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After more than ten years of asking them, TfL finally
release sex figures… but sneak them out!!!
Call Sign January 2017
Page 2
From Alan Nash (A95)
You’ll need to know What’s On in the kipper season. I can only give burst times if venues state their start and duration. Now
includes Hackney Empire (only shown in the on-line version this month). I’d like to wish all Call Sign and Nash’s Numbers readers
a Happy and Prosperous New Year...
This table only contains 108 events of the 220 I found. I encourage you to download the full listing in larger print complete with
the day of the week as well as date. Go to:
Call Sign January 2017
Page 3
from the editor’s desk
irst things first; I have no way of even
city, where most of the big businesses will start the
guessing when this copy of Call Sign
trek to base their businesses in other European cap-
will be falling onto your mat. Thanks
itals, will be proved right over the next few years as
to the printers’ early closing for the
more and more companies decide there are too
holiday season, I’ve had to get the mag ready
many disadvantages in being in a city where man-
almost a week earlier than usual so that they
made traffic jams have just become intolerable.
can catch their postman before pushing off to
Being Mayor obviously gives the incumbents to
start on their turkey. When that post will reach
that position carte blanche to look after them-
your postman remains a mystery, but whenev-
selves. Boris was a cyclist so bike lanes became a
er that time is, the message will still be the
priority regardless of the hold-ups caused by
same... a very happy New Year to you all.
squeezing motor vehicles into half the road space
they previously had. Sadiq isn’t a cyclist that I know
Oxford Street Consultation
of, but he is, apparently, an asthmatic and that can’t
sorry, yet roadworks such as that would have
This issue contains a press release from
be helped by motor fumes. So let’s get rid of
been with us for months.
Transport for London that gives details of a
Let’s also look at temporary 4-way traffic
Consultation to clear Oxford Street of up to 40
So my sincere apologies to Mayor Sadiq Khan
lights that mean you and your passengers are
percent of the bus numbers that currently use it.
for suggesting that he had more commonsense
going to have to wait for several minutes if
I don’t need to tell you the same story that I’ve
than his predecessor when it has become
you just miss the green light. How often do
been spouting for several years - that most of the
apparent that his medical condition, aligned to
buses going along the UK’s premier shopping
you sit and wish there was still some com-
his power of office, has enabled him to do as he
street are usually 75 percent empty and often
monsense rather than what appears to be
wants and that my suggestion that he would be
Health and Safety issues because you can see
even more!
far fairer to motorists was obviously a load of
So the Consultation makes sense; but what
that the lights do not need to be 4-way.
danglies! Don’t get me wrong; the air we
worries me is what happens after the bus num-
Yet no one cares if motorists have to wait, so
breathe needs cleaning and yes, there are far
bers are cut, because there has been much talk
they just plonk the lights where they want and
too many vehicles on the road. But to squeeze
about shutting the street to all transport and I
leave us to roast. How often is it when two
them all together into a single lane is helping
have to wonder if this is a precursor to
human beings could control the traffic around
no one; all it does is to make matters worse.
Westminster Council telling us that we are to be
the works? How often do you come up against
On the day I’m writing this, air quality in an area
banned from there and will have to use Wigmore
temporary lights where there is more than
to the south of the Euston and Marylebone
Street along with getting a few taxi setting down
enough room for traffic to pass by in both direc-
Roads down to the Thames has been classified as
points. It had been previously mentioned that
tions? How often have you sat for ages with traffic
moderate, which is said to be far too high regard-
Oxford Street was to be pedestrianised by 2020.
on red in all directions so pedestrians can cross -
less of the terminology. It is also just over a week
A few months ago, Oxford Street was closed
yet there aren’t any! Is it Health and Safety or is it
since the Mayor announced that he was pumping a
for roadworks and all traffic including buses
that no one really cares about drivers???
further £770 million into more bike lanes - almost
was diverted along Wigmore Street. The result
Did anyone care when I was in Poultry recent-
doubling the current amount.
was that nothing moved. But the Council and
ly heading east and a bus was picking up at the
Let’s forget for the moment the stupidity of cycle
walking groups that are so keen on Oxford
stop. Someone with the brainpower of a pea has
lanes that take up half of some roads and ask how
Street being for pedestrians only are bound to
plonked the stop right next to an island so that
many of those motor vehicles need to be in the
tell us that now bus numbers have been cut,
when buses stop, nothing can get past. Is that
area? How about those who drive around in circles
we will have nothing to worry about!
Health and Safety or stupidity? A car had to stop
looking for non-existent parking spaces or even
But we all know that with even an extra 10 per-
behind the bus as did several others. Then came
worse, just looking at the Christmas lights! Then
cent of buses using Wigmore Street, it will make
my taxi, which was close to the traffic lights at
there are those who take a drive “up town” to
the current Oxford Street jams seem like nothing.
King Street where there is another island. The
relieve their boredom. But what this capital city
Time will tell...
result was that nothing could move until the bus
needs in order to get around relatively trouble free
moved. But suddenly a police car came up
is its official transport system and those vehicles
Health and Safety
behind me with its siren on. They were also stuck
making deliveries. Yes, London’s transport system
I don’t know much about ‘Health and Safety’
because they couldn’t get onto the westbound
includes the best taxi service in the world and a
regulations other than they often seem to be a
lane to pass us all as the island blocked them.
nowhere near the best licensed minicab system
nuisance. I’m sure much of it makes sense, but I
There was only one way that he could move
with companies such as Addison Lee, what’s left of
always get the feeling that it goes over the top and
and that was if I passed all the traffic and the bus
Green Tomatoes, another that includes Carrots in
causes us many unnecessary problems. This issue
by heading east along the westbound side. I’m
its name, plus a few others. But it doesn’t need an
of Call Sign, like the past few, contains a press
ashamed to say that for several seconds I wanted
Uber service that is creating records in low pay, the
release from TfL detailing court action they take
to stay there to let the police know how we felt
number of accidents its drivers are involved in and
against local councils or companies who are said
about the stupidity surrounding us everywhere.
its aim of getting the largest number of drivers
to not provide enough safety where roadworks
But I did it. I pulled out, passed everything
going the wrong way down one-way streets in the
are concerned. It may well be correct, but if you
including the bus and then pulled in. That
world. Where’s the Guinness Book of Records
drive through Europe you will often come across
allowed the police car to pass the King Street
when you want it!
a man with a drill and a few cones around him.
island and everything else. A hand came out of
And of course the partial answer to why
He does his work and goes home. The traffic is
the passenger side to acknowledge what I had
there is so much traffic alongside the bike lanes
usually unaffected.
done. I suppose that had his emergency been
is the 117,000 PHVs! There’s a chart inside this
The same thing in London will involve a narrow-
cancelled at that moment, he would have nicked
issue showing how fast PHV numbers have
ing of two lanes into one from around half a mile
me! It wasn’t the bus drivers fault or the cars
before the actual problem, often causing a huge
behind. It was the pea brains who do not have a
TfL always blame the Government and they may
tailback. Then when you finally get to the actual
clue about real life.
even be right - after all, the law of averages says that
work, you can’t see anyone because they have
Is it Health and Safety, laziness or just sheer
must happen occasionally! The only question then
either gone for a tea break or finished for the day.
stupidity that puts motorists in those positions?
is why they didn’t ask HMG to stop the ridiculous
Every one of us can pinpoint roadworks that
Read page 9 and then you tell me...
climb of their numbers many years ago and not wait
have been around for yonks; then you read about
until it was far too late. They claim that 70 percent
the huge 30 metre wide, 15 metre deep sinkhole
Mini Holland
of traffic crossing Blackfriars Bridge are cyclists.
that appeared on a main road in the Japanese
The so-called Mini Holland scheme where all the
But that’s because cars aren’t moving thanks to the
city of Fukuoka. It was deservedly described as a
boroughs are supposedly digging deep to pay for
bike lanes. TfL are woeful but we can’t seem to stop
gaping chasm. Yet within a week it was fully
their territories to go over to bike lanes at the
them killing London...
repaired and traffic once again drove over it.
expense of motor vehicles, is apparently well under
Fukuoka Mayor, Soichiro Takashima, even apolo-
way and being led by Waltham Forest.
Alan Fisher
gised! When was the last time any authority in
Those of us who believe that a carless capital will
London genuinely apologised? They might say
eventually also see us become a commercial-less
Call Sign January 2017
Page 4
Reflections of the Chairman
licences because it really does seem that
Time again
they are lying to the taxi trade. Why are
The Editor has been bullying me once again
we not surprised! If they were wrong to
for an article, even though it seems that I’ve
suspend taxi licences in the past, then
just finished the last one for his December
they obviously broke the law and didn’t
issue. But as he always tells me each year at
do their homework before making their
this time, my piece has to be completed extra
early due to the holiday period and the
Whichever way you look at it, Transport
extended break the magazine printers take.
for London have undoubtedly scored anoth-
Mind you, he’s been telling me that same
er own goal. What can we say about our so-
story every December for the past twenty
called licensing authority other than that they
years and I have never really thought about
really are pathetic and lead us to wonder
checking! I’d hate to think that Mr Fisher is
when they are going to employ people who
just sorting out his own time-off schedule for
actually know what they are doing?
the holidays!
meeting at their Palestra building in
There certainly do not seem to be many
Blackfriars where many taxi drivers had
at TfL that currently even remotely fill
Sale of the building
turned up - many of them being Suburban
that description.
I do not have much to inform you about
Yellow Badge drivers; they were protest-
I really believe that this whole scenario
regarding the building etc other than to
ing at the fact that their respective sectors
is a very serious cock-up and TfL should
tell you via Call Sign that all the relevant
were totally oversubscribed with drivers
advise a trade that it is constantly kicking
information that is required regarding
and that they were finding it extremely
in the teeth, which scenario is actually
any future sale is currently being collated
difficult to make a living. I also suspect
correct. I for one would really like to
before we go to market after Christmas
the identifiers that had recently been
know because for over forty years now, I
and it appears that everything is currently
brought in just added to the misery of the
really believed the licensing authority
going to plan.
‘kosher’ drivers.
could not suspend issuing licences, so TfL
If I recall correctly, that meeting was
must inform the trade about which sce-
around five years ago and the then Director
nario is correct.
Taxi Leaks
of Taxis and Private Hire, John Mason, decid-
My sincere thanks to Jim Thomas and Taxi
I must confess that I read Taxi Leaks online -
ed that there should be a suspension of issu-
Leaks for jogging my memory on this really
although there is nothing wrong with that -
ing further taxi drivers licences in certain sec-
important issue.
and that should I miss a few days due to other
tors pending a review.
commitments and not see the site, it’s very
I’m sure that Mr Mason’s decision to
easy to just scroll down and catch up on any
And of course...
suspend the issuing of licences in
stories I may have missed. Not only is the site
2016 wasn’t much of a year for the
very interesting, but you can also add your
licensed taxi trade, but we always live in
Newham/Redbridge, Merton/Sutton and
own point of view if you so desire.
hope and look for a much better 2017.
Kingston/Richmond was completed with
Taxi Leaks is maintained by Jim Thomas
So to everyone at Dial-a-Cab - drivers
the blessing of TfL! My apologies if some
who must spend many hours producing
and members of staff - I wish you all a
of those sectors do not go together.
and researching for this online site.
far more successful New Year than the
So, taking the above into account, it now
Jim - who is often referred to as Thomas
last one, but more importantly, a very
begs the question that if TfL were correct in
the Taxi - has been a taxi driver and in the
healthy one...
suspending taxi driver licences back then
trade for as long as I have and it’s comforting
pending an inquiry, then why can’t they sus-
Brian Rice
to know that there are people in our trade
pend private hire licences today?
who are just as emotional about it now as
If they were correct then, surely they
they were forty years ago.
Dial-a-Cab Ltd
could do it again today with private hire
So to get to the point; I read a story on
there recently about the Mayor and TfL cap-
ping the number of private hire licences that
are currently being issued - the last I heard
there were
117,000 private hire licences
issued and at the rate of approximately six
hundred a week, that figure is now almost
certainly already out of date!
Unit 10, Ford View Industrial Estate, 83 New Rd Rainham, RM13 8ET
Obviously this cannot continue due to a
gridlocked and polluted London, however,
the Mayor and TfL have stated that as long as
Tel: 01708 553037
a prospective taxi driver or private hire driver
meets the required standards, then a licence
must be issued.
TX1 servicing from £48
TX1s, TX2s, TX4s and Vitos
I have to admit that for many years I was
TX2 servicing from £70
Rentals from £165 per week
under that same impression. When our last
Mayor, Boris Johnson - who devastated our
TX4 servicing from £90
industry even though I don’t suppose he was
All Work Undertaken
any worse than what we have now - stated
that he wanted to cap private hire licences, I
Servicing - Running Repairs - Overhauls - Small Fleets Welcome - Discounts Available
All TX1, TX2, TX4
assumed that he couldn’t do that... and of
course he didn’t!
Starters - Batteries - Alternators - All with 2 year Warranty
However, reading Taxi Leaks reminded
me of a situation that occurred a few
Fax: 01708 551443
Web: www.PaulsTaxiSpecialists.co.uk
years ago regarding TfL. I attended a
Call Sign January 2017
Page 5
Project PED completed!
“Yes, the last few weeks have
for the benefit of those drivers
who could not get over here to
been really frantic,” Roman Way
Roman Way during our normal
depot manager Dana
working hours for that essential
Thananjeyan told Call Sign, “but
PED upgrade. The weather was-
n’t always kind, but we were
working solidly together, we did it
determined,” he added.
and completed the PED upgrade
“The tight schedule to
on time and I feel immensely
upgrade every cab was because
the old PED will
‘die’ quite
proud of my techie team!
soon and that meant drivers
“We worked closely with the Dial-a-Cab IT
would be unable to work off
department to keep things running smoothly
and they in turn took over the upgrade pro-
the system, so we pulled out
all the stops to keep everyone
cessing of cabs while my guys went for breaks
etc when they were at Dial-a-Cab House, so
happy. This was of course as
that there was no interruption to the work
well as our regular maintenance duties and
flow, which was important in order to main-
install / refit appointments for the fleet gener-
the very busy times...”
tain our tight time schedule,” Dana
ally. Anyway, it’s done now,” Dana confirmed,
The photo shows the Roman Way tech
“so it is a big ‘thank you’ to my small team for
team: Vic, Dana, Sam, Satha and Steve...
“We had technicians working by day and
their dedication to the task, and a ‘thank you’
Alan Green
also late into several evenings at East Road to the drivers for their understanding
Call Sign Online
Consultation to cut bus numbers
fL has launched a consultation on proposed changes to 23
journeys, but
central London bus routes to better match bus services with
the new Hopper
demand from passengers. The changes would improve the
fare introduced
reliability of a number of bus routes that currently get
by Sadiq Khan
caught up in congestion along Oxford Street and improve air qual-
means the sec-
ity and safety on the street. TfL wants to match bus services with
ond journey
demand in London in a smarter way. As it does so in central
would be free.
London, additional services will be provided to support residential
All buses are
growth areas across the Capital, particularly in outer London. The
fully accessible
forthcoming Business Plan, subject to TfL Board sign-off, will see
and the pro-
total bus mileage maintained across the Capital over the five year
posals would
life of the plan.
ensure that,
As Londoners travel patterns have changed, passenger jour-
where possible, customers can change
neys on bus routes outside Zone 1 have increased by 23 per
buses at the same stop to complete their journey.
cent over the last 10 years. Overall, bus journeys entering
Ahead of the arrival of the Elizabeth line, which is expected to
Zone 1 have increased at a much slower rate of just over six
b ring 60 million visits to the West End annually, it is essential that
percent. On some central London routes passenger numbers
there is genuine traffic reduction to ensure the West End retains its
have fallen.
position as a world class retail destination. TfL's proposals would see
A number of other factors are being considered, including a faster
more bus routes starting and finishing at Park Lane, Trafalgar
and more reliable Tube, with the Victoria and Northern lines now
Square and Tottenham Court Road rather than moving at very
among the highest frequency services in Europe with a train every
low speed along Oxford Street, one of the country’s most important
two minutes. Route 73, which closely follows the Victoria Line
retail hubs.
route, has seen up to eleven percent fewer customers this year com-
The consultation is at www.tfl.gov.uk/west-end-bus-
pared to 2011, as they choose the tube and other forms of travel.
changes. It closes on 29 January 2017.
