In 2009 14 Taxi drivers decided to help veterans get the Cenotaph after TFL, under Peter Hendy decided to shut down the Underground Network for Maintenance despite fears it would hinder the veterans getting to the remembrance Sunday parade. The day proved to be such a success that the 14 drivers decided to do it again the following year, coordinated by Mike Hughes.
Over the next 10 years those 14 Taxis grew to over 150 in 2019 which give over 1000 free rides to veterans from all of the mainline railways stations, various services clubs and Victoria Coach Station to the top of Whitehall so that they can participate in the parade.
Also many of the companies associated with the taxi trade in London help out on the day by providing marshalls at all of the mainline railway stations. Mike gives a briefing to all taking part at GSS at 7:00am on the day where the marshalls are provided with high-vis vests kindly sponsored by the London Cab Drivers Club.
Poppy Cabs even got the recognition that they deserved this year with Sky News coverage and and lots of praise from celebrities and presenters on numerous media channels.
Mike Hughes, Independent Coordinator Poppy Cabs and London Taxi Driver, said: “The Poppy Cabs service is an integral part of Remembrance Sunday, involving hundreds of proud London taxi drivers coming together to support our country’s veterans.
Over 500 veterans have made use of the free service have in recent years and this initiative perfectly demonstrates the amazing spirit and generosity of kind-hearted London cabbies.
The generosity of London’s Cabbies has been replicated around the country with the Poppy Cabs initiative entering Edinburgh.
On social media a spokesperson said: “We are finally up and running! 2019 is our first year providing free fares to our Veterans to get to the Remembrance Day service. We hope we with support we can provide this every year”
Just like the service in London, taxi drivers will volunteer to take part by identifying themselves to veterans using poppy signage in their windscreen.
Swindon also saw Taxi drivers giving free rides to veterans in their area.
London’s taxi drivers do not provide this service for any Kudos, they do so out of the kindness of their hearts and to give a little back to those who gave so much for our future.
London’s Taxi drivers were also joined by the London Vintage Taxi Association who also provided free rides to the veterans from Waterloo Station.
Mike Hughes is the man behind the organisation of Poppy Cabs
After the ceremony the Taxi line up on Westminster bridge to p[provide transport for the veterans back to the various clubs and railway stations.
Mike also oprganised a special Poppy Cabs Pin badge this year of which there are still some available if you would like one, you can pick one up from various places around London with a suggested donation of £6.00
Many thanks got to Mike Hughes for the tremendous effort it takes to organise Poppy Cabs and thanks to Jon Cox for the great pictures of the day.
Mike Brown to leave transport group next May
Transport for London boss Mike Brown is set to head up the £4bn restoration of the Palace of Westminster.
London’s travel authority announced today that transport commissioner Brown (pictured) will be leaving the organisation to take up the role of chair of the delivery authority for the restoration and renewal of the Houses of Parliament.
He will remain at TfL for the remainder of Sadiq Khan’s current term as mayor – meaning he will take up his new role next May.
Brown became TfL commissioner in July 2015 and has led the delivery of the mayor’s transport strategy and multi-billion pound transport investment programme.
He first joined London Underground in 1989 and became chief operating officer in 2003.
Brown then left to run Heathrow Airport during a massive transformation and passenger improvement programme and later returned as the managing director of London Underground.
More recently Brown has come under scrutiny for overseeing the late-running Crossrail scheme, which has seen its budget grow by £2bn.
Brown’s appointment to the delivery authority comes a week after it was announced that HS2’s corporate sponsorship director Sarah Johnson had been chosen to head up the sponsor board for redevelopment of the Palace of Westminster.
Johnson was named as the chief executive of the shadow sponsor body, which was established in 2018 to set the scope, budget and timescale of the Restoration and Renewal Programme, and oversee the delivery authority, which is set to have the technical expertise to commission and execute the work.
UTAG should like to thank our colleagues in Medway and Cllr Dan McDonald, for inviting us to this important Council meeting at which, Medway Council passed a motion to support the MLTDA in taking legal action against Uber, over their illegal activity in the Medway towns in which they are not licensed.
This illegal activity in Medway, is predominantly being carried out by TfL licensed Uber drivers.
Although this activity has been reported to TfL, they will do nothing to stop it…..but Medway will.
