Showing posts with label IFTTT. Show all posts
Showing posts with label IFTTT. Show all posts

Sunday, 23 September 2018

Fake Taxi triggers police warning to only use Hackney Carriage or Prebooked vehicles

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Police in Baildon have issued a warning via Twitter advising the public to only use hackney carriage Taxis or prebooked private hire vehicles after they pulled over a Mercedes Vito "Fake Taxi" which had five paying passengers in. Traffic officers stopped the silver Vito, a model used by both taxis and private hire drivers, at around 11:50pm on Saturday 22. The five passengers had no idea that the driver and vehicle were operating illegally. They were informed of their situation and it was explained to them that because it was not a legitimate taxi or private hire, the journey would have no insurance cover if something were to happen. The tweet showed as follows:
September 23, 2018 at 03:52PM Michael Murphy THESE POSTS ARE NOT OUR ENDORSEMENT

Police seize illegal minicab which turned up at the scene of a accident

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Police in West Yorkshire attending a road traffic collision got more than they bargained for after seizing the minicab that arrived to take the crash victims away.
The bizarre event unfolded in Bradford on Friday when the victims of a crash booked a minicab to take them home. When the vehicle arrived police run a check on the Skoda Octavia displaying Uber signage and discovered that the car had been registered as SORN.
A vehicle declared SORN means the car was not registered for use on the road and illegal to drive.
The West Yorkshire Roads Policing Unit said via Twitter: “Taxi arrives to pick up following a RTC, unfortunately taxi is showing as SORN. New booking required”
On the same Twitter thread ride-hailing firm Uber say: “Here to assist!”
It has not been confirmed whether the vehicle was working for Uber.
(Image: @WYP_RPU)
September 23, 2018 at 09:56AM Perry Richardson THESE POSTS ARE NOT OUR ENDORSEMENT

Traffic levels in 2050 up by as much as half

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The government estimates that by 2050 traffic levels in England and Wales could rise by as much as 51% compared with 2015.
Even under the most conservative of those scenarios modeled traffic goes up by 17%.
According to the Department for Transport’s Road Traffic Forecasts 2018, van traffic is expected to grow fastest of all, anywhere between 23% and 108%.
The growth is accounted for by a growing population – hence more trips overall – and reductions in vehicle running costs.
Rising traffic is matched by a decline in average speeds.
The forecasts also suggest that by 2050 despite the rise in traffic, tailpipe CO2 emissions from road vehicles will reduce by anywhere between 17% and 76%.
One of the greatest uncertainties surrounds how autonomous and connected vehicles will change travel demand and vehicle utility.
Steve Gooding, director of the RAC Foundation, said: “The Government recognises that the big unknown is the impact of driverless cars. In the future we might all still want to travel as much as today but the overall number of cars licensed could fall as each one is shared more and does a higher number of trips.
“At the moment the average car sits parked 96% of the time taking up kerb and drive space.”
September 23, 2018 at 07:19AM Perry Richardson THESE POSTS ARE NOT OUR ENDORSEMENT

Saturday, 22 September 2018

Taxi driver caught up in Islington shooting

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A taxi driver has been caught up in a shooting in Essex Road, Islington.
Two people were injured and the rear screen of a taxi was shot out.
The shooting occured at around 9.30pm on 20th september on the section of Essex Road south of Canonbury Station.
Two people were injured, a 40 year old man and a 34 year old woman. The injuries were not life threatening and were believed to have come from flying glass.
The taxi driver caught up in the incident was not injured, although the rear screen was damaged in the shooting. Mike White took to Twitter and said:
Police are hunting a lone gunman. Anyone with any information has been asked to contact 101 quoting reference 8010/20September.
September 22, 2018 at 01:35PM Steve Kenton THESE POSTS ARE NOT OUR ENDORSEMENT

London’s largest electric taxi fleet expands to over 70 vehicles following order of 30 additional LEVC TX

