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Winter 2016 The magazine for taxi drivers

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www.cabtradenews.org facebook.com/cabtradenews Winter 2016 The magazine for taxi drivers


Contents 3

National Officer’s Intro.


General Secretary Intro.


End of the line for bus lanes


The right to ply for hire


London cabs to take credit cards


TfL on payments made by cards

Dear Colleagues

10 A private hire free-for-all? 12 Shock to the system – further driving lessons

At the Passenger Industrial Sector Conference the South East submitted a motion informing delegates that existing legislation allows train operators to make charges to Hackney Carriage drivers in exchange for them ranking outside train stations and which amounts to little more than extortion.

13 Liverpool branch update 14 Brighton branch update 15 UNITE live – World-Class Standards threat 16 Time to toughen safety standards 18 Cab Trade News App 21 Temporary measures seek to ease pressures

With many rail franchises coming up for renewal, now is the time for Unite to relaunch the, ”Free and Open Access,” campaign beginning with an insistence that the Union as well as our Parliamentary Group of Labour MPs support the idea that a clause be inserted in the rail franchise agreements preventing the train operating companies from making this charge. I ask all of you to support the campaign and in the first instance urge you to lobby your local MPs from whichever political party to be involved in what would be a small concession from the train operators but a life changing one for the taxi trade.

23 TfL to take £43million in advertising 26 UBER on the south coast 28 Desparate Boris

Bobby Morton National Officer, Passenger Services

30 Unite Taxi Education 31 Colin Charles Williams 32 R&D continued in the Black Cab 34 Hotel Stuart – do you know it?


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ZAC – th line for www.cabtradenews.org

As 2015 draws to a close there is a huge amount to look back on and it will be remembered as a turning point in British politics. The election of a majority Tory government with their commitment to 'permanent austerity', a vicious attack on trade unions and collective opposition with their 'Trade Union Reform Bill', proposals for incursion into our private lives with the proposals to access our personal data and the 'Extremism Bill' come on the heels of the 'Gagging Act' that aimed to silence the campaigning work of charities. Couple this with attacks on the political fund of trade unions and that 10 million citizens may not be counted when the government redraws the constituency boundaries of MPs and we're starting to see a package of measures undermining democracy itself. But it is also the year where the voices of peace, social justice and an alternative to austerity have caused a political earthquake with the election of Jeremy Corbyn to the Labour leadership. I am very proud of the role Unite and our members played in his election. It has rocked the establishment to the point of it launching a disgraceful and unprecedented assault on Jeremy and the voices of opposition. But this hasn't stopped us gaining important wins - forcing the Tories to change their cuts to Tax Credits means three million households will not be getting letters over Christmas telling them they are losing on average over £1000 a year. What we do makes a difference. This spirit of what is possible when we all work together and the upholding of our values and belief in a fairer, better Britain for all, will need to continue into 2016. The growth of Uber in London, with their undercutting of regulation and race to the bottom in pay is a particularly high profile example of the wider growth in insecure, precarious low paid work the Tories have nurtured across the country that Unite has been fighting against. Their cuts to housing support and public services has hit Londoners particularly hard - increasing poverty and making it increasingly unaffordable for many. Electing Sadiq Khan to City Hall as a Labour Mayor will make a real difference to the lives of Londoners. We have the opportunity to win London - and with all of us playing our part; phoning, leafleting and door knocking we can make it happen. Together, we can make 2016 the year when the tide turned against the Tories.

Cab Trade News Published quartely by Unite the union, 128 Theobalds Road, London, WC1X 8TN. Phone 020 7611 2500. Editor – Peter Rose peterjrose@cabtradenews.org Phone 07903 525 520. Magazine enquiries and letters to the editor, by post, phone, or email www.cabtradenews.org Distribution enquiries contact your regional office



Bus and taxi lanes are a key component of an integrated green transport system, especially in a city the size of London with the complexity of its road system. Bus lanes prioritise the travelling public who chose to leave their car at home and opt for what should and could be a far more efficient environmentally friendlier mode of transport. Other key requirements for mass transport modes, such as buses, are affordability and reliability.

One of the main operating issue for any surface transport mode has to be reliability and speed of journey times, that’s where bus lanes trump private car use. It’s impossible to have a functioning surface public transport system without segregated bus lanes with access for buses, taxis and coaches. We are now seeing a slow calculated erosion of the functioning of bus lanes by Boris Johnson and TfL. This process began with TfL undermining bus lanes effectiveness by placing Cycle Superhighways in bus lanes. This was clearly a cheap option, a four foot wide band of blue paint or a white cycle logo, neither of which offered any real protection for cyclists, but did mean that buses and cabs were now moving slower as well as making driving much more difficult for both cab and bus drivers. Add to this the anti- social, aggressive method of cycling practised by many new bike converts to London and it’s a small wonder that unacceptable accident figures are not higher. Too many bus lanes are also becoming ineffective due to confusion over operating times. A good example is the north bound lane at the top of Grays Inn Road. If any bus lane needs to be 7am to 7pm it’s this one, but it ceases at 10am. Add into the mix the new cycle lane at the junction of Euston Road and you end up with slower journey times for bus and cab users. All bus lanes in central London should be 7am-7pm. Bus lanes are the key to easing congestion. One of Ken Livingstone’s last decisions was to extend the bus lanes on the Euston/Marylebone Road, a massive boost for public transport users.

Winter 2016

he end of the r the bus lane @cabtradenews


The decision to begin building new cycle lanes on an enormous scale in central London, while we are still suffering with Crossrail, the impact of road space being used as extensions of building sites and the closures of many roads under council traffic schemes has created traffic chaos in many parts of London. The refusal by councils in central London to place restrictions on loading and unloading, or even enforce existing traffic regulations, especially Tory Westminster adds to the mix.

Many areas of central London are in paralysis for eighteen hours a day. Add to this the closure of bus lanes and you end up with a perfect storm. When TfL was created it was meant to increase use of public transport by travellers. It was meant to extend and integrate all public transport modes. There has been success with the building of new rail lines. The underground may have faster more frequent trains, although users are treated worse than animals much of the time. But the real failure is surface transport. Pollution levels and congestion must now be far worse than when Johnson became Mayor. Ken Livingstone’s Congestion Charging Zone which made such an important positive contribution to Londoner’s lives, has been allowed to wither on the vine. We now face the threat from “green” Tory grandee Zac Goldsmith to scrap bus lanes within the next three years. It appears Zac may share Margaret Thatcher’s sneering contempt for public transport users as “smelly people”. Despite Zac Goldsmith’s greenwash as an independent Tory, he will continue the wrecking ball policies of Boris Johnson and this authoritarian pro-Uber government. That means more private cars, less bus lanes and more pollution. If it comes to a choice between environmentally friendly public transport with an increase in bus lane coverage for the majority, or Zac Goldsmith creating space for more tax dodgers to drive their kids in Chelsea tractors to their segregated private schools, it should be a no brainer for all transport workers in London Regional Committee.


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FREE AND OPEN ACCESS – THE RIGHT TO PLY FOR HIRE At the Unite National Taxi Conference in March the delegates from the South East (SE) region of Unite put forward the idea that a clause should be inserted in rail franchise agreements preventing the train operating companies from charging taxi drivers to ply for hire at provincial railway stations Subsequently there has been an article published in the summer edition of Cab Trade News which pointed out the extortionate level of charges at some stations in the SE including £735 at Guildford and £600 at Southampton Airport Parkway where this charge is being increased by seventeen percent . Taxi Drivers have effectively become a cash cow for these companies. Many licensing areas now have stations were drivers are paying to pick up at railway stations, with no obvious benefit to the drivers other than keeping other drivers from plying from hire at the station. In London there is no charge at any station and all of the 24,000 licensed taxi drivers can ply for hire and pick up at any station. At the Unite South East Passenger Conference a motion was passed supporting

the idea of a clause being inserted into rail franchise agreements to prevent charging at railway stations and this was one of two motions put forward to the National Passenger Sector Conference At the recent Passenger Sector Conference the motion was passed and is now Unite policy. The motion called on the Executive Council of Unite and the Unite Parliamentary Group of MP's to take all necessary steps to achieve this end. The aim of the motion is to get the support of the union to lobby the shadow transport team to try to achieve this. The Unite South East Region Cab Section believes that the best way to achieve free and open access to ply for hire at railway stations would be via re-nationalisation of the railways but that is at least five years away and in that time many rail franchises are coming up for renewal, so we believe that the time to act is now! This could be a campaign that galvanises the cab section because these extortionate charges are increasing year on year taking no account of inflation etc. Vague references to "footfall" appear to be the main justification for these increases. These charges are very unpopular


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amongst Taxi Drivers but most feel forced to pay up because station work makes up a large part of their wages. I think this is an achievable campaign because: # It is a realistic position that the shadow transport team can take up # These charges are unpopular amongst Taxi Drivers # Taxi Drivers would be prepared to lobby their MP on this issue # Pressure could be built up on even Tory MP's to back their local cabbies It is completely unfair and unnecessary for taxi drivers to pay for the privilege of picking up at railway stations and airports. It needs to be stopped and Unite will be taking the fight to the railway companies to end this unwanted practise. Steve Fricker is Branch Secretary, Unite South East Region Cab Section. #CTNSE







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From October 2016 the Mayor has confirmed that all London taxis will be required to accept card payments, including contactless payments.

At the moment customers can be charged up to ten percent for a card payment. Under the proposals there will be no charge to the passenger for using a card. Only the amount on the meter can be charged to the customer, with no surcharges. But in order for taxi drivers to recoup their transaction costs there will be a twenty pence increase in the basic taxi flag fall. This will increase from ÂŁ2.40 to ÂŁ2.60 from April 2016 meaning

customers will only ever pay what is shown on the meter.

In order to keep transaction costs as low as possible Transport for London (TfL) has negotiated to bring down the cost of accepting card payments to three percent or less of the transaction. TfL have not said whether the equipment will need to be fitted into the taxi but have only that all card equipment approved by TfL must be available for customers to use conveniently. Unite broadly supports these proposals, but we also have a number of concerns. It is right that the customer only pays what is shown on the meter and the twenty


pence increase on the meter will largely cover any costs incurred by the driver. With the transactions costs likely to be below three percent, drivers are unlikely to lose out and, in fact, are likely to gain through increased work. However; Unite does say that special consideration should be given to the extra costs for journeys from Heathrow Airport. Unite wants as many card companies as possible to be given the opportunity to be part of the taxi market. We do not think there is one solution and to mandate machines to be in a given position in the taxi will be wrong. Many drivers have invested in machines that work for them and have been providing card services for many years without complaints. There should not be a requirement to link card machines to the meter. This is a sensitive issue for many drivers. For a variety of reasons many drivers still do not take cards and there is bound to be some resistance to taking card payments. But, Unite believes, this will be overcome in time. The introduction of the identifiers took time for all drivers to accept, but now it is rare to see a taxi without an identifier. That same softly, softly approach should be taken with card acceptance as drivers will quickly come to see the benefits of taking cards and passengers expect cards to be taken. Provided our concerns are adopted then Unite will fully endorse the Mayors proposals on card acceptance.

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TFL CONFIRM CARD AND COUNTLESS CAB PAYMENTS Plans to mandate card and contactless payments in taxis from October next year

transaction fees paid by cabbies from up to 10 per cent to three per cent or less of the transaction.

Announcement comes after 86 per cent welcomed consultation proposals

Under the plans customers will also not pay any surcharge on their fare. Instead, taxi drivers will recoup their transaction costs through a proposed 20p increase on the basic fare (the minimum fare that shows on the meter at the start of the journey which, at £2.40, is currently amongst the lowest in the country).

Customer surcharge for card payments to be eliminated TfL’s negotiations with credit card industry will reduce transaction fees paid by cabbies from up to 10 per cent to under three per cent Travelling by taxi is set to become even more convenient after the Mayor and Transport for London (TfL) confirmed they will take forward proposals requiring all London taxis to accept card payments, including contactless, from October 2016. The plans have been drawn up after a consultation earlier this year found that an overwhelming 86 per cent of respondents backed proposals for card acceptance, with 68 per cent agreeing that passengers should also be able to pay using contactless payments. To ensure customers and cabbies don’t pay over the odds, TfL has negotiated with the credit card industry to bring down the cost for drivers of accepting card payments. This will reduce

This will mean that passengers will only ever pay what is shown on the meter, no matter how they choose to pay. If approved by the TfL Board in February as part of the annual taxi fares revision, the fare change will come into force in April next year and all cabbies will need to accept card payments from October 2016. The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson MP, said: “This is great news for the millions of people who use London’s world famous black cabs. This move will boost business for cabbies and bring the trade into the 21st century by enabling quicker and more convenient journeys for customers.” Garrett Emmerson, TfL’s Chief Operating Officer for Surface Transport, said: “This is a very positive change for


Winter 2016

taxi drivers and for our customers. London is increasingly a cashless city, with people using cards to pay for all aspects of their daily life – including transport. We are seeing more and more people use contactless payments on our network, and mandating card payments in taxis will mean customers no longer have to consider how they might pay for a journey before getting into a taxi. It will also benefit drivers, who will see their services opened up to potential new business.” Richard Koch, Head of Policy at The UK Cards Association, said: "Consumers are increasingly choosing to pay with cards as a convenient and secure alternative to cash. It's great news for Londoners, and visitors to the Capital, that they'll always have the option of using a debit or credit card in taxis now too. With the number of contactless payments trebling in just a year, many passengers will also welcome the ability simply to touch and pay for their cab journey."





SUB-CONTRACTING DOES NOT MEAN A PRIVATE HIRE FREE-FOR-ALL Following the introduction of Clause 12 of the De-Regulation Bill passed into Law on the 1st October there has been a lot of confusion over the new Clause 55A of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions ) Act 1976. We need to understand that Clause 12 is very clear in its intention: Any booking sub-contracted from one private hire operator to another (whether within the district, outside the district, to the same company outside the district, to a London or Scottish operator) must be carried out by drivers and vehicles licensed by the same authority as that which has licensed the operator to whom the booking was subcontracted. In other words, the same principle applies: If all three licences (operator/vehicle/ driver) match from the same authority, then that's lawful. Both the original operator that took the booking, and the operator to which it was sub-contracted, must keep full details of that booking on both systems. And most importantly, they cannot just use any licensed private hire driver/vehicle from any adjacent licensing area to do bookings ad-hoc that is clearly unlawful. Yet there is a lot of confusion over this new clause. As Brighton and Hove news said about Uber applying for a Brighton

Operators Licence "The Uber application could prove unnecessary because of changes to the licensing laws which take effect from 1 October. They allow private hire drivers to operate anywhere in the country provided they are licensed by at least one council." This is Completely wrong but its a widely held view of many council licensing committee's as well as many drivers’ organisations. It particularly applies to Uber who have been busily gathering up operator licenses around the country. The reason for this is the views that the Law Commission outlined in their Draft Bill. That is exactly what it is - a Draft Bill. It has never been debated and the government hasn't even replied to it, but many believe that it is law. the Law Commission recommended 'freeing up' cross-border working for private hire companies so that operators


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would no longer be limited to using drivers and vehicles from their own licensing area or restricted to only inviting or accepting bookings within their licensing area. This was achieved through national licensing of private hire, taking control away from local authorities. An operator licensed in Manchester can only dispatch a vehicle and driver licensed in Manchester to cover a booked job. If the job is sub-contacted to an operator in Salford then that Salford Operator can only use a Salford licensed driver and vehicle to cover the job. The law does not allow the Manchester Operator to dispatch a job to a Salford driver and vehicle. This illegal cross border hiring is happening across the country. It must be stopped and Unite will be doing all it can to put an end to the unlawful practise.