Cllr Jane Chitty who also worked on the motion said:
Medway Council is a pathfinder in taking action against Uber.
Also contributing legal advice to Cllr Dan McDonald, was London Suburban Taxi-drivers’ Coalition (Chairman) Les Hoath.
At last we have a regulator who will finally stand up and support action against Uber.
TfL take note, this leads back to you!
Town Hall open to ideas on how to cut emissions after declaring climate emergency
Liz Wheatley from Camden Unison speaking at Monday’s meeting
COUNCIL chiefs have been urged to press the full emergency button on climate change and ban cars from Camden’s roads for three months every year.
The proposed shutdown for one week every month was put forward as a serious proposition this week as the Town Hall’s war on emissions gathered pace.
The council is ready to consider any green idea to back up its status as one of the first local authorities to declare a climate emergency and target being carbon neutral by 2030.
It set up a “Citizens’ Assembly” – a panel of 50 randomly selected residents – to help draw up an action plan and is digesting possible ways to encourage people to give up their cars.
As the options were discussed at Monday’s full council meeting, Liz Wheatley, branch convenor at Unison, said Camden had to match its fighting talk on climate change with action, suggesting “car-free days” could be expanded to “car-free weeks”. She said: “When you think that they are already finding air pollution particles in people’s placentas, then it’s a serious issue. “There should be monitoring on all roads. We know some of that happens but the results need to be published to start a discussion about what we do to reduce them.”
Asked by the Conservative opposition in the chamber how disabled or elderly people would be able to get around if cars were not allowed, Ms Wheatley said: “I knew it would be controversial: it is a big ask, it is a big change for people but I’m wary of the phrase ‘a genuine need for a car’ because a lot of people have a genuine need for a lot of things and they find there is an alternative to having them.”
The proposal would mean stopping pollution-causing cars – including on famously busy stretches such as Euston Road and Finchley Road – but allowing green public transport and electric vehicles to run.
Ms Wheatley added: “There are going to be people who need a vehicle but then, what’s wrong with an electric vehicle? They are not perfect, but they are better than a petrol or diesel vehicle.”
Camden invited members of its Citizens’ Assembly, representatives of local green campaign group and activists from Extinction Rebellion – currently in the middle of a fortnight of direct action protests – to take part in the meeting.
All parties later approved a motion to consider new measures and reinforce its climate emergency approach.
Labour council chiefs have already said they would like to see non-essential car use reduced and Camden is aiming to meet the toughest World Health Organisation standards on air quality – an ambition which outstrips several other local authorities.
Car-free events, however, have been limited to single days and not covered the entire borough so far.
Camden High Street will be closed off for a day later this year as a test.
While in the past some green ideas have been dismissed by local governments across the UK as too disruptive to daily life or too expensive to implement, Camden has now declared itself ready to be a leading authority in terms of bringing down emissions.
What was once considered a fringe debate by some politicians, the need to clean up the polluted air is now at the top of agenda – a fact Ms Wheatley said owed a lot to schoolchildren protesting about their climate change fears.
Nearly every street in Camden has pollutants above levels considered safe for humans, with particular concern about the toxic air around schools and hospitals.
The union’s other suggestions included banning glyphosate weed killer on council land, divesting pension money from fossil fuel-burning companies and using parking ticket cash on green schemes.
Ms Wheatley said that for three weeks every year, schools should devote their “entire curriculum to be taught through the lens of climate emergency”.
Adam Harrison, Camden’s environment chief, said Camden was ready to set an example and welcomed ideas from Unison
Labour environment chief, Councillor Adam Harrison, said Ms Wheatley had outlined “what I think is a really valuable and helpful programme of actions”, adding: “We need to be looking at every aspect of what we do.”
He said: “We’ve had some debates about the car-free proposal and of course the Citizens’ Assembly proposed car-free zones and car-free days. I think there’s a lot of synergy there.”
Cllr Harrison said: “We need to be setting an example. Even if we think others aren’t following our lead, we need to be the ones working out how to transform in this new environment.”
TfL admit, London traffic lights have been rephased to give priority to buses and cyclists by a record amount. It would seem that ordinary senior citizens and the disabled community will have to just sit in the stationary traffic. With lights staying on red for longer, we can expect to see even more pollution caused by the ensuing gridlock.