The Night Tube is also providing new travel options to and from
(See Editorial on page 3).
the West End and the opening of the Elizabeth line in late 2018 is
significant as it will transform how people travel across central
London. When fully open, the Elizabeth line will boost rail capacity
in central London by 10 percent and provide a key new east-west
Keith Reading
link across the Capital with 24 trains per hour in each direction serv-
Professional Toastmaster
ing step-free stations at the heart of London. Many will choose to
Master of Ceremonies
use these services rather than a bus.
The Elizabeth line will have two new stations at Tottenham
Tele: 01279 465 938
Court Road and Bond Street and will therefore play a particular
role reducing bus demand on Oxford Street. The Mayor is already
Mobile: 07774 860 374
working with the City of Westminster to make Oxford Street more
Email: kgr.2@virgin.net
pedestrian friendly and proposals for changes to bus services in cen-
tral London are designed to start reducing the number of buses run-
10% discount for DaC drivers and staff
ning along Oxford Street. The proposals in the consultation would
reduce the number of buses going along Oxford Street by around
Fellow of the Guild of
40 percent.
Professional Toastmasters
A small number would need to change buses to complete their
Call Sign January 2017
Page 6
“Well, if we work on the assumption that it can’t get any worse, we must be on the up!!!”
BT prosecuted for risking public safety
or the fourth time in 12 months, TfL has prosecuted British Telecom for a
range of offences, including dangerous and disruptive work, with the
telecommunications giant being ordered to pay more than £10,000 for two
serious safety breaches that put public safety at significant risk. The latest
prosecution follows unsafe work carried out at Bruce Grove, Haringey on 16 April
and Hook Road, Kingston-Upon-Thames one month later.
On 16 November, BT pleaded guilty to the unsafe execution of works with significant
risk to public safety at Westminster Magistrates Court. They were fined a total of £7,000 and ordered to pay £3,570 in
court costs.
TfL Streetworks Inspectors carrying out routine inspections had discovered unsafe working practices at both sites. Both loca-
tions had poor signing, lighting and pedestrian guarding as well as incorrect traffic control. The prosecution comes as London
Mayor, Sadiq Khan, had announced plans to lobby Government for greater powers to manage roadworks, including increas-
ing the current level of fixed penalty notice fines and also widening their scope to cover road safety offences.
In passing sentence, the Magistrate said: “We appreciate the works are often subcontracted, but BT must assume responsi-
bility for the shoddy manner of these works, particularly in Hook Road where the works were very close to a primary school.
BT must continue to work with its contractors to ensure improvements.”
TfL COO for Surface Transport, Garrett Emmerson, said: “Extra care should always be taken around roadworks, not just for
those working on site, but for members of the public passing by. Our Streetworks Inspectors have an important role checking utility
work is being carried out correctly and safely, acting swiftly when they spot a problem. It is vital that companies such as BT ensure
safety on site and we will always push for the strongest possible action against those companies who put the public at risk.”
Since the beginning of 2016, TfL has issued BT more than 200 Fixed Penalty Notices, prosecuted the telecommu-
nications company four times for dangerous and disruptive work offences and 14 times in total for all streetworks
Call Sign January 2017
Page 7
n the December 2010 issue of Call
David was the nicest and most honest guy I
Sign, we published a letter about the
had ever had the pleasure of meeting, know-
condition of a former Dial-a-Cab driver
ing and being friends with.
David Brown (ex-B13J). David used to
At the time, he had already had a leg
drive the taxi of another former DaC driver
amputated but was fully approved by
and CS correspondent, Ron Colman (ex-
the-then PCO to drive a London taxi,
which he did in a splendid manner.
David became well known in the trade as
He very much loved his family and friends
the only driver to be allowed by the PCO to
and like me, always supported the Dial-a-Cab
drive a licensed taxi following the amputation
BoM. Within the trade he was very highly
of a leg. Sadly, several years later David again
regarded, but due to his continuing health
had to return to hospital to have his other
problems was eventually forced to leave the
leg removed. He then had to spend all his
trade and he moved to Gorleston near
time in a wheelchair as the amputations
Great Yarmouth where he bought a lovely
necessitated removing the complete limbs
bungalow. He enjoyed life to its fullest but
leaving nothing to fit prosthetic limbs onto.
then sadly his health worsened and he had to
David never whined and always remained
face that second amputation.
In his early days he regularly attended the gym and because
David also wrote and had published four books - One Only
he was a man of strength, this aspect helped him to withstand
Kid, Manny’s War and Peace, East End Boys and East End Boys
the trauma that had befallen him.
at War - all of which were published by Aesop Publications. His
Alongside this, his wife Marlene became ill and is today in a local
publisher, Martin Noble, said that David’s books were up and coming
care home where she has dementia. And as unbelievable as it may
and selling well. We have now heard from Ron Colman again...
sound, David’s family had another appalling shock when David’s
It is with deep regret that I have to tell you of the sad pass-
grandson was killed in a motorcycle accident a few weeks back, which
ing on 1st December 2016 of David Brown following a heart
has involved a police investigation due to the circumstances.
David will be remembered with fondness by his many Dial-a-
When I was driving my Metrocab some 13/14 years ago and was
Cab friends and those he made after having to leave taxi driving.
Black 13, dear David was my dayman and we got along like a house-
May his dear soul rest in peace...
on-fire. Our friendship was truly fantastic and having been around for
Ronald S. Colman (Ex-J09)
a number of years and meeting numerous people, I can truly say that
Call Sign January 2017
Page 8
Turner (R97), remem-
The Loz legacy
bers a man to whom
many in this trade can
say ‘thank you’ to for
their good health; a
man known simply as
The Loz. He passed
away following an illness last April...
‘The Loz’ Hewson, once a fair-
ground boxer, PT army instructor, Louis
Armstrong devotee and cab driver depart-
ed this mortal coil at the age of 76 last
April. He had dedicated 36 years to keep-
ing London Taxi drivers physically fit and
Loz never pretended to enjoy cab driving -
in fact he often claimed that he detested it.
He just couldn’t get to grips with the seden-
tary nature of long days in the saddle. He
realised early in his cab dri-
ving career just how detri-
mental this job was to our
In 1980, Loz started his
Some of the current batch of drivers keeping fit include DaC drivers
first exclusive-to-Taxi-drivers
Paul Taylor (M01), Mike Husk (P41) and Andy Ma-Nu (D37)
fitness class at the Seymour
Inset: Phil 'The Loz' Hewson
Leisure Centre. In 1984, his
long time attendee Gary
2pm. At £5 a session for body condition-
fitness classes moved to
Mullins to take the reins of
ing, stamina building and fat busting,
Woodfield Road, where the
this trade institution. Dial-a-
surely it is a life-saving bargain. Also, fol-
LTDA were so impressed
Cab’s Mike Husk (P41) has
lowing Monday and Friday sessions and
with Loz that they built
been a stalwart of Loz’s classes
time permitting, Gary organises
him a gymnasium in their
or nigh on 30 years. Mike cred-
minute each way football matches for
basement! In 1997, Loz’s
s Loz for keeping him alive and
those that fancy it.
three classes a week
n good shape for a man of 74.
All that’s left for me, your Drumslayer,
moved to their present
So if your New Year resolu-
to do is to wish you and your families, a
home, John Orwell Sports
tion (as usual) is to shed some
happy and healthy New Year...
Centre in Wapping.
pounds and get fit, then you
But what Loz started all those years ago,
are more than welcome to join the regu-
Marc Turner
continues to thrive in his absence. Before
lars at Loz's fitness classes, on Monday,
Call Sign Online
Loz’s sad passing on April 16th, he anointed
Wednesday or Friday between 1pm and
An occasional review from a struggling 14 handicapper at some of the marque golf courses I've had
the privilege to play in my golf days away from the taxi…
Berkhamstead Golf Club
Firstly I should apologise, as when I played Berkhamstead a few years
ago I was representing Dial-a-Cab and sadly had an absolute shambles of
a round!
It had all started so well with a nice 5 iron to position A on the first, leaving a
half wedge in. If you've ever had a case of the shanks, you'll know how destruc-
tive it is. Needless to say the ball went off at right angles, nearly taking a playing
partner out!
From there on in, it went from bad to worse, culminating in launching
a ladies tee box 30 foot into the air after trying to hit a long power
drive halfway through the round! Highly embarrassing!
Onto the course; if you're not a great bunker player, this course is for you...
it doesn't have any! What it does have though is heather and lots of it! Much
the same as, although not quite on the grand scale of Royal Ashdown
Forest. It's a clever layout that has greens surrounded by humps and bumps. It also advertises itself as being a
perfectly natural course with no man-made hazards.
Berkhamstead runs a famous yearly amateur tournament with many famous past winners such as Nick Faldo and Sandy Lyle amongst others.
This is a lovely course with position play more important than power, but just don't get the dreaded shanks!
As ever, happy golfing and of course they do say a shank shot is very close to being a perfect shot!
A very happy new golfing year...
Simon Wallis (M11)
Call Sign Online
Call Sign January 2017
Page 9
n June 2015, Ying Tao, a 26 year old
Call Sign Says...
beautiful, newly-married cyclist, was
tragically killed by a tipper truck near
the always busy Bank junction. Ying had
been an Oxbridge graduate and was a strate-
gy consultant for Price Waterhouse
Coopers. She died as she cycled to work. Her
death was the eighth London cycling fatality
of that year and it was still only June.
The following day, the London Cycling
Campaign staged a flash demo during rush
just being there, therefore making it more
hour at Bank junction, which they said was in
response to the cycling fatality at Bank and
WHAT??? By that logic, we should apply
another in Harrow. Their statement said they
to knock down Guildhall and all the
would be gathering to remember Ying Tao
buildings behind it so that we can cut
and to highlight the need for safe space for
through to London Wall! Taxis are sup-
cycling; not just at Bank, but across
posed to be a part of the London trans-
London. They went on to demand more
port system, yet we are treated more like
“high quality space for cycling across London,
lepers when it comes to decisions such as
to enable people of all ages and abilities to
these. Hopefully the Corporation will see
ride safely in our city.” They ended by saying
how ridiculous the logic to ban taxis from
that lorries should be made safer.
Bank is, otherwise I think that there will
Ying Tao’s death was nothing less than an
be major problems around that junction.
absolute tragedy, but what does it have to do
How sad that the death of a young lady
with taxi drivers, surely the safest drivers on
should cause a magazine Editor to write in
the road, drivers that need two driving tests
these tones, but the safest drivers on the road
to get a licence. We have some sympathy for
should not be punished for a death, however
lorry drivers who must have a terrible job try-
tragic, that was absolutely nothing to do with
ing to weave through London’s traffic. Then
us. For the article and for bringing back
there are buses, which also have been
Ying Tou's death was an appalling
details of such an appalling day, I humbly
involved in accidents involving pedestrians. It
tragedy, but it wasn't our fault and we
apologise to Ying’s husband Jin, but this deci-
can’t be easy for them either. Having driven a
shouldn't be punished for it...
sion is grossly unfair. Yes, there is a case for
London bus for several years, I know how dif-
banning trucks between those hours and
ficult it is to see what goes on around you,
We’re now entering 2017 and the City of
quite probably to consider rerouting some of
because there are some people who will
London Corporation have come out with
the many bus routes going that way.
always do stupid things!
their plan to sort out Bank junction from
But why punish us just because we are
Then in October 2016, the chairman of the
2017; ban everyone except buses
there? Could it possibly be because buses are
Planning and Transportation Committee at
between 7am and 7pm - and that includes
losing money hand over foot and based on
the City of London Corporation, Chris
tragedy, the City Corp are giving their mates at
Hayward said:
Yet records show that buses are involved in
TfL a lifeline? If this carries on then London
“Bank junction is currently congested, dan-
far more accidents involving cyclists than
will eventually die as a major city and instead
gerous and polluted and it doesn't work well
taxis, yet buses are ok but taxis aren’t. The
become a cycler’s paradise. If that’s what we
for anyone - cyclists, pedestrians or drivers.
decision was apparently based on modelling
want, then we’re going the right way about it,
We are therefore looking at what we might do
carried out by the CLC and they actually
because is this not a restraint of trade???
to improve safety, reduce pollution and cre-
admitted that taxis were not directly involved
ate an appropriate setting for the beautiful
in many accidents, but they contributed to
Alan Fisher
and important buildings - Mansion House,
significantly increased congestion at Bank by
Call Sign Editor
The Bank of England and the Royal Exchange
- at the heart of the City.”
A press release at the time said the
Corporation’s intention would be to block
Dial-a-Cab Credit Union
all entrances to Bank junction for cars and
trucks. Cyclists would be allowed to go
Ever needed money quickly but were anxious about
through the junction, BUT THEY HAD
variable bank interest rates?
Well wonder no more! If you are a subscriber, journeyman or
However, with our unparalleled safety
member of staff at Dial-a-Cab, then you qualify to join the
record, surely that would be a given?
Dial-a-Cab Credit Union. Any member of your family residing
at your address also qualifies for membership!
Call Sign
Then if you are over 18, have been a member of the Credit Union for
January 2017
over 3 months and have established regular savings, you can borrow
Editor: Alan Fisher
up to 3 times your total savings…
Address: 39 - 47 East Rd, London N1 6AH
Tel: 0207 251 0581 Fax: 0207 553 7293
The cost?
Email: callsignmag@aol.com
Just 1% per month on the outstanding balance (or APR of 12.7%).
Website: www.22-callsign.co.uk
Loans can be paid back early AND there can be an annual dividend on your shares.
Printers: Premier Print Group
E6 6 LP
The question is: Can you afford NOT to be in it…?
Design: Aldan Publications
Call us on 020 7729 8171 or 020 7749 0585
Tel: 07958 300 428
Email: debbiefresco@googlemail.com
Members of the Financial Ombudsman Service
Views and opinion expressed in Call Sign must
Member’s funds protected up to limit set by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme
not be assumed to represent those of the Editor or
DaC Credit Union Ltd, Peterley Business Centre, 472 Hackney Rd E2 9EQ
Board.No part of Call Sign may be reproduced
Authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority
either manually or electronically without the express
Registration number 213263
permission of the Editor.
Call Sign January 2017
Page 10
The Beatles, the DaC driver... and his Fairway!
Spice Girls, and Beatles are linked by Graham Waite and his Fairway!
Dial-a-Cab driver Graham Waite
group - no less than
than as a
(B35) often gets called by film
The Beatles - albeit
companies wanting to use his
not the real ones!
Abbey Road
Graham told Call Sign:
(released in
immaculate Fairway taxi in a
“It was for STV (Scottish TV)
movie. It was one of five taxis
and they wanted a Fairway
1969 and in the
used during the 2012 London
for part of a film they are
album charts
making called The Beatles
81 weeks)
Olympics when Scary, Sporty,
Lost Album. It’s set in the
was their last
Baby, Ginger and Posh Spice -
early 1970s and covers the
studio album,
better known as the Spice Girls -
Fab Fours split and the last
although Let it
album they started but
Be was released
stood atop five London taxis.
never finished (although
after that but the
More recently, it was involved
many of the songs they
tracks had been
with an even more famous
later went on to release independently rather
recorded earlier.
The filming took place over 3 days in and
around Soho, Fulham, Regents Park and
some old back streets near Waterloo. The TV
film is scheduled for release in the New Year.
Taxi and Private
Graham also uses his Fairway for the
occasional wedding and there is an advert
inside this issue.
