LT&PH to Restrict Suburban Licences in Some Suburban Sectors

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LT&PH NOTICE 13/11 FOR 23/11/12

London Taxi Drivers Applications for Suburban licences
The number of licensed suburban taxi drivers has increased significantly in the past ten years and there are now over 3,500 licensed suburban drivers competing for a share of the taxi market in outer London. In recent years, taxi driver associations and a number of individual suburban drivers have raised concerns with TfL regarding the availability of work in suburban areas given the increasing number of licensed drivers. Particular concerns have been raised in relation to sectors in east and south west London.
TfL London Taxi and Private Hire provides prospective applicants with detailed information about the number of drivers, existing Knowledge students and various factors to take into account when considering whether or not to apply for a licence but this has had limited impact on the number of applications.
In the past year, various taxi trade stakeholders have put forward a number of different ideas and suggestions to TfL regarding suburban taxi driver licences and areas. As a result of these representations, we intend to undertake a detailed review of suburban licensing during 2012 which will result in the launch of a trade consultation towards the end of the year.
Given the particularly high number of existing drivers and Knowledge students in the sectors listed below, after 31 January 2012, TfL will not process any new applications received after this date for suburban licences for the following three sectors until this full and detailed review and subsequent consultation has been completed:
Barking & Dagenham, Havering, Newham and Redbridge Merton and Sutton
Hounslow, Kingston upon Thames and Richmond upon Thames
Anyone submitting an application for one of these sectors that is received after 31 January will be given the option of having their application put on hold pending the outcome of the review; applying for another suburban sector; or applying for an All London licence.
This decision does not impact in any way any existing licensed driver or those who have already applied for a suburban licence and are in the process of learning the Knowledge of London for one of these sectors. All current
Knowledge students will be allowed to continue their studies and become licensed upon successfully completing the examination process.
If you have any questions, comments or concerns with regards to this matter then please contact us via TPHEnquiries@tfl.gov.uk

John Mason
23 December 2011 Director Taxi and Private Hire

Taxi Driver Licence Identifiers

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Taxi Driver Licence Identifiers

Please find attached a copy of TPH Notice 12/11 Taxi Driver Licence Identifiers.

Regards

Transport for London – London Taxi and Private Hire
For enquiries email tph.enquiries@tfl.gov.uk
For licensing information visit the TfL website or try TfL’s Common Questions Section

From the 1 March 2012 all taxi drivers will be required to display taxi driver identifiers in the front and rear windows of their taxis.
All licensed taxi drivers will be issued with two identifiers, one for the front windscreen and one for the rear.
The identifiers are designed to encourage compliance by drivers, including plying for hire within their licensed area. The aim is not to restrict where drivers can legally work or cause divisions between Green Badge and Yellow Badge drivers. The identifiers will make it easier for our compliance officers and the police to identify what type of licence a driver holds, and take action against drivers who are working in areas and at taxi ranks they are not licensed for.
If any driver is witnessed plying for hire outside of his or her licence area this should be reported to us. Under no circumstances should any driver confront a colleague regarding their actions.
When will you receive your identifiers?
If you are an All London driver you will receive your identifier by post before the end of the year.
If you are a suburban driver you will receive your identifier by February 2012. As well as clearly indicating whether a driver is an All London or Suburban taxi driver, the identifiers will specify suburban drivers’ exact licence areas.
If you do not receive your identifiers by the end of these periods please contact us on 0845 602 7000 or by emailing tph.enquiries@tfl.gov.uk.

In addition to the identifiers all drivers will receive clear plastic wallets to display the identifiers, and guidelines on how to correctly display these.
The requirement to display your identifiers will be implemented on 1 March 2012. Failure to display the identifiers from that date will be a breach of the London Cab Order 1934, which if repeated will lead to disciplinary action to suspend or revoke your taxi driver’s licence.
Lost or stolen identifiers
If you have lost or had your identifier stolen you must notify Taxi Private Hire (TPH) immediately. In the interim of being issued a replacement identifier you will be issued a letter which will act as evidence that you have notified TPH, and are waiting for your replacement to be processed and delivered, and can therefore continue working. You can contact us on 0845 602 7000 or by emailing tph.enquiries@tfl.gov.uk.
Displaying the Identifiers
When affixing the identifiers you should take into account the guidelines for displaying stickers and signs to your taxi which can be found on the TfL website at tfl.gov.uk/tph.
Where vehicles have rear window advertising in place the identifier must be clearly visible at all times. For further information please refer to our advertising guidelines at tfl.gov.uk/tph.
All advertising companies which display advertising on the rear windows of taxis will be notified of the requirement by the end of the year.
Before the 1 March 2012 you may display the identifier on a voluntary basis, however this is entirely optional and not displaying will not lead to any disciplinary action.
We expect drivers to act in a professional manner at all times and will not tolerate drivers confronting each other. Any driver found confronting another driver for any reason risks having their suitability to be licensed reviewed which may ultimately lead to their licence being suspended or revoked.
All drivers should be aware that there are a number of reasons why Suburban drivers may be in central London or another suburban sector. This includes:
• Dropping off fares that started in their sector but ended outside it;
• Picking up fares that were pre-booked when the driver was in their sector;
• The driver is licensed for one of the two extension areas;
• The driver is plying for hire at an ‘island rank’.