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Fulham Cab Company is increasing its number of LEVC (London EV Company) TX vehicles on its fleet by over 70% following strong driver demand for electric taxis – with electric taxis now outnumbering diesels at the firm.
Having taken delivery of its first TX in March 2018, Fulham Cab Company has ordered a further 30 TXs to add to its current fleet of 41 TXs. As a result, Fulham Cab Company’s electric fleet is the largest in London and the largest TX fleet in the UK, with a total of 71 zero-emission capable vehicles. Having operated for over 12 years, Fulham Cab Company has seen demands from drivers change recently and many new converts to the TX and electric vehicles generally. Initially attracted by the reduced maintenance and improved passenger experience, increased demand from drivers to make the switch to EV has been a major factor in the firm’s decision to invest in further TXs. Following this recent order, electric taxis will now outnumber diesel taxis on its fleet for the first time. John Flynn, owner of Fulham Cab Company, commented “The response from drivers and passengers to the TXs has been unanimously positive, and I’ve seen a large increase in the number of drivers looking to rent an electric taxi. With the increased amount of TXs on the road, they are fast becoming the go-to choice for those looking to start a new rental and I’m excited to add a further 30 to my fleet.”
Commenting on the deal, Martin Crouch, the General Manager at LEVC’s flagship London dealership on Brewery Road, said “The customer service, aftersales experience and account management provided by the team here has played a significant role in supporting John through the transition to electric TXs, helping him to become not only the largest TX fleet in London but the largest in the UK. We’re very proud to be working with John and wish him all the success.”
September 22, 2018 at 12:45AM Perry Richardson THESE POSTS ARE NOT OUR ENDORSEMENT

Police appeal after taxi driver robbed at gunpoint in Bedford

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Bedfordshire Police are asking witnesses to come forward, after a taxi driver was robbed by a customer at gunpoint in Bedford on Sunday evening.
At around 10.30pm 16th September, the taxi, a silver Mercedes Vito van, collected a man from Christie Road. After requesting to be taken to a fast food restaurant and back, the passenger waited until the taxi was travelling towards Faldo Road, before threatening the driver and demanding money. The driver handed over a sum of money, before the offender then made off on foot. The offender is described as a black man in his early 20s, and is thought to have been wearing a dark hoodie with the hood up, with his face also covered. Julia Hinson, investigating, said: “This is clearly a very concerning incident and we are keen to speak with anyone who can help us with our enquiries.
“We are looking to track down this suspect as soon as possible, as he may look to re-offend or indeed have committed similar offences previously.
“I would urge anyone with information to get in touch with us, as is could be hugely helpful to solving this case.” Anyone with information is asked to contact police by calling 101, or visiting the force’s online reporting centre, quoting crime reference 40/25044/18.
September 22, 2018 at 12:36AM Perry Richardson THESE POSTS ARE NOT OUR ENDORSEMENT

Friday, 21 September 2018

"Monstrous" Taxi driver jailed for rape and multiple counts of sexual assault

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A taxi driver from Newbury, Berkshire, has been jailed for the rape of one woman and the sexual assaults of three others between January 1 and February 24 this year. Ruhen Miah, 42, pleaded guilty at Reading Crown Court, where he was described as a “highly dangerous man” by a psychiatric expert for the defence team. The father of three had been suffering from “adjustment disorder” after losing his restaurant business, according to Dr Michael Alcock, who said his behaviour was completely “out of character” labelling his actions as “monstrous”. Miah targeted vulnerable women who were intoxicated through alcohol and had trusted him to carry out his job as a trustworthy taxi driver. The court heard that three of Miah’s victims were attacked inside his vehicle late at night and a forth victim was taken to a flat of one of his friends, who was out of the country, and raped. Police were able to track Miah down after two of the victims came forward to report the attacks.
(Miah's Taxi which was examined by police)
Judge Angela Morris, sentencing Miah, said:
"You took vulnerable females into your clutches for your own sexual gratification. "They were defenceless and all were extremely intoxicated." She added his offending was "concerning and inexplicable". Miah pleaded guilty to three counts of sexual assault, one count of rape and one count of attempted rape. He was sentenced to 14 years in jail. All images courtesy of Thames Valley Police.
September 21, 2018 at 11:15PM Michael Murphy THESE POSTS ARE NOT OUR ENDORSEMENT

