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A New Dawn at City Hall WHAT DOES LONDON S NEW MAYOR MEAN FOR THE CAB TRADE?

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HIGHLIGHTS THIS ISSUE The official publication of the Licensed Taxi Drivers Association No May 2016 I was a danger to passengers Ex-Uber driver s shock admission
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HIGHLIGHTS THIS ISSUE The official publication of the Licensed Taxi Drivers Association No May 2016 I was a danger to passengers Ex-Uber driver s shock admission LTC changes track TX5 plans revealed Council slams superhighway Westminster joins bike route row Snubbing dogs is barking Pets make great passengers A New Dawn at City Hall WHAT DOES LONDON S NEW MAYOR MEAN FOR THE CAB TRADE? Full Story P3 More readers than the rest put together. Ask any driver! LTDA 2 TAXI 17 May 2016 NEWS I was a danger to my passengers Trade A former Uber driver has criticised the company s ruthless methods and revealed how people get sucked in to working crazy and dangerous hours. Shasiq Ahmed, who worked for the company for four months, said he frequently worked 20 hours a day but rather than warn him to stop, the app encouraged him to carry on. Ahmed admitted he often felt groggy at the wheel and even said on occasion that passengers asked if he was okay because they thought he was He openly admits that I really and sincerely believe that I could have killed myself or one of my passengers because I was working too many hours. On weekdays I would start at 7am and work through to 10pm or midnight. And then at the weekend, I would Saturday morning. Then, start again at 10am on Saturday and work he said. Ahmed added: Uber do not regulate the hours that drivers can work and I fell into the trap of doing 20 hours a day, non-stop. But, when it gets to the point where a passenger asks, are you okay? because he thinks you are about to fall asleep at the wheel then you know you are working too many hours. But, even when I did a 20 hour shift, the Uber app still encouraged me to carry on working. I got sucked in to working longer shifts, which is crazy and very dangerous. The driver said he was swayed by the corporate mentality of Uber, drivers to work nonstop. There is nothing, he says, on the app which encourages drivers to work safe hours or take regular breaks. He decided to quit when he realised that he had been close to falling asleep at the wheel on several occasions. I think many drivers set themselves a target of earning 1,000 a week, but to do 1,000 a week with Uber you would have to do at least 80 hours plus, he said. incentives and put anyone who has done 90 trips in a They are constantly encouraging you to take more and more jobs, it is endless. I know what Uber will come back with and say. They will say, show us one driver that has done 20 hours straight and I won t be able to. But, that is misleading. If an Uber driver takes a again from when they log back in. So, it won t show anyone who has done 20 hours in a row. Ahmed says that during the four months he worked for Uber he might do three eight hour but the system would not show that he had worked a 24-hour shift. He now works for a regular minicab company and has reduced his hours. The company has warned him to take more breaks and not too work too many hours. Uber claims that partners who drive too many hours on the platform receive a message from us about real time so we can take action and partner-drivers who drive irresponsibly risk losing access to the Uber app. BUSINESS MONEY HOLIDAY OR 0% COMMISSION TAXI 0% COMMISSION Holiday Money & International Bank Transfers Special Rates Best Exchange Rates IN LONDON Instant Availability of Over 120 Currencies 0% Commission Bank to Bank Money Transfers over 10,000 no charge and below 9.90 BANK TRANSFERS INTERNATIONAL TAXI WE WILL BEAT THEM! IF YOU FIND BETTER RATES ELSEWHERE $ $ than at branch RODUCE YOUR TAXI ID & GET BETTER RATES P counters Branches: Thomas Exchange Global Ltd Retail, Corporate & Commercial Foreign Money Dealers WORLD S FOREIGN EXCHANGE Strand Cannon St Hammersmith Victoria St FOR THE BEST RATES VISIT OUR WEBSITE Embankment Liverpool St Canary Wharf London Wall Richmond High St Kensington Victoria Place - Victoria Underground Station More readers than the rest put together! 17 May 2016 TAXI 3 Top Trade Story STEVE MCNAMARA LTDA General Secretary NEW HOPE FOR LONDON The new mayor promises a bright, new future: let s hope he delivers on his manifesto commitments In Sadiq Khan London has an enthusiastic, energetic new Labour Mayor who s looking to get things done. I met Sadiq on a number of occasions during his campaign and always found him interested and willing to listen. We congratulate him on his win and look forward to working with him, as we do all the newly elected Assembly Members we ll be keeping a close eye on making sure they deliver on their commitments to support licensed taxi drivers. Change at the top Sadiq s manifesto was full of praise for the trade: London has the best and most We have, of course, been here