This episode is a recording of the GLA Transport Committee asking questions of Peter Hendy regarding the report that the GLA undertook into Transport for London’s administration of the Taxi & Private Hire trades in London.
The report labelled TFL as “woefully inadequate” and “not fit for purpose”
The meeting was about 1.5 hours long, so if you wasn’t able to make it this morning, sit back, grab a coffee and have a listen.
The Taxi driver pointed out to this “Very Exclusive” driver that he was parked on the Taxi Rank and that Taxi drivers wanted to get on the rank, this Very Exclusive driver became very agitated and started to raise his voice.
Towards the end of the clip the “Very Exclusive” driver tries to pull the race card! The only problem with his statement was that the whole incident was on video!
How on earth can anyone think that a driver who behaves like this is “Very Exclusive”
In this episode I interview Mick Bailey who is currently Chairman of the RMT London Taxi Branch. Mick was recently re-elected unopposed for his second term as Chairman.
Mick took over the position from the departing Chairman John Kennedy when he decided to stand down from the RMT.
The RMT or Rail Maritime & Transport Union is well know due to its former general Secretary Bob Crow who sadly passed away last year.
The RMT London Taxi Branch are one of the only driver organisations that hold regular monthly meetings where you as a driver can go along and have your say and input into the way in which the branch is run and on what issues the RMT London Taxi branch tackle.
The RMT now hold their monthly meetings at the Oak Taxi Cafe in North Wharf Road, Paddington and as Mick says in the interview, if you are interested you are welcome to pop in and ask any question.
This is the first part of the interview, I have once again cut this podcast into two episodes as Mick had so much to say and was really interesting to speak to that I didn’t really want to cut anything out.
It has come to our attention that drivers are losing time and money over the late arrival of licence renewals.
TfL are still informing drivers waiting for renewals (by post) that they can not work until they are in possession of replacement or renewal licenses. This is false information as we pointed out, back in September 2014, when we published a letter from Leon Daniels agreeing with our research into the Transport Act 1985.
In a more recent case, we were informed that NSL unexplainably canceled a drivers inspection date. He was unable to get a new appointment for a couple of weeks until after his plate had expired. He was informed by both NSL and TfL that he couldn’t work. This information was totally false.
Drivers should not be losing out. The Transport Act 1985 sec17(7) clearly states, that until a driver is in receipt of a renewal or notification that the old licence is revoked, then the old licence remains valid until renewal finally arrives. According to Leon Daniels letter, this also applies to vehicle PCO plate (highlighted below)
On 12th of May 2014, Taxi leaks published an open letter to Sir Peter Hendy. Amongst other issues, we bought his attention to the Transport Act 1985 sec 17(7), which appertained to licence renewal problems being experienced by some drivers.
Part of Sir Peters reply infered that he would have TfL’s legal team look into the matter.
5 months later, a reply came back from Leon Daniels.
After much deliberation from TfL’s legal team, we received this reply below, signed by Leon Daniels and dated the 30 September 2014.
Dear Mr Thomas,
I refer to your email to Sir Peter Hendy regarding the provisions of section 17(7) of the Transport Act 1985 in relation to taxi drivers renewing their licences. Please accept my apologies for the delay in providing a reply.
As far as is possible we will issue a driver his or her new licence in advance of their old licence expiring.
However, this is dependent on the driver submitting a complete and timely application, which includes the result of the DBS check and any other information that is required, as we cannot make a licensing decision until this information is received.
It is therefore imperative that drivers start the application process in good time to allow for all necessary checks to be completed before their licence expires.
Where we are provided with a complete application, including the results of the DBS check and any other necessary information, but have not yet made a licensing decision before the old one expires, the existing licence will remain in force until a decision is made in accordance with section 17(7). In these circumstances, a driver will not be issued with, nor require, a temporary licence pending a decision being made on their application.
Please note that contrary to the comment in your email, section 17 of the Transport Act 1985 only applies to London taxi driver and vehicle licences, not London private hire vehicle driver licences.
Leon Daniels | Managing Director
Transport for London | Surface Transport | Palestra |
11th Floor – Zone R4| 197 Blackfriars Road|Southwark|SE1 8NJ
Drivers to carry on working:
So there you have it. Don’t worry if it takes weeks months or even years for TfL to send back your renewal. You are covered legally to work under the transport act and your old licence will remain valid until your renewal arrives or you are notified your licence is revoked.
This issue also shows the dangers of a divided trade.
The reply from Leon Daniels was a major victory for Taxi drivers and should have been published in every trade news paper and magerzine. It should also be on every website and blog, to inform as many drivers as possible so as no one should lose a days work, let alone a few weeks.