LTPH Ranks Update

Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park summer concerts

This weekend there are two concerts in the northern section of the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park (QEOP), these are:

– Saturday 29/06/2013, Hard Rock Calling – Kasabian

– Sunday 30/06/2013, Hard Rock Calling – Bruce Springsteen

The taxi arrangements for each day will be reviewed and changes made where necessary but at present are as follows:

– Meridian Square taxi rank will operate as normal

– Taxi marshals will be at Meridian Square and Station Street from 21:00

– A feeder rank will operate in Station Street from 21:00 – this is the same arrangement as was in place during the Olympic and Paralympic Games and from 21:00 drivers should go to Station Street first and then wait until the marshals advise them to move forward to Meridian Square

– From 07:00 in the morning a temporary taxi rank will operate of the southern side of International Way, taxis should rank facing westwards. When using this rank drivers must not stop on the zebra crossings and these should be kept clear at all times. Drivers will be able to access International Way from Montfichet Road and also leave via Montfichet Road.

Head of the taxi rank in International Way

– Westfield Avenue will be closed all day

– The northbound lane of Montfichet Road will be closed but the southbound lane will operate as two separate lanes – one northbound and one southbound

More information about events at the QEOP can be found here Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park

Charterhouse Street

Following discussions between us and the London Borough of Islington about a taxi rank for Charterhouse Street, the borough are conducting a consultation on a proposal for a rank.

If you would like to comment on this proposal and state whether you support the idea of a late night taxi rank in Charterhouse Street then you can find the consultation here http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/charterhousestreet

The closing date for replying is 28 June 2013.

Wimbledon Tennis Championships 2013

As we move into the second week of Wimbledon here is a reminder of the taxi rank arrangements during the tournament:

Southfields Station– There will be a taxi rank (rank no. 5636) for 19 taxis in Augustus Road, near Southfields Station, offering shared taxi trips to the Wimbledon Tennis Championships

– The taxi rank in Wimbledon Park Road, near Southfield Station (rank no. 5619) will not operate during the Championships

Wimbledon Station

– Shared taxi trips from the Wimbledon Station taxi rank to the Wimbledon Tennis Championships will be operating

– Marshals are expected to be at the Southfields and Wimbledon station ranks in the morning on tournament days

– Passengers going to the tennis should be dropped off at the rank in Church Road, outside Gate 4

Wimbledon Tennis Club – Church Road

– There will be a taxi rank (rank no. 5587) for 30 taxis in Church Road (outside Gate 4) where spectators will be able to take shared taxi trips to Southfields and Wimbledon stations. The rank will also operate normally for passengers wishing to travel to central London and other destinations. – The rank will also be the drop-off point for all taxi passengers and stopping elsewhere on Church Road is not permitted

Wimbledon Tennis Club – Somerset Road

– There will be a taxi rank (rank no. 5588) for 8 taxis in Somerset Road (outside Gate 13) offering shared taxi trips to Wimbledon Station and operating normally for passengers wishing to travel to Central London and other destinations

– Marshals are expected to be at the Church Road and Somerset Road ranks from 17:00 onwards

Drivers are reminded that taxis must not be left unattended on ranks at any time.

Pre-booked taxis

2 spaces in Somerset Road will be allocated for pre-booked taxis.

Taxi sharing arrangements

Shared taxi fares

For shared taxi trips between Wimbledon or Southfields station and the tennis the fare payable per passenger is:

– £2.50 for adults

– £1.25 for children between 2 and 10 years old

– Children under 2 travel free

It is an offence to charge more than the prescribed fare and fares for unshared taxis cannot be negotiated in advance that would be more than the metered fare.

Journeys to other locations

Sharing is only authorised:

– From the taxi ranks at Wimbledon Station and on Augustus Road near Southfields Station to the tennis tournament ground by Gate 4, Church Road

– From outside Gate 4 at the tennis ground to either of the two stations

– From Somerset Road outside Gate 12 of the tennis ground to Wimbledon Station

Hornchurch

We’ve received reports about drivers continuing to park in the old taxi rank in Station Lane, Hornchurch and also parking on the pavement outside Ask restaurant. Drivers must not park in the old taxi rank as this has been revoked and so they risk being issued with a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN).

London Bridge bus station closure – date change

The dates the for upcoming London Bridge bus station closure have been changed and the station will now be closed from 01:00 on Saturday 6 July until 05:00 on Monday 8 July 2013 to allow a tower crane to be erected. During the closure the temporary taxi rank arrangements in Tooley Street, which have been used for previous closures, will be in operation. Taxi marshals will also be present and all drivers should follow the directions of the marshals.

Bressenden Place – taxi drop offs

If you are dropping off passengers for Eland House, Portland House or other buildings in the area please do not stop next to or just in front of the lorry holding area on Bressenden Place. Passengers have been leaving taxis and then walking through the lorry holding area but this is not safe.

