Author: News Desk

London drivers to be fined £130 for using Olympics VIP lanes

Drivers in London will be hit with £130 fines if they stray into lanes that have  been reserved for Olympic stars and VIPs for the duration of the Games. A £500,000 system has been set up to read registration plates on vehicles  travelling on key routes around venues such as the Olympic Stadium. Any that do  not have permission to be in the reserved lanes will be punished. Motorists who skip traffic  by using VIP-only lanes during the Olympics will be fined Steve McNamara, chief of the Licensed Taxi Drivers’ Association, told the Sun  he is anticipating ‘chaos’ when the Games get underway on July 27th. Olympics chiefs believe the lanes are vital as they will allow organisers to  get athletes and officials to their events at the right time. But Big Brother Watch’s Nick Pickles said the intrusion is a step too far,  stating: ‘It will be a disaster if the Olympic legacy is the kind of state  surveillance you’d expect in a sci-fi movie.’ A total of 109 miles of roads have been designated congestion-free for the  Games, but cameras are likely to focus on the 30 miles in central London. Anybody who veers into one of these will be automatically fined as the  cameras trigger penalty notices that are sent to a driver’s  home....

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102 year old London black cab discovered in barn could sell for over £20,000

  A 102 year old black London cab discovered in an old barn in Gloucestershire. This rare and priceless cab of a bygone era has now been restored and put up for sale, where it is expected to fetch over £20,000. It is cabs such as this, that saw the end of regal looking horse drawn chariots on streets of London. The chariot is now up for auction after being refurbished and polished. It still retains its original taxi meter and switches in the back so that passengers should indicate to the driver the direction they wished to go in. The London Cab has a top speed on 40 miles per hour and is now the only one being auctioned as most of these cabs were destroyed. The cab is in excellent condition with most of its original leather interiors intact. It possesses a 16 hp engine with a three speed gearbox. It has wooden wheels with pneumatic tyres and paraffin lamps both in the front and rear. The auction will be held at The Castle Combe race circuit, Chippenham, Wilt on the 30th of June 2012 where it is bound to garner a great deal of...

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Nenshi: Hailing the benefits of a reformed taxi system

One of the most difficult issues any city faces is regulation of the taxi  industry. Evidence shows that pure deregulation of this industry rarely works in the  developed world. In addition to making it difficult to protect the safety,  cleanliness and effectiveness of the system, the economics of supply and demand  can result in a system where it is difficult for drivers to earn any money, so  they exit, resulting in fewer cabs than before. But most cities also struggle with the nature of regulation. Whether cabs are  restricted through knowledge tests, as in London, England, or through the number  of plates, as in most North American cities — from New York to Calgary — cities  are always trying to improve the system. Calgary is no exception. While the taxi system is, for the most part, safe  and reliable, there are many areas in which it is underperforming. Many drivers are concerned about their safety and a system that sometimes  seems tilted against them in favour of taxi brokers who run the dispatch  companies. Further, many taxi licences (or plates) are owned by people, including  brokers, who never actually drive a cab, but sub-license to other drivers, who  can then have the plate taken off their cab at any time for any reason. This  happens despite the fact that these drivers have to purchase and outfit the  vehicles themselves....

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City of Tallinn welcomes London Taxi

The London Taxi Company has sent an inquiry to the Estonian ministry of economic affairs and Tallinn City Government on whether the company could expand its operations to Tallinn, writes Eesti Päevaleht. The letter signed by Ross MacKrennon, international sales manager of the company, promises better quality of service than currently offered. According to MacKrennon, London taxis are specially designed for the purpose and are therefore comfortable, secure and enduring. Besides supplying the cabs, the company is also proposing offering special training for drivers. Andres Harjo, head of the Tallinn municipal transport authority, said in comment that while all newcomers on the taxi market were always welcome, London Taxi will not be getting any preferential treatment nor be able to replace existing operators. „But they can build up a position where their services are more attractive than those of their competitors. Whether there is a market for them here in Tallinn, only the market itself will decide,” said Harjo in comment. The company has been extremely successful in Azerbaijan’s capital Baku, where it has significantly improved the overall taxi service and helped to reduced the number of pirate cabs, MacKrennon said. London taxis also operate in several other locations overseas, including Saudi Arabia and...

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