TFL admit Sexual Assults by Touts could be higher.

House of Commons                 

Transport Committee

Taxis and private hire                                              

vehicles: the road to

reform

Seventh Report of Session 2010–12

Volume II

Additional written evidence

Ordered by the House of Commons

to be published 11 and 25 January, 1 and 8 February, 8, 15 and

22 March and 26 April

Written evidence from Transport for London (TPH 46)

1. Introduction

1.1 Transport for London (TfL) welcomes the opportunity to contribute to the Committee’s inquiry into the licensing of taxis and private hire vehicles (PHVs).

1.2 TfL is the licensing authority for Taxi and Private Hire operators, vehicles and drivers in the Greater London area. TfL’s responsibilities include setting standards that operators must meet. London has about 22,000 licensed taxis and 50,000 licensed private hire vehicles, approximately 25,000 taxi drivers and 60,000 private hire drivers, and 3,000 private hire operators. London taxi services have been licensed in the current form for over 150 years, and licensing of the private hire trade was introduced following legislation in 1998.

1.3 The Committee is seeking evidence relating to cross-border hirings and other aspects of taxi and private hire licensing, particularly concerning passenger safety.

TfL wishes to consider two particular areas concerning passenger safety: the character checks conducted on licensed drivers through the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB); and the role of taxi and private hire services in late night travel, including enforcement against illegal cab activities.                    

2. Cross-border Hire Problems

2.1 Cross-border hire, in which a taxi or private hire operator takes bookings for trips in an area in which they are not based, is not currently a particular issue in London. However, this could change, particularly as measures are introduced to address issues particular to London, such as those contained in the Mayor of London’s Air Quality Strategy.

2.2 The Mayor’s Air Quality Strategy, which was recently published after a wide consultation including with the taxi and private hire trades, contains a number of proposals designed to improve air quality. These include the introduction of mandatory maximum age limits for taxis and private hire vehicles in London. This requirement would apply to taxi and private hire operators based in London only, as TfL has no jurisdiction to the area beyond the Greater London Authority (GLA) boundary.

2.3 Each authority around the country must consider appropriate licensing conditions for taxis and private hire services, bearing in mind local circumstances such as environmental issues. It is reasonable that licensing conditions may differ from area to area, as the issues which authorities face also differ.  However, this may lead to circumstances in which it is economically attractive for operators to be based in one area but offer bookings in another area which sets higher standards.

2.4 The relevant private hire licensing regime is determined by the authority where the booking centre is

based regardless of the journey origin and destination. This raises the possibility of a “call centre” private hire operation, with the operating centre based in an area with low licensing standards; bookings taken by telephone, internet or email; vehicles and drivers physically based in London but licensed in the same area as the operating centre; marketing in London and providing London journeys, with a competitive advantage over operators that comply with London licensing requirements.

2.5 Within London, modelling undertaken for the Mayor’s Air Quality Strategy shows that action is necessary to reduce harmful emissions from road vehicles and taxis in particular. However, if the cost of providing London taxi and private hire services is increased as a result of these measures, it may be economical for private hire operators based outside London to compete for London hirings. This would present unfair competition to London’s taxi and private hire operators, and would weaken the impact of the measures taken.

2.6 Some scope for cross-border hirings is necessary; particularly to serve areas close to local authority boundaries. However, TfL considers that some measures would be appropriate to restrict the scope of operators in one location to undertake bookings in another.

2.7 TfL considers it would be appropriate for legislation to clarify the circumstances when cross-border hirings are allowed and restrict the opportunities for operators and taxis to choose to be based in one area but serving the market in another.

Transport Committee: Evidence Ev w61

3. Enhanced Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) Checks

3.1 TfL welcomes the opportunity to raise other areas of concern relating to taxi and private hire licensing.

3.2 TfL is responsible for licensing of all London’s taxi and private hire drivers and must ensure applicants are fit and proper persons that do not pose a threat to the travelling public. TfL currently has around 80,000 driver licensees and the licensing authority must be satisfied that the applicant meets the fit and proper person criteria in order to obtain a licence. As such, all applicants must undergo a CRB check. The disclosures assist TfL in determining whether or not public safety would be compromised by granting an individual a licence.