TfL project the amount of time saved by Londoners travelling by bus, bike or on foot is expected to total 17,500 hours per weekday by the end of the year. They haven’t made a projection of the extra journey time everyone else can expect.
Transport for London’s 15,000 hours target will be the biggest time-saving yet recorded. But for only bus passengers and cyclists.
As most buses R virtually empty for much of the day, TfL are hoping to attract more passengers from other means of transport.
TfL is also planning further changes to 28 junctions that will give extra “green time” to cyclists, primarily along the hugely unpopular East-West and North-South cycle superhighways. Not really the right political atmosphere to be squandering public funds on personal vanity projects.
About a fifth of the capital’s 6,300 traffic lights are reviewed each year to ensure “green time” is allocated according to demand.
SCOOT (Split Cycle Offset Optimisation Technique) will see sensors used to detect traffic and adjust the red-amber-green timings to manage queues and give buses priority if they are running late.
We heard this before….TFL’s CentreComs (during the time of the Olympic Lanes) were going to (in their own words) tweak the timings of traffic signals to hold back traffic to clear specific areas of hold ups caused by the 2012 Olympic lanes. Not only did this not work, TfL never took a note of the original timings, which have resulted -even up to today- traffic chaos.
The first SCOOT sensors able to detect how many cyclists are waiting at traffic lights are due to be installed at the first 20 junctions, including at Ludgate Circus and at Southwark Tube station, by next April. So expect travel along Fleet Street/Ludgate Hill and Blackfriars Road/ The Cut to become a nightmare.
Helen Cansick, TfL’s head of network performance said: “By the end of the [financial] year, all the changes we will have made, will have counted up to 17,500 hours every day saved to people at these junctions using sustainable modes of transport.”
So, diesel buses are now being classed as ‘sustainable’ modes of transport! And yet zero emission possible Taxis, fully electric Taxis, fully wheelchair accessible Taxis, will be excluded by these changes. The hypocrisy from ‘network performance’ is of the highest order…
Sadiq Khan’s long-term transport strategy commits TfL to ensuring London’s streets are “used more efficiently and have less traffic”.
Yet the he has made a point of excluding the licensed Taxi trade from the Mayor’s Transport strategy.
TfL’s aim is to create a “green wave”, enabling cyclists to flow through several sets of lights at a time. It varies the timings of traffic lights according to the time of day, to mirror peak-hour traffic flows.
But then….TfL change tact and the !Green Man’ suddenly becomes more pedestrian friendly, causing even more traffic chaos in its wake.
TfL state: The “Green man authority” trials, where the green man signal for pedestrians remains illuminated as the “default” setting, and only changes when vehicles approach, are due to start imminently in the Olympic park.
Pedestrian SCOOT sensors that detect the amount of people waiting to cross the road are due to be introduced at Highbury & Islington station. They have been used for some time near the East London and Regent’s Park mosques.(wondered why jams had appeared there where before there were none….another of Khan’s personal vanity projects perhaps?)
Ms Cansick said: “Our job is to get the best balance so that no one particular group of people feels particularly adversely affected.
“We don’t necessarily want to create a whole population of angry drivers who are sitting in traffic.”
Which is exactly Taxi Leaks predicts will happen
Paris ‘smog days’ have increased from 5 to 22 per year in the past 4 years as a direct result of the Mayor’s anti-car policies and despite a low emission zone.
Paris now has fewer cars, but emissions have increased due to more congestion caused by cycle lanes, pedestrianisation and 8000 construction projects. Hamsa Hansal, who owns a fleet of 10 cabs, describes the Mayor of Paris as “a hysteric. Nothing but bicycle lanes and construction sites.
Total Chaos, Traffic Jams 24/7”
ABD Environment spokesman Paul Biggs said: “It’s well known that increasing congestion increases emissions.
This fact seems to have escaped successive London Mayors and the Mayor of Paris, who seem hell-bent on grinding economically essential traffic to a halt – traffic that can’t be replaced by walking and cycling.
This results in a vicious circle of increasingly punitive air quality measures against drivers costing orders of magnitude more than even the claimed benefits.
It seems that obstructing traffic and raising revenue from drivers takes priority over improving air quality