Select Page

EXCLUSIVE: Move to Faith Lawson House Westminster, Confirmed By Garret Emmerson: And there’s more!!!

The long expected exile of TPH has now been officially announced to Staff at Palestra.
In a memo to staff, Garret Emmerson announced :
“As I am sure you know Palestra is busy. The number of colleagues based here has reached a level beyond that which we are able to comfortably accommodate.
“After carefully considering a range of options at Surface Board, we believe the best option is to move our Service Operations Directorate to a refurbished Faith Lawson House in Westminster.
“Areas in other directorates that work in partnership on Service Operations projects will also co-locate to Faith Lawson House.”
So, in line with the Surface Integration Program (SIP), Taxis and private hire will be moved to the Westminster building, along with  Project and Programmes Directorate, Finance, Commercial and IT staff supporting the business.
Along with appropriate Asset Management, Enforcement and on Street Operations and Planning staff.
Also elements of Victoria Coach Station, River Services and (in their own words) customer experience, in relation to Cycle Hire Transformation and Road User Charging in relation to Group Planning.
Garret goes on to say:
“These changes will also allow us to achieve our long standing ambition to move the (EOS) traffic enforcement team into Palestra, to work alongside London Streets Traffic Control Centre (LSTCC) to focus on minimising congestion through effective enforcement.”
So as predicted, the bus boys will be taking over Palestra.
We expect the refurbishment work to begin shortly, and staff to start to move in from October. Over summer we will work on plans of how to best use the space left vacant at Palestra
A member of staff who wishes to remain anonymous said:
They didn’t even have the grace to contact each affected staff member personally. Emails were sent to managers which told them as some staff are not on line, print off and stick on notice boards.
It’s disgraceful the way we’ve been treated.

Boris Johnson’s book, Spirit of London

I was recently pointed in the direction of a paragraph from Boris Johnson’s book “Spirit of London” by a friend on Facebook of which I am sure most taxi drivers would like to read.

This paragraph from the book is a somewhat different stance to the view of the Taxi Trade that Boris falsely shares with our trade representatives.

The paragraph obviously refers to the demo held at Tower Bridge by the UCG against the trades exclusion from the Olympic Lanes.

I will let you make you own mind up when you read it!!!

Are TfL Digging In For A Fight? …by Jim Thomas

It’s been alleged that TfL are to batten down their hatches after fears that a United Taxi Trade could be regularly protesting outside the Blackfriars offices of Taxi and Private Hire. TPH are to be farmed out to a little known building, tucked away discreetly behind New Scotland Yard.
Plans to move the whole department, were leaked weeks ago, but were unconfirmed.
Confirmation emerged yesterday afternoon on social media by a well known Union with links to a Private Hire.
From this October, TfL’s controversial Taxi and Private Hire department moves in to Faith Lawson House, another TfL building, situated in the narrow Darce Street.
The entrance to the narrow street can be closed off in seconds by a single officer.
Already dubbed “Hendy’s Bunker”, should this defensive move start alarm bells ringing as to what TfL have in store for the Taxi trade later this year?

GLA Ask Boris To Explain The Uber Situation…by Jim Thomas

Boris Johnson has been asked questions by members of the GLA, about TfLs stance regarding the current issue between London’s licensed Taxi trade and the SmartPhone based App Uber

    Boris made the statement:

“It is absolutely vital that London should continue to be served by Taxis that have disabled access, that you can hail in the street and that will always have somebody at the wheel who knows the city and who knows what they are doing and who has the Knowledge,” he told the London Assembly.

“That is the service that the black cab trade provides and it will always continue to provide that. What you cannot do is dis-invent technology.”

But our problem is NOT with competition with apps. The Taxi trade are up in arms at the incompetent way TfL are handling the complex issues appertaining to the new wave of companies trying to operate on the outer fringes of licensing legislation.

For many years the strict enforcement of the London Cab and Private a Hire Acts kept standards high. The London Taxi trade has been renouned the world over as the pinnacle of excellence. But recently TfL have eased restrictions on PH operators and drivers. We now have minicab drivers who don’t speak a word of English, over 10,000 minicab drivers not registered with an operator.  Legally, every private hire job has to go through a third party operator and dispatched to a driver after a booking is recorded. Just how do these drivers get work, if not from a licensed operator?

It is also possible for anyone to purchase a second hand minicab complete with TfL Licence Roundel, you don’t have to be a licensed driver to buy one. With minicab related serious sexual assaults including rapes currently running at around 25 per week, this just can not be right.

Lines of cars infest the Westend outside most night venues. Sexual predators use these lines of touts to find fresh victims.

TfL and the Met turn a complete blind eye to this situation with the belief, if they don’t act knowledge the situation, there is no recorded evidence and therefore no actual problem. But the problem is escalating and the problem is now being picked up by groups such as the Suzi Lamplugh trust and rape crisis centre The Heavens.

Recently we saw the Taxi trade unite and take to the streets to bring this problem to the attention of the worlds media. TfL’s PR department went into full throttle. Using placed media articles, threats against drivers, the implementation of the public order act, our message was almost lost. The theme of the demo was portrayed throughout the media as being against Uber. They even ignored 30 foot banners which advertised TfL as “Totally Failing London”.

Yes Uber is a problem, currently breaking all the rules with TfL bending over backwards to facilitate them.

But still, our main problem is the belligerent bias towards us from this incompetent licensing authority.

The only course of action open to us now is continued direct action and we again must take to the streets en masse.

More than 300 TfL staff earn £100k

Hundreds of Transport for London staff earned more than £100,000 in the last year, the organisation’s accounts have revealed.

Some 328 staff received at least that sum in 2012-13. The top salary package was £652,452.

The RMT union said the “loadsamoney culture” was “outrageous” at a time when fare rises were ongoing.

TfL claims the sums are “lower end pay” compared to other transport operators and are needed to attract good staff.

The accounts also reveal big bonuses paid to transport chiefs as a reward for the Olympics passing uneventfully.

Start Quote

Huge pay gaps are bad for society”

Jenny JonesLondon Assembly Green Party

‘Lower end’ pay

Performance awards for top staff for 2010-11 and 2011-12 were deferred, with payment contingent on a successful games.

Transport Commissioner Sir Peter Hendy received a performance award of £168,640 for 2011-12 as well as an award of £150,366 for 2010-11.

London Underground managing director Mike Brown got £88,936 for 2011-12 and £75,010 for 2010-11.

Bob Crow, general secretary of the RMT transport union, said: “With transport taking a massive hit in the spending review, and with job cuts and fare increases looming large, it is outrageous that the top brass across TfL are raking in such huge bonuses.

“RMT will take the loadsamoney culture at the top into full account as we make our own pay claims.”

London Assembly Green Party member Jenny Jones added: “The mayor and the assembly have been clear that huge pay gaps are bad for society.

“The mayor should be trying to reduce the gulf between senior managers and the staff who run our buses, trains and roads.”

A TfL spokesman responded: “The total remuneration of the Commissioner and chief officers remains at the lower end of that paid for similar jobs elsewhere in the transport and related industries where TfL competes with the private sector for high-quality staff.”

The organisation said the total number of its staff who received remuneration of more than £100,000 included those paid above this amount due to severance payments.

Fares across London’s transport network went up by 4.2% from January.

How can I help you?
Powered by