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How to Survive the Overhaul

Once a year each and every London Taxi has to be presented for its yearly inspection to be licensed by TfL to ply for hire on London’s streets. If you rent a Taxi then the yearly Overhaul will not be something that you have to worry about but if you own your own Taxi then it can be a stressful time of year, but it need not be! There are things that you can do yourself to reduce both the stress levels and the associated cost of preparing your Taxi for its inspection.

About 1 week before your Taxi is due to be presented check all of your bulbs, both exterior and interior, you would not believe how many cabs fail the test for lights not working, get your meter changed and make sure you obtain a new Meter Certificate. Get you Taxi chassis washed and before either giving it to your garage or presenting it at SGS makes sure that you get cleaned inside and out.

One thing that a lot of taxis fail the test on is the emissions test, this is due to the fact that taxis spend most of their life poodling around London and sitting in traffic, they get a build up of soot in the exhaust which when the cab is smoke tested gets thrown out due to the pressure being forced though the exhaust when the accelerator is depressed to full throttle this means that the smoke machine gives a high reading rendering the test failed, this problem is prevalent with drivers who live close to London as their vehicles never really get a good run along the motorway to blast all the crap out of the exhaust. So about 3 days before presenting your cab it is always a good idea to add some sort of injector cleaner or diesel additive to the take and then take the cab on a good run to clear the exhaust.

There are a lot of other things that you can do throughout the year to reduce the cost at overhaul time, the main thing is to get your vehicle serviced regularly and don’t keep putting things off that need doing until overhaul time, if something needs replacing then get it done as and when the vehicle needs it as leaving something like a worn balljoint can lead onto other failures such as wishbone bushes, track rod ends and premature tyre wear. Preventative maintenance is always better than waiting until overhaul time when costs can spiral out of control. Basically if you look after your Taxi then it will look after you.

Albany Taxi Charity Fund outing to Hastings

The Albany Taxi Charity Fund are looking for drivers for their annual outing for Children with Learning Disabilities to Hastings on the South Coast, the outing this year will take place on Wednesday 20th June. The outing leaves from Charlton Football Club where all drivers are treated to a full English Breakfast before being allocated their children. At approx 9.00am the Taxis set off in Convoy for Hastings with a short break at Bewl Water for toilets and refreshments.

If you would like to take part in this fantastic event then please call Ray Ali on 07950 877729

The Addison Lee Bus Lane Saga

John Griffin went stated on LBC that he has told all of his drivers to use Bus Lanes in London and that he will indemnify them for any fines, he also stated that he wants a level playing field for his company and to achieve that he wants Private Hire to be allowed access to the Bus Lane network in London, this could mean an estimated extra 80,000 vehicles would be allowed access to the bus lanes which would clog the bus lanes to an extent that they would be useless.

Obviously John Griffin has an utter disrespect for the law and Transport for London who license his company and his drivers and must think that he can ride rough shot over them and try to force their hand. If John Griffin wants a level playing field then he can quite easily achieve it, all he has to do is swap his cheap Ford Galaxy vehicles for more expensive Purpose Built Taxis, make sure that all of his drivers go through the Knowledge, make sure that his fleet of vehicles are 100% fully wheelchair accessible and put all of his drivers through an additional driving test they will then become Licensed Taxi Drivers, there you go Mr Griffin, a level playing field! But I think that Mr Griffin wants a playing field tilted in his favour which he aims to get by trying to flex his muscles and forcing the licensing authority into allowing his vehicles access to the bus lanes.

For Mr Griffin to incite his drivers into breaking the law must surely bring into question his companies suitability for holding a Private Hire operators license and also that of any of his drivers who contravene bus lane regulations suitability to hold a private hire drivers license, TfL really need to hold their position on this issue and enforce all fines against Add Lee drivers and make sure that payment is forthcoming, I believe that Mr Griffin thinks that TfL will fold and not uphold the fines, lets hope that enforce each and every fine.

Mr Griffin has also stated that he will indemnify his drivers for any bus lanes infringements, maybe he will also indemnify his drivers for their loss of earnings of they lose their private hire drivers license for a number of years after they lose it. Interestingly if each and every Add lee driver was to get fined 15 times for bus lane infringements it could swallow up Addison Lee’s stated £3 million profit for the year, so go on Addison Lee Drivers, listen to your boss and keep on using the bus lanes, make sure they are the ones with the cameras so that Mr Griffin can pay your fines, you could then see the demise of Add Lee and you will all be out of work, one consolation is that there will be a lot of Ford Galaxy’s going cheap that you could buy and go and work for someone else.

If Transport for London do not put a stop to this bus lane Saga they might as well forget about the Olympic Lane network as nobody would take any notice of the regulations and would just use the Olympic lanes at will as they would just ignore the fines which would obviously have a negative and adverse effect on the Olympic Games which will not look good on TfL.

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