Showing posts with label Taxi Leaks Editorial July 30. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Taxi Leaks Editorial July 30. Show all posts

Monday, 30 July 2018

TfL Hydrogen Bus Leak Closes The Aldwych 

One of TfL’s Hydrogen Buses, on the RV1 rout, has today put thousands of people in danger. 

The bus was reported to be leaking Hydrogen gas, which is highly flammable and in certain cases can cause serious explosions. 

The Aldwych has had to be closed off to vehicles and pedestrians, adding greatly to London’s congestion, while engineers from the bus company try to deal with and clean up the problem. 

A few years ago, a Hydrogen Taxi Cab was hit by a bullet in a street in Las Vegas, both passenger and driver were killed in the explosion and subsequent fire. 

The authorities there immediately band vehicles from using this type of fuel.

In London Hydrogen busses first introduced under leasing agreement by Mayor Ken Livingston, are currently band from routs using underpasses and tunnels because of the risks. 

Emergency services should be well practised in gas leaks in this area after the massive gas leak that closed Charing Cross station in January this year, followed by another major leak in Covent Garden in April. 

from Taxi Leaks

Turns Out Uber Had Yet Another Secret Program To Thwart Police Raids: Report

Uber is currently facing as many as five criminal probes over various schemes from the company’s earlier years under former-CEO Travis Kalanick, but could face more legal scrutiny thanks to yet another secret program unveiled Thursday by Bloomberg.

The ride-hailing company, well-known for its reputation to flout regulations, had a practice of stymying police raids by using a remote system it created called Ripley. From early 2015 until late 2016, Ripley was deployed as many as two dozen times to thwart police raids in foreign countries and thereby shield evidence from authorities, Bloomberg reports, citing three unnamed people familiar with the program:

The Uber HQ team overseeing Ripley could remotely change passwords and otherwise lock up data on company-owned smartphones, laptops, and desktops as well as shut down the devices. This routine was initially called the unexpected visitor protocol. Employees aware of its existence eventually took to calling it Ripley, after Sigourney Weaver’s flamethrower-wielding hero in the Alien movies. The nickname was inspired by a Ripley line in Aliens, after the acid-blooded extraterrestrials easily best a squad of ground troops. “Nuke the entire site from orbit. It’s the only way to be sure.”

Uber and other companies have reason to protect the kind of information it maintains, Bloomberg says, but the issue is that some employees “felt the program slowed investigations that were legally sound in the local offices’ jurisdictions.” And that could present yet another legal problem for the company.

Prosecutors may look at whether Uber obstructed law enforcement in a new light. “It’s a fine line,” says Albert Gidari, director of privacy at Stanford Law School’s Center for Internet & Society. “What is going to determine which side of the line you’re on, between obstruction and properly protecting your business, is going to be things like your history, how the government has interacted with you.”

There’s been vague mentions of the program’s existence in the past—a former employee in 2016 detailed an episode from a Montreal police raid that showed how Ripley could work—but the massive scope of the program wasn’t known until Bloomberg’s story.

For its part, Uber told Bloomberg that, similar to “every company with offices around the world, we have security procedures in place to protect corporate and customer data,” Uber said in a statement. “When it comes to government investigations, it’s our policy to cooperate with all valid searches and requests for data.”

In a statement to Jalopnik, an Uber spokesperson described one use of this type of program: “For instance, if an employee loses their laptop, we have the ability to remotely log them out of Uber’s systems to prevent someone else from accessing private user data through that laptop.”

The existence of Ripley comes at a precarious moment for Uber. Later this month, a blockbuster trial between Google’s self-driving car unit, Waymo, and Uber kicks off. Waymo accused Uber in a lawsuit last year of using stolen tech files to advance its autonomous driving program. (Uber denies the claims.)

The FBI is also investigating Uber for spying on Lyft drivers, and the feds are also looking into Uber’s use of a secret program called Greyball that helped it undermine law enforcement officials investigating the company.

