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Mike Son awarded the BEM at
the next Royal investiture...
Call Sign July 2016
Page 2
From Alan Nash (A95)
‘What’s On’ is proving very popular. With most drivers having smartphones, much of information I have
supplied in the past can now be found in real time, ie Eurostar and City airport arrivals etc...
For a large type faced version with ‘days’ as well as ‘dates’ go to: www.myfav.co.uk/wojul16
Call Sign July 2016
Page 3
from the editor’s desk
For the past five years on or around the
In February I wrote about a new Taxi/PH compar-
January issue, I have gone into print on this
ison site that contacted Call Sign for its view on
page almost begging for our trade organisa-
their app; my first question was whether they real-
tions to speak to TfL and reject any fare
ly expected taxis to be happy to share a platform
increase because we were in the midst of the
with minicabs? The answer surprised me when
longest recession we have ever suffered.
they said that both Dial-a-Cab and ComCab had
While a number of drivers went into print to
signed up alongside Addison Lee. It turned out
agree, many more said that we should always
that they were wrong about DaC but that
get a yearly fare increase even though our
ComCab had indeed signed to go onto Karhoo,
work levels were dropping like stones. Even
as had Addy Lee and other minicab companies. In
the leader of a large trade organisation came
fact, Nick Monteith, owner of PH company
out and said that we must not allow our
Mornington Cars, said that Karhoo was a life-
meters to stagnate and that it was important
saver for the classic, licensed minicab driver.
that we should get an increase every year.
Several months on and Karhoo has been
It won’t really affect me but it will affect
launched and nowadays I no longer have the
younger drivers and I always wanted and hoped
problem with PH (other than Uber) that I once
that when the time came to put my feet up, that I
had - that probably stemming from our joint mis-
would leave a trade that has seen me live a reason-
announcing that Volkswagen have pumped $300
trust of Uber and Transport for London, who
ably good life in at least as good a condition as it
million into their app, with VW saying that the
have done so much to promote the Californian
was when I joined it in May 1971. But it seems cer-
ride-hailing market represents the greatest market
start-up regardless of it being to the detriment of
tain that won’t happen and some of that is our
potential in on-demand mobility, while creating
this trade. However, there is still the one problem
own fault, because accepting a yearly fare increase
the technological platform for developing tomor-
that I mentioned back in February when revealing
during such a long recession was sheer madness
row's mobility business models... which also
Karhoo’s existence - how can black cabs compete
and is what has priced us out of the market. It’s a
sounds a bit like driverless cars!
on a price comparison site with minicabs? How
shame that James Caan wasn’t standing for Mayor!
I recently had a letter from a semi-retired Dial-
many passengers will select a taxi from Cabot
a-Cab driver who had heard about the Toyota /
Square to Heathrow when minicab prices will
Celebrating job losses
Uber deal and told me that was the straw that
start at around £36? I think we all know the
Not a topic I usually write about other than that it
broke the camel’s back. He said he was now
answer to that. In-town work will still be slightly
involves Transport for London. Technology has
thinking of giving it all up in entirety. But he
more expensive, but some passengers may possi-
cost our trade money because while satnavs are a
hadn’t heard of the VW deal because it had not yet
bly consider the extra to be worth it in order to
long way from being perfect, they are good
made the papers. When I told him, he suddenly
get a driver who knows where they are going
enough to make a large number of former taxi
changed - not because it was going to necessarily
without the help of a satnav - which means
users jump into minicabs. Let’s forget Uber’s
alter things because we are still up against an evil
he/she also looks where they are going rather
price-cutting for a minute because that is a totally
creation that cares little about anything other than
than gazing at their phone or tiny satnav device.
different aspect.
itself. But this driver suddenly felt that we were
My problem is a feeling of concern that
No, my problem involves the dismissal of
no longer alone and that even though Gett is the
after constantly seeing black cab fares always
around 800 underground station staff via the clo-
opposition to DaC and in common with all taxi
showing up dearer, many may stop compar-
sure of around 290 ticket offices. I consider
companies is said to be losing money, a huge
ing and just look straight at minicab prices.
myself to be a realist and I understand that there
multi-national company in VW thinks that taxis
Either way, we lose. But there is one good part
are some things in life that even if we don’t like
have a future. It isn’t a huge amount to grab onto
- Uber cannot go on Karhoo and the people
them, they will happen. But that is different from
because in all probability it’s the system rather
behind the site do actually describe it as a way
actually celebrating the loss of people’s jobs and
than those on it that they really want... but it’s at
to take back work from Uber.
the consequences of that.
least a start. But it begs the question... just who or
Am I against Karhoo? Not really... but that is
Recently at Piccadilly’s RAF Club, the TfL off-
what is next???
probably more to do with me being worn down
shoot team of Fit for the Future Stations via
May also saw the announcement of London
after 45 years of fighting against minicabs. Even
Mike Bracken, who is the head of its so-called
minicab company Addison Lee crossing the
Mountview/Gett - they of the “we only work
Delivery Team, made a speech to around fifty TfL
with black cabs” - are on it. So it’s really just price;
divide and being granted the TAXI licence for
managers citing the dedication and commitment
the idea of a comparison site is obviously to com-
picking up at Luton Airport! The local drivers are
of his team and congratulated everyone for their
pare and if we offer reduced prices to compete
apparently incensed, but that won’t change any-
achievement - the achievement of putting hun-
with PH, then there is the matter of the 10%
thing. All I know is that it happened in May so I
dreds of their workers out of a job. Then they cel-
Karhoo charge. Who will pay that? Will it come off
missed that too!!!
ebrated with an exclusive three course meal with
the driver’s already reduced price or will DaC pay
unlimited amounts of plonk.
The Pledge
it and lose on every single job covered? That does-
RMT General Secretary Mick Cash - as you
Sky News’ discussion programme, The Pledge,
n’t sound like a way to earn money.
would expect, but on this occasion with my sup-
recently had a section on Licensed Taxis v Uber
But let’s not write it off because if it does turn
port - called it obscene that nearly 50 senior TfL
where successful businessman and former
out to work in our favour, I’m sure DaC would
managers should treat themselves to a slap-up
consider really signing up rather than being told
Dragon, James Caan, put forward his belief that
beano in order to celebrate the axing of 800 safety-
that they had - when they hadn’t!!!
TfL was unfair to black cabs and how much Boris
critical jobs and the smashing up of London's tube
Johnson had let us down - nope, there was no
ticket offices. He also wanted to know whether the
June is busting out all over...
mention of our official “taxis” title because as the
taxpayer was funding “this disgusting spectacle.”
Call Sign has always closed down for June so
whole panel said, London’s black cabs are
And how did the information become public?
invariably the world of taxis explodes into life dur-
known around the world for being unique. Taxis
Well TfL gloated about it in a bulletin they put
ing May - and we’re not around to report on any
are world-wide; black cabs are a London phenom-
out, which astonishingly also went to those losing
of it!
enon. Mr Caan also said we would be dead within
their jobs!
This time it was Toyota, they of the 10 million
five years as Uber takes over.
Mr Cash said that his members were furious
recalled cars that were said to have been in dan-
His belief was that within the Congestion
about the cuts but that the evening soiree was an
ger of catching fire. They have now pumped an
Charge zone, only black cabs should be allowed
additional kick in the teeth. Imagine minicabs
undisclosed amount into Uber, they of the dri-
to work... but in return, our prices should be
being given access to bus lanes and TfL celebrat-
vers that keep smashing up their Toyota Prius’
reduced. I’m sure Mr Caan knows how difficult it
ing the fact... and we would get a minute feeling
thanks to a need to watch their satnavs rather
would be to go back and the subject is far too seri-
about how those underground workers must feel.
than the road! The match-up sounds logical as the
ous for me to blow my own trumpet. But I have
ultimate aim is said to be driverless cars!
to say this because I find the whole situation so
Alan Fisher
Then we heard Gett CEO Shahar Waiser
Call Sign July 2016
Page 4
Reflections of the Chairman
Volante. I have been told that the launch
Letter to Members
of Volante Aided Despatch (VAD) is immi-
You should all have received a letter from
nent, but that if you have not been
me advising you of a Special General
upgraded by launch time, then you will
Meeting to be held on 11th July at 6pm.
not be able to sign on to the system.
Of course, you do have the facility to vote
So please, if this scenario applies to you,
by post as long as the Electoral Reform
then go to Roman Way as soon as possible
Services (ERS) receives your vote by 6th
to be upgraded and have the new logo fitted.
July. But please remember that if you do
not attend or vote by post, you will incur
Selling the Building
a £50 fine.
It seems quite extraordinary to me that I
When we received the questionnaire back
have now been approached by four Agents
from Members, it was totally overwhelming
who wish to handle the sale of our
that you wished to demutualise, with a total
Building, Dial-a-Cab House. It really did
99% of Members voting in favour of
leave me with a feeling of total astonish-
ment as to how these Agents learned of our
Consequently, with that many Members
situation before any of them had even been
in favour, it was fairly obvious that the
worth doing it at this point in time.
demutualisation process would succeed;
To be honest, the rule change regarding
I have not entered into a dialogue with
but the process will still require two meet-
the 10 year rule seemed very popular and
any of them at the moment because it is still
ings to be successful.
the verdict regarding instigating a rule
early days and you, the Members, have not
With that in mind, we have decided to give
change on demutualisation was over-
even voted on the demutualisation process.
Members the opportunity of bringing in a
whelming, so I am not expecting a large
So regarding the building, nothing has
Rule that would allow Proxy Voting for those
turnout on 11th July. With that expectation
been or will be decided yet until we have
wishing to use it.
and due to the fact there seems to be an
had the vote on demutualisation, then we
apparent urgency on behalf of some
will either proceed or the status quo will
Proxy Voting
Members, I have decided to book the local
I have been advised that the two meet-
school because it was available and the cost
ings would have required at least 50% of
is a tenth of what we normally pay at the
Holiday time!
the total membership to attend with 75%
HAC. And, of course, we would have to
Well, after the last 12 months and what with
of those present voting for change and
book the HAC well in advance with the
all the above, we all probably need a holiday!
then 50% at the second meeting. Postal
obvious delay that would incur.
So with the schools now closed or on the
voting is void in a demutualisation
There isn’t any ulterior motive in hav-
verge of closing for their 6 weeks or so, the
process; consequently, we have decided
ing the local school on a Monday evening
holiday season will soon be in full flight. So
to give you the opportunity of changing
instead of the HAC on a Sunday after-
in hoping that you all have a great time, can
the rules to allow Proxy Voting.
noon; it is just a matter of availability and
I also remind you to bear in mind the two
What Proxy Voting actually means is that
dates above:
you do not have to attend either meeting to
demutualise, but you can award your vote to
New website
The Special General Meeting which will
someone else to vote on your behalf. The
Many of you will have noticed that Dial-a-
be held on 11th July at 6pm or voting by
reason we decided to adopt this stance is
Cab now has a new Website, which coin-
post, but only as long as the Electoral
because the response to the questionnaire
cides with the launch of our new logo.
Reform Services (ERS) receives your vote
was so conclusive, that we decided to make
However, I can’t help but notice that there
by 6th July. As it’s holiday time, I won’t
the process as easy and convenient as we
are still some of you who have not yet
mention the £50 if you do neither!
could for you.
changed to our new logo.
Brian Rice
No doubt there will be some that will
I also assume that if you have the old
believe there is some sort of secret agenda,
logo, that you have not yet upgraded
but all we are trying to do is make life easier
your terminal with the latest version of
for you.
Renting and retaining
DaC membership
I have also included the rule change to give
you the opportunity to allow someone that
has been a Member for 10 years to retain
their membership should they relinquish the
Unit 10, Ford View Industrial Estate, 83 New Rd Rainham, RM13 8ET
ownership of their taxi and rent another
with our equipment in it. I have included
Tel: 01708 553037
this because it would appear the majority of
Members were in favour of allowing
Membership to continue, should drivers be
forced to sell their taxi and have to rent -
TX1 servicing from £48
TX1s, TX2s, TX4s and Vitos
much of that being down to the previous
TX2 servicing from £70
Rentals from £165 per week
Mayor’s fifteen year rule.
TX4 servicing from £90
It was also apparent that you wished
to reduce the size of the Board of
All Work Undertaken
Management, but instead of instigating
Servicing - Running Repairs - Overhauls - Small Fleets Welcome - Discounts Available
a rule change now, we decided to
All TX1, TX2, TX4
reduce the size of the Board to a
Chairman plus 3 Board Members in the
Starters - Batteries - Alternators - All with 2 year Warranty
demutualisation process; the difference
in time regarding a rule change and
Fax: 01708 551443
Web: www.PaulsTaxiSpecialists.co.uk
demutualisation will probably only be
measured in weeks, so it seemed hardly
Call Sign July 2016
Page 5
Ever since Call Sign began reporting on
Got a 15 year old cab and interested in converting it to LPG to get
gas cab conversions that will give your 15
an extra 5 years? Come to DaC House on Wednesday July 20
year old TX2 an extra 5 years and even
road tested one, drivers have been calling
between 11 and 4 to find out more and even take a test drive...
to find out more details. Well now you can
ask the company behind the scheme
when representatives from Autogas Ltd
are at the Dial-a-Cab car park on
Wednesday July 20th between the hours
of 11 and 4pm to demonstrate a convert-
The Ed road
ed TX2 and TX4 gas cab and answer any
questions you may have.
testing an LPG converted taxi
LPG converted cabs will get that extra five
years and that even with the cost of conversion
working out at around £9,800 (including VAT),
is still much cheaper than buying another cab
test to convince TfL that a London conversion
or renting.
is sound and a launch date of around
The Dial-a-Cab Credit Union had con-
October is hoped for.
firmed to Call Sign that they would give
The vehicles existing gearbox is used and an
loans to any member requiring one in
adaptor plate is manufactured to marry the
order to convert their taxis. DACCU gave
gearbox up to the new engine. As the new
the monthly cost of members borrowing
engine has been tuned to match the power
£10,000 as £264 over 48 months, £333
and torque output of the original diesel
over 36 months, £470 over 24 months or
engine, this means no additional strain is put
£890 if you can afford to repay it over 12
on the existing gearbox.
months. Put those costs against buying or
It would be appreciated if you could let
any shudders or vibrations and will probably
5 years renting and they come out as being
sound even quieter than your car! After con-
Call Sign know at callsignmag@aol.com if
very favourable. In fact, the 4 year deal will
you intend coming to give an idea of how
version to LPG, the taxis will meet the EU
cost you around £60 a month - you’d have
Euro 6 standard and gain fuel savings of up to
many will be attending and whether we
a job renting one for two days let alone
20 percent! The conversion is available for
need to allocate individual times.
one month! DACCU will be at the DAC car
both the TX2 and TX4 should drivers with
Put the date in your diary; it’s Wednesday
park on July 20th for anyone interested.
newer cabs want to convert away from diesel.
July 20th...
The conversion consists of replacing your
It has been successfully passed as a
Alan Fisher
diesel engine with a brand new Opel one that
licensed taxi in Birmingham and 80 have
Call Sign Online
will give you the same torque as a TX4 without
been successfully converted. It is now out on
DaCs Jim helps the Boleyn to close!
Jim Rainbird (T25) has been on Dial-a-Cab since 1994, but for far longer than that he has been a supporter of West Ham United and like
all Hammers fans, was drawn even more than usual to the 10 May match against Manchester United because that was to be the last-ever
football match to be held at the ground they had occupied since 1 September 1904 when the team defeated Millwall.
West Ham had been in existence since 1895 as Thames Ironworks FC and
in those first 9 years had already moved twice until they arrived at Green
Street in east London. Now 112 years later, they have left their home to
move to a new one at the former London Olympics stadium at Stratford.
After that last game, which they won 3 - 2, there were celebra-
tions featuring former members of the team together with a history
of events since the first-ever game. Cheers filled the Boleyn ground
as several taxis came out of the tunnel and drove round the pitch;
each cab containing former players... and leading the way was
DaC’s Jim Rainbird! The celebrations were screened live around the
world by Sky.
