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PostPosted: Sun Aug 20, 2006 8:31 pm 
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This article highlights the casm between London Black cab drivers and those who wanted to see the licensing of minicabs. How many innocent victims suffered through their obstinance?
............................................................................

Sunday Times

August 16, 1992, Sunday

HEADLINE: Driven to desperation

BYLINE: Gita Conn

TODAY someone, somewhere, in London has been frightened by a minicab driver.

They may have been subjected to a verbal or physical assault or just alarmed by dangerous driving. According to research by the Suzy Laplugh Trust, such distressing incidents have affected one in four passengers. And last week the Metropolitan Police officially pronounced London's unlicensed minicabs the most dangerous form of public transport.


In Britain, minicab passengers are protected by licensing laws everywhere except in London. This scandalous situation is the result of legal anomalies stretching back to the last century. Recent legislation has actually increased the risk to Londoners.

Throughout the rest of the country, local authorities are responsible for licensing taxi-drivers and, since April, they have been able to obtain criminal records of applicants. Now drivers who have failed to reveal convictions are being suspended, charged and sentenced. But the smart criminal can avoid this process by driving his cab to London.

Hard though it is to believe, there is no public licensing body for the 40,000 private hire cars in the capital. As long as you are appropriately insured, your car can become an instant minicab.

Minicabs were reckoned to be a high-risk ride even before the new law drove criminal cabbies to London. A year ago, research by the Suzy Lamplugh Trust concluded that passengers suffered twice as many ''distressing incidents'' in minicabs as in black cabs. ''Something must be done,'' says the trust's director, Diana Lamplugh, who is campaigning to protect passengers.

The police actually the Public Carriage Office of the London Metropolitan Police license more than 20,000 black cab drivers after vetting them thoroughly for ''the knowledge'', driving ability, character and any previous convictions. But this applies only to hackney carriages; the statute book gives them no jurisdiction over minicabs.

So how about London's local authorities taking responsibility? ''We are not empowered,'' says Nick Lester, transport officer for the Association of London Authorities. ''We did try to get a bill through parliament three years ago, but it was not accepted.''

Everybody agrees that ''something must be done'', including the Ministry of Transport, which has just been presented with a thumping great document by the Working Party for the Safety of Users of Taxis and Minicabs. But everybody seems to want a different ''something''.

The black cabs want police to license all taxi-drivers to a single standard. In contrast, minicab drivers want neither the police nor the local authorities to license them. ''We want a new licensing authority with the power to regulate and license vehicles, drivers and operators,'' says Gideon Fiegl of the Private Hire Car Association, which represents a quarter of London's minicabs.

Everyone claims to be concerned about protecting passengers, but the feuding between black cabs and minicabs smacks more of profit protection; and all the lobbying in the world won't shift the legislative machinery fast enough to bring in controls for at least another year or so.

''The most vulnerable sections of society are at risk,'' says Diana Lamplugh but even she fears the working party's report will be ''swept under the carpet''.

Last month the Association of London Authorities called for new regulations for minicabs, with licences issued by either the local authorities or the police, separately from those for black cabs. Both vehicles and drivers would be vetted. But there is a lot of lobbying to do before this becomes law.

Passengers don't care who issues licenses to taxi-drivers, as long as they can be confident of arriving at their destination quickly and in one piece. But it looks as though we'll have to do an awful lot of walking before that day comes.
........................................................


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 30, 2006 2:36 pm 
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JD wrote:
Everybody agrees that ''something must be done'', including the Ministry of Transport, which has just been presented with a thumping great document by the Working Party for the Safety of Users of Taxis and Minicabs. But everybody seems to want a different ''something''.

The black cabs want police to license all taxi-drivers to a single standard. In contrast, minicab drivers want neither the police nor the local authorities to license them. ''We want a new licensing authority with the power to regulate and license vehicles, drivers and operators,'' says Gideon Fiegl of the Private Hire Car Association, which represents a quarter of London's minicabs.




Interesting.

The article quotes 'taxi drivers' (who, and what spokesperson?) want all licensed to the same standard (knowledge? or Police checks?) and the Minicab reps, well the bloke from the PHCA, (LHPCA??) want a new licensing body outside of the PCO.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 30, 2006 2:50 pm 
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Licensing to a single standard effectively means banning minicabs, presumably? Ban, don't license?

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 30, 2006 2:56 pm 
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TDO wrote:
Licensing to a single standard effectively means banning minicabs, presumably? Ban, don't license?



Or it could mean being Police checked, roadworthy vehicles, and proving you have some topographical knowledge of London?

