Sep 13

The UCG’s response to John Mason’s response to the UCG… In The Badge!

In the latest edition of the LCDC’s publication ‘The Badge’, or more recently known as ‘TfL Times’, Mr Mason Director of The Public Carriage Office (T&PH) went to some length in his article responding to our last edition (issue No3) of United Cabbies News.

We are somewhat bemused that Mr Mason chose to respond to us via a third party claiming… “Any attempt to put the record straight is merely rejected as being untrue and met with further hostility” but as ever there is no hiding place from the UCG.

Mr Mason, we do question your interpretation of the word ‘Hostility’ because we believe that in all previous communications between the UCG and your department you have no evidence whatsoever to make this accusation, and we would like to point out that you are always welcome to respond to us directly.

Ps. If you want to hear ‘hostility’ to an idea which you endorsed then listen to this…


In UCN3 we reproduced the minutes of the Air Quality Workshop  which quite clearly states that TfL have ‘AGREED to seek facilities for Private Hire to wait in advance of bookings’. Mr Mason dismisses this as “complete nonsense” and questions how we can reach such a conclusion.

We know Mr Mason is quite liberal in his interpretation of the english language, but we would like to ask him exactly what he thinks the word ‘Agreed’ means because in our book it means ‘Agreed’ !

In our article we said that it ‘appears’ to be the plan to install ranks at all the mainline stations and airports etc, but Mr Mason dismisses this as ‘frankly absurd’. Really John, do you expect us to think that without any opposition to your plans that these places wouldn’t be on TfL or Private Hire’s ‘Hitlist’?

Pull the other one!

Mr Mason then states… “That no such formal ranks have been implemented and there are no plans to provide them”

Can you please tell us what the Private Hire rank at Kingston Station is then?

Also, your use of the word ‘formal’ implies that you are fully aware of the many ‘informal’ Private Hire ranks outside every TfL Licensed Satellite Office in London.

Please could you provide us with your views on the legality of Private Hire vehicles waiting and forming ranks outside venues which hold a Satellite office License?

Page 7

We are pleased that you are pleased with our praise for the new Cab Enforcement section on TfL’s website, and we feel that if this prevents even one sex attack on a vulnerable member of the public then it has been worth it.

You may feel that we are anti everything TfL, but this is not the case. We will always give praise where praise is due.

In our ‘Totally Failing London’ section we state that TfL have, as far as we are aware, done nothing to stop a Taliban fighter, or the many others, that are claimed to be part time Private Hire drivers.

Mr Mason says this is wrong and has contacted The Guardian but was unable to ascertain any further information.

Oh well that’s that then!

How about this John… Why don’t you take the list of names of every Private Hire driver upstairs to the Anti-Terrorist branch and ask them to investigate it? Surely their intelligence must be as good a place to start as any?

TfL have a duty of care to the travelling public of London and failure to provide this information to the intelligence services could have catastrophic consequences.

Will you please do this John?

Mr Mason then explains about the Licensed PH driver whose failed CRB check allowed him to work in close proximity with children where he subsequently went on to sexually assault a 12 year old boy.

He claims this was not TfL’s fault but the fault of the CRB process itself, but then he has decided to drop the 3 years minimum residency requirement.

And here was us believing you when you said in Private Hire & Courier magazine that it “Worries the hell out of me”!

Page 10.

Mr Mason comments on Courtney Connell’s article in UCN3.

We understand Courtney will be preparing his own response to this which you can read in a future edition of United Cabbies News.

Page 27 & 30.

“Standard UCG/Anderson Shelter rants about TPH? “Mason” “Hendy” “Johnson”. Lots of things wrong or misplaced in my opinion but everyone’s entitled to their opinion I guess.”

As you correctly state John, we are all entitled to our opinions… Agreed?









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