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The UK’s Premier Taxi Publication

Edition 1 | May 2019


TAXIS UNDER THE SPOTLIGHT PLUS: Exclusive news and views from around the UK taxi industry

Exclusive! London proposes to upgrade all Euro 5 taxis in bid to reduce emissions. Could it work for your city too? Find out more about the Nissan Dynamo taxi and watch TaxiPoint’s exclusive video preview here! TaxiPoint visits LEVC Ansty Park factory line. Exclusive photos inside.


May 2019 | | 3

TaxiPoint Chief Editor: Perry Richardson

TaxiPoint Joint Editor: Steve Kenton TaxiPoint Joint Editor: Michael Murphy

TaxiPoint delighted to offer the first interactive monthly digital taxi magazine Welcome to the first edition of TaxiPoint’s new digital magazine. We’re delighted to bring you new feature stories, the most talked about articles, letters and interactive debates and polls. TaxiPoint went live in June 2017 and we pride ourselves in bringing you the UK’s premier taxi news hub. Our website has now amassed over 1.5 million page views as we publish independently and impartially to all corners of the industry. Just like our website, this digital magazine will include a range of regional, national and global articles and discussions. Our aim is to be your go-to publication for reliable taxi news and information; and we’re extremely grateful for your support and readership.

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In this month’s edition we’re taking a closer look at vehicles in the taxi industry; focusing on the cars we drive and the impact of new technologies. Make sure you don’t miss next month’s edition by subscribing for free to TaxiPoint today. Thank you and be lucky,

TaxiPoint General Manager: Lindsey Richardson

Visit us online at: Write to us at: Advertising enquires at: The publishers reserve the right to refuse, withdraw, amend or otherwise deal with all advertisements without explanation. All advertisers must comply with the British Code of Advertising practice. The views expressed in this publication are not necessarily those of the publishers. All written and image rights are reserved by the author as displayed. Reproduction in whole or in part without prior permission from the publisher is strictly prohibited. Copyright brand TaxiPoint 2019. Creative Common image licenses displayed where applicable.

Perry Richardson TaxiPoint Chief-Editor and Licensed Taxi Driver

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May 2019 | | 4

In this edition, we focus on the vehicles we drive... London proposes to upgrade all Euro 5 taxis in bid to reduce emissions. Could it work for your city too?

The 100% electric Nissan Dynamo taxi. Read and watch more!

TaxiPoint visits the LEVC Ansty Park production line

Mercedes-Benz provides insight into possible electric taxi future Dacia offers exclusive Logan MCV Hire Purchase deal for taxi operators in the UK

Plus all the latest news from around the UK taxi industry Morals and ethics: The tangled web of investment and business practice within the taxi industry Depression is not a sign of weakness‌ it is a sign that you have struggled alone for too long Driver caught filming crash on mobile phone could spark shake-up on laws surrounding usage at the wheel Councillor says tougher laws need to be introduced to tackle out of control illegal plying for hire within Taxi industry


May 2019 | | 5

TaxiPoint LEVC Factory Tour: Ansty Park

Article written by: Perry Richardson

On a cold and wet afternoon I travelled across to Coventry in my own LEVC TXE to learn more about the vehicle I and other cabbies now call their ‘office’. The Ansty Park factory has served Coventry for many years and has become a welcome part of the community in that area. Whilst there’s no getting away from its huge domineering size, there’s a very personal feel as soon as you step in. Having put on my white coat and swapped my shoes for their own on-site boots to reduce any dirt making its may to the production line, I was ready to learn more. With roughly 1,600 TXE’s on London’s roads and many

Image: LEVC

more now appearing in cities across the UK, the TXE is looking to impress both drivers and passengers using the vehicle. Let’s take a look at how it’s built and what makes the taxi a distinguished “Super-brand” icon in the UK...

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1) Did you know there’s not a single weld on the LEVC TXE? The whole vehicle is bonded together using two different types of super strength bonds. This technology is a first for the industry and usually reserved for super cars like Aston Martin.

2) The illuminated light is ‘glued’ on to panels ready to be attached to the frame of the taxi.

3) The taxi frame moves along the tracks and the panels are added. A series of quality control checks are undertaken at each station before moving on. These checks are logged electronically, making sure all parts are attached and fitted correctly.

4) The taxi reaches the windscreen station. A robot glues the edges of the frame and uses suction pads to pick the window up. Two technicians guide the windscreen into place. At this point, the taxi has most of its electric wires placed within the cabin and is ready to meet its undercarriage!


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5) The aluminium chassis now moves on to an area of the production line where the battery, wheels and motor await.

6) Here we see the 33kW-h lithium ion 400V battery that powers a 110kW Siemens built electric motor for traction. Below that we see it rigged up and ready to power the rear wheels of the taxi.

7) The taxi frame hangs high in the air and is lowered on to its undercarriage. Note the built in wheelchair ramps still visible and the ongoing quality control screens at the station.

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May 2019 | | 8

8) The Volvo 1.5-litre turbocharged three cylinder petrol is ready to slide in. When the taxi has insufficient battery charge the range extender kicks into life delivering roughly 36 mpg.

9) Just a few cables, pipes and leads to attach first!

10) It’s starting to look like a taxi now. Engine and other vehicle fluids are inserted in to the vehicle.

11) The taxi is fully built and digital software is now all installed. Despite all the quality checks on each station, the taxi then undergoes a vigorous test on a secret outside test lap. Any last minute fixes are then made before being signed off and the taxi is now ready to join the ever growing fleet of EV taxis on the roads.


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Image: HJS

London proposes to upgrade all Euro 5 taxis in bid to reduce emissions. Could it work for your city too? Taxis not meeting Euro 6 standards could easily be upgraded without impact on the original engine, according to technology emission experts. As local authorities across the UK look to improve air quality in their area, older taxis have come under attack. In fact, in London, Euro 5 standard taxis registered as early as 2015 could see their vehicle licensing age limits cut from fifteen years to twelve, if current City Hall proposals are successful. According to Transport for London, Taxis are seen as a significant contributor to toxic air quality, and are said to be responsible for 16% of NOx and 26% of Particulate Matter (PM) emissions in central London. However, a company called HJS say that they can offer a cost-effective solution to reach Euro 6 standards by retrofitting a highly efficient SCR system without impact on the engine control unit.

Images: HJS


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“Tech could extend the age limits of current taxis” If the retrofit were approved by local authorities, the industry could see a swifter move to cleaner vehicles. In London alone there are roughly 4,300 taxis running at Euro 5 standard which could make the change and extend their taxi age limit by three years.

The system also includes the usage of serial OE SCR coatings and HJS ACU as a control unit, already used in several OE systems. The AdBlue dosing strategy is based on sensor signals (temperature, NOx) directly measured in exhaust flow and additional data from engine CAN (exhaust mass).

The retrofit would include the installation of two lamps in the taxi dashboard for MIL (yellow) and refilling AdBlue (blue).

Now for the technical bit! The vehicles will be approved according to the Energy Savings Trusts Clean Vehicle Retrofit Accreditation Scheme (CVRAS). You can find more on the technology by visiting the The retrofit centres around the exhaust system of the HJS Emission Technology website. taxi. Existing after-treatment components DOC and DPF remain and standard OE parts are used to create the dosing system, AdBlue tank and sensors.

LTDA ask City Hall to invest in Euro 6 conversions to speed up industry air quality improvements The LTDA have teamed up with HJS Emission Technology in a bid to covert both TX4 and the Mercedes-Benz Vito taxi from Euro V to meet a certified Euro VI standard. Following the £24 million funding boost for the taxi delicensing scheme in London earlier this year, the total funds available stand at £42 million. Under the LTDA’s proposal, the cost of converting each taxi under the LTDA’s proposal is estimated at £4,000 and therefore converting 4,500 would cost a total of £18 million out of the total £42 million taxi delicensing budget.

The LTDA believes its proposals would be the best use of these funds, helping the taxi trade significantly reduce its contribution to NOx emissions much earlier than under TfL’s age limit reduction proposal. The additional benefit of retaining residual values in existing vehicles would enable more owners to upgrade to ZEC vehicles in the short to medium term, and result in a fully ZEC fleet much earlier than would otherwise be the case.

Could this become the answer in other licensing authorities around the UK? Join the debate by hitting the red interactive polling buttons

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May 2019 | | 12

Launching Soon

Image: Dynamo Taxi

The 100% electric Nissan Dynamo taxi

The first 100% electric and emission free taxi is set for release in London this year, offering the industry an alternative choice for the first time since the start of the electric revolution. The Nissan electric taxi follows the LEVC TX eCity on the streets of London after new regulation put in place by Transport for London means all new taxis registered must be capable of emission free driving. The Dynamo All Electric Taxi, built in Coventry by Dynamo Motor Company, is based on a Nissan e NV 200 Evalia and can seat 5 passengers. Most eye catching for drivers is the retail price of ÂŁ47,995 after government subsidies/grants.

Image: Dynamo Taxi

The new electric taxi also has another huge selling point. Dynamo says it will cost less than ÂŁ30 per week on electricity and will become the most costeffective taxi in the UK.

Image: Dynamo Taxi


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£47,995 after government subsidies/grants

Running costs of 3p per mile

Image: Dynamo Taxi

If the driver has a home charger installed it will cost around £6 to do 174 miles, as opposed to around £35-£40 in current diesel taxis. That’s just 3p per mile, plus servicing is a fraction of the price too.

