Wednesday afternoon a meeting was called by the Richmond Suburban drivers coalition to try to address some of the issues that are now having a major effect on their livelihoods.
It was a well attended meeting many drivers turned up from all Suburban sectors right across London.The meeting was also attended by members of the RMT Branch committee and members of the UCG committee and I understand also a representative from the LTDA was in attendance but in spite of many calls from the floor he declined to address the meeting.
Many issues were discussed ranks, identifiers The Richmond drivers were speaking out on all the issues that they feel are helping to destroy the livelihoods of suburban drivers, the picture appears to be the same right across the suburban sectors.
They were asking why they had been let down by the LTDA, TFL and LTPH were also in for a bashing for continually allowing the compliance team to harass them for over ranking even though the ranks in the suburbs are vanishing over night and the drivers are being persecuted by TFL whilst nothing is done to combat the illegal plying for hire by Private hire.
The gathered drivers were in a militant mood and the RMT delegation spoke of the need to promote unity within the trade and to see through the haze created by some organisations that have promoted the myth that our colleagues in the suburbs are responsible for all the trades troubles. when in fact we should be standing shoulder to shoulder to defeat the real enemies of our trade. No one condones any drivers working outside their sector but drivers have to realise that the identifiers are a charter for the disgruntled cyclist’s and Bus drivers to make frivolous complaints and every time your details are on offer your livelihood can be placed in jeopardy.
The RMT are not opposing identifiers without good reason and we do not condone wrong doing by working outside your license area.
The reason that we are opposed to this expensive waste of money where there has not been any form of meaningful consultation with the trade. When we asked LTPH whom in the trade were consulted on this matter they said that thirteen groups were consulted with, but when further questioned who these were, LTPH could not remember who they were. More importantly was it you. That is why we are seeking legal assistance on this matter. The whole matter of identifiers is a complete farce and we the drivers should not allow this issue to come between us. We should unite and stand up to all that desire to destroy our continually voted “best in the world trade” to carry on for a further 300 years.
The meeting concluded with a demonstration of a new Taxi ordering/ despatch system, BLACKCABNOW which promised to revolutionise the way we order taxis. The system will be rolled out in Suburbs within the next 20 days.