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It’s not often, if ever, an issue comes along where 99.9% of the taxi/private hire trade actually agrees on. But getting rid of unlicensed vehicles and their free-reign on our work is such an issue. As mentioned in last month’s Taxi-Today the government have announced proposals to repeal the section in the 1976 act that allows the bad guys to get away with operating un-licensed vehicles. As you can imagine those bad guys i.e. un-licensed stretch limos, un-licensed airport shuttles, un-licensed pinkies etc etc are not best pleased at having their little loop-hole closed. So in a desperate attempt to rescue a desperate loop-hole they are going hell to leather to keep it. Every MP is being lobbied big time, and serious money is being spent.

With all this in mind on our discussion forum we are launching our own campaign, to compliment other’s efforts, to make sure the bad guys get booted out. We have made it very easy for all owners/jockeys, taxi/PH and operators/drivers to lobby their own MPs. All you need to do is to click on your MP (postcode check available), then just copy and paste a clear simple message we have drafted for you. Of course if you feel daring you can always write your own message, but we all need to act now and eradicate the bad guys once and for all. On this issue apathy is not an option.


Had loads of responses on the forum regarding JD’s article last month about vulnerable passengers, and who is to blame when passengers get into un-license/bogus vehicles and things happen to them that shouldn’t. Some say it’s down to thick punters. Others say it’s the sole fault of the scum that pick-up illegally. Whereas a few say it’s down to councils that either don’t enforce the law or just plain don’t care. Maybe it’s a combination of all of the above. However in London it’s slightly different. There a large chunk of the blame lies firmly with those running the black cab trade. Their desperate, but in the end futile, attempts to stop minicabs getting licensed played a significant part in allowing un-licensed vehicles open access to many vulnerable women, with such terrible consequences. ‘Best in the world’, I don’t think so.


Having looked into the tuk tuk situation a bit more, it seems that the South East Traffic Commissioner had no choice, under existing legislation, but to license these things as buses. So I’m more than pleased to detit him. Quite how the laws were drafted in such a way as to allow a go-cart with a roof to carry passengers for hire and reward is another matter. So maybe we should be giving the grief to those who wrote and passed the laws, rather than the Traffic Commissioner who has to follow them. I’m also being nice to him because he called a Public Inquiry into their operation, or not as the case may be, of the Brighton tuk tuk service. It’s seems that he doesn’t much like his licensed buses touting, speeding, jumping red lights, carrying too many passengers, only meeting 15% of their off-peak time-table, only meeting 45% of their peak time-table, oh and bits of them falling off. What might also be of concern to him is the when the front wheel punctures at 10mph, leading to an old dear having her arm broken. So let’s all hope that the Traffic Commissioner boots this lot out, because if he gives them another chance it might not just be a broken arm, it could be a lot worse.

Till next time Alex

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