Taxi market, it helps to remove any anxieties regarding range that drivers perceive. Being the only 100% zero emissions Taxi, drivers who sit in their “office” for up to 12 hours will no longer be breathing in their own poisonous fumes.

With the changing world under pressure from Diesel engines emitting poisonous gases, the 100% electric “With proven reliability worldwide, running costs of Dynamo is at the forefront of the Taxi world with its around 3p per mile (home charging) the Dynamo zero tailpipe emissions. With predicted strong residual offers huge savings for drivers in the Taxi world.” values going forward, the Dynamo is also seen as a sound business investment. A Dynamo spokesperson said: “Dynamo Motor Company are respectfully and humbly entering into the London Hackney carriage market. The Dynamo Taxi isn’t for everybody, but for those who ply their trade in the City, for those who are open to change and can see the benefits of Electric, it fits perfectly.

Watch TaxiPoint’s exclusive video preview below

“The range of 174 miles really is a game changer in the Electric

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May 2019 | | 14

And as the launch draws closer, photos are leaked of the new Nissan Dynamo taxi...


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Mercedes-Benz provides insight into possible electric taxi future Image: Daimler

The taxi industry has had its first glimpse of the first purely battery-electric people carrier from MercedesBenz.

level of comfort in its interior and maximum functionality, including a diverse range of possible seating configurations.

The new Concept EQV vehicle was presented for the first time at the Geneva International Motor Show from 7th to 17th March 2019. Mercedes-Benz Vans plans to release a series-production vehicle on the basis of the Concept EQV, which will be presented to the public at this year’s Frankfurt Autoshow.

“Mercedes-Benz Vans is consistently advancing the electrification of its product portfolio. With the Concept EQV, we are now taking the next step. The concept offers all of the brand-typical attributes familiar from this segment which Mercedes-Benz customers have come to know, appreciate and also expect. As a family companion, a leisure-time adventurer or a shuttle vehicle with lounge ambience, the combination of these characteristics with a battery-electric drive mean

Just like its Vito predecessor, the EQV is expected to offer the basis of a new taxi in the UK. Technical highlights of the vehicle include a range of up to 400 kilometres and rapid charging to enable a range of 100 kilometres within just 15 minutes. What's more, Mercedes claim the vehicle offers the greatest possible


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the Concept EQV is a concept car with a future. And so we're particularly excited that we will soon be able to offer a series-production model on the basis of this concept", explains Wilfried Porth, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG. Human Resources and Director of Labor Relations, Mercedes-Benz Vans.

range of around 100 kilometres.

As a member of the EQ family, the Concept EQV also benefits from the comprehensive scope of the technology brand's electromobility ecosystem. This starts with comprehensive advice and a range of services, right up to the charging infrastructure and even a modified navigation system which takes into account the charge level of the battery. There will also The Concept EQV features a compact electric drivetrain be apps which, for example, enable control of the pre(eATS) on the front axle with an output of 150 kW. The entry climate control or cash-less payments at public electric motor, the transmission with fixed transmission charging stations. The dynamic exterior design with its new electro-look emphasises the focus on the powerful electric drive system. At its heart is a radiator grille with chrome inserts and an LED band – typical characteristics of the EQ design idiom. The whole exterior is painted in hightech silver while the bumper delivers an unmistakeable appearance thanks to large air inlets and two broad chrome inserts positioned towards the outer edges. LED headlamps underline the presence and sporty direction of the concept vehicle. This impression is enhanced thanks to the tidy profile as well as by the 19-inch lightalloy wheels which, even at a standstill, look dynamic. Image: Daimler

ratios, the cooling system and the power electronics form a compact and integral unit. Energy is supplied by a lithium-ion battery. Thanks to a capacity of 100 kWh, a maximum range of up to 400 kilometres is realistic. And with a top speed of 160 km/ h, it ensures superior driving pleasure even out of town. The concept vehicle can be charged at home using a Mercedes-Benz wallbox or a regular household plug socket. For even more flexibility, there is also a rapid charging function: within just fifteen minutes, the battery can be charged with sufficient energy for a

Image: Daimler

Could this be the taxi of tomorrow?

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May 2019 | | 18

Dacia offers exclusive Logan MCV Hire Purchase deal for taxi operators in the UK

Image: Dacia

Dacia’s Logan MCV is first off the rank with an with generous rear leg and head room. unbeatable new offer for taxi and private hire operators. With Dacia’s Taxi Hire Purchase offer, the well-specced Dacia claims that the UK’s most affordable estate car, Logan MCV Comfort Blue dCi 95 is available for just £246 the Dacia Logan MCV has even more appeal to taxi a month (subject to a £2,580 deposit), over 48 months. operators thanks to its market-leading boot capacity Useful features rarely found at this price level include: 573 litres with the rear seats in place, 60/40 split folding • MediaNav Evolution7” Touchscreen with Satellite rear seats and room for five adults to travel in comfort, navigation and Apple CarPlayTM and Android AutoTM compatibility •

Air Conditioning

Bluetooth ® Connectivity

Cruise Control

Rear Parking Sensors

Door Mirrors – Heated and Electrically Adjustable

Height-Adjustable driver’s seat and steering wheel


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Perfect for taxi fleets, the efficient new Blue dCi 95 engine offers exceptional fuel economy, producing 95hp whilst achieving 60.1-62.7 mpg and low emissions of only 97-103 g/km. The Logan MCV also benefits from low VED charges of £145 for the Blue dCi engine and has an insurance rating of 16E. The Logan MCV Essential Blue dCi 95 is also eligible for the offer, priced at £227 per month (deposit: £2,380).

Ben Fletcher, Head of Dacia UK, said: “There’s no other car on sale in Britain that can match the Logan MCV for value, equipment or space, while the added attraction of low running costs make it the perfect choice for taxi operators. With these latest competitive hire purchase rates, taxi drivers can take advantage of the reassurance of running a brand-new car, backed up by a manufacturer warranty, at a monthly cost that’s impossible to ignore.”

Image: Dacia

Image: Daimler

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May 2019 | | 20

Safe transport should be the number one priority, but Council seems to either ignore or deny that pirating occurs The Edinburgh topographical knowledge exam is an integral part of becoming a Cabbie as it is in many other cities. Cabbies can then keep their eyes on the road, using purely brainpower, instead of SatNav or any other GPS systems. The exam commands a pass rate of 90% on streets, pubs, hotels, schools, places of interest / leisure and high rise flats.

Whilst the students who study the city give 100% commitment to the knowledge, we would like our council to show the same commitment to those students who study for up to a year and more. We find students enrolled for the months exam not on the list of applicants. We are finding the time to get results to students taking much longer than before, and actually receiving the badge even longer. Results are filtered out in a trickle with some having no correspondence at all and having to call licensing to determine the outcome. All we want, are people into jobs that are available, much more quickly. Whilst we understand the problem to be understaffing, it was council who created the extra workload in more licenses to all and sundry in Private Hire Cars (PHC),

therefore, more staff should be hired. We feel the Knowledge exam is suffering for this. With so many visitors to our city, it’s imperative the driver knows the city. That’s just common sense. Some at the council seem to be more comfortable with untrained drivers stumbling their way about the city, clogging up the city centre causing even more congestion and pollution, and it seems that one company in particular is favoured.

“Whilst the students who study the city give 100% commitment to the knowledge, we would like our council to show the same commitment to those students who study for up to a year and more “


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PHC entry licence fees suddenly dropped with the arrival of an American based ride share company. Under guidelines, consultation should have taken place with the trade, but no consultation ever came. Having more cars looking for work causes a few problems. The already mentioned extra (2,000) cars in the city causing congestion and more pollution, is also coupled with the problems of pirating. This is a long standing issue but has now reached epic proportions and this in turn leads to a safety issue.

offered lone females a “Taxi” ride home and both were sexually assaulted when they thought they were safe in a “Taxi”. US tech firms often proudly boast of their aim and ability to “disrupt” the existing order, as if this were automatically a good thing. Regrettably, their disruption is all too frequently thoughtless of any consequence other than to make a fast buck for themselves. All they offer is a dystopian vision of an unregulated, unsafe, unfair, unstable and uncaring future in which the vast majority of their drivers scrape a living through low-paid work with zero employment rights.

Safe transport should be the number one priority with the Council but they seem to either ignore or deny that pirating occurs. With Private Hire Cars If this is the future of “taxi” transport for us and our acting as Taxi’s, we have already seen the problems that it causes. Some of the public are confused as to children then we should all be concerned. what a Private Hire Car can, or rather cannot do. This has lead to at least two instances where a car has

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May 2019 | | 22

Remixed image: giusy64

Morals and ethics: The tangled web of investment and business practice within the taxi industry There has been much debate over the last few years in 57,900 licensed taxi drivers, 223,300 private hire relation to morality or business ethics within the taxi drivers and 80,300 dual licence holders in the UK. industry. What seems to get forgotten within the taxi industry is On one side you have a group of individuals that although in any given region taxi drivers are attempting to dictate what should be best practice competing against private hire drivers, they are also within the industry, based on their own beliefs or competing against each other. moral judgement; while on the other side of the fence The commonalities that bind the taxi trade together is you have people within the industry baulking against the over-arching legislation pertaining to every aspect those individuals, preferring to tread their own path, of the taxi industry, the vocational qualification (in based on what they believe is best business practice some regions) obtained to allow an individual the for them as a sole trader. opportunity to work as a taxi driver, the need to make Right and wrong doesn't actually come into the equation. Any sole trader, in theory at least, does what is best for them, and them alone. To allow them to survive and flourish, another person’s business practice may not be conducive to any other individual.

driving a taxi economically viable entity, and finally the unequivocal requirement to make sure that the industry itself survives, so as to allow both current and future incumbents of the taxi industry are able to make some sort of living from the industry.