SHOCK to the system

BY CHRIS ELDER, Branch Secretary, Unite

The Unite Dundee taxi branch has recently started doing SVQ/NVQ courses Level 2 Driver Passenger Transport in taxi trade Hackney/private hire. The reason for the branch doing the courses is that Dundee city council licensing has made driver training compulsory for every taxi driver in the City and the training must be completed by May 2017.

£37 million and they will find out very shortly if they have been successful in that bid. The problem that we have with the bid is that the council have now dangled a carrot to operators that if they licence an electric taxi cab they will give the Operator a company licence. But they have to surrender their current licence which would mean that an operator can pass his Operators’ licence on in the future.

Unite the union are able to give our taxi branch members this training for free within their subscription, a great benefit of being a Unite member. There are other city councils in Scotland looking at SVQ/NVQ training for drivers so Unite members should look at what we in Dundee have been doing. To date we have put 160 members through the training course.

We have been fighting for company licences with the cars that we provide at the moment but the council won't allow us to do this . The only way they will allow company licences is if we surrender our current operator licence and apply for a new licence and we would only be able to put on electric cars from that day on.

Also Dundee city council have put in a bid for OLEV funding for Low Emission Vehicles and electric cars for

The council have said £2.2 million would be split between all operators which would equate to £4000 from the

OLEV grant and also £5000 from government but this is only for wheelchair cars. Saloon taxis would not get the £4000 from the OLEV grant they would only get £5000 from government. The money would be available for five years only. The price of wheelchair accessible cars is between £28,000-£43,000 and at the moment a saloon electric car 18,000-£23,000. The other problem is that these all electric cars cannot do the distances that a taxi needs to do with a single charge.

On top of this there is the problem of an adequate charging infrastructure network. This would require all of the Scottish city's towns would have to have adequate infrastructure in place to ensure that taxis can complete their journeys. The taxi branch will continue to fight on for our members regarding this issue . I think the city council sees the taxi trade as an easy target to force these electric taxis upon, I wonder if

they will be putting the same pressure on bus companies, delivery lorries and emergency services. The worry is that this could put a lot of taxi operators out of business, there needs to be a better approach.


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e t a d p U





Time for a fair increase The Liverpool Unite branch members have applied to Liverpool Council for a fare rate increase. We have asked for a twenty pence increase on the start rate and a reduction in the automatic barrier. It is four years, yes four years since we have had a fare increase. It took two branch meetings to agree to this figure.

The Council adhered to the statuary procedure that is required and there was an objection to the increase plus a petition, the licensing committee then called for a special committee to discuss this. We have never experienced a decision like this by the Licensing Committee, and found it inappropriate. In the Private Hire and Taxi table of fares, out of 365 councils Liverpool is 304th. It is high time we had a fare increase. We went from 1985-1991 without a single rise in the rate of the fare. We then

got an increase of twenty eight percent which caused uproar within the trade. We need to avoid anything similar happening again. So it is hard to understand why the council arranged a special committee when they have completed everything statutory law dictates. This beggar’s belief, the council solicitor should have ruled it out of order, which he failed to do. We put a very strong case forward with union members at the meeting. If the meeting was a boxing match we would have won every round. The reasons for the objection had no substance; it was based on the fact that there was no consultation directly with them. Whether it was done just to delay who knows. We have been told that a decision will be forthcoming and hopefully will be in our favour and give us the increase which we believe is required by drivers now.


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e t a d p U ww.cabtradenews.org


There has been a lot happening recently in Brighton. Firstly new case law has been established recently in the Royal Courts of Justice. Now for a Licensing Council to revoke a drivers Hackney/Private Hire License, they must prove that they are no longer a fit and proper person to hold that license and not the other way around as was the case previously. (Merhdad Kaivanpor and Sussex Central Justices)

This particular case involved a cyclist who several weeks after an incident with a private hire vehicle, contacted the Licensing Council informing them of the incident, which they claimed they had no previous first hand knowledge of, despite the owner of the vehicle notifying the police within one hour of the incident. It transpired that when the driver was eventually charged, and before the case went to Court, the Council revoked his license prior to the court case. As the driver previously appealed to the Magistrates Court (who upheld the Council`s decision to revoke it) and lost, his Solicitor and Barrister argued that the Council had wrongly interpreted the Canterbury case and gave him the right to go back to the Magistrates Court to


have his appeal reheard. Both Judges upheld the appeal, so now new case law has been established.

Cyclists are a major problem in Brighton, even more so since we had a Green Council – many of whom rode a bike and were in fact members of a cycling group called Bricycles. Last year we even had Solicitors on tap acting on a ‘no win no fee’ basis for many cyclists, so much so in fact, that the result is we now all have compulsory CCTV cameras. We recommend our owners to have forward facing cameras as well! Uber in Brighton Uber were given permission to have a Private Hire Operators Licence in Brighton on 23 October for a 12 month period only, at a commencement date of their own choosing. At the Public Hearing here in Brighton, their three man legal team gave verbal assurances that should they be issued a P.H. Operator`s License, they would only be using vehicles and drivers licensed by Brighton and Hove City Council. Needless to say that within 24 hours of the meeting, London licensed PH drivers and vehicles were working in Brighton.


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Also, Uber said that they have a registered office in North Road, Brighton which the public would not have access to, yet were issued their Operator`s License to a registered address in Manchester on the 5th November 2015. Quite surprising really, as the Council stated that they can commence at a date of their own choosing, so possibly Guy Fawkes night was an appropriate date to start because if my memory serves me correctly, he also did not have much respect for Parliament either. Brighton Council has a disability policy second to none and our disability groups found it rather insulting that the Uber does not allow a disabled customer to specifically book a vehicle or driver of their choice e.g. W.A.V., a blind person with a guide dog or even a vulnerable single lady on her own that requests a lady driver. It's a good job that the rest of the licensed trade down here can provide an excellent service to ALL our customers!


WORLD-CLASS STANDARDS THREAT London Tories call to scrap black cab Knowledge test By Hajera Blagg, First published on the UNITE live website. unitelive.org The Knowledge – a test that all black cab drivers must take in order to obtain a licence – is an integral part in maintaining London’s world-class black cab trade standards. But now, the Greater London Authority Conservatives are calling for the test to be scrapped in its present form. The test requires future black cab drivers to learn 25,000 street names, 320 routes and about 20,000 landmarks of public interest, including popular tourist destinations, museums, police stations, parks, schools, churches and theatres. The Knowledge, which consists of a written exam and oral tests, usually takes two to four years to complete before drivers can successfully secure a licence. In a report by Tory London Assembly member Richard Tracey, published on December 11, calls were made to reduce the Knowledge requirements by two-thirds. Tracey argued that the test was a “major barrier” to entry in the trade and was obsolete in the age of GPS navigation. The report pointed to the ageing black cab workforce, saying that the Knowledge was deterring future drivers from entering into the profession. But branch officer for Unite’s London cab section Peter Rose argued that the Tories did not have any true concern for the future of their profession. “Once again, this is just another example of the Tory party’s agenda to deregulate taxi and private hire


services in favour of non-UK tax paying predatory invaders,” he said, referring to app-based services such as Uber. “London’s fully accessible taxi service is a tremendous asset to the city, which year on year voted the world’s best,” Rose added. “Why would anyone want to change that? “The idea that the Knowledge is a ‘barrier to entry in the trade’ is absolutely preposterous. It’s not a barrier to trade – it’s a qualification for the job.” “You don’t encourage more people into the trade by lowering standards,” Rose went on to say. “There are many other measures that can be taken to aid recruitment – employing more examiners, removing associated fees , or creating apprenticeship programmes and bursaries similar to what’s available to students.” Rose argued that, as the most accessible mode of transport, the London black cab service deserves support. “All of our vehicles are fully wheelchair accessible, with 98 per cent of people in London being able to take a black cab,” he said. “That can’t be said for any other mode of transport in the city. That’s why what’s needed most of all is investment from Transport from London, not so-called reports that seek to destroy our profession and high standards.” “Unite the union will continue leading the fightback against deregulation and low standards, just as it did with the Tory’s recent Law Commission review and Deregulation Bill.”

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Time to t safety sta www.cabtradenews.org



Unite’s response to London Private Hire Review

It has been widely reported that Transport for London (TfL) have issued a follow up consultation to review the London Private Hire Regulations in response to the original consultation in the summer. You will have read many of the hysterical comments to the review in The Standard, Telegraph and from the Tory government, particularly Savid Javid, who threatened TfL not to be over regulatory of private hire and, in particular – Uber. Uber wrote to all of their users asking them to write to TfL opposing the regulations, but only after telling their customers of only a few of the proposals. It is hard to believe that Uber's customers would oppose fixed fares, prebooking to allow the disabled to make a booking with a wheelchair accessible vehicle, a fixed landline to allow for complaints or enquires, ensuring drivers speak English, have had proper training and are fully insured. If Uber told their customers about all twenty five proposals rather than a self selected three then their customers would have had an entirely different view. Through all of the nonsense that has been written the over-riding remit of the

review has been missed. This is passenger safety, first and paramount. This is dismissed in the minds of those that want to see the break-up of the traditional taxi and private hire trades. Regulations are seen as barriers not as something that is essential for public safety. The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) response says “Of course there is a role for regulation, especially where safety is an issue. But technologies, such as satellite navigation, cashless payment systems and user ratings platforms, have the potential to overtake the role of regulation, and safeguard consumers by empowering them with information.” We need to be clear, the regulations are being reviewed for the first time since 2002 and much has changed. It is right that TfL are looking at the best way to regulate all private hire services based on the last fifteen years of private hire licensing. This is about getting it right not an attack on any particular companies or methods of operating. For Unite, the important thing is to engage with the consultation and to use our influence with stakeholders in the London Assembly, MP's and public bodies


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to ensure that our voice and experience is heard. This includes working with other taxi trade organisations and the private hire trade where we can. The result of the summer consultation was to immediately introduce a number of changes. These include a topographical skills assessment for private hire drivers, disability awareness training, a new private hire complaints procedure and driver training. This was the result of overwhelming support for these measures in the original consultation. The second consultation follows on from proposals in the first consultation that have been further developed as well as a number of new proposals that were not in the first consultation. The full consultation can be viewed on the TfL website and Unite would encourage every driver to respond. We shall be publishing our full response online before the consultation deadline of 23 December. Below are outlined Unite's response to a few of the consultation questions. Our response emphasis that private hire numbers should be capped and the needs of disabled people are fully catered for in any regulations.

d p t en st hi

Q t m ch

Q w ti sp

Q a v fr m for

Q b k be

toughen andards


Q14. Specific requirement for an English Language test - perfectly sensible and Unite suggest a NQF Level 3 standard.

Q2. Operators must provide booking confirmation details to the passenger at least five minutes prior to the journey commencing - Unite fully support his proposal as drivers need time to plan a journey and nsure they have the correct pick up address. This proposal top the 'plying for hire' that is taking place now by private ire drivers.

Q15. Drivers to only work for one operator at a time - The norm everywhere else in the country makes it far easier for enforcement and compliance.

Q5. Operator must offer a facility to pre-book up o seven days in advance - This is what pre-booking means and will enable people to use the service of their hoice, particularly disabled people.

Q20. Hire and Reward insurance to be checked at point of licensing and must be in place for duration of vehicle licence - Essential that this is implemented. How can a driver turn hire and reward insurance on and off on a regular basis. Along with this it should be a requirement in London that only a licensed private hire driver can drive a private hire vehicle something that is in place outside of London. Hire and Reward insurance would be required at all times if that were the case.

Q7. Operator must have a fixed landline telephone which must be available for passenger use at all imes - This is a basic requirement to allow customers to peak to a member of staff, make bookings or complain.

Q24. Controls on Ride Sharing - Uber have now launched UberPool despite TfL saying they intend to explore measures to ensure that private hire vehicles cannot be used for ride sharing purposes in London unless there are very clear controls in place to protect the safety of passengers and drivers

Q8. Operators must not show vehicles being available for immediate hire, either visibly or virtually via an app - This proposal will remove vehicles rom the customers phone screen until a booking has been made. This will help stop touting and stop virtual 'plying r hire' taking place.

These are just a sample of the responses but everything is aimed at safety. Unite will be doing everything possible to make our voice heard, you can help, by joining Unite, downloading Unite's full response and putting your comments into the consultation.

Q10. Operators must specify the fare prior to the booking being accepted - The pick-up location is nown, the destination is known (Q11 proposal) a fare can e quoted. Many private hire companies already do this now.


Winter 2016




CAB TRADE More than just news from th Now you can now keep right up to date with what’s going on in the trade between issues by downloading our CTN app straight to your iOS or Android phone or tablet. The CTN App is more than just news, we wanted to create something that taxi drivers would be able to use throughout their shift. That’s why we asked the app’s developers at MASS1 to incorporate the CTN Message Exchange. So as well as the app’s main news feature, you can also use the CTN app to swap work info and micro news stories with colleagues either locally or nationally. We also wanted to save drivers time in their day. To do this we added major additional functionality by taking away the pain of writhing down every job and expense on bits of paper, fag packets or notepads that invariably disappear somewhere in the recesses in the cab. Which is why we’ve included the CTN Calculator. Once you’ve set it up you can start recording you’re shift activity, adding jobs and subtracting expenses, so you will always know how you’re day is going. The app will also work out your fuel to takings ratio to help keep expenditure in check. You can also use app’s menu to share and subscribe to Cab Trade News or become part of Unite the union using the join section of the app. Unite Cab Section are really pleased to add the CTN app to its portfolio and hope that it taxi drivers will find it a useful tool in their working day. We also welcome your input, please tell us

what you think or what you would like to see in future versions of the app by emailing us at ctn@unitecabsection.org But don’t forget, if you haven't got an Android or iOS smartphone or tablet, you can still keep up to date with the trade’s going ons’ via this magazine, our new website, cabtradenews.org and social media, @cabtradenews and Facebook.com/cabtradenews. CTN News: You can view the latest articles published to Cab Trade News and also other topic related news from external websites. Previously loaded articles can even be viewed when the device is offline. CTN Message Exchange: You can exchange messages with other drivers. We have various channels for different regions. The exchange works via Twitter and specific hash-tags. You can view tweets and use the app to connect to Twitter to reply. CTN Calculator: Please note: CTN Calculator data is only ever stored locally on your phone or tablet, Your Information is never passed on to any external severs or services. Clicking on the calculator tab will take you to an overview of your three latest shifts and more options to access older shifts. You can also create a new shift or view the statistics for all shifts created so far. Calculator input: After clicking on ‘New shift’ you will be directed to the calculator. You can input your Cash Intakes, Credit Intakes,


Winter 2016

Fuel Expenses and Other Expenses. This can be done once a day, e.g. at the end of your shift or several times during the day. Just click on the plus-button to add a new intake/expense. Clicking on the arrow next to the total of intakes/expenses will take you to an overview of all inputs created so far. Incorrect data can be deleted. On the bottom of the screen you will see an overview of your Total Profit and the percentage you spent on fuel. This is calculated in real-time. You can then save your shift and view the statistics to compare it to previous shifts. Statistics: The statistics give you a good overview of all shifts created so far. You can choose to view a weekly, monthly or yearly graph that will calculate your overall profits and give you a visual impression up’s and down’s. Settings: If you want to use the CTN calculator on a new or other device, you can backup your data and import it on another device. When exporting your data, a csv file will be sent to your email address. This can be used for your records. Activating the ‘daily reminder’ will enable daily push notifications that will remind you to use the calculator. Remember, your Information is never sent to any external servers or services.


NEWS APP he Unite Cab Section


Winter 2016


TEMPORARY MEASURES SEEK TO EASE PRESSURE Following trade pressure by Unite cab section and others. TfL have finally given way to reason and seen sense by agreeing to issue temporary licenses to drivers who are renewing. TfL press release Temporary measures will be introduced for existing taxi and private hire drivers by the end of November Drivers must have applied for DBS certificate at least three months prior to licence expiring Transport for London (TfL) announced that, from late November, it will introduce temporary measures for existing taxi and private hire drivers if their Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) results have still not been returned. The measures are a response to the impact that current delays at the DBS can have on drivers waiting for their licence to be renewed. Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks are the responsibility of the Home Office and individual police services. The Mayor is ensuring every effort is made to reduce waiting times for these important safety checks, with the Met drafting in around 60 additional members of staff to help. TfL has already taken a number of steps to ensure that licenced drivers aren't stopped from driving because of delays, discussing the issue with the Home Office and seconding a number of staff to the Metropolitan Police Service to help process applications. The new measures will further ease pressure, whilst ensuring that the high standards required from drivers are maintained.

To be eligible for the temporary measures, drivers will have had to apply for their DBS at least three months prior to the expiry of their previous licence. Drivers receive a renewal pack, which contains details of how to apply for the enhanced DBS check necessary to continue their work as a licenced driver, from TfL four months before the expiry of their licence. The temporary measures will only be available to drivers applying to renew their licence – as these drivers will have previously undergone a DBS check – and will initially be limited to two weeks in length. In the unlikely event that their DBS certificate is delayed further, drivers can apply for a renewal. Drivers from both trades who are applying for a licence for the first time will not be eligible, however TfL will continue to escalate these cases on their behalf. The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: "The last thing we want to see is London's taxi drivers out of work. These temporary measures are the most effective way of tackling the immediate issue, alongside a dramatic boost to staffing levels at the Met. I am confident that this approach will ensure that


Winter 2016

drivers are able to get back to work as soon as possible while maintaining public safety." Garrett Emmerson, TfL’s Chief Operating Officer for Surface Transport, said: “We are aware that a number of drivers have been unable to work due to the delays in receiving their DBS certificate, and that these delays are affecting them and their families. “These new measures will help these drivers while ensuring that the high standards required of drivers are maintained.” While the temporary measures are in place, TfL will continue to work with colleagues in the Home Office, the Metropolitan Police Service and the DBS to address the waiting times for DBS checks. As a condition of the temporary measures, drivers will be required to sign up to the DBS update service in order to prevent a similar situation occurring in future. As well as these efforts to minimise delays in the DBS system, TfL also launched a counter service earlier this year in order to assist drivers with any licensing queries or problems.

Goeshere TheHEADER Drivers’ Charter

BY JIM KELLY www.unitetheunion.org

UNITE DRIVERCARE – Protect Your Livelihood! For all taxi drivers an accident, illness or injury could mean the permanent loss of their licence. And no licence means no job.

Additional Benefits

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The Unite DCPC Course – only £39.99 per day

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Provided by Fitness First, members get a reduction of £4 per month on standard club rates membership fee and the normal joining fee is waived. Visit www.fitnessfirst.co.uk to find your nearest gym. Remember to show your Unite membership card when you register.

This is why Unite has developed DriverCare. It provides cover for drivers whose livelihood is affected by the permanent loss of their professional licence. It also provides other valuable benefits.

Unite runs courses at training centres all around the country so there will be one that is convenient for you. Each course is run by a professional trainer and is built around recognised industry standards. As a Unite member, you can take advantage of our special discounted rate of only £39.99 per day which includes all course materials.

Drivers and their families can benefit from the following: £7,250 cover following Loss of Licence due to injury, disability or illness.

Up to an additional £15,000 if you join the Supplementary Loss of Licence (TopUp) scheme.

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Up to £30,000 for death or permanent disability following an accident at work.

Drivercare members can get big savings on glasses and eye tests from Vision Express. You can download vouchers from the Unite web site to obtain:

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Financial support for legal costs incurred while working as a professional driver.

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Help with legal costs and consequential hardship following being charged with certain traffic offences.

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For details go to: www.visionexpress.co.uk/unite

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Unitetheunion1 22

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To take out Drivercare Cover, please contact your local Unite Office.

@unitetheunion Winter 2016





London Tories propose TfL take £43million advertising revenue from credit card cabs As well as saying the Knowledge of London should be scrapped Conservative London Assembly member Richard Tracey’s ‘Saving an Icon’ report says that, sponsorship should pay for the rollout of cashless payment technologies

“RECOMMENDATION #8 - Sponsorship should fund the rollout of cashless technologies in black cabs: Consumers now expect to be able to pay by credit or debit card for their purchases. Yet barely half of taxis currently take card payments. To ensure their uptake, the rental for card machines should be met by TfL on behalf of the consumer, just as they do for ticket machines in tube stations. TfL’s own costs should be met through incomes derived from sponsorship schemes attached to the card payment hardware and software. New York and Las Vegas currently utilise advertising inside their vehicles to pay for cashless technology, TfL could easily emulate this. ” The report even suggests how much as minimum could be raised. “Given £43.75m was generated through the sponsorship of the bike-hire scheme,

sponsorship displayed within taxis, which would be much more visible than that on hired bikes, should be able to generate at least this”. To achieve this TfL would probably have to award the contract for the equipment to only a few, or perhaps even one single supplier. The knock on of this will be to limit choice for the individual taxi owner-driver at a time when the trade is trying to achieve universal acceptance of credit cards in taxis. To suggest that Transport for London and by default the Mayor should profit from what is a trade led initiative can only be seen as provocative and insensitive in the extreme. Taxi drivers are already suffering traffic nightmares from a badly thought out implementation strategy for the controversial Cycle Superhighways, and the regulatory mess that is Uber and the like. Perhaps the ultimate insult a taxi driver is going to have to endure, will be made to sit in traffic and listen to an Uber commercial sounding out from their TfL ‘sponsored’ credit card equipment. This report so obviously follows the Tory party deregulation mantra. Something they pursued right through the last parliament. Firstly via the Law Commission taxi and private hire


