The contract between Heathrow Airport Limited (HAL) and Heathrow Airport Licensed Taxis Society (HALTS) to run the taxi information desks ended on June 30th this year. This means that the London taxi trade has no presence inside any of the terminals at Heathrow for the first time in over 10 years.
This is a bitter/sweet victory for the taxi trade because the taxi information desks could have been an enormous boon for us, but unfortunately, they were being used by HALTS directors to promote the interests of their own private fiefdom. So, regrettably, we have to say “Good riddance to bad rubbish”.
The RMT has been warning drivers at Heathrow about the dangers of letting this company run the desks, with our enforced financial assistance, for the last four years. Now, the penny has finally dropped and HAL has been forced to distance itself from any association with this company.
Following the announcement that the HALTS/HAL contract would not be renewed, the ducking and diving by HALTS directors and members to make sure they creamed as much work as possible for themselves was not only noticeable, it was blatantly obvious. Now that the desks are finally gone and HALTS has no presence in the terminals anymore, it is amazing how many drivers have noticed an increase in the “quality” work that now comes out to the ranks, despite the fact that work levels are traditionally low at this time of year, due to the school holidays.
Since the beginning of July the fee to enter the Taxi Feeder Park (TFP) has been reduced from £6.00 to £5.22. This is a saving of 78 pence, which is the amount HALTS was receiving from the trade; this represented an average monthly income of over £40,000 for the company. It’s unlikely that the directors will be able to pay the rent on the offices they’ve enjoyed in Capital Place for the last few years and it is noticeable that there is a great deal of jostling for position within the company now that it has been faced with this crisis.
There is a lot more to report at Heathrow and I’ll keep this page updated regularly to make sure that drivers are kept abreast of the latest developments, so please come back for further updates.
Michael Moran (taxi trade rep).