According to the Department for Transport there are

This of course must be extrapolated across the globe.


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The business model is relatively similar across the planet, there are very few deviations worldwide, therefore the problems faced by the industry are similar across the planet. Over the last half decade or so, we have seen the birth, expansion, and domination of app-based companies within the private hire industry such as Uber, Lyft and Taxify to name but three. The taxi industry of course has its own apps, with Gett, mytaxi and Taxiapp being the main players in London, although both countywide and worldwide there are many others which are linked to the taxi industry.

With ever-increasing regularity from the taxi industry across the UK, we see people shouting from the rooftops, ditch this app because it's unethical and have taken corporate investment or boycott this credit card system because their parent company has invested in Uber. The list of what the industry should ditch, because one group or another may not agree with, on any given basis reads like a copy of War and Peace. In fact some would seemingly have the taxi industry wind the clock back and return to driving a horse and carriage through the streets, although ironically enough, in London, you would probably never notice any difference in journey-time given the average speed of traffic across the capital.

The one thing all of these apps have in common is financial investment, whether it be from a number of Unfortunately, whether those within the taxi industry global corporations, or investment through driver like it or not, almost every aspect of our lives are subscription. Without financial investment these companies would not be able to function successfully. touched by behemoths such as Uber, directly, or indirectly, either via investment or via the use of a technological or media product. Whether it be the taxi you drive to the choice of filling station that you use, all are inextricably linked to companies which are seen as less desired in the taxi industry.

Here are a number of varying examples in relation to those links both within the industry as well as everyday life. Geely own LEVC, they also own Volvo, Volvo have agreed to supply 24,000 self-driving cars to Uber. Geely supply the TXE to the London taxi industry. Daimler own Mercedes-Benz, they have also been part of a group which has invested $175m in Taxify. Mercedes supply the Vito to the Rightly or wrongly, technology has started to over-ride London taxi industry, they are also investors in mytaxi. what are seen as traditional working values, but then in almost every industry that you can think of this has CityFleet are a subsidiary of Comfort Delgro, they been the case, and certainly with legislation being the operate Computer Cab in London as well as other cities across the UK. In January 2018 Comfort Delgro slow, ponderous beast that it is, invariably it will launched a tie-up with Uber in Singapore called always fail to keep up with technology, which UberFlash. seemingly changes on a daily basis.

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Feature Paypal are the owners of iZettle, they have just invested $500m in Uber. The PayPal and iZettle system are two of the credit card systems that have been approved by Transport for London to be fitted as fixed systems into the rear of taxis in London. Both PayPal and iZettle are used by many from within the taxi industry across the UK, while in London, Taxiapp has direct links with PayPal in relation to the system that they provide in conjunction with their payment solutions. VW invested $300 million in Gett, they have now launched their own ride-sharing app in Rwanda called Move.

“Rightly or wrongly, technology has started to over-ride what are seen as traditional working values” Esso, partnered with Tesco, in turn Tesco partnered with Uber via their Clubcard system, although this ends in July 2019. Esso are a company used by the taxi industry. Toyota are major investors in Uber technologies.

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UberEats, include McDonalds and Anheuser-Busch, a company whose brands include Budweiser, Stella Artois and Becks. No doubt most of us have all succumbed to the need for a Big Mac every now and again, or fancied a Budweiser whilst watching Manchester United on Sky Sports. In short, the tentacles of any corporate behemoth reach further than the value of our work ethics as sole-traders, so where does that leave us as sole-traders and ultimately businessmen and women. Everybody works differently, everybody has their own values, their own moral compass and their own businessnous. Unilateral agreement on working practices within the industry are almost impossible to impose because one persons meat is another persons poison, no matter how loud somebody shouts nothing will change that.

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If you have Sky television or read any News international publication, Rupert Murdoch owns a minority stake in Uber. Premier League Football, Sky and BT sport are part of a £4.46bn deal for the rights to show 160 games this season, again, linked to Murdoch and therefore linked to Uber. Troy Carter at Spotify, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, Airbnb co-founder Brian Chesky, Goldman Sachs, BlackRock, Morgan Stanley, are all Uber investors. It is highly likely that we've all used some of the products or services attached to any of these companies at some point. Other companies linked to Uber in some way, either via media representation or in some other format such as

What do you make of any of the stories covered on TaxiPoint in this edition? Join the debate by hitting the red interactive button to contact us with your thoughts and articles. Alternatively, email us at:


May 2019 | | 25

Taxi and PHV national database for low emission zones starts 1st May

Image: TaxiPoint

The legislation that requires licensing authorities to submit certain taxi and private hire vehicle licensing information to a central database came into force on 1 May 2019.

Further to my previous article on The Air Quality (Taxis and Private Hire Vehicles Database) (England and licence; Wales) Regulations 2019, it has now been confirmed by Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs • Whether the vehicle is a taxi or PHV; (DEFRA) that the regulations came into force on 1 May • Name of the licensing authority; 2019. • Licence plate number; and These regulations make it • An indication of whether it is a wheelchair Read the a requirement for accessible vehicle. latest LEGAL licensing authorities in England and Wales to taxi news Whilst the regulations have already come into force, upload information about here on DEFRA has indicated that it does not expect to go live vehicles licensed by them until January 2020 to coincide with the start of the first TaxiPoint to a central data base. charging Clean Air Zones in Leeds and Birmingham. The information on this DEFRA is yet to provide further guidance. database will be used by councils to implement and enforce ultra-low and clean air zones. The requirement is that the information will be uploaded on a weekly basis and includes the following information about licensed taxis and private hire vehicles: •

Vehicle Registration Mark;

Start and expiry date of the vehicle

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May 2019 | | 26

Depression is not a sign of weakness… it is a sign that you have struggled alone for too long.

Image: Pixabay

Article by: Lee Ward, Chairman of ALPHA In our industry we are under more and more pressure each week that goes by.

Saturation of the market, insurance and fuel costs • increasing, and Clean Air Policies forcing us all to • change to vehicles at a huge cost or face a daily charge • to take the paying public where they want to go.

Psychomotor agitation or retardation nearly every day Fatigue or loss of energy nearly every day Feelings of worthlessness or excessive guilt Impaired ability to think or concentrate, and/or indecisiveness

All this adds up, while our takings are going down. We • Recurrent thoughts of death, recurrent suicidal go to work knowing how difficult it is going to be to ideation without a plan, or a suicide attempt or earn the money to pay last week’s bills and then you suicide plan get a flat tyre or a breakdown just to twist that pressure screw a little bit more. The stress that we endure daily within this trade can and will get to most of us, don’t ignore it, talk to That my friends, is what leads to depression in men. friends, family or colleagues. This is a vital part of The symptoms to look out for, in yourself and your recognising that you are suffering, and us men don’t colleagues are as follows; share our concerns enough thinking that we should be • Significant weight loss when not dieting or tougher, well we aren’t, not you, me or any other man weight gain and changes in appetite out there. •

Insomnia or hypersomnia nearly every day


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Since writing this, a driver has reached out to me to share his experience since being robbed at knifepoint and I think his trauma should be shared also, because it verifies the message that is hopefully being spread in this article. “Hi Lee. I want to thank you firstly for your support in reply to me sharing my experience.

Before becoming a taxi driver, I worked within industrial fabrication and glazing industry. Where your hardened by having to get on with it regardless of the weather conditions. It gives the persona of being a hard man where nothing would affect your feelings. Cuts were a day to day occurrence where a bit black tape would suffice until you could visit A&E for stitches. I was referred by my GP to the South Team Mental Health at the local community hospital. There they had a job on their hands, but you've got to work with them to go forward. But this was to be a big barrier when it came to try to portray and explain details of feelings to the psychiatrist. It was not normal to show weakness in this way. After having several meetings with the psychiatrist, it did start to come out but still it was wrong or an alien thing to me releasing inner weaknesses. As she put it, you’re a man’s man who keeps it to himself. After some more meetings we went to discuss how to proceed with treatment, either continue with cognitive narratives with her that really wasn't progressing much, or with a colleague who carried out Eye Movement Desensitization Routine. A new way of working the brain to open hidden barriers. It’s like watching Kits lights from Knight Rider with David Hasselhoff. You first watch the lights move slowly L-R as you describe yourself in a safe place, sights,

smells any sounds etc. Then the lights are sped up and as you follow them thinking about your incident it opens both sides of your mind to a closed off memory. Through this we moved to different moments of the time of the robbery and it would bring up very surprising memories. I would remember that the guys jacket has a distinctive smell, that he took off his hat as he walked away from the car at the end, most amazing was when I was asked about my body flinching and moving away to the right. It was to get away from the knife that was being pointed at my eye. You would have tears appear during the few minutes of agitating fast lights as things came to light. Incredible stuff as it worked out. As it opened these locked memories it became less and less difficult to understand. Mentally exhausted after each meeting it was also a bit disorienting as an hour went by in minutes. I'd have to have a rest and a sleep afterwards. Eventually it came to a head when I said to her, I'd stopped and looked at the place of the robbery and said I was just unlucky to have been that person there at that time. Which she said was what she was looking for. To be recommended to anyone struggling after a traumatic experience. It worked for me it may help them. This insight might help your article or encourage others to seek help” A.S. from Scotland told me this and I thank him personally for sharing his experience with us all. I wish I could wave a magic wand and make everything right, but I can’t. I wish the government would take to task what’s wrong with this industry, but they won’t. We need to ask Local Councillors what they will do for our industry

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May 2019 | | 28

and pressure those elected to keep their word. After all, even the stranger that you are taking across town in all its their policies that are putting this pressure on the that traffic, talk to anyone, but talk! trade both locally and nationally.