before. Politicians especially London politicians always start by saying they admire the trade and want to protect it. But, as we ve learned bitterly over the years, when it comes to taking concrete action and getting things done, too often all that good intention evaporates and we re left with plenty of goodwill, but nothing to show for it. Given the scale of the London has the best and most qualified cabbies in the world challenges facing the trade, this is not something we can tolerate, and we re already speaking to Sadiq and others about getting the trade up the agenda In his manifesto, Sadiq pledged to: He also made a number of commitments which are particularly relevant to cabbies, for example getting a grip on congestion and expanding the Ultra-Low Emission Zone (ULEZ). A lot of this is in the mayor s power and could happen tomorrow; which is good, as it should have happened yesterday. We ve seen before how TfL can stall things it doesn t have the stomach for; it will be up to us and all those groups who value the trade to ensure Sadiq understands the importance of taking action quickly, and does not let TfL kick things into the long grass. A new London Assembly Along with a new mayor, London also has a new Assembly. All of the Mayoral candidates we met, bar Zac Goldsmith MP, are now London Assembly Members: Peter Whittle (Ukip), Sian Berry (Green) and Caroline Pidgeon (Lib Dem) were all elected, and we ll be catching up with them over the next few weeks to discuss how they can make their support count. From committee hearings to Mayor s Question Time (which is held 10 times per year), the assembly holds the mayor to account by publicly examining policies and undertaking investigations. The mayor also has to formally respond to any motions put forward by the Assembly and must consult Assembly Members before producing statutory strategies, which they can amend with two-thirds support. The assembly therefore has the mayor s thinking, and we will leverage this to ensure Sadiq does not get distracted. Westminster minds on Europe Over the next month, MPs will be concentrating a lot of their time on the EU Referendum (which will take place on 23rd June). There s nevertheless still plenty for us to do and we are in conversations with a number of MPs about the next steps of our campaign to get Government to take action on PHV numbers and insurance. I ll provide a further update on our Westminster work in the next edition. CASH SAME DAY INSTANT CASH LOANS LICENSED TAXI DRIVERS IMMEDIATE VERBAL QUOTATION UPON REQUEST Consumer Credit License No TAXI LOANS LTD Leman Street, London, E1 8EY Thinking of selling your cab? WANT THE BEST PRICE?! FAIRWAYS, TXIS, TXIIS AND TX4S WANTED! NON-RUNNERS CONSIDERED *CABS ALSO AVAILABLE TO RENT - TXII 55 PLATE 190 PER WEEK CALL NOW ON 4 TAXI 17 May 2016 LTDA plus LTDA Plus is an exclusive portfolio containing money-saving discounts, designed to support LTDA members. There is no sign up process, nor any extra charge to access these benefits - you are automatically eligible to access these benefits by virtue of your membership. This month s highlights include: Members get 15% Discount on Flowers, with free delivery as standard Cinemas Save an average of 40% Want to catch the latest blockbusters on the big screen, and save money on tickets? Let LTDA Plus help. LTDA members can save an average of 40% on cinema tickets at major cinema chains like Vue, Cineworld, Showcase, Empire as tickets) per calendar month and they are valid for at least 6 months from ordering. So whether you re after a comedy, romance or action thriller, LTDA simply, yet elegantly wrapped in brown paper and tied with twine. Financial peace of mind make it happen! NEW! Vue cinemas now also included! You work hard for your money but is your money working hard for you? don t know who to turn to for practical advice you can trust. Yet the sooner All members of LTDA are entitled to a complimentary initial consultation To view all of the benefits available through LTDA Plus, log-on via Relicensing at NSL? Save time and loss of work with this LTDA checklist Vehicle registration certificate, logbook or new keeper s supplement (complete with bill of sale/ receipt) where vehicle is newly purchased prior to inspection Current vehicle licence (for renewal inspections) From October 1, 2014, vehicles no longer require a tax disc to be displayed. Vehicles can be taxed online or at a post office. If a vehicle is not recorded as taxed, NSL will accept an online application/ post office receipt. (Information at nomoretaxdisc) Insurance certificate (not a copy) properly affixed in the luggage compartment Valid MOT certificate (issued 13 days or less before inspection) If vehicle is less than one year old an MOT is not required Taximeter installation and calibration certificate, issued within 30 days of inspection Exemption certificate (where applicable) Modification approval (where applicable) Tool to release ramps Tyres - must conform to manufacturer s specification (see table) Vehicle Make / Model Tyre Size Mercedes Vito Euro 4 195/65 R /915T or 104/102T Mercedes Vito Euro 5 195/65 R /915T or 104/102T Fairway (declared max speed of 130 km/h) 175 R 16 N TX1 (declared speed of 130 km/h) 175 R 16 N TXII (declared speed of 147 km/h) 175 R 16 Q TXII (declared speed of 147 km/h) 175 R 16 Q TX4 (declared speed of 147 km/h) 175 R 16 Q More readers than the rest put together! 