Hire numbers
As we enter 2017, we would like to
wish Transport for London a happy
new year with a reminder to them of
how they and they alone have
attempted to decimate the most
famous taxi trade in the world - one
Representatives from LTDA, LCDC,
that is amazingly still the best after
UCG, Unite and RMT have agreed
to hold a demonstration on 12th
everything that TfL have thrown at us.
January at Bank Junction. A func-
tion is scheduled at Mansion
The figures below say more than we could in
House on that date with many
an encylopaedia let alone a magazine!
politicians and bankers expected to
attend. If you’re not sure what it’s
January 2007: Licensed taxi drivers 24,600
about, read the article on page 9
January 2007: Licensed private hire drivers
and then ask yourself how many
passengers of those that currently
January 2017: Licensed taxi drivers 24,400
do, will still want to go from
January 2017: Licensed private hire drivers
Moorgate to London Bridge or
Charles I - still with his head!
make the reverse trip when their
taxi can no longer access Bank
Yes, TfL, a happy new year; disregard the fact that had this been in the time
Junction. It’s your business that is
of King Charles I when he had that disagreement with Olly Cromwell, you
being taken from you by the City
would have all been headless by now!
of London Corporation...
Call Sign January 2017
Page 11
nly four months after Mayor of
London, Sadiq Khan, announced
the dramatic expansion of TfL’s
Fifty new TfL Compliance
Taxi and Private Hire Compliance
team, the first wave of new officers have hit
Officers hit the streets
London’s streets.
More than 4,800 people applied for the
that these officers have the powers and support
250 Compliance Officer positions when it
they need to ensure that the rapidly growing
was announced the unit was to quadruple in
number of private hire vehicles on the capital’s
size back in August. The 50 new officers are
roads are properly insured and abide by the
joining the existing team of 82 who provide
rules of the road, as well as to clamp down on
a highly visible uniformed presence across
illegal plying for hire.”
the Capital. Officers will be cracking down on
The Taxi and Private Hire Action Plan sets out
illegal activity such as touting and plying for
the Mayor’s programme for improvements to
hire, as well as undertaking vehicle checks,
the taxi and minicab trade that will drive up
ensuring drivers are licensed and have the
standards, improve safety, and protect the
correct paperwork. They will also provide
future of the iconic black taxi. As part of the
advice to the public on how they can get
Action Plan, TfL will open up additional bus
home safely.
lanes for use by taxis, use technology to pro-
Over the next six months, the team will con-
vide customers with information on how to get
tinue to grow, so by summer 2017 there will be
a taxi quickly and easily and increase the num-
Steve McNamara: Important first step
more than 300 Compliance Officers working
ber of taxi ranks by 20 per cent by 2020. To
across London. This is the largest number of
These enforcement officers are an important
make the Capital’s taxi fleet the greenest in the
Compliance Officers in Mayoral history.
first step in addressing illegal Taxi and PH activ-
world, money will be made available to drivers
Officers have spent an intensive period train-
ity. However, there is still more do. It is vital
who scrap the oldest and most polluting taxis.
ing, both in the classroom and out on the
streets, being taught about legislation, regula-
After winning their case against Uber, minicab union GMB sends a message...
tions, health and safety and vehicle standards.
Since April 2016, TfL’s existing Compliance
Officers have stopped approximately 37,000
A minicab union has called on gig economy private hire firm Uber to stop their legal appeal following
black taxis and minicabs to check drivers are
the damning original tribunal ruling won by the GMB.
carrying correct identification and paperwork,
The shamed private hire company have lodged an appeal in the High Court against a ruling that they
and checking their vehicles for any defects.
have denied their drivers basic workers’ rights. GMB won the monumental victory in October after
bringing two tests cases to the Central London Employment Tribunal.
TfL carries out regular operations with its
The judge said the company had acted unlawfully and that Uber drivers were entitled to receive holi-
partners to deter and disrupt illegal minicab
day pay, a guaranteed minimum wage and an entitlement to breaks. The ruling has major implications
activity in the Capital and protect the public
for more than 30,000 drivers across England and Wales - but the San Francisco based company has
from touts. Operation Neon is a joint opera-
decided to appeal the decision in the High Court.
tion between TfL, the Metropolitan Police
GMB has now called on Uber to stop their legal action and hopes the courts will uphold the
Service and Westminster City Council that takes
original decision.
place every weekend.
Maria Ludkin, GMB Legal Director, said:
“GMB is very disappointed that Uber has decided to lodge this appeal in a bid to deny their workers
Sadiq Khan, said: “As I outlined in my mani-
basic rights. The findings in the original tribunal were damning, and continuing this course of action is
festo, we must ensure that safety standards are
rigorously enforced across London’s black cab
“It’s a waste of time and money - Uber should hold their hands up and admit they were wrong. We
and private hire industries. I am delighted to
hope the court will reject this appeal and uphold a ruling which was an incredible victory for workers in
announce that from today there will be an
the gig economy everywhere.”
50 trained compliance officers
cracking down on illegal activity and providing
reassurance for passengers on London’s streets
- and this is just the first step. Drivers who are
unlicensed or flout the rules not only pose a
risk to Londoners’ safety, but also undermine
the work of the hard-working and professional
drivers who provide a vital service to millions
of Londoners every year. Every Londoner and
visitor to our city must feel safe getting around
London. The roll-out of more compliance offi-
Treatment for pain & discomfort doesn’t have to be expensive
cers over the coming months will be crucial in
driving up standards and ensuring Londoners
The Centre offers fully qualified therapists in Physiotherapy,
remain safe.”
New recruit, TfL Compliance Officer, Lesley
Osteopathy, Sports Massage, Reflexology, Shiatsu, Remedial
Haggerty, said: “Training has been extremely
Massage, Indian Head Massage, Hydrotherm, Massage
intense, but I have enjoyed every minute of it.
Therapy, Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine.
Throughout my learning, what has struck me is
the range of vehicle and driver regulations
Call us on 020 8507 8169
there are which, as a passenger, you don’t
think about. Every aspect is extremely impor-
or mobile 07973 639 473 for an early appointment
tant because it’s the public’s safety we’re look-
Email: andy@bptconline.co.uk or fax: 020 8507 9650
ing out for as well as safeguarding genuine dri-
Out of hours enquiries welcome
vers and operators. We need to make sure dri-
vers are licensed and the vehicles they use are
Barking Physical Therapy Centre
safe and roadworthy, if they’re not, action will
90 Longbridge Road, Barking, Essex, IG11 8SF
be taken.”
Opening Hours: Monday - Friday 9am till 8pm and Saturday 9am till 2pm
Steve McNamara, LTDA General Secretary
welcomed the announcement. He added:
Call Sign January 2017
Page 12
The London Taxidrivers’ Fund for Underprivileged Children
REPORTS - 2015/2016
Up to 650 children, along with families or
Hon Chairman’s Report
Hon Treasurer’s Report
carers, enjoy this annual party where chil-
It’s been a plea-
It is my privilege
dren can get up close and personal with
sure these past
to present the
their favourite TV and film characters, be
three years serv-
entertained by a fantastic variety of acts
ing the LTFUC as
and dance until it’s time to go through
Report for the
H o n o r a r y
the Christmas toy grotto and pick up a
year ending 31st
parting gift.
October 2016.
Working along-
May saw us reintroducing the Spring out-
I am very grate-
side my fellow
ing and we returned once more to Woburn
ful to the Fund's
trustees in these
Safari Park. The children were so happy and
Trustees for tak-
inquisitive of the day ahead and the highlight
ing time to pro-
times, I am
was driving through the Safari enclosure; the
vide me with
pleased to say
excitement on their faces at seeing lions,
their ongoing support in respect of my role as
we have managed with the help and generos-
tigers and bears - oh my!!!
Hon Treasurer. The trustees continue to carry out
ity of the cab trade, their families and the pub-
their roles with relentless dedication, continuing
July was time for the annual Summer out-
lic to continue our work providing outings,
to make their respective contributions to the char-
ing, a fantastic day for the children by the sea
entertainment and special needs equipment
at Southend and probably the event our char-
and supporting London’s underprivileged
With the help of many donations - sponsors old
ity is mostly closely associated with. No mat-
children. The amount of preparation and
and new - and the generosity of the general pub-
ter how many years I have taken part in this
organisation to make these events happen is
lic, the fund has maintained reserves to enable
outing, it never fails to touch me how people
incredible and would not be possible without
continued support for many disadvantaged chil-
remember and come out to cheer and wave
volunteers that put in their time, effort and
dren of Greater London. By keeping up the
heartfelt enthusiasm.
our taxi convoy on its way. Whatever our
reserves, we were able to take many disadvan-
We started 2016 with our legendary
route over the years, we see people waving
taged children on a fantastic day trip to Southend,
from near and far and this makes the children
have a fun packed day at Woburn and to party at
Mad Hatters Tea Party at the Grosvenor
House and I would particularly like to
feel so special. It is always an action-packed
our annual ‘Mad Hatters’ Tea party at the
fun day.
Grosvenor House. Yet general administration
thank the hotel for their ongoing support.
In 2018 we shall be celebrating the 90th
expenses have once again been kept down to less
year of our charity and we are proud to be
than 2p in the pound, allowing nearly every
penny of income to be spent on improving the
the oldest of the London Taxi charities… but
quality of life for those in need.
no jokes about the age of the committee
During the past year, the charity has granted
members please! We are planning some cele-
£3,683.56 by supplying specialised equipment to
brations throughout 2018 and shall be releas-
families in need of help, monies being used for a
ing details as we go into 2017. We hope to see
desperately needed air con unit and a buggy, plus
as many of you as possible come along to cel-
other donations large and small given to many dif-
ebrate our heritage and plans for the future.
ferent organisations and families for other urgent-
On behalf of all the trustees, I’d like to take
ly needed equipment.
this opportunity to offer our heartfelt thanks to
The cost of the annual Grosvenor House
David Lessman (DaC D19) and his family.
children's Christmas party at
David has stepped down after serving the char-
against the previous year figure of £6,882.83
ity for over 32 years. His contribution has been
shows a saving, this being due to the previous
great over the many years and his knowledge
year's hire charges for the Great Room. The
and experience of the LTFUC has been a fantas-
annual outing to Southend cost £16,971.64,
tic support to me in my three years as Hon
which showed an increase against the previ-
ous year’s figure of £16,038.77. Woburn costs
Chairman. David, we’ll miss you and wish you
were £4,767.76.
and your family all the very best for the future.
In such challenging times, the Fund has been
By the time you read this, my three
successful with street collections at events such
years as Hon Chairman will be up and I
Your old TX1 Taxi is wanted
as the Burlington Arcade, Sainsbury's (Low
shall have already relinquished the reigns
Hall) Chingford and London's Victoria
of the chairmanship into the capable
Quick viewing and decision
Station. Collection boxes placed around
hands of Michael Son BEM (DaC V52), an
London has helped raise money to meet an
Cash waiting!
experienced and longstanding member of
ever-increasing demand for our help.
the committee. I wish him well and offer
Thanks to the tremendous generosity of peo-
Top price paid for really clean
him the support of the trustees and
ple's donations and sponsoring, the Fund has
myself so that we can continue our work,
been able to recover all our outlays and more, giv-
which of course is always focused on
ing 100s of disadvantaged children great memo-
London’s less fortunate children.
ries to cherish.
Thank you one and all for your support of
Thank you to everyone that has supported
Please ring Graham on
the London Taxidrivers' Fund for
the charity in whatever capacity; your efforts
Underprivileged Children and we look for-
are always appreciated. All that remains is for
ward to helping many more disadvantaged
me to wish you all a very happy and healthy
or e-mail on
children in the forthcoming year.
Sim Yiannikaris
Lilian Julier
LTFUC Hon Chairman
LTFUC Hon Treasurer
Call Sign January 2017
Page 13
he London Taxi
The London Taxi Benevolent Association for War Disabled
Association for
War Disabled
held a luncheon at
Millwall Football Club
on December
1st to
age to Ypres and the Menin Gate; accompa-
visit the D-Day beaches. We will launch Back
thank all our sponsors
nying us was British ambassador Alison Rose.
to the Beaches trip at the Spitfire Café,
and a group of Veterans who have over the
It was an honour and a privilege to have her
Biggin Hill on Sunday 22 January 2017. We
past year and in all weathers collected money
with us. In June we held our annual trip to
would like to thank Castle Rock Brewery for
for the charity at various locations around
Worthing, stopping off at South Homewood
coming on board; they have produced a beer
where the people of the village always make us
with a Back to the Beaches label on the bottle
Guests began arriving at the club from 11am
so welcome and have continued to be sup-
for general sale. There are some very special
in taxis from Waterloo and Victoria stations,
portive of our charity for the 68 years we’ve
people with us today; we have Headley Court
with a large number from London Bridge in
been in existence.
as well as a charity that we will hopefully have
the Millwall FC bus.
In July there was another first and well-
strong links with in the future, Kart Force. We
A minutes’ silence was held for those no
organised trip to the Bluebell Railway. I’m
also have RAF Servicemen and Women with
longer with us; the Reverend George
sure everyone enjoyed it albeit on possibly the
some of their Vets.
Parsons said Grace and lunch was served.
hottest day of the year! August and September
I would like to thank on behalf of the charity
Afterwards we were entertained by St Jude’s
saw two of our Vets, Mr Glover and Mr Pieri
all those that have supported and continue to
School Choir who sang Christmas Carols but
support us over the years and would like to
doing two parachute tandem skydives in five
finishing with a rendition of it’s a long way to
days. The first over Merville Barracks in
mention just a few: Millwall Football Club
Tipperary with everyone joining in. This was
and their staff here today, the trade organisa-
Normandy with the second one back in the
followed by Sean Chambers singing some
tions, collectors who go out in all weathers,
UK. They were accompanied by two commit-
popular songs, which was greatly appreciated
Lizzie and Rachel for being windows to the
tee members Francis and Graham - a job well
by everybody.
world on our website, Susie for all her hard
done and a very proud and humbling experi-
The LTBAWD Chairman then made the
work on this Christmas lunch, the girls from
ence for all those concerned.
following speech, which was followed by a
HSBC who are selling our raffle tickets and
presentation to Kart Force - an organisa-
We also held a tea party at the Royal
Janet Hodgson for her dedication and film
tion that enables injured ex-service and
Hospital, Chelsea during which we were
serving members of the armed forces to
awarded the National Lottery award for the
Then of course there is the committee of
compete in motor sport and we are happy
Best Volunteer Charity for 2016. It was so
our charity for their continuous and out-
to support them in this venture.
nice to have this recognition. A big thank you
standing work throughout the year and a
The President, Chairman and Committee
to Janet Hodgson for her work in making the
massive thank you to London’s licensed
would like to thank all the staff here at
tea party a success for us; Janet has released a
taxi drivers - without them this charity
Millwall FC and all our supporters and taxi
film about the charity and a trip to Holland in
would not function.
drivers for their help over the years. So wel-
2015, which has received rave reviews in the
We Wish you all a Merry Christmas and a
come to this years’ Christmas lunch. This has
local area of Hastings.
happy New Year...”
been a fantastic year with many events, starting
The charity is already in the process of
with the Collectors lunch. In May, we took 98
organising different events for 2017; possibly
Derek Leone
veterans in 64 London taxis with paramedics
one of our largest trips to date will be the
LTBAWD Press Officer
and breakdown crews for a three day pilgrim-
Normandy trip on the 4th - 8th June 2017 to
Simon Scott is one of the new generation of taxi drivers whose life is captured
as a blog. The continuing story of his time as a butterboy is…
A Blogger’s Tale
The rain was dribbling in through the broken seal on my windscreen, it trickled steadily
down the inside of the glass forming a pool below; the wind was howling outside and try-
ing its best to reduce the already low temperature inside my cab. I squinted into the inky
dark night as we rattled through the cobbled backstreets of 1990s London. The headlamps
could barely manage a weak glow, shining a little dancing yellow light into the rain. Once
might have had a slight problem, but it isn't
again I wiped the inside of the windscreen with my rag, it didn't help. I decided to go home.
a Porsche is it? It doesn't have every little
I began to turn the cab around, but just as I did I heard a nasty bang. I thought I'd hit something; I
accident recorded.”
jumped out but there was nothing there, just the empty road, I lifted the bonnet and shone my torch
“Every little accident,” I replied? I could-
into the engine compartment and took a step back in disbelief. The engine had moved forwards,
n't believe his attitude. “This cab has had
forcing the front fan through the radiator!
a complete front end smash and to make
My night was over and on the train home I decided I needed a change. The next day after the
doom laden prognosis on my old cab, I made my way to see a lovely looking Fairway I had spotted
it worse, you fitted old panels to it.”
the week before at a cab garage. It was a beautiful dark blue with a slightly lighter blue vinyl roof; it
He fixed me with his beady little eyes and looked
had air conditioning, a comfy s eat and a sliding sunroof. After the briefest of negotiations, I happily
around to check he couldn’t be overheard. He
shook hands, hope completely outweighing expectation.
almost whispered: “Look, this is the way it works; if
The cab was great in every respect apart from a very important one, the front had started to rust
you can wait until I find someone who needs a
away very badly - it happened slowly but steadily. Almost every day the dark brown patches seemed
new rear end, we'll have a little accident right here
to grow bigger and more obvious. I mentioned it a few times to the previous owner; he seemed dis-
and I'll replace the panels with new ones!”
interested but would mumble something about doing it on the next overhaul.
