Thursday, 8 November 2018

Taxi drivers in Greece stage a 12 hour strike against ride-hailing apps that are still not conforming to new regulations

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Taxi drivers in Greece have staged a 12 hour strike as they demonstrate their frustrations over what the call “unfair competition” from ride-hailing apps like Uber. Regulators imposed stricter rules earlier this year on such apps, forcing them to apply for permits and use only licensed taxi drivers for their platform, but Greece’s nationwide union of taxi drivers, POEIATA, called the strike stating that many operators were still offering unlicensed services. Uber pulled out of Greece at the point of stricter regulations but other apps including “local app” Beat still operate.
It's not clear if Uber are one of the operators the taxi drivers are protesting against. Beat are currently taking action against the head of the taxi drivers union for alleged defamation. The demonstration by taxi drivers just highlights the ongoing battle traditional services are facing against the new wave of ride-sharing tech across the globe. According to a report in Reuters, taxi drivers will rally outside the court that the ongoing battle will Beat is taking place.
November 08, 2018 at 10:43PM Michael Murphy THESE POSTS ARE NOT OUR ENDORSEMENT

Private Hire driver ordered to pay over £2,000 for refusing to take guide dog

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A private hire driver from Telford has been ordered to pay more than £2,300 by a court for refusing to take a blind man’s guide dog. Zaheer Mahmood, 48, was found guilty at a trial of the offence under the Equality Act 2010. The court heard how Mahmood was pre-booked to pick up Mrs Bright and her partner Mr Bowers, who is blind, from Wellington train station along with their guide dog Isca. Mrs Bright confirmed in court that when ordering the cab, she stated to the operator that they had a guide dog that would be travelling with them. When Mahmood arrived and saw that he was to take the dog in the vehicle, he refused. Mrs Bright was left with no other choice but to order another minicab from the same operator. Shropshire Council’s trading standards and licensing service investigated the claims which resulted in criminal proceedings being brought against Mahmood. It is an offence to refuse to take an assistance dog in a private hire vehicle under the Equality Act 2010, but Mahmood denied this ever happening. As reported in the Shropshire Star, Mahmood defended his actions claiming that he refused the job because he had earlier that day purchased two part worn tyres which were in the boot of his vehicle leaving no room for the two cases that were brought by Mrs Bright and Mr Bowers. Mahmood claimed that he informed the operator of the lack of space had requested that another vehicle be sent, but an investigation found that during that phone call Mahmood didn’t mention anything about having tyres in his boot and confirmed that his complaint was about having to take a dog in his vehicle. In a recording obtained by officers, Mahmood could be heard saying to his operator “you send me job in train station, and they go with a dog as well, you not tell me about dogs”. Having listened to all evidence, District Judge Jackson said that he found it hard to believe Mahmood and sided with Mrs Bright. Mahmood was found guilty of the offence and fined £300. He was also ordered to pay a £30 victim surcharge and prosecution costs of £2,000.
November 08, 2018 at 07:20PM Michael Murphy THESE POSTS ARE NOT OUR ENDORSEMENT

BP Chargemaster invests £25 million in ultra fast charge points on fuel station forecourts

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Taxi drivers could see rapid improvements to the electric charging network across the UK as fuel giants BP announce £25 million investment to bring EV charging to its service stations.
BP announced at a recent energy forum that they aim to start rolling out “ultra-fast” charge points to almost 1,300 service stations early next year. The diesel and petrol fuel providers own Chargemaster who are the UK’s biggest EV charging network and also manufacturers of the charging units widely used. David Martell, chief executive of the newly formed BP Chargemaster, said the company was investing £25m over the next 12 months and hinted that the ultra-fast chargers, which can charge a car in a matter of minutes, will be completed within three years. Service stations will also be looking to take advantage of the increased “dwell time” and retail opportunity presented.
According to Fleet News Martell said: “Currently, people may typically take about five minutes in a petrol station; even with ultra-fast charging that is like to increase to 15-20 minutes. That’s an opportunity for retail development.”
November 08, 2018 at 04:40PM Perry Richardson THESE POSTS ARE NOT OUR ENDORSEMENT