Open questions to Mike 'on side' Brown
How many hits are there going to be before you revoke Uber's provisional licence under the one hit and your out system???
How many more rapists are we going to see jailed?
How many more assaults?
How many more drug deals?
How many more terrorist attacks?
Before you act Mike???

from Taxi Leaks

No entry! Backlash at plans to shut off Judd Street to cars

Residents warn polluting traffic will be diverted into residential streets by King's Cross changes

COUNCIL chiefs have been warned that shutting off one of the best-known roads in King’s Cross to cars and lorries will backfire, increasing pollution in side streets and sending traffic to an accident blackspot.

Camden is preparing to block off Judd Street – the road the Town Hall is on – to all traffic apart from cyclists, opening up a new front in the see-saw conflict between frustrated drivers behind the wheel of a car and those travelling through the borough on two wheels.

Black cab drivers have already raised concerns about the changes, while in reply the London Living Streets campaigners say Camden is right to prioritise access to pedestrians and cyclists over polluting vehicles.

But residents in King’s Cross and Bloomsbury insist they will be the big losers in the row, predicting that heavy traffic serving King’s Cross will be diverted into their streets, and then towards Dukes Road – the scene of a litany of "near-misses" and the death of Mark Welsh, a 55-year-old who was hit by a lorry turning left last year.

More than 60 residents were at a public meeting at the Lumen Church in Tavistock Place, called by the Bloomsbury Residents Action Group (BRAG), on Tuesday evening, Most raised concerns about a spiralling route that car drivers – and ambulance services – may be left with to get through the area. They also complained about what they say is a lack of meaningful consultation by the council, but said they feared being unfairly branded as anti-cyclist.

The row has echoes of the CS11 row in Swiss Cottage, where residents say attempts to improve safety for cyclists will only turn their roads into rat-runs. That dispute saw a placard confrontation between supporters and opponents of the new cycle superhighway outside Hampstead Theatre as rival demonstrations met head on.

Council leader Georgia Gould approved the Judd Street changes last month, but objectors have now resolved to try and persuade her to think again and undertake a new consultation survey on the proposals.

John Hartley, from London Living Streets, said the changes would "open up the area" to people who cycled, improving air quality, and John Chamberlain, of the Camden Cycling Campaign, said the scheme would be the "final missing link on the route from Kentish Town to Elephant and Castle", adding: "It will reduce traffic levels and therefore improve air quality in the area south of the Euston Road."

But Debbie Radcliffe, chairwoman of BRAG, said: "There is a persistent argument that the removal of motor traffic improves air quality. But the pollution doesn’t go away, it just moves somewhere else. And the more you slow traffic down, the more pollution levels increase."

She added: "We applaud the council’s transport policy to prioritise pedestrians and cyclists in the hierarchy of movement. But these same pedestrians and cyclists will be exposed to the increased pollution that is displaced elsewhere."

Ray Allesson, an RMT trade union officer representing the black cab trade, said access to Judd Street was "vitally important" because taxi drivers often ferry people between Bloomsbury’s hospitals, and the Royal National Institute for the Blind.

A council spokesman said: "The new space at the top of Judd Street will make it safer for pedestrians and cyclists to cross Euston Road. There will also be a new pedestrian crossing outside the British Library."

He added: "Anybody who has tried to cross Euston Road at Midland Road/Judd Street junction will know how difficult this road is to get across – this is a key reason for deciding to make these changes. This will also improve cycle links between Euston Road and central Camden by introducing raised cycle lanes along Midland Road."

Source : Camden Journal


Should Camden even be doing this with the Tavistock Place scheme discredited in its present form by Public Inquiry and awaiting Camden's proposals to resolve those issues?

The dynamic will no longer be the same.

This #EliteCapture by these articulate know-nothings is cult like.

from Taxi Leaks

Helen Chapman's Interview Faux Pas ... Could It Finally Unite The Trade! Jim Thomas.

In an interview with Steve Kenton published last Friday, Helen Chapman referred to the 13,000 Private Hire drivers with fake DBS as a 'Myth' and that the number was actually 2,640. 

Were we seeing Ms Chapman, deliberately playing down the situation in the same vein as the statements made to the GLA of...
'Yes they have a landline!' and 
'all their drivers have on/off insurance policies!'
made by ex Surface Transport Director Leon Daniels. 

So where did this 'Myth' come from?
Taxi leaks posted an article after we heard that Helen Chapman had bought the figure of 13,000 up, at a senior reps meeting last September. 
(We've since confirmed that this was the case with senior reps who were at that meeting).