Needless to say he ended up keeping the
One day I decided to take it into a main dealer, I asked them to take a look and tell me why the
cab and tearing up the hire purchase agree-
front was rusty and the back wasn’t? The examiner had a good look all over and eventually turned
ment. I called the finance company a few days
to me and said the front of the cab was much older than the rear! The best case scenario being that
later just to check it had been settled.
it had been in a big crash and they replaced the whole front end, but had used old panels. I put my
Lesson learned…
outraged hat on and drove straight to the garage and confronted the previous owner:
To be continued…
“You sold me a ‘cut and shut,” I told him. He looked genuinely horrified and came out to
Simon Scott (O40)
have a look. As we stood side by side looking at this now rusty old cab, he said: “Look, it
Call Sign Online
Call Sign January 2017
Page 14
“I didn’t have any of the usual symp-
toms,” Dial-a-Cab driver Phil Jacobs (D13)
said while speaking to Call Sign recently,
“just a severe heartburn in the centre of
my chest. So I took a few Rennies indiges-
Cardiac Arrest!
tion tablets, which had no effect whatso-
wasn’t moving. Suddenly all hell broke loose
ever. When I looked in the mirror later
as the medical team went into overdrive with
on, I noticed a few beads of sweat on my
the ’crash cart’ to defibrillate my heart. I’ve
lips and forehead, which I thought unusu-
had jump starts as a cab driver but this ‘jump
al because I had not been doing anything
start’ was apparently just like the ones you see
particularly strenuous.
on TV hospital dramas like Casualty!
“The previous Friday I was in the gym,
“Thankfully, my heart re-started and I
swam 20 lengths and did a 2.5 mile track run
came back to life, which was a great relief
without any ill effect whatsoever and was qui-
to my sister and family as you can imag-
etly feeling proud of my fitness level. Yet here
ine!” Phil grinned as he added... “and to
I was on the following Monday morning, hav-
me of course! But I don’t recall any of
ing simply moved around some light furni-
that, nor how long I was theoretically
ture while awaiting an internet engineer and
dead for. But when I did open my eyes, I
this intense feeling discomfort persisted,”
was told that I had indeed suffered a car-
Phil continued.
diac arrest.
“Having some medical interest and my
“So now, after three months off work and
own blood pressure gauge, I took a read-
having gone through all the various stress tests
ing but it was only slightly up from usual
and the like, TfL have returned my cab driving
so I went onto the internet and punched
licence and I’m back on the road, fully recov-
in my symptoms. To my astonishment
ered. Amazingly, I did not have any of the usual
and horror, the stark message on the
Phil swum 20 lengths followed by a 2
pains either in my arm or left side of my chest
computer monitor just told me to Dial
mile run. Days later he suffered a heart
and when I did smoke, it was only a few ciggies
999 - which did cause me concern!
a day - something I have not done for quite a
“I phoned my sister Stephanie who I
long time. So while my heart problem is a bit of
thought would be quicker than the ambu-
Stephanie called for a nurse. I was taken
a mystery, I’m very lucky and grateful to be here
lance. She was round very smartish and
back into the Triage room where a doctor
relating this experience! I have one stent which
rushed me to Whipps Cross Hospital. I was
told me the blood test results showed a
was put in at Bart’s Hospital and I feel so
sent straight in to see the Triage nurse who
heart problem and I was quickly placed
much better now.
told me there was no sign of me having a
on a trolley and wired up to electronic
“But the best feeling is just being here...”
heart attack, but took a blood sample as a
monitoring equipment to measure my
precaution while I was told to wait outside
heart beat and all the other stuff that goes
until they had the results.
with it.
Dennis Latchett
“As we waited in an anti-room for the
“I don’t remember any more after that, but
Call Sign Online
blood test results, my pains got worse and
was told my sister looked at me and noticed I
Book Aiden Kent
for your event
here are times in life
when you just don’t
...and make it go with a swing!
know what to say.
Such a time happened
several weeks ago when we
heard that Aron Baker, son of
Dial-a-Cab driver Neil Baker
(D55), had tragically died after
being struck by a car on the
Ratcliffe Highway at Hoo in
Kent while walking home follow-
ing a night out on Sunday 4
He was knocked down by a silver Vauxhall Vectra just after 3am when
close to home. Aron, who was just 24, was taken to a London hospital with
serious injuries, but sadly died later that day.
To Aron’s mum Allison, dad Neil and all Aron’s family including girlfriend
Daniella, we offer our heartfelt sympathies.
Officers from the serious collision investigation unit are investigating
the incident, which happened on the Rochester-bound carriageway
between the junctions with Bell’s Lane and Main Road and want to
Tel: 07956 456 360
hear from any witnesses. They are also keen to speak with anyone
who may have seen Aron at the time leading up to the collision.
Anyone with information about the crash can call the appeal line on
01622 798538 quoting reference 04-0185 or email
Web: www.aidenkent.com
Call Sign January 2017
Page 15
Confident in the future...
When Call Sign
fortable to drive, it’s
very quiet and far
popped into
more powerful than
our Roman
the old one. It will be
Way depot
a pleasure to go to
work in it - and work
recently, two
it is what I’m going to
brand new
have to do!”
taxis were
Stuart drove out of
Roman Way without
being installed
DaC's Stuart Silver and Mitchell Freeman have both decided to upgrade to new
his usual puff of
with Dial-a-Cab
smoke, but with a big
smile on his face...
Stuart Silver (N01) had decided to replace his ageing cab for a
Also being fitted out was Mitchell Freeman (V33), who had
Euro 6 model to take him forward. He told Call Sign that he had pre-
swapped his 08 model for a shiny new example of similar mar-
viously spent quite a large sum of money keeping his former cab on
the road and was beginning to wonder how much longer it would last
“Like Stuart,” he told Call Sign, “I had spent money galore on the
before the next big expense.
old bus and was concerned it would probably start to cost even more
“It was due to come off the road fairly soon anyway due to the
yet again in the near future. I would then be stuck with an ageing taxi.
age restriction rule, so I thought about renting because that is
I’m 56 years old, intend to continue working for a few years yet and
now possible on DaC. I weighed the renting options up against
can usually find work - despite what others may say! So I too expect
the repayments and general running expenses of buying a new
this new tool to keep me going into the foreseeable future with com-
cab and after considering it for some time, I decided that buying
fort and reliability so that time off the road other than for planned
a new cab would be the best option as I still have every confi-
maintenance will minimal.
dence in the future of the taxi trade. The fact that the newest cab
“This new TX4 Euro 6 cab has a lot going for it and I’m looking for-
model is Euro
ward to the future.”
compliant and car-
Then, just minutes after Stuart left the DaC fitting bay,
ries a comprehen-
Mitchell did the same. We wish them both the best of luck.
sive three-year war-
A new TX4 Elegance can be bought for much less than renting
ranty is not to be
a new model and includes a three year warranty. Either LTC at
sniffed at!
Brewery Road or the Ascott Cab Co at Blackhorse Road will be
happy to show you the cab with no obligation or you can phone
perhaps, this cab is
for DaC
so much more com-
03300 245 922 for the London Taxi Company or 020 8692 1122
for the Ascott Cab Company.
Cards now in the back but…
On behalf of Dial-a-Cab, Hillier Buchan Ltd
“We have the best PED system, I’m sure of that,” Phil Connor
in Bexley have negotiated exclusive rates
(R71J) told Call Sign “but with it now being re-sited into the
for DaC members. We believe our rates are
carriage of the taxi, it surely cannot be too long before a driver is
competitive in today’s market for experi-
either attacked or an unfounded allegation toward the driver is
enced licensed Black Cab drivers.
made regarding inappropriate behaviour. There will also surely
At Hillier Buchan, we understand every driver’s
come a spurious claim made by a passenger as to the ‘difficulty
circumstances are different; therefore our policies
of using the PED’ which would then require the driver to leave
can be tailored for the individual driver. We offer
the safety of the front of the cab to sort it out. If that request is
a 5% discount for DaC members, with additional
discounts for existing protected Bonus policies.
purely to lure the driver into the back, the result will surely mean
Hillier Buchan was established in 2002 by
it is no longer safe for females or older drivers, especially those
David Hillier and myself with in excess of 50
working unsociable hours, to accept cards.
years experience as high level Brokers working in
There is also the guise of a passenger inserting their card, only to quickly remove
the City of London for major broking houses. We
it while telling the driver not to bother with a receipt and then leaving the taxi
have established a reputation for professionalism
quickly. The next thing the driver knows is when the PED prints out a ‘void’ notice,
and service in our chosen fields.
by which time the passenger is long gone.”
We have extensive London Market contacts;
Phil also enquired about the legality of passengers being injured due to contact with a
consequently we are able to offer our clients a
quality of security from companies that are all
PED fitted in the back, because Phil had heard insurance companies could refuse cover. Call
available in the world’s pre-eminent insurance
Sign checked and it appears passengers are still covered while travelling in your taxi, that’s
market. As a result, our clients achieve quality of
what you pay your premium for. However, as some card readers are hired out by different
security and service upon which we pride our-
companies, should that PED be damaged through vandalism or any other reason, the PED
selves and a competitiveness of premium that
may not covered by your policy and so drivers should seek redress from the company from
our clients find particularly attractive in today's
whom they hire their card reader terminal. It follows that any company hiring out card read-
er terminals would have insurance cover for such an expensive piece of kit, but it was sug-
Our philosophy is to build long-term relation-
gested to Call Sign that someone using such terminals would be wise to check that the
ships using balanced service teams providing
continuity and expertise. Compare our prices and
electronic wizardry installed in the cab is indeed insured to prevent any unwanted surprises
give us a call. See our ad on page 20 inside this
should the terminal require maintenance or repair, a potentially expensive cost.
issue of Call Sign .
Alan Green
Phil Buchan,
Call Sign Online
Hillier Buchan, 01322 553313
Call Sign January 2017
Page 16
I was very much hoping I’d have some good
news regarding an NHS Hospital account
that we tendered for recently. The specifica-
tion was for transporting patients and hos-
DaC Sales Report
pital staff, with the supplier needing to sup-
ply wheelchair accessible vehicles. There
was a requirement to have a dedicated tele-
With Keith Cain
phone line into a contact centre, have expe-
ter word - a number of individuals who hold a
rienced and trained drivers who could offer
grudge against our trade and just want revenge!
a top service for all their passengers paying
We speak with our own clients regularly
special attention to transporting vulnerable
and they tell us how they have instructed staff
patients, notwithstanding transporting over
to use cheaper options and only use a taxi
300 staff journeys on Christmas Day. A ded-
when absolutely necessary. Even if the service
icated account manager was required who
received is inferior, cost is paramount.
would on a daily basis communicate any
One prospective new client who was receiv-
service issues, oversee performance reports,
ing an abysmal service from their PH company
attend regular meetings and present perfor-
wanted us to match their prices and reduce our
mance data on the general service provid-
admin. After consideration, I agreed to it but at
ed... and all for a very economical price!
the last minute they decided to keep with their
We set about completing the electronic docu-
existing supplier because despite receiving a
ment and went to extreme lengths to demon-
poor service, they still felt a black taxi account
strate our capability and expertise in being able
could work our more expensive. This is becom-
to service a large account of this nature. A good
these types of tenders for car companies to offer
ing even more of an issue where companies are
point was that we were short-listed to give a pre-
no admin and an all-inclusive price. The argu-
prepared to put up with bad service just to keep
sentation of our service and answer any ques-
ment then becomes of what is the driver receiv-
costs down. Clients have also gone back to the
tions the selection panel had. This we did and
ing for the trip? Even if the car company holds
days of having staff internally to reconcile
were duly complemented on our answers. Body
back 20% from the fare, the amount paid to the
employees travel expenses and pay back money
language and comments made during the pre-
driver becomes such a small amount it is no
into their salary. With most transactions being
sentation came across to us as not only being
wonder we see PH drivers complain they are
receptive, but being very positive of our overall
earning less than the minimum wage.
taken via credit card, it is still a timely exercise
service. We even received comments such as that
It is my opinion that if drivers cannot earn a
which clients are calculating is more beneficial
our package was just what they were looking for
reasonable living, they will most certainly cut cor-
than having a black taxi account and the charg-
and that our ability to download secured data
ners with regard to what they spend on their sup-
ing mechanism being automated by the taxi
was excellent.
posed business. The tools of their trade will be
company. We are coming up against more obsta-
After the evaluation process was complet-
the first to see reduced expenditure. Money will
cles than we have ever encountered before, but
ed, we received a letter notifying us that our
not be spent on repairs to keep the vehicle in tip-
we still keep plugging away wherever and
tender was overall sound in the following
top condition.
whenever we can.
areas: Wheelchair vehicles, drivers and
Minimum amounts will be spent on spare
Despite a rather gloomy report, I still wish
training, bookings, cancellations, customer
parts just to keep the vehicle running, which
you all a very Happy and Healthy New Year...
service, incident reporting and compliant
then questions reliability of service. We have
procedures. There were also positive
already heard of some PH drivers not having
Keith Cain
reports on our quality standards and assur-
adequate insurance cover. I’m convinced
DaC Head of Sales
ance, contract monitoring, performance
this is associated
reviews and rendering of accounts. The only
with a lack of earn-
part of the tender we fell short was within
ing ability - not what
the commercial schedule, which reflects the
we are used to in a
cost. Our costs included fixed rate journeys
severely regulated
priced at 25% to 30% below the meter and a
taxi industry.
much reduced administration charge that it
It seems that some-
could be said would mean we would be run-
one or somebody has
ning the account for next to nothing.
declared war on the
The winning supplier just happened to be a
licensed London Taxi
car company who only a short time ago, so we
Cabbie Specials
Driver, refusing to
were advised, had gone bust and were subse-
give us the opportu-
quently purchased. That company is Green
nity to compete - or
Tomatoes and the parent company is Transdev.
throw off our shack-
They boast of 6.6 billion in revenue, have
les to fight back. At
83,000 employees in 19 different countries over
Now’s your chance to try our course. Any black cab driver who shows us their
the last count, there
5 continents with variations of vehicles number-
badge gets a 10% discount for green fees and societies on Mondays,
were 114,000 regis-
ing 43,000. They also have 13 different trans-
Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays, and a discounted membership fee.
tered Private Hire dri-
port modes and 22 light railway networks. Their
vers against
claim for the UK was they own Green Tomato
Licensed Taxi Drivers.
Cars, “...the operator of London's leading
It’s as if those that
environmentally friendly private hire (pas-
Our 9 hole course is the perfect place for you to relax and get some fresh air
want to see the
in the beautiful countryside of North-West Kent.
senger car) company, which focuses on
demise of the London
excellent customer service and a sustainable
Renovated and restructured greens and improved fairways to play on, with
business mode!”
cabbie are standing
food and a bar on site to refresh yourself after a round.