Major new cycle super-highway extension opens in the heart of London

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The latest link in the Cycle Superhighway network has opened today, CS6 will become the latest route to link Elephant and Castle to Kings Cross.
The Mayors office released the following statement:
A major new extension to Cycle Superhighway 6 (CS6) is being officially opened today by the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, Transport for London (TfL), and local boroughs. The extension to Cycle Superhighway 6 is a high-quality 2.5km route between Farringdon and King’s Cross, and the extension means that Cycle Superhighway 6 now connects Elephant & Castle all the way up to Kings Cross, passing through key transport hubs such as Blackfriars and Farringdon stations. The total length of CS6 is now 5km. The new route, delivered in partnership with Islington and Camden councils, further expands London’s growing high-quality cycle network, including connecting to the recently launched Quietway 2, and linking to upcoming cycle and pedestrian improvements on Clerkenwell Road, Judd Street, Euston Road and Midland Road. Expanding London’s cycling network is an important part of the Mayor’s ambition to tackle London’s toxic air and create healthy streets, as well as a vital step towards his Vision Zero goal of eliminating deaths and serious injuries from London’s roads. Sadiq’s bold aim is to increase, the proportion of people walking, cycling and taking public transport in London to 80 per cent of journeys by 2041, compared to 64 per cent now. GLA analysis shows that if every Londoner walked or cycled for 20 minutes a day, it would save the NHS £1.7bn in treatment costs over the next 25 years. The extension of Cycle Superhighway 6 not only provides huge benefits to cyclists with new segregated cycle tracks on Farringdon Road, but also improves safety for pedestrians. Following an initial consultation carried out under the previous Mayor, a number of important design improvements we made to the scheme under the current Mayor, including signal-controlled cycle crossings, additional pedestrian crossings, and further segregated cycle track. Overall eight junctions along the route have been transformed to reduce road danger. There are seven new pedestrian crossings with signals, including at all arms of the Charterhouse Street junction, and improvements at the West Smithfield / Snow Hill / Farringdon Street junction, formally one of the most dangerous in the Capital. Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “I’m delighted to be formally opening the extended Cycle Superhighway 6 - a high-quality route that enables people to cycle safely all the way from Kings Cross to Elephant and Castle, connecting key cycle routes through the heart of central London. “On top of new segregated cycle track, eight junctions have also been transformed to reduce road danger for pedestrians and ensure all road users benefit from the new scheme. “With London’s growing population and the continued damaging effects of air pollution on Londoners, it is essential we build the infrastructure to enable more people to walk and cycle as part of their everyday routine. “And I’m pleased we’re continuing our close relationship with Camden and Islington - boroughs which are committed to improving air quality and the health of their residents, while improving road safety for everyone in their boroughs.” Ben Plowden, TfL’s Director of Strategy and Network Development, said: “Cycling has real potential to transform how people travel around London, improving air quality and health whilst easing congestion and making journeys quicker. We’re determined to make sure that every Londoner has access to safe, high quality cycle routes and this new extension to CS6 will connect even more people to the heart of the capital and London’s expanding cycling network.” Councillor Adam Harrison, Cabinet Member for Improving Camden's Environment, said: “CS6 provides a continuous route for cyclists from Stonecutter Street – just north of Fleet Street – right up to King’s Cross. It has been delivered through successful joint working between Camden, Islington and TfL. “The route allows cyclists to travel north and south via quiet back streets through a combination of dedicated cycle lanes and improved access for bike users. When put alongside the new, wider pavements and new pedestrian crossings, all this adds up to greater safety for cyclists and a better environment for pedestrians. “Beyond King’s Cross, we next plan to allow cyclists to safely cross the busy Euston Road and travel along Midland Road to connect up to Kentish Town via segregated cycle lanes at Pancras Road and Royal College Street. “Schemes such as these reflect Camden Council’s great commitment to healthier, more affordable forms of travel like cycling and walking.” Cllr Claudia Webbe, Islington Council’s executive member for environment and transport, said: “This vital new superhighway extension removes traffic to provide a dedicated protected cycle lane, so cyclists can travel much more safely along main roads from King’s Cross, though Islington at Farringdon, to Elephant and Castle. “We want to make cycling in Islington as safe and simple as possible, with routes that are convenient, easy and direct, so anybody with access to a bike can cycle. “This has been a brilliant opportunity to work closely with Camden, TfL and the Mayor of London to create more enjoyable space for walking and enable this major improvement to London’s cycle network, which creates a much better route for cyclists to travel along main roads between the north and south of our city.” Dr Ashok Sinha, London Cycling Campaign’s Chief Executive, said: “London Cycling Campaign is delighted the extension to Cycle Superhighway 6 (CS6) is now open. Londoners can now cycle from Elephant and Castle to Kings Cross without encountering dangerous road conditions, taking away the fear of collisions that stops many more people from enjoying the convenience and pleasure of getting around by bike. “Today’s opening is a big step by the Mayor and TfL towards creating a London-wide network of safe, comfortable cycle routes, which will cut congestion, reduce air pollution and help Londoners live healthy and active lives. It is also an important step towards fulfilling the Mayor’s pledge to triple the mileage of main road cycle tracks during his term.” The extension to CS6 follows the recent opening of Quietway 2, a major cycle route connecting Bloomsbury to Walthamstow. The 12km route allows Londoners to ride safely through backstreets away from busy main roads and enables more people of different ages and backgrounds to cycle as part of their everyday routine. TfL is working in partnership with London’s Boroughs to build further extensions to the Quietway network, with plans for a network of 250km across the capital. Following the extension of CS6 and completion of the east-west cycle superhighway from Parliament Square to Lancaster Gate, TfL continues work on a number of other new Cycle Superhighways right across the capital. CS4, CS11 and CS9 will expand the cycling network to destinations including Greenwich, Swiss Cottage and Brentford, reducing road danger by avoiding conflict between the most vulnerable road users and motor traffic over the coming years. TfL and the Mayor are also tackling London’s dangerous junctions. The junction at West Smithfield and Farringdon Street has been improved as part of CS6, the transformation of Highbury Corner is underway, the cycle lanes on the eastern side of Stratford Gyratory were opened this week and the Mayor has recently asked TfL to bring forward the start date of work to make Old Street roundabout safer for cycling and walking.
September 21, 2018 at 01:43PM Steve Kenton THESE POSTS ARE NOT OUR ENDORSEMENT

