Saturday, 28 November 2009

Waterloo Station Recruitment Day.

Water-loo Station was a hive of RMT activity on the 27th Novem-ber 2009 with the local RMT branch swinging into recruitment action along with younger members of the RMT and the recently formed London taxi branch.

The general secretary Bob Crow turned up and all members of the union met for a chat and photo call under the clock at the steps of Waterloo. Pictured from left to right is RMT branch member and activist Eddie Morias, David Vidgen Branch Secretary, member and activist Trevor Denton, our General Secretary Bob Crow and John Kennedy vice chair of the London taxi branch. What was pleasing was the reaction of taxi-cab drivers on the rank at Waterloo station as leaflets, pens, lanyards were given out along with many application forms to join the fastest growing branch and trade union here in the United Kingdom.

The RMT London taxi branch has come in for a lot of stick of late but like any good trade union we just get on with the job of defending the rights of taxi-cab drivers and your right to ply for hire. With satellite offices fast becoming a major threat to that right we must prepare and be ready to take action to protect our jobs and future here in the capital. Just remember it was the RMT that led and took decisive action about the "killer on the knowledge", it's the RMT that is leading the way regarding pedicabs/rickshaws in its campaign to ban these objects from the public highway and oppose "clause 19" of the London Local Authorities and Transport for London (no.2) Bill. Others talk of action but here at the RMT we have a track record second to no union or association we organise and ensure our branches operate to the best of their ability.

A special thank you must go out to all members who attended but especially to our fellow brothers here at Waterloo station the welcome they gave us was just amazing. I/we would also like to thank committee members Stan Marut and Paul Bond for the great work on the rank and the many drivers who donated to the RMT widows and orphans fund and recieved a 2010 diary in return. Like all days they have a habit of relying on one individual who doesn't get in the picture but manages to sort nearly everything else out and that is member and branch activist Michael Tinnion, a big thank you from all of us at the London Taxi branch of the RMT.

The picture below is of Paul Bond Committee member of the London taxi branch (hi-vis yellow bib) with Trevor Denton member and branch activist, JK and members of the Waterloo RMT branch plus our Regional Organiser Brian Whitehead on the centre island at Waterloo station taxi rank. Once again we must extend a massive thank you to all the RMT members present it was a pleasure and an honour to meet with such dedicated individuals who are prepared to represent their fellow colleagues.

Friday, 27 November 2009

London Local Authorities and Transport for London (no.2) Bill.

With the new parliamentary session underway and the aboved named bill in the pipeline at the gasworks we can confirm that a carry over motion was passed in the House of Commons recently and this bill is therefore still live and awaiting a 3rd reading in the House of Lords.

Please remember that clause 19 of this bill will create pedicab ranks/bays all over Greater London and will lead to reasonable people believing that these objects are in fact licensed. The RMT London taxi branch is opposing clause 19 of this bill on the grounds of public safety and we await the date of a 3rd reading in the House of Lords which will then trigger the window in which we are allowed to petition the Commons.

You should also note that the RMT have offered to talk to transport for London on this issue they have declined. We have let it be known to our Parliamentary group and no doubt when and if this bill reaches committee stage in the House of Commons we shall be letting MP's know exactly how some parts of Transport for London fail to deal with real issues that affect our livelihoods.

Join the only union prepapred to challenge proposed legislation where it counts and that is in the gasworks, sorry Parliament. Log onto and join online or email the branch at for an application form by post.

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Welcome to the RMT London Taxi Branch.

Welcome friends and colleagues to the online blogsite of the RMT London taxi branch. Over the coming weeks, months and years we intend to update this site for ease of use for you the hard working self employed taxi-cab driver.

We shall keep you informed of branch meetings, taxi trade matters that affect us all and keep you up to date with what is really going on in the gasworks sorry corridors of power of Parliament, City hall, Transport for London and the many London councils. By using modern technology we can ensure all relevant information is merely a click or two (maybe three or four) of the mouse away.

Our blog contains many useful links to the RMT, GLA, Metropolitan/City of London Police, Transport for London  and even Parliament where for example you can keep an eye on the progress of bills that may be progressing through the house. Presently the London Local Authorities and Transport for London (no.2) Bill is awaiting a date in the house of Lords you can see this for yourself by clicking on the link and then clicking again on bills before parliament then simply scroll down to the letter L and here you'll find the bill. If you click on the actual bill name you will find a flow chart displaying exactly where this bill is with regards to the parliamentary process. Oh I must say have a read of the minutes of the committee stage in the house of Lords makes very interesting reading especially the parts relating to pedicabs/rickshaws.

We've also included the Parking and Traffic Appeals Service, very useful and helpful especially considering the way tickets are issued to us within the London taxi trade. You'll also find some useful links to the world of radio/media where because of the job we do we tend to spend a lot of time listening to stations like LBC 97.3 fm, bbc London 94.9 fm, radio 4, talksport 1089am and 5 Live. I must say the listen again service proves itself to be invaluable especially if you happen to miss part of a programme that affects you or your livelihood.