Designated island ranks include:

o Finsbury Park Bus Station – Haringey drivers
o Garratt Lane (Arndale), Wandsworth – Merton and Sutton drivers
o Garrett Lane (Sainsbury’s), Wandsworth – Merton and Sutton drivers
o Mitcham Road (Tooting Broadway Station) – Merton and Sutton drivers
o Wimbledon Park Road (Southfields Station) – Merton and Sutton drivers
oPutney High Street – Richmond upon Thames drivers

John Mason
21 December 2011 Director, Taxi and Private Hire.

Are (TFL) falsifying their touts arrested figures ?

The London Cab Drivers Club (LCDC) submitted a series of Freedom of Information requests’ to London Taxi and Private Hire(LTPH), Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) and the Metropolitan Police to try and find out the extend of touting that is committed by licensed and unlicensed private hire drivers in London but what we uncovered is truly shocking.

London Taxi and Private Hire Freedom of Information Request (LTPH)

“Can you inform us number of private hire driver that have had their licences revoked under the ‘one strike and out’ policy since its introduction in 2008.”

(LTPH FOI Reply)

The ‘One Strike and Out’ policy came in effect in August 2008 and the table below shows the number of revocations, suspensions, refusals and warnings for touting and related offences. PHV Driver

Revocations 2008/09. 64 2009/10. 212

2010/11. 314 2011/12. 236

Crown prosecution service Freedom of Information (CPS)

“Could you please inform me under the freedom of information act how many convictions for minicab touting there have been in the capital since 2008 to the present day please”

CPS, FOI Reply

The CPS does not centrally record data relating to convictions therefore I am unable to answer your question in it’s entirety; we do however record information relating to charges which I hope will go some way towards answering your request.

Please refer to the attached table which represents the total number of offences for ‘taxi touting’ under section 167 of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 broken down by CPS Area. This data represents the number of charged offences within the time period stated within your request; please bear in mind the caveats noted on the attached spreadsheet when reviewing this data set.

I am assuming that your reference to “in the capital” is intended to be a reference to London. In order to ascertain whether the defendant(s) was/were ultimately convicted of ‘taxi touting’ the CPS would need to recall and review each of the 3,918 criminal case files relating to charges in the London Area

London. 2008/ 1395. 2009/ 974. 2010/ 905. 2011/ 644.

= Total of mini-cab touts at the first stages of court from 2008/2011. 3,918

1. Offences recorded in the MIS Offences Universe are those which reached a hearing. There is no indication of final outcome or if the charged offence was the substantive charge at finalisation.

2. Data relates to the number of offences recorded in magistrates’ courts, in which a prosecution commenced, as recorded on the CMS

3. Offences data are not held by defendant or outcome

4. Offences recorded in the Offences Universe of the MIS are those which were charged at any time and reached at least one hearing. This offence will remain recorded whether or not that offence was proceeded with and there is no indication of final outcome or if the offence charged was the substantive offence at finalisation.

CPS data are available through its Case Management System (CMS) and associated Management Information System (MIS). The CPS collects data to assist in the effective management of its prosecution functions. The CPS does not collect data which constitutes official statistics as defined in the Statistics and Registration Service Act 2007. These data have been drawn from the CPS’s administrative IT system, which, as with any large scale recording system, is subject to possible errors with data entry and processing. The figures are provisional a subject to change as more information is recorded by the CPS

The official statistics relating to crime and policing are maintained by the Home Office and the official statistics relating to sentencing, criminal court proceedings, offenders brought to justice, the courts and the judiciary are maintained by the Ministry of Justice.nd subject to change as more information is recorded by the CPS.

Metropolitan Police Service response to our FOI request.