“I wish the government would Take our poll: Is enough support offered take to task what’s wrong by your licensing authority to support with this industry, but the mental health of taxi drivers? they won’t.” Join the UK Join the debate by hitting the red interactive button

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London cabbies successful in raising £4,000 to help highlight “poor performance and attitudes” on mental health A group of London cab drivers have successfully raised £4,000 to produce a professionally edited and directed short film to highlight poor performance and attitudes on mental health in the capital. The drivers hope to produce a short film that will be directed by Hello Deer Productions and supported by the Mental Health Charity Silence of Suicide. Chris Johnson, a taxi driver in London, says via JustGiving: “Over the past few years I have seen London's "Black Cab" trade that we all care passionately about being systemically dismantled by Transport for London and the Mayor of London who seemingly doesn't understand (or doesn't want to understand) the pressures that their policies, poor performance and attitude towards drivers has created.

“Drivers earnings are plummeting much in the same way as the yellow cabs in New York City. “The reason for this is TfL and the Mayor are restricting taxi drivers access to certain thoroughfares, allowing exploitative competitors to undermine the employment and taxation laws while increasing the cost of the only licensable electric taxi in the market without providing adequate charging infrastructure - this is by no means where TfL and the Mayors poor performance stops as there are a plethora of policy issues that TfL and the Mayor are introducing that they knowingly will impact on the mental health of drivers and their families.”


May 2019 | | 29

Councillor says tougher laws need to be introduced to tackle out of control illegal ply for hire within Taxi industry Tougher laws could be introduced to tackle illegal plyfor-hire by private hire drivers in Glasgow after councillors spoke up about the dangers of entering a vehicle which has not been pre-booked.

insurance. Drivers are also known to often charge passengers a higher fare than they would have if booked through a licensed operator.

108 private hire drivers across Glasgow had their licence suspended for illegally plying for hire over the past five years but Cllr Alex Wilson, chair of the Licensing Committee, has said: "These are figures from the council’s enforcement officers so the number could well be higher."

“Ministers at Westminster are currently working on a Bill that would address concerns with the licensing trade and protect public health and safety.

Mr Wilson said: “The problem is more widespread than Ministers at Westminster are currently working on a bill it seems. These are figures from the council’s to address issues within the licensing trade and protect enforcement officers so the number could well be public health and safety. higher.

“If it is passed it will hopefully give licensing boards more powers to crack down on the problem. This would hopefully mean introducing tougher sanctions. “But this idea is in the very early stages. I think more will be done when we speak to the Scottish Government.” Mr Wilson continued: “Glasgow is ahead of the game and we are leading the way in tackling the issue, but pirating is not an issue unique to Glasgow.”

The figures, as reported by the Glasgow Live, are as follows: In 2014, 14 people were caught pirating. This increased to 17 in 2015. There was a slight dip to 11 in 2016 but figures climbed to 34 in 2017 and 32 in 2018. Mr Wilson believes the issue is "more widespread than it seems and tougher laws could be the answer to catching more perpetrators.”

He also has concerns over the lack of enforcement officers patrolling the streets trying to catch any offenders and has stressed his desire to have a more visible presence. Councillor Wilson said: “At the end of the day pirating is not just a council issue and I don’t think it is fair to say it is the council’s fault. We cannot enforce every single street in Glasgow.

Illegally plying for hire, also known as "Pirating" is “The chairwoman of Licensing at Edinburgh has where a private hire car or minicab, picks up passengers contacted the Scottish Government to see of there is off the street who have not booked in advance. anything they can do. If we work together we can put These can lead to a number of serious issues including pressure on them to make sure tougher penalties for pirating are introduced and for others who break the passenger safety and invalidation of the licences law.”

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April 2019 | | 30 Image: Dan Zen (Flickr)

Two men in custody following reports of Greater Manchester taxi driver abused by passengers referencing New Zealand terrorist attacks

New road rage statistics reveal cyclists and private hire drivers are amongst the top three most infuriating road users A new study conducted by HPI has revealed a quarter of UK road users have physically confronted another road user during a road rage incident.

One in five women also admitted losing their rag behind the wheel and even following a vehicle in a bid to vent their anger.

Millions of Brits have admitted to having a fiery encounter after losing their cool while navigating the ever increasing congested roads, with Van drivers, cyclists and private hire drivers considered the top three most "infuriating" road users.

According to the study, taking out frustrations after a bad day was the common cause of road rage along with getting overtaken by another motorist, tailgating and traffic jams.

Almost a quarter of motorists have also purposefully followed another car after a fiery encounter, The Sun first reported.

The worst offenders were men with 23 per cent admitting to physically confronting another driver.

The top three voted "most infuriating" road users were Vans drivers closely followed by cyclists and private hire vehicles.

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May 2019 | | 31

Government set to explore regulation around new transport modes which include e-scooters

Image: Jump

The biggest review into transport in a generation will pave the way for transforming the way people and goods move around our cities, the government has announced in its Future of mobility: urban strategy.

include smoother payment systems, better, more upto-date travel information and the use of innovative forms of transport, making travel in towns and cities more convenient, more reliable and cheaper.

The review will explore regulations around new types of vehicles including e-scooters and e-cargo bike trailers, how sharing data can improve services by reducing congestion, and how journey planning and payment can be made more simple. This wideranging review will also explore modernising laws from the 1800s that are providing a barrier to innovation.

Future of Mobility Minister, Jesse Norman, said:

Alongside this, the government is launching a competition for up to 4 new ‘future mobility zones’, backed by £90 million, to test ideas to improve journeys for people across the country. With 80% of people in the UK now using smartphones, ideas will

“We are at a potentially pivotal moment for the future of transport, with revolutionary technologies creating huge opportunities for cleaner, cheaper, safer and more reliable journeys. “Through this strategy the government aims to take advantage of these innovations; connecting more people and bringing big benefits we hope for both the economy and the environment.”

Do you think e-scooters are a good viable mode of transport where you work? Join the debate by hitting the red interactive polling button!

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May 2019 | | 32

Driver caught filming crash on mobile phone could spark shake-up of laws surrounding usage at the wheel texting, while driving, and was not breaking the law. In the latest case, Mr Barreto’s legal team argued that motorists could not be convicted for using mobile phones if they were not using them to communicate and was successful. Now however, lawyers for the director of public prosecutions (DPP) challenged that ruling in the High Court in London, which could force ministers to amend the law. Story from LTDA TAXI Remixed image: Roman Pohorecki

Lawyers for the DPP argued that the crown court judge misinterpreted road safety regulations. They claim that the rules “prohibit any use of a handheld mobile telephone while driving.”

A driver caught filming a crash on his mobile phone may force When stopped on the road, Mr Barreto is said to have a shake-up of the laws surrounding phone use at the wheel. apologised but at his magistrates’ court hearing he claimed Ramsey Barreto should have been able to avoid a conviction the officer was mistaken. They accepted the officer’s because he was not using it to communicate, his defence has evidence. In October, Mr Barreto again claimed. claimed that the officer was mistaken, and that his passenger had used the phone to film the scene. The 51-year-old was prosecuted for filming a crash on his phone whilst driving past an accident in Ruislip after being spotted by police. He had been on his phone to take a video for more than 10 seconds and was later found guilty. But the conviction was overturned because it was deemed that only using the phone to speak or communicate while at the wheel is banned. The ruling could lead to a rewrite of the laws around phone use, as it has now been reserved for a High Court judgement later in the year.

It follows the result of the test case, the Crown vs Eldarf, which was highlighted as crucial in LTDA’s TAXI magazine earlier this year. Judges in the Eldarf appeal ruled that the key words were “interactive” and “communication,” and the driver was using an internal function of the phone and not using an “external communication function,” e.g. chatting on the phone or

The Judge Simon Davis rejected that claim, but still quashed the conviction because his use of the phone did not involve “interactive communication.” Mr Barreto’s lawyers claim phone use restrictions only apply if the driver is “performing an interactive communication function,” which bans talking, texting and internet use, but not using a phone as a camera. The prosecution says, “the regulation is to guard against unsafe driving caused by drivers holding their phones and using them, thereby distracting themselves from proper concentration and control of their vehicles,” and said it was illogical. Lady Justice Thirlwall will give judgment on the case at a later date.


May 2019 | | 33

New UK wide minicab app could see Uber’s driver numbers dwarfed by three to one With the launch of Uber's IPO, a new player has entered up as many as 15,000 local minicab firms and their the UK's private hire market, which could see Uber's UK 250,000 cars as they look to take on Uber. This could be driver numbers dwarfed by three to one. worth at least £3 million., a minicab firm aggregator, which boasts 8,000 cab firms, comprising of 150,000 cabs across the UK, claims to provide better coverage in rural areas than Uber.

