April 2017 Newsletter
Sorry for the lack of communication over the past few months.
It doesn’t mean that the MLTDA are sitting back & letting things happen. We are always involved in some situation or issue that has arisen within the trade in Medway.
OUT OF TOWN TAXIS
The MLTDA have continued to hold meetings with Medway Council over this important issue, that is close to everyone’s heart who works in Medway. We can give you a brief insight to what is going on.
Medway Council are intending to talk with all the councils in the south, with a plan to all work together with the ‘intended use policy’ to introduce this in all the bye-laws & Taxi policies.
This is allowed by law & cannot be challenged in court.
As for Uber, you already know the MLTDA are affiliated member of the U.C.G (United Cabbies Group) in London.
As you may be aware over the last few weeks, the National Press have made public the corruption that has taken place at the government level with Mr Cameron & Mr Osbourne promoting Uber & asking the ex Mayor of London Mr Boris Johnson to be more lenient on the proposals that he wanted to impose on TFL (Transport for London), Private Hire trade. TFL are also being held to account over certain issues.
This has lead to the London Hackney Carraige trade to ask the Prime Minister to hold a public enquiry into the corruption of the very high profile people with parliament & TFL.
We will update you on as soon as we know anything.
Everything we have mentioned above & in the ‘out of town’ headline, will not happen overnight, as it has to be passed by full council, the councils legal department & go out to consultation in every local authority.
With red tape & the time involved in these issues, a time frame of 18 months – 2 years before we see results.
The MLTDA are frustrated with the time it takes to any results. We all need to write & lobby our MP’s, pester them so we can get our issues raised & discussed in parliament ASAP.
We need to stress, the government have created this problem & the cross border hiring & Uber is a nationwide issue & more importantly there is a duty of care over the safety of the public.
Are the members prepared for the MLTDA to carry on in present format??????? Answeres please ASAP!!!
It’s nearly that time of year again to renew your membership.
We’re keeping the subscription at £5.00, which will start at the end of May 2017.
We are actively looking for new representatives on each company to help with the growing distribution of news letters, magazines & collecting subscriptions from members.
It’s very important that the MLTDA continue & represent the trade on any issues raised at the council level. We have built a good working relationship with every department in the Medway council.
As a key stakeholder within the transport system & infrastructure, we have to be notified of any changes the affect the Hackney carriage & private hire trade here in Medway.
For anyone who has recently changed their vehicles & would like new sticker regarding ‘payment upfront’ which is sponsored by the police & Medway Council. Each sticker is 50p. If you require a new one call Ian 07714 300236 or your companies rep.
SEAT BELTS/CHILD RESTRAINTS
The seat belt law, updated 30th October 2006;
Children up to 3 years old must use a child restraint. However, if no such restraint is available in a licensed taxi or Private Hire vehicle, the child may travel unrestrained. The licensed driver is still responsible.
A child who is older than 3 years but less than 14 years, must wear the adult seat belt, no such restraint is available in a licensed taxi or Private Hire vehicle, the child may travel unrestrained. The licensed driver is still responsible.
Passengers 14 years & over, must wear a seat belt. The passenger is responsible.
We hope this answers the drivers enquiries about the seat belt law.
The following letter from the TFL is in response to an inquiry by Ben Fuente, chair of 1/92 Cab Section branch:
Taxis are permitted to drive in 90% of bus lanes in London. In the bus lane Traffic regulation & General Directions as follows:
Taxi means:- (a) in England & Wales, a vehicle licensed under – (i) section 37 of ythe town Police clauses Act 1847; or (ii) section 6 of the Metropolitan Police Carraige Act 1869, or under any similar enactment, and (b) in Scotland, a taxi licensed under section 10 of the Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982.
Thus taxis licensed by these acts outside London are permitted to drive in those bus lanes in London where taxis are permitted generally. Private Hire vehicles whether licensed in London or elsewhere are NOT currently permitted to drive in bus lanes in London.
On 22nd February 2017, the MLTDA were invited to attend the Knowledge test. We can say again it was conducted in a very professional manner.
We had 110 applicants sit the exam, Hackney Carriage & Private Hire, only 2 passed. 1 applicant was a T&M driver & the other was a Medway Licensed Private Hire who passed the Hackney exam.