Freedom of Information Request Reference No: 2011110000862

I write in connection with your request for information which was received by the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) on 05/11/2011. I note you seek access to the following information:

Could you please tell me under the freedom of information act people have been convicted for touting since 2008 to the present day

Following receipt of your request searches were conducted within the MPS to locate information relevant to your request.

EXTENT OF SEARCHES TO LOCATE INFORMATION

To locate the information relevant to your request searches were conducted at the Performance Information Bureau.

RESULT OF SEARCHES

The searches failed to locate any information relevant to your request, therefore, the information you have requested is not held by the MPS.

The MPS does not hold data on convictions. Please may i suggest you contact the Crown Prosecution Service who may be able to assist you with the data you require. I have pasted the link below for your convenience

TFL’S Press Release war mini-cab touting in the capital.

The Mayor of London’s war against unlicensed Mini-cab has resulted in 1,300 arrests over the last 12 months in a crackdown on touting and other cab-related offences during 2010/11.

The latest figures show the success of the ongoing Safer Travel at Night (STaN) initiative, 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.

TFL’S Figures don’t add up.

Let’s have a look at totals of touts charged and reaching a first hearing in court from the (CPS) figures between 2010/11 amounts to 1,549,now if we look at the amount of Private Hire Drivers that had there license revoked under the one strike and you’re out rule for the same period of time of 2010/11 amounts to 550, and the Mayor of London war on unlicensed touts arrested in 2010/11 states that they have arrested is 1,300.

The first thing we noticed was that if we went by the (CPS) figures between 2010/11 a third of those arrested and reach their first hearing in court would appear to be Licensed Private Hire Drivers (LPHD) because if a (LPHD) is arrested for touting under TFL’s one strike and your out ruling they would have there licensed revoked and a total of 550 had their license revoked between 2010/11 from the figures obtain from (LTPH), was those Licensed Private Hire Drivers arrested for touting Illegally ranking up and plying for hire outside their satellite offices where they are licensed to work by (LTPH)?

What’s more alarming is that the total number of touts arrested year on year from 2008 to 2011 has dropped to under half from 1,395 in 2008 to just 644 in 2011 they might like us to think that they are doing such a great job and that the number touts that are touting in the capital has dropped so they can’t arrest them, or is it because they feel they are fighting a losing battle.

We printed a document in the badge that was taken from (LTPH) were they stated that touts are more clued up now .Touts know that if they are approached by a member of the public and are asked to take them home, they know they are not the police, because the police tout squad cannot make an arrest in this manner because it will be deemed in a court of law as entrapment, and the touts are fully aware of this

But what we have found most confusing is that if the (CPS) figures are only of touts charged that have made a first appearance in court is 1,549 and they don’t keep records past this, so how on earth have Transport for London (TFL) have come to a figure of 1,300 touts arrested between 2010/11 has stated in their Press Release, they can’t have obtained them from the (MPS) because you can see from their reply to our FOI request they don’t keep any such figures on how many touts are arrested , the (LTPH) only keep records of Licensed Private Hire Drivers found guilty because they have revoked their license, even if you took into account the 550 licensed private hire drivers arrested from the (LTPH) figures away from (CPS) figures of 1,449 it leaves 999 unlicensed touts arrested, but they can’t even go by these because no one keeps figures on convictions, have (TFL) got a separate set figures? Or are they just making the figures up to mislead the public by letting them think it’s safe to travel into London for a night out.

What other figures are they playing with ?

How many sexual assaults have there been in the capital ?

So it would appear in black and white that (TFL) are falsifying their tout arrest figures.

We are going to ask for a full investigation to be launched has to why all those involved in the Safer Travel at Night (STaN) Partnership are massaging the tout arrest figures and misleading the travelling public.

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Reply

HALTS JOIN FORCES WITH DAC TO BY PASS FEEDER PARK AT HEATHROW

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Less than two hours after trade representatives at Heathrow met with Steve Bogg of BAA and agreed that all blue voucher work from the taxi desks must first be offered to taxis on the ranks, and then be offered to taxis in the two feeder parks

A job was despatched to Dial a Cab via the terminal 3 taxi desk.

BAA insisted at the meeting that all drivers would have to pay the £6.54 gate money as stipulated under Heathrow bye laws. It would appear that DaC drivers not having to wait in the feeder park, and also they are avoiding paying the £6.54 gate money.

Eddie Symes of HATDU has informed Steve Bogg of BAA that unless this practice is stopped forwith action will be taken by the trade at Heathrow Airport.

Mercedes Announce New Euro5 Vito Deal

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AN INCREDIBLE DEAL TO HELP CLEAN UP LONDON WHICH DEMONSTRATES MERCEDES-BENZ COMMITMENT TO THE TRADE

A new Vito Taxi for only £125 per week over 3 years!