3.3 The CRB Disclosure process has two levels: Standard and Enhanced. Prior to using the CRB Disclosure service, TfL and other licensing authorities considered which level of CRB Disclosure would be appropriate for taxi and private hire licence applicants. TfL concluded that it would request Enhanced Disclosures for all applicants because taxi and private hire drivers can, at any time and without prior knowledge, be in sole charge of passengers who are less than 18 years old or are vulnerable adults. In addition, they often come into contact with other individuals, who legally may not be classed as vulnerable but may be so due to medical or social reasons, such as being under the influence of medication, alcohol or drugs. These individuals (at those times) need to be protected from predators who could take advantage of them whilst they are in a vulnerable state.

3.4 Enhanced Disclosures can include “soft intelligence” from the local Police services in certain circumstances. Soft intelligence reports can contribute towards decisions TfL take in regard to a taxi or private hire licence application. It is worth noting that intelligence obtained by this method includes information on alleged sexual assaults (including rapes), terrorist activities, organised crime and drug dealing.

3.5 In its position as the licensing authority TfL reviews information that is brought to its attention and takes a balanced view on whether or not to issue the licence. TfL assesses information provided by Enhanced Disclosures to not only consider applicants’ criminal histories but to also give consideration to `patterns of behaviour’, which may be illustrated by the “soft intelligence” provided. Taxi and private hire drivers can, by the very nature of their roles, be called upon to carry children or vulnerable adults at any time and often come into contact with other individuals who are under the influence of medication, alcohol or drugs, particularly at night.

3.6 TfL recently sought further clarification from the CRB following the introduction of the Vetting and Barring Scheme. The CRB Policy Department responded that that the CRB do not consider that taxi and private hire drivers meet the criteria for Enhanced checks and TfL should be requesting Standard disclosures.

3.7 Between 2002 and 2008, some 2,400 applicants for both taxi and private hire licences have been refused on character grounds. Of these, some 10% have been refused based on “soft intelligence” revealed by an Enhanced Disclosure. Not allowing TfL to access this information therefore poses a significant risk.

3.8 Under an Enhanced Disclosure, checks may be requested against Protection of Children (POCA) and

Protection of Vulnerable Adults (POVA) lists in some circumstances. After seeking clarification from the Director of Operations at the CRB, TfL requested additional checks against both lists for all licence applicants. In 2008, TfL was informed by the CRB that it was not entitled to request checks for taxi and private hire drivers against the POVA list as this can only be obtained for those within the Domiciliary Care Agencies,Care Homes and Adult Placement Schemes. Accordingly TfL ceased requesting POVA checks, but continued to request checks against the POCA list as part of an Enhanced Disclosure.

3.9 TfL recommends that it should be permitted to request Enhanced Disclosures for every taxi and private hire licence applicant. In addition, TfL and other relevant agencies should be permitted to request checks of taxi and private hire driver applicants against the POVA list.

3.10 Similar issues arise in respect of taxi and private hire licence applicants services outside London and so TfL suggests that all licensing authorities should be permitted to request the requirement for Enhanced CRB Disclosures should be applied nationally.

3.11 There is also the issue of antecedent checks for applicants who immediately before their application for a licence lived and worked outside the UK. Although the Enhanced Disclosure gives good information on the character history of UK residents, information on those who have lived and worked overseas is less comprehensive. Applicants who have spent more than three months living outside the UK within the previous three years are required to provide additional information about their history and a Certificate of Good Conduct is sought from the authorities in the countries concerned. This is necessary for up to 10 per cent of new applications.