MEDWAY COUNCIL – APPROVED GARAGES
Listed below are the garages that are approved with effect from 1 April 2017 to carry out hackney carriage and private hire vehicle inspections.
Licensees are to contact the garage of their choice from this list only to arrange an appointment for MOT and inspection.
ASD Transport T/A Lakeside Motors
Neptune Close, Medway City Estate, Strood ME2 4LT
Berengrave Petrol Station
666 Lower Rainham Road, Rainham ME8 7TY
Black Lion MOT Centre
50a Gardiner Street, Gillingham ME7 1DW
Crusader MOT Centre
9 Crusader Close, Gillingham Business Park ME8 0PR
Medway MOT Centre
Unit 5, Cloverlay Industrial Park, Canterbury Lane, Rainham
Unit 26, Castle View Business Centre, Gas House Road, RochesterME2 2UD
H & M Autos
Unit 24, Riverside Estate, Sir Thomas Longley Road, Medway CityEstate, Rochester ME2 4DP
The Service Centre Medway Ltd
Unit 1, Jenkins Dale, Chatham ME4 5RD
The garage fees with effect from 1 April 2017 are:
Annual Inspection Retest (within 10 working days)
Interim Inspection Retest
Non attendance at vehicle inspection
Test fee will be charged
(garage will use their discretion in exceptional circumstances only)
In addition to the previous testing requirements, the garages will test all glazed areas (except sunroofs/glass roofs) and the readings will be recorded on the inspection sheet.
We would like feedback for this years xmas tarriff.
Ian Walton & Tony Slociak supporting the London Black Cab Trade Demo in Whitehall, London. They handed a letter to No10 Downing Street asking the Prime Minister to hold a Public Enquiry into the corruption that has happened at government & TFL levels
Sadly Derek Norman has died, he was a Medway Taxi driver from 1953 til 2011.
His funeral is Friday 5th May at Woodlands Road cemetery.
Thankyou for taking the time to read this newsletter
Afternoon drivers posted 24th march 2017
This is a reply to questions asked by Rehem Chishti & has allowed been sent to all the councillors & MP's
In 2005 Medway Council introduced a colour policy for the safety of the public. White for Hackney Carraige with uniformed top signs & door signs with Medway Council logo. Red for Private Hire with uniformed chequered stripes either side of the vehicle & door signs with the Medway Council logo.
This has made it easier for the public to know a legitimate taxi.
In 2010/11 This government allowed a law to be passed to allow Hackney Carriages licensed by another Council to work as Private Hire in any Council the driver chooses.
This has caused chaos within the trade nationwide. Any Licensing authority 'enforcement team' have no duristication to stop & check the 'out of town taxi' i.e DBS check or any other form of I.D.
A Hackney Carriage & Private Hire vehicle should only be allowed to work within the licensed area they are licensed by (intended use policy). The definition of the correct way to cross border hiring is as follows:-
1, A customer requests a taxi from a town he doesn't live in, to take him to the town he lives in. I.e Maidstone to Medway towns
2, The Medway operator sends a Medway Licensed driver to Maidstone to collect the customer.
The way the 'out of town taxis' in Medway are working, they are wearing Medway company taxi door signs (without Council logo) & their own licensed logo's, working on computer companies, with the computer system in their vehicles. The legality of cross border hiring is for a driver to receive their job from the licensed Council to which the vehicle is licensed. Instead the 'out of town taxis' working in Medway are working here full time & paying rent to the company they are working for.
How can this government allow applicants who are refused a Hackney Carraige/Private Hire license in one local authority, gain a Hackney Carriage/Private Hire License in another authority, & return the original authority & work full time.
Making the job of the Licensing enforcement teams very difficult to check the 'out of town taxis' driver creditials.
Putting at risk the safety of the general public. This government has made Medway Council a laughing stock, Not only Medway Council but local authorities nationwide.
As stated above, this government has allowed a law to be passed in 2010/11 allowing Hackney Carraiges from another Licensing authority to work in another licensed authority that they are not licensed by.