As a staunch Hammers fan, a former Master at the WCHCD
and well-known London taxi driver to several agencies for vari-
ous jobs such as being in a Bollywood movie, appearing in a
Japanese quiz show when not speaking a word of the lan-
guage, appearing with Kermit the Frog and even chasing
Prince Harry as a challenge, Jim Rainbird was an obvious
choice to lead the parade.
Jim told Call Sign: “Not only was driving round the
ground an amazing feeling, but I had one of my boy-
hood heroes in the back of the taxi. Martin Peters was there along with his
daughter. In 2016 it was revealed that he was suffering with Alzheimer’s, but before I drove him onto the
pitch, I shook his hand and thanked him for some great times at the Boleyn Ground whilst I was growing up.
“Then something magical happened that will stay with me for the rest of my days. Part of the ceremony involved Frank
Sinatra’s My Way playing over the speakers while some old footage was being shown on screens around the ground. Suddenly
Martin started singing and was word perfect! I joined in with him - a DaC driver singing a duet with a World Cup winner in my
taxi! I had to stop when the emotion got the better of me and the tears came. Just an unforgettable moment!”
In March 1970, Martin Peters was involved in one of the most amazing transfers of its day when West Ham sold him to Tottenham
Hotspur for a then record fee of £200,000, which included £50,000 as part-exchange for Jimmy Greaves who moved the opposite way from
Spurs to the Hammers! Martin was later sold to Norwich and then Sheffield United, whom he briefly went on to manage. He later went on
to work as part of the hospitality teams at both White Hart Lane and Upton Park. In 2006 he was deservedly inducted into English football’s
Hall of Fame.
But for Jim Rainbird, 10 May 2016 will be a day he will never forget...
Call Sign July 2016
Page 6
“TfL must be right; Uber’s app leaves the rules behind. Push a button and their cars become bikes!”
Geely raise $400 million for electric TX5
As new Mayor, Sadiq Khan, announced plans to clamp down
on London’s toxic air, London Taxi Company owners
Zhejiang Geely Holding Group made their own announce-
ment - they had raised $400 million needed to electrify its
fleet of iconic taxis via a green bond sale. The proceeds will
finance development of their new 6-seater range-extended
electric TX5.
The group’s chief financial officer, Frank Li said: “This is a
landmark for us, not only in the sense of the funds raised,
but also the purpose. We're going to do a clean taxi, not
only for the UK market, but it is going to be a global prod-
uct that we can definitely grow to help reduce emissions
and provide a cleaner environment for everybody.”
A growing number of investors are said to be looking to put
The range extended electric TX5
money into green bonds for funding projects that promise to
accelerate the shift away from polluting energy and transport
fuels to renewable and clean technology and Geely’s green bond has been oversubscribed by eight times!
Geely is the first global auto company to offer a green bond, according to Barclays Plc, which was a joint coordinator of the issue with
Industrial & Commercial Bank of China Ltd, Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Societe Generale SA.
From Geely’s new Coventry factory, they will soon begin working on the TX5 prototype. The new range-extended cab will be able
to cover between 150 and 200 miles before needing a recharge - more than enough for most drivers and one top-up covering even
the long distance Dial-a-Cab drivers. The technology is similar to the electric Metrocab. Both cabs will have to be available by
January 1 2018 when all new taxis licensed in London will have to be zero-emission capable.
The LTC factory will be able to produce 36,000 electric cabs per year and is said to be already in discussions with other European
cities looking to turn their fleets green.
Call Sign July 2016
Page 7
At the end of April, Dial-a-Cab
Chairman Brian Rice sent out a
The future of your Society
letter on behalf of himself and
Bank, be distributed to Members. But that
the Board of Management asking
would mean demutualising and winding up
drivers for their views on which
the Society.
Three options were given on topic 3:
direction they felt the Society
3.1 To remain as we are, although the Society
should move towards. It followed
is now running at a loss on an annual basis and
a promise at this year’s AGM
cash reserves will probably not exceed three
when Brian confirmed that he
Remain as we are: 1 percent
would write to every driver, but
the launch of a new VAD dis-
3.2 To demutualise the Society, move to less
expensive premises (either purchased or
patching system delayed things.
rented) and distribute any surplus to
The questions that drivers were asked to
Members after retaining working capital from
vote on were not official as in the usual type of
our cash reserves, but the Society would con-
DaC postal ballot, but to give the BoM an idea
tinue to trade.
of the way drivers were thinking. Answering
Demutualise and move after distributing
was not compulsory, but for those drivers that
surplus: 40 percent
did respond - a majority - the votes had to be
returned within two weeks...
3.3 The Society could demutualise and be
These are the options given and the per-
wound up and following the sale (or merger)
Some of the returned votes
centage of votes as cast...
of our circuit, if it could be achieved on accept-
the number of elected Board Members should
able terms, the cash from the sale of all our
1. If a Member has completed 10 years of ser-
be reduced to either a Chairman and two elect-
assets together with the remaining cash bal-
vice as an Owner Driver with the Society and
ed Board Members or a Chairman and three
ances could be distributed to Members.
then for whatever reason has to dispose of
elected Board Members.
Demutualise and wind up or merge:
his/her taxi and rent another vehicle with DaC
Size of the BoM:
59 percent
equipment installed, then he/she could retain
Remain the same: 19 percent
their Membership of the Society.
An SGM has been called for July 11th to consid-
Chairman + 2 Board Members: 47 percent
Retain membership after 10 years:
er and vote on the two following propositions:
Chairman + 3 Board Members: 34 percent
82 percent in favour.
1. To introduce proxy voting
3. Dial-a-Cab House is a very valuable asset
2. It was felt by the majority of the
to the Society and some members present at
2. To allow members that have completed 10
Membership attending the AGM that the cur-
the AGM were of the opinion that asset should
years of service to retain their membership in
rent Board of Management was too large and
be realised and together with our cash at the
certain circumstances...
Call Sign July 2016
Page 8
Once upon a time, it was called graffiti and deemed to be a nui-
sance. Not anymore...
Airbrushing a
London taxi driver!
One of the best exponents of
day I met the artist with her paints and materials
Airbrushing is Londoner Carleen De Sözer,
neatly strapped to her hand trolley. Carleen De
who has been supplying art in various for-
Sözer was charming and very interesting. She
mats on walls and canvas for many years.
told me she had come back to finish off the dri-
Her talents include graphic design and tat-
vers shirt before going on to her next assign-
tooing, in addition to designing CD covers,
ment in Brick Lane. The cab driver in the
t-shirts and teaching young people in her
Airbrushing is a KPM employee and Carleen
art. But it was her airbrushing outside a
plans to include a second member of the East
London taxi garage that caught the atten-
London garage - an employee that has been
tion of Call Sign’s Simon Scott (O40)...
with the company for 30 years.
Carleen's taxi driver
“I pulled into a parking bay in Hemming
I came away thinking about the cheer Carleen
Street one Monday morning, getting as close
is helping to spread around this otherwise grey
Graffiti can cost councils £millions in cleaning
as I could to the brilliant depiction of a
and industrial part of Bethnal Green. I felt glad
up, but go to some parts of Bethnal Green and
London Cabby on the wall next to the
that I had met her.”
not only will you see walls covered in what is
entrance of KPM, a cab garage that has been in
now better known as Airbrushing, but it is
these parts for at least as long as I have!
Carleen De Sözer is at
apparently encouraged and often paid for!
Although I was already late, I just had to
Nowadays it also brings in tourists - many of
stop and stare at the image that jumped
them art students - to look and marvel at some
out of brick and paint with a joy that just
Simon Scott
of the incredible creations on the walls in and
left me smiling.
Call Sign Online
around Cheshire Street.
I had a long wait at the garage and later that
Taking the pee for
Doc Martin???
for DaC
If we mentioned the Cornish village of Port Wenn,
many would immediately think of the hit ITV series
about Doc Martin, brilliantly played by Martin
Clunes. But in reality, Port Wenn is the beautiful
Cornish fishing village of Port Isaac, miles from
anywhere and because of the hilly terrain, the
On behalf of Dial-a-Cab, Hillier Buchan Ltd
elderly need a cab just to get around the village.
in Bexley have negotiated exclusive rates
So a reliable taxi service is vital.
for DaC members. We believe our rates are
“We have always been both reliable and rea-
competitive in today’s market for experi-
sonable,” said the owner of Port Isaac Shuttle
enced licensed Black Cab drivers.
At Hillier Buchan, we understand every driver’s
Service, Louise Houston. “We’ve been using
circumstances are different; therefore our policies
our name for the past three years until the local
can be tailored for the individual driver. We offer
council put a stop to it and forced us to change
a 5% discount for DaC members, with additional
the name to Port Isaac Shuttle.”
discounts for existing protected Bonus policies.
Just like Dial-a-Cab is often abbreviated to DaC
Hillier Buchan was established in 2002 by
and the former Radio Taxis Group answered to
David Hillier and myself with in excess of 50
years experience as high level Brokers working in
RTG, the taxi Port Isaac Shuttle Service began
the City of London for major broking houses. We
advertising themselves as PISS. However, following a
have established a reputation for professionalism
complaint, the council stepped in and forced the firm to change their name.
and service in our chosen fields.
“We never meant to offend anyone,” said Louise, “our service runs really well and is
We have extensive London Market contacts;
appreciated by traders because we bring trade into the village. The ad was just a piece
consequently we are able to offer our clients a
of Cornish humour. I am grateful that the villagers have started a petition for us to
quality of security from companies that are all
available in the world’s pre-eminent insurance
keep the name.”
market. As a result, our clients achieve quality of
A Cornwall Council spokesperson said that the council had not asked the Port Isaac
security and service upon which we pride our-
Shuttle Service to change its name, but just to remove the advertising on the side of
selves and a competitiveness of premium that
the vehicle that emphasises an offensive acronym. They added: “Their current advertis-
our clients find particularly attractive in today's
ing breaches the council's Hackney Carriage vehicle licence conditions, which state
Our philosophy is to build long-term relation-
that advertisements, livery, stickers, markings, slogans or information on, or in, the
ships using balanced service teams providing
Hackney Carriage must not contain anything of a religious, political or ethnic nature;
continuity and expertise. Compare our prices
advertise alcohol or tobacco; be pornographic or offend good taste; promote anything
and give us a call. See our ad inside this issue of
Call Sign on page 15.
illegal or obscure vehicle windows.”
Phil Buchan,
Thank gawd we’re just Dial-a-Cab...!!!
Hillier Buchan, 01322 553313
Call Sign July 2016
Page 9
Dial-a-Cab Board member, Mike Son, has
been awarded the BEM in the Queen’s
Mike Son BEM in Queens
birthday honours list for his work as a
committee member of The London Taxi
Drivers Fund for Underprivileged Children
Birthday Honours List
and charitable services to children. Call
Sign caught up with Mike after the
Mike meets the LTFUC
announcement and asked how he had
patron Camilla, Duchess of
heard of the honour...
Cornwall, last Christmas
Several weeks before the announcement, I
received a letter in a brown envelope that
resembled a tax bill rather than anything else.
and kindness when meeting
I just opened it without looking to see
extremely ill children from the
whether the envelope had any identification
LTFUC at Clarence House dur-
on it. The letter inside looked genuine,
ing the Christmas periods. It is
informing me that I would be getting a BEM at
for every member of the hard-
the Queen’s next investiture. I assumed it was
working LTFUC committee and
a scam of some kind because I believed that
all our wives and partners
the British Empire Medal had been with-
including my own wife Maxine.
drawn some years earlier. But I took a chance
They often work as hard as we
and phoned the number in the letter, half
do! Then it’s for our wonderful
expecting someone to say that I had to give
drivers without whom there
them my bank details as security!
would be no outings for the
But I soon realised that it was genuine.
children. It is also for the trade
The person at the other end of the line con-
even worse when a few days before the date,
press who publish all our press releases and
firmed that the BEM had in fact been with-
the Cabinet office phoned to say that the
who often accompany us to take photos. Then
drawn but was brought back in 2012 for
details of all the awards would be going to the
it’s for DaC’s Call Sign magazine that for
the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. The voice
press and that my details would be passed
many years sponsored the upstairs buffet at
continued that I had been nominated by a
over to my local newspaper, The Evening
the Grosvenor House Mad Hatters party.
number of people but they were not
Echo, as well. That got me worried even more
I sincerely hope that the award helps the
allowed to actually say who. I was also told
because I didn’t want other committee mem-
charity get even more donations from those
that I couldn’t say anything until Saturday
bers finding out via newspaper stories. But I
that read about it so that we can do even more
11th June when the announcements were
needn’t have worried, they were all delighted
in helping such deserving children.
made official.
for me (they didn’t mention Sir Rod Stewart)!
The LTFUC committee’s honourary Life
I was really chuffed, but at the same time felt
In fact, within 24 hours of the announcement
President Bill Tyzack has a BEM, Alan
rather guilty because there are other guys on
I was being interviewed by BBC Essex.
Cohen has an MBE and Gerry Dunn also
the LTFUC committee who have been on there
Unfortunately we only get the one medal,
has an MBE. Mike makes four of the LTFUC
as long, or even longer, than I and who’ve
but so far as I am concerned, it is for everyone
committee to receive an award and every
done every bit as much as I have - and even
including our Patron, Her Royal Highness
one of them is so richly deserved.
more - to help ‘special needs’ children. I felt
the Duchess of Cornwall for her generosity
Our congratulations go to Mike Son...
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Call Sign July 2016
Page 10
Many drivers on Dial-a-Cab were shocked recently when the sud-
den death was announced of Martin Rose (F69). Martin’s long-
time friend, former DaC driver Sam Stuart who moved to Spain
many years ago, has written a piece about his friend...
“I have known Martin for over 40 years and before we moved to Spain, my wife Celia and
I were very close to him and his wife Fran. But we still kept in close touch. They have three
children, two boys in Simon and Michael and a girl, Gemma and have always been a very
close knit family.
Martin and I did the Knowledge together. We did most of it during the evenings and
often that continued through till the early hours of the morning. But we both had to also
work and we fitted things in whenever we could.
In those days it wasn’t unusual for Knowledge students to work as minicab drivers -
which we did - and that gave us the opportunity to check up on runs and points that we
may not have been sure about. As a result, we both passed out in just over 12 months.
Martin didn’t suffer fools gladly and if he had something to say, he would just say it.
But for all that, if you needed help in any way, he would always be the first to offer it.
We used to meet up in Piccadilly during the early hours of the morning when we first
passed out and in the days when you could park almost anywhere. He always had stories
about his fares, some funny and some not, but always something and always interest-
He was a big man both as a person as well as in stature. He was also a friend and I
will miss him greatly...”
Sam Stuart, Torrevieja, Spain
Is Uber finished in France?
oon after the good news for
Italy and parts of Sweden. The app
Uber of a $3.5 billion invest-
itself pulled out of three German cities
ment from Saudi Arabia,
last year, claiming that the regulations
some rather bad news fol-
imposed on them made its business
lowed when a French court convicted
“untenable.” Meanwhile a German
the app and two of its executives guilty
court recently rejected an Uber appeal
of starting an illegal car-booking ser-
against a judgment from last year that
vice. This was said to be the first crimi-
imposed a Germany-wide ban on its
nal ruling to target Uber managers of
UberPop service.
the car-hailing app that has disrupted
Transport for London appears to
taxi business worldwide.
be out on its own in its view of Uber...
It was Thursday 9th June when the
Dennis Latchett
Parisien taxi drivers demonstrate against
Parisien court ruled that Uber was guilty
Call Sign Online Uber
of “misleading commercial practices” and
“complicity in the illegal exercise of the
taxi profession.” That led to a fine for the
company of 800,000. The heads of
Can you afford not to get a copy!!!