3.12 Not all countries provide a Certificate of Good Conduct, and where provided the information is generally of less detail than that contained in the Enhanced Disclosure. There is also concern that Certificates of Good Conduct from some countries may not be based on as thorough and rigorous checks as those checks conducted by the CRB. This leaves a risk that TfL may not be aware of convictions or misconduct by people who have lived overseas. In at least two cases, offences committed overseas have come to light in investigation of serious offences by licensed drivers, which would have been reason to refuse the licence applications had they been known.

Ev w62 Transport Committee: Evidence

3.13 Public safety could be improved by better arrangements for collaboration and information exchange between UK and international police agencies, and TfL would like to see the Government give priority to

this area.

4. Late Night Travel

4.1 Taxis and private hire vehicles provide important options for travel late at night, when rail and Tube services are closed and bus services are more limited than in daytime. A late night travel survey commissioned by TfL in early 2010 showed that 13% of journeys home after a night out were made by taxi or private hire vehicle (7% in taxis and 6% in booked minicabs) with an additional 5% in illegal hires (this includes unlicensed minicabs and licensed private hire vehicles touting illegally).

4.2 While London is safe for most people travelling at night there are major concerns over the dangers of travelling in unbooked minicabs picked up off the street. Despite significant progress over recent years, illegal cabs remain a serious problem in London and are an under-rated danger of the Capital’s night life. These cars are unregulated and uninsured for the purposes of carrying passengers and in some cases are linked to more serious crimes such as sexual assault, robbery and arms and drugs offences. There is also evidence of increasing issues with aggressive and violent touts who are intimidating to members of the public and law abiding taxi and PHV drivers.

4.3 In 2009–10, there were 143 reported cab-related sexual offences including 24 rapes although we expect the actual number to be higher given the significant under-reporting of sexual offences generally. Cab-related sexual offences account for over 10% of all sexual offences in London committed by offenders not previously known to the victim.

4.4 Touting and associated issues are being addressed through a partnership approach involving enforcement,education and improvement of legitimate travel options including licensing and regulation of the taxi and

private hire industry. TfL and the police use a broad menu of tactics to deter, disrupt and detect illegal cab activity.

4.5 TfL is also working with the police and other partners to educate the public about the law relating to taxis and private hire vehicles, raise awareness of the dangers of illegal cabs and provide the public with better access to safe travel options. While this multi-media campaign has been extremely effective in reducing female usage of illegal cabs (from 19% in 2003 to 5% in 2010) perpetrators continue to adapt their methods to avoid

police detection and deceive the public into believing that they are providing legitimate services, putting the public at risk.

5. Enforcement Against Illegal Cab Activity

5.1 Enforcement against illegal cab activity is a priority for TfL and the Mayor of London, highlighted in the Mayor’s Transport Strategy. In 2008, the Mayor introduced tougher regulatory penalties for any licensed private hire vehicle driver convicted of touting, and to date, over 400 licensed private hire vehicle drivers convicted of, or cautioned for, touting have had their private hire vehicle licences revoked for a minimum of one year. Despite this, in many instances, these drivers merely return to the streets unlicensed.

5.2 The MPS Safer Transport Command’s cab enforcement unit has made over 6,000 arrests for touting and dealt with another 2,000 offences by way of summons since its inception in 2003.

5.3 There remain concerns, however, that the penalties for drivers found to be touting are still too lenient and inconsistent in many cases. The current maximum fine that can be imposed for touting is £2,500 and £5,000 for driving without insurance (which applies to any driver touting, as any hire and reward insurance is invalidated).

5.4 Sentences in individual cases are a matter for the courts, taking into account the circumstances of the offence, including all mitigating and aggravating factors in accordance with the Sentencing Guidelines. In 2004, TfL and the Mayor of London raised concerns with the Home Office about the inconsistency and leniency of penalties being imposed for taxi touting. The average fine after sentence is around £135, which is not considered high enough to be seen as a deterrent. In addition, the level of fine varies from case to case. The inconsistency of penalties continues to be an issue and we ask for the Government’s support in helping to address this.