Can you please explain to us, how Uber are allowed to work in Medway. As Uber are a company licensed by The Transport for London (TFL). They are working here in Medway without an operators license & the drivers are Private Hire. As stated in the law, only a Hackney Carraige can operate in Medway as a Private Hire vehicle. Please find attached a photo & caption of two Uber drivers parked & waiting for their next job.
The MLTDA seriously recommends that the government reconsider & review our law & legislation regarding cross border hiring as a matter of urgency for the safety of the general public who use our services here in Medway.
MLTDA Chairmanhristmas & New Year 2016 Tariff
Saturday Christmas Eve 20.00-00.00 =T2
Sunday Christmas Day 00.01-00.00 = T3
Monday Boxing Day 00.01-06.00 = T3
Monday Boxing Day 06.00-00.00 = T2
Tuesday Bank Holiday 27th Dec
Saturday New Year Eve 19.00-00.00 = T2
Sunday New Year Day 00.01-06.00 = T3
Sunday New Year Day 06.01-00.00 = T2
T2 = time & half. T3 = double time
Also drivers, there is a petition titled 'Stop taxis being allowed to work in area they aren't licensed in'
Please, every driver, friends & family needs to signs this so we can get to 100.000 signatures before April 2017.
P.s yes this is a new email address for the MLTDA.
From MLTDASeptember '16 Newsletter
On August 23rd 2016 the MLTDA held a drivers meeting for members & non-members, considering the amount of drivers who had voiced their opinions to myself, Mike & Ian, the turnout of drivers wasn't good.
Mike opened the meeting by talking about the history of the MLTDA which started 38 years ago, the MLTDA did cease for a while. Mike was approached in 2005 by various drivers & was asked to re-invent the MLTDA, which Mike did & is still chairman today.
What has the MLTDA achieved?
They've opened doors with :- Parking
Intergrated Transport :- as stakeholders
Open line with enforcement officers & with Medway Council legal team.
What does the MLTDA do?
Tarrif increase & Christmas tarrif
Bus lanes & the bus station
New Rochester station :- no permits or payments
Strood Link, from Medway City Estate to Strood Station
Fare card to include children under the age of 3 years
Credit card facilities
Gillingham rank extension
Law Commission forms
The new Taxi Policy
National Private Hire Magazines
What the MLTDA still has to do?
Christmas tarrif :- we would like feed back asap, as this years Xmas tarrif propasal has to be proposed to the council by the end of October 2016, i.e would you like the same as last year?
If required we support any driver being interviewed under caution.
Attend the Knowledge test twice a year.
Child sexual exploitation awareness operation.
At the end of the meeting Mike asked all present if any one would like any changes to the MLTDA chairman, vice chairman, secretary & treasurer. The reply was 'no change' in our team.
As you are aware The MLTDA are affiliated members of the United Cabbies Group (UCG), the chairman & vice chairman from UCG attended our meeting on the 23rd August 2016 to explain the ongoing issue with Uber in the country, we are all of same mind with this issue & any parliamentry meeting or protest the UCG hold is on the MLTDA's behalf.
Thankyou for taking the time to read this newsletter & many apologies for the lateness of this newsletter.
On behalf of the drivers The MLTDA chairman & vice chairman attended the funeral of Jack Pullen who passed away at the beginning of September. He was 99 years & 7 months, he retired a few years ago after 65 years of being a Medway taxi driver.
Well members, before central government went into purdah before the general election they rushed through amendments to the Deregulation Bill clauses 11 & 12 which affect our trade.
These clauses have had the royal ascent so, as from 1st October 2015 this will become law & allow ‘out of town taxis’ activity to continue & be lawful.
If you read the NPH & Taxi magazine it goes into great depth to explain the changes, if you have not seen May’s magazine, find someone who has a copy & read very carefully pages 8. 9. 12. 18. & 78, after reading May’s NPH & Taxi magazine you will understand why Medway Council cannot do anything about ‘out of town taxis’ working in the Medway Area.
As many of you have phoned Mike & Ian regarding ‘out of town taxis’ from other boroughs advertising the company they are working for on their doors in Medway. I’m afraid Medway Council cannot do anything about this, as they do not display the Medway Council logo, this might alter soon. There are some positive moves between Medway Council & Tonbridge & Malling licensing teams regarding the ‘out of town taxis’ working in Medway.
