Thursday, 30 September 2010

Loss of Rank Space...

TFL/TPH have decided to remove rank space from our rank on Bishops Bridge W2 after TFL received complaints from residents living in Westbourne Terrace W2 regarding the noise from buses.

The TPH 27/10 notice makes clear that the loss of rank space will only take place between the hours of 11pm and 5.30am. It also makes clear the London Cab Ranks Committee were to put it bluntly "blanked" by TFL.

The RMT London Taxi Branch will be discussing/debating this matter at committee/branch next Mon/Weds respectively. We couldn't get a rank outside the Buddha Bar on Victoria Embankment and we lose rank space at a drop of a hat or should we say start of a bus engine on Westbourne Terrace. Let's hope this is a very short/temp measure and doesn't lead into the "kipper" season when every rank space is needed by every London taxi-cab driver!

Please note we will be doing a site survey of Westbourne Terrace because the last time I drove up or down the properties were set back from the road and each of the blocks have their own private road to enter/park cars etc.

Just a very quick thought on this issue couldn't TFL place these buses on the Harrow Road by the Westway and even use parts of North Wharf Road after the hours of 11pm and 5.30am?

Join the RMT London taxi branch online at

Sunday, 26 September 2010

Safer Travel At Night (STAN) ?

It is clear from the horrific news this week that sexual assaults within the unlicensed mini-cab trade is on the increase and it is clear that the Safer Travel At Night (STAN) message is not getting through to women under the influence of abnormal levels of alcohol.

Public Safety is paramount and the London taxi-cab is the bench mark and the beacon of safety for people travelling within the metropolis on a 24/7 basis. However a number of issues have conspired and these issues are putting people especially younger women at risk, we shall list some of the issues that need/require urgent attention;
  • The increased pedestrianisation which impedes the flow of traffic and chokes the supply of taxi-cabs with zone 1 and suburban town centres needs to be removed or we need to remove other non essential traffic from these areas.
  • Lack of taxi-cab ranks/stands outside bars/venues.
  • Incentives for taxi-cab drivers to work later/unsocial/abnormal hours on Friday/Saturday nights.
  • Better Policing by the Metropolitan and City of London Police Services.
  • We need many more Taxi stops similar to the one that exists on South Lambeth Road, Vauxhall.
  • The closure of all Satellite mini-cab offices which have merely become a "touts" charter that flout the very rules that define London's taxi-cabs.
  • Increased resources for TFL/Police which could easily be funded by increasing licence fees for PHV operators (remember it is their trade that is causing the problem).
It is clear that TFL/TPH are failing to deliver for the London taxi trade and it is clear that combining Taxis and Private hire creates more problems than this directorate is capable or able to solve. A major overhaul is required at all levels of this directorate with a view to splitting Taxis and Private hire and clearing defining the role of each trade so no confusion remains within the mini-cab trade.

Remember if you want a voice and a vote join the RMT online at

Thursday, 16 September 2010

Waiting for Boris...

London taxi-cab drivers are waiting for the decision by the Mayor of London and chair of TFL regarding the age limit of taxi-cabs.

The RMT stated clearly in its response to the consultation that we firmly believed no age limit was or is required. The Dep't for Transport agrees with this position has the average life span of a taxi-cab is 12 years.

The united trade group led by the LTDA and followed by Unite the union and LCDC offered an age limit of 15 years and in doing so accepted the principle of an age limit. Any limit will reduce the residual value of your taxi-cab and hurt the taxi trade at a time of recovery whilst we await the affects of the proposed cuts to be announced by the government.

The RMT London taxi branch believes issues of this importance should be subject to a ballot of all license holders. No one organisation or union commands a majority of drivers and therefore does not have the sole right to speak on behalf of the 22,000 plus taxi-cab drivers.

"One badge One Vote" is the answer and let the taxi-cab drivers decide their fate and not others sitting behind closed doors making the wrong decisions with no mandate from their own membership.

If the Mayor of London introduces a ten year age limit what good will it actually do other than reduce resale/residual values and force taxi-cab drivers to hang on to taxi-cabs for longer and maybe up to the maximum ten year period.

The UTG have proved yet again they are unable to speak on behalf of the hard working taxi-cab driver, it's time for you to join the RMT and its London taxi branch and have a real voice, a real vote at regularly held branch meetings.

The RMT London taxi branch will be emailing/contacting city hall/ the Mayor and asking once again that no age limit is introduced. Let natural wastage and a decent scrapage scheme assist the London taxi trade...

Join the RMT online at

PS we mustn't forget that partitions are now starting to appear in a number of mini-cabs/phv's, we would like the trade to note that this issue was discussed at TFL board meetings and the surface transport panel where the general secretary of the LTDA sits has the TAXI trade representative.