The rate of commission is significantly lower than Uber, with firms paying 10p per fare compared with Uber’s 30 per cent. It is claimed that the company’s presence will primarily be in the least populated of Britain’s counties.

42 year old William Berry, CEO and founder of, said: “This is a huge opportunity to bring together all the independent cab companies, and their drivers into one advanced digital hailing service."

According to, one of the major differences between them and their app-based competitors is the fact that a passenger’s contract is with the registered cab company, not the driver (as is the case with Uber). There is a clear pathway for recourse, should it be necessary, such as incorrect fare-charging, lateness and unacceptable behaviour.

Mr Berry added: "As we grow in the UK we intend to extend the proposition to the US and other Englishspeaking countries” plans to increase its market-share by signing

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May 2019 | | 34

It was in this actual Cabmen’s Shelter that the charity began back in 1928. It was originally located in Leicester Square, before being moved to Russell Square where it now proudly stands.

London Taxi Drivers’ Charity for Children look to raise £3,000 though Cabmen’s Shelter fundraiser

All food and drinks served on the day can be purchased by way of donation and there will be some great raffle prizes up for grabs.

had been in a London taxi, seen the sea and all the rides in Adventure Island.

Katie Simmonds, who runs the Russell Square Cabmen’s Shelter, will be holding another fundraiser to help raise money for the London Taxi Drivers’ Charity for Children (LTCFC) on Thursday 6 June 2019.

The charity are kindly being assisted by a team of If you would like to help raise £3,000, you can donate volunteer London taxi drivers who will be fundraising by online to the Russell Square cabmen’s shelter collecting donations and donating their tips for the day. fundraiser. Taxi drivers will be able to collect A5 posters (to display in their cabs) and collection tins from the Russell Square cabmen’s shelter from Monday 20 May.

What are the LTCFC fundraising for? The LTCFC are raising money for the 2019 Southend-onSea outing, where they take over 250 special needs and disadvantaged children to the seaside for the day. Their goal is to raise £3,000 through this fundraiser. For many of the children it will be the first time they

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May 2019 | | 20


May 2019 | | 36

Special needs kids treated to special day by West Lothian taxi drivers West Lothian taxi drivers thrilled dozens of children by treating them to a very special day out.

Taxis from across the county were decked out in all manner of vivid paraphernalia for the event. The West Lothian Special Needs Children's Taxi outing saw cabbies and their vehicles adorning all manner of costume and decoration. The cabbies and the children were getting passers-by joining in with the fun by soaking them with waterbombs, and super-soakers.

30 taxis set off from Scottish Premier League side, Livingston FC's ground, the Tony Macaroni Arena, and made their way through Bathgate and Whitburn, as

well as other parts of the district, before heading back to the football ground. The prize for the best costume of the day ended up going to a driver called Jamie for The Dark Knight, whilst the award for the best decorated taxi went to Stuart Legget for Buzz Lightyear's rocket.

LTCFC donate 180 new high visibility vests to East London Primary School On Thursday 9 May, committee members Colin Greaves, Malcolm Shaffron and John Godfrey from the London Taxi Drivers’ Charity for Children (LTCFC) visited Gainsborough Primary School to deliver 180 brand new high visibility vests, which were purchased by the charity for the school. The vests will ensure that the children and teachers are visible and safe when they are out on a day trip with the school. Their existing vests were very old but budget commitments meant they didn’t have the funds to replace them. This meant some year groups had to go out without wearing a high visibility vest if it was a whole school outing. Gainsborough Primary School in West Ham is a two form, inner city, inclusive school. They were shortlisted for a National Autism Award – a real acknowledgement of the excellent work that happens at Gainsborough, to support their 14 resourced provision places for children diagnosed with severe autistic spectrum disorder, along with other children within the school with ASD. Julie Carver, Lead teacher at Gainsborough Primary School said: “Children’s safety is the utmost importance, and is the highest priority when teachers and parents escort large groups of excited children on an excursion.


May 2019 | | 37

April sees second worst monthly petrol price rise since 2000

Image: Roman Pohorecki (Pixabay)

The average price of petrol rocketed by a shocking 5.44p a litre in April, making for the second worst monthly rise since 2000 and adding £3 to the cost of filling up an average family car. Data from RAC Fuel Watch shows a litre of unleaded shot up from 122.62p to 128.06p as retailers passed on wholesale price increases driven by a 5% jump in the cost of a barrel of oil which went up more than $3 to $72.50, having hit a high of $74.38 earlier in the month. It means April 2019 was officially one of the bleakest months for petrol prices in nearly 20 years. April’s price leap is second only to May 2018 when petrol jumped 6p a litre (5.98p) from 123.43p to 129.41p. It is also the third consecutive month of price rises, meaning unleaded has gone up 8.5p a litre from 119.54p to 128.06p since the beginning of February.

RAC Fuel Watch also shows the average difference between petrol and diesel wholesale prices was only a penny throughout April, yet the retail price of diesel was an average of 6p a litre more expensive than petrol throughout the month.

In terms of filling an average 55-litre family car, the unleaded price rise means the cost has gone up by £3 to £70.43 and for diesel by £1.65 to £73.54. The country’s four big supermarket fuel retailers – Asda, Morrisons, Tesco and Sainsbury – actually increased their petrol prices above the UK average. Their average for unleaded went up by 5.58p a litre from 118.62p to 124.20p (in contrast to the UK average price which rose by 5.44p), with diesel going up by 4.1p from 127.47p to 131.57p.

Motorway petrol went up 3.6p from an average of Diesel also increased by 3p a litre from 130.70p to 141.93p to 145.53p while diesel increased 2.79p from 133.70p. While not as great an increase as petrol it was 151.27p to 154.06p. still the 18th biggest monthly rise since 2000 – the largest being 8.43p in May 2008.

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May 2019 | | 38

Image: YouTube

Binman fakes injury from chauffeur vehicle in compensation attempt The Daily Mail reported that a Cambridgeshire binman rolled around on the floor faking an injury 'to get compensation' after a chauffeur manoeuvred around him. The astonishing video clip taken by a bystanders dashcam showed the binman fall onto the passing chauffeur’s Audi, before throwing himself to the ground in what seemed to be pain in Teversham, Cambridgeshire. The driver, Wayne Nightingale, was said to have been left 'totally sick' fearing he would lose his license and ultimately his job. However, Greater Cambridge Shared Waste service were quick to act on the footage captured and said the employee 'no longer works for us'.

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May 2019 | | 39

RMT taxi driver protests to continue in Birmingham as council scrap planned talks

“It is a scandal that today’s talks have been cancelled leaving our members angry and frustrated.”

Remixed image: dimitrisvetsikas1969 (Pixabay)

RMT taxi drivers resumed their protests in Birmingham earlier this month and for the foreseeable future, after the Council scrapped planned talks aimed at reaching a solution to the long going row over the bulldozing through of policies that would decimate the licensed taxi trade in the City and the standards of living of those involved in it. RMT members who are taxi drivers in Birmingham have been engaged in protest action in an attempt to persuade the City Council to re-open talks on how the financial impact of the councils policies could be mitigated so that the taxi drivers would not be plunged into greater financial hardship.

On 2nd May 2019 the RMT Midlands Regional Council President received a communication from Councillor Barbara Dring indicating she would be prepared to meet with the taxi drivers for further discussions at 9am on Tuesday 7th May 2019 - this was on the basis the taxi drivers suspended their protests which they duly did. However just 24 hours later RMT’s Regional President Raja Amin received a further email from Emma Rohomon, the acting head of licensing at Birmingham City Council, advising that no changes could be made to anything and that no one from the council would be attending any meetings – affectively wrecking talks before they even started. Further protests are planned as follows :-

Monday 13th May 2019 - 15.00 - 18.00

Tuesday 14th May 2019 - 15.00 - 18.00

Wednesday 15th May 2019 - 15.00 - 18.00

Thursday 16th May 2019 - 15.00 - 18.00

Friday 17th May 2019 - 15.00 -18.00

RMT General Secretary, Mick Cash said: “It is a scandal that today’s talks have been cancelled leaving our members angry and frustrated. “RMT taxi drivers will be protesting again today and calling for meaningful negotiations to be put back in place and alterations to the proposals that seek to address the issue of pollution in the city. “We want to see a fair deal for taxi drivers whose livelihood would be affected by the proposals.”

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May 2019 | | 41

Glasgow taxi driver suspended after ignoring wheelchair user who was next in line at rank

Taxi and Private Hire drivers are being urged to report drunk passengers heading to Gatwick airport for a flight

A taxi driver in Glasgow has been suspended after he allegedly ignored a wheelchair user who was next on the rank.

Sussex Police want to reduce the amount of drunken behaviour at Gatwick Airport and are urging taxi drivers to do their bit by reporting "Boozed-up" holiday makers on arrival.

The woman was left angry and upset after the taxi driver didn't even acknowledge her calls to be picked up and instead pulled away with a different passenger.

Image: Pixabay

Glasgow licensing chiefs announced the six weeks suspension of hackney carriage driver Dalbir Singh following complaints from horrified onlookers, who slammed his actions as being “completely unacceptable�.