5.5 The Mayor of London, TfL and its policing partners urge the Government to introduce tougher penalties for touting which will help to deliver more effective enforcement against perpetrators and will create a safer environment for the travelling public. Suggested measures include:— Increasing the penalties for touting and unlawful plying for hire offences including higher fines and immediate driver licence disqualification following conviction or acceptance of a caution for touting.

Transport Committee: Evidence Ev w63

— Powers to seize and dispose of vehicles used in touting and unlawful plying for hire offences (powers under Section 165A of the Road Traffic Act 1988 to seize motor vehicles being driven without insurance or a valid driving licence do not extend to seizing vehicles being driven without valid hire and reward insurance, although this insurance is compulsory for hire and reward activity).— Clearer legal definitions for touting and unlawful plying for hire offences to improve regulation and enforcement.

December 2010

TFL And Mayor Seeks Taxi Sponsors

Transport for London and London Mayor seek sponsor for London Taxi emissions overhaul strategy
The Mayor and TFL are looking for a Major Sponsor for the new Euro 5 taxis

Transport for London has begun a search for a sponsor to partner in the creation of a Cleaner Taxi fund, which will subsidise the replacement of new Euro 5 compliant London taxis.

Following the implementation of the Air Quality Strategy, London Mayor Boris Johnson aims to reduce air pollution and harmful emissions within the city over a two-year-period.
This will see London taxis switch to purchasing new Euro 5 taxis, which produce less emissions, with the aid of subsidisation as a 15 year age limit is introduced on the vehicles.

A chosen sponsor will be given high visible exposure to tens of millions of residents within the city with exclusive rights to place their branding on the 350 new taxis, as well as having naming rights of the scheme and a joint launch of the scheme.

OPPOTUNITIES FOR THE TAXI TRADE

Olympic opportunities for the Taxi trade

Taxi Trade Promotions Limited has secured a contract to recruit and supply drivers to a very prestigious official hospitality provider for the Olympic Games in 2012. 

All the work will be pre-allocated and unlike other driving jobs will not be voluntary.  Instead drivers will receive a generous remuneration package.

Successful applicants will drive BMWs, be supplied with a staff uniform (yours to keep), receive staff event tickets and gain some great memories and experiences.

This opportunity comes at no cost to the driver other than the requirement to attend two short interviews and to receive specific training in 2012 as the Games draw near.   

    

Due to demand, only applications submitted via e-mail to drivers2012@taxitradepromotions.co.uk will be considered. The only people eligible to apply are Green and Yellow Badge holders and bona-fide Knowledge students at an advanced stage in their training.  Smart and courteous drivers will be preferred.

TFL to License TX Model TAXI for PH use in London

The licensing authority within London Taxi and Private Hire (LT&PH) has licensed Three hundred TX 2′s and TX 4′s for Private Hire Use in London, they can now pick up at all London’s railway stations, and Heathrow airport, and all of London’s top hotel’s If pre booked .

The new stance taken by the head of The licensing authority at (LT&PH) as got all leading rape and safety awareness groups up in arms, because they are trying to protect lone woman at night, and are trying to educate them into not getting into a vehicle’s that look’s like a TAXI.

They are saying that a traditional black cab (TAXI), can’t be a Private Hire Car because a rapist, or a Tout could have one, and confuse the public.

Rapes and sexual assaults are up in London by 54% , and The licensing authority within (LT&PH) as now licensed a black cab (TAXI) TX 2 as a MINI-CAB.

If this really happened? there would be murders, but please take some time to look at this Vehicle.

It is a Mercedes VITO which in now a (TAXI) and is used by the Private Hire as a MINI – CAB ,but the (LT&PH) see fit to License this has a Private Hire Vehicle,

Chapter 34 of the 1998 Private Hire Vehicles (London) Act) clearly states:

(A) that the vehicle

(3) IS NOT OF SUCH A DESIGN AND APPEARANCE AS WOULD LEAD ANY PERSON TO BELIEVE THAT THE VEHICLE IS A LONDON CAB.