Man who failed Taxi test decides to rank up anyway

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A want-to-be taxi driver has been convicted of being the driver of a Hackney Carriage vehicle without the appropriate licence after he was seen plying for hire on a marked taxi rank in Christchurch. Victor-Christenel Arghian, 46, failed crucial elements of the application process to work as a taxi driver in Christchurch which led to him being told he had not been successful in his attempts of becoming a hackney carriage driver. Three days after his failure, he was spotted by a council licensing officer plying for hire at a taxi rank and summoned to attend Poole Magistrates Court for a hearing. He failed to a show up and was convicted in his absence. According to a report in the Bournemouth Echo, Arghian was fined £440 and ordered to pay a £44 victim surcharge and £205,46 costs.

Boff: How I Will Save the Black Cab By Scrapping The Knowledge And Introducing Flexible Fares

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The licensing system for Black Cabs in London was created in 1662. It remains largely unchanged. Yes, the vehicle standards have changed and the extent of “The Knowledge” has grown to respond to the changing face of our great city, but the basic structure is still the same. Are you a competent person; is your vehicle suitable, do you know your way around London.
However, life has moved on a bit since the seventeenth century and with the huge acceleration of technology, particularly in the past ten years, as smartphones and apps have come to play such a huge role in the way people access and use services, the Black Cab trade needs to embrace change in order to survive. As Mayor of London, I will do everything I can to help drivers to do so, because standing at the side of the road taking selfies, while the icon that is the Black Cab dies, would be unconscionable. Competition from Private Hire operators using apps is not going to go away. It would be foolish to think so and being bought off for a few years by political gestures from the current Mayor is just kicking the can down the road. We cannot continue to support a model that isn’t working for drivers or for customers. And the current model for the operation of Black Cabs clearly isn’t working, or why are so many customers choosing to use Private Hire vehicles instead? London is growing. It will soon have 9m residents and Ken Livingstone, Boris Johnson and the current Mayor have all pursued policies to reduce the use of private vehicles. That’s sensible and logical because it simply isn’t possible to build enough road space to allow everybody to drive. So the use of shared services, whether that’s a short-term hire model for personal use through car clubs or the use of Taxis and Private Hire Vehicles is only going to grow. That’s why simply restricting the number of licenses issued for PHV use isn’t a sustainable answer. Black Cabs should be competing in this growing market on a much more level playing field. This is what I will do as Mayor to make that happen. Since the Conservatives on the London Assembly, under my leadership, wrote “Saving an Icon”, the Black Cab trade has moved to embrace card payments and the use of hailing apps. MyTaxi allows customers to plan ahead and book a Black Cab at a moment’s notice, rather than standing in the street in hope – something a young woman late at night might not want to do. These are welcome steps forward, but we need to go further. I see three key areas where the Mayor can support Black Cabs. The first is regulation. All Taxis and Private Hire Vehicles are regulated by TfL. And TfL is failing. I would separate the licensing function of TfL from its operational and investment arms and have this separate body subject to separate oversight by the London Assembly. Whilst it is a matter for the Assembly to decide how to do this, I would hope they would see the sense of inviting the LTDA to have a seat on that oversight committee. I would then look to change the specific regulations for drivers. The Knowledge, admirable a skill though it us, is an outdated concept. My mum was a book-keeper for the NHS. She could run her eyes down a column of figures and give the total, accurate to the penny, in a second. We now have Excel spreadsheets which do that for everybody. In the age of sat-navs with real-time traffic updates and re-routing options, which cover the whole of London, not just that part of it within a six-mile radius of Charing Cross, it simply isn’t needed. Black cab drivers shouldn’t have to take three years and spend three times as much as somebody getting a PHV license doing the equivalent of a degree to get their license And with over 70% of those taking it failing, that’s a terrible waste of the investment of personal time and money for those who do. That no other city in the world requires this level of detailed knowledge used to be a badge of