Uber Joins Forces with the International Cricket Council

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Uber and The International Cricket Council (ICC) announced a world first partnership to support the first ever standalone ICC Women’s World T20 in the West Indies.
It is said that Uber and the ICC aim to leverage one of the world’s most popular sports to engage the broader cricketing community in a conversation around the important role sport plays in empowering girls and women around the world.
This partnership will encompass on-the-ground activation in participating WWT20 countries, in addition to the creation of a six-part digital film series featuring the inspiring stories of female cricketers, watch party and match day promotions across Uber and Uber Eats in participating countries.
Commenting on the partnership, David Richardson, CEO of the International Cricket Council, said: “Uber is a globally recognized brand and one that is committed to the empowerment of women around the world. As a sport we have also made a commitment to grow the women’s game and it will form one of the pillars of our strategy that will be launched early next year. This is a genuine partnership that is focused on our shared values and Uber’s plans are exciting and complement what we’re trying to achieve. The traditional sponsorship model is changing and this collaboration is a reflection of that, it’s about a shared ambition to move women’s cricket forward, tell the story of our sport more broadly and build heroes in our game.” The ICC Women’s World T20 will be held from 9 to 24 November 2018, during the 2018–19 international cricket season. The 10-team tournament will be played as a standalone event for the first time between Australia, Bangladesh, England, India, Ireland, New Zealand, Pakistan, South Africa, Sri Lanka and the West Indies.
November 08, 2018 at 03:54PM Perry Richardson THESE POSTS ARE NOT OUR ENDORSEMENT

Fully autonomous vehicles may be further away than anticipated

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In a keynote address at the third annual Emerging Technologies in Automation Conference and Trade Show, Grant Courville, vice president of product management and strategy for QNX, which is a division of Blackberry, has stated that fully autonomous vehicles may be further away than we think.
Mr Courville explained that fully autonomous vehicles, in other words, vehicles with no accelerator pedal, brake pedal, nor steering wheel, are unlikely to be common-place until at least 2035.
In the interim, vehicles will be produced with enhanced security features, as well as some autonomous features, but the belief that self-driving vehicles will take over the roads in two or three years time is unlikely.
Courville stated that the road to full autonomy is fraught with conplex hurdles, both technologically as well as regulatory.
According to CBC the conference at Caesers' Windsor was attended by around 300 people.
November 07, 2018 at 11:29PM Steve Kenton THESE POSTS ARE NOT OUR ENDORSEMENT

Cheltenham cabbies forced to change vehicle colour

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A seemingly bizarre, and highly controversial, policy changed has been ratified by Cheltenham Council.
All cabs in the borough will have to be Silver, and wheelchair accessible by December 2021.
It was reported in Gloucestershire Live that despite vigorous opposition to the policy from cab drivers as well as their representative organisations, the change was rubber-stamped on November 6th.
Drivers had argued that the changes required to bring their vehicles in line with the new initiative would be to costly to implement in just three years.
The proposed changes, which were first announced in March, prompted dozens of irate cabbies to take to the streets, outside of the council office, in protest at the plans.
It is believed that the policy may have wiped over £2.5 million off of the industry, with drivers stating that they would rather opt for a less polluting vehicle than convert their existing vehicle to a wheelchair accessible vehicle.
November 07, 2018 at 10:22PM Steve Kenton THESE POSTS ARE NOT OUR ENDORSEMENT

Addison Lee Group and Oxbotica begin mapping Canary Wharf for autonomous vehicle services

