The London Taxi Branch of RMT has called for unity especially in relation to the severe challenges that wait ahead. All London trade groups were invited to attend a meeting which took place at the Royal National Hotel, Bloomsbury on March 19th.
Amongst those who attended were the United Cabbies Group (UCG), Heathrow Airport Licensed Taxi Drivers Unite (HATDU), the London Suburban Taxi Drivers Association, the Edgware Licensed Taxi Drivers Association and the London Suburban Coalition. Conspicuous by their absence were the LTDA, LCDC and Unite who obviously have their own agenda. All these other organisations were invited. HALT were also invited.
LTDA RELY ON BORIS
KEY OUTCOMES OF TRADE UNITY MEETING
- That a meeting should be called with the Law Commission to discuss their outline plans.
- A recognition that the current system of licensing in London is glaringly inadequate in relation to the way that phv is policed and controlled.
- That there should be a binding legal definition of plying for hire in any subsequent legislation using existing case law as guidance.
- That there should be more adequate enforcement of phv both in the suburbs and in Central London.
- That there should be a new requirement and arrangements for satellite offices in that where there is an application for a satellite office, then there should be the automatic provision of rank spaces outside the venue. Where this is not possible then there should be no allocation of a licence for a satellite office.
- That the crisis of suburban sector viability would not be resolved by the suspension of new entrants to yellow badge knowledge as this would only have an effect in the long term. This could only be achieved by the provision of sufficient rank spaces in suburban areas.
- That the current system of ranks appointments, the joint ranks committee, the funding of ranks and implementation of them is currently not for fit for purpose. You have to ask yourself who currently sits at these rank meetings. Need we say more; LTDA, LCDC and Unite.
- That there should be a provision of more rank spaces where there is likely to be a large volume of potential work. Also there should be a review of suburban sectors to ensure that potential passenger demand is served and such a review should ensure adequate driver knowledge. Such matters should be properly funded and should also include a structured management environment to ensure that demands are met without leading to an over provision in any one area to the detriment of all.
- That there should be meetings with the Mayor and Deputy Mayor and other politicians to resolve the concerns expressed at the meeting. Notwithstanding any such involvement with the politicians at TfL and GLA, the delegates at the meeting resolved to bring these issues to the attention of the public by way of high profile events (demos) if such meetings were not forthcoming. There was agreement that all licensees have an equal right to be heard and that all policies that were discriminatory or divisive would be vigorously campaigned against.