half seconds before the crash, suggesting the driver "lost awareness".

A total of 70 passengers were on board in November, rather than 60 as originally believed, it added



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20 February 2017

Better To Have An Enemy Who Slaps Your Face, Than A Friend Who Stabs You In The Back... By DMS0001


Why ask us if it's time to play dirty? Haven't the powers that be (PTB) been playing dirty since the advent of that fashionable app appeared on the desk of the then mayor johnson, continued on the path of subversion, by the Khant mayor!

With all this, some cannot see that the British state has always excreted over the working people of this nation, the working class especially, has felt the never ending BS of state mechanisms, telling us how wonderful it's all going to be, whilst clandestinely conspiring to excrete over us all. it's been doing it to the taxi trade, since i entered it in 1977 & still continuing the time honoured tradition.

They have insulted, abused, mocked us, used their various methods to demoralise us (which has failed), used every trick they have in their manual. Even resorting to biased enforcement, threats to drivers, & their Taxis, all under the guise of enforcement.

For years those charged with administering us, have been requested to allow us to alter some aspects of our trade to make it better for us and customers, we were always constantly,abruptly refused. yet they bend over backwards, jump as high as they're told to for others, who are mere amateurs, just entering a ready made market for their sole exploitation. It was our ready made market they entered, as well as the minicabs.

Unfairly undercutting us,via tax credits, housing benefits, paid for out of our taxes! Coupled with holding us rigidly to the regs in a straight jacket of every aspect of our trade, leaving us unable to compete with the competition. All whilst enjoying secret personal meetings, intimate phone calls, with corporates to discus the future of our trade. it's like Lobbying in reverse, paid for by you and me, if you reside in London as i do, then I'm paying even more to let these abhorrent, appalling people do what they do.

it's not a free market,nor a level playing field. you know those words they use against you, when ever you have some comment on such situations. it's all total BS from their pompous, lying vile fat ugly gobs. we're in a rigged, unlevel playing field, rigged by those pretending to be fair, believing in equality, yet, practising exactly the opposite, whilst BSing, whining, bleating on how they despise Trumps position. At least he does the best for the American people, unlike this odious, disgusting mob at TFL, mayors offices, who really do the best for them and their friends, in my opinion.

No, i see no fairness in what the PTB have done nor the dodgy app suppliers or their dodgy you know the names of them financiers. So why the Flying hell are we playing fair.

They made the rules, we are compelled to play the game, so why play the game on their terms? 
Change the terms and force them to comply with us on our terms. the fight will have to get a lot dirtier,before they give up, as they believe all they have to do is hang on and wait for us & whats left of the minicab fraternity collapse completely.

You've got nothing to loose, as they attempt to take what's left away from you, don't be polite to them, whilst they shaft & laugh at us.

Set aside everything i have previously said and consider this. It's not only our trade they destroy, when they do this BS. They are ripping the excrement out of Londoners, as they will be left with nothing but the app supplier and some other competitor.

They'll allow a competitor, as they need to show there's competition in the market. They will be the sole suppliers and in control of the price of that supply. yes, i've heard the BS from some of those soppy memebrs of public that state, the mayor can get others to do the job if there are problems. history shows this doesn't always happen & not always allowed to. They will rip the nuts out of Londoners, exploit it to the very upmost. 

They'll allow a competitor, as they need to show there's competition in the market. They will be the sole suppliers and in control of the price of that supply. yes, i've heard the BS from some of those soppy memebrs of public that state, the mayor can get others to do the job if there are problems. history shows this doesn't always happen & not always allowed to. They will rip the nuts out of Londoners, exploit it to the very upmost.

Yeah, i'm going to buy a 48k electric vehicle, with all the overheads,responsibilities for the passengers, expenses, taxes, & anything else i forgot to put here. i believe just the Tax, on a new vehicle is £6000. That's with out the other taxes they beat us with for a new vehicle. Like hell am i doing that again for the small return we get, whilst doing the job. They can shove it right where ever the most painful place is. In fact, if they haven't got the bottle to put it there, i'll be happy to do it for them.

Let's not play fair. lets play rough, tell the world how the Mayor, Daniels and their motley crew of little helpers are destroying the most effective, taxi trade they will ever have. Make Khans name synonymous with destruction of good things. Because he's worth it!

As Goebbels said, “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. So let's continue to tell the truth, as truth needs no defending.