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Private hire firm Addison Lee and Oxbotica, the British leader in self-driving vehicle software, have taken the first steps toward autonomous driving in the capital by launching a 3D street mapping exercise in London’s iconic Canary Wharf.
The mapping process signals the start of the minicab operators quest to introduce autonomous services by 2021. The companies, together with Canary Wharf Group and insurer AXA XL, have already started the process, using a vehicle equipped with mapping technology to record every kerb, road sign, landmark and traffic light in Canary Wharf’s 128-acre estate. This is the first stage of a mapping exercise across London, where more than 250,000 miles of public roads will be mapped in order to better understand the requirements for rolling out a fully autonomous service. Mark Nallen, Head of Technology and Innovation at Canary Wharf Group, said: “With an expanding estate, and visitor and commuter numbers growing, we need to plan our future transport needs, and the mapping exercise with our partners at Addison Lee Group, Oxbotica and AXA XL is the first stage on this journey.” Partnership vehicles have already started the mapping exercise, with radars that help Oxbotica understand the environment, cameras to take in images of the streets and lidar sensors that send out laser pulses to sense the surroundings. This enables Oxbotica to build a rich 3D map of the area, which is then analysed to identify important features such as traffic lights, pedestrian crossings and road markings. Oxbotica will use this data to help understand the contents of street signs, and the meanings of the lane markings on the road to enable the vehicle to be “as knowledgeable as a local resident” about the complexities of each street. The company will repeat this process many times, and at different times, improving the understanding of how the streets change in different lighting conditions, weather and seasons of the year. When the autonomous vehicle travels down these same streets, it builds the same picture and matches it to the map, using the knowledge about traffic light location and lane markings to help localise itself and be aware of what’s around the next corner. Autonomous vehicles could be part of the answer to urban transport Oxbotica’s insurance partner, AXA XL – a division of AXA – is insuring the exercise. AXA XL has significant experience in the field of autonomous technologies, having signed a landmark agreement with Oxbotica in 2016 to examine the technology’s potential impact on risk management. In May 2018, it announced a suite of insurance solutions to support the commercial adoption of mobile robotic solutions. Canary Wharf Group’s Nallen said: “Canary Wharf now has over 120,000 daily commuters and around 30,000 visitors coming to the Estate every day. Canary Wharf Group has consistently pioneered new technologies to ensure tenants have access to the best possible infrastructure. Transport is clearly vital to any growing population and as public transport routes become more heavily used, it is crucial we provide additional capacity to meet the increasing scale of their transport needs. We believe the types of services envisaged by Addison Lee Group and Oxbotica could be part of the solution and we are delighted to be at the forefront of autonomous vehicle innovation.” Andy Boland, Addison Lee Group’s CEO, said: “With its’ campus-style arrangement and high number of commuters, Canary Wharf is the perfect place to begin our mapping of London with Oxbotica and a possible location for new Addison Lee Group services.” Speaking on the importance of the partnership, Vincent Branch, Chief Executive of Accelerate, AXA XL’s innovation team, said: “Autonomous technologies will – in the near future – directly impact our working environments, the design of our cities and transport infrastructures. This ground-breaking mapping project positions Addison Lee Group and Canary Wharf at the forefront of this exciting development and we are delighted, along with Oxbotica, to be enabling it.”
November 08, 2018 at 12:55AM Perry Richardson THESE POSTS ARE NOT OUR ENDORSEMENT

Wednesday, 7 November 2018

Uber faces a headache  in the middle-east as it heads toward an IPO

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Uber could face problems in the as they look toward launching an IPO as early as next year.
UK Business Insider has reported that the minicab giants' board of directors, in their entirety, including former CEO Travis Kalanik as well Saudi official Othman Al-Rumayyan, have held major talks in an attempt to head off a major international problem due to the company's links to Saudi Arabia.
Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi pulled out of Saudi Arabia's Future Investment conference, which was held in October, in the wake of the murder of Washington Post journalist, Jamal Khashoggi in the Kingdom. However the Saudi's, both directly and indirectly, now own more than 10% of Uber, which could give Uber a problem as they look towards an IPO, which could be valued at around $120 Billion, as early as next year.
Along with the Uber CEO along, BlackRock CEO Larry Fink, JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon and US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, all of whom whos company's are investors in Uber, all swerving the conference, Travis Kalanick, who remains a director at Uber along with SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son remained in Riyadh.
It is believed that Uber may be concerned that between the adverse publicity which has dogged the company, along with the links to Saudi, it could have a major impact on the eventual launch of their IPO.
November 07, 2018 at 09:48PM Steve Kenton THESE POSTS ARE NOT OUR ENDORSEMENT