When (LT&PH) was asked in a compliance meeting would they license a TX2 or a TX4 for Private Hire use if the hire light and the plate on the back had been removed, their response was definitely not because it is a Taxi, so why can’t these’s so-called intelligent people running our licensing department see the comparison’s between the two sets of vehicles licensed in the capital.

It has now becomes clear that LT&PH don’t hold the same fears for the travelling public in London.
LT&PH had a golden opportunity when they held a Private Hire Consultation recently to address this serious situation and other major problems within the private hire industry.

LT&PH could have taken a number of steps to insure public safety in London.
1. They could have introduced a colour coded scheme were all taxis are black and all PH vehicles become silver. This I believe would have been a massive upheaval for all concerned.

2. There is now roughly 1200 Vito’s and 800 Viano’s licensed for private hire use in London, they could phase out 2000 vehicles over a couple of years without too much financial loss to those concerned.

With sexual assaults at a high in the capital, LT&PH should have used the PH Consultation more constructively, with their outcome with regards to the Vito Taxi in London, we accept that the Vito Taxi as many different appearance’s to the Vito PH but has the law state’s in the Private Hire Vehicles (London) Act 1998 Is not of such design.

It certainly is of the same design a VITO is a VITO be it a van a six seater or a Taxi.
There are more Vito Taxis licensed to ply for hire in London then the Vito six seater’s licensed for PH use in London.

There is Legal legislation to prevent this from happening, lets hope the head of (LT&PH) can see common sense, and use Their legal right to stop this madness continuing.

I have heard from the London Private Hire industry that it would be a restriction of trade, if they could not drive a Vito as a MINI-CAB.

How confused would the public be if Addison Lee was to buy 3000 black Mercedes Vitos and Vianos, LTPH are once again sending out very confusing siganals this could even leave the door open for Addison Lee to drive a TX

Does TFL’S STaN put Olympic Tourists In Danger ?

Safer Travel at Night: TfL warn of dangers of unbooked minicabs as new students arrive in London.

07 October 2011

Londoners, especially students new to the capital, are being warned about the dangers of using unbooked minicabs as TfL’s Safer Travel at Night campaign launches this week.

At this time of year thousands of new students head for London, many of whom are new to the city, living in unfamiliar areas and unaware of the dangers of illegal minicabs. With many making use of London’s thriving night life at the start of the academic year, picking up a minicab on the street to get home quickly can be tempting.

The Safer Travel at Night (STaN) initiative is a partnership between the Mayor, Transport for London (TfL), Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) and the City of London Police (CoLP), who are working together to make travelling in London safer at night. STaN aims to reduce the number of cab-related sexual offences by raising awareness of the dangers of using unbooked ‘minicabs’, also known as touts and illegal cabs, and by using targeted police and enforcement activity to identify, disrupt and deter illegal cab activity.

“Plan your journey home in advance, one simple mistake could ruin your night.”

Officers from the MPS Safer Transport Command including all 32 Borough-based Safer Transport Teams, CoLP and TfL enforcement officers carry out regular activity across London including high-visibility patrols, stop/checks on vehicles, intelligence-led operations and engaging with the public. Operations take place throughout the year and during Operation STaN officers will increase efforts to detect and deter illegal and unbooked minicabs with enforcement and crime prevention activity taking place across London.

Over the weekend of Friday 23rd and Saturday 24th September, Westminster’s Safer Transport Team undertook plain clothes patrols around the West End as part of this initiative. They made 7 arrests for offences including touting for hire, rail ticket touting and assault on police.

All minicabs must be licensed by Transport for London and booked through a licensed minicab operator by phone, email or in a minicab office. All unbooked minicabs (even those licensed by Transport for London and displaying the licence disc) are illegal, dangerous and could put you at risk. These ‘cabs’ are unregulated and uninsured to carry passengers and in some cases the drivers are linked to more serious crimes including rape and sexual assault, robbery and drugs.

While the number of cab-related sexual offences fell by 20 per cent to 111 last year, tackling the problem of unbooked ‘minicabs’ remain a high priority for the Mayor, TfL and the police especially since they operate around the capital’s night life.