honour, but as technology has moved on, it is now holding back those who want to join the ranks of the best drivers in the world. So I would require no more topographical knowledge of Black Cab drivers than are required of any PHV driver. The current test may need reviewing, so an appropriate, standard test can be applied to all applicants, and a standard for the type of navigation system used may also be necessary, but the requirement for the Knowledge as it is today would go when I am Mayor. I also want Black Cab drivers to embrace flexible fares. The current regulations set a minimum fare and a maximum mileage related rate. There is significant flexibility between those two figures and as the market for Taxi and PHV rides expands, Black Cabs need to move with the times and embrace the flexible fares that make the PHV operators model more attractive to many customers, if they want to capture a fair share of that growing market. Finally, I want to accelerate the change of the Black Cab fleet to zero-emission vehicles as part of a drive to clean up London. At the same time as threatening a blanket tax on older vehicles driving within the North and South Circular roads with the expansion of the ULEZ in 2021 – which, by the way, I would scrap - our current Mayor has exempted Black Cabs from this charge, currently operating within the Congestion Charge zone, for twelve years. This leaves many of the most polluting vehicles, whilst still legally on the road, operating in the most polluted parts of London. This is dreadfully unambitious. I want to work with the LTDA to identify the places where rapid electric charging points, possibly reserved only for Black Cabs, can be installed to accelerate the move away from diesel. As an interim measure I would like TfL to offer loans to Black Cab drivers who want to convert from diesel to LPG, which is far less polluting and offers lower running costs, from which the loans can be repaid. This might be especially useful to Black Cab drivers operating in the suburbs, where it is much harder to quickly develop a comprehensive network of charging points. Under the current Mayor, Black Cabs are dying a slow death. Sadiq Khan thinks he can buy you off for a few years and then when he’s gone, it will be too late. When I am Mayor, Black Cabs will have a future. They will have a fair share of a growing market. They will offer the flexible fares that customers want. They will have oversight on the system that regulates them. They will have embraced hailing and sat-nav technology and they will be the clean, green vehicles London needs – though they will of course still be Black Cabs!
September 21, 2018 at 09:03AM Andrew Boff THESE POSTS ARE NOT OUR ENDORSEMENT

Violent brothers jailed for Machete attack on Taxi

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Two machete wielding brothers who attacked a taxi while the driver and his passengers sat helplessly inside, have been jailed for more than four years at Chester Crown Court. Charles Truman, 25, and Matthew Truman, 22, chased the taxi after it’s passengers shouted towards them through the rear window, and as they stopped at a junction, jumped out their vehicle, a red Vauxhall Corsa, and ran over to the taxi carrying a large machete. The court heard how the passengers, in a panic, shouted for the driver to lock the doors. As the Truman brothers attempted to open the back doors, the taxi driver managed to drive free, but not before the brothers were able to take a swing at the vehicle, leaving it with an indentation in the paint and metal work. In a victim statement, the taxi driver said the attack was “very stressful” and has left him concerned about going to work. It has also left his wife worried about his safety. According to a report in the Chester Standard, the damage to the vehicle cost £1,391 and the driver lost three days earnings while repairs were undertaken. Charles Truman, who had 23 convictions for 35 previous offences, was sentenced to two years in jail with an additional month for breach of a current restraining order. Matthew Truman, who has previous convictions including burglary, assault, wounding and possessing an offensive weapon, was also sentenced to two years in jail. The incident was caught on CCTV along with dashcam footage, which was used to arrest both brothers.
Detective Constable Chris Scott, of Chester CID, said: "The Trumans instilled fear in an innocent taxi driver who was simply carrying out his job in taking a fare. “The attack was so frightening and violent it left the driver badly shaken and worried about what was going to happen but the incident could have led to people being harmed and seriously injured. “Due to the extensive CCTV footage showing Charles and Matthew committing the offence they had no choice but to admit to their crime and today justice has been served"
September 21, 2018 at 07:01AM Michael Murphy THESE POSTS ARE NOT OUR ENDORSEMENT