Winter 2016

review, then latterly the Deregulation Bill. Imagine the mess our trade would be in if the Law Commission review had become law. Nationally licensed private hire (including Uber) operating at minimum standards, the result would have been even greater chaos countrywide. It’s interesting to note what Mr Tracey said after the Uber taxi meter court case: “The Uber app is not a taxi meter and the High Court has made the right call. But, TfL bosses need to make sure that the proposed measures in their own consultation do not stifle innovation. We need these hugely popular app based services to thrive. The consumer would be best served by lighttouch, common sense regulation. I urge the Capital’s businesses and workers to respond to TfL’s consultation to make sure the consumer’s voice is heard.” Mr Tracey’s report along with its Law Commission Commission cousin belongs firmly at the bottom of the history dustbin marked ‘bad ideas’. The report does not address the real problems facing the taxi trade at this time. Instead of focusing on the much needed greater regulation and enforcement of private hire to control numbers. Boris Johnson’s London Tories have followed David Cameron’s national party line and gone down the pro Uber deregulation route.

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But as all trade unionists know, we’re stronger together. We hope you’ll join us every day of the week.


Winter 2016

BY FRANCES WYHOWSKA, Community member

UBER: Unite Community member Frances writes to David Cameron MP I am writing to express my extreme disappointment in your government’s refusal to support proper regulation of minicabs (PHVs) in London. I am not alone in feeling utter incomprehension at your, the Chancellor’s and the Business Secretary’s bias in favour of an aggressive, non-taxpaying US technology company to the detriment of our own tax compliant and highly regulated PHV and black taxi trades. Many of your own MPs have similar concerns. You state that competition is good for the market and the public and no one can disagree with that provided that the competition has to comply with the same regulations as the existing businesses. However deregulating the entire industry would bring our whole taxi and PHV services into disrepute, as has clearly happened, for example, in Amsterdam. Your stance is not only decried by the drivers themselves, but also by related businesses. For example Gett is a successful transportation company that only uses black cabs in London, and is currently valued at US$300 million globally. Gett embraces and leads on technological change, but the company states quite clearly that companies operating as a taxi service must abide by the regulation.

There is no reason whatsoever why Uber should not play by the same rules, regardless of the extraordinary amounts of money they are spending on lobbying the media, the politicians and the public. Boris Johnson has requested a change in the law to facilitate capping the numbers of minicab licences being issued in London. The Government has rejected this, effectively preventing the regulators from being able to regulate. This is a ludicrous position, and it is impossible to view the decision as disinterested.

London, the pollution and almost daily accidents. Public safety is at risk: touting is at an epidemic level, illegal parking is rife and sexual attacks carried out by minicab drivers are on the increase. Equally depressingly, renewals of CRB checks have been badly delayed for the last two years: as a result the law-abiding members of the taxi and minicab trades have been suffering, unable to work. At long last, a few days ago, TfL agreed to return to the issuing of temporary licences, but this is hardly a cause for celebration: the situation should never have occurred in the first place.

The fashion for technology is giving some the perception that the black cab trade is old-fashioned. This could not be further from the truth. It was the first trade to embrace radio circuits, credit card payments, specific hailing apps and in addition is fully wheelchair accessible. The famous Knowledge of London test is not merely a test of memory, but also a test of character, from which many other professions could well benefit.

The Tories claim to be the party of hardworking people. When your own Business Secretary is quoted as saying that he would see off the black cab drivers in favour of Uber, I’m afraid that one can only surmise that your party represents the interests of US disruptive business models and the devil take the working man.

Cheap rides are attractive, but not at any cost. Large numbers of Uber drivers can barely make ends meet. The proliferation of PHVs is in large part responsible for the traffic chaos in

If you would like to join unite as a community member, please visit the Unite website: www.unitetheunion.org

At the time of going to press Frances was still waiting for a reply.

UNITING OUR COMMUNITIES fairness – justice – respect 25

Winter 2016


BY STEVE FRICKER, Branch Secretary, Unite South East Region Cab Section

Portsmouth Uber have launched in Portsmouth. There was little resistance from the trade who were aware of Uber’s application at an early stage. The belief in the trade, was that fares are already fairly low mainly due to fierce competition from a large private hire company, and so there would be little scope for further undercutting and profit taking by another private hire company. Despite £300 joining bonuses and guaranteed £10 an hour for those going over to Uber, they appear to have made a slow start. Southampton Uber have been granted a Private Hire Operator’s Licence. Nothing was mentioned about their application in trade meetings with the Council! The trade found out through rumours and very late in the day!. Questions were asked and it was confirmed that an application had indeed

been made. Unite got a four page objection ready within a week and submitted it to the Council. But it turned out that this was on the very day that the Head of Legal Services was possibly having ‘tea and cakes’ with Uber representatives and making the decision to grant their Private Hire Operator’s Licence ‘personally and lawfully under powers devolved to me’.

Unite agree that routine decisions need not be taken to committee, but here we have an international and very controversial company secretly being granted their licence! On its web site, Southampton City Council states that decisions are taken ‘openly, honestly and accountably’ but this decision was taken secretly behind closed doors. Although the Chair of the Licensing Committee appears to have been told about this, some of the Licensing Councillors were totally unaware that this decision was even being taken, and the trade were also


Winter 2016

unaware until rumours circulated during that evening the decision being taken. Unite are disappointed with the reaction of the local Hackney Association whose Chair has recently said via text to Branch Secretary Steve Fricker ‘I do not know what you are trying to achieve’ and goes on to say ‘you are wasting your time, more drivers want it (Uber) in Southampton than those that don’t’. We don’t think so, and we will do our best to resist Uber, as have the Hackney Trade throughout the world! Brighton Unlike Southampton, power to grant Operator’s Licenses have not been devolved to Council officers. As a result the trade were informed of the application and had the opportunity to respond in a public forum. There was unity amongst the trade who amassed information about Uber throughout the world and presented this to the Council, along with well thought out reasons not to grant a Licence at the present time. However, the Council decided to grant Uber a one year trial period to start at a date of their choosing. Resistance to Uber is continuing and Unite is aware that Barristers’ opinion is being sought in Brighton Generally we are astonished that these Licences have been granted in such apparent haste. Although it may be true that more Councils have granted them, than those that have deferred a decision, it remains a fact that there is an ongoing Private Hire consultation taking place in London. Many of the contentious issues such as ‘e-hailing’ are being looked at. Even Uber appear worried as they have launched an on-line petition ‘help save the Uber you love’!

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ANNOUNCES TWO TO EASE GRIDEL From the TfL press office MAYOR AND TFL LAUNCH NEW TEAM TO CRACK DOWN ON CONGESTION A new team of Road and Transport Enforcement Officers is being deployed to key traffic routes across London to crack down on illegal or inconsiderate behaviour and other problems that cause congestion. The new 40-strong Transport for London (TfL) team - that will rise to 80 by next Spring - will help deal with problems such as illegal stopping or unloading of deliveries, which can cause delays to drivers and bus passengers. It will work closely with the TfLfunded Metropolitan Police Roads and Transport Policing Command, which was launched by the Mayor in January and with 2,300 officers, is the largest policing command anywhere in the country. The team will help to move unlawfully stopped vehicles, issue Penalty Charge Notices to illegally parked vehicles and clear unnecessary or poorly set-up roadworks. It is the first time that TfL will have its own officers who will have the power to direct traffic around congestion on London's roads. This includes issues such as breakdowns and collisions. They will also access real time information and data and send

intelligence back from the street to TfL's control room.

timing or consolidation to reduce the impact of deliveries during peak times.