I find it hard to express the disappointment
behind £multimillion
we felt at losing out to a company whose busi-
or £multibillion heav-
For more information call Jacquie or Sue on 01474 573116 / 573113
ness model consisted of being “the most envi-
ily invested compa-
A friendly welcome awaits you.
ronmentally friendly private hire company” as I
nies who are out to
believe they have less than 100 cars. Obviously
disrupt and destroy
Corinthian Sports Club, Valley Road, Fawkham, Longfield, Kent. DA3 8LY
corinthians@billingsgroup.co.uk / jacquie@billingsgroup.co.uk
their inexperience within the passenger indus-
our industry. They
try and having to contract out wheelchair vehi-
must be getting great
cle work, counts for absolutely nothing if the
satisfaction in watch-
price is right. We must be talking of mileage
ing us struggle. Over
rates as low as £2 to £2.20 per mile being
the years we must
offered... or if the rates were good ones, per-
have upset - chosen
haps £2.40 to £2.60. It is not uncommon in
for the sake of a bet-
Call Sign January 2017
Page 17
This year’s Taxi Driver of the Year Charity Fund’s dinner & dance - which was celebrating its 45th
anniversary - was deemed the best one ever by guests that Call Sign spoke to following this year’s
annual bash!
The evening - held once again at the Holiday Inn, Carburton Street - began with a champagne reception and was followed by an excellent
four course meal. But this year’s dinner was slightly different when the large hall was turned into a night club as the 110 guests were treated
to a 30 minute cabaret act from the man known as the Singing Cabbie - Aiden Kent.
Aiden had previously been seen with Bradley Walsh on ITV’s Sunday Night at the Palladium and was shortly to leave for Las Vegas, but
kindly donated his usual fee to the charity, for which they were grateful and those seated at their tables thoroughly enjoyed the Act.
Once again there was tombola with great prizes in addition to a raffle. The result was that at a presentation held later in the evening, all four
trade charities were presented with cheques for £1000 each with a promise that should the final total be more, then they would get equal
shares of any extra money.
But filling up the evening brilliantly was Deemer Street, a great five piece band who kept the floor filled by playing the type of music that
everyone knows! Bopping along to them were “groovers” such as TfL’s Helen Chapman and Peter Blake, DaC Chairman Brian Rice and the
former DaC dispatcher who on 22 November 1988 was in the dispatcher’s seat as we went from voice to data dispatching, Phil Kirby! Phil
looked exactly the same (as he did last week and not 1988)!
There was also a presentation held which honoured Ubiquitous Director Micky Harris as the new Vice President of the TDOY
Committee and Brian Rice for DaC’s help in sponsoring the event over the past 20 years.
Once again, TDOYCF Chairman, Russell Poluck MBE and his wife Barbara have worked their socks off to provide a night of sheer pleasure
and enjoyment...
For those who bought a raffle ticket but weren’t there, these are the winners as per the ticket stub:
1st prize £1000 Holiday voucher (N.Sweeney ticket 02304); 2nd UK holiday voucher (S.Green 01926); 3rd Overnight stay at the Lancaster
Hotel (J.Wheeler 01232); 4th Free service at LTC (JB 02649); 5th Two taxi tyres (Sarah 01945); 6th Two taxi tyres (G Mankelow 00039); 7th
Cutlery set (Suzy 02654); 8th £50 Totes gift voucher (P Brennan 01822); 9th £50 M&S voucher (Chick 01534); 10th £50 Boden voucher (Arriff
01290); 11th Magic Bullet (John Dixon 02915)…
The Singing Cabbie, Aiden
Phil Kirby shows how
Kent, opens the evening's
ComCabbers do it!!!
Russell presents £1000
Mickey Harris and Russell
cheques to each of the four
Poluck MBE
trade charities
Brian and Brenda Rice
Call Sign January 2017
Page 18
avid Ford (E10) admitted to Call
Sign that he had been unsure what
to do after picking up a rather
Credit Card Prepayments
drunken lady from the West End to
taining her
her down safely at her destination, but it would
Shepherds Bush.
have been better had I been able to pre-autho-
David told us that because of her state of
asked him
rise the trip before we even got under way.”
somewhat unsteadiness, he had reservations
to punch it
Call Sign asked a DaC Board Member
about actually getting paid at the end as she
who confirmed that it was possible to agree
had already told the Dial-a-Cab driver that she
ATM key-
a fare before the start of a journey, clear it
did not have any cash and asked if she could
pad! David
and then refund the passenger the balance
pay by credit card. Although David told her that
in cash if the metered fare was less than the
he accepted cards, he told Call Sign that his 13
estimated fare. Alternatively, the card could
years on this circuit had taught him that pas-
that he felt
be run through the PED again if the fare
sengers under the influence weren’t always
was more than the estimated cost.
capable of using a PED; so he suggested that
she was that
Naturally you should be certain that the
they stopped en-route so she could get some
drunk to
passenger understood what you intended
cash from an ATM.
even think
doing at the end of the journey.
“Frankly,” said David, “I was very hesitant
of giving
The subject has also been mentioned by DaC
about going all the way to W12 and find no
Chairman Brian Rice at meetings where other
payment forthcoming, but, I was completely
members had raised similar concerns. In addi-
unprepared for what happened at the ATM!”
David had concerns over
tion, at the next software update, it is expected
David said that his passenger had managed
drunk passenger's ability
that pre-authorised credit card trips will be
to exit the cab and get to the ATM without too
to use credit cards
to a total
much difficulty, but was clearly having trouble
putting her card into the machine once she
“We resolved the matter in the end,” David
Jamie Corum
reached it! She then returned to the cab and
continued, “and I was quite relieved when I set
Call Sign Online
gave David a screwed up piece of paper con-
Few trades contain such a variety of unbelievable tales where we can say that it really is...
Unbelievable...but true!
Eustace Clarke (034) pulled
“I have been to all sorts of places both far and near in the course of
up a seat next to a Call Sign
my cabbing career, but that is without doubt my shortest journey. It
reporter and recounted his
was unbelievable, but true!”
story that only cab drivers
would accept as believable!
“I had managed to
squeeze on to the Marks &
Spencer store rank on
Oxford Street by Orchard
Street and sat there for
quite some time until I had
eventually worked my way
up to reach the point.
Finally, two Middle
Eastern women holding
several carrier bags each
walked up to me and just
said Primark. The whole
time they just continued
their personal conversa-
tion as they stepped
into the cab and I
couldn’t get a word in,
so I just assumed they wanted the
Primark store at the far end of Oxford Street where it joins Tottenham
Court Road After all, they surely wouldn’t want the one virtually just
across the street! So I began moving off eastwards.
“No sooner had we reached Selfridges than one of the women inter-
rupted the flow of her conversation by asking where I was going. I polite-
ly said that they had asked for Primark and that’s where we were heading
to. She said they wanted the one opposite to where they had got in!”
As he recalled the incident, Eustace still had an amazed look on his face.
“I asked if she was joking, because I truly believed she was just having
a laugh. But no, she came back to say that they felt weary and that their
feet hurt, so they just needed to cross the road!”
Eustace smiled between his teeth as he spun round and stopped the
cab just past the M&S store where they had got in and set them down
just yards away outside the Primark shop! Eustace was grinning by now
thanks to the stupidity of his story.
“Who would think to get into a taxi just to cross the road,” he asked
rhetorically. “There was £3 on the meter and that’s exactly what they paid
me! It would have been even less had they stopped rabbiting! Strangely
enough, just then another driver had pulled of the M&S rank so I just
spun round again, drove forward a few yards and put on it again!
Call Sign January 2017
Page 19
hope you have all had a prosperous and
happy festive period and that your bat-
teries are now fully recharged. I spoke to
many of you at Roman Way recently and
had a few questions posed about adding a
gratuity to a credit card trip when you have
already pressed the Process button on the
terminal. Hopefully this article - with the help
of Training Manager Daren Morley - will
help and assist you.
Printing a
As I have already mentioned, a gratuity
Contactless Receipt
prompt and the facility to pre-auth a card
will soon be available, but in the short
for Customer
term please follow these instructions:
If a passenger
If you have already sent the amount to the
PED, you need to cancel the transaction prior
to processing the new amount. If you do not
receipt, ask them
cancel the old amount, it will process the first
to press the . ,’
transaction without the gratuity. DaC can
button situated
only pay the amount the PED has processed.
Below is a step by step guide on how to add
the green Enter
a gratuity to a credit card trip at different
button. Please
Press to reprint
stages of processing the payment.
note the amount
does not need to
unless the first trans-
be showing on
Process button not
action times out, it
the PED to
will process the first
If the Process button has not been pressed,
transaction without
just add the gratuity into the gratuity field
the gratuity.
I’d also strong-
and then press the Process button. You will
Ask the passenger
ly suggest that you carry a book of manual
then be asked to confirm the amount, press
to press the red
receipts at all times in case you experience a
the OK button to confirm the amount.
Cancel button on
signal problem, or worse still encounter a
the PED and then
person or persons in the back that may cause
instruct them to
you a problem for the obvious reasons. The
remove their card.
card can then be passed to you in the front to
Press the Red
The amount will
process the trip manually. So long as you
Cancel button
then disappear from
have a record of the card number, expiry date
the PED and your terminal screen will no
and a signature, it can be processed from the
longer be greyed out. At the bottom of the
office. Far from ideal, but it allows you to
screen you will see the message:
remain in the taxi and perhaps be a little
Transaction Status Error: Not Processed.
Enter the gratuity in the Gratuity field and
Lastly can I wish you all a very happy
then press the Process button. You will then
be asked to confirm the amount, press the
Allan Evans
OK button to confirm. The amount will then
Process button
DaC Operations
be sent to the PED. The passenger then
enters their pin to complete the transaction.
Compliance Manager
If the Process
button has
been pressed
but you have
not pressed
the OK but-
ton confirming the amount, just press the
Cancel button on the Confirm Amount box.
Enter the gratuity into the Gratuity field then
press the Process button. You will then be
asked to confirm the amount, press the OK
ccording to a recent
button to confirm the amount.
Inrix traffic information
study taking in 100
Process button
European cities, Great
Britain came out worst with over
pressed and amount
20,000 traffic hotspots - more
than double that of Germany and
If you have already pressed the Process but-
over ten times the number in
ton, confirmed the amount and then sent the
France. Top of the pile by far is
information to the PED, you MUST cancel the
London with over 12,000
transaction on the PED prior to adding the
hotspots just on its own!
gratuity. Additionally, if you have pressed the
Perhaps a few more bike lanes
Cancel button on the terminal Credit/Debit
and junction closures and we can
Card Completion screen, the PED MUST also
set an unbeatable hotspot record!
be cancelled. Failure to do so will result in
Where’s Boris when you need
the PED queueing the two transactions and
Call Sign January 2017
Page 20
After over 10 years of asking, separate sex numbers are finally revealed..
n January 2015, Call Sign pub-
show how unsafe the minicab fraternity is. Call Sign has no doubt
lished a report by the GLA which
that the reputable side of the industry such as Addison Lee may not
pulled no punches in labelling
be our friends, but neither are their drivers likely to be the main cul-
Transport for London as being
prits. We all know who we’re talking about here and their name
“woefully inadequate. Even Addison
begins with U.
Lee accused them of letting London’s
Earlier in 2016, the Internet came alive with Met Police figures
taxis down by allowing Uber to march
claiming 141 sex attacks of which 31 were of alleged rape. Of the
into London to do whatever they want-
total number, 32 of the attacks were alleged to have been carried
ed. Little has changed.
out by Uber drivers. They differ from the TfL figures, but have one
Going back around 12 years and looking at
similarity: Even though there was one reported sex attack by a
old Call Sign files, between April 2004 and March 2005 the total
licensed Taxi driver, as a whole we are just not part of the prob-
number of arrests for taxi / minicab offences was 1160. I had several
lem. The problem is twofold - firstly, perverted minicab drivers
chats with Sgt Dave Hillson
- then of the new Transport
who think that picking up females is a licence to attack them and
Operational Command Unit - and asked why out of 1160 offences,
secondly, Transport for London who themselves have fought so
we weren’t told how many were licensed taxi drivers? Dave was
long and hard to avoid publishing the separated numbers.
always helpful to Call Sign so I was amazed when he said that not
And considering how long we have been fighting for the infor-
only did he not know, but that the PCO (as it was then) had decided
mation, wouldn’t you have thought our TfL “Masters” would
not to differentiate between them. After weeks of exchanging emails
have issued a press release explaining why the numbers are
and phone calls explaining that as a licensed taxi driver, I felt entitled
now being shown separately rather than sneaking it out
to know if our reputation for being the best was actually true because
online? Are they perhaps showing signs of shame? If not, then
if a large proportion of those 1160 were taxi drivers, then we really
they certainly should be...
were in trouble. They stuck to their guns for several weeks until I said
If TfL have any compassion towards the poor people who thought
that I would put in a Freedom of Information request. I was told in
they were safe in a minicab then there should be a mass resignation
no uncertain language that I would be wasting my time as the two
of those at the top. But they won’t, because when it comes to shame,
groups were lumped together.
they have none! And they are the people we have to take orders from?
Suddenly an email appeared giving me the details I had asked
The only question is for how much longer. They should go now...
for - out of the 1160, just 9 had been taxi related offences with
1151 being linked to minicabs. I was told not to publish as the
Alan Fisher
figures were not official. I disagreed and went ahead.
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Ever since then, Call Sign has asked TfL to differentiate between
private hire and taxis when it comes to sexual and non-sexual
offences, but they always claimed it would be too difficult. Why?
They’re big boys; they surely know the difference between the two
sides of the trade. If they don’t, we’ll be happy to send them a photo
of a taxi and a taxi driver’s badge. After all, they are very quick to ask
for them at railway stations, but apparently not when it comes to accu-
sations of rape.
At a recent Mayor’s Question Time attended at City Hall by
Call Sign, we heard Mayor Khan promise to reveal the figures as
Exclusive Taxi Insurance Scheme
separate entities as soon as possible. That has now happened
dedicated to DAC members only
and taking the two years of 2014 and 2015, over 270 sex
offences - including 56 rapes - were alleged to have been carried
out by minicabs. Placed against those figures is one sex offence
registered against a licensed taxi driver - and that was in 2014
with none recorded for 2015.
5% Discount for members
So have TfL finally done the right thing? Sadly not because they have
Additional discount for existing protected Bonus policies
shown time and time again that they will not denigrate the PH indus-
Public Liability
try and even now they are placing the blame on “unlicensed or
unbooked private hire drivers.” In a statement, which confirms how
Breakdown Cover
TfL have failed when it comes to preventing the curse of touting by
Much more available
both licensed and unlicensed minicabs, they said:
“Unlicensed and unbooked PHV drivers pose the greatest danger to
Call below for quotations
the travelling public and are the alleged offender in the majority of
rape offences. 13 out of the 14 drivers charged with rape in 2014 and
2015 were unlicensed or unbooked PHV drivers.”
Hillier Buchan Ltd, 18, Bourne Road, Bexley, Kent. DA5 1LU
But they go on to add: “Many reports of offences are unbooked and
Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority - Firms Ref No: 304318
the drivers can't be traced. The police are more likely to be able to
Company Registration No: 4319231
trace and take action against a driver when they are licensed and
the journey is booked through a licensed operator. For this reason
Tel: 01322 553313
licensed drivers may appear over-represented.”
And yes, there are lots of them...!
Fax: 01322 523315
They then provide figures which make very disturbing reading and
Call Sign January 2017
Page 21
he December issue of Call Sign ran a
story on long-time Dial-a-Cab driver
Bernie Silver’s decision to retire at
the end of November. Bernie (until
recently G08) had phoned to tell us his deci-
Bye Bye Bernie!
sion. He had been with the Society since 1975
and although 41 years is a long time, he never
really sounded as though he was even think-
ing of calling it a day. But he told us that with
the way things were, there seemed little point
in renewing licences and updating cabs etc.
