After the fight was over, the wannabe heroes emerged from behind the curtains:
The auditorium was cleared, Sir Peter Hendy bravely addressed the GLA transport committee.
“I hope you enjoyed, assuming the mental of some of those people (referring to the Taxi drivers who had just been commended by the committee for their excellent behaviour)
“Don’t Peter don’t, don’t get involved” was the advice, from Val Shawcross, but he couldn’t help himself, saying:
“There are many many good Taxi drivers, but there are some who aren’t”
Val Shawcross then said
“we’ve had very good behaviour today.”
Hendy went on to complained that it was unacceptable that he, as a public official, should be abused and accused of being fraudulent and accepting bribes.
He looked awkward and sounded like a naughty schoolboy giving a dodgy excuse to a teacher.
Not quite what’s expected of the man charged with overseeing Transport for London.
After St Peter’s uncomfortable appearance in front of the GLA transport committee at City Hall, as expected, compliance and Cab Enforcement officers were dispatched and suddenly came out of the shadows.
Half a dozen checkpoints sprang up but it soon became apparent that it was mainly Taxis being targeted. It seems TfL are to continue with their tried and trusted policy that if they don’t bother detecting problems with PH, then these problems don’t exist and also don’t appear on the formal statistics.
Apart from the road checks, cab enforcement along with met officers turned up at major rail stations and gave out PCNs to drivers queuing up to get on the over crowded ranks.
Friday morning, we received news that Uber, a company banned in many countries around the world, who are subject to current court cases including driver rape, driver sexual assault, driver credit card fraud, driving while uninsured and who are also under investigation by TfL and the LTDA for operating illegally here in London, had been given Taxi and Private Hire innovator of the year award.
Many in both the Taxi and Private Hire industries were stunned to read this, many feel this to be a complete stitch up. Looking at this in depth, it is clear, all is not what it seems on the outside.
London Transport Awards:
Who’s behind them?
The London Transport Awards are an annual event held by Transport Times publication.
They awards are sponsored by companies mainly within the transport industry. The award given to Uber was sponsored by the Department of Transport UK, Department of Transport Scotland and none other than Transport for London.
Who decides the awards:?
Chair of the Judges, Professor David Begg.
In his past, Prof Begg has been: TfL board member, Board member of Heathrow Airport Ltd, Director of First Group.
Other Judges were:
Corporate Director of Services London Councils.
Chief Executive London TravelWatch.
Caroline Pidgeon, MBE
Chair, Transport Committee GLA.
When asked by confussed Taxi drivers about her role in the Uber award Caroline had this to say:
“I was a judge, but was outvoted in several categories…. it is not appropriate for me to say which ones I supported or not, but you know my concerns in this area very clearly. The judges assessed each entry for each category. Most awards were unanimous. Some I was outvoted. I can’t say more than that.”
TfL have made a huge statement here without uttering a word.
This is them saying “UBER ARE HERE TO STAY”.
TfL care nothing for us, if anyone or any trade org think that sucking up to them or the Mayor will help us, they are totally deluded.
Our trade leaders need to start talking with all the Mayoral candidates on the following basis:
1. A new regulator for us and PH.
2. A commitment to a sensible way forward for cleaner cabs.
3. A trade wide engagement.
4. Clear enforcevent against virtual Plying for Hire.
If they don’t endorse this, we should make it very clear, we will campaign against them.