Category Archives: Thinking allowed

Who would have guessed?

Apparently, tax checks on private hire drivers renewing their licenses are said to be killing the Private Hire Vehicle industry. Before the checks started, there were on average 3,500 renewals a month.

The Tax checks are reducing these numbers in their thousands.

1st April started the rot, followed by May and June. Nearly 7,000 fewer Private Hire Vehicles in London alone.

This should be wonderful news to the taxi trade, but it’s gone virtually unheralded. So, why is the take up of The Knowledge at its lowest point for many decades?

A £70,000 vehicle monopoly and a 12 year age limit across the board on the horizon, plus massive road restrictions across the capital, could be a major part of the problem. Oh! And giving up three to five years of your life to get a qualification that might be considered useless.

I honestly do not know what we have to do for drivers to wake up and smell the coffee. Take-up of the Knowledge of London will only improve if the cab trade is an attractive business proposition.

Are we now facing the beginning of the end?

Just ahead of the end-game in New York, NYC yellow taxis are to be offered for hire under the Uber platform. After this surprising move to partner with New York’s finest, the ride-hailing app has struck similar deals in Spain, Germany, Austria, Turkey, South Korea, Hong Kong and Colombia.

Does anyone know what the rate will be if you ehail a taxi under the Uber platform?

Will they undercut the usual fare just to begin and when people get used to it, gradually raise the price?

So what happens to taxi fare rates when they are offered on Uber?

If they receive the Uber rate, will they simply start to respond only to Uber e-hails and will consumers realise they are way worse off?

The way they use surge pricing in London, you can bet your bottom dollar the customer will lose out.

What’s the purpose of a regulated meter and a historic licensing regime, if a third party booking can take you outside the regulations?

Is Uber’s Project Horizon coming to fruition? Make no mistake, this is the way we are being led by corporate greed, and it’s the way the trade is blindly going.

Uber would love taxis to join their platform because the industry would cede power to them. An ad hoc meter would be the logical next step to full deregulation.

Once the meter is undermined, then it’s game over, £70,000 cabs and cabbies might go the way of Victorian lamplighters.

Merriam-Webster on whingeing

Merriam-Webster has been defining words since 1828 and is, in the main, a dictionary of American-English. Although aimed squarely at our Colonial Cousins it contains a range of words rarely heard outside Britain. I’m pleased to report that whinge, although rarely heard outside Britain is featured:

Definition – to complain fretfully: whine

Intransitive verb – British

Whinge and whine may look like simple variants, but the two words are fairly distinct, with meanings and histories that are independent. Whinge comes from an Old English word, hwinsian, meaning “to wail or moan discontentedly,” whereas whine comes from the Old English hwinan (“to make a humming or whirring sound”). Whinge, in use since the 12th century, has always had a meaning related to complaining; whine, on the other hand, did not begin to have its now-familiar meaning until the 16th century.

O it is a sweet thing ay to be whinging, and crying, and seeking about Christ’s Pantry Doors, and to hold ay an Eye upon Christ when he goes into the House of Wine, into His Fathers fair Luckie Wine-Celler where there are many Wines, and bout in at Christ’s back.
— Samuel Rutherford, Christs Napkin, 1660

Oh, the irony!

Many who decided to miss celebrating our good fortune at living in a constitutional democracy by leaving the country, ended up waiting hours at the airport. Some slept on the concourse floor, so anxious were they to avoid missing their flight to a country where women’s rights are severely restricted, or a slight indiscretion might put you in jail awaiting trial without legal representation. Well, we all had a great time marking The Queen’s Platinum Anniversary: Trooping the Colour; a 70 aircraft fly past (it went over my house); street parties; rock stars and a pageant. Well, I hope your return was as equally traumatic, the result of greedy airline managers laying off their highly skilled staff.


According to Taxi Leaks, Sadiq Kahn again uses lies and fake statistics to increase the area of the ULEZ Zone, in the name of saving the planet.

This definitely isn’t about cleaner air, it’s solely about raising money for TfL, money that Khan has previously wasted on his personal vanity projects.

Khan is claiming that the air quality in outer London is so much worse than in central London, that he is going to have to extend the ULEZ zone to the M25.

The current air quality reading for central London using the Breezometer app states air quality at 2 on a scale of 1-10, which is classed as low.

In certain areas where traffic has been diverted into congested high streets, the figure is much higher, sometimes reaching 4-5 which is out of the yellow low pollution area, into the orange poor air quality range. The problem around Low Traffic Neighbourhoods (‘LTNs’) has been caused by Khan, local councils and residents inside the LTNs who want to see increases in the value of their properties. When you look at the huge amounts being raked in from fines issued to unsuspecting motorists, again not about cleaner air, all about money.

The current air quality for Belmont (Wealdstone) is 1, same reading (1), for Ruislip, Yeading, South Oxhey, Bushey and Southgate. All areas east from Tottenham to Ilford, all reading the same as Central London (2), making the need for an increase in the ULEZ area, completely unnecessary.