A dedicated taxi drop-off space has now been provided on Bressenden Place, before the lorry holding area.

Works at Palestra

Between mid-July to October 2013 there will be works around Palestra with the works starting on the side of the building facing Blackfriars Road, meaning that the nearside southbound traffic lane will be suspended for about three weeks.

From early August to early September work will be carried out on the Union Street side of the building and Union Street will operate eastbound only between Blackfriars Road and Nelson Square. Signage at the Great Suffolk Junction will advise westbound vehicles that entry into Union Street is for access to Nelson Square only, with other westbound traffic diverted north along Great Suffolk Street and via Southwark Street and Blackfriars Road. A contra-flow cycle lane will operate westbound on Union Street, with a barrier to segregate this from the main eastbound traffic. The attached map shows the diversion route.

Union Street will be returned to two-way operation as soon as possible and the remaining works, on Gambia Street and on the north side of the building, will be carried out in September and early October.

Zuma taxi rank

A taxi rank has been appointed for Zuma in Raphael Street. The rank is for three taxis and is in two portions, with the first portion directly outside of the door of Zuma.

The rank operates between 18:30 and 08:30. The taxi rank will be closely monitored and it is essential that drivers do not obstruct other vehicles or block the access to the buildings near Zuma, otherwise the rank may have to be removed.

ME hotel taxi rank

A two space taxi rank has been appointed for the ME Hotel, Aldwych. This is not a new rank but we’ve not mentioned it here before. The rank operates 24 hours a day and please make sure you support this so that guests at the hotel can quickly and easily get a taxi.

Events and road closures

You can find information about major public events and works in London that involve road closures and could therefore disrupt traffic on the TfL website here. Live traffic news and disruptions taking place on London’s major roads can also be found on the TfL website here.

Upcoming events include:

– Friday 28 June 2013, The City of London Festival’s Children’s Parade takes place between 12.45-13.30. Roads closed to allow the parade to take place are Gresham Street, Old Jewry, Poultry, Cheapside, Newgate Street, Warwick Lane, Ave Maria Lane and Paternoster Square. The road closures will be between 12:00 and 14:00 and attached is a map showing the parade route.

– There are various events at Alexandra Palace including the Cyprus Wine Festival & Business Exhibition on Saturday 29 to Sunday 30 June 2013. There are two taxi ranks at Alexandra Palace – one near the main entrance to the Palm Court bar for smaller events and one in the east car park for larger events such as concerts. More information about upcoming events is available here.

– Saturday 27 to Sunday 4 July 2013 Virgin London Triathlon

– Saturday 3 to Sunday 4 August 2013, RideLondon FreeCycle, Grand Prix, London to Surrey 100 and the London to Surrey Classic events all take place

– Wednesday 11 to Sunday 15 September 2013 ITU World Triathlon Grand Final

– Sunday 22 September 2103 Tour of Britain Final Stage

Coventry black cab maker LTI looking for new base in city

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Black cab maker LTI could be moving out of its historic Coventry base.

The new owners of the iconic taxi firm say the Holyhead Road factory is ‘old’ and ‘has reached the end of its working life’.

But the new vice president of the company has said he wants to keep the business in Coventry where they have ‘well-trained workforces’.

He said talks have already begun to find new premises to build the next generation of taxis.

The London Taxi Company – which was sold to Chinese firm Geely in February after its previous owners went into administration – has been based at its current site for more than 80 years.

Vice president Peter Johansen said: “The factory was built in 1927 so it’s old and reached the end of its working life.

“We’ve already been in discussion with Geely that as part of their investment in us we’re looking to find new premises to build the next generation of taxis.

“With modern facilities you can improve the quality of the vehicle. If you go to any Geely factory in China it’s absolutely state-of-the-art and we’re the poorer cousin of them at the moment.

“It’s most likely to stay in and around Coventry because we’ve got a lot of well trained workforces and we need the skills that those people bring to the business.”

Chinese car maker Geely rescued the ailing firm in an £11.4million buy-out following a three-month search to find a buyer for the troubled manufacturer.

Mr Johansen has also revealed that they plan to restart low level production at the factory in mid-August. Full-scale production is currently planned in for September.

More than 70 former production workers who lost their jobs when the company fell into administration will be offered the chance to apply for 32 vacancies.

Mr Johansen added: “That we’re now in a position to start production recruitment is great news for us, for the trade and for Coventry. I know that the entire team takes great pride in our vehicle.

“I look forward to welcoming back some of the craftsmen who will help us continue to produce our iconic black cab.

“The fundamental difference in the new company, through our parent company Geely, is that we finally have the capital required to develop products and to invest in our future. This is an exciting time for us all; it’s all the more gratifying that we’ll be able to bring back some of the old team to share in this exciting future.”

Since reopening in February, the company has taken on 38 members of staff, with plans to create another 58 across the UK.