Then one evening, Bernie’s wife Jackie sug-
gested they went out for a meal at one of
Bernie’s favourite haunts - The Central fish
bar in Central Street. What he didn’t know
was that some of his many friends had organ-
ised a secret farewell dinner for him. He
thought he was going to the fish bar just with
Jackie but was stunned when a big table had
been set up and so many friends and their
partners were waiting for him. And even
Bernie looked quite humble when they both
walked in and everyone got up to applaud!
Bernie sits midway on the left side at his surprise retirement dinner
Bernie told Call Sign:
“I have just returned from a surprise
retirement party put on by my fellow Dial-
a-Cab drivers; it was such a surprise that
my friends would do this for me. I would
like to thank Howard Flavin (A16J), David
Marks (R22), Pat Graves (L53), Jim Moore
(M58), Steve Field (F99J), David Morris
(M62), Bill Chatterway (A43), Steve
Goldberg (A77) and their partners for such
a moving send-off. My special thanks also
go to Howard's daughter Leanne for mak-
ing the most fantastic taxi cake you have
ever seen!
“Once again thank you all so much and
so sorry you couldn’t make it Alan...”
Good luck Bernie and enjoy your retire-
Bernie's amazing cake, made by Leanne Flavin (see her ad on page 18)
Call Sign recently received a press release from a Chicago legal department informing
us that the Yellow Cab Co-operative of San Francisco had filed for bankruptcy and that
everything in the company was now up for sale. But it was the reason for the bank-
ruptcy that puzzled us; there was no mention of Uber, instead the claim was
“unfavourable verdicts in personal injury suits relating to taxicab accidents.”
San Francisco is awash with a form of minicab known as Transportation Network Carriers - or
TNCs. These came around several years ago when Taxis were said to be too few, while Uber - unlike
London - was said to be too expensive. Black Cars, best described as “official” minicabs that can
hire whomever they want and charge as much as they want, were the other alternative and they too
were said to be expensive.
But what San Francisco has also had for many years are carpools, where at given pick-up
San Francisco Yellow cabs go into
points people would wait until a driver was going in their direction and give them a lift. Then
someone came up with the idea of normal people with their own cars signing up to be “car-
pool” drivers, with prospective passengers calling them on their cell phones an d being charged “voluntary donations.”
Companies such as Sidecar, Lyft and Uber X soon joined the party and cashed in and TNCs were born! The only question was whether the
guy in the white hat with that nice blue car and his reasonably priced trip into town, actually had insurance for passengers?
Insurance for vehicles offering transportation in the Californian city is very, very expensive and that is probably in part due to the proliferation
of so many TNCs. Either way, taxis were suffering. We have to wonder whether this is a sign of things to come???
We asked Call Sign’s man in San Francisco, Charles Rathbone, about the Yellow Cab situation. He told us...
“The Yellow Cab Co-operative in San Francisco declared bankruptcy in January 2016. The cause was a large judgment against the company fol-
lowing an at-fault collision. At that time, the company had still not fully recovered from a previous very large judgment against it. Yellow’s insurance
premiums became ruinous despite a $100,000 deductible per accident - the equivalent of UK’s ‘excess’ policies.
Meanwhile, TNCs are flush with new billions and outnumber licensed taxis by 20-to-1. Lyft employees stand at the busiest bus stops in San
Francisco passing out $50 ride coupons by the thousands. November saw yet another $20 free ride offer arrive from Uber by mass postal mail.
Despite this perfect storm, the Co-operative might have continued in operation but for an ongoing shortage of drivers. TNC drivers receive
incentives and bonuses above what their customers pay and far beyond anything that a cab company can provide. Even so, at least one San
Francisco taxi company attempted to acquire Yellow in recent weeks, but the deal fell through. The court-ordered sale of Yellow’s assets is a
great opportunity for an innovative investor to acquire a dominant position in a major US taxi market, but that investor will need deep pockets
to compete with the TNC’s seemingly unlimited access to capital.
If a non-taxi purchaser acquires Yellow’s assets, the 500 individual Co-op members will need to affiliate with other cab companies. It's possible
that will cause a temporary service interruption as companies seek to expand capacity against the backdrop of 45,000 TNCs...”
Call Sign January 2017
Page 22
any Call
Some people are on the pitch, they think it’s all over!
Sign read-
ers would
h a v e
played football at their
local park as young-
sters; most of us did at
Bob Woodford looks at London’s long lost sporting venues
a very junior level. But
any dreams of that
team - be they school,
cubs, scouts or just a
local area club progressing to professional level
would have been left in cloud cuckoo land!
However, this certainly was not the case
of St Andrews Sunday School who formed a
football club in 1879, taking to the park in
light and dark blue colours and taking on
other local sides in west London. Those
Road formed the St Andrews Football and
Cricket Club and played their sports fixtures
on a field adjacent to the Parish Church,
now covered over partly by the Queens Club
and late-Victorian housing.
The Church, of course, is still standing and
just like the other London clubs mentioned in
this series, these fledglings led a nomadic life -
mostly playing at their home ground of Fulham
Fields before finally setting down roots at a
The original Craven Cottage
venue that is so familiar to us today.
These former churchgoers and choir boys
and you naturally think of football, but the
Greyhound Road. It has a plaque commentat-
became Fulham St Andrews from 1886, before
original cottage was actually a charming villa
ing Fulham Football Club’s foundation.
finally dropping ‘St. Andrews’ to become Fulham
in 5 acres of woods built in 1780 by Lord
Happy New Year to one and all!
Excelsior in 1887 and finally just plain old
Craven for his wife - the thatched house (see
Bob Woodford
Fulham FC in 1888 - perhaps by then many of
pic) often used by acquaintances of the a
their players had become less God-fearing!
Prince Regent (later George IV) for secret
Call Sign Online
Whatever the make-up of the playing team
and illicit affairs!
around that time, they certainly started to turn a
That old ivy-covered cottage stood empty
few heads by winning the West London
from 1872 and in the early hours of the morn-
Amateur Cup in 1887, with even more success
ing of 8th May 1888, a suspicious fire broke out
following in the 1892/93 season when becoming
and burnt it to the ground - it makes me won-
West London League Champions!
der if any of those aforementioned sinners were
By now The Saints, as they had been orig-
inally nicknamed, adopted a black and
After eventually clearing the rubble and
white striped shirt, more in keeping with
overgrown field, Fulham Football Club played
today’s colours - perhaps the white stripes
their first match at their new ground, defeat-
represented the saints and the black ones
ing their old
- and now defunct rivals -
the sinners!
Minerva FC. Spectators had just the one basic
But it was time to find a permanent home
wooden stand to assemble in at first until the
now that the club’s association with the church
Stevenage Road stand was built on the site of
was receding - and one site that took their eye
the old thatched cottage, and eventually the
was an overgrown field alongside the River
club's new headquarters were built and called
Thames - although still in their locality.
Craven Cottage.
Any mention of Craven Cottage these days
Fulham’s mother church still stands today in
• Immaculate Fairway taxi available
for Wedding Hire
• Covers most north, east and
central London locations
• Used in Olympic closing ceremony
with the Spice Girls!
• Full leather interior
• Discounts for DaC drivers
Ring Graham (B35) on
or email oldlondontaxis@yahoo.co.uk
Call Sign January 2017
Page 23
Not such a hoot for David!
“I discovered my cab hooter wasn’t working
a quick ‘jump start’ to get me going again.
and decided to fix it there and then so I
Several Dial-a-Cab drivers stopped to enquire
stopped in Duchess Street behind the
if I was OK while I was at the roadside and I
Langham to sort it out,” David Ellis (J11)
soon discovered the leads I had were not good
explained to Call Sign. You just never know
enough to cope with starting a cab. Then along
when some thoughtless pedestrian glued to
came John Davis (V41) who immediately
their mobile is going to step out into your path,
pulled out his own heavy-duty jump leads, con-
or a cyclist is going to whizz across the front of
nected them my cab and the engine burst into
the cab and you need to make them aware of
life. To my astonishment, John told me to keep
your presence, because not all of them have
his leads until I had sorted out my battery -
much in the way of sense!”
which needed to be replaced. His kind gesture
So the Dial-a-Cab driver stopped his
salvaged the rest of the evening for me and
engine to look for the cause of him being
proves not only what a real gentleman he is, but
hooter-less, but it took longer than he had
also those other DaC drivers who stopped to
anticipated fixing the wire that had worked
assist me. Between them, they restored my faith
its way loose - some 20 minutes - and dur-
in humanity and the camaraderie that is Dial-a-
ing that period, David had left his cab lights
on, the DaC terminal and even had music
“So through the pages of Call Sign, I
blaring out of the radio.
would like to thank everybody that offered
“When I finally came to re-start the engine,
me assistance - including the Call Centre -
the battery had run down to the point of being
but especially to John.”
pretty much flat. I phoned the Call Centre who
David's jump leads were useless
Cab batteries take a beating during the win-
put out a fleet message explaining my predica-
ter; starting a cold engine, needing lights on for
ment and told them that I had my own battery leads. All I needed was
much longer periods, heater fans going full blast, the DaC terminal and
even listening to the radio... they all take their toll on the heart of a taxi,
so any weakness in the battery will be highlighted without mercy. Dirty
or corroded battery terminals and leads are a major cause of battery fail-
ure, so keeping everything clean is paramount. Also, get a pair of com-
mercial jump leads because those thin ones are no use to anything big-
ger than a Smart car!
Naked Uber!
Baghwat Singh
American Hubert Horan has 40 years
Call Sign Online
of experience in the management
and regulation of transportation
companies. He has no financial links
with any car service, investors or reg-
ulators or any firms that work on
behalf of industry participants. So his view on Uber
is based on business experience and not a prejudice
on either side...
Mr Horan’s view on Uber is that the car company is staggeringly
unprofitable, it is the industry’s high cost producer and that it cannot
grow into profitability. So what is it doing? Well, in his view, Uber’s cheap
fares are a mirage. In a US article, Horan says that Uber is staggeringly
unprofitable, relying on $billions in subsidies to undercut taxi operators.
The transportation giant’s aim, he says, is to wipe out the competition
and then they would need to quadruple their fares in order to become
Would Like To Wish You All
“Unlike most start-ups, Uber did not enter the industry in pur-
suit of a significant market share, but was explicitly working to
drive incumbents out of business and achieve global industry
A Very Happy New Year
dominance,” Mr Horan wrote in Naked Capitalism.
“Uber's growth to date is entirely explained by its willingness
to engage in predatory competition funded by Silicon Valley bil-
lionaires pursuing industry dominance.”
With operating losses of US$2 billion (£1.6 billion) a year - more than
any other start-up in history - Mr Horan argues there is no evidence that
Uber's rapid growth is driving rapid margin improvements as achieved by
other prominent tech start-ups as they grew into profitability.
“In fact,” he adds, the "absolute magnitude of losses has been
According to limited financial information provided to investors for the
year ending September 2015, Uber posted losses of US$2b ($2.82b) on
revenue of US$1.4b ($1.97b), a negative 143 per cent profit margin.
He ends by making a statement of logic: “Thus Uber's current oper-
ations depend on $2 billion in subsidies, funded out of the
“None walks so Tall as he who Stoops to help a Child”
$18.31b in cash its investors have provided.”
Mr Horan’s view may not help taxi businesses such as Dial-a-Cab and
ComCab, but it helps us to understand exactly what we are up against...
Call Sign January 2017
Page 24
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 1967. Phil Emden was an ODRTS ‘News and Views’ magazine
editor as well as being a Board Member. This was his first day on radio...
From the May 1967 ODRTS Monthly
A day in the life of a 1967 new radio driver
aving recently fitted my cab with
swarming with MI5 and police but it was quieter than
ODRTS radio, I was keen to get out
Bournemouth in November. I asked where the ship was
and press that button. My finger was
berthed and given explicit instructions from one of my pas-
hovering on that first day.
sengers. He certainly knew his way around the docks - he
“First call Cavendish Square,” came a faceless
obviously smuggled VIPs all the time! I felt scared. Wild
voice on the radio. I pushed the button and
schemes were running thr ough my mind. Had they inter-
called out Charlie 84. The voice asked where I
cepted my call, after all they do have the latest electronic
was but I was a bit quick for 100 yards away on first call... being
equipment on these jobs. Would I see James Bond! What
at Pont Street! I didn’t get the job but was told that it happens
was I thinking, but where were those blasted cops? Bet if
to all us finger happy new recruits - but to watch out in future!
I’d been speeding or parking... I told myself to keep calm,
It was later that day. I curtailed my long breakfast and visit to
not to lose my head! I was talking to myself now!
the throne room where I usually read the sports page, so that I
“Turn left in here and stop,” a foreign voice jarred my thoughts.
could learn to master the radio. But the front page made me sit
There across my path was an overgrown rowing boat about the
up. It said that a VIP scientist was missing, believed to have been
size of the Queen Mary. I braked sharply, I had to as I was dri-
smuggled out of the country. Cor! What with the brain drain,
ving straight for that hunk of metal. Suddenly the whole dock
now scientists, the only citizens left soon would be cab drivers!
came to life. Hooray for the boys in blue, they were everywhere;
Enough deep thinking, it hurts! Besides, the remaining public
on top of hangars, around corners and behind boats. Before I
were waiting.
even had time to switch off, four plain clothes men rushed over
Trade was pretty brisk thanks to my new toy. Sure enough,
to my cab. The passengers were flabbergasted. One of the offi-
while driving along Bayswater Road the radio called an embassy
cers asked me to leave the cab while he spoke to my “fare.” I
in Kensington Gardens. I accepted the job and waited outside.
stood back, grinning all over my face. I felt very pleased with
After about five minutes, an eastern European looking chap
myself. I could see headlines now: ‘London Cabman intercepts sci-
appeared. He could have been Frankenstein’s father with his
entist smugglers' - perhaps I would get an OBE, or was it an
deadpan face, glassy eyes and slow determined walk. He opened
MBE? I've already got B.O.
the passenger door and without a word proceeded to measure
I could see the embassy officials gesticulating wildly at MI5. Try
the inside of the cab. He then grunted and left. Another similar
and talk your way out of that, I thought to myself. The box was
looking chap then confronte d me and speaking in broken English,
then removed from my cab, the strips cut off and the lid prised
said he wanted to take a box to Surrey Commercial Docks. He
open. This was it, I thought. As the MI5 men looked into the box,
said I would “get paid good!” I nodded and he vanished back
their eyes bulged; they stared at the men and then beckoned me
inside the embassy.
over. I swaggered confidently over to the scene of the crime and
I started to read the paper when out of the corner of my eye I
there to my amazement, lying comfortably and sound asleep was
saw four husky men hauling a very large wooden box towards my
unmistakably... a greyhound! I just couldn't believe it. They had
cab. It was secured by metal strips and had small holes bored all
done a Ho udini on me. The couriers explained: “We have no ani-
round it. The men gingerly placed the b ox inside the cab - it fitted
mal as good as yours, so we take home to improve standard of
perfectly. As I put my paper down, the headlines about the miss-
ing scientist hit me again. I got out of the cab and tried to inspect
What a boob! I’ll draw a veil over the next hour but have
the box as my suspicions were now aroused, but I was gently
never been to a greyhound meeting since
eased away. I insisted on looking at the box on the pretext that it
Phil Emden (C84)
may damage the upholstery. I decided the holes in the box must
have been air-holes.
The journey to Surrey Docks g ave me time to come to a
decision. Was there a boffin in the box? Was this diplomatic
Driver required for
baggage? I casually glanced over my shoulder, but the par-
tition was firmly slammed. I couldn’t understand the lingo
non-radio TX4
anyway so why close the window? They had something to
hide and that confirmed my suspicions, so I contacted the
Monday to Friday
radio room with an emergency call.
