Author Archives: TauntonTaxis
Author Archives: TauntonTaxis
I thought this was worth reposting from The Taxi Shop website
November 24, 2015 3:18 pm
by Rob Breuilly, owner, The Taxi Shop.
I’ve been in the taxi trade 30 years and have seen a lot of changes. I am not naive about the impact Uber is having. We know Uber is a player in this market and we aren’t ignoring it. But that doesn’t mean we have to roll over and let it destroy a trade with a strong, proud tradition, standards, and which always has the customer at heart.
We want to protect our trade: the drivers who have good knowledge, who pay their subs every year and have invested in cars and minibuses while building up their business through hard graft and good service. Small businesses are the backbone of Britain and the taxi industry is made up of tens of thousands of hardworking people providing a good service to their communities.
When I meet the big taxi fleet owners and managers, they say they are desperate for drivers. But the councils take weeks and months to process the drivers applications. Yet with Uber any Tom, Dick or Harry can sign its Ts and Cs and they are out on the road. It’s not a level playing field.
Yes, Uber has a smart app and people like using the technology. But they don’t have a monopoly on using apps to create a better experience for customers. Uber may well be available in many cities. But people hate the surge pricing. They hate the anonymous drivers, desperate to get to the next fare.
Uber is sophisticated, it has used modern technology to great effect. But it leaves fares open to risk and poor service, as practically anyone with a driving licence can be an Uber driver without facing the same vetting, the police checks and safety measures the mature taxi trade does. Uber drivers simply don’t need to go through the same red tape that private hire drivers do. It’s not a level playing field and the end result is that customers have no protection.
Everyone in the trade, from suppliers like us, to the taxi firms and the drivers, we all need to raise our game and prove that you cannot beat good, old-fashioned service. Loyalty is everything. In our business we have customers returning year after year when they need new vehicles. They do this because they are loyal; and that loyalty is based on the excellent service we provide them. There is no loyalty with Uber. It is all about price at the expense of customer safety.
We get 10 calls a week people wanting Uber vehicles. We refuse. Uber is destroying the taxi trade. Yet some dealers are selling direct to Uber drivers. Drivers and taxi firm owners need to understand that these dealers — who’ve taken your money for years now — they are now selling to your biggest competition: Uber. Yes, they are selling to you AND to Uber drivers and rental companies supplying Uber drivers. They are stabbing you in the back. We cannot agree with this.
Is this the Ultimate Taxi? It makes mine seem boring 🙂 … but safe
The amount that
are paid for transporting hospital patients has been changed following a legal challenge from a taxi firm based in Glastonbury – and the man behind the challenge says there are more changes are on the way.
Somerset County Council met with it’s voluntary drivers in Somerton and Taunton to decide how they were going to pay
for the miles they cover in future.
The county council took legal advice after Chris Wickham from CJW Taxis challenged the legality of using
and the high mileage they can claim for both loaded and unloaded miles.
Mr Wickham said he had been petitioning Somerset since 2006, when he became concerned that volunteer drivers were really operating as unlicensed taxi drivers.
“They did not listen to me,” he said.
“They basically stuck two fingers up at me and the other taxi firms in the county, and now they have been caught with their pants down – and as far as I am concerned they are still not adhering to the law.”
He went on to say that in the last 10 years, councils have relied more and more on volunteer drivers.
He also says that Somerset has a number of volunteer drivers who drove more than six million miles between them last year alone.
He says this equates to volunteer drivers running an unlicensed taxi service.
However their cars do not have to undergo the vigorous testing that taxis do.
He said “I am not against volunteer drivers in any way, shape or form,”
but “I am furious that the council’s incompetence made volunteers vulnerable to action from the taxman.
“And the service itself could be putting passengers at risk, as the cars don’t have to go through the rigorous testing that taxis do.”
The council said its legal advice has confirmed it is acting lawfully, but that they would have to change the way they pay for the miles that are covered in the light of recent legal guidance.
Harvey Siggs, cabinet member for highways and transport, said: “We consulted with our legal advisors and it was confirmed our use of voluntary drivers is completely legal and all above board.
“We did receive advice that has led us to us change the way we reimburse our voluntary drivers for the miles that they cover.
“This will remove any ambiguity in the future.
“I want to be totally clear that our voluntary drivers are absolutely essential for thousands of elderly and vulnerable Somerset residents to travel to vital appointments and access services.”
There are arguments that say volunteer drivers cost Somerset County Council more than a taxi would in many cases as taxis are only paid for the miles that a passenger is onboard whereas a volunteer is paid for all the miles from the time they leave their home until they arrive back home again. Volunteer drivers must pay tax on any profit they make once deductions have been made for fuel, wear and tear and maintenance.
I have heard firsthand of volunteer drivers being sent 20 or 30 miles on occasion to pick up a passenger that only traveled from one side of Taunton to the other. Many taxis are working for less than the volunteers get paid because they are only paid loaded miles.
In fact some taxi drivers have become volunteer drivers because they earn more that way.
On 22 July 2009 the French Government has adopted a new law in an attempt to tackle the problem of binge drinking among youths.
The new law bans the sale of alcohol to under 18s anywhere in France.
Before the law there was a grey area surrounding sales of alcoholic drinks to teenagers aged 16 to 18, with different rules depending on the kind of alcohol and whether the sales point was a bar, a club or a supermarket.
The new bill also bans promotions known as “open bar” which allow customers to drink as much as they want to for a fixed price.
”These are a classic at student parties and encourage binge drinking,” the French Health Minister, Ms Bachelot said.
Drinking alcohol in public places close to schools is also forbidden.
Another measure introduced by the law is a ban on sales of alcohol in petrol stations. Such a ban existed before only from 10 pm to 6 am.
This new rule should help curb drunk driving.
Regrettably the law now allows alcohol advertising on the internet, with the only exception of those websites that are mainly aimed at young people and those owned by sport organisations. Internet advertisements will have to fulfil the same requirements that apply to those in the written press and billboards under the loi Evin.
The number of under-25s hospitalized because of excessive drunkenness had doubled between 2004 and 2007.
* The Loi Evin prohibited Alcohol Sponsorship and also banned alcohol advertising on TV and cinemas as well as on youth magazines.
One of the ways you can stay on the right side of the French law is by carrying on of these kits by Alco Sense:Get Your Alco Sense Here!
Articles in the press: