Landmark win for UTAG and the London Taxi Trade

Landmark win for UTAG and the London Taxi Trade

As you know our Judicial Review challenge against TfL’s Bishopsgate closure The A10 Order and the wider, far-reaching Streetspace scheme was heard at the High Court via a video link on November 25th and 26th 2020 in front of Mrs. Justice Lang DBE.

We put forward a very strong case against these two schemes and they were superbly argued by our legal team; David Matthias QC and Charles Streeten Barrister.  The judgment has just been handed down and we are thrilled to able to tell you that UTAG & The LTDA won both challenges and won convincingly.

Our team challenged The Mayor and Transport for London’s A10 Order and the Streetspace Plan & Guidance on 5 grounds.

They were made without regard to the legal status of Hackney Carriages and the vital role they play in providing accessible public transport for those with mobility impairments.

They failed to have proper regard to the Public Sector Equality Duty, pursuant to Sec 149 of the Equalities Act 2010.

They resulted in disproportionate interference with the rights of HC drivers and other industry stakeholders.

They breached a legitimate expectation of HC drivers that they will be able to pass and repass and Ply for Hire along carriageways used by London buses.

They were seriously flawed

We won Grounds 1,2,4 and 5. We lost Ground 3 although by the very narrowest of margins and since we only needed to win one of the grounds in order to win the case that is of no practical consequence.

In her judgment, Mrs.Justice Lang confirmed that Taxis and Buses are the only two forms of public transport that are allowed to Ply for Hire; it’s important to note that she agreed we are public transport. 

We have said this for years and it’s now been confirmed by a senior High Court Judge which vindicates the message ‘Where Buses Go Taxis Go.’

      In light of this outstanding victory, Mrs. Justice Lang has ordered that:

  • The A10 Order (Bishopsgate Bus Corridor) is quashed
  • The Streetspace Plan is quashed
  • The Streetspace Guidance is quashed
  • That the defendants pay the claimants’ costs.    
  • The amount of costs has yet to be decided)

Mrs Justice Lang REFUSED TfL Leave To Appeal but allowed a Stay of 21 days

To win the most important legal challenge the trade has ever mounted so convincingly is an outstanding victory and should not be underestimated.

 

 David Matthias QC leading counsel for the Claimants said:

“This judgment is of major importance not only to London’s iconic black cab trade but also to all people living, working or visiting London who are unable to walk significant distances or to cycle. 

In the course of her long and careful judgment Mrs Justice Lang has vindicated all the concerns raised by the taxi trade, both on their own account and on account of the disabled, the elderly and all other people prejudiced by the Streetspace Plan and its impacts throughout the capital. 

The taxi trade may feel justly proud that it has taken the Mayor and TfL to task in this matter and secured a seminal judgment which should guide the approach to be taken by local authorities to all future road schemes both in London and elsewhere in the country.”

 

However, without your support, trust, and financial backing, this challenge would not have been possible and although the trade as a whole will benefit, the real thanks go to you and the victory is yours.

 

We should also like to publicly thank the LTDA for backing us and coming as a joint claimant.  They have been a pleasure to work with and their input has been invaluable.  

Like UTAG, they knew these closures would not be temporary but merely a precursor to further wide-ranging access restrictions for taxis and agreed we must act jointly to stop the Mayor and TfL from causing more harm to our trade and inconvenience to our passengers, especially the disabled.

 

We must also thank our outstanding legal team; David Matthias QC, Charles Streeten Barrister, Darren Rogers Instructing Solicitor and last but not least Martin Low Expert Witness for providing vital evidence to The High Court.

We shall of course keep you updated as things progress, and our legal team seeks remedies from TfL; in other words, to allow us full access to these roads without delay. 

Thank you once again for your incredible and ongoing support; this is a great day for our trade.

Best wishes

On behalf of all at UTAG

Angela Clarkson and Trevor Merralls 

United Trade Action Group

Ascotts Offer free rent to its Drivers until 1st May 2020

Ascotts Offer free rent to its Drivers until 1st May 2020

*An update to all of our drivers – 19th March 2020*

As new reports of Covid-19 continue to develop, the welfare of our employees, customers and drivers is our highest priority.