The crackdown on drunk people flying is being headed by Sussex Police and Gatwick Airport, who want to make it clear that it won't be tolerated.

Image: Pixabay

As reported by My London, increased patrols are being put in place at Gatwick Airport as part of the new Project Disrupt, after 56 people were arrested at the airport last summer for being too drunk. Officers are hoping early signs of drunken behaviour will be spotted and reported by taxi and private hire drivers dropping off at the airport in a bid to weed out "hooligans" before any trouble ensues. Disruptive behaviour includes all forms of verbal or physical abuse, antisocial behaviour, criminal damage, smoking or vaping and drug use.

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May 2019 | | 42

Glasgow taxi driver suspended after ignoring wheelchair user who was next in line at rank

Image: Twitter Anne-Marie

Heavily pregnant woman pleads with minicab driver to stop using his phone behind the wheel but he refuses A heavily pregnant woman pleaded to her driver of Skyline Taxi's to stop using his phone while driving her on a journey on the A5 towards Bletchley. Fearing for her life and that of her unborn child, AnneMarie, from Milton Keynes, who is eight months pregnant, spotted her driver holding his phone while driving and then refused to put it down when she asked, leaving her in a panic. As reported by the Milton Keynes Citizen, Anne-Marie said she became very emotional at the fact he could have killed her and her unborn baby and himself. She said she was completely disgusted not only at the man's 'illegal driving' but also with his manner when asked to not use his mobile phone.

irresponsible driver, posting a picture of his blatant act of stupidity. Anne-Marie posted: “Yet another disappointing service from @Skylinetaxis in Milton Keynes...this was AFTER I asked for him to put his phone down and had informed the driver I’m pregnant.” The incident has been reported to the police along with a complaint against the taxi firm and Aylesbury Vale District Council (AVDC).

Anne Marie added: “The driver was aggressive the whole journey and it was very uncomfortable. ”It’s just ignorant and careless behaviour.”

It has been reported that the accused driver has been suspended by Skyline Taxi's while investigations take The 27-year-old mum-to-be took to Twitter to blast the place.


May 2019 | | 43

Private Hire firm that only allows female drivers and female passengers denied licence on the grounds of sexism against men Image: Public Domain Pictures

Glasgow City Council have thrown out a proposal to have a private hire firm which only uses female drivers and female passengers because councillors said it was “sexism” against men.

Councillor Robert Connelly added: “It is essentially sexism towards males. It doesn’t sit right with me.”

Ms Welsh was hoping to use her tenement flat as a booking office and has vowed to not give up in her Margo Welsh attempted to get an operators licence to quest to her granted an operators licence. start Rosy and Pink Cars, which she says there is a As reported in the Evening Times, Ms Welsh said: “I market for and came up with the concept after seeing was a wee bit intimidated, I felt they were laughing, the amount of sex attacks that are reported in the that my idea was ludicrous.” industry. She went on to add that she doesn’t feel the concept is Welsh said: “there’s definitely a need for this. Loads of discriminatory towards men and stressed that she has taxi companies are predominately male. It’s another spoken to many people about the idea, including option for women. beauticians, women at the supermarket and even “I spoke to my family who said do you want to be firemen, one of which said he would rather his driving men around at night? I wanted to be taking daughter catch a ride with a female driver. grannies to bingo and kids to school, rather than a stag Ms Welsh faced criticism from councillors for securing do.” a private hire car licence herself, only not to use it or Alex Wilson, licensing convener, said: “if it was the hand it back as required. other way round we would be looking at discrimination Bailie John Kane said: “You’ve not even bothered against females. reading your terms and conditions.” Ms Welsh “The whole not picking up male passengers is a admitted that was an “oversight”, when she couldn’t concern to me. I don’t think we should discriminate at afford the insurance. all.”

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May 2019 | | 44

The committee also questioned why the only He said: “I have appeared before many committees passengers that could use the service were those of up over the last ten years throughout the UK. The hearing to the age of 11. this morning was the most hostile and dismissive I have ever been before.” They also pointed out that the model would not fit in with driver conditions which state no passengers should be refused a journey, apart from in certain circumstances such as when they’re too drunk. Ms Welsh replied to the questioning by saying: “There had to be a cut off point, I’ve got a son and when they get to high school age they can be boisterous. It was for the safety of drivers.” Lawyer Stephen McCaffrey, representing Ms Welsh, disputed the committee’s concerns that conditions would be breached, by adding that councillors seemed to dislike the concept itself.

“I accept that there may well be concerns about discrimination given it is female only app but felt the manner in which that was voiced and expressed was unprofessional and entirely inappropriate to say the least.” A Council spokesman said: “It is a standard practice for licensing applications to be scrutinised and robustly questioned by committee members, particularly if there are concerns.”

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May 2019 | | 45

Edinburgh Taxi drivers sent home during spot checks for wearing 'inappropriate clothing' The official Road Policing Scotland twitter account has provided a breakdown of offences recorded during a taxi and private hire crackdown initiative near Waverley train station in Edinburgh. It was revealed that during inspections, 7 taxi and/or private hire drivers were sent home for wearing 'inappropriate clothing'.

The dress code lists what is considered ‘inappropriate’ clothing, which includes “tracksuits, denim type jeans, vests, t-shirts or sportswear with club colours, baseball caps or other sports hats and trainers or sandals”.

Licensing sub-committee convener, councillor Catherine Fullerton, said: “We work closely with Edinburgh City Council has provided full details on the Police Scotland to monitor and inspect the private dress code which they say must be followed by all taxi hire and taxi trades across the city, ensuring the safety of the public and that the high standards we and private hire drivers licensed by the council. have are maintained.” The local authority’s regulations state both private hire and taxi drivers must be wearing a ‘collared’ top and smart dress trousers, blouse or skirt while on shift.

Magistrates court tells long term taxi bilker “things catch up with you” and orders her to pay up A Magistrates Court judge told a long term taxi bilker “things catch up with you” and ordered her to pay a bill totalling £132.20. Paige Smith, 20 years-old from Grimsby, was given the order to pay after she admitted to bilking taxis with offences dating back more than two years. She admitted to dodging three fares in the Grimsby area which come to a total of £47.20. Ms Paige also admitted to failing to surrender to bail at court on 25th July 2017. The courts noted that the bilker was only a youth

when she committed the offences and skipped bail in 2017. After being arrested on warrant, Smith was brought before Grimsby Magistrates' Court in custody. According to Grimsby Live , the magistrates said: "The offences go back in time but these things catch up with you." Smith, who is unemployed, was told to pay £47.20 compensation and £85 costs. Delighted with the result, Smith said: "Did I just get a fine? Thank you ever so much. Thank you."

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May 2019 | | 46

Minicab drivers launch attack on London regulators for supporting the promotion of “The Knowledge of London” Private hire driver representatives have launched an candidates who have left or are in the process of leaving astonishing attack on Transport for London for showing the armed forces, where the Knowledge received a lot of a perceived bias towards the taxi industry over minicabs. positive attention. In tweets made by the United Private Hire Drivers (UPHD) they suggest the regulators impartiality is being brought in to question by their support in the world renowned taxi examination “The Knowledge of London”. Showing an FOI between the Licensed Taxi Drivers’ Association and the regulators, the UPHD wrote: “Extremely dodgy territory for @TfLTPH (Transport for London Taxi Private Hire). One minute TfL supposed to be impartially regulating and enforcing competing elements of the trade. The next minute, in smoky backrooms, TfL is secretly promoting one side of the industry and pouring in marketing resources from public funds”

“TfL has also finalised a brochure entitled How to Become a London Taxi Driver. The brochure includes specific case studies of a variety of Knowledge students from different backgrounds who have successfully gone through the Knowledge of London process. It also explains the benefits of becoming a London taxi driver and provides information on why our taxi drivers are considered the best in the world. This brochure has

Sadiq Khan, London Mayor, has publicly said that it will be in the regulators remit to raise the profile of The Knowledge of London and work with the taxi trade to help promote any ongoing or future initiatives. Responding to a question made by Assembly Member David Kurten surrounding predictions over future new entrant levels to the taxi trade by 2022, the London Mayor said: “It is not possible to predict with any certainty how many taxi or private hire drivers Transport for London will license during the coming years.

been made available to view and download on TfL’s website.

“TfL’s Knowledge team will be handing out the brochure at future careers events, and I encourage anyone else who has an interest in promoting our taxi trade to do “As I made clear in my Taxi and Private Hire Action Plan, the same. I am committed to raising the profile of The Knowledge “It is important that everyone within the taxi trade plays of London. TfL’s Knowledge team attended a number of their part in helping to promote the benefits of being a events, including a range of careers fairs and school London taxi driver to those looking for a new career. TfL career events, in order to promote the Knowledge as a is keen to work with the trade to help promote any career option. You may have seen that the team ongoing or future initiatives.” recently attended a TfL careers army event for


May 2019 | | 47

Images: Greater London Authority

London Mayor faces public grilling around wheelchair user access, driver mental health and taxi turning circle requirements The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, will face several questions from the London Assembly relating to the taxi industry during Mayor’s Question Time on Thursday 16th May.

mental health illness.