17 May 2016 TAXI 5 NEWS Trade Uber park gets go ahead Heathrow is to open a new car park for Uber drivers despite furious objections from the taxi trade. The 700 space park, charging 1 for drivers to enter, is scheduled to open in June. Taxi drivers have accused airport bosses of bending over backwards to assist the app company, and reward its drivers for making the lives of residents in surrounding areas a misery. Drivers were accused of littering, playing music in the early hours, keeping their engines running and urinating and defecating in gardens while their cars were parked in quiet residential streets, waiting for jobs. Heathrow LTDA rep Paul Brennan said drivers were disgusted by the decision and had been betrayed by and planned to discuss with drivers and reps what action to take. He said: They basically told us that the park would be for pre-booked minicabs only, but that is simply not the case. The LTDA and every other org is 100% against this Uber feeder park and we are disgusted that the anti-social behaviour of their drivers has led to them being rewarded rather than punished. The airport has been bending over backwards to assist Uber. Basically, it s a nice little earner for them with Minicab cap petition launched Trade A petition urging the Government to allow Transport for London to cap the number of private hire licences has attracted around 6,000 signatures. In order for the campaign to get a response from the Government, the petition requires at least 10,000 signatures. It would then need a total of 100,000 backers to be considered for debate in Parliament. Campaigners say a cap would reduce the congestion and pollution which blights the city and which they claim has got worse due to an explosion in the number of drivers working in the capital. They say that over the long-term it will bring stability to the taxi and minicab industries and allow drivers to earn a reasonable standard of income. 700 spaces at 1 a time. As usual, TfL have been helping this along too. Relations between the trade and airport bosses are said to be at an is scheduled to take place before the park comes into operation next month. Heathrow s chief executive, John Holland-Kaye, announced the plans, which he claimed were an attempt to act responsibly to the airport s neighbours. Mr Holland-Kaye said: Over the last couple of years private hire vehicles, Uber and their like, have just expanded phenomenally and they started to cause a real issue to our local communities. We had Uber drivers parking in people s driveways, leaving their rubbish in their gardens, causing a huge amount of local distress because they were trying to get as close as possible to the airport to pick up a ride. We don t control private hire vehicles but I feel we have a responsibility to local communities to do right by them. The new parking area opens next month. Uber says it has introduced technology which means drivers parked up in residential streets around the airport are blocked from receiving bookings. NEWS IN BRIEF Cabbies plight raised by MP A Conservative MP has raised concerns about the plight of London taxi drivers in the House of Commons. Charles Walker, for Broxbourne, told Deputy Speaker Eleanor Laing that he and others were extremely concerned for beleaguered cabbies. He said he was keen to bring the issue to the attention of the new Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, and to work with him to improve the situation. Mrs Laing echoed the MP s concerns and said she hoped that the mayor will take the necessary action on this extremely important matter. 6 TAXI 17 May 2016 MASSETT FILE RICHARD MASSETT LTDA Chairman, Chairman, London Cab Ranks Committee KING S CROSS SUCCESS LTDA marshals have been winning some key battles in King s Cross and Kensington Our marshals are working hard to clear congestion at Kings Cross Boido Schloss Virtual rank supplies 100 jobs per night LTDA Policy Statement It is more essential than ever for drivers to be fully appraised of the various trade organisations policies. In order to clarify the LTDA s position on the important issues facing the industry, the Association reaffirms: 1. Its determination (despite opposition from certain trade organisations) to exclude taxi drivers from any form of restriction on working hours or the compulsory fitting of tachographs in cabs. 2. Its total opposition to the proposed computerised Knowledge testing system (Quickie Knowledge), which is intended to speed up and churn out new licences. 3. Its support for a regular review of taxi usage in London in order to provide effective management of the cab fleet which will prevent the streets of London being flooded with empty cabs. 4. Its support for the introduction of rest ranks to enable drivers to legally leave their cabs unattended whilst visiting adjacent toilet facilities. 