Remember this union and branch will only be as strong as you the hard working self employed taxi-cab driver. The more of you that join the stronger and louder our voice will become so like I've said before please do log onto and join up online or contact the Branch Secretary David Vidgen at or via mobile on 07899 786 433.

Friday, 20 November 2009

Economic Impact of Traffic Signals.

On Wednes-day the 18th of Novem-ber the GLA Econo-mics team hosted a forum/seminar looking into the economic impact of traffic signals within Greater London. Since the year 2000 over 1000 extra sets of traffic lights have appeared on the Transport for London road network.

Now from a Taxi trade perspective traffic lights can cause delay and create congestion on roads that were once used to free flowing traffic and more than likely had a zebra crossing which allowed pedestrians the right of way with out the need for pelican crossings.

The Shadow Transport Secretary Theresa Villiers MP spoke of the need for local flexibility and the devolvement of decision making from central Government plus the recognition that previous adminstrations may have gone too far with planting traffic lights at many junctions. John Kennedy Vice Chair of the RMT London Taxi branch informed the Shadow Minister and the forum that a future Government needed to look at the many road narrowing programmes in combination with the many hundreds of newly planted traffic lights if we were to seriously tackle congestion within the urban environment. What was clear from the meeting/forum was the need for change and Cynthia Grant of London first delivered a very balanced presentation with a member of tranport for London showing great concern at a picture of a row of buses on Oxford Street creating congestion.

Kulveer Ranger Mayor's Director of Transport spoke of the need for change but also confirmed that the congestion charge had reduced the amount of traffic travelling through the centre of London but that congestion had in fact increased in recent years. This statement was worrying for it really shows that the policy of grabbing road space, planting traffic lights and creating transport for London and or local authority bottlenecks is having an adverse effect on the environment and the road network.

The RMT London Taxi branch attended and was interested to see the competition Addison Lee was present, the great shame was no other group or trade body from the London Taxi trade were present. It seems this trade is sleepwalking and not getting fully involved in the many issues that face our industry. We at the RMT specialist transport union will get involved at all levels from Parliament to the GLA and your Taxi rank/stand. So if you have never joined a trade union before or you're sitting on the fence and wondering if the RMT is the union for you give yourself the Green light and don't get stuck on Red or dither on Amber but contact the London taxi branch via email or phone and join a real trade union that won't just bat for you on paper but will get involved at local, London and at national level.

You can contact us at or contact the Branch Secretary David Vidgen on 07899 786 433 we look forward to hearing from you.

Thursday, 19 November 2009

RMT Airport Representative Mick Moran on the case over M4 Bus Lane.

The M4 bus lane saga continues and so does the campaign by the RMT London taxi branch. Mick Moran RMT Heathrow Representative is seen here outside Parliament delivering even more letters of complaint to Members of Parliament. With well over 1,000 letters signed by taxi-cab drivers at Heathrow airport and the Royal Oak taxi centre the RMT London taxi branch demonstrates its commitment to the cause to see the law enforced by the Metropolitan Police and the Highways Agency.

Taxi-cab drivers should be under no illusion that this issue is going to take time to resolve because of the lack of will by those in authority. With the December branch meeting of the RMT fast approaching members will be looking forward to a busy calendar in the new year with plenty of demonstrations and issues like the M4 bus lane being brought to a satisfactory conclusion.

Already members of the RMT London taxi branch are recieving letters from their respective members of parliament with Siobhain Mcdonagh MP for Mitcham & Morden writing to the Highways Agency and Met Police. Those in authority need to understand we shall campaign, complain, picket & demonstrate until issues that affect our livelihoods are dealt with in a proffessional proper manner.

If you are thinking of joining a trade organisation look no further than the RMT London taxi branch log onto and join the specialist transport union RMT.

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

RMT London Taxi Branch heads to Parliament.

Welcome to the new website/blog of the RMT London Taxi Branch and to kick start our first post what better way than to inform you of a visit to Parliament by three of our committee members.

Brian Hall, John Kennedy Vice Chair and David Vidgen Branch Secretary (pictured outside Portcullis House, Victoria Embankment) along with James Croy RMT Political Officer met with RMT Group Convenor John McDonnell MP. Many issues were discussed regarding problems the taxi trade faces in London including "clause 19" of the London Local Authorities and Transport for London (no.2) Bill and the call for a public inquiry into Transport for London/Public Carriage Office.

The RMT London Taxi Branch has a voice in Parliament that is prepared to speak up for the hard working self employed taxi-cab driver and no doubt over the coming months and years the links that the RMT specialist transport union have built up over decades of representing transport workers across the UK will become invaluable in leading the London taxi trade out of its present state.

If you wish to contact the RMT London Taxi branch please email or maybe you wish to join online at .