The Brexit Alliance Group Assembly Member will ask what he intends to do to increase support for drivers suffering from mental health issues and what Topics will include concerns around wheelchair user assurances he can give that their licences will not be taxi accessibility in the capital, mental health issues revoked if they report to TfL that they are receiving and the subject of the taxi vehicle turning circle. counselling or taking medicine for a mental health Assembly Member David Kurten, will grill the Mayor by condition. asking Khan if he will ensure that taxis will continue to Assembly Members Caroline Pidgeon and Keith Prince be able to serve wheelchair users in all parts of will both broach the contentious subject of the iconic London. This question comes as the taxi industry faces taxi turning circle. They will look to see whether the the threat of diminishing access to key roads within Mayor has considered reviewing the Taxi Conditions of London. Fitness, especially with regard to the turning circle Kurten is also keen to highlight the fact that some taxi requirement and what the justification for the retention of this policy is. drivers are in fear of having their licences revoked or suspended if they receive help or medication they may desperately need from their GP for issues relating to

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May 2019 | | 48

Next steps for UTAG to focus on summer time preaction legal letter to London’s regulators Article written by: Whilst the world's leading investments banks are eagerly awaiting a massive pay-day from pricing the Initial Public Offering ("IPO") of Uber Technologies, taxi drivers globally continue to grapple with how they shall meet essential financial obligations, such as mortgages and taxi rent. Regrettably, this is a tale of two cities that demonstrates the inequality of the world that we find ourselves working in since Transport for London made that fatal decision to grant Uber London Limited a Private Hire Operators license back in 2012.

already has their own experience of the damage caused, damage Uber couldn't have achieved if they hadn't been facilitated by Transport for London ("TfL") and it is TfL where we wish to focus the main part of our update and inform you where United Trade Action Group ("UTAG") are currently at with the next stage of litigation.

UTAG are in the process of drafting a Pre-Action Letter The London Taxi trade is living in a challenging era, to TfL setting out the trade’s complaints. This is an where technology companies are the new slave important letter, as it is the precursor to issuing a claim masters and the working classes have become slaves to against them. The letter should be issued to TfL by the the gig economy, an economy where Venture Summer and shortly thereafter, we will issue the claim. Capitalists and Sovereign Wealth Funds vie with each For reasons that should be obvious, we cannot disclose other to provide unlimited resources to the latest UTAG's strategy in open communication, but what we growth story, even though as we found out in Uber's S- can say is that we are committed to issuing 1 filing to the Securities and Exchange Commission proceedings as quickly as possible. However, to some ("SEC") that they have 'no route to profitability' and extent timing is dependent on additional financial that they've lost $10 billion in the last three years support. As a corporate entity, UTAG has a alone. Fair competition, we think not. responsibility to be able to meet financial obligations as they fall due (which could include adverse costs (the Whilst we can write all day (and night) about the other sides costs) and for those that aren't aware, legal deliberate harm that Uber have inflicted on the taxi actions are incredibly expensive trade in London, we are aware that every taxi driver


May 2019 | | 49

and require skilful management. This is new ground for the trade, we have one shot and we must ensure that we are diligent with our approach, although we appreciate that we are all very eager to get on with the action, we must strike a balance.

can confirm that Stakeholders have paid for all the marketing collateral and have provided their own taxis free of charge to display UTAG Supersides, meaning that UTAG gets the maximum exposure for the least amount of cost. Stakeholders are stepping up; drivers In relation to our fundraising we are now heading in to must follow their lead. We are often asked the names of Stakeholders that have supported UTAG and we our seventh month. We have a significant number of contributors and those contributions are adding up to a shall reveal who they are in our forthcoming publication 'The Gold Standard'. This shall be a free significant amount, however, we need to raise more printed publication providing further updates. funds to give us the best chance of seeing a court action through to its conclusion. There shall be no ‘paid for’ adverts in the publication and those Stakeholders who have contributed shall be “We need to raise more funds to given 'free space' as a token of our appreciation.

give us the best chance of seeing a court action through to its conclusion” Support from our original Stakeholders continues to be incredible and more Stakeholders have been joining, as they have started to understand what the UTAG movement stands for. Driver support has been steady, and our Advocacy Group have been doing sterling work signing up the rank and file drivers. However, collectively we need to encourage more drivers to join as we are a much larger collective group (23,000) then the Stakeholders and it would be churlish to put our futures in the pockets of others; we need to dig deep and you can play a further part by spreading the word on UTAG.

Stakeholders will receive free space based on the size of their donations, as it would be unethical if UTAG disclosed financial contributions without consent. If you do not see your garage, credit card supplier, meter supplier, media company or insurance company etc in the publication then that is because they haven't made a financial contribution. We are disclosing in this manner as a compromise, as many drivers wish to "support those that support us" but at the same time, we do not wish to be involved in any communication that is asymmetric with our aspirations of uniting the trade.

The vast majority of funds raised from drivers thus far are on hand, as they are sitting safely in our bank account.

The Stakeholders have paid all UTAG's direct costs of the Judicial Review ("JR") as well as a percentage of the adverse costs. Stakeholders funds are still coming in and we are hopeful that 100% of JR costs will be paid by them, which is testament to the commitment they have shown and are showing. We have received questions relating to marketing spend and again, we

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May 2019 | | 50

Charging Attitudes: What will it take for motorists to switch to electric cars?

Motorists share the same concerns as taxi drivers, with cost being the biggest factor Despite rhetoric and challenging climate change targets, practical measures are needed before mainstream motorists will be convinced to buy electric vehicles, according to the AA president addressing a BP Chargemaster conference in London on 8 May 2019.

An AA-Populus poll of 19,350 drivers found the biggest current stumbling block for more than one third of drivers is the higher cost of Electric Vehicles compared to their petrol or diesel equivalent.

cars should be electric by 2030 or 2035 or any arbitrary date but the reality is that much still needs to be done in terms of addressing the legitimate concerns of drivers regarding cost and supply of vehicles, as well as, improving range and the ease of charging.

“The big game changer for 84% of drivers will be when car manufacturers can offer the right car at the right price. Throughout history When asked ‘what would it take for you to choose a battery we have seen certain electric vehicle?’ the responses were: iconic cars break the • 35% – EVs cost the same (or less) than petrol/diesel mould and transform the • 33% – Real world range > 250 miles on a single charge market from the Model T Ford through to the Morris • 27% – A lot more charging points where I park Minor, Mini or Beetle. • 25% – Hundreds of rapid chargers along strategic roads Once we get a mass Join the debate by hitting market, stylish, affordable, • 16% – More choice of cars the red interactive button practical EV with a decent • 15% – Penalties for driving petrol/diesel become too range, it will sell like hot to contact us with your high cakes.” thoughts and views. Edmund King, AA president, said: “It is easy to say that all new

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May 2019 | | 51

Image: Twitter

“I am particularly excited by our plans for one of London’s first charging ‘hubs’ at Baynard House”

Image: City of London

The City of London Corporation has announced that charged simultaneously. the Square Mile’s first rapid electric charging point has Alastair Moss, Chair of the City of London been installed at Noble Street. Corporation’s Planning and Transportation Committee, The Noble Street rapid electric charging point is said: “I am proud to unveil our very first on-street rapid dedicated for use by the new zero-emission capable electric charging point for taxis. As licensed ZEC taxis (ZEC) taxis, which have been on capital’s roads since are being seen in increasing numbers across London, I January 2018. look forward to increasing the total number of These taxis can operate without emitting toxic tailpipe charging points in the Square Mile to meet demand. emissions, including nitrogen dioxides and particulate matter, which can cause asthma, heart disease and cancer. Transport for London (TfL) figures show that there are now over 1,400 licensed ZEC taxis operating in the capital.

“I am particularly excited by our plans for one of London’s first charging ‘hubs’ at Baynard House, which should limit idling as ZEC drivers spend less time searching for vacant charge points on our streets.

This news comes as the City of London Corporation’s Markets Committee recently agreed to install a rapid electric vehicle charge point in the Billingsgate Market public car park, which would allow two vehicles to be

more and more taxi drivers switch to new electric cabs.”

“We are dedicated to supporting the continued success A further 10 rapid charge points are due to be installed of the taxi and freight trade, as well as tackling vehicle by the end of the year at Baynard House car park at related pollution.” Queen Victoria Street, and are expected to be available Steve McNamara, General Secretary of the Licensed to both ZEC taxis and small freight vehicles. The new Taxi Drivers Association commented: “We welcome rapid charge points, part-funded by TfL, can top up a the new rapid electric charging points in the Square car’s battery within 20-30 minutes. Mile. Making it easier to charge on the go will help

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May 2019 | | 52

LEVC appoints new dealer in Glasgow The world’s most advanced electric taxi is now officially available to buy from Glasgow’s first franchised LEVC dealer. Opening last month on 16th April 2019, LEVC Glasgow, located at Taggart’s Volvo showroom in Hillington Park Glasgow will be the new home of the LEVC TX in Scotland’s largest city run by Head of Business Derek Muir and operating as part of Taggart’s Motor Group. With around 20 TX electric taxis already operating across Glasgow, the appointment of an official dealer will further support the adoption of zero emission capable taxis. With the TX, LEVC has completely redesigned the taxi, helping taxi drivers to lower their running costs, while offering passengers a more premium experience.