So why did she bring up this statistic?  (You may well ask)

At the meeting, TfL allegedly* told our senior trade representatives, they (TfL) had known since January 2017, that 13,000 private hire drivers needed to reapply, after using a discredited, unauthorised company which supplied their DBS certificates. 
At that meeting, Helen Chapman allegedly* added that 2,600 out of the 13,000 drivers had already been identified, who would need to reapply. 
She also allegedly* said she envisaged no problem would arise and would personally vouch for these drivers. (Wonder how many of these Uber drivers amongst the ones recently jailed for rape, were vouched for by Helen Chapman?)

(*)Notice that we've said allegedly*....we only have the trade reps word on this, and although we believe what we're told by our senior reps, there were no recorded minutes taken at the officially, the meeting didn't take place and no one was actually accountable for anything that may have been said !!!

This figure referred to in Steve Kenton's interview, was never a myth, it wasn't plucked out of thin air, it was the figure given to the senior trade reps at this meeting by Helen Chapman herself. (According to the senior trade rep we spoke to)

By December it had seemingly all gone quiet again.
Helen Chapman made this reply to Steve Garelick (GMB), who was inquiring 'what had happened about the 13,000 drivers who had used an unauthorised third party for their DBS enhanced checks?'
She wrote:
"All London PH drivers must do an enhanced DBS check. After reviewing the 13,000 records, we identified and contacted 2,600 drivers who needed to request a new enhanced DBS check with our approved provider."

Not quite what she had told the trade reps in September, but again the figure of 13,000 was actually mention (so, not a myth then).

It appears (in our opinion), Helen Chapman was using this interview to play down and finally sanitise the issue which keeps popping up in articles on Taxi and Private Hire media platforms and publications. 
Because this has appeared in print unchallenged, she will in future just keep referring to the issue as ‘fake news’.

It would now appear that we can no longer believe anything that Helen Chapman says or writes in future!!!

This is the reason why all trade orgs, in a 100% united voice must refuse to meet with TfL under any circumstance unless the meeting is fully minuted.

Just to put a finer edge on this issue, at last weeks meeting, the man who called Taxi drivers, protesting to save their jobs LOONIES...The man who insisted it was a done deal that all CC readers should be fitted in the rear passenger compartment....told other trade reps he was now telling all his members to get themselves a hand held unit to use in the front of the Taxi.
You couldn't make this up. 
One wonders if there's been a done deal to sell these units from the reception of Taxi House???

But again, we only have the other trade reps word on this as there are no minutes recorded.

We must never be put in this position again!!!

What Helen Chapman has actualy done by her alleged false statement, is to prove the absolute need for all future meetings with TfL to be minuted, because without formal minutes, no meeting has officially taken place. Without formal minutes, no one is accountable and there are people on both sides of the table that this has suited for far too long.

When we're told "we've threatened TfL with this"... how do we know this is factual if there's no minutes as proof?

Chapman knows that other than the statement she made to Steve Garelick, there is no record anywhere, so she can say whatever she likes! 

It would be nice to see drivers drop the tribalism and unite completely behind this issue. It's up to you the drivers, to put pressure on your respective trade orgs to insist all future meetings across the board with TfL, no matter how small, can no longer take place without full minutes of the meeting being recorded. 

We don't want Chairman, or General Secretaries coming out of a secret squirrel meeting with TfL, professing that 'It's all a done deal" in future!

What we do need is total transparency, not a word of mouth gentlemen's agreement.

Another Faux Pas was made this week by Uber when their legal team referred to... ‘the driver app Meter’. 
Funny that...didn't they go to court in London to prove it wasn't a meter?

* Still no landline!
* Still working outside their licensed area!
* Still many Uber drivers with no hire and reward insurance!
* Road traffic collisions escalating at record highs!
* UberRape alleged to be running at one a week!
* Another perverted, seedy driver jailed yesterday!
* Still drivers cancelling jobs for no reason other than racking up the pounds.
* Still charging for imaginary clean ups.

One hit and your out, fit and proper Emma...don't make my laugh.
But then, we said years ago that the meter case was a complete and utter waste of licence fee money. 

from Taxi Leaks