Key tips on using minicabs:

  • Never approach a minicab on the street or accept a fare, they are acting illegally, even if they are licensed by TfL
  • Only black cabs can pick passengers up on the street without a booking
  • When travelling by minicab always book it with a licensed operator, when it is arrives check it’s for you by getting the driver to confirm your booking details and check the driver’s photo identification and always sit in the back

To get three local cab numbers text ‘CAB’ to 60835**

Kit Malthouse, the Deputy Mayor for Policing, said: “Please don’t get into a car with a potential criminal. Using illegal ‘minicabs’ is simply not worth the risk. We’re doing everything we can to stop the illegal minicab market but you can help us win this war by not using them and booking licensed minicabs or using taxis (black cabs). Plan your journey home in advance before one simple mistake could ruin your night and be a decision you live to regret.”

Siwan Hayward, Deputy Director of Community Safety, Enforcement and Policing at TfL, said: “We want students, as well as all Londoners, to make sure that they use a safe mode of transport to travel around the Capital at night. Through our partnership with the Mayor of London and the police will continue our efforts to further reduce these crimes and ensure that the public can travel safely at night.”

Chief Superintendent Sultan Taylor, Safer Transport Command, said: “Our dedicated Cabs Enforcement Unit, supported by the 32 borough Safer Transport teams and TfL enforcement officers will be engaging students and the wider public, distributing information telling them of the safer ways to travel home. In addition, plain clothes officers will be detecting and apprehending illegal cab drivers across the capital to ensure that Londoners travel home safe after a good night out in London during the Freshers period.”

There was not one mention of how dangerous a line of illegally ranked up and Plying for Hire minicabs outside of most bars and restaurants in the capital

Kit Malthouse, the Deputy Mayor for Policing,“We’re doing everything we can to stop the illegal minicab market but you can help us win this war by not using them”.

(LCDC) says: your not doing everything to win the war, if you was you would start enforcing the law and help reduce sexual assaults in the capital, first by scraping satellite offices and arrest Private Hire operators and drivers for ranking up and plying for hire in the Capital.
Then and only then you could make such a statement.

Siwan Hayward, Deputy Director of Community Safety, Enforcement and Policing at TfL.”We want students, as well as all Londoners, to make sure that they use a safe mode of transport to travel around the Capital at night”.

(LCDC) says: if this is true why have you educated the public to get into vehicles that are illegally Ranking up and Plying for Hire. Private hire drivers are making themselves publicly available for hire, parking by the kerbside outside the same clubs that these student will be going to.
Ranking up and Plying for hire by minicabs is against the law but I think you know that. So if you want to help all students and Londoners to get home safely, enforce the law and protect the public, start by doing your job what your paid to do.

Chief Superintendent Sultan Taylor, Safer Transport Command.”In addition, plain clothes officers will be detecting and apprehending illegal cab drivers across the capital to ensure that Londoners travel home safe after a good night out in London during the Freshers period.”

(LCDC) says: when it comes to Mr Taylor we believe he has to install a zero Tolerance policy towards the Private Hire industry and not to turn a blind eye to serious law breaking in the capital.
You being a long-standing officer that rose to the rank of Chief superintendent should know better.

At the moment your Tout squad are running around the capital like indian’s without bow’s and arrow’s to fire.
They have not made one single arrest of any Private Hire Operator or Private Hire Driver for Ply for Hire or Ranking up.
Your their Chief so start acting like one and get your officers to enforce the law. If they are not aware of the current laws, train them as this is what they are paid to do!
It’s not there fault but yours because the buck stops with you.

While the number of cab-related sexual offences fell by 20 per cent to 111 last year, tackling the problem of unbooked ‘minicabs’ remain a high priority for the Mayor, TfL and the police especially since they operate around the capital’s night life.

(LCDC) says:TFL and STC have taken time out to tell all new students and Londoners about the dangers of minicab sexual assaults in the Capital, so when are TFL going to do a world-wide press release to inform all tourist coming to the capital for the Olympic games about the dangers of going out for the evening after they have enjoy a day at the games.