Cabbies up in arms over penalty points system

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A contoversial penalty points scheme, designed to punish taxi drivers who breach licensing regulation is to be introduced in Birmingham.
The scheme, which is already in operation in Leicester, has been heavily criticised by the RMT.
The implementation of the scheme could see Birmingham cabbies take to protesting against the city council.
Infractions such as smoking, mobile phone use, and even appearance, could all glean penalty points.
Birmingham City Council have taken action, citing a high level of non-compliance, public safety and upholding standards as the reason for bringing in the system.
The RMT have voiced concerns over the fact that the measures are punitive and that there are no changes proposed to assist the taxi industry.
It is alleged that enforcement has failed, with pirating in the area rife.
The scheme ductates that if a driver accrues 12 points in a 12 month period, the driver could face a 1 week suspension, with a second group of 12 points within the same time frame gleaning a 2 weel ban.
Upon approving the scheme, some committee members expressed concerns, one of which was the current situation in neighbouring Wolverhampton and the fact that drivers could just refuse to renew their Birmingham license, and instead apply for a Wolverhampton license and simply cross-border, thus leaving Birmingham with no way of enforcing legislation.

Angry cabbies bring Lisbon to a standstill

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Angry cabbies in Lisbon bought the Portuguese capital's streets to a standstill last week, in protest over new laws to regulate app-based hiring platforms.
Hundreds of cabbies descended on Avienda Liberdade, which is one of the main arterial roads in Lisbon, and parked their cabs in the bus lane.
The protest, which started at 5am local time, caused chaos for commuters during rush hour.
The new legislation, which has been nicknamed "Uber Law" has been drafted to control ride hailing apps such as Uber and Taxify.
Cabbies are concerned that the new law fives ride-hailing app providers too many advantages, and have asked for a fair playing field.
There are concerns that ride-hailing app drivers are not regulated to the same standard as the licensed taxi industry in Lisbon, with a more serious concern being that there is no capping system within the new legislation.
Taxis in Lisbon are tightly controlled and there are strict quotas which limit taxi numbers in any given area.
Uber had initially been banned in Lisbon, but that ban was overturned, much to the taxi industry's anger.
The government have issued a set of potwntial ammendments to taxi unions, but these have been deemed unsatisfactory.
Protests have also taken place in Porto as well as Faro in the Algarve.
It is estimated that around 1000 drivers took part in the protest in Lisbon.

Thursday, 20 September 2018

Borough with most private hire and taxi drivers calls for change

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The council which has licensed more drivers than any other area in England per population has backed calls to tighten up laws.
Joining calls from, the Suzy Lamplugh Trust and the LGA, Rossendale Council has said the rules need to be “updated” to be “fit for the 21st Century.
Rossendale Council in Lancashire licensed 3,756 taxi drivers last year, more than any other English council. The practise was picked up by The Times last week, after first raised it in October of last year.
Statistics put the borough ahead of major cities such as Manchester with 2,329, Liverpool with 2,224 and Birmingham with 1,338.
The borough has 53.7 licensed taxi drivers per 1,000 population, ten times as many as Christchurch, the second highest in the list, which has 5.3.
Fareed Baloch of welcomed the latest calls and said he would be writing to the Minister.
“This is not just about ‘outdated laws’, because a large part of the problem stems from the deregulation in 2015,” he said.
“What we need is a level playing field across England and Wales to stop drivers cherry picking cheaper, less thorough councils from which to be awarded a license.
“This should include mandatory enhanced DBS checks and CSE and terrorism awareness training.”
The Local Government Association, which includes representatives from the vast majority of councils and boroughs across England and Wales, has previously described the rules as ‘outdated and unfit-for-purpose’ and in need of updating.
Fareed Baloch of has been calling for changes, including significantly the repealing of the 2015 legislation which allowed a ‘race to the bottom’ for licensing authorities.
As we have previously reported, there has been a surge in people applying for licenses from authorities where the rules are not as tight and the costs are lower. We highlighted the huge rise in applications in Wolverhampton where numbers had gone up 383%.
Rossendale Council refuted claims made in the Times article and it is now supporting calls by the LGA for tougher laws around around taxi licensing, which they said ‘weren’t consistent’ across the country.
Cllr Jackie Oakes who holds the portfolio which includes public safety said: “As we made clear in our response to the Times piece, we have some of the most stringent licensing policies in the country which we started to introduce since 2016.
“But this is not consistent across the country.
“There are no minimum standards for taxi operators and drivers. Essentially the taxi licensing laws need to be fit for the 21st century and they are not.
“We support the LGA calls and would urge the government to get a grip of this issue once and for all.
“As well as to continue to lobby for these changes, we will take steps locally.
“Our leader Alyson Barnes will ask Lancashire district council leaders to see if we can agree a set of standards for taxis that the whole of Lancashire adopts and implements based on the work we have done here.”
The LGA said: “Councils have been making the case for our outdated patchwork of taxi laws to be updated with a taxi regime fit for the 21st century, and it’s now time for government to deliver this.
“The current regime is not fit for purpose – some parts of the law pre-date the internal combustion engine, let alone apps and smartphones – and it’s long past time we had taxi licensing laws that reflect the everyday realities of this industry, and its vital role in our communities.”
September 20, 2018 at 11:14AM Perry Richardson THESE POSTS ARE NOT OUR ENDORSEMENT

