Taxi driver tries to get MP to jump a red light

Discussion in 'Cycling Archive' started by Simon Mason, May 26, 2012.

  1. Simon Mason

    Simon Mason Guest

    I thought this story that I read the other day was very amusing given
    the stereotype of the London cyclist jumping red lights at will.

    “I was interested to hear you a few weeks back on Radio 4, saying that
    your minicabs should be allowed into bus lanes,” she wrote.

    “Perhaps you would be interested to hear my experience of one of your
    drivers today? I was at the junction of Bloomsbury Square and
    Tottenham Court Road, which is left turn only for vehicles, with an
    exception to go straight ahead for cycles.

    The lights changed and the road was blocked by a bus. I was on the
    right hand side of one of your vehicles and behind a van which could
    not move because of the bus.

    “The lights changed back to red, the van ahead of me curled around the
    corner but I decided to wait at the red light rather than risk
    crossing the road as my sight line of any oncoming traffic was
    obscured. Your driver bumped into the back of my bicycle.

    “When I observed that the lights had changed to red some five seconds
    earlier, he shouted and yelled at me.

    “It was the first time I had been bumped in well over ten years. I am
    a slow, careful cyclist with excellent hand signals and always make
    eye contact with drivers.

    “It was certainly an interesting experience to be barracked for
    obeying a red stop light when driver mythology has all cyclists down
    as light-jumping lunatics. Based on today’s experience, your drivers’
    reputation for careful driving may be just as much of a myth.”
    Simon Mason, May 26, 2012
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  2. Simon Mason

    Adam Funk Guest

    FWIW, this e-petition has 5800-some signatures now:

    Addison Lee drivers have bee told to use London's bus lanes by the
    cab firm's owner, John Griffin. The pugnacious call to action, as
    well as his anti-cyclist comments, further threaten the safety of
    cyclists on our roads and threaten the good work that has been done
    in encouraging thousands more cyclists who help to cut carbon
    emissions in our city. Griffin's highly irresponsible comments and
    call to action is basis enough for the Addison Lee license to be
    Adam Funk, May 28, 2012
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  3. Simon Mason

    JNugent Guest

    Addison-Lee is not a taxi firm. It owns no taxis. Its drivers are not
    JNugent, Jun 3, 2012
  4. Simon Mason

    Clive George Guest

    True. They're not a football team either. Fortunately the article didn't
    claim either of these were true :)
    Clive George, Jun 3, 2012
  5. Simon Mason

    Tosspot Guest

    Re: Private hire driver tries to get MP to jump a red light
    "Controversial London minicab firm..."
    Our fleet of 3,500 premium minicabs

    Dammit! You're right! Addison-Lee is not a taxi firm. It owns no taxis. Its
    drivers are not taxi-drivers!
    Tosspot, Jun 3, 2012
  6. If it was, then its drivers would be able to use nearly all London's
    red route bus lanes during their hours of operation.
    Bertie Wooster, Jun 4, 2012
  7. Simon Mason

    jnugent Guest

    *I* changed the thread title, from "Taxi-driver...". That was my point.
    Quite so.
    jnugent, Jun 6, 2012
  8. Simon Mason

    Adam Funk Guest

    Is "taxi" even a legal term in the UK? AIUI, the legal terms are
    "hackney carriage" & "private hire vehicle", whereas "taxi" is
    vernacular for both kinds.
    Adam Funk, Jun 6, 2012
  9. Simon Mason

    Clive George Guest

    You'd have probably made your point better by not changing the title.
    Clive George, Jun 6, 2012
  10. Simon Mason

    Tosspot Guest

    Whoops, that's what happened then, I thought he'd been on the sauce. Apologies
    all around.
    Tosspot, Jun 6, 2012
  11. Simon Mason

    Phil W Lee Guest

    Not so.
    Displaying a sign saying "Taxi" on a vehicle that is not licensed as a
    Hackney Carriage is illegal.
    I've even seen attempts to get around this by displaying "alternative"
    spellings such as "tacksi", "tacsi", "taksee", etc, but those got
    jumped on too - it's regarded as plying for hire to display any such
    sign, and plying for hire in the streets is explicitly illegal for
    anything except a Hackney Carriage.
    Even the mechanic at a taxi company has to hold a hack licence in
    order to be able to legally test drive the vehicles registered as
    Hackney Carriages.

    That is from experience as both a Private Hire and Hackney driver.
    Phil W Lee, Jun 6, 2012
  12. Simon Mason

    jnugent Guest

    No. The London Cab Act(s) proscribe the words "taxi" and "cab" for
    anything other than a licensed taxi (there was a famous 1960s court case
    which led to that interpretation). There are similar provisions in the
    1976 Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act which operates in
    the rest of England and Wales.
    jnugent, Jun 7, 2012
  13. Simon Mason

    jnugent Guest

    Point taken.
    jnugent, Jun 7, 2012
  14. Simon Mason

    Ace Guest

    But would you take the point that for all the world the technical
    difference matters not a jot? For most people a taxi is a taxi,
    whether it's alicensed hackney carriage or a private hire vehicle. And
    by most people I mean not just londoners, who I know would tend to
    refer to the latter as a 'minicab', which is an equally meaningless

    I mean, I've no oobjection to being pedantic for the sake of it, but
    if you were trying to make a point about the difference I'm not sure
    what it was.
    Ace, Jun 7, 2012
  15. Simon Mason

    Ian Jackson Guest

    Well, having just had almost that conversation in ulm, I think there
    is a distinction which would certainly be interesting to readers of
    this group. Taxi drivers are more stringently licensed, which
    translates to better behaviour on the road.
    Ian Jackson, Jun 7, 2012
  16. That is certainly not my experience of cycling in London. Taxi drivers
    routinely pull over and stop in cycle lanes (including mandatory cycle
    lanes), close to traffic signal junctions, on zig-zag markings, etc,
    without due regard for cyclists, whereas minicab drivers appear to be
    much more sensible about their choice of pick-up and set down points.

    Of course there is good and bad in both sorts of driver, and I have
    had bad experiences with both. But I do find taxi drivers, in general,
    Bertie Wooster, Jun 7, 2012
  17. Simon Mason

    Phil W Lee Guest

    The variation by licensing authority is greater than that between the
    two types of hire car.

    This is exploited by the hire car business, by basing and licensing
    cars (and drivers) in an "easy" authority, but advertising them over
    the border in the "tough" one.

    North Herts are fairly stringent, South Cambs far less so.
    I've heard NH operators discussing moving vehicles onto SC licenses
    when NH regards them as "past it".

    This does create difficulties for Cambridge City, as tightening up on
    PH simply results in them moving to the SC registry.

    It is still open to question as to whether an SC registered hire car
    can be out of area in CC, when SC completely surrounds the city.
    Phil W Lee, Jun 8, 2012
  18. Simon Mason

    jnugent Guest

    It is the function (in part, at least) of a taxi to stop in response to
    a street hail, or to set passengers down - on the kerb - where they wish
    to be set down (with certain obvious and few exceptions). One ought to
    expect it, just as one should expect buses to stop at bus-stops.
    jnugent, Jun 8, 2012
  19. Simon Mason

    jnugent Guest

    Perhaps one way of shedding light on this subject is to ask yourself a
    hypothetical question.

    If you were a doctor, or a barrister, and a notorious local member of
    the never-worked-in-his-life underclass were arrested for D&D and gave
    his occupation as either "doctor" or "barrister", and if that were
    reported uncritically and verbatim in the local paper (headline: "Local
    Doctor Arrested For Drunk & Disorderly"; strapline: "Court hears of
    string of previous offences including burglary"), would you be happy
    with that?

    If you were a licensed taxi-driver or proprietor, would you wish to
    associated with the proprietor of a non-taxi firm mentioned earlier in
    this thread, or to allow him to associate himself with you?
    jnugent, Jun 8, 2012
  20. Simon Mason

    Ace Guest

    Why should we care? Clearly the person slagging off taxi drivers'
    standards was not explicitly aiming at one group or the other, and as
    far as I could tell didn't belong to either group.

    Anyway, it was your oh-so-subtle way of pointing it out I was getting
    at - if you wanted to claim that one bunch of taxi drivers is better
    than another then why didn't you just say so.

    And yes, I use the term 'taxi driver' to refer to all types, given
    that the distinction you make is far from universal, and has more or
    less differentiating value in different towns and areas. In _general_
    I feel it's perfectly reasonable to bunch them all together, just as
    you might do with lorry drivers, without necessarily distinguishing
    between class 1 and 2 HGV licence holders.
    Ace, Jun 8, 2012
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