Hundreds of cab drivers handed tickets and suspension notices for driving defective vehicles

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Hundreds of cabs in Liverpool have been handed tickets and suspension notices for driving defective vehicles for work, it has been revealed. During a six-month operation set out to improve road safety within the industry, 586 tickets were issued, 192 of those were suspension notices, according to a report in the Liverpool Echo. Merseyside police and Liverpool Council also confirmed that 450 tickets were issued for leaving parked cabs unattended on designated taxi ranks. A previous operation that took place at the start of the year revealed that the figures for handing out similar notices were even higher at 768, so although there has been an improvement in safety standards, figures are still incredibly high. A recent report in Taxipoint, showed that 40 taxi and private hire drivers were arrested for driving while under the influence of drugs, highlighting the battle the authorities face to clean up the industry in the city. The latest figures mean that around 40% of cabs have been subject to defect notices or suspensions. Liverpool Council and Merseyside police have said they aim to ensure people using taxis and private hire cars in their area do so safely in the knowledge that the vehicle they travel in is safe, and the driver is responsible. They also stressed to all cab drivers that if they do not get their vehicles checked and any necessary repairs made, they run the risk of their vehicle being taken off the road. A similar operation in Derby also reported a number of taxi and private hire vehicles having defects and were also issued suspension notices.
November 07, 2018 at 09:41PM Michael Murphy THESE POSTS ARE NOT OUR ENDORSEMENT

Boycott private hire drivers who are licensed by other authorities says second city councillor

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Cross-bordering has raised its ugly head once again, this time in Birmingham, where Councillor Paul Tilsley is calling for a boycott of the use of any driver who has been licensed by another authority. Reports that many drivers that operate in the Second City are in fact licensed by surrounding areas, most noticeable Wolverhampton City Council, has raised concerns about the future of the trade. Wolverhampton city council have faced much criticism about the amount of private hire licences they are handing out based on what many believe is an easier route in obtaining a licence. The issue was once again raised in the Birmingham City Council chamber this week, according to a report in the Express and Star. Mr Tilsley asked Councillor Barbara Ding, who is chairman of the Licensing and Public Protection Committee, to support his call for all Birmingham residents to boycott any any-of-town drivers by assuring they request only Birmingham licensed drivers be sent to pick them up by the operators. Wolverhampton city council have defended their licensing process, stating that their standards are among the highest in the country. Private hire drivers along with taxi drivers in Birmingham have said they are suffering since the Hugh influx of drivers from outside the city that are driving in to take the work.
November 07, 2018 at 07:00PM Michael Murphy THESE POSTS ARE NOT OUR ENDORSEMENT