Fuel prices rise ten weeks in a row

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The pump prices of both petrol and diesel have risen for the tenth week in a row. Petrol now averages 130.4 pence per litre while diesel is at 134.4p. These are the highest prices for four years. Petrol has risen 12.2p in the past twelve months, whilst diesel is 14.3p more expensive than a year ago. The highest pump prices ever recorded were seen in April 2012 when petrol hit 142.2p and diesel 148p. Brent crude is trading at just below the $80 per barrel mark. Chancellor Philip Hammond hinted earlier this week that he may scrap the eight-year freeze on fuel duty in this autumn’s Budget. He told MPs his department’s analysis from 2014, which stated the benefits of the freeze offset all tax losses, would “have to be looked at again in the context of the economy today”. Fuel duty has been kept at a rate of 58p per litre since 2011. Mr Hammond said: “To support British households, the Government has frozen fuel duty for eight successive years, by April 2019 these freezes will have saved the average car driver £850 compared to the pre-2010 escalator and the average van driver over £2,100.” However, The Treasury still receives 60% of the pump price in taxation, a mix of fuel duty and VAT. Steve Gooding, director of the RAC Foundation, said: “The Chancellor rightly says that drivers have benefited from a prolonged fuel duty freeze, but we shouldn’t forget that for many people real wages have stagnated or even fallen over the past decade. “As it is, transport – and in the majority of cases this means running a car – remains the single biggest area of average household expenditure. “Wider Government policy also affects the cost of fuel through its impact on the exchange rate. The continued rise in pump prices is partly driven by the weak pound against the dollar.”
September 20, 2018 at 11:13AM Perry Richardson THESE POSTS ARE NOT OUR ENDORSEMENT

Yes, you can! Knowledge of London set to be promoted in schools

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A new booklet promoting the Knowledge to potential taxi drivers has just been published online.
How to become a London taxi driver has been compiled by TPH. It talks about the proud history of the profession in London and shows people how they can become part of that tradition going into the future.
Katie Chennells, Knowledge of London Manager at TPH explains: ‘Driving a taxi is a great, flexible career and the booklet is a really good tool for showing would-be taxi drivers what people already doing the job feel about it.’
The booklet contains chapters on how to apply to study the Knowledge, the different stages to learning, how the system of appearances works and what individuals need to do to be successful students.
There are also case studies with students and working cabbies giving their reasons for wanting to complete the Knowledge, and why they love being taxi drivers.
Katie and her team are now taking the printed copies of the booklet into schools and colleges to inspire the next generation of London’s finest.
September 20, 2018 at 07:27AM OnRoute TfL THESE POSTS ARE NOT OUR ENDORSEMENT