Uber both in Western Europe and France
were ordered to pay 30,000 and
Produced by Dial-a-Cabs PCN expert, John Vigus,
20,000 respectively in addition to the
this book is all you need to know about moving
company fine. However the court stopped
short of imposing prison sentences or bar-
traffic and parking regulations in one easy to
ring either from running companies in
read guide!
Last year, following anger from French
taxi drivers, the UberPop service that uses
The Motorists Guide to Moving
non-professional drivers using their own
cars, was suspended following demands
Traffic And Parking Regulations
by President François Hollande’s gov-
Hard copies £8. Electronic versions to
ernment to stop the service and that led
to the above case.
Dial-a-Cab drivers are £5 per copy. Orders
Uber said it would appeal against the
via Driver Services with payment deducted
verdict claiming they had already stopped
from your DaC account.
UberPop “but that the judgment did not
impact on their service in France.”
Uber was banned in Spain for one year
Can you really afford not to get a copy!!!
while UberPop was banned in Germany,
Call Sign July 2016
Page 12
New Call Sign Website
all Sign has been online since the late
Hovering over the icon you will see the year and a
1990s and amazingly, its website has con-
message on each one to click on here to view the
tinued year after year with very little main-
monthly magazines. Click on whichever year you
tenance needed. However, it has finally been
want and then hover over each copy to find the
brought back to earth by no less than Microsoft
month you want. Hover over the message to ‘click
who told us that our website was so old that with-
here to see full magazine’ to see the issue but in
in five weeks it would no longer work after being
a small version. Click the PDF sign to see the full
put temporarily onto their last Windows Server
issue but in a large easy-to-read format.
You can also just go to the ‘Call Sign’ screen if
In that time we needed to either redesign
you want to go straight to the year you want and
Call Sign or lose the ‘search’ capability. So
finally to the ‘Search Call Sign’ button if looking
thanks to our website master and mainte-
simple with the menu easily seen at the top. It will
for something specific by just putting a relevant
nance guru, Vince Chin, Call Sign now has
open on the ‘Home’ screen where you can read
word into the search box.
that new website.
the latest issue by hovering over it and clicking the
I hope you like the new look...
The addresses are the same (www.dac-call-
PDF sign.
sign.co.uk or .com) but everything else has been
You can also click on the ‘Archive’ screen; there
Alan Fisher
brought up-to-date. After logging on, the choice is
you will see a copy of Call Sign from every year.
Hunted Down!
“I was stationary at a set of traffic lights in
role on the TV!”
Call Sign could see how proud
Wigmore Street, my mind miles away, when
Steve was at the events... before he
suddenly the cab passenger door flung open,
added a telling remark...
“Unfortunately, try as I might, I
two people jumped in, crouched down on the
just can’t recall the programme
floor and shouted ‘drive, drive, go, go, go!’ in a
Alan Green
very excited manner,” Steve Palmer (K30)
Call Sign Online
announced to Call Sign when we met recently.
Steve thought he had picked
“I was a bit spooked in those first few seconds, but the lights
up a bank robber!
changed in my favour and I instinctively pulled away. But how
could I not be suspicious - not to mention wary - of just who it
was that huddled on the floor of the cab, and why they did not
want to be seen!”
Steve continued his story to our fascinated reporter. “I pulled round
into Marylebone Lane, stopped the cab and turned around to face them
- my initial thought being that they may have just robbed a bank and that
I had just helped them escape! I demanded they tell me what was going
on because at that moment, I didn’t much like what was happening to
me. However, the sight that greeted me as I faced them astonished me
even more because the woman was soaking wet from her hair to her
shoes, while the man with her looked like he just seen a ghost!”
Steve continued and said that at first all the mysterious duo did was to
continue shouting back at Steve, telling him to drive on. But the Dial-a-
Cab driver stayed put, telling them their behaviour was completely out of
order and that his cab would not move anywhere unless they could
come up with a plausible answer for their - so far, anyway - extreme
excitability, not to mention the back of his cab becoming soaking wet.
10am - 11.15am & 11.30am - 12.45pm
“They finally admitted they were participants on a TV programme in
which they were given daily tasks to complete and then had to phone
£7.00 per class
into the TV station each evening as to their whereabouts before being
Minimum age of 16
given the following days tasks. In the meantime, other contestants had
to predict what the couple might be doing, where they might be and
Suitable for all skill levels, from beginners to
more importantly, to ‘catch’ them before they could escape the hunters!
accomplished boxers
On this occasion,” Steve continued, “the couple had been in a hair-
dressing salon when they thought they had been discovered and had
Female ONLY classes subject to demand
rushed out of the shop just as the woman was having her hair washed,
and that was why she was soaking wet!”
Steve dropped them in Tottenham Court Road, where they felt they
had escaped the clutches of the hunters and continued his days’ work,
musing on the variety of people London’s taxi drivers meet during the
course of a day.
“Suddenly I came back to the present when a fleet message
appeared on the terminal. It asked whether any driver had recently
set down a woman with wet hair in TCR. It didn’t take much work-
ing out to realise who the driver was - I still had the puddle in the
back of the cab!
“So I rang the control centre for further details and later met up with the
producers of the show, was interviewed at length and appeared in a cameo
Call Sign July 2016
Page 13
DaC Sales Report
With Keith Cain
e have been focusing more on offering fixed rate journey prices in an effort to gen-
erate more business from a market that is still highly motivated by reduced costs.
Many years ago, we offered fixed rate journeys that took into consideration run-ins,
some waiting time and if we were fortunate, some - if not all - of a gratuity. Now
it’s the complete opposite and we have to offer either a mileage rate for longer trips or a price
that’s very similar to what car companies are offering.
Clients have expressed the view that if only we could supply a black cab at the same rates as
the car firms, they would be delighted to offer us their business. I have been analysing reams of
data with this in mind so that we can offer our drivers the opportunity to accept these types of
trips if it suits at a particular time.
With the new dispatch system now only weeks away from being fully operational, the
inclusion of the economy button for these trips will be a way forward. Seeing some of
the prices charged was a shock and I have no doubt that when we start offering them
to you, you will feel the same. I have asked the questions over and over again about
how drivers can do the work for such a low price, especially when they do not even
receive the full price of the journey. But they do and there are lots of trips we can offer - if you are happy to do them.
Many of you will have experienced some longer trips being priced well below the meter and the waiting time being added on at a
‘price per minute’ ratio rather than the fare reverting to the meter as it used to be. We have also decided to offer trips to and from
airports at the same system of fixed price. The controllers and contact centre staff will be monitoring these journeys to reduce the
amount of waiting time to a minimum and making the airport a much slicker operation. This is the method of working that all the
car firms offer and other circuits are following suit.
All I want to do is offer these trips to you and you decide if you want to do them. Initially, all the economy trips will
come from account clients who would normally pass these trips to a car vendor. Only the ASAP trips will be offered to
you and those you do not wish to cover will then be passed on. Those account clients who are only serviced by us will
not be offered low price ASAP trips, but will be offered low price longer trips and airport rides.
The pre-booked rides will not be included in the early stages, purely because we have to maintain service levels. I see no point in
accepting a pre-booked low fare trip only to find drivers do not want to do it. That will just antagonise and encourage clients to go
to car companies that do guarantee a service at these costs.
There will undoubtedly be a huge balancing act needed here for us; firstly to be able to offer drivers this work and secondly, to
maintain a service. If our drivers are prepared to help, then things could start to look up...
Keith Cain
DaC Head of Sales
Simon Scott is one of the new generation of taxi drivers whose life is
The first taxi I
captured as a blog. The continuing story of his time as a butterboy is…
owned was an
FX4; it was dark
green and I had
been warned by
A Blogger’s Tale
everyone that it
was going to be
a particularly graphic problem that an unfor-
keeping one eye on the ladies in the back to
an unlucky cab.
tunate listener had phoned in about; I can
ensure they couldn’t hear.
No one knew
remember feeling very frustrated that I could-
Well, driving in London requires full atten-
quite why, but
n’t hear it properly! I had my fingers on the
tion and so I had to abandon the radio as I
London cabbies have never been short of an
dial twiddling away trying to improve the
approached Ludgate Circus and of course,
opinion or two!
that was the exact moment that the signal
reception when two elderly ladies put their
It smelt of fresh polish and that black paint
suddenly improved and Anna Raeburn’s
hands up near the Bank Junction, they
garages used to apply to everything they
voice boomed out back into my cab and
climbed in and off we went.
could find beneath the body! It had a very
before I could get to the dial, she had said:
They happily chatted away in the back and
basic turny knob radio under the top light
“It’s your fault she’s pregnant, you should
my mind returned to that interesting prob-
and above my head; the speaker was in a plas-
have kept your penis in your pants.”
lem Anna was dealing with. I turned up the
tic housing underneath the radio. There were
Well, I didn’t know whether to look in the
volume slowly and carefully and angled my
back or not! The two ladies had stopped talk-
no pre-set stations and so when I wanted to
head so that my left ear was as close to the
ing and as I sheepishly peeped at the rear
listen to something else, I had to turn the dial
speaker as possible without attracting the
view mirror, I saw them both looking at me! I
until I heard something familiar.
attention of the ladies in the back. Reception
began mumbling my apologies and tried to
My favourite programme was a late
was awful but I could roughly follow what the
explain the reception difficulties, but they
night agony aunt phone-in show hosted
poor man’s problem was. It seemed he had
were definitely not amused and were not
by Anna Raeburn and a resident doctor.
got his girlfriend pregnant and then dumped
buying my apology either. I decided the best
She didn’t mess about with niceties and
her for another girl. She and her family had
thing was to stop talking and to get them to
got straight to the point with an almost
confronted him and now his life seemed to
their destination without any further embar-
rude approach towards her phone-in fod-
depend upon Anna’s advice! Well this was
der, but it made great night-time radio.
exactly what she loved; she tore into the man
To be continued…
However, the reception in the City was
with gusto and was telling him exactly what
always appalling. The signal used to come
she thought of him... when the reception
Simon Scott (O40)
and go randomly as I turned corners and
died! I was beside myself; I twiddled the dial
crossed bridges. One night I was listening to
and fiddled with the volume - all the time
Call Sign Online
Call Sign July 2016
Page 14
Mayor Khan: City Hall
Call Sign’s Marc Turner had a busy month; he was at City Hall to
Wednesday 25th May and City Hall at 10am;
watch Mayor Sadiq Khan’s first Question Time and followed it up with
it was the inaugural Question Time for our
a meeting at the House of Lords with taxi supporter, Lord Glassman..
new history making Mayor, Sadiq Khan; so
I decided to attend and give him the once-
over for Call Sign readers.
The previous evening, I’d heard that around
100 cabbies were rumoured to turn up.
Disappointingly, just ten of us made it. Sharing
the elevator up to the public gallery overlook-
Lord Glassman:
ing the Chamber, a young lady appeared enam-
House of Lords
oured with my multiple trade lanyards. In a
It was around two
rather sultry tone, she asked if I was going to
behave myself this time! I told her that I always
Wednesday 8th June -
behaved myself and that if she was referring to
when thanks to an
the Question Time of September 16th when
invite from the United
Boris insulted our trade by referring to us as
Cabbies Group that I
luddites; it was he - previous Mayor Boris
was able join a contin-
Johnson - that was out of order! She turned
gent of members and
out to be head of media for City Hall!
meet Lord Maurice
Sadiq Khan entered the Chamber to polite
Glassman aka Barron
applause from members of the London
Glassman of Stoke
Assembly. He courteously acquainted himself
Newington. About thir-
with them all. The Assembly was chaired by
Sadiq Khan is
ty of us met him and chewed over the fat of
Tony Arbour, the man who rudely put the
how we had got into the mess we had found
question of “Who are these people” aimed at
ourselves in. But we intend to turn it around!
we London Taxi drivers last September, setting
Lord Glassman was ably assisted by a
the remark into infamy - before then having the
sprightly 75 year old Barry Epstein, who is
constabulary eject us!
that last July
on the Call Sign mailing list through his con-
Sadiq Khan was far more polished and
when I heard
nection to the Dial-a-Cab Credit Union. He
engaging than the previous clownish incum-
him speak at
spoke highly of Editor Alan Fisher - well
bent. I could not help noticing how he held his
Unite House.
someone has to! He referred to him as a
posture for the whole two and a half hour ses-
As far as we’re
newshound ferret!
sion, whereas Boris, no doubt exhausted from
Lord Glassman has a great affection for
his cycling ride in, was always slouching. If first
the new Mayor certainly has a massive job
the cab trade and would like to assist our
impressions are anything to go by, he appears
on his hands, but whereas Boris Johnson
cause. He listened patiently and took copi-
more genuine and earnest compared to what
wouldn't listen and consequently gave the
ous notes. We all had a chance to say our
we had been used to. When he announced the
interloping disruptors the keys to the cas-
piece and he appears well informed regard-
appointment of Val Shawcross as Deputy
tle, Sadiq on the other hand appears more
ing the injustices served upon us by those
Mayor for Transport, all eyes were on we ten
compassionate and considerate.
in authority and power.
Taxi drivers as we unashamedly and zealously
I don't believe for a second that we’ll have it
The tide is slowly turning with the help of
applauded our approval.
all our own way during Mayor Khan’s tenure,
friends like Lord Glassman...
There were no Taxi matters on the agen-
but I do think he will try to redress the balance
da, yet I didn’t feel I’d wasted my time in
by reigning the tech company in, while stabilis-
going to City Hall. I'd had another look at
ing and promoting the London Taxi trade... fin-
Marc Turner (R97)
the man who could give our trade a lifeline.
gers crossed!
Call Sign Online
Taxi Driver of the Year Golf
The Taxi Driver of the Year Charity Fund would like to thank everyone that
helped to sponsor their first golf competition which took place on 8th June
2016 at the Hendon Golf Club.
The sun was shining on our 40 golfers, all trying to win a car worth £10,000 with a
hole in one and the many other prizes. The day began with breakfast and at 11am
the first golfers teed off, walking round this great 18 hole golf course under the blaz-
ing sun. But not one of them moaned when rain suddenly bucketed down and they
just carried on in the true style that golfers do!
By 5.30 everyone had showered and was ready to sit down. The Chairman wel-
comed and thanked them for coming out and to enjoy their well-earned buffet din-
Everyone had a great time and looked forward to next year’s golf compe-
tition. We are proud to have named the overall winner’s trophy after our
late Vice President, Doug Sherry MBE
Thank you all once again for your support...
The prize winners were announced and trophies presented:
The overall winner was Jack Muslin who won the Doug Sherry Memorial Trophy
The winning team was H Bomb, second was The Old Men, with the LTDA in third place.
Remember the dinner dance this year is on Saturday 26 November 2016. Please book early so you are not disappointed.
Russell Poluck MBE (T55)
Hon Chairman LTOYCF
Call Sign July 2016
Page 15
DaC driver Sean Farrell (B39) looks at trade history from a different angle
Brethren of the Whip
Just four days after Muir’s experience, diamond merchant Meyer
Taxicab bandits
Goldberg of Hatton Garden was walking past a taxi in Victoria Park
The arrival of the taxicab in London
Road when he was suddenly attacked by four men and robbed of
allowed the public faster travel across the
£1000 worth of diamonds. The men jumped into the taxi, which
metropolis, speeds much greater than a
immediately began to drive off. Goldberg still had some fight left in
horse cab were easily maintained on
him, jumped onto the running board and began attacking the driver,
open roads. So it was not long before
Henry Stanley. Goldberg punched Stanley, who punched Goldberg
taxis - with or without the co-operation of
back. As the taxi sped up, Goldberg grabbed hold of the meter cable
the driver - were being used as getaway
which broke. The four men eventually jumped out and Stanley, seeing
cars! They became known as “taxicab
a policeman, pulled over to get his “mad passenger” arrested.