UCG withdraw from TfL engagement policy

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It's been announced, in a letter to Transport for London, that the United Cabbies Group (UCG) is withdrawing from TfL's engagement policy.
The announcement, which was made by Trevor Merralls, the General Secretary of the UCG, confirming that a unanimous decision had been taken by the UCG committee to withdraw from the engagement policy, with Mr Merralls sayingin a statement to UCG members:
"Your committee has unanimously taken the decision for the UCG to withdraw from the engagement policy with Tfl. This decision was not taken lightly and it will have no impact with the representation individual members receive.
Our organisation will not be complicit in the systematic destruction of our trade." Mr Merralls then added:
"Our organisation is made up of members who are fighters who are honourable and are not afraid of doing the right thing. Our trade is fighting for its very existence the UCG was formed to fight for our trade to put the interests of the trade first second and always.The UCG is unique within the trade because we don’t seek popularity we do what is right not what is popular. I hope you agree with your committee and continue to back it."
The UCG have been part of TfL's engagement policy since January 2017, along with a number of other representative organisations from the licensed London taxi industry, with TfL receiving criticism over the lack of minutes taken at meetings, as well as the regularity of those meetings.
The full, unedited letter reads:
Dear Mr Robinson,
The UCG has been part of the so-called ‘Engagement Policy’ and party to Trade / TfL meetings since January 2017; we have attended every meeting since then. We have now concluded that further engagement with TfL is not only completely pointless but also not in the best interests of our members. We entered the EP with an open mind and determination to give TfL a fair hearing in the hope that you would listen to our input and act accordingly where appropriate. Naturally, we could never agree on every subject, but you have made absolutely no attempt to resolve important issues; Illegal PH Plying for Hire via apps, High Court definition of P4H and Uber driving a coach and horses through the regs being just three examples. TfL has said to the UCG on two occasions ‘We have heard your opinion if you don’t like it take us to court’. This arrogant attitude is not only unacceptable but is beneath contempt for a Regulator. At all meetings when awkward but cogent questions are asked, TfL either avoid answering or defer the answer to a later date; that date never appears. We have asked for Minuted Meetings since Jan 2017, but that request is constantly refused, and we are expected to rely on your selective ‘meeting notes’. We feel that the outcome of all TfL meetings is a fait accompli with a pre-determined outcome and have no faith in TfL’s lacklustre approach to interacting with the trade organisations/unions. We note that the Commissioner met once again with Mr Khosrowshahi from UBER this time on Monday 22/10/18 and yet the London Taxi Trade struggle to get a meeting with the commissioner and when we do it feels he is there out of sufferance. Our history goes back to 1654 and for TfL to treat the trade with such contempt is nothing short of scandalous, TfL inherited the World’s finest Taxi service, you didn’t create it. The question we are asking ourselves is ‘are we “failing to engage” or “engaging to fail”. The UGC is no longer prepared to be complicit with TfL in their attempt to destroy our honourable and unique trade. Therefore, we will not attend any further meetings with TfL, be they TOPS, Senior Reps or Commissioner meetings. The GLA report found you to be ‘Woefully Inadequate’ and the UCG must concur with their opinion. Best regards Trevor Merralls. UCG General Secretary
There has been no response from Transport for London as yet.
November 07, 2018 at 04:17PM Steve Kenton THESE POSTS ARE NOT OUR ENDORSEMENT

Greener Dial-a-Ride vehicles to help improve passenger experience and boost UK economy

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The first batch of 90 green Dial-a-Ride vehicles has now arrived in London. Dial-a-Ride is the door-to-door service that opens up London and provides a lifeline for those not able to travel without assistance. The buses will allow older Londoners and those with disabilities to make vital journeys across central London in modern clean vehicles. They meet the Mayor’s tough air quality standards – four months before the central London Ultra Low Emission Zone comes into operation. Emissions will be reduced further as the majority of these vehicles have technology to stop engines unnecessarily running when the bus is not moving. The wider fleet of around 300 will continue to be upgraded ahead of the expansion of ULEZ to the North and South Circulars in 2021. Dial-a-Ride caters for more than a million journeys a year, has high customer satisfaction and an exemplary safety record. The new vehicles will improve these further by creating an enhanced experience with better heating, air conditioning and a smoother journey. The vehicles also have automatic braking, to reduce the risk of collisions involving Dial-a-Ride vehicles. TfL is taking action to reduce operating costs across all of its functions while maintaining the safety and reliability of London’s transport services. These Dial-a-Ride vehicles are an example of this. TfL has used its experiences of previous Dial-a-Ride vehicles to design out known issues or faults. This, along with the improved reliability of the modern engines, will reduce the ongoing maintenance and operational costs of running Dial-a-Ride. James Mead, General Manager of Dial-a-Ride, said: “Dial-a-Ride is part of the city’s social fabric, making sure vulnerable Londoners are not isolated in the community. These vehicles also contribute to the wider societal benefit of cleaning up the air for future generations. “Our customers tell us how highly they value the service and this is borne out in our customer satisfaction scores. Additionally, where we can we support people who may have thought they were dependent on Dial-a-Ride to travel on their own with travel mentors. We give them the tools they need to experience greater freedom when getting around.”
November 07, 2018 at 11:51AM Perry Richardson THESE POSTS ARE NOT OUR ENDORSEMENT