Should this be TFL’s World-wide press release:

This is a World-wide Public Information Notice warning to all tourist coming to the Capital for the Olympic Games, you should be fully aware of the Dangers facing you when you venture out at night in the Capital.There was still 111 sexual assaults last year by licensed and unlicensed minicab drivers in London, the Capital of England .
Our policy of allowing Satellite Offices (MINICAB BOOKING CENTRES) that turns a blind eye to Minicabs Ranking up and Plying for Hire, that operate from outside most venues in the capital. London Taxi and Private Hire (LT&PH) cannot enforce or control, and it is a breeding ground for sexual predators.

We hope you enjoy your stay in our Great Capital but PLEASE be on your guard and don’t end up a STATISTIC !!

Over the weekend of Friday 23rd and Saturday 24th September, Westminster’s Safer Transport Team undertook plain clothes patrols around the West End as part of this initiative. They made 7 arrests for offences including touting for hire, rail ticket touting and assault on police.

So Safer Transport Control (STC) arrested a total 7 on a Friday and a Saturday night, how many of those was TOUTS 2 maybe 3 what a joke.
TFL and STC, LT&PH are now officially the laughing-stock of Great Britain, sad but true.

L.C.D.C ORN Lanes Solution

20111012-151816.jpg

We at the London Cab Drivers Club (LCDC) fully understand the pressures to deliver an outstanding Olympics for everyone to enjoy but on the same note we still have to earn a living. We feel that the current idea being proposed by some for a fare increase during the Olympics is totally unacceptable. we do not want to be seen as profiteering from the games, and with an estimated 2 million tourist coming to London we have no wish for them to go home and tell everyone that the taxis are fantastic, but to expensive. So when you visit London use another form of transport.

The agreement on the Olympic Route Network Lane’s (ORN) contract debacle was signed off by our old friend Ken Livingstone. This was part and parcel of the tendering process to bid for the Olympics. This we believe all steamed from the Olympic Games that was held at Atlanta City USA, where the athletes and Officials missed their events due to getting stuck in traffic and therefore any tendering process after Atlanta had to include a lane which was set aside for just athletes, and officials.

In London we know there are “Rush Hours” at certain times of the day when traffic levels are at their peak. In all honesty we would like to be able to use these lanes 24/7 but if this is just not acceptable to the Olympic Committee, We at the LCDC therefore are putting forward to TFL / LOCOG our proposals to allow the licensed taxi trade to enter the ORN lanes at certain times of the day, Or maybe have set times for us to enter the lanes?. We realise that the Olympics needs to run smoothly to be a success, and we in the licensed taxi trade want to help make it a success. So maybe it is time for TFL / LOCOG to listen to our proposals.

THE WORLDS BEST TAXI SERVICE

KEEPING THE OLYMPICS MOVING

Victoria Station forecourt closure

Temporary taxi rank closure at Victoria Station

*         Taxi pick-up point will be relocated from the forecourt of Victoria
National Rail Station

*         Taxi marshals will be used for the first few days to control taxi
ranking

Taxi drivers and passengers are being advised by Transport for London (TfL) that
from 18 October 2011 the taxi rank in front of Victoria Station will be
temporarily closed for four weeks. The taxi rank will be relocated to Wilton
Road opposite the Apollo Theatre.

The relocation is necessary to facilitate sewer works which are taking place as
part of the Victoria Station Upgrade.

While the rank operates from Wilton Road taxi marshals will be used for the
first few days to control taxi ranking and pick-up provision within Wilton Road.
Pedestrian marshals will also be used for the first five days to direct
passengers to the relocated taxi pick-up point.

Once the Victoria Station Upgrade work is completed there will be a brand new
ticket hall, doubling in size the existing southern ticket hall, nine new
escalators and step-free access with seven new lifts.

The station redevelopment and the upgrade of the Victoria line will result in quicker, easier, and less
congested journeys for thousands of Londoners.