Goldberg’s English was not very good, but when he was able to
On August 24th 1911, a Mr Hopton left his
relate what happened Stanley found himself under arrest. He gave a
home in Colvestone Crescent, Dalston and was immediately set
convincing story; he was told to wait for the men, which he did, and
upon by two men. They attacked him, robbing him of the £3000
as they entered the taxi he was attacked by Goldberg. Henry Stanley
worth of diamonds he was carrying. The two men then ran along the
was released.
road to a waiting taxi where the driver was apparently tinkering with
The police however looked further into his background and found
his engine. As the two men approached, he put the bonnet down and
that he liked to gamble and that he was deep in debt; he owed a
drove off with them at speed.
money lender £5 and was £25 behind in the instalments for his taxi.
On September 7th 1911, a taxi driver was hired in Wimbledon by
He had mouthed off to a friend that he was due money “for a nice job
three men and told to go to nearby Hill Road and wait for them. They
involving diamond merchants.” When the police looked into his diary,
got out and walked back to a jewellers shop where they threw a brick
they found on November 17th, three days after the robbery, the fol-
through the window and snatched a £450 diamond necklace, a ring
lowing entry: “Rec £100.” Some people make it easy for the police!
and a brooch! They then ran back to the taxi but as a large crowd sud-
Despite this, Stanley pleaded not guilty at his trial at the Old
denly descended on them, the taxi could not drive away. Two of the
Bailey, which occurred the same time as the funeral of Fred Hitch,
men tried to fight off the crowd but were attacked.
the taxi driver VC. The evidence was damning, he was found guilty
In court, the driver said he could only just identify the men as his
and sentenced to 18 month’s hard labour...
passengers, such were their injuries caused by the mob. One of the
men escaped, probably with the necklace which was never recovered.
Sean Farrell
On October 14th 1912, Adolphus Muir was hired by three men who
Call Sign Online
got into his taxi in Spring Street, Paddington. He drove them to
Aberdeen Place and was paid off. One of the men then said they would
need a taxi shortly to take them to the West End and Muir agreed to wait
for them. Shortly after, all three came running back to the taxi, two
jumped into the back whilst a third climbed into the luggage space and
pointing a gun at Muir told him to “drive like hell.” He was told to drive
to a pawnshop in Oxford Street where they pawned two diamond
rings, their booty from the jewellers they had just robbed in Edgware
Road! From there he was told to drive to Finsbury Circus.
“If you give me your address, I will send you £5,” said the gunman.
Exclusive Taxi Insurance Scheme
Muir, a large man of “Herculean build” declined to give them that
information and instead he was paid 3s 6d (18p), which was more
dedicated to DAC members only
than what was on the meter.
After a brief respite on a nearby rank, Muir drove all the way
to Scotland Yard before reporting his adventure. Eventually the
three men were caught and received sentences ranging from 22
months to three years.
5% Discount for members
Additional discount for existing protected Bonus policies
Public Liability
Val Shawcross moves up!
Breakdown Cover
Val Shawcross has stepped down from the London
Assembly after 16 years. She has always been a friend of
Much more available
this trade, often speaking up for us in grilling former
Mayor Boris Johnson when he was wrong! Having said
that, she was never afraid to criticise us if she felt we
Call below for quotations
deserved it! She has now moved across to become the Deputy Mayor for Transport and will
be supporting her new boss, Mayor Sadiq Khan.
In a recent correspondence she said that the new Mayor was committed to stabilis-
ing and promoting the black cab trade, adding that there would be a substantive
Hillier Buchan Ltd, 18, Bourne Road, Bexley, Kent. DA5 1LU
change of direction and that a package of measures was soon to be developed that
Mayor Khan would be looking at.
Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority - Firms Ref No: 304318
She finished by saying that black cabs were an essential part of London’s transport network
Company Registration No: 4319231
and that the special status we have should be recognised and secured in policy, which is why
the Mayor’s new transport strategy would include an explicit commitment in protecting and
maintaining our trade.
Tel: 01322 553313
In welcoming the new Mayor’s administration, we also welcome Val Shawcross as
Deputy Mayor for Transport and sincerely hope that this is the beginning of much
more cordial relations than we ever had with Boris - other than at election time!
Fax: 01322 523315
Call Sign July 2016
Page 16
DaC drivers all received a letter headed The Future of your Society.
This is one response. It comes from Philip Benjamin (K20) who
joined ODRTS in 1975 - 41 years ago...
didn't really need the Chairman’s letter
company or personal account at rates that
Headquarters from Slough to the area in
of the 26th April to inform me that the
no one else can compete with, is far too
2017, employing some five thousand staff. A
current level of trading is unsustainable.
attractive to dismiss.
new residential development of some four
The weekly payment into my bank
Who would have thought that three of the
hundred units, ranging from £700K for a stu-
account tells me everything. My view is that
most successful innovations of modern times
dio to £2.5 million for a three bed appart-
those who believe business will eventually
- the SatNav, Smartphone and Credit Card -
ment is currently under construction nearby
pick up are living in la-la land.
could be our best friend and worst enemy.
and is selling Off Plan. With a cash strapped
For TfL, supported by Central
Brian mentioned in his letter the option of
Council happy to give planning permission
Government, Uber is a Cash Cow to be
selling off Dial-a-Cab House and renting or
for residential developments, the £20K esti-
milked for all it is worth. For Government, an
purchasing elsewhere. A prime site on the
mated for each of us if the property is sold
open ended employment market for the
edge of Silicon Roundabout is surely a gold-
could look like pocket money if a project can
unskilled on a national basis would seem a
en opportunity for any developer.
be realised. Agreed, we may not be develop-
perfect solution to massage unemployment
He also stated at the last AGM that Dial-a-
ers, nor were the aforementioned, but there
figures. And one must take into account
Cab is not in the development business. I’m
are people out there who would be more
that Albania and Serbia will be joining the
sure Alan Sugar said the same thing fifty
than happy to engage with us to produce a
years ago when he was selling car aerials
model of what can be achieved. Or, of course,
Once Uber’s executive arm gets its claws into
from the back of his van. Amsprop Estates
we can just plod along for three years, use up
the lucrative commercial and corporate mar-
has now made him into a Billionaire.
all our reserves and then make a desperate
ket and now that BAA has allocated them a
Many will remember our old customer
decision. I know the Board will never let that
feeder park at Heathrow, it could well be
Godfrey Bradman, a chartered accountant
happen, so surely the time to act is now and
goodnight Vienna!
who purchased a rundown tea trading PLC
we can still go off and rent elsewhere.
The concept and principle of their ser-
called Rosehaugh and used it as a vehicle to
I do not wish to be the pessimist, but I
vice is brilliant, although the point of
develop Broadgate in partnership with
believe things can only get worse and that is
delivery is of course amateurish. But as a
Stanhope Properties. The difference
without mentioning what the Road Planners
global giant with substantial backing,
between them and us is that they didn't have
are doing to our City...
they will no doubt get it right. A One Stop
a property to start with. There are many more
Shop on any street corner of any town or
similar to these two.
Philip Benjamin K20
city anywhere in the world, whether a
Amazon is scheduled to move its UK
Call Sign Online
ay saw the London Taxidrivers’ Fund for Underprivileged Children’s latest out-
ing where 100 taxi drivers, including several from Dial-a-Cab, gave up a day’s work
to drive 200 special needs children on this year’s LTFUC Woburn Taxi Safari. The
children were collected from Woodfield, JCOSS and Northway schools and treat-
ed to a fun-packed day filled with non-stop fun and laughter.
After a Woburn lunch, the children went on a road safari, marveling at the lions, tigers, bears,
rhinos, giraffes, elephants, monkeys, zebras and bison, but it was the monkeys that stole the
show as they jumped onto the taxis much to the children’s delight - although the drivers looked
rather worried!
The rest of the afternoon was spent on the great Foot Safari, where children got closer to the
smaller animals, the Swan pedal boats, the Great Woburn Railway, the Avery and the
Mammoth Play Ark.
At 4pm, everyone returned to the restaurant for tea while Hon Chair, Sim
Yiannikaris, was presented with a cheque for £3,000 from Inland Homes in part spon-
sorship of the outing. Ink Recruitment donated £2,000, which went towards the dri-
vers’ fuel.
The Fund expressed their sincere thanks to both companies in addition to the Management
and Staff at Woburn, His Grace The Duke of Bedford for his hospitality, ITV Anglia for their
coverage, Met Police for ensuring they got on the motorway safely, Bedfordshire
Constabulary for getting them on and off the motorway, Hertfordshire Constabulary for
keeping an eye on the outing while on the motorway, Brent Borough Police, Kavanah Motor
Group, Welsh Harp Safer Neighbourhood Team, Ears Radio for providing the two way radios,
Red Cross, Costco for supplying the water, Sainsbury’s (Sue, Shirley and Trudy) for the tea,
coffee, biscuits and cake and for helping with the children.
Last, but not least the Fund send thanks go to the wonderful drivers for giving up a day’s
work in these difficult times to ensure the children had an amazing and unforgettable day,
because without those drivers the outings would not be possible. They also thanked the
helpers and anyone else who contributed towards the day. The children had a brilliant time
and the smiles on their faces said it all.
Their next outing is the legendary trip to Southend-on-Sea on 13th July.
Call Sign July 2016
Page 17
Hello Ladies & Gents,
only book into one of these ranks at any
one time.
As you read this article, many will
As Keith Cain has mentioned in his Sales
be looking forward to a summer
article on page 13, some journeys are ultra-
break and a hard-earned rest. So
competitive but VAD will allow us to offer an
economy trip - via an intelligent fixed pricing
enjoy it because you have earned
programme - to our members in the first
it and hopefully it will be a time
instance, before it then hits a car. You will not
to recharge your batteries!
be forced to accept these trips, but my thinking
is that while some trips may not always suit
every member, others may see the benefit.
VAD dispatch
Turning on your ‘Economy Button’ will give
We are very near the final roll-out of the new
you access to these types of trips; if the button
dispatch system (VAD) and with the added
is off these specific journeys will not be offered
flexibility that this will now offer, there are a
to you. We may in the future be able to intro-
number of new ideas that we can implement
duce a system in which each member can
over the coming weeks. As I’ve previously
As some of you already in the car park at
choose particular criteria on a day-to-day basis,
mentioned, this system offers trips to a com-
which the present system cannot do.
Heathrow, especially those of you that have
bination of taxis that are nearest to an actual
waited for a lengthy period, may not wish
The most annoying scenario is being
pickup, but also takes into account the ones
offered a trip and because of a signal prob-
to be offered these fixed price trips, they
that have been available for the longest peri-
will be dispatched to a virtual rank: LHFP.
lem, you cannot accept or reject and
inevitable happens... through no fault of your
These particular trips will not automatical-
Judging by your comments, it seems that
ly go to Members in the feeder park but the
own you are booked off! The big plus on VAD
most of you now agree with our fixed-price
is that you will still be in the global or virtual
fixed rate trip will appear in the bids imme-
policy and with competition so fierce, it will
diately after working its way through all
queue position, which I am sure you will
see an increase in trips to airports as well as
agree, is a much better solution.
cabs booked into the LHFP rank - if there
longer journeys. In the current climate, I do
are any - but you must be able to reach the
Almost all of you have now been upgraded
believe that the policy is working and with
to the latest version and when we go live, any
airport terminals within fifteen minutes
your support will continue to do so, while
before booking-in (LHFP). All other non-
earlier version will not allow you to sign onto
hopefully seeing our share grow. The ratio of
the new system. The IT department are aiming
fixed price account trips will be dispatched
trips to Heathrow is far higher than trips
to the feeder park (LHR) in the normal way
for an early to mid-July roll out, so there’s still
back and we will soon be offering these
time to pop in to Roman Way if you are not on
and again you must be within the qualify-
return journeys to clients - albeit at fixed
ing zones within the Perimeter Road or you
the latest software (version 10).
rates - in an effort to cut down on your wait-
Enjoy the summer break...
will be unable to book into LHR. Like the
ing time in the feeder park. All the fixed rate
current system, you cannot soon to clear
trips will be rejectable without penalty and
when you are on the way to Heathrow and
Allan Evans
will operate in the same way as the inward
it is important to remember that you can
DaC Operations /
Compliance Manager
The RHS Hampton Court Flower Show takes
place from 5 - 10 July and this year for the
first time, the RHS is also hosting a Family
Saturday. There will be all sorts of new activ-
ities for children with events taking on a
Rocket Science theme inspired by the RHS
Campaign for School Gardening and its part-
nership with the UK Space Agency to discover
whether space travel has an impact on the
growth of seeds.
Pupils will also be able to take part in a
Scarecrow Competition with creations inspired by space. Children aged 16 and under are free
of charge to the show on any day.
Other highlights will include an enormous tropical Butterfly Dome filled with thousands of
exotic butterflies from Indonesia and South America; live demonstrations from chefs and gar-
deners including Alys Fowler and James Wong; a 6,750 square metre Floral Marquee and
Plant Village bursting with more floral exhibitors and specialist nurseries than ever before; a
Festival of Roses marquee inspired by Beatrix Potter's garden at Hill Top House; new City
Gardens showing just how much urban dwellers can achieve and themed gardens celebrating
the 300th anniversary of 18th century landscape architect Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown.
The Festival of Roses will offer glorious and captivating displays, whilst around the
showground there will be inspiring talks and demonstrations by celebrity gardeners,
Female driver
as well as fabulous shopping opportunities.
10% reduction for Dial-a-Cab drivers
The Ticket Hotline is on 0844 338 0338. For information about wheelchair access, wheel-
Contact Debbie (W18) on
chair hire or parking call 0844 581 0787. Otherwise call the Ticket Factory on 0844 338 7502
where lines are open from 8am to 10pm, seven days a week.
07956 317040
Calls cost 7p per minute plus your phone company's access charge.
Call Sign July 2016
Page 18
t’s not everyone who can say Lionel
Another true story from Geoff Levene...
Bart persuaded them to upgrade their
phone. To be honest, I’ve tended to lag
behind in what Harold Wilson called
the white heat of technology. And it all goes
back a long way...
suddenly the automatic ignition clicks on
My uncle, like many people, had a TV in
and the vehicle moves off. Meanwhile you
time for the Coronation in 1953. I have a dim
sleep on. Somewhere nearby a man
memory of watching the Stanley Matthews
touches the Dial-a-Cab app on his mobile,
Cup Final a month earlier; however the
the cab does a u-turn and heads towards
Coronation is a bit clearer. But in our house
him. He gets in and keys in a postcode on
we didn't get a set until around 1958 or so.
a pad in the back. Off goes the cab, while
Then at last I could see the things my school-
you sleep on. At the destination, the pas-
mates talked about - Huckleberry Hound,
senger touches CLJ and the cab makes its
Zoo Time, Wrestling...and the adverts! You’ll
way to the next pick-up. And still you
wonder where the yellow went when you
sleep on...
brush your teeth with Pepsodent - Murray
But what of Lionel Bart, you ask? The
Mints, Murray Mints, too good to hurry mints
good lady wife wanted to see a tribute
- and of course, Omo adds brightness!
evening - not because she was a huge fan, but
I first saw colour TV in March 1970 at the
because soap star Jessie Wallis (aka Kat
home of Señor Steve Shaller (ex-F34J) -
Slater from Eastenders) is a favourite of
that’s the home he had over here then and
hers. So one stormy Sunday evening we
not his current abode over there. One thing I
about 6 years ago. People used to ask if I had
drove down to the Festival Hall. I knew
did embrace as soon as I heard of it was video.
an email address, but this has now changed to
there wasn’t much on-street parking but
Imagine, you could record a programme - and
asking what my email address is! And when I
there is a carpark at Upper Ground where
in the early days that’s all you could do...
admitted to the snooty sales manager of the
you paid about £8 to a man in a booth. Now
record one programme and watch it later or
company we bought our flat from that I didn't
it was pay-by-phone and to register for the
watch your favourite film whenever you want-
have a computer, she looked at me as if I had
new service is rather labour intensive so I
ed. Over the years we had a series of VHS
just landed from the Planet Zarg.
decided to do it in the restaurant we’d
video recorders and even fully paid-up
“You don't have a computer,” she sneered! I
booked; but our table was right at the back
technophobe, the good lady wife, learnt how
knew then it was time to meet my son in
to programme them. But there was one mem-
and there was no signal. So while waiting for
Tottenham Court Road. But I am glad I took
ber of our group who became a figure of fun
our starters, I went outside to do the busi-
the plunge, although there are times when
and ridicule. Why? He bought Betamax and
ness. I should mention that a few years earli-
I've been tempted to hurl the thing from the
Ray Waxman has never been allowed to for-
er I’d been recommended to get my Sony
balcony of our flat! By and large it’s been
get it! We kept our video as long as we could
Xperia. Bad move! I think it was probably
quite useful. There are always offers and I've
but then of course we had to change to DVD,
what you might call a ‘Friday’ phone. It was
probably recouped the cost of the computer
which is where we are today. Although I’ve got
just awful and on this occasion, it was worse
just from money saved on meals and nights
BT TV, I don't have Sky. The wife would like
than ever. To cut a long story short, whatever
out! I'm still a novice, but I’ve learned to find
it, but when I explain how much football I’d
I tried to input, something else came up.
my way around it not to mention the innu-
be watching, she doesn't seem quite so keen!