Taxi passenger falls to his death on M4 Motorway during row over cost of fare

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An inquest has heard that a man fell to his death on a motorway after getting into a heated argument about the fare of a taxi journey. 29-year-old Tony Pemberton was on a taxi journey home with his girlfriend after a night out drinking in Cardiff when he lost his temper over how much the fare was costing. The court heard that Mr Pemberton began “thrashing” around in the back of the taxi, hitting the roof of the vehicle several times. Pemberton’s girlfriend, Sarah Perkins said that “a red mist” came over her boyfriend and he started shouting and kicking the seats directly behind the driver. The court heard how Miss Perkins suddenly felt a gush of “cold fresh air” in the taxi. Pemberton had smashed the taxis rear passenger window during his fit of range. Perkins told the court: “He kept saying he was just going to walk. He was more angry than drunk. “At some point I felt cold fresh air inside the taxi. I was trying to hold on to him. “My grip slipped and he turned towards the back of the taxi and he was gone. I just couldn’t understand where he went.” The taxi was traveling at around 60mph on the M4 between Cardiff and Pyle, on November 11, 2017. Some motorists were unable to identify the obstruction in the road as being a person, due to the “drizzly and dark” conditions, and drove over Pemberton’s body thinking it may be a piece of wood. Mr Pemberton died from multiple injuries. Police believe the window was most likely to of come out in one piece because no loose glass was found within the taxi. The window was never found. Concluding the inquest, assistant coroner David Reagan, said:“The only way he could have left the vehicle was through the window. “I can’t answer whether he intended to leave. But I’m clear he didn’t understand the consequences of his actions.”

Could flying taxis be a reality. Public to be asked their views

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Flying taxis have been somewhat of a contentious issue to some, now the general public is to be asked their views as to whether they see these aircraft as a viable transportaional proposition.
A report entitled, Position Statement on Future of Flight, which was published by the Department for Transport's science and advisory council has suggested that congestion is an increasing problem on a global scale.
It is generally accepted that flying taxis would attract the wealthier members of the public, and therefore be seen as transportation with a very high price tag.
One of the other issues facing how the public would perceive this transportational "brave new world" is the fact that these aircraft would be fully autonomous.
There may well be a highly negative slant on the opinion of the general public given the cost to use one of these aircraft as well as the lack any human interaction in controlling the air-taxi.
The DfT is looking into how the government can play a role in the development of this and other major technologies.

Wednesday, 19 September 2018

York council allow taxi drivers to continue working without criminal record checks due to ‘serious’ error

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Some taxi drivers in York have been operating without valid criminal record checks in place due to a “serious” error by City of York Council. A report by the council’s third party auditors Veritau uncovered that the council had not kept up-to-date background checks on its drivers working in the area. Veritau said in a report: “Checks were out of date by several years and records had not been updated,” and that meant “a potential risk to the travelling public if drivers have not been vetted”.The criminal checks on new drivers entering the trade were however carried out in accordance to the council’s licensing policy.The report by Veritau goes on to say: “A criminal record check is an important safety measure and the policy dictates that this should be carried out every three years.”The report states that the auditors found checks on some of the councils drivers were years overdue and some records were simply not on file at all. The report also adds that “Around 400 complaints each year are made about taxis. Around half of these complaints over the last year have been in relation to Uber.” Neil Ferris, corporate director of economy and place at City of York Council, responded by saying:“We are taking this matter very seriously and have put additional resources in place to clear the remaining DBS checks and have made good progress with this.We work closely with the police to ensure any drivers who are believed to be of risk are dealt with immediately, regardless of their DBS clearance which only deal with past incidents.
“All drivers dealing with school contracts have been routinely checked.“Those drivers requiring a check have responded positively and to-date there have been no issues of concern.”

MP calls for an end to minicab cross-border hiring

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Edgbaston MP, Preet Gill is the latest in an ever growing list of MPs calling for an end to cross border hiring.
In a letter to the transport secretary, Ms Gill, has outlined concerns about drivers being licensed in one area whilst working in another.
A three vehicle crash, involving a cab which proved fatal, near Edgbaston last December, has prompted action from the MP.
The cab driver and his passengers were killed in the accident, and it was revealed after an inquest, that the cab driver had traces of cocaine and other substances in his body, although according to the crash investigator, this was not a factor in the accident.
In the letter to Chris Grayling, Ms Gill has echoed many other MPs in highlighting the dangers pertaining to cross-border hiring, including any given councils inability to enforce regulations on drivers who are operating from outside of their own licensing area.
This problems surrounding cross-border hiring are a direct result of the 2015 deregulation act, which many believe was an ill-thought out piece of legislation, and has been steeped in controversy.
The West Midlands Private Hire Association are supporting the Edgbaston MPs actions