Lobbying of your local MP
The MLTDA cannot stress enough how important it is for each & everyone of you as individuals to strongly lobby your MP’s, regarding the situation we are currently experiencing here in Medway with ‘out of town taxis’ working in our area.
If you can remember in October 2014, some 200 of you attended a full council meeting at The St Georges Centre in Chatham & heard the councillors backing the Taxi Trade & demanding that the problem with ‘out of town taxis’ be resolved, well not much has happened since that meeting.
On 23rd April 2015 at another full council meeting was held at The St Georges Centre Chatham & we asked some questions, but as you can see from the answers – I leave you to draw your own conclusions to that response.
Mike Smith asked the Portfolio Holder for Community Safety & Customer Contact, Councillors Hicks, the following question:
“Could the Portfolio Holder specify what measures Medway Council have in place to carry out the necessary checks on ‘out of town private hire vehicles that may be operating in Medway without proper insurance cover, as I understand that some companies insure these vehicles only to operate in their local area”
Councillor Hicks stated that Medway Council sympathised with the issues facing its licensed taxi trade, but had a duty to work within the confines of legislation. No officer of the Council had the legal right to stop a vehicle & could not request sight of any documents of a person not licensed by this authority.
Wherever possible Medway was working alongside other local authorities & providing intelligence on any relevant information to the licensing authority concerned. He stated that a Statement of Policy for taxis was to be drafted & may include changes to conditions, to which legal advice was being sought on whether a condition could be placed on an operator to ensure that any vehicle sent to a pre-arranged collection had the appropriate insurance cover.
Mr Smith stated the if the Council’s enforcement team had no responsibility for the vehicle which worked in Medway from Tonbridge & Malling, Thanet & Gravesend,
Who had the responsibility of duty of care towards the fare paying public?
Councillor Hicks stated that those Local Authorities had their own licensing departments & they were responsible for taxis in their own area, so Tonbridge & Malling, Gravesham, Dartford or any other district council had the authority for taxis licensed in their own area & Medway Council had authority over taxis registered in this area for taxi companies which operate here.
Please read this email sent from Brian Rowland & see the problems that could be on the way. The MLTDA will be having meetings with Medway Council to see what policies are going to be put in place.
Well you may just have noticed that the Conservatives have got back in to 10 Downing Street.
Whatever your views on this occurrence we are just dropping you a note to confirm that,
subject to any amazing Parliamentary disasters, the two sections of the Deregulation Act
WILL COME INTO FORCE ON OCTOBER 1st so, for those of you who want to cross border, start planning now!! (Copy attached)
For those of you who don’t want cross border to invade your area there is little you can do other than hope that something is done to give councils the power to control out of towner’s which they don’t have now.....watch this space!!!
Perhaps more importantly:- what is your council going to do about three year driver licence fees and five year Operator licence fees???
The highest fees for 3 year licences which are already issued by some councils are over £500 and
as some operators are already paying several thousand pounds for a one year licence we do strongly suggest you ask your council what they intend to do. Especially if you need to renew in October!!!
Our experts strongly suggest that if your council merely multiplies by three for drivers that would be unlawful; do please contact us instantly if your council does this.!!!!!! Five year Operator fees will very strongly depend on what is being charged at the moment and may need a strong attack to prevent lunacy!!!
Off down to the exhibition this morning so if you want to discuss I will be at the Millbrook Proving Ground on Wednesday and Thursday together with
our two main lawyers, our expert on surveys and a policeman - so you could get some good advice and I look forward to seeing you.
If you can’t make it I will be back in the office on Friday and Karen will be in the office if you want instant help.
All the very best.
National Private Hire Association
The MLTDA have held a site meeting with Medway Council road maintenance regarding the flooding in the Pentagon Taxi Rank, we showed them the areas that flood & the state of the road surface. We are waiting for the outcome of the meeting.
ROAD MAINTENANCE FORUM GROUP MEETINGS
The MLTDA have been invited to attend the above headed meetings.
In this meeting one of the subjects we were asked was to name the worst road surface to drive on in Medway, we said Livingstone Rd, Livingstone Circus, as you can see both roads have been resurfaced. We also made comments regarding A289 from Chatham Docks to The Strand roundabout, as you can see this road has also been resurfaced.