Uber increase peak time prices by over 15% in London

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As of Thursday customers of the controversial ride-hailing firm Uber will have to fork out roughly an extra fifteen percent on peak weekend journeys in the capital.
The minicab operator who are currently in the London courts appealing issues surrounding workers rights is increasing the price of all journeys made on Thursday’s through to Sunday between 10pm and 6am by a jaw dropping 20p per mile.
The price per a mile will move from £1.25 up to £1.45, and also increase 5p per minute, from £0.15 to £0.20, for each journey. These fees will rise further if surge pricing is applied during peak and busy periods.
This price hike also follows the recent announcement of a further increase of 15p per mile due to start soon labelled as a “clean air fee”. This levy is said to help drivers make the move to electric vehicles.
The base rate will stay the same, at £2.50, and the minimum fare will remain at £5 respectively. The increase only applies to all fares taken in London’s Congestion Charge Zone.
According to The Evening Standard an Uber spokesperson said: “We’re making these changes to help provide a better experience, by attracting more drivers to some of our busiest areas. “We know people use Uber to book a safe trip home and we want to ensure we’re providing a reliable service, particularly on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights, when more people want to travel.”
November 07, 2018 at 11:50AM Perry Richardson THESE POSTS ARE NOT OUR ENDORSEMENT

Tuesday, 6 November 2018

Look past the rose-tinted glasses of investors to see the true timescales attached to autonomous cars

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The race to move to an autonomous workforce seems to have attracted a frenzy of activity from those with money to burn looking for the Holy Grail.
The motoring industry, in particular the taxi and private hire market, has long been the jewel in the crown for those wanting to shed a few employees and reduce the costs involved employing workers. At TaxiPoint we’re sent updates on an almost daily basis where companies claim to have made the breakthrough and driverless cars are imminent. Sometimes you’ve got to look past the investors rose-tinted glasses and actually seek a more impartial view on the challenges that remain. Private hire firm Addison Lee and Oxbotica, a British leader in self-driving vehicle software, have reportedly agreed a wide-ranging alliance that “accelerates the implementation of autonomous vehicles to London’s streets” by 2021. But how likely are we to see the technology from the minicab firm in the next couple of years? Not very likely if you listen to more impartial opinions from those not looking to burn the next colossal mountain of cash on a futurist pipe dream. At the recent Bloomberg New Energy Finance’s Future of Mobility Summit, a meeting that attracts all the top experts within the industry, a live poll was conducted asking its esteemed audience when consumers will be able to purchase a fully autonomous vehicle. The results are not encouraging if you are looking forward to be driven driverless soon. Almost three in four experts said the autonomous dream won’t be achieved before 2030. There are three very big road blocks that are proving tricky for those looking to make the breakthrough. Technology, regulations and public opinion. Quite simply the technology still isn’t there. Yes a vehicle can be driven in perfect conditions and with clear road markings. However, problems have emerged when any sort of variable is added. Whether it be the sun sitting in-front of a white vehicle, autumn leaves covering road markings, bin-bags sitting in the middle of the road, snow covering sensors and road markings, the list goes on. Several high profile accidents, and in some cases fatalities, have also hindered progress. The race to become the first city in the world to introduce driverless cars continues to push regulations to a level that have seen trials introduced and then quickly stopped on the grounds of safely. Then you’ve got the big question, do people actually want driverless cars? Do the majority of drivers want to give up the freedom and skill of driving the vehicle that each motorist is trained to drive? There’s a still a future for taxi drivers so long as these road blocks remain.
November 06, 2018 at 01:45PM Perry Richardson THESE POSTS ARE NOT OUR ENDORSEMENT

