Transport for London (TfL) and Heathrow Ltd (HAL) confirmed that the Taxi Feeder Park charge was to remain in place and drivers could still apply the Extra after the TfL Surface Transport Panel meeting that took place on the day of the demo.
Next item on the Agenda was a FINANCIAL REVIEW from HAL regarding detailed figures for the Taxi Feeder Park and contributions to the various bodies that operate at Heathrow including the Police.
HAL informed the Trade that genuine cost savings had been made giving efficiency savings of about £250,000. Costs that are normally recovered from the Cab Trade amount to over £2 million; this has been reduced to £1.8m
Consequently the current £5.22 Entry charge will reduce to £3.54 or £3.18, but a deal has been offered to make that £3.38 for 24 months until a review in September 2016. The new charge will apply from January 1st 2015.
The Trade were told the Allocated Costs include Policing and Support Services and promised more information. Annual Total Policing Costs at Heathrow amount to £36.8 million.
Information on how much money Heathrow Police receive from the Taxi Trade is currently not available from either HAL or the Police. The facts of the matter are being investigated by the LCDC. According to HAL, policing costs are lumped together with costs relating to the provision and management of the Taxi Feeder Park.
Reps asked that a refund for ‘Blowing Out’ at night be looked at again after the projections for next year were made. Previously the Trade had been told an additional fee of 17p would be incurred for the software change necessary but this will now be looked at after it was revealed the fee to enter the Feeder Park will drop substantially.
There followed a brief report on TOUTING/ENFORCEMENT by the Police who were heavily criticised by Taxi reps for failing to use the bye-laws to stop minicabs from picking up from the Set Down points on the passenger terminals. The Police were unable to explain why they were failing to deal with this major problem. Cab Enforcement will be challenging PH/Taxi Drivers for Badges and Bills on Ranks and in Terminals.
The Trade were informed that there are only four officers in the Tout Squad. This is obviously under resourced even when backed up by TPCSO’s.
However, the Police were able to hold another successful operation involving local Council and Immigration Officers which they hope to repeat every 6 weeks. 485 Drivers were stopped and checked during the operation.
It was suggested by Reps that using Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) Cameras, be employed to monitor forecourts more effectively as the congestion is horrendous at times, particularly Terminal 4 at night on Weekends.
In their report, APCOA said they had now reached a full complement of staff: there are 37 Rank Agents of which 22 are Experienced Staff. However, there are still too many incidents like this one on Terminal 2 last weekend where customers queued to get into Taxis whilst Cabs queued to reach customers!
The Meeting overran its allocated slot but there were additional initial discussions on a BUSINESS PROPOSAL which included a DISCIPLINARY SCHEME or CODE OF CONDUCT with TERMS & CONDITIONS.
The LCDC emphasised the need for the trade to ensure that any plans to weed out the few bad drivers at Heathrow would not include putting them on trial at a kangeroo court.
This followed on from questions which were asked about the source of HAL’s authority to suspend a driver in order to produce a workable scheme.
Taxi Trade Reps would be interested to hear Drivers opinions which can be sent to: