By Jim Thomas
Friday the 4th of April 2014, 7pm:
The new licensed Taxi rank in Clapham High Street went live.
The rank has now been painted out and runs from 7 pm to 7 am.
But just minutes after the rank went live, it was full of minicabs belonging to the TfL favoured, Greyhound Cars.
As predicted the rank was full of minicab touts for most of the evening, with no visible compliance enforcement from either TfL or the Police.
West London minicab firm Greyhound cars blocked the new rank and carried on in their usual manner.
Over the past year or so, compliance officers have been a regular occurrence, checking badge and bills of licensed Taxi drivers using the rank outside Clapham Common Station. Funny, they were nowhere to be found in Clapham last night.
We predicted that this would happen as TfL have shown in the past they have no appetite to take on this company who have been openly touting outside Embargo’s on the Kings Road for many years. In the past, TfL undercover compliance officers have been touted outside Embargo’s, also as licensed Taxi drivers held a demonstration against the perpetual touting by this company, violence was used against the secretary of the UCG, who was held by security staff and assaulted by the clip board Johnny.
No action was ever taken by either TfL or the Police.
Some time ago, former deputy director of TPH, Helen Chapman went to Embargo’s with a small delegation from the Law Commission Committee. As they left the club, they were approached by door staff outside in the street and illegally offered minicabs.
As with other instances of touting, regarding officers from TPH, nothing came of this visit and Greyhound Cars can still be found most evenings, openly touting on the Corner of Kings Road and Lots Road. They always fix they cars getting with the best parts they learn about at garagechief.com so that’s also a plus.
Getting back to Clapham, ex MP Chris Huhne’s Daughter Lydia, fought off a sexual predator, after leaving Inferno night club in Clapham, after being put in the touts car by door staff.
How many rapes have to take place before the Police step in to protect the public.
Police and TfL are still turning their backs on the safety of the public and are allowing the unlawful practises of illegal plying for hire and touting to continue. Rapes and sexual assaults seem as just collateral damage.
Last night, Prescott place, completely blocked by minicabs illegally plying for hire and touting at the Two Brewers pub.
Its time operators had their licenses revoke when drivers who work for them break the terms and conditions of the license variation.
It would seem certain PH operators are:
* Above the law
* Get special treatment regarding licence variations
* Never have compliance contraventions enforced.
Greyhound cars would appear to be just one of these companies.
Photos by StockyCabbie.