'Ban don't license' is reserved for the Pedicab people. :wink:


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 30, 2006 2:57 pm 
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GBC wrote:
TDO wrote:
Licensing to a single standard effectively means banning minicabs, presumably? Ban, don't license?



Or it could mean being Police checked, roadworthy vehicles, and proving you have some topographical knowledge of London?



Doesn't sound like a single standard to me - double standards, maybe :)

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 30, 2006 5:16 pm 
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GBC wrote:
The article quotes 'taxi drivers' (who, and what spokesperson?) want all licensed to the same standard (knowledge? or Police checks?) and the Minicab reps, well the bloke from the PHCA, (LHPCA??) want a new licensing body outside of the PCO.


In 1994 the LCDC, TGWU and London Taxi Board told the Transport select committee they wanted a one tier system in London.

The LCDC proposed a one tier system of licensing for all drivers of vehicles for hire and reward based on the present system of hackney carriage licensing.

PHV drivers would be allowed to continue to perform hire work for up to three years while they trained to pass the knowledge examination to become Taxi drivers. "But if they had not passed by this time they should be forbidden from continuing as private hire drivers".

That was what the London cab trade wanted in 1994. You can live in self denial for the rest of your natural life but the minutes of the Select committee will remain a matter of public record that will not be altered.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 30, 2006 6:05 pm 
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JD wrote:
PHV drivers would be allowed to continue to perform hire work for up to three years while they trained to pass the knowledge examination to become Taxi drivers. "But if they had not passed by this time they should be forbidden from continuing as private hire drivers".

How fair-minded of them to offer a three year delay. :shock:

But say all those unions/associations got their wicked way and London was a one-tier non PH system. Does anyone really think the touts would go?

Does anyone not think a southern version of 'Delta' wouldn't appear in a next door manor to London?

Which would leave zillions of licensed PH vehicles working in London, but the PCO would have no control whatsoever over them. [-(

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 30, 2006 8:44 pm 
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GBC wrote:
TDO wrote:
Licensing to a single standard effectively means banning minicabs, presumably? Ban, don't license?



Or it could mean being Police checked, roadworthy vehicles, and proving you have some topographical knowledge of London?

'Ban don't license' is reserved for the Pedicab people. :wink:


GBC, have you ever heard of Geoffrey Trotter? Ex Chairman of the London Taxi Board?

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JD


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 30, 2006 9:40 pm 
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JD wrote:
GBC, have you ever heard of Geoffrey Trotter? Ex Chairman of the London Taxi Board?

Image

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 31, 2006 12:37 am 
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How did the define minicab, the bloke outside the club saying taxee boss?

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 31, 2006 7:42 pm 
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Ah Rambo the knowledge boy come out of your cradle have we howcome you comtiniously attack your clients if drivers dont pay rent to your agency your out of work.And all you do is insult them,whilst not having the bottle too prevent yourself being ILLEGALLY ripped off.RAMBO ha ha ha.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 01, 2006 11:18 am 
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GMB Branch secretary wrote:
Ah Rambo the knowledge boy come out of your cradle have we howcome you comtiniously attack your clients if drivers dont pay rent to your agency your out of work.And all you do is insult them,whilst not having the bottle too prevent yourself being ILLEGALLY ripped off.RAMBO ha ha ha.



Tell me something Rambo, how many of your drivers are members of the Bigots (known as Flanagan) outfit?


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 01, 2006 11:46 am 
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GMB Branch secretary wrote:
all you do is insult them


Just like you do?

GMB Branch secretary wrote:
not having the bottle too prevent yourself being ILLEGALLY ripped off.


I would say Rambo, being an astute type of chap, has taken a huge step to stop himself being a victim of fraud.

He has'nt joined your useless union. =D>


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 02, 2006 6:17 pm 
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As far as I am aware, not one of my drivers is a member of the GMB.
GMB, why have a go at me because I have chosen to try and make a better life by doing the knowledge?. Jealous perhaps?.
I am not saying the london taxi trade is perfect, but it is alot better than the PHV trade.
At least I won't have to work with non english speaking drivers, and bosses who don't give a sh*t.

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 02, 2006 8:14 pm 
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GMB Branch secretary wrote:
Ah Rambo the knowledge boy come out of your cradle have we howcome you comtiniously attack your clients if drivers dont pay rent to your agency your out of work.And all you do is insult them,whilst not having the bottle too prevent yourself being ILLEGALLY ripped off.RAMBO ha ha ha.


Is English your first language?

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