After 15 minutes of struggling, I went back to
merable facts I’ve discovered and arguments
My older brother has been involved in com-
settled. Who was in that film? What song was
have my meal. Then I went back, picked up
puters since the early sixties when they filled
that lyric from? Who scored that goal? It goes
the car and parked elsewhere - which was
an entire room. My son had one of those
on and on. And when I’ve finished this piece,
closer than before.
Sinclair machines around thirty years ago
one click transmits it to our esteemed Editor -
As for the show, it was terrible! The only
when he was ten, but I resisted the urge until
who has only been on email since 1987!
good thing coming out of it was that I
So what of the future? My friend Richard
changed to a Samsung Galaxy the next
reckons Uber will have driverless cars on the
day. So thanks Lionel, I couldn’t have
road in five years. I’m not sure about that
done it without you...!
timeline but I feel there are opportunities for
us here. Just imagine...
Geoff Levene (W32)
6am. The cab sits on your drive;
Call Sign Online
The London Taxidrivers’ Fund for Underprivileged
Children receives many appeals throughout the year
and on one recent occasion we were delighted to help
PACE (Play, Adventure and Community
Enrichment) purchase sports equipment to the value
of £500, which will be used and enjoyed by hundreds
of ‘special needs’ children across their three centres.
We were also delighted to welcome children from PACE to our annual Christmas
Mad Hatter's Tea Party, which we were told they all thoroughly enjoyed.
Raymond Levy
LTFUC Press Officer
Call Sign July 2016
Page 19
Ray Buckland at VC ceremony
The last issue of Call Sign con-
tained an article about the uncle
of long-time Dial-a-Cab driver
Ray Buckland (P66) tracing back
Ray’s great, great, great grand-
father, James Champion, who
had fought in the 1857 Indian
Mutiny with the Kings Irish
Hussars, following which he
won the Victoria Cross for val-
our in the face of the enemy. He
had also traced James back to
the Charge of the Light Brigade!
Ray, together with his mum, sister and
several other descendants of James
Champion’s family, witnessed an emotion-
al ceremony on 20th April and said it had
been one of the most moving events he
had ever witnessed. But in May, Ray attend-
ed a ceremony at Hammersmith Old
Cemetery where James’ grave that had
drawn and all three were in ceremo-
the lament as he walked away from
previously been marked with just a cross
nial dress with spurs on their boots to
the stone. The hairs on the back of
was re-laid with a fully inscribed stone and
celebrate James alignment with the
my neck must have been sticking up
his Victoria Cross was presented.
and I had this feeling of enormous
Ray told Call Sign:
“There were
There were current serving soldiers
pride realising that the ceremony was
three soldiers behind James’ stone
also present who had served in Iraq
in aid of my relative.”
with the one in the middle holding
and Afghanistan with two female
Ray added his thanks to The Sun
the VC and several other medals. The
buglers playing the Last Post and a
newspaper for their help in getting
two on either side of him had sabres
lone Irish Hussars piper who played
James stone re-laid...
Kings X Taxi Club
donation to LTFUC
Kings Cross Taxi Club on
Camley Street has gener-
ously donated £1,000 to
the London Taxidrivers’
Fund for
Children. The picture
shows Gavin Tresidder
of the KXTC presenting
the cheque to LTFUC
committee member
Gerry Dunn MBE.
Gavin said: “Both myself
and the dedicated team
here at the KXTC are
delighted to make this
contribution to such a
worthwhile cause. We
have taken the decision to make an
annual donation to the LTFUC to help with their fundraising in
the future. We look forward to serving hot home-made meals
with a warm welcome to all drivers 24 hours a day.”
The Hon President, Hon Chairman and Committee of the LTFUC
are very grateful to the Kings Cross Taxi Club for their kind
donation and support...
Raymond Levy
LTFUC Press Officer
Call Sign July 2016
Page 20
“It suddenly went dark inside my
Vito,” Wayne Leedham (O27) told
Call Sign, “not much fun on a
dark and dismal night,” he added!
“I checked the owner’s handbook for further
When the lights go out...
information but eventually had to resolve the
issue by getting it sorted with a cab electrician.
Blocks of fuses are
There are blocks of fuses dotted about in vari-
sited above and
ous places on the Vito, so it’s a bit of a maze
below the Vito bat-
locating the correct fuses speedily,” he sighed.
tery with others in
“The problem was traced to the fuse that
the engine bay
supplies power to the interior lighting system
and once that was replaced, things came back
MAM Auto Electricians
to normal and I was able to see again at the
can be contacted on:
flick of a switch because I was beginning to run
020 7607 3915 or
low on my box of matches,” he said seeing the
07831 222046
funny side of the situation now, but clearly
Unit 9 Mitre Bridge
relieved that the matter had been resolved!
Industrial Park, Mitre
Then there was another “light” problem for
Way, London W10 6AU
a second Vito owner on Dial-a-Cab - Michael
(access from Scrubs
Parkins (A62). Mike lost his Vito roof sign illu-
off and need to be drilled out! I frequently
Alan Green
“Finding passengers when your ‘For Hire’
replace them with plastic screws, which makes
sign is working is tough enough, but without it
life easier all-round...”
Call Sign Online
there is no possibility of finding anyone! Then
there’s the time it took before I even realised it
wasn’t working!”
So without wishing to make ‘light’ of the
subject - sorry, Call Sign was still in jovial mood
I would like to pay tribute to the man that many knew simply as
after its month off - Call Sign spoke to Michael
The Loz - Phil Hewson - who died on Tuesday 26 April 2016.
Andreou at MAM Auto Electricians who gener-
I first met Loz nearly 30 years ago when I went for a cholesterol test at
the LTDA gym. I had a shock after hearing that the reading was too high,
ously gave his time and expertise to inform our
as was my blood pressure and to make things worse, I was also over-
readers of the complexities of tracing MB Vito
weight. All that and just a month short of my 39th birthday! So I joined
fuses, and the trials and dexterity necessary to
the LTDA gym - one of the best days work I ever did.
change the Vito ‘For Hire’ sign bulb.
Loz put me on a diet, gave me a training schedule and in around
He told us: “The fuse blocks are scattered
12 weeks my body fat dropped from 27 percent to 25 percent and
around the cab in various places - under the
then within just a few months, down to the 21 percent that is said
hood in the engine bay and under the central
to be ideal for a man.
Loz was there all the way with me as I lost 25lb, my blood pressure
console in the drivers’ cabin are favourite
dropped to a more normal rate of 120/80 and the best boost of all - I
places and the locations change with different
could now get into my 32inch waist trousers - albeit by then they were
rather old fashioned and I needed to get some new ones! Phil then put
“As for changing the ‘for hire’ bulb, which
me into the class known as The 'A' Team (12.30 on Monday, Wednesday and Friday) and where I met a lot
in fact it is not, you’ll need access equip-
of other cab drivers, many of whom I am still friends with now.
ment because the hire sign light is actually
Loz also organised many charity events and was always there for anyone who needed help, never having
a fluorescent strip tube around 15 inches
a bad word about anybody. But he did love practical jokes and often during classes - ours in particular - he
would punctuate them with jokes! It was great and I really looked forward to going!
long and when I said access equipment, I
One funny story Loz related to us occurred while he was rushing to help another cab driver who was
was referring to ladders or scaffolding like
being assaulted after hearing a message coming out on his ComCab radio terminal. The fight was at the
you Dial-a-Cab drivers have at Roman Way.
top of Bury Street St James’s and as he approached he could see that it was mayhem. He jumped out of
That’s because you have to reach the roof
his cab and carried out his belief that you should always go for the biggest person, get in a good thump
sign light from the outside and not the
and the crowd would spread! They certainly did - the punch was so good that the person lost three teeth.
inside of the cab as in the TX taxis.
The only problem was that the person he thumped was the other cab driver! At first he wanted Loz nicked,
The reason is that the light can only be
but after time it was all smoothed over.
Loz was an ex-army PTI, an ex-professional boxer, a Black Belt in Karate, a master of Tai Chi and also of
replaced by removing the external Hire Sign
Indian martial art, Leviacol.
cover to gain entry to the tube. Replacing the
Around 20 years ago, Loz was diagnosed with bowel cancer and the treatment was successful;
light itself is relatively simple, but removing the
the day after his operation, he was standing up in the ward, attached to a drip and doing the Tai
10 star-style screws that secure the roof sign
Chi form. But over the past few years, the cancer sadly returned and Phil died on 26 April. He
cover can be a devil of a job. The originals are
will be sadly missed by all his family and the thousands of friends he must have made.
usually metal and can rust over time due to
Rest in Peace Loz, a lovely man, a unique person and a great friend...
weather exposure; invariably they often break
Brian Marcantonio (Ex-R73)
Results of a complaints meeting that took place at DaC House on Tuesday 26 April 2016...
Name / call sign
Anthony Hizer (E63)
An article was published in Taxi Globe
2. 4 weeks suspension
on 16 March 2016 regarding a driver
3. Expelled
getting passengers to download the
Hailo app for a financial gain.
This action is in direct competition with
Upheld at an Appeals
Dial-a-Cab and the driver was actively
Hearing by the BoM
promoting another company.
on 13 May 2016.
Rules 2, 3
Call Sign July 2016
Page 21
After his deserved award in the Queen’s Birthday honours list,
Mike Son returns to earth...
Battling the tide...
The offer of fixed rates for various trips,
So that alone makes it absolutely
especially to and from the airport, has inter-
imperative that every single trip is cov-
ested customers and a number are starting to
ered... and quickly. Perhaps surprisingly
book these journeys. But trying to offer other
to some, that doesn’t always seem to hap-
cost-effective journeys that will appeal to
pen, especially during the morning.
users seems too often to be falling on deaf
When you read messages from dispatchers
ears, undoubtedly due to the ridiculously low
virtually begging drivers to cover trips, you
rates that Uber charges. Nonetheless, we are
would assume that the licensed taxi trade was
It’s been a couple of months since my last
continuing the fight.
awash with work rather than facing the battle
article and work for drivers has certainly
Using different sales strategies - including
of swimming against the tide. Please, the next
decreased and seems to be continuing in
collating system data of past clients and re-
time you are offered a trip and are not on
a downwards spiral, however even though
introducing the Dial-a-Cab Services - is creat-
your way home, please push ‘accept’.
it sometimes feels that we are swimming
ing some interest, however, obtaining correct
What we need more than anything to put
against the tide, I can assure all members
and up-to-date contact details is proving to
against the price problem, is for the reputa-
that the Sales team are making every
be time consuming.
tion of Dial-a-Cab being ultra-reliable and the
effort to turn things around.
But even after promoting all the services
only way we can do that is by drivers pushing
we can provide, it still comes down to the
that ‘accept’ button as soon as you get an
fact that customers consider taxis in gener-
al as being too expensive. Nevertheless, in
order to attract new customers and give
Mike Son
them the opportunity to compare our ser-
DaC Sales Dept
vice and costs with their existing suppliers,
Gary Bedford
we are offering a 3-month probationary
(T39) has been on
period with no administration charge, no
Dial-a-Cab since
Call Sign
run-ins and no gratuities. So it would be
2000 - fourteen
very helpful if drivers give out our Dial-a-
July 2016
years after he
Cab business cards to non-Dial-a-Cab pas-
Editor: Alan Fisher
passed the
Knowledge. Now
sengers - ie street hails.
Address: 39 - 47 East Rd, London N1 6AH
Tel: 0207 251 0581 Fax: 0207 553 7293
he wants to pass
on a different
Email: callsignmag@aol.com
Demutualisation and
Website: www.22-callsign.co.uk
type of knowledge, because
Printers: Premier Print Group
for the past 40 years, Gary has been involved
E6 6 LP
with boxing as a fighter, trainer and also a
We are very much aware of member’s
Design: Aldan Publications
referee for independent semi-professional
thoughts on demutualising the Society, how-
Tel: 07958 300 428
boxing circuit, the IBA. Now, from a new IBA
ever this will take time. Although the building
gym in West Thurrock, Gary is passing on
Email: debbiefresco@googlemail.com
will be financially valuable after - and if -
Views and opinion expressed in Call Sign must
some of his vast boxing knowledge via fit-
demutualisation is completed and a buyer is
not be assumed to represent those of the Editor or
ness classes every Saturday.
sourced, the value of the company (Dial-a-
Board.No part of Call Sign may be reproduced
He told Call Sign: “I love the sport and
either manually or electronically without the express
couldn’t let an opportunity go to pass on my
Cab) could still decrease.
permission of the Editor.
knowledge and train others interested in get-
ting fit through boxing. As for the IBA, I have
great respect for the organisation because it
allows the average person to fulfil their
Dial-a-Cab Credit Union
dream and box in front of a crowd.”
Gary has been training fighters ever since
his amateur career of 25 bouts came to an
Ever needed money quickly but were anxious about
end and says he loves training people and
variable bank interest rates?
has also coached kids all the way up to being
Well wonder no more! If you are a subscriber, journeyman or
notable IBA fighters. But when Call Sign
asked him who the classes were aimed at,
member of staff at Dial-a-Cab, then you qualify to join the
Gary simply said anybody!
Dial-a-Cab Credit Union. Any member of your family residing
“The beauty of boxing is that anyone can
at your address also qualifies for membership!
do it. If you have never put a glove on before
Then if you are over 18, have been a member of the Credit Union for
in your life, it really doesn’t matter. These
over 3 months and have established regular savings, you can borrow
classes are aimed at beginners, right through
to accomplished boxers. My aim is to give
up to 3 times your total savings…
people from all walks of life the chance to
The cost?
get fit whilst working at their own pace and
ability in a fun and friendly environment.”
Just 1% per month on the outstanding balance (or APR of 12.7%).
The classes are at West Thurrock
Loans can be paid back early AND there can be an annual dividend on your shares.
Boxing & Fitness Gymnasium in Grays.
The question is: Can you afford NOT to be in it…?
He holds two classes every Saturday, the
first starting at 10am through to
Call us on 020 7729 8171 or 020 7749 0585
11.15am; the second from 11.30am till
12.45pm. Each session costs £7 and any-
Members of the Financial Ombudsman Service
Member’s funds protected up to limit set by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme
one over 16 is welcome.
DaC Credit Union Ltd, Peterley Business Centre, 472 Hackney Rd E2 9EQ
For more information, contact Gary on
Authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority
07811 965 176 and see the ad on page 12.
Registration number 213263
Call Sign July 2016
Page 22
Some people are on the pitch, they think it’s all over!
Bob Woodford looks at London’s long lost sporting venues
he cricket season is now in full
The Australian Pub
swing and it was England’s pace
in Milner Street is
and swing that did the Sri
on the site of the
Lankan team recently in the
old Middlesex CCC
first Test Match series of the summer.
