Feb 02

A Victory for Commonsense Part II

Transport for London have announced that the proposal put forward by the Licensed Taxi Drivers Association for a 20% Olympic Games fare increase for London’s Taxi drivers has now been rejected.

General Secretary Bob Oddy proposed this increase without any consultation with his members or indeed the Taxi trade in general and the story was then picked up by the Evening Standard newspaper who portayed the Taxi trade as ‘Greedy Cabbies’.

The United Cabbies Group incensed by this decision balloted our members and an overwhelming majority of 98% said they were against this trade damaging proposal and that we should take action against the LTDA.

We immediately swung into action with a double demonstration, firstly outside Taxi House, home of the LTDA and then outside the offices of the Evening Standard in Kensington.

The objective was to let the LTDA know that we were unhappy with their arrogant undemocratic actions, and to get our objection to this ‘rip off’ fare hike back into the public domain where the damage had initially been done.

We succeeded on both counts.

In the latest edition of United Cabbies News we ran the full story telling readers how this proposal was done in their name when the majority of them didn’t want it, with the headline ‘98% Say No!’.

The LTDA then came out and tried to spin it that it was just a ‘suggestion’ but pretty soon they realised that they had made a catastrophic error of judgement.

General Secretary Bob Oddy stood down shortly after.

To date they have failed to admit they were wrong or offered an apology to the trade, and this has cost them a considerable number of members who have decided they have had enough of being poorly represented.

The LTDA then resorted to scaremonger tactics by suggesting that cab drivers would boycott the games and go on holiday instead. These are tactics they still use today when LTDA Executive Richard Massett recently told the BBC that they had suggested to TfL the price rise, as a survey of it’s members had shown about 40% of drivers would take holiday during the Olympics.

The UCG are unaware of any survey other than a 10 minute stint at Paddington where they asked half a dozen drivers.

Massett said “This was an idea for TfL to consult on, as a way to encourage drivers not to go away for the Games. It has been turned down, like we thought it would, so it is now up to TfL to make sure there are enough black cabs to cope.”

Really Dickie? If you thought it would be turned down why did you bother to propose it in the first place?

Victory for the UCG!

The United Cabbies Group were the only trade organisation who campaigned to stop this fare rise being foisted upon us, and make no mistake about it without our protestations this fare rise would probably have been implemented.

Not only would we have had to sit in the gridlock, but we would probably have to do it without a punter in the back.

This is the second victory in as many weeks for the UCG and the Taxi trade with the announcement that TfL will not be reinstating the License Checker section on their website.

We wait with anticipation to see how LT&PH Director John Mason will attribute this victory to the LTDA!

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