The dispatcher said: “Come in emergency cab.” I opene d my
Changeover Warwick
mouth but nothing came out. The perspiration was slowly drip-
ping down my back and I felt the beady eyes of the foreigners
Ave or Victoria
piercing my back. The dispatcher again asked for the emergency
cab to come in and I quickly blurted out my story. There was an
£140 per week
ominous silence at the other end. Then there was a “Roger, Roger
Charlie 84.” I wondered all the way to the docks whether I had
Full back up
been overheard. I glanced back but the men were engrossed in
Tel Dave 07876 728 792
As I entered the docks, I expected to find the place
Call Sign January 2017
Page 25
DaC driver Sean Farrell (B39) looks at trade history from a different angle
Brethren of the Whip
drive a cab, but gave him the benefit of the
Alfred Fitter denied being drunk; he had
doubt. Carden was one of the few magistrates
spelt the word ‘Belvidere’ (sic) at the station
who had a genuine liking for cabmen.
and offered to write his name and address,
Until the arrival of the
Wickstead was fined 10 shillings (50p) or seven
according to the court reporter. Fitter lived in
motor cab, a cabman
days. Unfortunately, he could not pay the fine so
Belvedere Buildings, Webber Street and the
having a drink at work
he was locked up for the week.
reporter may himself have been drunk. There
was considered part
Some doctors were known to ask prison-
was conflicting evidence and Magistrate Selfe
of the job. As long as
ers to say
‘now Constantinople’ several
had misgivings about the policeman’s version of
the driver was not
times without error to show they were
events, but it was enough for the charges
“decidedly drunk” or
sober. In 1900, an un-named cabman was
against Fitter to be dismissed.
caused an accident,
examined with a magnifying glass!
Benjamin Pearce was active in trade poli-
such instances were
“Couldn’t the doctor see the driver without
tics and a member of a delegation that met
generally ignored
- even though frowned
one,” enquired the magistrate? The arresting
with the Home Secretary regarding trade
upon by police and magistrates alike. The
officer explained that the glass was used to
grievances. He was an advocate of having
Christmas and New Year period was usually
examine the driver’s eyes. Such scientific
Sunday as a rest day and was a total abstain-
an exceptionally busy time and magistrates
endeavours saw the driver fined 10s. The Daily
er. So it probably came as a surprise that he
often remarked on the large number of cab-
News thought the use of a magnifying glass was
was arrested for being drunk. He denied the
men before them at such times.
“…about as bad as Constantinople! A man
charge, his passengers said he had not had a
But how do you prove a driver was drunk? In
whose drunkenness could only be discerned
drink, the police surgeon said Pearce was
many cases the word of the policeman was
microscopically could not have erred very
completely sober and even the desk
enough if he claimed that “the cab was going
deeply in his cups and might even be justified in
sergeant refused to accept the charge.
from one side of the road to the other” or that
driving a cab.”
Pearce was released without any stain on his
he saw the driver “nearly falling from his seat!”
An elderly cabman was arrested for being
character. However, less could be said for
These were common enough claims that saw
drunk on the night of Christmas Eve 1895.
the arresting officer. He had to pay Pearce
many a cabman fined. From around the 1850s,
He denied the charge. An independent doc-
£5 for wrongful arrest, payable at
£1 a
drivers could pay 7s 6d (38p) to have an inspec-
tor verified that the driver successfully
month - a sizeable chunk of a PC’s wages
tion by a doctor but even if found to be sober,
repeated ‘the artillery extinguished the con-
back in 1879.
the driver was not always reimbursed the fee.
flagration early’, which a drunk man could
A very happy New Year to all...
So how did doctors decide if the man before
not have done. The charges were dropped
them was sober? In 1878, James Brooks was
but the driver faced a bill of 18s 6d (93p) for
Sean Farrell
asked to stick out his tongue. The doctor
calling out two doctors at such an unsocial
Call Sign Online
looked at it and declared Brooks to be drunk!
“I couldn’t have been drunk,” Brooks
declared. “I remember everything. I even inter-
preted for a foreign gentleman.” The magistrate
asked the arresting officer if this was true. The
officer said it wasn’t and all he had done was to
say to the gentleman: “Parlez-vous, Francais”
repeatedly! It made the magistrate laugh and
376 Strand, WC2
Brooks walked out of court a free man.
Charles Fairclough was made to feel his
We Invite Dial-a-Cab drivers and their guests to our
own pulse - a test the arresting officer himself
restaurant where you can partake of the finest food and wine
witnessed. Fairclough too was released without
charge and the magistrate rebuked the police
And as a thank-you for helping our clients come
for employing such an incompetent doctor.
and go over the years, we are happy to be able to
In 1882, Henry Wickstead was accused of
being “…undoubtedly drunk, very drunk”
offer you a genuine 25% discount on your bill
by a police inspector. “How can you say
such a thing?” exclaimed Wickstead. “Why,”
We are certain that you will be delighted
he continued, “I even considered that the
constable acted so improperly when he
interfered with me, that I asked him to lend
me a pencil in order that I might take his
number. Could a drunken man do that?”
There was a roar of laughter in the court as
Wickstead continued. “There is the number
as I took it down. Is that like a drunken
man’s writing? The magistrate, Sir Robert
Please bring along your badge or Bill as ID
Carden, looked at Wickstead’s licence and
saw that he had been fined for being drunk
Salieri Restaurant
just two weeks previously.
376 Strand, WC2
“Ah, that was the fog” replied Wickstead, “I
was not drunk at all, but the fog got down my
Reservations: 020 7836 1318
throat and made me stupid.” Carden did won-
der if Wickstead was a fit and proper person to
Call Sign January 2017
Page 26
Call Sign was very sad to hear of the passing of former Board member and long-time Dial-a-Cab subscriber
Gordon Poluck (ex-R34). Gordon had been in a home for a number of years and until recently still insisted
on getting his copy of Call Sign. But his memory, which he told us back in 2004 was deteriorating rapidly,
finally went.
In February 2004, some time after being diagnosed with the onset of dementia and advised medically to
give up his green badge, Gordon suddenly turned up at Brunswick House and caused a few men at Dial-a-
Cab to swallow when they saw him. One told this magazine at the time:
“It was a very emotional experience and even Gordon, who was usually the most jovial of toastmasters,
had to wipe away the odd tear himself!”
Gordon’s “other job” was that of a toastmaster and several months before his appearance at DaC, he kept a promise to Alan and Linda
Fisher when Linda’s son Marc got married and Gordon did the job as toastmaster. It was his last one.
When Call Sign spoke to Gordon again - several weeks later - he had returned to somewhere approaching his old self with the occasion-
al awful joke and 1001 stories. But as Gordon admitted, that was masking the symptoms that caused him to prematurely retire. But even the
odd period of forgetfulness wouldn’t stop Gordon talking about his connections to the London taxi trade. Father Elmo and brother Russell
are testimony to how deep that connection goes. He also visited Chairman Brian Rice, who told us:
“We spoke in my office for well over two hours and covered every subject you could think of. He also looked and sounded
exactly as you would have expected him to. It is a very sad day...”
Before his illness, Gordon shocked everyone when he disclosed that he had decided to throw his hat into the ring and oppose sitting
Mayor Ken Livingstone at the 2004 London Mayoral election! He became an official candidate before the cost caused him to pull out. He
had previously been a councillor for the borough of Croydon.
In 2004 and after pulling out of the Mayoral race, Gordon again phoned us and showed how astute he was when he said:
“I haven’t really changed my views on anything since I first announced in May that I wanted to stand as Mayor. I am very concerned that
Congestion Charging is destroying London. West End stores are losing money because people are not prepared to pay a fiver and then get
ripped off by horrendous car park charges. Even if public transport was brilliant - and just filling the streets with hundreds of empty buses
doesn’t make it that - not everyone wants to use it. That results in fewer people in town, which will eventually filter back to us and affect
the taxi business. It may be busy in the run-up to Christmas, but we can’t survive on Christmas alone. People are London’s life blood and my
main priority would have been to get people back into the capital. But the final cost has given me no chance.”
Chairman Brian Rice represented Dial-a-Cab at Gordon's funeral.
Our sympathies go to his wife Shirley, daughters Rochelle and Melanie, brother Russell, sister Sharon and all his family...
“I view life a lot differently
now,” Stephen Field (F99J) told
Call Sign when referring to a
Pick Yourself Up…
collision he suffered at the
hands of another driver who
owed on the balance of the repayments, so
was on his mobile phone at
that was one headache resolved. Over the
the time instead of concentrat-
next six months I became a hospital tourist,
making regular visits to Queens Hospital in
ing on the road ahead.
Romford, Moorfields Eye Hospital, The
“As the song goes, you just pick yourself
Whittington in Highgate and also St
up, dust yourself down and start all over
Thomas’s at Lambeth. Having undergone
again. Life’s too precious to just sit around
numerous scans and various tests on my eyes
and mope! I certainly view life much differ-
and head and the offer of medication which I
ently now.”
steadfastly refused, here I am, six months
Stephen told us about the accident...
later with a return of my eyesight to 20/20
“It was 17.15 on Monday, March 14th 2016;
vision and looking forward to starting anew,
I was on the A13 at the Beckton Flyover and
getting back to work on the cab full time.
heading homewards. The traffic at that time
Naturally I’m grateful my eyesight has
of the day is always slow and I was almost sta-
returned of its own accord, healing itself after
tionary, but suddenly there was an almighty
such a long recovery period, but it has given
bang into the rear of my Vito taxi, throwing
me another outlook on just how precious life
me forward in my seat against my seatbelt,
itself really is.
with the impact jolting my head sideways and
nerves having been jarred by the impact
“So my humble advice to the younger gen-
downwards into my shoulder. I think it also
while the rest of my body was restrained by
eration is that when you are struck by adver-
hit the driver’s door even though I don’t
the seatbelt and that’s why it is thought that
sity, think positively, because there is nothing
actually recall that happening. However, it
my head may have struck something hard,
more important or fragile than life itself. So
would explain what happened to me the fol-
possibly the door as I mentioned. Either way,
just pick yourself up, dust yourself down...
lowing day.
it clearly meant I couldn’t work because there
and start all over again!”
“Naturally, with such a heavy force, I was
was no way I could possibly drive safely - and
With that, Stephen left us to go to work...
very shaken up - and my cab didn’t look too
for a licensed taxi driver, that, of course, is
humming the tune as he went!”
good either having been rammed in the rear
the absolute priority above all else.”
at speed by a Ford Transit van while the dri-
“When it became obvious that I was not
ver was busy talking on his mobile!
going to be able to work for an extended
Alan Green
“As a result of the RTC, the following day I
period of time, I lost my cab because I had to
started to experience double vision, my optic sell it, thankfully recovering the money I still
Call Sign Online
Call Sign January 2017
Page 27
hen one of Call Sign’s eagle-
eyed readers saw Donald
Dacas’ (P76) cab being towed
by an AA recovery van, word
Quick Reactions
soon got back to our nerve-centre that all was
not well in the Dacas camp!
“Yep, trouble again,” Don confirmed. “I
Donald's quick reactions saved him
was turning left into Cardington Street on
from even more costly repairs
my way to Euston Station when the steering
suddenly became very heavy and smoke
because it was being tugged by the still run-
began pouring out from under the bonnet.
ning engine. The force of the engine pulling
Something was obviously wrong, so instinc-
the fan belt against the seizure of the alterna-
tively I reached down to the ignition switch
tor then caused the alternator drive pulley to
to turn off the engine as quickly as I could.
buckle, which added to the Dial-a-Cab dri-
When the smoke cleared, I could see the fan
ver’s grief. The smoke and burning smell was
belt was frayed from where it had obviously
the fan belt being torn to shreds.
been rubbing against something and I knew I
“The garage said that my quick reactions
wasn’t going to do much more work that
saved further damage being caused, not to
mention the possibility of a fire starting as the
Donald was towed to his regular garage at
fan belt got hot from the friction of being
Downs Park Motors; they diagnosed seized
pulled over an immovable object, the alterna-
bearings in the alternator and it was the
tor pulley and the force of the still-running
engine running and the alternator unable to
turn that caused the fan belt to fray as it was
“I had to have another alternator, pulley
forced over the stationary alternator pulley,
and of course a replacement fan belt, so
that’s more expense when the work is not
exactly busy,” Don told with a sort of resigna-
tion in his voice.
“The cab drives nicely when it’s running,
Chas and the giraffe!
but there are times I wish I had my old TX1
back. That cab was so reliable, whereas this
hen you have been driving on the streets of London for decades,
TX4 has cost me around £3000 this year
you build up a fund of stories
alone,” Donald moaned.
and experiences and Chas Levy
“It’s not only the cost of regular servicing,
(R61) is no exception. Chas
but when you’re faced with repairs, especially
recalled one to Call Sign that stayed in his
unexpected ones such as this one, it gets real-
ly expensive when you factor in the cost of
“I remember some years ago doing a two-cab
the parts, fixing the repair and the time off
job where I took the passengers, while the sec-
the road to effect the repairs; it all mounts up
ond driver transported a stuffed toy giraffe in his
and gets kind of costly…”
cab, the type of huge toy that children can
Then Don drove away on the long journey
actually sit on.
to recoup some of his day’s expenses...
It was quite late in the evening and the sky
was darkening as we both got on the road. The
Ron Yarborough
first driver moved smartly away from the kerb-
Call Sign Online
side; I followed, driving the passengers as
smoothly as I could while trying to keep up
with him. With no need to worry about
throwing his passengers around, the lead cab
kept up a lively turn of speed. However, the
toy animal wasn’t secured inside his cab and
so as he turned round corners, I could see
the giraffe roll from side to side within the
cab, giving the impression it was a live ani-
mal trying to get out!”
Chas giggled as the scene returned to his memory...
“Anyway, we got to our destination and I helped him remove the toy from his cab; I
remarked how real it had looked moving around inside his cab and how pedestrians
had given him strange looks as he passed by them on the road, but then thought no
more of it. Between us we then heaved the stuffed toy onto the kerbside.
It was only the following morning when my co-driver called me and said the police
had phoned him some minutes earlier, responding to reports they had received from
pedestrians seeing the two cabs passing. They asked the first driver where he got the
giraffe from and were obviously concerned that it might have been stolen from a zoo -
even though they admitted that no reports of a missing giraffe had been reported to
them. Perhaps that should have been a clue!
The driver gave the police all the trip details of our two cab journey and the matter
Female driver
was quickly wrapped up, with the police officer and the driver having a good laugh!
10% reduction for Dial-a-Cab drivers
But the thought of it still makes me smile and you have to wonder about people
Contact Debbie (W18) on
believing that a giraffe could actually fit into a cab!”
Alan Green
07956 317040
Call Sign Online
Call Sign January 2017
Page 28
Another true story from Geoff Levene…
Holiday time...Whether you want it or not!
It’s that time of the year again. No, I
good lady wife is that my birthday is just a week
before Xmas day. I’ve told her she doesn’t need to get
don’t mean the final of ‘Strictly’ or ‘X
me ten things anymore. Shirt, jumper, book, CD,
Factor’. It is - or was until a few days
aftershave and then more seven days later. It’s too
much and it’s difficult to keep on surprising each
It was around this time last year that I picked up a
other, so we say what we’d like and nobody is disap-
genial looking old chap who asked for Euston. He
pointed! It’s often something shiny and smelly or
wore a tweed jacket, cord trousers and had a shock of
maybe opera tickets. I've just put myself on offer for
grey hair. He reminded me of the Professor in Back
next year!
to the Future! When I turned around to give him his
One thing I think she’d like is a bit of Whitefriars
receipt, I realised who it was
- Sir Nodrington
glass. This would entail a trip round antique markets,
‘Noddy’ Holder. I was thrilled. I’ll always be a Slade
bric-a-brac shops or boot sales. But the problem these
fan. Not so keen on ‘that song’ but it’s been good for
days is the proliferation of antique programmes like
him. I've heard the figure of £500,000 a year going
Antiques Roadshow, Flog it and Cash in the Attic.
into his stocking thanks to Merry Xmas Everybody!