Inset: An original
The visitors are in a re-building process
Hans Town street
at present and will be a soft touch for
bollard from 1819
most of the cricket playing nations
now at Cadogan
until their youngsters improve by gain-
ing much needed valuable experience
against the top sides.
One top side England will not find so soft
is, of course, the Australians when the two
Humphrey Hall
old enemies next lock horns in the 2017
Ashes series beginning in Brisbane. So, talk-
ing about Australian cricket, I wonder how
Queen's Club in
many Dial-a-Cab drivers have ever driven
Baron's Court.
past it and wondered how The Australian
Hans Town had
pub in Milner Street, Chelsea got its name.
been started by archi-
And talking of cricket, I wonder how many
Call Sign readers are aware of the existence
Holland and you can
of other county cricket grounds in
check out a remain-
London other than Lords and The
ing street bollard
at Cadogan Place
We can now put those last 2 sen-
inside the gardens
tences together - because Milner
opposite the Carlton
Street was once the home of the
Tower Hotel. So
Middlesex County Cricket Club
the opener was a 3-day
where could you have imagined an English
and the Australian pub was
County Championship
batsmen doing his best to prevent an Aussie
named so because in 1878, the
match vs Yorkshire on
tourist bowler trying to knock his block off,
touring Australians played two
23rd to 25th May 1872.
never mind his wicket?
matches on the old lost ground.
You could be forgiven for
The pitch would have been slap bang in
The Princes
imagining fans from the
the centre of Lennox Gardens and the
Ground in Chelsea was the
north buying a drink in a
oval shape of the surrounding roads on
creation of the brothers
Chelsea pub and then
either side rather give the game away
George and John Prince,
shouting “How Much!!!”
really - think about that next time you are
both prominent members of
The Aussies arrived in
short cutting through it!
the Princes Club that was
1878, playing 2 matches on
For the record, cricket was much more of a
the ground: Gentlemen of
formed in 1853 as a socially
gentleman's game back in the day - but you
exclusive gentlemen's multi-sports club
England vs Australia XI and
can still imagine taking your place around the
Players XI vs Australia XI - the last first class
- initially for rackets and tennis.
boundary ropes sporting a refreshing pint of
The exclusivity of the club catered for
match ever played at Prince’s.
ale. Howzat!
It was the increasing acquisitions of
those that were of the phrase coined “the
Be lucky
land to continue the building of Hans
upper ten,” or “the upper ten thousand” as
Town development that led to the club
named by American writer Nathaniel Parker
Bob Woodford
selling up and moving on to
Willis when describing the higher class of
today's Scotch Corner site (formerly
Call Sign Online
society in major cities. George and John were
both keen on expanding the club’s facilities
and in 1871 laid out a cricket field where
Lennox Gardens is now. Croquet was also
added to the list of sports the well-to-do of
SW3 could enjoy!
The consecration to the memorial stone of long-time Dial-a-
Cab driver Sid Gold (ex-E20) will take place on July 17th at
The boundaries of the site of this long-
Rainham Jewish Cemetery, 416 Upminster Road North,
lost sporting heritage are marked by
Rainham, Essex RM13 9SB. The service commences at 2.45pm.
Milner Street, Lennox Gardens Mews,
Sid joined the Society in 1965 and left 43 years later at the age of
Pont Street and Clabon Mews with the
86, much to the sadness of the girls in the call centre! Political cor-
inaugural match at Prince's taking place
rectness wasn’t something that Sid ever coveted and he would get
on 3rd June 1871. It was a gentle tussle -
away with saying the most outrageous things to them, but they
the Household Brigade vs the Lords and
loved him! Drivers held a great respect for him after hearing how
Commons! You can't really imagine the
he had fought off three muggers at the age of 82!
As his daughter Roberta said at Sid’s funeral: “We’re not here to mourn, but to celebrate a life…
public queueing around the streets of
Knightsbridge and Chelsea hoping for a
All Sid’s friends from DaC are invited to the consecration regardless of which religion
glimpse of this humdinger!
and also back to the house in Brentwood afterwards for refreshments. Just remember
Middlesex CCC played home matches here
that men need a covering for their heads during the cemetery service...
between 1872 and 1876 and records reveal
Call Sign July 2016
Page 23
he London taxi trade has been around
Call Sign poses a question to TfL’s senior hierarchy and asks them a
in excess of 350 years and is acknowl-
simple question...
edged as the best service of its kind
anywhere in the world, whether that is
via plying for hire, phoning or using an app.
Radio manufacturing rivals, Marconi and
have involved taxi and minicab drivers, chauf-
Pye, had run early experiments with two-way
feurs and pedicab riders. The police don’t dif-
radio in vehicles but Marconi was first into the
ferentiate between them, but we suspect that
taxi business and used the services of a Stratford
our trade would have quickly heard had any of
cabbie, Alf Smith in 1948 when putting a basic
the attacks been by licensed taxi drivers. Hell, it
receiving / sending radio set into his cab. The
would have been on the front page of the
signals were awful, but the experiment of being
Evening Standard and quite probably on TV
able to pass ‘dummy’ jobs to Alf was deemed a
news channels. Meanwhile the West Yorkshire
force reported four serious sex assaults and
Pye came back with a bang in 1950 when they
eight incidents involving violence against pas-
took the fleet owner of York Way Motors, Lew
sengers in Uber cars.
Levy and his son Wally to New York to see how
The Sun also took up the cudgels in a May
cabs there had adapted to radio. They were
19th article with its headline: 32 Uber driver sex
same DBS check as licensed taxi drivers and in
impressed and on returning to London put the
raps in one year! It began by saying that Uber dri-
a Freedom of Information request Call Sign
wheels into motion that saw the capital’s first
vers were accused of rape or sex attacks nearly
sent to TfL, they confirmed that “both taxi and
radio circuit, York Way Radio Cabs, hitting the
three times a month in London. It went on to
private hire drivers licensed by TfL undertake
streets. But it wasn’t for owner-drivers.
write of Uber’s world-wide record and the “string
the same enhanced DBS check and the charac-
Soon after, two more radio circuits were
of sex assault claims” across the United States
ter requirements to obtain a taxi or PHV licence
formed; Metropolitan Radio Taxis - which
before telling its readers that Uber was banned in
are the same.”
came and then went almost as quickly - while
the Indian capital city, New Delhi after an Uber
We have now followed that up with a further
the second circuit, The Radio Owner Drivers
driver raped his passenger.
FOI request asking about the DBS status of
Association (RODA), seemed to be an answer
those coming to this country within the past
London has had 154 various allegations of
to the prayers of owner drivers. But RODA hit
three years as refugees and with no paperwork,
which 32 were sex attacks by Uber drivers with
financial trouble and closed when Pye took
how they get jobs with Uber - and we know
in all probability a large majority of the other
their aerial equipment back from the office at
they do because we have interviewed two of
122 also linked to Uber - we say majority
Townsend Yard, Highgate.
them - but like all of Uber’s drivers, including
because we know that one pedicab driver
After RODA closed, some drivers wanted to
the one whose story we published after our
faced sex charges.
still continue with radio, but not necessarily
Gary Cox spoke to him at St Pancras, all are
So again we ask TfL if we are missing
with the fledgling ODRTS who were by now in
scared of losing their job and won’t give their
something? How many rapes, sex attacks
business under Bonnie Martyn.
and/or cases of violence will Transport for
Another driver, Joe Stern, called a meeting at
But that doesn’t really matter, because it isn’t
London allow before they actually show
‘Rifle Range’ in Harewood Avenue,
just the taxi/minicab sides that are moaning.
some testicular fortitude and tell Uber that
Marylebone and it was decided to set up an
Facts are beginning to emerge showing exactly
we do not want them in London - or any-
opposing circuit to ODRTS and call it Radio
the type of company that TfL have licensed
where else in this country for that fact. New
Taxis (Southern) Ltd. That led to an all-out bat-
because we suspect that if DaC gained a record
Delhi expelled them for one rape because
tle between ODRTS and RT - one that turned
such as the one Uber now has, this Society
that is one too many. TfL are sitting on 32
dirty at times. But now, all the main circuits and
would have been closed down.
cases, yet Uber are still here and expand-
indeed the trade as a whole, is struggling for sur-
So let’s look at those figures and again
ing in number by the day. So we must also
vival and are joined as one in blaming the
ask TfL if we are missing something.
Transport for London licensing regime.
ask if there is a purpose to TfL?
According to the Daily Mirror, a Freedom of
London’s minicabs - aka private hire - have
We sent this article prior to publication to
Information request from 14 police forces saw
been around for the past 50 or so years and
TfL’s Leon Daniels, Garrett Emerson and
the Met Police admit that over the past 12
while our natural antagonism over those 50
Helen Chapman. We also sent courtesy
months, there have been no less than
years has bred an inbuilt dislike of them, many
copies to the Transport Committee’s
females making claims of rape or sex attacks by
from our side of the divide will admit that firms
Caroline Pidgeon and new Deputy Mayor for
Uber drivers in London. In fact our police force
such as Addison Lee and Brunel provide a
Transport, Val Shawcross.
had recorded 154 allegations that were said to
good service for their clients. And whilst there
The TfL response is below.
was a time when we would have blamed them
for our loss of trade, the PH firms are also strug-
Are we missing something? TfL reply…
gling with the number of minicab firms ceasing
In response, TfL's Director responsible for Taxi and Private Hire, Peter Blake, told
to trade hitting record numbers.
Call Sign:
Which leaves us with two names - Uber
and TFL? We all know that Uber are losing
Passenger safety is our primary concern and we do all we can, along with the
money, but with sponsors apparently queu-
police and other stakeholders to make our services as safe as possible. We are in the
ing up to jump on their bandwagon regard-
process of implementing a number of changes to private hire regulations that are
less of bad publicity surrounding the cab
focused on further improving public safety. These changes will include ensuring that
company that Uber says isn’t a cab compa-
candidates for private hire driver licenses meet more stringent requirements and that
ny, money seems irrelevant and the
hire and reward insurance is in place for the duration of the vehicle’s licence.
undoubted aim is to take over the world’s
Enhanced action against touting and other illegal and potentially dangerous activities
taxi service. Recent rumours even suggest
is also a top priority and work is underway to improve both the quantity and quality
they are looking to run bus companies too.
of on-street enforcement.
And TfL? Well they’re supposedly running
All taxi and private hire drivers undergo an enhanced DBS criminal records check
the show...
before they are granted a licence and these checks are repeated every 3 years. We
So that takes us back to where we came in
take any report of sexual offences extremely seriously, revoking or suspending licenses
and our question to TfL as to whether we are
whenever necessary and pushing for the strongest possible penalties in the
missing something. The trade’s joint licensing
authority are said to be issuing up to 700 new
Courts. The police notify us straight way when a taxi or private hire driver is charged
licenses each week. As the number of
with a criminal offence and any driver who poses a risk to public safety will have their
Knowledge candidates is dropping and will
licence suspended immediately. We will also be speaking to Uber to confirm that it is
probably collapse entirely if things carry on as
ensuring passengers are made adequately aware that they are ride sharing with
they are, we have to assume that the 700 figure
strangers when they book UberPool.
consists almost entirely of private hire.
According to Uber, all of their drivers face the
Call Sign July 2016
Page 24
Call Sign congratulates Dennis Heavin on his new grandson, because it’s now...
After over 40 years at Dial-a-Cab,
how could we say no to Dennis
Heavin (A01) - even though he is
a West Ham supporter!
“I just wondered if you could say a big
Grandson, William (Billy Our Kid) Louie
Heavin, who arrived on Sunday 5th June at
Harlow Hospital weighing 10lbs 11ozs.
We are all so very happy for Mum Hayley
and Dad Nic and wish all three a very healthy,
happy and prosperous life as we have all
been waiting so long for our first Grandchild.
Lots of love, hugs and kisses to our newest
Hammers supporter.”
Regards Carol and Dennis Heavin
Congratulations to Dennis and the
whole family from everyone at Call Sign
Welcome to William Louie Heavin!
and Dial-a-Cab...
Professor David Begg is a former chairman of HMG’s Commission for Integrated Transport and has
an outstanding pedigree in transport related matters. And in a new report he says:
Thanks to previous London Mayor, Boris
bus use anywhere in the UK and urged
Johnson, London’s taxis have been given the
new Mayor, Sadiq Khan, to prioritise
blame for London’s toxic fumes and made to pay
the problem.
with a 15 year life span on our vehicles. This has
Responding for TfL, chief operating
resulted in thousands of taxis being forced off the
officer for surface transport, Garrett
road and in the case of older drivers who were
Emmerson, said: “We’re doing
not in a position to buy a replacement, to actually
everything possible to mitigate con-
put them out of work.
gestion, including deploying a team
Very few taxi drivers would argue that our vehi-
of new on-street officers to clear
cles are not the cleanest around, however they are
obstructions and move unlawful-
also far from being the worst and for many years
ly stopped vehicles.”
taxi organisations have argued that we are being
Call Sign would like to
picked upon and that in reality it is London’s buses
make a few helpful sugges-
that cause the most problems - partly by emis-
tions to Mr Emmerson. Firstly,
sions, but also by the fact that there are far too
cut down the number of
many of them. So often, queues of the big red
buses entering central
monsters can be seen one behind the other with
London as more and more of
just a few passenger s between them all.
them contain just a handful
Professor Begg's report tells us what
Now we have support in a new report
of passengers and secondly,
from no less a person than Professor David
we've always known - buses cause
relocate bus stops to spots where it is
Begg, former chairman of the Government’s
possible to pass them while they pick up their
most traffic hold-ups!
Commission for Integrated Transport.
few people and not just before obelisks in the
ask Mayor Khan to remove the unfair 15 year
According to the report, some bus routes were
road such as in Fleet Street, so that it becomes
limit from taxis...
now operating close to walking speed whilst at the
impossible to pass them. A third suggestion is to
Jamie Corum, Call Sign Online
same time putting more toxic fumes into the atmos-
phere. The report named the number 11 from
Fulham Town Hall to Liverpool Street as the worst
with a peak hour average of just 4mph and blamed
the appalling gridlock for the poor efficiency record
buses now have - down 30 percent since 2000!
Professor Begg said: “Stop-start conditions
caused by congestion are a key factor and lower
operating speeds are bad for pollution.
Congestion dramatically increases carbon dioxide
emissions from vehicles. Under heavily congested
conditions tailpipe emissions can be increased by
a factor of three or four times.”
Commissioned by the Greener Journeys
campaign group, the report also blamed
Uber cars and an expansion in the number of
delivery vans from online retailers such as
Amazon for the deterioration in congestion.
Professor Begg called for all minicabs, includ-
ing Uber and other car services, to have to
pay the £11.50 daily congestion charge.
The Professor also said that the slow speeds had
led to London facing one of the fastest declines in
Call Sign July 2016
Page 25
The London Taxi Company (LTC)
As they head towards the company’s new electric taxi launch...
has announced changes to
strengthen its senior manage-
ment team ahead of the launch
of its all new electric taxi in 2017.
Having successfully lead the company
out of administration in 2013 and secured
a £300m investment from parent compa-
2017 will see
ny Geely, Peter Johansen is stepping
the LTC electric
back from daily management duties to
TX5. Inset:
focus on his new role as President of the
Chris Gubby
London Taxi Company.
Chris Gubbey joined LTC in May and
will assume full management responsibili-
ties as CEO of LTC from 1st July 2016.
company at a time
Chris brings with him decades of automo-
when it is deliver-
tive experience gained from
ing a
senior management positions
investment pro-
he has held at Vauxhall (UK)
where he was Manufacturing
includes the cre-
Director, as well as senior lead-
ation of a brand
ership roles at General
new research,
Motors in China, Germany
development and
and Russia. Chris has also held
production facili-
roles at Ford, Toyota and
ment in order to maintain
GKN. Most recently, Chris has
the high profile the company
Coventry, which will be complete in
been the CEO of Brilliance
2016. The development is the first new car
has built up under his leader-
Auto Group in China.
ship since
2013. Peter
plant to be built in the UK for over a decade
Peter Johansen’s new
and will focus entirely on the development
remains a company Director.
role will allow him to focus on senior
Both Chris and Peter will report to the
and production of battery electric commer-
level advocacy and business develop-
LTC Chairman, Carl-Peter Forster. The cial vehicles.