Mayor of London, Boris Johnson MP, said: `This is one of a number of targeted actions we're taking to tackle congestion and reduce delays on the roads. In January we launched the Met's Roads and Transport Policing Command and this new team will work closely with them to help keep London moving. They will play a key role in tackling problems that lead to tailbacks and take a zero-tolerance approach towards inconsiderate or illegal behaviour that can cause unnecessary gridlock.'

Leon Daniels, TfL's Managing Director of Surface Transport, said: 'This new team of officers is being deployed to actively solve the problems that cause delays for drivers and bus passengers. These are often caused by inconsiderate behaviour, like illegal stopping or parking in bus lanes, and the new team will tackle this head on - adopting a zero tolerance approach to obstructions that cause congestion.

The ten key locations the team will be deployed are on roads that between them carry 110 different bus routes and are used by half a million bus passengers, in addition to 300,000 car and taxi passenger journeys every day. The team will be alerted to congestion build ups both through TfL's network of traffic cameras and through utilising the 'eyes and ears' of the almost 25,000 bus drivers, who are calling in any issues to the TfL control room so that they can be reacted to swiftly and intelligence can be analysed to prevent problems from recurring. In addition, they will work with businesses along the routes to help improve the way they receive and manage deliveries, giving advice on re-


Winter 2016

'We work hard to keep London's traffic moving every day, through our state of the art traffic signal technology, Traffic Control Centre and innovations in social media. Having more people on the ground will deliver an even better service to all of London's road users.' The new team is complemented by the up to the minute real-time journey information TfL provides to advise road users of congestion and to suggest alternative routes. The @TfLTrafficNews Twitter feed, which this week gained its 500,000th follower, is an immediate source of information about traffic conditions across London. The TfL website continues to be updated regularly with month-by-month breakdowns of the build programmes for all TfL schemes, showing the locations of different phases of the builds and the areas where traffic may be affected.



O NEW MEASURES LOCKED LONDON TfL is already taking a similar zero tolerance approach to issues that cause congestion at the Blackwall Tunnel. In 2010, alongside the Metropolitan Police and Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA), a dedicated enforcement presence was established as well as additional over-height vehicle detection equipment and penalties for drivers running out of fuel and causing unnecessary delays. Since starting the initiative, there has been a 32% reduction in collisions, incidents and events causing congestion at Blackwall Tunnel. TfL's open data policy also enables app developers to access real time data feeds on current disruptions and planned works, as well as traffic cameras across the road network, to produce travel information apps to help road users be able to plan their journeys and avoid disruption.

areas where there are known traffic delays. In the future, the technology could be used to provide real-time updates on incidents across London's road network. Messages will be displayed on around 200 taxis fitted with the electronic boards using GPS technology to ensure that the information is accurate and up-to-date. Garrett Emmerson, TfL's Chief Operating Officer for Surface Transport, said: `This trial is an innovative new way to reach road users in London and keep them informed of traffic conditions. Using the Capital's fleet of taxis to get real-time traffic information out will inform other drivers of any disruption on the network, helping them to avoid the most congested routes. It is one of many ways we are

TAXI ADVERTISING SIGNS TO TACKLE CONGESTION IN THE CAPITAL Taxi-top digital advertising boards are to display traffic information in an innovative trial aimed at cutting congestion in London. Initially, targeted messages will inform road users of traffic levels at 40 to 50


Winter 2016

focusing our attention on keeping London moving, particularly during the current success-driven boom in construction seen across London. The trial is the latest in a range of initiatives TfL is undertaking to keep traffic moving on London's roads. As well as this, the use of road side digital signs on key corridors keeps drivers aware of traffic conditions, allowing them to take alternative routes to avoid disruption. SCOOT technology, proven to reduce delays by up to 12 per cent, is also continuing to be expanded across the Capital.

UNITE TAXI www.cabtradenews.org


Unite Taxi Education has been delivering both the VRQ in the Introduction to Taxi and Private Hire Industry (QCF) and the Road Passenger Vehicle Driving Taxi and Private Hire (QCF) qualifications for the past nine years. Originally it was a three month trial but we are still going as strong as ever almost ten years later. The delivery of these courses has benefited drivers throughout the country. In this period we have completed over 9,000 VRQ, NVQ’s (QCF’s) and our course delivers all the information a driver needs to protect themselves and their passengers. The course structure is set out so it bests suits the driver by trying not to impact on his daily routine. The course covers health and safety, road safety, customer services,


vehicle maintenance, routes and fares, transporting parcels and luggage, transporting children including safeguarding, transporting passengers who need assistance including wheelchair accessibility and finally regulations which covers all the do’s and don’ts for the Hackney or private hire driver / operator. The project has evolved from a basic delivery model to an enhanced delivery model that has earned us the accreditation of Pearson EDI’s top centre in this field. By using our purpose built Training Cab for assistance and CCTV cameras for observation as well as many other assessment methods we can get the best out of the candidates and at the same time achieve the highest possible level of Education.


Winter 2016


Our Education Centre at Bute Street, Liverpool has three computer suites / classrooms and a classroom for delivery only. We also have the main office and a Library where we can conduct Guided Discussions in private. All our assessors have A1 awards in Assessing Candidates and PTTLE’s. We have 5 Onsite IQA’s and all our policies and procedures are in place. As part of the education structure of Unite the union we strive to deliver the best education package as possible so that everyone who learns with us leave with the ability to competently carry out their duties in whatever field they are employed in.

Colin Charles Williams He was born in 1923, in the Sylhet municipality of Assam province in British India, now Bangladesh, on a tea plantation managed by his father. He came to England in 1934. During the second world war, he joined the merchant navy and travelled all over the world. After the war, he studied art at Saint Martin’s School of Art and the Slade, becoming a school art teacher. He became increasingly interested in politics and gave up his teaching post to concentrate on his work with the communist party, and in the 1950s he became British Soviet Friendship Society (BSFS) general secretary. In 1969 he replaced Peter Tempest as the Moscow correspondent for the Morning Star and with his wife and 4 children (all aged under 8) travelled to Russia, where he spent the next seven years.

On his return to England in 1976, he continued as a journalist at the Morning Star and worked there for more than a decade. On retiring, he worked as the UK correspondent of the Berliner Zeitung and the editor of Cab Trade News,


where he worked until 2012. After a life given to progressive politics, his time at Cab Trade News was rewarding and stimulating, giving him the opportunity to continue making his contribution well into his retirement.