Source: Coventry Telegraph

Concept Taxi Looking to enter London

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Karsan

The Turkish automotive manufacturer Karsan, one of the top three finalists of the NYC Taxi of Tomorrow tender, has since developed the Concept V1 platform as a vehicle for everyone; including people with reduced mobility, especially ones who travel in wheelchairs, the elderly, those with strollers and prams and passengers carrying packages. The platform will be equipped with an automated wheelchair ramp deployed from both sides, specially designed wide doors opening at 90 degrees allowing easy access, a low floor structure and a wheelchair restraint system.

The Concept V1 is designed to accommodate last generation electric powertrain to achieve zero emission with its affordable onboard quick-charge unit allowing to use the AC Power supply network.

The vehicle is compliant with conditions of fitness including 25 feet turning circle requirement. With its unique and exciting styling Concept V1 is designed to capture the heritage of London and as a dedicated London Taxi vehicle, it aims to become an integrated part of Londoner’s daily life.

The vehicle provides comfort for both drivers and passengers, such as entertainment systems, payment options, location-based maps, navigation or other information systems.

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What’s The Biggest Obstacle To Google’s Driverless Cars? Maybe The Taxi Drivers?

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A long running theme of mine is that we can’t have nice new things because the people who supply us with the old ones won’t allow the competition. We’ve left too much regulatory power in the hands of the incumbents in many businesses. My current poster child for this argument is Uber: they’ve had to spend a year just to get permission to offer a smartphone app to hail a cab. Quite seriously part of one court case to refuse them access to the market was that older people are less likely to have a smartphone and therefore this was age discrimination.

Which leads me on to the subject of Google‘s driverless cars. Over at Grist there’s an article about how the world might look if as and when the technology becomes widely deployed:
Now imagine a mash-up of this popular model and Google’s self-driving car technology. The car-sharing fleet could be retrofitted with self-driving navigation systems. (Let’s call the hypothetical startup company “Car2Google.” Of course, other car-sharing services like Zipcar or even traditional rental car companies could jump into the game.) Layering self-driving technology onto this system would allow people to order a car from a fleet and have the car pick them up. It’s a taxi service without the drivers.

Users would summon a car with their phone and wait comfortably indoors. The car would call or text them as it approaches. Users would then hop in, talk on the phone, or nap while the car drives to their destination. Once there, they can just walk away. The service charges their credit card an amount based on the time or length of the trip.

This entirely destroys the taxi business of course. Or at least it entirely destroys the business of driving a taxi. For if the streets are full of cars without drivers that can be hired by the minute or the hour or the trip, then what need is there for anyone to actually be driving such a vehicle?

Actually, I think it’ll be rather fun to see how this goes. From the Uber case we do know that the taxi industry is powerful, even if not all powerful. So I’m absolutely certain that we’ll see attempts to make sure that such driverless cars cannot just be allowed to replace taxis. The interest will come from the arguments that are used to attempt to prevent the adoption of the technology.

I could imagine someone arguing that even though the car can drive itself there must still be a driver. You know, just in case. I can also imagine the taxi companies arguing that all such cars should have to have a taxi shield: but that there should be no increase in the issuance of shields at all. thus the driverless cars would all have to belong to the people who own the taxi shields. Or rather, private owners can have driverless cars but those available for public rental must have a shield.

That would of course be immensely profitable for the current owners of the shields. We can imagine higher demand for such rides, but they’d obviously be paying lower costs (no drivers!). So that’s definitely an argument I expect to see at some point in the next few years. That driverless cars for hire must have a taxi licence.

Anyone think of any other ways the current taxi industry will try to fight back against being wiped out?

Source : Forbes

Multiple thefts from Swanley and Hextable taxis prompt police warning

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A SPATE of thefts from taxis left unattended overnight in Hextable and Swanley has prompted a warning from police.

Over the past 10 days thieves have stolen cash and personal items from a number of Hackney carriages parked outside victims’ homes.

In Hextable, three taxis were broken into in Claremont Road on May 30.

The thefts were reported to have taken place between 1am and 9am and items stolen included headphones, a men’s jacket and £50 cash.

Between May 27 and 28, £20 was also stolen from a taxi parked in Glendale, Swanley.

During each of the break-ins a window was smashed to gain access to the vehicle.

Kent Police is urging taxi drivers to ensure valuables are not left unattended in vehicles overnight.

Detective Sergeant Gary Scarfe said: “We would like to remind anyone who owns a taxi cab to remove any valuable items from their vehicle overnight.

“Thieves will also target any item which they believe may contain money or other valuables.

“It is also important to not leave items like bags, jackets or containers on view.”

Anyone with information on the Claremont Road break-ins should call 101 and quote any of the following references: YY/010455/13,
YY/010435/13, YY/010458/13.

Source: News Shopper