The Licensing Unit have been told by some drivers that the Police have told them (at the time of being given a caution) that it will not go on their record and that is why it was not declared. The Licensing Unit has discussed this issue with the Police and a copy of the caution obtained, which clearly states:
The Simple Caution is not a form of sentence or a criminal conviction, but is an admission of guilt and is covered by the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 and is to be treated in the same was as a “Spent Conviction”. It forms part of a criminal record.
Please note: Proceedings relating to taxi driver (hackney carriage and private hire) licensing fall outside of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974. This means that Medway Council will consider any convictions (including those spent) when determining your application. The council, in appropriate cases, may take any cautions into account when determining your application.
Please remember, you are required to notify the Licensing Unit of any convictions, cautions and/or warnings you receive at the time; this includes points on your licence. Failure to do so will result in enforcement action being taken against you.
CONTACTING THE LICENSING UNIT
As you are aware all telephone calls to Medway Council go to a customer contact centre. There is a specific team that deal with taxi related calls and the telephone number is 01634 337109. This team will make appointments for specification checks, accident checks, plating and take your card payment. They can also give you basic advice. You can also contact the Licensing Unit by email: email@example.com where you will receive a response within 5 working days. Any driver who has a pre-booked Taxi inspection at Gun Wharf, opposite the taxi Bay, at the top of the stairs press the bell, this will notify them you are waiting.
Drivers are reminded that the DBS no longer send disclosures to the Council and therefore when you receive your disclosure you will need to send it to the Licensing Unit, until then the determination of your driver licence renewal cannot be made. Licensing have informed us that currently there are 66 drivers who have yet to send in their disclosures. DO IT NOW!
72 applicants sat the last test in February 2015, the results are as follows:-
New applications into the trade as private hire = 12
Private hire – hackney =================== 2
New applicants direct to hackney carriage ==== 2
as you can see, we had some new applicants arrive into our trade, congratulations to those of you who took the time to study hard & pass the knowledge test to become a hackney/private hire driver in Medway.
HEMPSTED VALLEY CODE OF CONDUCT
The MLTDA have received complaints from Hempsted Valley Centre Management regarding dropping off/picking up on the zig zag lines outside of the food hall. Please can everyone use the allocated temporary pick up/drop off area located by BHS.
It looks as if we will be having some trying times ahead; the MLTDA will require your full support, we will need a strong association to continue our work with Medway Council, Call or text Helen 07853728321, Mike 07785116571 or Ian 07714300236 or an MLTDA rep for your company
Independents - Graham Smith
Star Taxis - Herdev Kandola
C.N.C. Taxis - Joe Chohan
A.B.C. Taxis - Alexander Atzev
Vokes - Jim Mines
Windmill Taxis - Mike Smith
Strood Cabs - Sukhi Singh
Thank you for taking time to read this newsletter.
On 25 May 2017 14:53,
MLTDA attended a meeting with Medway Council Parking Enforcement Team.
We can report back a very constructive & positive meeting.
We have 2 main issue to discussion.
1. 'out of town' taxis & Uber Parking on Medway Hackney Carraige ranks.
We have shown the Parking Enforcement team photo's of 'out of town' taxis parked on our ranks & pointed out the difference between Medway & T&M Hackney plates, also the difference in top signs & door signs.
We have made them aware of Uber vehicles & what to look out for on these vehicles.
We have asked for a visable presence from the Enforcement team around the ranks during rush hours am & pm.
2. James Street Hackney Carraige Stand
We have managed to negotiate 15mins unattended rest period on James Str Stand for Medway Licenced Hackney Carraige ONLY. Medway Private Hire can not use this stand at any time for dropping off or picking up. It is an office under the local government miscellaneous provisions act 1976.
This is the law & legislation that governs the Private Hire trade nationwide. A Hackney Carraige is regulated under the town & policy clause act 1847.
If anyone sees an offence committed by 'out of town' taxis or Uber, can you please take a photo including licenced Hackney plate & Road markings & Street signs, address Date, time & location.
If it's an Uber vehicle email - Anand.firstname.lastname@example.org