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#BrothersInArms Update On Italian Cabby Strike. By Rosaria Tavernese

Hi Mates, another day of strike !! it will be again tomorrow and then leave from Milan, Turin, Genoa, Bologna, Naples to Rome! 


Tuesday will be the first meeting with the Minister of Transport, and we want everyone to understand whether the change of the infamous law will be removed.

 UBER wants to be able to invade the big cities and have a monopoly. Our strike is going well, in the two big cities of Milan and Rome. 


UBER of course these days is doing a roaring trade, but we are also seeing that without the towns taxis other trades are being affected badly. Last Saturday night customers from restaurants pubs and clubs were having trouble getting home ! 

Also problems have been reported at stations and airports. 

We have guaranteed a free service to the sick, the elderly and women with children. 

Tomorrow New Updates! thanks for your support

#BrothersInArms


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Is My Enemy's Enemy My Friend : Time To Fight Dirty... By Harry Wall.

I knew that week would be tough but it was a killer and apparently record worthy by half term standards, it's behind us now so onwards and upwards. I'd like you to picture the scene, you're nearly home from work and dreaming of pulling on your drive. When you get there you're met with the sight of a Prius parked on it, pissed off you park behind it. You walk through your street door and see Mr Uber in your kitchen making himself a sandwich with food you've bought, from your fridge. You walk into your front room, cuddle up with the wife on the sofa watching your tele when Abdul Uber walks in, snatches the remote out your hand and puts Bollywood on, sits in your armchair with he's feet on your coffee table. There's a knock at the door, your daughter answers it and in walks four strangers, who proceed to empty your house of every thing you've worked your whole life for.

They load up a lorry with the lot, everything. They leave you with nothing, the kids have nothing, they even take your cab.
They even strip you of every ounce of self respect you had.

My question is this:
At what point during this scenario do you, would you have grabbed hold of these thieving slags and gutted them like the pigs they are?

If for no other reason than to have protected your family, no man would allow this to happen without a fight.

So why have we allowed imported thieving rats like these to take away everything we've all worked so hard for?
It's such a no brainer, I just don't get it. The reason I ask is because Friday night whilst driving south on Regent Street I noticed three cabs ranked up at Heddon Street. Nothing strange about that I know but what enraged me was second car on the rank was a PH and none of the cab drivers were doing anything about it. I tooted up and shouted across but it fell on deaf ears, they wasn't interested because it's obviously somehow acceptable now. 

When I think of the sacrifices I made on the Knowledge, going out on that moped in all weathers, sometimes soaked to the skin inspite of wearing wets, the numb fingers due to extreme cold in winter, the 17 punctures!! Not to mention being permanently skint but dreaming of passing out and suddenly being flush with fluid cash flow. I could never have imagined 23 years down the line I'd be praying for a miracle to save us, never in my wildest dreams. I remember that day in March when I earned the right to call myself a London Cab Driver.

I told my wife we'd never have money worries again, I'd always be in work. As it turned out my eldest was born with health problems which caused enormous financial struggles on top of the dreadful strain of worrying about him so life hasn't been that straight forward but the jobs been kind to me and I haven't finished with it yet.

People held us in high regard even though they were convinced we were millionaires, but no more. Why?, because we're nothing to fear for the authorities. We're predictable, fragmented, we have no joint leadership or strategy and nor are we likely to have one willing and able to form the structural base from which we can launch the defense spirited enough to fight against this tyranny that is TFL and Uber.

Over this weekend a planned national day of action, to be held on 28th February, was announced by associations across the country calling for an urgent public inquiry into TFL's fanatical licensing of all and sundry without proper procedures being adhered to, resulting in Uber drivers working wherever they like without any fear. 

Local authorities are apparently powerless to act it seems and Taxi and PH across the country are suffering just like us. 
After much thought and a change of mind, I think we should take part in this action.
 
The idea of going in with PH, given our history of mutual dislike, doesn't sit well with me but we're in desperate times and desperate measures must prevail. Before I'm called a sell out or any other choice name let me explain my reasoning.

All 3 main orgs have decided to go the legal challenge route which is understandable, but that's it, nothing else. I've been waiting, we've all been waiting for all our orgs to join forces, form a coalition and arrange a national day of protest for months, if not years. We've been waiting 5 years for them to sort it out on our behalf but nothing's happened, nor will it ever happen. 

All of a sudden drivers up and down the country, associations including genuine PH drivers have decided to take the matter into their own hands and instead of waiting for the local authorities to deal with it, they're dealing with it themselves and I have to say, fair play to them. Perhaps they had inspiration from our own ITA, who knows, it doesn't matter. 