5. Its support for a complete ban on pedicabs. 6. Its insistence on meaningful consultation with Transport for London. 7. Its support for an effective minicab enforcement team, trained to eradicate illegal touting by minicab drivers. 8. Its campaign for taxi access to all bus lanes. 9. Its insistence that taxis continue to be exempt from congestion charges. 10. Its policy to recruit, support and represent licensed taxi drivers only. If you require clarification on these or other important issues, please: Call the LTDA on POLICY The LTDA marshals have been very busy lately and one area where we have seen good results is in Pancras Road, where they have been posted for a few weeks. They have been extremely successful in moving parked minicabs away from the set down bays, which has reduced the congestion around King s Cross, St Pancras, which There is a plan in place to permanently resolve the problem, which myself and the other members of the London Cab Ranks Committee have been discussing with Camden Council and TfL since last year. This involves converting the current set down bays into airport style drive in at one end and out at the other; meaning that anyone attempting to wait will be under pressure from all the other drivers to move on. This system was trialled earlier in the year and seemed to work successfully. Camden then carried out a consultation in March and the results are due to go before the committee in June, when it is expected that a scheme will be authorised under may emerge during the experiment, but that is why it is being put in on a trial basis, so that changes can be made if necessary. In the meantime, the LTDA intends to deploy marshals as frequently as possible, to ensure that congestion at this major transport hub is kept to a and we hope that the authorities will follow suit. Praise for Nightclub Rank Our marshals have also been deployed to run what we call a virtual rank at the very popular Bodo Schloss nightspot. The Ranks Committee has tried to get a rank outside the club in Kensington High Street for a very long time and has received several rejections for reasons that don t really stack up. On one occasion, we were told that MI5 had objected to taxis being there, but the intelligence service hadn t seemed to have noticed the touts that park up there on a nightly basis: apparently they are not a security risk but taxis are. More recently we were told that Kensington and Chelsea Council objected to a rank because taxis were over-ranking around Harrods. What relevance that has to providing a service to this club at night I don t know. The LTDA decided to take matters into its hands and set up the virtual rank, after fully informing TPH licensing and compliance exactly what we intended to do. Over the couple of weeks that the rank has been operating the touts have been immensely, with more than 100 fares a night getting in the back of taxis. The club s management has been very supportive of the rank, and every night express their thanks to the marshals for clearing the touts away from their front door. If the system is not working, it seems we need to take matters into our own hands. We are FSTVL Victory The We are FSTVL music festival, near Upminster, will take place over the Bank Holiday weekend on Saturday, May 28 and Sunday, 29, this year. At least 15,000 people are expected to attend each day and taxis will once again be in great demand. This year the taxi hub at the event has been increased in size by 30% and a one way system will be put in place along country lanes to enable vehicles to get to and from the site with minimal delay. The rank at Upminster station is also sure to be busy throughout the day and into the early hours even though there will also be a shuttle bus service in operation. The festival site opens at 10am and closes at 12.30am although the main stage closes down at 11pm. In previous years, Addison Lee had been granted an operator s licence at the site which gave rise to concerns that their vehicles were plying for hire, similar to other events at venues like Old Billingsgate. We have argued against this for the past couple of years, but failed to convince compliance that there was anything wrong. So, this year the LTDA decided to pursue a legal challenge. I presented TfL with the legal opinion of an eminent QC which been unlawfully plying for hire. We have since been trying without much as to how PHVs will operate at this year s festival. However, I have just have not issued an operator licence for the site this year and that no bookings for PHVs will be taken on site. At the time of writing I still await formal More readers than the rest put together! 17 May 2016 TAXI 7 NEWS LTC tech switch revealed Technology The new TX5 taxi will use range extended technology and is due to be launched in The London Taxi Company (LTC) cab will not now be a hybrid, as previously claimed. The taxi will use range-extended electric technology in the same way as the new
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