Mercedes-Benz has launched a new taxi finance deal for the London taxi market called ‘Agility’. It’s their commitment to the trade to help them combat the new regulations. It’s a major step forward because it reduces weekly payments on a new Vito Taxi with an incredible low APR of 5.4%. Payments on a new Vito Taxi are as low as you’d pay on a used taxi – only £125 per week and over just three years.

Announcing the scheme Steve McCarthy, Dealer Principal for KPM Mercedes-Benz Taxis said that “Agility is just right for the taxi market in London at present. The big advantage of Agility is that it makes a brand new Vito Taxi affordable to many drivers who would like to drive a new Euro 5 Vito but thought that they couldn’t afford it. Well, now they can! Any London driver, subject to status, can have the benefit of a brand new Euro 5 Mercedes Vito Taxi for a deposit of £2,000 and payments of £125 a week for three years. At the end of the period you have three choices – you can buy the taxi you’ve been driving at the guaranteed price, or you can simply hand back the keys and walk away or start all over again with another brand new Vito Taxi!”

Mercedes-Benz has been running Agility for years in the rest of its Commercial business and it’s been incredibly successful because it gives owners flexibility, affordability and security of a guaranteed residual price. That’s why we think it is definitely the best finance product for the taxi market.”

Steve continued to explain why the Vito Taxi is ideal for Agility. “We’ve been selling Vito Taxis for the past three years and the Vito has established a track record of excellent residual values – the best in the market. Even if the initial price is higher, the second hand value is considerably better. What Mercedes-Benz has done is brilliant because by including the guaranteed future residual value in calculating your repayments you have very low monthly payments to make – only £541.67 per month or £125 per week. What’s more the interest rate is now being offered at an incredibly low rate of only 5.4% APR. You’ll be hard pressed to find better rates than that in the market place today.

So, apart from the low repayments, what is it that makes Agility such a good deal for London Taxi Drivers just now? For starters it gives you complete flexibility and security in a market where there’s a lot of insecurity. Just look at business and the economy at the moment. We all know that there are there’s a lot of uncertainty around. Many drivers have been extending their change cycle because business is tough: there’s reluctance to make such a big commitment as investing in a brand new taxi. There’s also a lot of concern about emissions and age limits. The question is often asked “Is my taxi going to be legal in a few years time? Just when I’ve finished making my last HP payments will I find that my cab will be illegal because of regulations? Or will there be a much higher level of tax that its value will have plummeted? All these things are making it much riskier in deciding when to buy a new taxi and what’s the best one for the driver. What happens is that a driver who usually changes his cab regularly will put the decision off, but that can be just as bad because repair and overhaul bills go up. None of us can predict the future but what Agility can do is give the owner driver more control, more flexibility and security because he knows that he has complete freedom to do what he likes in three years time when he has finished his contract. If he likes the cab and other factors tell him things are OK then he can buy the Vito at its guaranteed residual value. If he doesn’t want to do that then he can walk away completely. Or he can start all over again with a new Vito on Agility! Effectively Mercedes-Benz Finance are standing behind their product and thus giving the London Taxi Driver much more security and confidence. Mercedes-Benz are carrying the risk of devaluation and this is their commitment to the London Taxi Trade.

The major benefits of Agility for taxi drivers are:

·

By including the guaranteed future value of your taxi we can reduce your payments.

·

Flexible deposit. A £2,000 deposit gets your repayments equivalent to £125 per week but you can have a lower or higher deposit.

·

The future value risk is guaranteed and underwritten by Mercedes-Benz Finance.

·

Loans are not secured on your home. This is a standard regulated agreement.

·

Fixed interest rate and payments throughout the life of the agreement.

·

Defer your ownership agreement until the end of the period, choose one of 3 options.

So, who might Agility on a new Vito Taxi appeal to?

– If you would like to own a new Vito, heard it was great but always thought it was a bit expensive – it’s not anymore!

– If you would like to change your taxi more regularly but times are tough and you’re uncertain about the future.

– If you want to get your monthly payments down but still enjoy the benefits of a new cab.

– If you want to have all your major work covered under warranty – it’s 3 years, 150,000 miles on Vito Taxi.

– If you would like to release some equity out of your current taxi to invest or spend on other things but you would still like a great taxi.

– If you want to trade up from a Euro 4 Vito to a Euro 5.