LTBAWD take old soldiers to Worthing
Midsummer’s Day (June 21st) saw the London Taxi Benevolent
Never too old to enjoy an ice-cream!
Association for War Disabled with 100 licensed taxi drivers,
including a number from Dial-a-Cab, take around 200 brave war
veterans for a day on the south coast seaside and their regular
yearly haunt of The Pavilion on Worthing Pier. A large crowd of
onlookers had cheered as the long parade of taxis travelled along
the sea front.
Now in its 68th year, this trip is always enjoyed by veterans -
many who have been going for years! LTBAWD secretary, Paul
Davis, said: “We have been going since 1948 with drivers hoping
to give something back to the veterans. There is a long tradition of
former soldiers becoming cab drivers, so they are happy to keep
this tradition going.”
Former Special Air Service Sergeant Phil Campion, who made
The London Taxi Benevolent Association for War Disabled has been
a speech during lunch, said before they all sat down: “This is
organising trips to Worthing on the South Coast since 1947. The chari-
something close to my heart and we have to get behind these
ty counts among its patrons Dame Vera Lynn and Joanna Lumley
people and support them. But I don’t want to go in there and tell
who have both been guests of honour at previous Worthing trips.
them war stories, because they have seen and heard it all!”
To donate to the charity, visit their website at:
The Mayor of Worthing Council, Councillor Sean McDonald
http://www.taxicharity.org/. For updates on the charity, follow
added: “It is a time-honoured tradition for the residents of
on Twitter @TaxiCharity, Facebook and Instagram.
Worthing to welcome these brave men and women every year to
our town. We are delighted that they enjoy Worthing so much
that they continue to visit us every year.”
Keith Reading
The 100 cab drivers began picking up the vets and carers
from their homes across London, including the Royal Hospital,
Professional Toastmaster
Chelsea from 6.30am. And as usual, every single soldier was
Master of Ceremonies
ready on time!
The taxis made a pit-stop at South Holmwood Village near
Tele: 01279 465 938
Dorking, where veterans were welcomed by the villagers and sup-
Mobile: 07774 860 374
plied with sandwiches and drinks for the day ahead. The convoy
Email: kgr.2@virgin.net
then drove into Worthing and arrived in time for a lunch of
sausages and mash, a day of entertainment and to renew old
10% discount for DaC drivers and staff
Many of the drivers taking part - all of whom donated the day
Fellow of the Guild of
free of any charge - said the same thing; taking the veterans was
Professional Toastmasters
a privilege and certainly not a chore.
Call Sign July 2016
Page 26
UberPool matches up passengers going in the same direction, allowing
them to share the same vehicle and according to Uber, save 25% of
the usual fare. TfL have allowed it, but when Maaxi did it with taxis,
TfL said no! Jim Thomas investigated for Taxi Leaks and Call Sign…
How can TfL allow
A few months ago, Taxi Leaks asked on the
UberPool to continue???
TfLTPH Twitter account if they could give a
link to the legislation allowing Uber to oper-
ate its new ride-sharing UberPool service,
which is attached to their smartphone app. In
typical TfL style, I received no reply but one
was finally given to another driver - although
not as comprehensive as we would have liked.
It read: @:Jam55king: The Transport Act
1985 permits ride sharing in London.
Unfortunately, what they failed to point out
was that there are certain conditions that have
to be adhered to for Private Hire to undertake
shared rides with individual payments. The
wording states:
Advance booking of taxis and hire cars at
separate fares.
(1) Where the conditions mentioned in sub-
section (2) below are met, a licensed taxi or
licensed car may be used for the carriage of
passengers for hire or reward at separate fares
without thereby:
(a) becoming a public service vehicle for the
Minicabs illegally ranking at Old Billingsgate - apparently with TfL's blessing...
purpose of the 1981 Act or any related enact-
ment, or...
Daniels educating Uber’s CEO on how to cir-
knowing full well they did not comply with all
(b) ceasing (otherwise than by virtue of any
cumvent the legislation, telling her she
the requirements necessary at that time.
proviso made under section 13 of this Act) to
shouldn’t be putting this information out on
a) Uber has never taken a pre-booking.
be subject to the taxi code or (as the case may
- a bit like when Admiral Lord
b) Initially, Uber never had a landline
be) the hire car code.
Nelson put a patch over his good eye and
for bookings, a requirement under the
Taken from the Transport Act
spoke the immortal words: “I see no ships!”
PHV act 1998. TfL, however, continue to
online where the conditions state quite
The email from Mr Daniels was addressed
lie about the situation by repeatedly
to Uber’s, Jo Bertram, dated 10 May last year
putting out incorrect tweets.
(2) The conditions are that:
with the subject heading: Tweet about pre-
(a) All the passengers carried on the occa-
booking. It read:
Questions that need
sion in question booked their journeys in
“Jo, I am getting a ton of tweets, insult-
advance; and...
ing as usual, about this message from
to be answered...
(b) Each of them consented, when book-
your customer service to a client. If you
Why are our trade organisations allowing this
ing his journey, to sharing the use of the vehi-
are monitoring it then you’ll know the
behaviour to go unchallenged? Why are they
cle on that occasion with others on the basis
words “no pre-booking” are being exploit-
not protecting the working practises of dri-
that a separate fare would be payable by each
ed. I wonder if you agree that it might be
vers from whom they take money in the form
passenger for his own journey on that occa-
helpful to use different terminology?
of subscriptions?
Since pre-booking is the rationale behind
In 2012, our representative orgs sat back
The TfLTPH Twitter account completely
PHVs it really is unwise to deny you do it
and did nothing about a PH company that
ignores this and has posted a tweet refer-
in this way. I accept that the phrase used
was illegally issued with 12 licence variations
ring to the fact that UberPool only use
is the one by the customer but is now
(satellite office licences) - the same week they
licensed private hire vehicles and require
being used to complain that we are allow-
were licensed as an operator - without first
the specific consent of each customer
ing something we shouldn’t.
waiting the required 12 months from initial
I am not really very impressed having
licensing as an operator.
We tweeted TfL and they confirmed that all
to try and explain long-term pre-booking
This same company is now allowed by
PH journeys in London must be pre-booked -
vs short-term pre-booking.”
TfL to turn up at certain venues around
including Uber. “We don’t allow PH vehicles to
Uber have stated on numerous occasions
the City of London, set up private hire
be instantly hailed, only taxis.”
that they don’t do pre-bookings and in the
ranks and be fed work by openly touting
We repeated the statement that each cus-
recent UberPool case where a young lady was
clipboard men. TfL and their compliance
tomer needs to be “pre-booked” and give their
assaulted by two male passengers, it tran-
teams always turn a blind eye to this par-
consent; we received this reply from TfL/TPH...
spired that no one in the vehicle had ordered
ticular operator, as it would seem do our
“UberPool services use licensed private hire
an UberPool journey. It is alleged that this has
representative orgs.
vehicles and require the specific consent of
become common practise now as the journey
They can't even say they didn't know about
each customer involved.”
on the whole is more expensive and the com-
this issue, because Taxi Leaks has informed them
Yet this is what Uber tell their passengers...
pany draws a larger commission from the dri-
on many occasions. Unless our trade organisa-
Uber UK Support: @capes_jay: Hey Jay,
ver than on single pick-up journeys.
tions get off their backsides and start taking TfL
so sorry for any delay here. No pre-book-
Once again we see Uber contravening regula-
to task, then the whole future of Licensed Taxis
ing but we recommend opening the app 20
tions that should see their licence revoked, yet
in London is in danger of dying out.
mins before travel to check availability.
TfL turn a blind eye and bend over backwards to
Jim Thomas
Then we had TfL Managing Director Leon
justify the fact that they licensed Uber in 2012,
Taxi Leaks and Call Sign Online
Call Sign July 2016
Page 27
Every issue of Call Sign takes a look back at ODRTS history through the pages of the
magazines of the time with a Flashback…
This month’s Flashback goes back 15 years to a May 2001 Call Sign article by Steve Shaller
With private hire licensing now
have generally been loath to get physically
imminent, Steve Shaller peers into
involved with those who threaten our livelihood.
the future and asks if in 2002…
Some trade organisations and associations,
founded with a remit to represent the taxi trade,
are quick to apportion the blame onto us for the
It may have been 30 years ago, but I still
minicab problem; their defence being that it is
remember the advice freely given to me by
the direct result of we cab drivers refusal of hir-
cabbies shouting through their windows as
I drove my Honda 50 ‘pop pop’ through
These are the very representatives who have
the Knowledge traffic: “Don't waste your
let the trade down. They, in fact, represent
time, the game’s finished!” I ignored the
themselves and their egos. Their positions in
advice from those prophets of doom and
these organisations are ones of privilege, but prefer to use that privilege as a career move.
I'm glad I did, because over the years and
It is certainly better than pushing a cab, isn't it? Over the years there have been many bat-
by putting in the hours, I’ve earned a living.
tles won over the enemy, but I fear the actual war may be lost. Now our generals are con-
During this time, I’ve naturally had mixed
sidering liaising and working with our one-time foes - an if you can't beat them, join them
fortunes - some highs and some lows. The
lows invariably being engines and gearbox-
And why? Because there’s money to be made from the licensing of minicabs by some
es blowing up, whereas the highs? Well my
radio circuits. Private licensed cars will financially benefit the radio circuits (but not the
wife reads Call Sign! But now for the first
members in the long term). Turkeys do vote for Christmas, especially if the stuffing is PLC -
time, I’m a worried man. I fear for the
Parsley, Lemon and Chestnut.
future of our trade and I fear for those
With TX1 sales well down and Metrocab in receivership, can you see yourself driving an
about to enter it. Although not naturally
MPV with a Private Hire license? After all, to pay £1500 more for the privilege of plying for
pessimistic, I have observed events past and
hire in the streets doesn't sound like a financially viable proposition to me.
present that have, and will, affect this
I apologise for making an analogy with WW2, but it took many years before we embar-
trade. There appears to be no indications
rassed our old German enemies to become allies. What will your attitude be towards our
of a healthy future; in fact there are posi-
new equally respected ‘compatriots’? Will you point them in the right direction when
tive signs of it being a bleak one. We all
they’re lost? Will you drink tea with them or stop to help them when they break down?
have our own crystal balls, but at this
Why not? After all, we’re all licensed now.
moment we can only surmise and specu-
Birds of a feather? Perhaps your crystal ball tells a different story. Pessimist, realist or
late what the future will hold for London’s
maybe just another prophet of doom? I'll let you decide…
licensed taxi trade.
Steve Shaller (R75)
Of my years driving a taxi, 23 of the 30
have been driving during the night where
the wholesale touting by minicabs is un-
nerving. Those of you who work days no
doubt see scabs at hotels, but what hap-
pens at night is akin to pure fiction. I'm not
sure what I find more infuriating; touts
376 Strand, WC2
who blatantly steal work from under the
noses of the police or the idiots who get
We Invite Dial-a-Cab drivers and their guests to our
into their death boxes.
In London - and only in London - will
restaurant where you can partake of the finest food and wine
you see this phenomenon. People from
And as a thank-you for helping our clients come
third world countries with pitiful com-
mands of the English language, many that
and go over the years, we are happy to be able to
have no work permits and some even with
offer you a genuine 25% discount on your bill
criminal records, blatantly and illegally ply-
ing for hire. Could you imagine our Parisian
or Roman counterparts putting up with this
We are certain that you will be delighted
nonsense? There would be a blood bath.
And why is it that police do so very little
about the problem other than the odd
With serious crimes such as murder and
rape on the increase, I do not expect tout-
ing to be at the top of the police's priority.
Is it because of a lack of resources that the
Please bring along your badge or Bill as ID
police take little or no interest in this crime
or because they do not wish to appear
Salieri Restaurant
racist by constantly harassing or arresting
376 Strand, WC2
touts who in the main are either African or
Afro-Caribbean? You figure that one out.
Reservations: 020 7836 1318
As responsible licensed taxi drivers, we
Call Sign July 2016
Page 28
“Yes, there was indeed only me so to speak,
but I was not actually alone,” Steve
Lederman (B54) told an increasingly con-
And then there
fused Call Sign reporter.
“When I took my MB Vito to the local NSL
testing station for its annual re-licencing pro-
cedure, my taxi was the only one there. All
was only me...!
the other vehicles waiting - of which there
were a number - were cars awaiting their PHV
licence. In fact the service I received was
ber pertaining to that particular taxi and on
quite excellent because I was in and out
special paper with the TfL security hologram
inside of fifteen minutes, the TfL plates
embedded we can print out the identifier
already affixed to the cab and I was back on
right here on our secure printer. We then
the road ready to go to work,” Steve
encapsulate the two identifiers, the small one
enthused. “Pretty good stuff,” he added with
that screws into the carriage door and the
a grin.
bigger one that attaches to the rear of the
We could have wondered why taxis were so
taxi, fit both identifiers to the taxi and the
outnumbered, but didn’t want to upset our-
owner/driver is then ready to go back to work
selves heading into the summer break!
on the streets of London!”
Amazingly, the following day, an eagle eyed
NSL’s Luke Allen then added: “The details
Call Sign snapper caught the TfL licence
of the taxi are updated onto the TfL database
number 00001 on a cab while out and about
as soon as the cab is ‘passed’ so that the
on the road! This in turn provoked a discus-
licence is recorded within seconds and so, for
sion around the coffee machine in the Call
example, the taxi is safe to use bus lanes and
Sign office as to how the licence numbering
the driver is able to return to work with the
system works and it was Daniel at NSL’s
minimum of delay.”
Staples Corner site who gave us a clear
Thanks to Daniel and Luke at NSL for their
description of the method used to generate
help. But we still wonder why there were so
Steve was in and out in no time...
those numbers, making them unique to each
many cars? Perhaps TfL can tell us???
individual cab.
ments, we enter the taxi details onto the TfL
“Once the taxi has been inspected by our
central computer database. That then gener-
Alan Green
testers and has complied with all the require- ates the sequentially unique, individual num-
Call Sign Online
Uber: Taxi driver huts when you want a wee!
e’ve heard it all now! In a recent memorandum to their partner/slaves, Uber were attempting to tell drivers
where they could go if desperate for a wee and included the obvious ones of McDonald’s, shopping centres,
railway stations and public toilets in parks before adding the following:
“Cabbies handful of ‘green huts’ (only 13 left in London) are rest spots for cabbies that could have toilet facil-
ities or pubs with parking, are all ideal for a quick pit stop.”
Er no, they didn’t mention about leaving their Prius’ on the rank, putting their head around the door and saying hi in
their chosen language! But no doubt LTPH can sort that out!
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We don't think so...pal!!!
Call Sign July 2016
Page 29
Fifty year old Barnet resident,
Minicab driver’s punishment for sex assault on female passenger
Sothisundaram Soorriyakumaran,
who drives a minicab for a living,
was given a suspended sentence at
Woolwich Crown Court on June 14
for a sex assault on a 28-year-old
female passenger.
Following an investigation by the
Metropolitan Police Roads and
Transport Policing Command,
Soorriyakumaran was given 15
months imprisonment, that was
then suspended for two years! He
was also given 100 hours unpaid
voluntary work along with a 60-
day rehabilitation order and placed
on the sex offenders’ programme
for 100 days.
Soorriyakumaran was also fitted with an
electronic tag with a curfew between 7am -
Will minicab passengers as well as judges ever learn???