Time was you could walk down the High Street in and
So it’s peace and goodwill to all men. Help the
out of the charity shops and come out with a couple
poor? I give a few bob. Take in the homeless? Well,
of Rembrandts, a signed copy of Oliver Twist and
I'm afraid there’s no room at the Inn. Just like those celebs and
some Battle of Waterloo artefacts... and still have change from a ten-
politicians who were going to throw their doors open to
ner! Now everyone's an expert, so you've got no chance of picking up
refugees, but strangely enough palpably failed to do so.
a bargain.
I don’t know if it was the festive season when a certain merchant
However, I did find a curio the other day. It was a CD called The Saudi
banker went above and beyond the call of duty. He, his wife and two
Arabian Top Ten. It was fascinating. I stuck it straight in the cab’s CD
children lived in a big house in the somewhat edgy area of
player and the best seven - in no particular order - were these:
Kennington. This was handy for the City and for his other career -
1. Imam a believer... 2. Sheikin’ all over... 3. Halal be there...
Member of Parliament. I don’t suppose it’s relevant that despite his
4. Omar he's makin’ eyes at me... 5. Bagdaddy cool... 6. Yasser
company having a Dial-a-Cab account, it was a minicab that waited
that’s my baby... 7. Beirut 66...
outside to take him to the Airport at four-thirty in the morning when
So let's forget about Christmas until next year but hope for a happy
two lads strolled up...
and prosperous New Year... whether you have a religion or not...
“Take us to Peckham, mate,” they asked the driver.
“Sorry, I'm waiting for someone here.” They looked at the big,
Geoff Levene (W32)
expensive house.
Call Sign Online
“Do you think they’d let us use the toilet?”
“You'll have to ask,” replied the driver.
So they did and guess what; the merchant banker MP and future
special adviser to David Cameron lets them in, showed them upstairs
and waited while they... grabbed everything they could, bid him good-
night and made their getaway! Mr MP made a bad decision - albeit one
that nobody in their right mind would have made. I wondered what
other brilliant ideas he came up with while working at Number 10.
Merchant banker indeed!
So anyway, the shops were stuffed full of goodies. Oxford Street,
both Westfields, Brent Cross and Lakeside all wanted our money. It
was presents, presents and more presents all the way. I have to admit
I’m not terribly good at that kind of thing. It was easy when the boys
were young. You could fill the house with parcels and know that
there’d be something that would amuse them until Boxing Day. But
it’s much harder with adults. And what makes it even harder for the
Lambeth Bridge:
Roundabout Improvements
TfL and Westminster Council have announced planned improve-
ments to road safety at Lambeth Bridge northern roundabout. The
plans are designed to deliver road safety benefits in the short term
while they investigate a longer-term solution for a more fundamental
change to the layout of this junction. Construction will begin in
January and include the extension of footways and traffic islands to
reduce traffic speeds and provide more space for pedestrians, raising
zebra crossings to the same level as the footway on all four junction
arms in order to reduce traffic speeds and increase safety and provid-
ing narrower, better-defined lanes to discourage motorists from weav-
ing between lanes on the roundabout.
TfL do not expect the finished scheme to affect road user journey
times through the area but say that there will be some short-term dis-
ruption during construction.
Call Sign January 2017
Page 29
hen you’ve been driving a taxi
for almost fifty years, you usually
know a wide circle of fellow dri-
vers and can sometimes influ-
ence their thinking. Such is the case with
Chas Levy (R61), who after some years with
another radio circuit, returned to Dial-a-Cab
several months ago and was so pleased with
his decision that he told his friends... and
they decided to move home too!
One of them was Fred Denney (R63) and
his enthusiasm for DaC was palpable...
“I’m getting on very well, thank you! I’ve
been driving a taxi since 1988 and Dial-a-Cab
is a far more professionally run circuit than
my previous company. The training I received
here to operate the MDT was very thorough
indeed, which meant that I could go out on
the cab and work with confidence which,
when you are working late into the night,
means you can cope with the many situations
that face you knowing that there is a friendly,
helpful team ready to assist if you really do
get stuck with a problem that you can’t easily
resolve from the cab.
“I was very disillusioned with the sale of my
previous company to an App set-up, which I
did not want to be a part of. So when Chas
Daren Morley trains all new drivers
told me he had moved over to Dial-a-Cab, it
“I prefer the radio to street work and I’ve
driver / customer relationship - and that’s
didn’t take me too long to follow!”
found DaC to be a really friendly bunch of
how it should be. When the other company
Dean Pearson (F02) was also encouraging
people and far more professional than the
was sold to an App, I knew I had to ‘Gett’ out
about his move from the same north London
circuit I left, with the emphasis being on the
- so here I am!
circuit as Chas and Fred.
“Also, here at DaC there appears to be a
more sensible policy regarding Fixed Price
trips ie with fair prices and that suits me fine.
When I did have a problem with a DaC trip, it
was sorted out quickly by the ladies in Driver
Paddington rank
Services with the minimum of fuss. That is
just wonderful!”
DaC trainer Daren Morley is the man
Circa 1930s
behind all new drivers learning the correct pro-
cedure in readiness to go out on the road...
ADDINGTON STATION seems to have settled into some semblance of
normality nowadays, although many drivers still probably remember the
Michael Toomey
set down point as it was when taxis entered down the slope from
Dial-a-Cab Online
Praed Street. Some may even remember the old entrance that led you
straight down onto the platform where passengers could just get off the train
and head straight for a waiting taxi. But we’d bet our last Rolo that no Dial-
a-Cab driver remembers this overflow cab rank from the early 1930s! The
photo is from Graham Waite’s (B35) collection of old taxi memorabilia..
Call Sign January 2017
Page 30
Either write to Call Sign at
one that wants to offer legal advice!”
Gas conversions
“You can't do that,” she said, “you'll never
Dial-a-Cab House
Hi Alan
be allowed to operate without qualified
Has there been any feedback from the com-
or email us at
pany that brought the converted gas cabs
My friend again jumped in with the
down to Dial-a-Cab for drivers to take out on
knockout punch: “According to you, that
test drives? It was mentioned that they were
business model works with Uber cars, so
Change.org petition
looking to present the cab to TfL sometime
why can't I use it for solicitors!!!”
in October for approval and if approved, I
Hi Alan
She never said another word!
I received a petition to sign from
would consider buying one subject to checks
Alec Wilkey (W83)
with other users. Look forward to hearing
Change.org asking me to support them by
Great story, Alex, I suppose that if any-
asking Mayor Sadiq Khan to cancel plans
from you.
one knows about a knockout punch it
Ian Macdonald (C64)
to make minicab drivers take an English
would be DaC’s Alec Wilkey, one of pro-
Hi Ian, you are just one of many drivers
language test. Written by the daughter of a
fessional boxing’s premier trainers... Ed
enquiring. The cabs are successfully
PH driver who has been doing the job for
being tested in Birmingham but London
10 years, she says it would be unfair for him
seems to be taking an age to catch up.
to lose his job. Yet isn’t the fact that his
The company, Autogas, is in the final
daughter thinks he may fail after 10 years
Dear Alan
stages of the process before the final
the whole reason why they are doing the
Just read the December Call Sign mag and
durability test begins. The approval
test! Dah!
read that Alan Nash (A95) was happy with
process up until now has taken a little
Gordon Bennett (Y91)
the VAD system. He also pointed out that
longer than they expected with the result
Quite right Gordon! If they speak good
that they had to make some small
tips are non-existent on credit card work. I
English then they will have no problem
can totally agree with that and would per-
amends and additions to the build manu-
passing the exam. If they don’t, then they
sonally put it at around just 5 percent of
al and then had to have an independent
shouldn’t be driving a minicab... Ed
card jobs that you receive a tip. Recently I
engineering inspection carried out and a
report produced. There was also an IVA
have been driving a cab fitted with another
(Individual Vehicle Approval) inspection
CC facility. Because this particular machine
Gearbox problems...
to be carried out along with another one
offers customers the chance to tip, I've
Hi Alan
by TfL. Following this, the vehicle will
found that over 80 percent of customers
Just wanted to tell you about my taxi gear-
then require emission testing and then
tip, generally the 10% option. I estimate
box/transmission issues and the cheap
they can commence the 10,000 mile
the loss to each Dial-a-Cab driver could be
solution I found to it. I had been having
durability test. As the above info is a few
over £1000 a year. I would like to ask our
lots of issues with reversing my taxi for the
weeks old, I must assume that they have
IT department to change the PEDs so that
past two years, especially when the gearbox
progressed close to the stage when they
they offer customers this option. After all I
was cold. Anyway, I was getting fed up with
begin - if they haven’t already - the dura-
keep reading they are the best.
pushing the taxi out of parking spaces etc
bility test. As soon as I get any update, it
Barry Spear (Y16)
so I visited a few taxi transmission special-
will be published… Ed
The next software update will include a
ists who told me that the seals were proba-
gratuity box. Unfortunately, because of
bly going in the transmission/gearbox and
a Barclaycard cock-up, DaC IT had to
that I would need to spend £800+ to have
So you use Uber?
sort out that problem first, hence last
the necessary repairs done. So I thought I'd
This was a fellow cab drivers response to a
month’s recall of the fleet which had to
struggle along for a while but then spoke to
typical Uber fan. I'm actually thinking about
take priority. Then came the sad but
a Dial-a-Cab driver who recommended I
setting this company up because it’s brilliant!
still time-consuming fitting of card
visit a taxi transmission specialist in
My friend picked up a lawyer recently from a
readers into the rear of cabs following
Stratford who might be more reasonable
well-known law firm. The female lawyer was
TfL’s decision that showed they could
when carrying out repairs. So I visited
raving about Uber and how cheap they were.
not care less what we think... Ed
Allard Transmission Services and he rec-
The driver told her he was in talks with a
ommended the change of a valve and a ser-
mate who was a whizz at IT and who devel-
vice. Whilst he was carrying out the service
oped apps. He was looking at starting up
Saturday payments
on my taxi, he noticed that the 'overdrive'
something similar to Uber - but this one was
Hi Al
cable had been left undone and he plugged
for solicitors and how it would enable the
Could you please ask the new directors at
it back in. I was charged just £60 for the
public to get a solicitor for £50 per hour, of
DaC if they could move the cut-off date
valve replacement and service. This morn-
which 10% would be paid to his company as
from Friday night to Sunday night to save
ing, I reversed my taxi from stone cold with
a commission. He went on to tell her that he
waiting 9 days for Saturday card payments,
no issues at all!
and his friend would be rich in a year as there
as many of our rival card machine suppliers
So I’d like to recommend Allard
were lots of people that needed solicitors but
offer next day or 3 day payments.
Transmission Services to any driver that
who couldn’t afford to pay several hundred
Jon Robinson (E88)
might be having gearbox/transmission
pounds per hour. The solicitor was becom-
I did ask DaC’s financial side for you Jon,
issues. They are at
9 Thornham Grove,
ing quite irate by then and said that the dri-
but they seemed to think I was rather
Stratford and the phone number is 0208
ver would never get a trained solicitor to
barmy and said that on weekly payments
534 8268.
work for £45 per hour after commission was
you can only get one Saturday, but that if
Karen Menpes (E01)
the Government brings out weeks with
Thanks Karen, Call Sign is always happy
My pal jumped straight back in: “Who said
two Saturdays in, then they will relook at
to publicise good service... Ed
anything about trained ones? I will use any-
the situation!... Ed
Call Sign January 2017
Page 31
book of regulations, which includes a topo-
another driver. We thought that after demu-
Pollution, pizzas and
graphical knowledge test. Will Uber in
tualisation and formation of the new compa-
London stay as cheap as chips? That is highly
ny, separation into property and trading
Take a look at the cycle lanes and the pollu-
unlikely once the opposition has been con-
divisions, completion of surveys and valua-
tion they are causing; take a look at the
quered. No doubt many will lament for the
tions followed by instructing property
Uber drivers’ accident record; take a look
black cab, but it will then sadly be too late as
agents, advertising and search for prospec-
at the cable car across the Thames and the
yet another home grown iconic industry
tive purchasers of the building, taking fur-
instruction that if someone in a police vehi-
slowly dies and bites the dust. Game over...
ther legal and financial advice, there would
cle is in pursuit of a motorcycle and the
job done.
by this time be a noticeable reduction in the
rider takes his helmet off, the pursuit must
David Heath (Ex-W27)
number of drivers eligible to share in the
be called off - and don’t put that one at the
Ex-Brighton and now Gloucester
proceeds! Thus, the few surviving drivers
door of the Met police. And nobody should
David, who gave you the figure of 80,000
would get a larger pay-out once older and
be allowed to delivery pizzas on a motorcy-
PH vehicles in London? The last I heard it
sick drivers had been transported to the
cle of any size without a full licence - but
was 117,000. And if you are right that TfL
COS (Carriage Office in the Sky) while oth-
that won’t happen because TfL do not pick
are trying to get rid of us, I very much
ers went off to Carey Street! If, say, just 25
up the medical cost! Besides, most senior
doubt that if Uber becomes the only play-
drivers survive this lengthy process, I won-
staff at TfL get free BUPA so they don't
er in town that they will entertain TfL.
der what the forecast distribution would be
need to stand in line with mere peasants to
They won’t be as accommodating as we
to each surviving shareholder.
be seen at the hospital!
have been and simply won’t need or put
Best to you and all drivers for the New Year...
Christmas may now have passed by once
up with them. What was it that Ral
Laurence Kelvin (W88)
again, but nevertheless, anyone found
Donner once sang - you don’t know what
Sounds rather drawn out Laurence; how
drink-driving should be banned for seven
you’ve got until you lose it
about a series of duels with the winner
years first time. TfL stands for Totally
taking all! I should tell you though that if
Failing London and you may ask what that
a shareholder passes away, his/her
The DaC Tontine
has to do with drunk drivers? Simply, TfL
shares go to next of kin!
don't have the money to pay for a ‘Don't
Investment Scheme!
A Happy New Year to you and everyone
drink and drive’ campaign, the reason
Dear Alan,
at DaC... Ed
being that it’s all going to the few at the
About 50 years ago I saw the comedy film The
expense of the many.
Wrong Box with
I’ll close with a thought; tomorrow, a
police officer will knock on a family’s door
Michael Caine,
and have to tell them their son or daughter
is dead, killed, they suspect, by a drunk dri-
Dudley Moore and
ver. Spare a thought for that officer who
R a l
p h
then has to go home to face his own chil-
Richardson. It was
the story about a
Gary Cox (O46)
tontine investment
Not much I can add, Gary... Ed
scheme. This is a
Uber in Brighton
tribute into an
Transport for London has it seems
endowment and
embarked on a course to decimate a highly
the accumulated
regulated and globally admired industry...
fund pays out to the
From 10.15-12.15 - £10 per pupil
the black cab. Uber have been allowed to
last surviving mem-
come on stream, greatly undercutting, and
ber. The comedy
Minimum age of 16
parachuting in with little regulation, just a
was based on ways
Kids Class: 12.30-1.30pm from age 8yrs to 15yrs
licence fee and CRB check / refugee status
in which family
£5.00 per pupil
character reference. Current estimates are
members tried to
Suitable for all skill levels, from beginners to
80,000 private hire vehicles in
keep their relatives
accomplished boxers
London, nearly half of which are Uber. Is
alive so that they
this decimation of the black cab currently
would get some
Female ONLY classes subject to demand
taking place by TfL a pragmatic attempt to
inheritance, while
punish the black cab in favour of the Uber
at the same time
legions, recruited almost exclusively from
tried to hasten the
the poor, to make the rich richer in the new
death of other
gig economy sweeping the country.
potential beneficia-
Interestingly Uber have not been successful
in every UK city! Brighton - London on sea
This came to
- being a prime example. Brighton council
mind recently when
has insisted that any Uber driver must meet
I was discussing the
the exact same regulations that every pri-
proposed future of
vate hire and Hackney driver has - the blue
Dial-a-Cab with