Finally, once you are in your new Vito Taxi with Agility you can save even more money on fuel and other costs. The Euro 4 model is already well known for producing big savings on fuel, and the Euro 5 is even better. In fact the official figures say the typical London driver will save another £1,000 per annum on diesel costs compared to his Euro 4. That’s because the brand new engine in the Euro 5 Vito delivers 28 mpg on the Urban Cycle compared to 24.8 mpg on the Euro 4. At 35,000 miles per annum and fuel at £1.42 per litre that’s a saving of £1,041 per annum. With reduced emissions on Euro 5 Vito – down from 229g/100kg on Euro 4 to 213g/100kg that means you will save another £185 per annum on vehicle excise duty (road tax). A total saving of £1,226 is over £20 per week.

TFL Enforcement just can’t be bothered!!

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We were so confused to who should be enforcing the Law and arresting the illegally plying for hire mini-cabs, that are plying for hire all over the capital, that we put in a freedom of information request about this matter,to see what authority LT&PH have.


1. What legal authority do LT&PH Compliance and Enforcement Officers, have when it comes to enforcing hackney carriage law.


2. Can you supply me with the names and the positions held by the person or persons who supplied the relevant information to question 1.


FOI REPLY: There is just one role now, rather than a separate Compliance Officer and a separate Enforcement Officer, and they are both covered by the same power. Dave Stock, Head of Compliance, has also confirmed that under the ‘Definition and Interpretation’ section of the London Cab Order 1934, “Public Carriage Examiner” means any person appointed by [Transport for London] to examine and inspect public carriages for the purpose of the Metropolitan Public Carriage Act 1869.


Regards


Darren Crowson Strategy and Infrastructure Manager

Transport for London – Taxi and Private Hire Palestra, 197 Blackfriars Road 4th Floor – Yellow Zone (4Y7)Southwark, London SE1 8NJ


So we took a look at the Metropolitan Public Carriage Act 1869, and guess what we found, which they fail to mention. Was that they can in fact prosecute someone in an unlicensed hackney carriage, so if a mini-cab is plying for hire and is not licensed as a hackney carriage to ply for hire, can they prosecute them ??.


Metropolitan Public Carriage Act 1869.


Penalty on use of unlicensed carriages. E+W+S+N.I.


If any unlicensed hackney . . . F1 carriage plies for hire, the owner of such carriage shall be liable to a penalty not exceeding five pounds for every day during which such unlicensed carriage plies. And if any unlicensed hackney carriage is found on any stand within the limits of this Act, the owner of such carriage shall be liable to a penalty not exceeding five pounds for each time it is so found. The driver also shall in every such case be liable to a like penalty unless he proves that he was ignorant of the fact of the carriage being an unlicensed carriage.


What I find more distressing is that it is us, the trade who are the ones trying to find a solution to the problem of mini-cabs plying for hire, outside most bars and restaurants in london were sexual predators are infiltrating the ranks of cars out side these venues.We have posted on numerous occasion’s on this blog site that licensing officers up and down the country are enforcing and arresting mini-cab drivers for plying for hire.


Or could it be the case that they don’t want to enforce the law and stop mini-cabs ranking up and plying for hire outside, where there is a mini-cab booking office (satellite office) because they are encouraging them to operate from specific venues and are earning money off the back of these people. So once again, is money more important then the safety of the traveling public? Are LTPH guilty of negligence?


The Legal Definition of Negligence.


Conduct that falls below the standards of behavior established by law for the protection of others against unreasonable risk of harm. A person has acted negligently if he or she has departed from the conduct expected of a reasonably prudent person acting under similar circumstances.


If any Victim of Rape or Sexual assault was attacked as a direct result of a Private Hire Driver, that was illegally Ranking up or Plying for Hire, outside a late night venue that has been licensed by London Taxi and Private Hire (LT&PH) to Operate a Minicab Booking Centre from inside that venue would leave them open to a Legal challenge of Negligence, for failing in their Duty of Care to protect the travelling Public and not enforcing the law.


Also If any victim of rape or sexual assault that was attacked as a direct result by a private hire driver that was illegal ranking up and plying for hire in London could bring a case against Safer Transport Command(STC),and the City of London Police(CoLP) for failing in their Duty of Care to protect the traveling public for not making one single arrest of a Private Hire Driver Ranking up and Plying for Hire in London in what we belive could stretch back 10 or more years.

The compensation pay outs to theses victim’s that could date back ten or more years if proven could run into Millions of pounds


Helen Chapman takes over enforcement next year and in her own words a lot is going to change. So why wait till after christmas when we all know that the rise in sexual assaults goes up in the festive party season.