Winter 2016




Continued re and develope in the Black C The London Taxi Company unveils next generation zero emission capable Black Cab and announces further R&D investment in the UK British cultural icon re-created for modern era London’s next generation taxi revealed in the presence of Chinese President and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge Intention to invest additional £50m to expand new R&D facility in Ansty

maintaining recognisable key features, the new zero emission capable TX5 has been updated to reflect the needs of today’s passengers and the move towards a low-carbon economy. The prototype of the new model was unveiled in the presence of the Chinese President Xi Jinping, who is on a fourday state visit to the UK, and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

October, 2015 The London Taxi Company (LTC) recently unveiled the new design for its next generation zero emission capable Black Cab, the TX5, at a VIP event celebrating creative industries and design held at Lancaster House, London, as part of the state visit to the UK by Chinese President Xi Jinping. The TX5 design concept captures the spirit of past generations of LTC models such as the Fairway series and draws on more than sixty years of style that has made the Black Cab an iconic sight on the streets of London. While

In addition to a new light-weight aluminium body structure and composite panelling, the TX5 benefits from a range extended battery electric vehicle system ensuring no range anxiety and offering the reliability required by London’s Black Cab drivers. Whilst TX5 retains the iconic London Taxi styling, all its 2,000 components have been designed from the ground up, incorporating the latest and best of technologies. The TX5 has been designed with an overriding focus on the comfort of passengers and drivers. As well as


Winter 2016

accommodating six passenger seats and featuring improved driver leg room, the TX5 also heralds the return of the rear-hinged door to improve passenger access and, for the first time on a Black Cab, a panoramic glass roof. It has sufficient space for a forward facing wheelchair, helping to meet the travel needs of those with mobility issues. The TX5 is also equipped with WiFi internet capability and provides charging points for drivers and passengers in line with London’s reputation as a hub for tech innovation and connectivity on-the-go. LTC’s parent company, the leading Chinese automotive manufacturer Zhejiang Geely Holding Group, also announced its intention to invest an additional £50 million in its state-ofthe-art greenfield production facility in Ansty, Warwickshire, to turn the site into the group’s UK R&D headquarters. This will bring total investment in the new site to £300 million.

esearch ement Cab At 31,000 square metres, the Ansty facility will now be 50% larger than originally planned to accommodate the enhanced R&D centre and additional technical facilities alongside the production line to build the new TX5. In addition there will 6,000 square meters of office space. Li Shufu, founder and chairman of Zhejiang Geely Holding Group said: “We will have invested many years of development and more than £300 million in bringing the TX5 to market. This is testament to Geely’s commitment to the UK and The London Taxi Company, and demonstrates our leading position on new energy technologies, our loyal and talented workforce and our competitive edge when it comes to delivering pioneering design and technology. At the same time we are happy to play a part in furthering Sino-Anglo relations by investing in the UK and strengthening business and governmental ties between the two nations”. Peter Johansen, CEO of The London Taxi Company said: “We are hugely excited to be unveiling the TX5 prototype design for the first time and in such high company. The new vehicle has a wealth of new features,

which will all be tried and tested and then tested again to provide a perfect balance of timeless design driven by ground-breaking technology”. Designing a British Icon The new vehicle was designed at Geely’s design centre in Barcelona, led by British designers Peter Horbury and David Ancona and supported by a 200-strong team of engineers and designers based in the UK. Before Joining Geely, Mr. Horbury was Chief Designer at Volvo Car Corporation and prior to that he was head of design at Ford in Detroit.. He said: “We were acutely aware of the huge responsibility that comes with introducing a new generation of design for what is already an instantly recognisable and iconic vehicle. We wanted to retain those aspects that make the London taxi what it is and what it stands for, while ensuring that the new design reflects everything that a 21st Century vehicle needs to be. “We have sought to build on existing features such as the headlights, grille and strong roof lines. But we have also made sure that the new vehicle significantly builds on space and comfort levels for both passengers and drivers.”


Winter 2016

Ansty is the first new vehicle production facility to be built in the UK for more than 10 years. Ground breaking on the site took place in August this year and the new facility will begin trial production in 2016. The new Ansty site will work on nine potential product variants, including light commercial vehicles that could be developed for LTC and the Geely group. The investment will create more than 1,000 jobs and around 500 additional jobs in the supply chain. The TX5 will be launched in the UK at the end of 2017 and across international markets in 2018. For further information contact: Zhejiang Geely Group Victor Young +86 159 066 2033 Ashley Sutcliffe +86 186 681 450 London Taxi Company David Ollier +44 7966 389 656 Brunswick Group Michael Harrison +44 7834 502406 David Litterick + 44 7974 982455


Dear Cab Trade News readers. Do you know a London hotel called ‘Hotel Stuart’, which does not exist now as far as I can tell. I have a photo of friends, with this hotel in the background, dated around 1971 but no other information. The hotel is a four or five floor building at one end of a long terrace of similar construction. The street is fairly wide, at least three traffic lanes (not a dual carriageway), and is one-way. Opposite the hotel is a park; the friends are clustered around the park gate.


I’ve trawled Kelly's and Post Office Directories for 1971 and the years either side and nothing fits; I’ve even checked back as far as 1960 in case it was a sign from a closeddown hotel but not removed – nothing matched! I found similarly named hotels in Sussex Gardens, Coram Street, Cromwell Road and Leinster Gardens (spelled ‘Stuart’ or ‘Stewart’) but none of those fit the photo. I've also Googled the hotel name and its variations but no luck.

side of Hyde Park, but going through my London maps at home I can't see anywhere which fits that. I’ve look as far west as Fulham too but nothing fitted.

The ‘logic’ of the picture is that it is somewhere between Victoria (a line of roughly Buckingham Palace Road – Pimlico Road) and the south

If you can help, plesae email me at – kosminskyj@tssa.org.uk


Winter 2016

Do you or any of your taxi colleagues have any idea where ‘Hotel Stuart’ might have been? Thanks in advance, Joel Kosminsky



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The new TX4 Euro 6 is here. The new Euro 6 TX4 has arrived. Its 2.8 litre diesel VM engine has been designed to be cleaner, greener while delivering improved power output without impact on fuel economy. It has been engineered with a lighter chassis and drivetrain, offering an improved, smoother experience for driver and passenger. Sounds good, right? Book your test drive today and see for yourself.

TX4: A taxi from the people who only make taxis.

Book your test drive today: The London Taxi Company Call us now on 03300 245 944 Go online to London-taxis.co.uk Visit Brewery Rd, London N7 9QH

Ascotts Cab Centre Call us now on 0208 692 1122 Go online to www.ascottcab.com Visit Blackhorse Road, London, SE8 5HY




*Terms and conditions apply. Business users only. Finance offer available on Personal Contract Purchase, figures based on TX4 Elegance (automatic transmission) at £42,795 OTR with a customer deposit of £2,995 followed by 48 monthly payments of £714.79 (equivalent weekly payments of £164.95) plus an optional final payment of £15,735 based upon an annual contracted mileage of 30,000 (120,000 over term). Deposits can be made from £0 and paid on collection; the above is an example deposit based on the finance illustration. Three year plans are also available. Excess mileage charge of 6.0 pence (+VAT) per mile applies. If the vehicle is in good condition and has not exceeded the allowed mileage you will have nothing to pay. Finance is subject to status and is only available to UK residents aged 18 and over. Finance is provided by Black Horse Taxi Finance a trading style of Black Horse Ltd, St William House, Tresillian Terrace, Cardiff CF10 5BH. Other models are available. Fuel economy information: TX4 (Euro 6) in mpg (1/100km): Urban 25.7 (11.0), Extra Urban 41.5 (6.8), Combined 33.2 (8.5). CO2 emissions: 222 g/km.

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Profile for CAB TRADE NEWS

Cab Trade News Winter 2015/16  

Taxi trade news and views from working taxi drivers belonging to the Cab Section of Unite the union.

Cab Trade News Winter 2015/16  

Taxi trade news and views from working taxi drivers belonging to the Cab Section of Unite the union.