What does matter is it's up and running and in spite of some people wanting nothing to do with it, I think we've nothing to lose. Our own orgs either won't or can't organise a national even though our fight and the majority of the mobilised members of our trade are crying out for one, so if someone else makes it happen, I'm all for it.
We badly need a public inquiry and I'm now at the stage where I think after exhausting so many avenues of our own with fruitless results, I see no reason why we should dismiss an attempt from elsewhere.

Face it people, we need as much help as we can muster.
We need firm, decisive action on a scale this country has never seen, it has to be unprecedented on a scale the media cannot afford to ignore and if handled properly, who knows what could happen?

French and Italian protests might be linked in with their Uber fight. Even if this first one isn't as successful as is hope it could light the touch paper for bigger and better action in the near future. Uber has destroyed trades throughout the country and the anger's beginning to reach fever pitch which can only be a good thing, fueling the level of future protests.

It's not ideal going in with PH but what choice do we have?

We're all fighting a common enemy here and we need each other, we need to be adults and admit that the common sense thing to do is fight together on this one. Once the battle is won, draw up the boundary lines and carry on as before but for now I think we need to travel the same road.

We can't rely on a legal challenge alone in my opinion, even though the advice comes from well respected law folk. That would be irresponsible in my view which might piss a few people off but I've a right to my opinion, so to run a campaign for a public inquiry along side the legal route, I would suggest is sensible.

Please think it through and make a rational decision with your brain in gear, try and understand we need a public inquiry and it will come easier with help from around the country.

We have to compromise in life sometimes and this is one of those times.

All that having been said, half terms over, it's London Fashion week and for some it's payday on Friday so start the week with optimism and a smile, especially with a Caribbean blast on the way.

It's going to be a good week chaps and chapesses.
Be lucky.


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Smoke And Mirrors, PR Spin, Or Just Old Fashion Corruption From TfL ...by Gerald Coba.

 
  Fixed address in London or elsewhere inside or outside the United Kingdom

A few days ago, TfL slipped a caveat under the radar, laying out its proposed new rules for the requirement of a land Lind for private hire operators, which it had previously dropped to accommodate the Uber Platform.

They say:
"TfL has today changed where operators can fulfil the telephone requirement".
"Whereas previously a passenger had to be able to speak to a person at the operating centre in London, operators will now be required to ensure that passengers can speak to a person at the operating centre, or other premises with 
a fixed address in London or elsewhere
(whether inside or outside the United Kingdom)".

But they then go on to say this new regulation has in fact been suspended because of an ongoing legal challenge, until the proceedings are concluded or the court orders otherwise.

We all know who is challenging this amendment, it's Uber who have never had a land line for this purpose and should never have been licensed under the directorship of John Mason in the first place. 
Leon Daniels subsequently lied to a GLA transport committee swearing that Uber had a public accessible land line when truth was they didn't.

At that time not one of our representative orgs took up this point with TfL.
When The requirement was dropped, none of our representative orgs took this up.

This new TfLTPH notice 05/17, is proof that TfL have and still do bend over to accommodate Uber and yet again, not one of our orgs have mentioned or will be taking this up with TfL. 

TfLTPH notice 05/17:
Telephone Requirement

TfL introduced a licence condition requiring private hire operators to ensure that customers can speak to a person acting on behalf of the operator in ‘real time’, in the event of a problem with their journey or if the passenger wishes to discuss the booking.

Enabling a passenger to speak to the private hire operator makes an important contribution to public safety and, in particular, the interests of disabled or vulnerable passengers. The provision of contact facilities also produces safety benefits for drivers and gives rise to real customer convenience benefits.

TfL has today changed where operators can fulfil the telephone requirement.

Whereas previously a passenger had to be able to speak to a person at the operating centre in London, operators will now be required to ensure that passengers can speak to a person at the operating centre, or other premises with a fixed address in London or elsewhere (whether inside or outside the United Kingdom). Passengers will still be able to make a complaint or discuss any other matter about the carrying out of the booking with the operator and the obligation will still apply at all times during a operator’s hours of business and at all times during a journey

The Telephone Requirement is also the subject of an ongoing legal challenge, and enforcement of the requirement is currently suspended until the proceedings are concluded or the court orders otherwise.

TfL will remain in contact with operators and ensure that they have sufficient time to make arrangements to meet the requirement, once the legal position becomes clear. We will shortly be publishing guidance to assist licensees, including the standards expected for taking calls. 



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