This is not an easy time for the trade.

In light of the ongoing situation, we will be CANCELLING ALL RENTAL PAYMENTS for our fleet drivers from Monday 23rd March, until Friday 1st May 2020.

We hope that this gives you one less thing to worry about at such an uncertain time.

As much-valued customers, we are committed to assisting you and keeping you as up to date as we possibly can.

Stay safe and well!

The Ascott Family.

News from Mercedes Benz Finance

News from Mercedes Benz Finance

We have received the following courtesy of Penso regarding those of you who have finance through Mercedes Benz.

The best way to get in touch with us is to email us mbfscv@daimler.com

In order for us to help you as quickly as possible please include the following information in your email:

  • Agreement Number
  • Registration Number
  • Chassis Number

You can find this information on your agreement. If you cannot find these then please provide as much other information as you can.

You can also contact us by:

Telephone 0370 847 0700
We are open Monday to Friday 8:00am – 6:00pm and Saturday 9:00am – 5:00pm

Or you can write to us:

Commercial Vehicle Finance Team
Mercedes-Benz Finance
Tongwell
Milton Keynes
MK15 8BA

CAB DRIVERS OFFERED FINANCE PAYMENT HOLIDAY IN RESPONSE TO CORONAVIRUS CRISIS

CAB DRIVERS OFFERED FINANCE PAYMENT HOLIDAY IN RESPONSE TO CORONAVIRUS CRISIS

 

  • LEVC and Black Horse have agreed to make a payment holiday available to TX cab drivers on existing finance deals
  • Three-month payment suspension in direct response to Coronavirus crisis and its impact on the trade
  • To register go to www.levc.com/payment-holiday

Black cab drivers can take a three-month finance payment holiday, LEVC can reveal, designed to ease the burden on the trade due to the current Coronavirus crisis.

TX drivers on any existing finance contract can apply for a three-month suspension of repayments by simply completing their details at www.levc.com/payment-holiday. The initiative has been agreed by LEVC and Black Horse – and is available nationwide.

Joerg Hofmann, LEVC CEO, said:

“This is an extremely critical time and the payment holiday will hopefully play a role in softening the impact that Coronavirus has on taxi drivers. We recognise and celebrate the efforts they make daily to keep working and Britain moving. The taxi trade has endured many tough times over its long and proud history in London and other UK cities – and it will endure this one too. But this three-month bridge will hopefully ease the burden drivers face.”

Women Attacked By Muggers ‬ Inside A Black Cab On Harrods Taxi Rank‬

Women Attacked By Muggers ‬ Inside A Black Cab On Harrods Taxi Rank‬

Just heard a frightening story in one of my WhatsApp groups. A driver on point of Harrods Rank, picked up an oriental lady with her two daughters.

She gave him her destination but before he could drive off, the doors were opened again by a small group of men similar in appearance to the Lisson Green Mob. One of the men came to the driver window and was asking to be taken to another destination. 
But as we’ve seen before, this was no more than a distraction tactic, because another of the men got inside the taxi and proceeded to try to mug the lady. As luck would have it, the lady put up quite a fight and the man made off with just the lady’s watch which he managed to pull from her wrist. 
On the way to her destination she explained to the driver that she was unhurt and really didn’t want to go to the police station. She said the watch was in fact just a cheap fake. She just wanted to get her daughters back to her hotel as they were both quite shaken up. 
Trouble is I’ve only heard the story second hand, and have no idea who the driver was. 
I just hope he reads this… as it’s imperative he goes to the police and reports the incident in full detail. This is not the first time something like this has taken place at a Taxi rank.
We can’t have our customers being mug inside our Taxis.
When passengers are picked up it is now extremely important the all doors are locked as soon as possible. 

This is what London has become under a Mayor who would rather spend money on two rappers… than on victims of crime.