Lisson Grove becomes a no-go area as another cabbie is attacked

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An attack on yet another taxi driver has led to drivers calling for a boycott of the Lisson Grove area of London.
The attack, which took place at around 8pm on November 5th left the cabbies two week old vehicle seriously damaged.
Taxi driver, David Folwell, took to facebook to explain how a group 30 or 40 masked people began throwing bricks, bottles and cones at his vehicle in the attack which took place in Lisson Grove, near the junction of Church Street.
The attack is the latest in a long series of incidents in the area, which has left taxi drivers both frustrated and angered at what is seen as a serious lack of action from the authorities.
The area around the Lisson Green Estate has always been seen as a hotbed for criminal activity in recent years, with the council seemingly aware of the high level of criminal activity.
The police are also fully aware of a multitude of incidents, with many taxi drivers reporting incidents involving "The Lisson Grove Mob."
Angered cabbies are now calling for decisive action from the police, with many calling for a boycott of the area and some even suggesting that a number of drivers should descend upon the area and confront the thugs.
Drivers have also roundly condemned the lack of police action surrounding the problem, with a number of drivers branding the authorities as "useless."
November 06, 2018 at 03:00AM Steve Kenton THESE POSTS ARE NOT OUR ENDORSEMENT

More than forty Taxi and Private Hire drivers arrested for driving under the influence of drugs in one of the UK's busiest cities

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Merseyside Police have revealed that more than forty taxi and private hire drivers have been arrested for drug-driving since the turn of the year. The police are now warning all drivers that being caught driving under the influence of drugs could result in them losing their job, being imprisoned and even result in the loss of life. The seriousness of the crime was highlighted in the Liverpool Echo, with a spokesperson for the police telling them that drivers, especially taxi and private hire drivers, have a duty of care to the public to ensure their safety. The police have stated that the offence of driving while under the influence of drugs will not be taken lightly. The final decision on whether a driver should have their licence revoked lays with the licensing authority, it this case; the council. They have made it very clear that any driver arrested for committing such an offence, or is being investigated for such allegations, will generally have their licence revoked with immediate effect. Merseyside’s Roads Policing Unit recently reported one private hire driver who had only been a driver for three days and was found to be under the influence of cocaine.
Another incident highlighted by the Unit was of a hackney carriage driver who was stopped and tested for drugs. He was arrested for providing a positive drugs test.
Drivers caught drug-driving will face the same punishments as those caught driving under the influence of alcohol. This has been made clear by the police.

Police search for man linked to hate crime assault on taxi driver in Essex

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Police in Essex want to identify a man in connection with an hate crime assault on a taxi driver in Grays.The assault happened at around 5.45am on October 6 in Arterial Road.The victim’s hair and beard were pulled while the taxi was in transit.When the victim pulled over and came to a stop, he was then subjected to verbal abuse.Police constable Jack Emerson said:“The abuse shouted at the victim was about his nationality and we are treating this as a hate crime. "We want to identify the man in these CCTV images, as well as a man who was walking his dog along Arterial Road at the time.“The incident unfolded in front of the witness with the dog, and we believe this man called another taxi company to arrange for the man to be collected and taken to the Enfield area."We appreciate these images are dark, but we think someone may still recognise the man in them."The man who assaulted the victim was described as white, early to mid-50s, of large, muscular build and had short ginger or blonde hair. He was wearing dark blue jeans, a white t-shirt and brown shoes. Please contact Pc Emerson on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 if you can help our enquiries.