7pm for 60 days. He has also been given a sex-
ual harm prevention order which prevents him
Soorriyakumaran agreed and pulled up in the
appeared before Woolwich Crown Court
from driving or operating as a private hire vehi-
Old Kent Road. The passenger went from
where he pleaded not guilty. However, the
cle driver and fined £3,500 court costs. He also
the back of the car, moved to the front along-
evidence against him was overwhelming and
has to pay £1,000 compensation to his victim.
side the driver and began playing her music.
he was found guilty of the offence.
The RTPC’s Cab Enforcement Unit began
Soorriyakumaran then leaned over and
Detective Superintendent Adnan
their investigation after Soorriyakumaran was
began to touch the passenger before remov-
Qureshi of the Met’s RTP Command said:
said to have sexually touched his 28-year-old
ing his hand and continuing to drive. It left
“This was an excellent result and I urge
passenger late on July
31 2015. He had
the woman in shock.
anyone who experiences any kind of assault
picked her up from a pub in Pimlico and later
When they reached Surrey Canal Road,
or unwanted sexual behaviour to report it to
on in the journey she asked if she could sit in
Soorriyakumaran stopped the minicab and
the police immediately. If you commit an
the front seat so she could play her own
leaned into the passenger. She shouted at
offence on London’s transport network, we
music through the vehicle’s stereo system.
him and told him to stop. He said he was
will pursue and arrest you. We will get those
sorry and that he must have misunder-
stood her signal. Nevertheless, after asking
TfL’s director of enforcement and on-street
the passenger if she was ok, he asked if he
operations, Steve Burton, added: “We take
could have her phone number. She agreed,
any report of sexual offence extremely seri-
she said, just to get the driver away from
ously and push for the strongest penalties for
her and then gave him a false number.
any driver caught.”
Soorriyakumaran dropped her on the cor-
Call Sign says: This magazine blames
ner of the street where she lived; she then
neither DS Qureshi nor Steve Burton for
ran home and called the police.
the ridiculously soft sentence placed on
The Cab Enforcement section ran the
this disgusting minicab driver, but we
investigation and arrested Soorriyakumaran
would ask what a suspended sentence
in Barnet last year.
for a sex assault does for any female pas-
He was charged with sexual assault and senger thinking of using a minicab???
Your old TX1 Taxi is wanted
Quick viewing and decision
Cash waiting!
Top price paid for really clean
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Call Sign July 2016
Page 30
Either write to Call Sign at Dial-
have conflicting views on the issue. Geoff
doesn’t believe street card trips will
a-Cab House
increase, whilst both John and Graham
or email us at
have a differing view. I don't doubt for one
moment that Graham processed all his past
transactions through DaC, but I stand by
Credit card charges
my statement this was not the case with all
authorities have ignored the interests of taxi
Hi Alan
Members. It’s funny that when Members
drivers; however they have been instrumen-
I am angry after reading the Chairman’s com-
make comparisons, they always add the
tal in looking after the interests of hundreds
ments re credit card charges. Does Brian
VAT; of course I understand that you have
of thousands of would be passengers, and at
really think that Dial-a-Cab are doing drivers
to pay it and it is a cost to you, but it goes
the same time created employment for thou-
a favour by only charging a lowly £1 plus vat
to the Exchequer and not to DaC - we are
sands of drivers. Since we live in a democra-
per day, even if we don’t do any. For the first
just the tax collectors.
cy, would you expect a candidate to offer a
four weeks I did 8 street card jobs for a total
Regarding the Credit Card (CC) charges,
manifesto that appeals to a few taxi drivers or
of £112.40, for which I was charged 4 x £8.40
you must bear in mind that you have been
to many thousand private hire drivers and
= £33.60. That is outrageous bearing in
awarded 20p on every single trip you com-
even more passengers? Taxi drivers have
mind the excessive subs we already pay. The
plete in an attempt for you to recover any
many advantages, especially from being self-
only reason credit card transactions are up
charges you have to pay regarding the pro-
employed. Working for a large impersonal
on DaC is because you have forced drivers to
cessing of Credit Cards. I wouldn’t mind
organisation is no fun and I suggest you stop
put through the system, which is what you
betting that in the vast majority of cases
moaning so much and put your own house
intended. In my opinion, the prediction that
those 20p's will more than cover any CC
street card jobs will rise is wildly optimistic.
in order first.
In my experience the public were not aware
Hugh Burr
Member. Incidentally, talking of excessive
there were charges. The only fair way is to
London W7
subscriptions, I have just had a look back
charge transactions individually, as any other
You are partly right Hugh, Transport for
and in 2002 - some 14 years ago - our subs
account job ie 7.5 percent plus vat. In case
London have certainly looked after the
were £123.50 per month and of course that
you forgot, we already pay £12 per week for
interest of over 100,000 PH drivers. Why?
does include VAT...
renting the equipment.
Well official figures show that in 2014 TfL
Geoff Goddard (R10)
took in £5,249,000 for PH licensing.
Within 12 months, that figure had gone
Another view...
Hello Alan
Dear Editor
up to £6,505,000! To save you getting out
I'm sorry but I think the Chairman has got it
Although I am a private hire car driver, your
your calculator and then needing to read
wrong re the increase in credit card jobs. The
magazine Call Sign often comes my way. It
the instructions, Hugh, that is an increase
simple truth is that faced with the choice of
of £1,256,000. And as TfL apparently say
appears to cater just for taxi drivers and a lim-
they can’t stop ‘passing’ PH drivers, the
an excessive 10% charge (even more on
ited sub section of that group. Naturally your
figure will probably shoot up even fur-
small fares, eg an £8 fare with £2 fee equates
views will be prejudiced to favour any policies
ther while helping to justify that authori-
to an embarrassing 25% handling fee) or
that helps its members; may I dare to offer a
ty’s existence and the huge salaries of
stopping for cash, the customer would
different perspective?
Messrs Leon Daniels, Garrett Emmerson
always choose the latter. Now there is no
Our drivers have clearly filled a gap in the
and co. Not forgetting the Toyota Prius’
penalty they simply choose to pay by card,
market by providing a service that is popular,
and Tom-toms now sold and bodywork
which effectively works out cheaper taking
affordable to many people and remarkably
repair garages needed for minicab dri-
into account the wait at a cashpoint. There
easy to use. We usually get to a passenger who
vers more intent on following their sat-
was no sinister ulterior motive by members
calls us much quicker than any radio taxi cir-
navs rather than watching where they are
to use alternative methods as it would actu-
cuit is able to do. Our technology is advanced
ally work out more expensive for them to
and easy for customers and drivers to use, with
Cruising? Well that happens to be the
payment so painless it encourages passengers
purpose of real taxis; it allows passengers
To use this as a reason to review charges in
to use us even when they would not naturally
to hail one wherever they are - some-
future is wrong, and would impose further
have thought of spending extra on a shopping
thing I doubt you will ever find out
running costs that none of us can afford to
outing or social visit; a bit like Amazon where
about. But so long as you can continue to
easy payment prompts further usage, and no
block up the set-down area outside St
John King (E75)
bill till the end of the month.
Pancras while YOU hang up, then all will
We have completed the topographical and
be well with your world. And by the way
Hi Alan
criminal record checks as required by the
Hugh, do you have any comment re MPS
After reading Brian Rice say that members
authorities. I certainly have the necessary
statistics showing a total of 1,427 PH dri-
must have been clearing cards through a
insurance for my work, indeed I have to work
vers having been charged with a crime
third party as since 2nd April, credit card
since 2011, of which 521 were for violent
usage has increased so much on DaC now
very hard given that my rate per mile is so
or sexual offences? No? Well how about
that changes have been made regarding the
much lower than that received by your drivers.
the 126 “taxi or private hire” drivers who
previous surcharges etc, I would like to say
There have been complaints about congestion
were charged with violent or sexual
that I have only ever processed cards though
and calls to limit our numbers, but have you
offences (which can include assault,
DaC, but I must also add that I seem to be
thought that from our perspective the conges-
grievous bodily harm, indecent exposure
doing a lot more card transactions now that
tion is caused by taxis cruising the Soho,
and rape) in 2015... of which none were
passengers are not reading the old signage in
Mayfair and Covent Garden areas looking for
taxis! Nice hearing from you Hugh...
my cab that credit cards were subject to a
passengers? We spend less empty time and so
don’t bother coming back ...Ed
10% handling charge. Basically, now that pas-
make more efficient use of road space. We also
sengers can pay by card at no extra cost,
see that some congestion is caused by unat-
many more are.
tended taxis parked for hours on ranks such as
TfL out of touch!
Graham Negus (Y73)
St Martin's Lane, King's Road and Aldwych
Brian Rice replies: Geoff, John and
to name just a few. In addition, we see obstruc-
How out of touch is Transport for London?
Graham, I’ll attempt to answer all three
tion caused by taxis waiting in unauthorised
In October, Tower Bridge will fully shut for
with one reply. Reading all three
places such as Praed Street holding up
three months, yet according to our licensing
Members letters, you will note that they
numerous buses. It is often claimed that the
authority’s traffic reports, this will just have a
Call Sign July 2016
Page 31
minimal impact! There is a small matter of
tioned this in May’s Mailshot. Our IT
21,500 vehicles a day that use Tower Bridge
department have been in dialogue with
so you have to wonder where else they will
Ingenico (the manufacturers of the pay-
go to cause this minimal impact???
ment terminal, providing secure electronic
Jon Robinson (E88)
payments) for many months. The software
Oh ye of little faith! They’ll use
for Pre-Authorisation is ready to go at our
Hammersmith of course! ...Ed
end, it has been for quite a while but we
have to undertake a rather detailed accred-
pening once we have demutualised
itation with Barclaycard before any final
because the profitable parts of Dial-a-Cab
The future of Dial-a-
implementation. In an ideal world, there
will be cherry-picked and lead to the
would never be network problems, but in
demise of the Society that you say you
reality this is not the case, so I also men-
Dear Alan
love! It will be a sad day when we no
tioned that as a backup in case of signal
By the time members receive this edition of
longer see DaC on the side of London
problems, it is advisable to carry the man-
Call Sign, the results of the survey regarding
ual receipts.
the future of Dial-a Cab should be
You’re quite right; the Members didn't
known. Our society has a long and
choose to elect me as Chairman and
respectable history, and it would be sad to
opted to stay on the same path. I must
After 50 years...
throw in the towel. However, the rationale
add I treat all members the same - new
for keeping Dial-a-Cab going is based more
and old - and that’s how it should be in
After almost 50 years on Dial-a-Cab, I cannot
on emotion than sound business logic. The
remember being so angry and insulted as
my opinion.
few private accounts we have left are mainly
I don't think we adopted the fixed-
when I read the article written by Board mem-
those of more elderly customers, whilst
ber Garry White in the May Call Sign in
price, no gratuity, no run-in business
younger people are moving in their droves
which he stated that the senior members of
model quick enough; perhaps that was so
to a prompt car service which has an easy-to-
our Society, such as myself and other long-serv-
as not to upset long-serving members
use credit card facility. This means that our
ing members, were only interested in gaining
like you? We should have been leaders in
account base as well as street work will con-
money for our retirement.
a driver app and of taking credit cards for
tinue to decline. I realise that all taxis will be
We have built this Society from virtually
the trade to create another revenue
taking credit cards by the end of this year, but
nothing. In the distant past we ran long dis-
stream for the Society, rather than just
other cities have had this facility for many
tances to cover work in order for our Society to
being the provider of taxis for a corporate
years and it may be too late for us to catch
flourish. I covered night dispatching shifts
market. Hailo and Gett saw a gap in the
up. Indeed our credit card facility is time-
when needed, I was a training officer on the
market and now they are going after the
consuming compared to the competition
computer dispatch system, I was night fleet
corporate sector; we could have done
and already relatively old-fashioned. I take
operator at the beginning of data dispatch and
that in reverse, however that's in the past
no pleasure in saying it, but surely it would
have been a marshal. After 50 years, the Society
now so as a Board we need to carry out
be in the interests of staff and shareholders
is like family to me. How dare Garry White say
the Member’s wishes as per opinions
to sell now and dissolve the business while
that I am not interested in the Society and
sought in the recent letter...
property prices are high. Any feelings of loy-
“...don't want to pass the Society onto the next
alty are not reciprocated by many of the cus-
generation of cab drivers.” I would like to
New Mayor
tomers and public whom we have served
know what he intends passing on to the young
Sadiq Khan said on LBC before the election
well for years. The oft-repeated line that
drivers as the Society is now running at a loss
that he would crack down on Uber, cap their
London taxis are traditional and iconic is
and possibly may not even be able to continue
numbers and tighten up the regulations. He
true but counts for little when it comes to
beyond another two years in any event. Yes, by
attracting new customers.
all means we have benefited through the years
will not let this trade die like red telephone
Our Chairman and Board members have
of blood, sweat and tears, which is the reason
boxes. Zak Goldsmith and David Cameron
worked hard for many years, but I have
we senior members voted to demutualise,
tried to smear him as an extremist Muslim;
heard nothing new in the last eighteen
move to less expensive premises, be bold and
he plainly isn’t and really seems like a gen-
months as to how we can achieve a recov-
“progress into the app generation.” By doing
uine bloke. Let’s hope he is as good as his
ery. Of course we all wish that this were not
so, what we senior members leave drivers is
word anyway because he will need to be. Just
the case, but wishes alone will not bring
the finance for them to perhaps upgrade their
look it this list of questionable Uber issues
about any change or pay the staff wages or
taxis in addition to having some money behind
on the Teflon coated ride app. There are alle-
our fuel bills.
gations of sexual abuse, driver employee
Laurence Kelvin (W88)
Long-time drivers such as Jimmy Edwards,
rights court challenges, predatory lending
Well, now we know the result, we await
Gerry Webber and many others also wanted it
practices allowing drivers with poor credit
developments ...Ed
to be made known that, like me, they also felt
record to buy new Toyota Prius’ leasehold
incensed and betrayed by Garry’s article. So it
with an extortionate interest rate and they
Credit Card trips
was no surprise to me that he was unsuccessful
are now backed by a Saudi Arabian sovereign
Dear Alan
in his bid for Chairmanship of our Society if
wealth fund of $3.5 billion - this for a car
Because of the way the credit card system is
this is his arrogant opinion of its loyal, long-
company from a country with a host of
set up, if you pick up a credit card job and
serving members.
human rights issues, including not allowing
they pay by touching the PED screen via
Patsy McCarthy (C01)
women to drive! Is there no way of stopping
Contactless and then leave the cab, it is fea-
Garry White responds: Hi Patsy, it was a
this soul-devouring juggernaut? TfL seem
sible that - as happened to me - the card
thought-provoking article so it was nice to
content to let Uber come on stream, worsen-
could be void and you have lost the fare
see you and the two named members want
ing congestion. Is this now pay-back time to
because when you try to clear it, you can’t
to respond, that's what being part of a
London’s world famous iconic black cab that
because it has been denied. The pass has
Society allows you to do. 50 years working
has had such a fractious relationship with
now gone and you have lost the money on
with Dial-a-Cab is a great achievement and
their regulator for so many years?
the clock. The obvious answer would be for
I guess it's been worthwhile or you would
David Heath (ex-W27)
us to be able to confirm the validity of the
have gone to try another circuit. You say
Brighton, East Sussex
card prior to the journey by swiping it.
you would like to see DaC demutualise,
After Boris, even Bonzo the gorilla would
Ivor Belkin (C97)
move to different premises and still carry
be an improvement! So Sadiq Khan has a
Allan Evans responds: Hello Ivor, I men-
on trading! However, I can't see that hap-
good base to start from ...Ed
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Call 03300 245 922
or visit london-taxis.co.uk for more information
03300 245 922
0208 692 1122
Fuel economy information: TX4 (Euro 6) in mpg (1/100km): Urban 25.7 (11.0), Extra Urban 41.5 (6.8), Combined 33.2 (8.5), CO2 emissions: 222g/km.
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