Gary Bowers, the first taxi driver in Glasgow to take delivery of TX last year said: “The most surprising thing about the TX is the savings on maintenance and fuel.” Overall, Gary has already saved “several thousand pounds” maintaining the vehicle and regularly saves at least £75 per week on fuel. The official arrival of the LEVC TX in Glasgow comes at a time when Scotland is heavily investing in improving air quality and encouraging the adoption of electric vehicles. Glasgow City Council has already begun to implement its electric vehicle strategy with £625,000 awarded by Transport Scotland to develop an existing charge point network – consisting of over 100 charge point locations. Meanwhile, Edinburgh has just announced plans to

Image: LEVC

install a further 66 charge points across the city. Drivers of TX will be able to make the most of any charge point on offer with the flexible charging options available on TX: both CHAdeMO and CCS are available. TX boasts a pure electric range of 81 miles and a total range of 344 miles including use of the ‘range extender’. Derek Muir, Head of Business of LEVC Glasgow said: “We are delighted to announce the opening of our new LEVC Glasgow business operating from our Volvo showroom in Hillington. Our dedicated team are on hand to provide information on the amazing technology behind the TX.”

Image: LEVC


May 2019 | | 53

Uber rival Ola looks to enter Brighton PHV market It's been revealed in Brighton and Hove News that Uber rival Ola are looking to enter the Brighton private hire market.

Taxi App Gett raise £120million from investors as it prepares for IPO launch Taxi hailing app Gett are gearing up for an initial public offering after it raised $120 million from private investors.

The private hire app company, who are looking for a 5 year licence, hope to begin operating subject to them receiving the go-ahead from the council. The company, which began its operation in India, currently operate in South Wales, Merseyside, Reading and Birmingham. Ola have stated that they are committed to using drivers who are licenced for the Brighton and Hove area, also adding that any driver who is dropping off in the town, but not licenced for that area, will be subject to restrictions which would mean that a driver could only complete a maximum of two pickups within a 24-hour period, if they are not licensed by Brighton and Hove Council. Both Unite and the GMB have made formal representation, with Andrew Peters, secretary of the GMB’s Brighton and Hove taxi section, saying: "competition is always welcome provided it is all on the same level." Concerns have been raised by Mr Peters over the fact that Ola do not consider themselves a "transport provider."

Image: Flickr

The news came in the same week as transportation rival Uber prepared to enter the public stock market. According to a report in the Haaretz, Gett said it raised the money in a mix of equity and debt capital in a funding round that valued the company at $1.5 billion. The current round of funding was participated by investors who are already existing shareholders, including the German carmaker VW, Access and its founder Len Blavatnik, Kreos and MCI.

The report confirms that the company’s IPO will either take place in London or Tel Aviv, where the firm is based. Gett CEO Dave Waiser said he would be looking to see how American rival ride-hailing firm Lyft performs after it went public in March at a $22.2 billion valuation. He said: “We will see how Lyft goes, we believe there’s a lot of public capital waiting for the [technology] darlings [Uber and Lyft], but we also believe that our business model makes sense.”

Mr Peters also highlighted the point that there is a huge responsibility on all licensed operators for the protection of the public. A panel of councillors will meet at Hove Town Hall to review the application at 10am on Monday 13 May.

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Private Hire

May 2019 | | 54

Uber drop a clanger on social media with highly offensive response to complaint Image: Twitter

The controversial ride-hailing app Uber found themselves in deep water with users on Twitter last month following a highly derogatory tweet from its support account. Uber Support who have over 370,000 followers on the social media platform was responding to a complaint when they accidentally dropped the offensive N-word into the conversation. Twitter user @realTheeCheney said in a tweet to Uber: “I had an awful driver today. I want my money back!!! Please respond so we can work this out”. Uber_Support responded to the complaint saying: “We’re sorry about that, Ni**er! Please send us a DM with your phone number with additional details of your concern, so we can connect” The tweet from Uber got nearly 2,000

retweets before the tweet was pulled and an apology issued saying:

“We’d like to sincerely apologize for the offensive tweet that Have was sent earlier. We’re your say investigating what Click here to comment on this happened to make story and feature in sure it doesn’t happen next edition again.”

Private Hire

May 2019 | | 55

Over the last couple of years Uber has been attempting necessarily look particularly rosy for Uber, as it to rebuild its somewhat tarnished reputation in the run subsidises the cost of rides and invests in a number of -up to the launch of its IPO. other transportation options. Despite the concerted efforts to repair the damage, Uber has, all but, pitched itself as an "Amazon for there was a lukewarm response to Ubers IPO launch on transportation" offering a wide range of services, Wall Street. including meal deliveries and freight shipping. However, Amazon lost money for years while investing Uber's shares fell by more than 7% on its first day of trading, opening at $42 a share, $3 below its IPO price to build a massive business. Now, it makes billions in profit each quarter. of $45, and ended the day at an even lower $41.57. Uber's performance puts them amongst a very select group of companies who have finished in the red on their first day on Wall Street after launching an IPO.

In June 2017 Uber replaced Travis Kalanick with Dara Khosrowshahi, who previously ran Expedia. Khosrowshahi maintained that Uber had to change.

Although Uber succeeded in raising $8.1 billion, that amount was still at the lower end of what Uber hoped to originally raise.

Since then, he has revamped the company, making key changes at executive level, as well as resolving some of the outstanding crises within the company. He also reevaluated the wisdom of Uber's global strategy.

Uber have become the benchmark to which a generation of technology start-ups look toward, and despite a huge amount of money being invested into the company, they have suffered unprecedented losses, which has made Wall Street very nervous. With Lyft languishing on the stock market since launching their IPO back in March, things don't

According to CNN Business it wasn't that long ago that Uber were hoping for Lyft to fail, however, with Lyft’s poor performance on the stock market being highly apparent, Uber may have become a victim of their rival’s failure.

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May 2019 | | 56

Images: Pixabay

In a landmark test of data rights at work under the • Daily recalculation of the overall driver rating and General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), introduced individual trip ratings in the European Union last year, four current and • A breakdown of what personal data is held by former Uber drivers represented by Worker Info various Uber entities in the UK, Ireland and the Exchange are taking legal action against the ride-hailing Netherlands app. Worker Info Exchange has separately sourced internal The drivers claim that Uber is failing to honour its documents which clearly evidence that Uber obligations under the GDPR to provide the personal management actively profile drivers using internal information it has about its drivers. software tools such as Zendesk and Toolshed. They say Despite the issue of a pre-action protocol letter the documents show that notes are maintained on threatening legal action in March, Uber is still not in established profiles of drivers and tagging tools are material compliance with its obligation to disclose to used for markers such as ‘inappropriate behaviour’, drivers their personal data according to the EU GDPR. ‘attitude’ ‘police’ and ‘missed eta’. Those profiles and According to the drivers involved after lengthy delays the personal data associated has not been provided. prior to the pre-action letter, Uber did provide a significant data dump on April 19th in response to the legal threat. However, despite that legal threat, the drivers claim Uber has failed to provide access to data of vital importance to drivers including: •

A satisfactory explanation of how personal data is used in automated decision making such as in the allocation of work e.g. telematics data

The drivers claim the firm is in breach of Article 15 of the GDPR which guarantees them the right to: ‘obtain from the controller confirmation as to whether or not personal data concerning him or her are being processed, and, where that is the case, access to the personal data.’ The claim is made against various Uber operating entities in the UK, Netherlands and Ireland.

The four drivers have asked Uber to disclose to them their data by making requests as far back as July 2018, but they have been met with delayed, inconsistent, The complete set of GPS trace data collected incomplete, piece meal and mostly unintelligible from drivers particularly for the period when: the disclosures before receiving more data on April 19. driver is logged off but with the app open, logged on and waiting for work and enroute to collect a passenger


May 2019 | | 57

It’s London up next!

Uber set for epic Supreme Court showdown as class action is filed in Australia Image: Mic (Flickr)

Global ridesharing giant Uber will face potentially one of Australia’s biggest class actions, as thousands of taxi, hire car, charter vehicle and limousine drivers and licence owners across the country join forces to hold Uber accountable for destroying their livelihoods.

owners from Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland and Western Australia, with more than 6,000 participants having already registered.

National Head of Class Actions, Andrew Watson, said the case had been about 18 months in the making, involving public meetings across the country, thousands of registered participants, and is backed by one of the world’s largest litigation funders, Harbour.

from thousands of taxi drivers in London which is also being funded by litigation funders Harbour.

Senior Associate at Maurice Blackburn, Elizabeth O’Shea, said there were no out of pocket costs or The highly-anticipated class action has officially filed in liability risk for registrants, with the costs of the case the Victorian Supreme Court by Australia’s leading being underwritten by a third party litigation funder. class action law firm, Maurice Blackburn Lawyers. The legal action is similar to that attracting interest

“Make no mistake, this will be a landmark case regarding the alleged illegal operations of Uber in Australia and the devastating impact that has had on the lives of hard-working and law-abiding citizens here,” Mr Watson said.

In reaction to the news in Australia the Cabbie Action Group said via Twitter: “We're delighted to hear that a class action has been filed by cabbies against Uber in the Victorian Supreme Court in Australia. That claim is also backed by Harbour, the funders for the Cabbie Group Action. We continue to prepare our claim here against Uber- more coming soon.”

“It is not acceptable for a business to place itself above the law and operate illegally to the disadvantage of others. We’ve got a strong case, a strong team and substantial support from thousands of drivers, operators and licence owners nationwide.” The class action covers drivers, operators and licence

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May 2019 | | 58


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