We still have some confusion with drivers saying they do not
know how to book into the E14C, E14S and E140 ranks
- or do they mean if they use that excuse, then they can cheat
on other subscribers. It really is quite easy to understand. All
of the above are sub-zones of E14Ö
E14C is an active PHYSICAL RANK between the hours of
0600 and 2100Ö
E14S is an active PHYSICAL RANK between the hours
of 600 and 2100Ö
The ranks on the island become NON-PHYSICAL between the
hours of 2100 and 0600
when E140 comes into
play. To be booked into that rank, you have to be within the
security cordon of the island and not just in the E14
At 0200, E140 becomes E14C, but for these four
hours it is still NON-PHYSICAL, but again, you
must be between the two security cordons.
The reason for reverting to E14C for those four hours is because
that zone has 8 back-up zones attached, whereas E140 just has
Then at 0600 in the morning, you can put onto the rank of
your choice and rebook in. By doing this, every subscriber on
the rank will be in the correct position.
Once again I will try and clarify the
rules when booking into zone WW00. If you are within the airport
perimeter roads (these are the ones named North Perimeter Road
etc), or in the taxi feeder park, you may book into WW00. These
rules were brought in to enable us to get a taxi to the client
much quicker than when we just let you book in the feeder park
with a group number. If a short ride to Hatton Cross was fired
out, it would not suit someone who had done 3 hours in the
feeder park, but it would suit a driver who had just dropped at
one of the terminals and was heading back to town. Since these
rules were implemented, clients have got their taxis much
quicker and costs are kept down.
When we used the feeder park as a booking in point, we lost more
clients due to late pickups due mainly to drivers who carried on
talking or finishing their food before pulling out of the park.
They then expected the client to pay for the time they had been
waiting in the cab park!
Now if a driver gets a cancellation on a credit ride at Heathrow,
he is given the amount shown on the meter. So if you have spent
3 hours in the feeder park, you must think before you accept a
credit ride, if it is scrubbed you cannot claim for time you
have spent eating, drinking tea or reading the newspaper. The
fare to and from the airport is very good; an act of being
greedy can drive clients to get an alternative supplier.
Please letís not act as the taxi trade did over Welbeck minicabs
back in the sixties, believing that we were the only ones the
public would want and then just bury our heads in the sand.
Remember, when you bury your head in the sand your backside is
left sticking up in the air and you know what happens thenÖ!
Last month we still had many drivers who had not completed the
minimum amount of credit rides as stated in the official
rulebook. There could be many reasons for this lack of
participation - illness, holidays,
overhauls or just plain: "I couldnít care
less Ė Iíll pick up off the street!"
If street work should ever dry up, the first place these idiots who
fall into my last category will look, is for account work - the
work that the hard-working, honest subscribers of this Society
are doing their hardest to retain.
Over the weeks and months, I think Iíve heard every excuse in the
book for not completing the minimum amount of rides. A week in
overhaul, a two-week holiday, a week off with a cold or just bad
signals are some of the reasons.
But then subscribers who really want the Society to succeed have
had one of the above reasons for not working, but in the
following 10 days they have completed the 40 jobs! Some drivers
are completing 10 to 12 credit rides in a day; they are not
greedy - just hard working.
As you will see elsewhere in this magazine, at the last 2
complaints meetings the Committees have taken a serious view of
this threat to our existing clients. If subscribers over the
past 18 months have not completed 40 jobs in the majority of
these months, they have been expelled.
Nearly every one of those subscribers said that because they pay
their subs, they are supporting the Society. But thatís not the
case. They have over £2000 worth of Dial-a-Cab equipment sitting
in their taxi collecting dust, while other drivers are waiting
to get onto our circuit and cover work that they know is more
lucrative than street work.
None of the rules explained above are new; I have once again tried
to explain the correct procedure. This is because drivers are
trying to use ignorance to get off answering complaints.
When drivers sit on a Complaints committee, they are supplied
with a folder containing all the procedure rules, official
rulebook as registered with the Friendly Society and photocopies
of past Call Sign articles explaining the rules
and how you have to abide by them. If a driver fails to read
Call Sign magazine, that is down to them but we as a
Board of Management send it to their home to save them having to
go and collect it. One subscriber actually said to me that as
soon as the envelope arrives containing the magazine, he throws
it straight into the rubbish bin. Does this show you an insight
into this subscriberís commitment to the Society?
Once again over the past 2 months, I have been lucky to have
been able to acquire free tickets to many of the new and some of
the long-running shows in Londonís west end. I get many drivers
call me up and ask after the offer has finished, if I can get
them tickets? Usually the answer is no. Once a show gets a
foothold, then tickets are hard to come by. Most of the tickets
we get are promotional, which means they are nearly always at
the beginning of a run. So when you see the offers, get your
tickets straight away - do not put it off until a later date.
And a bit of controversy!
The Editor always likes me to
include something controversial
because it generates letters for his mailbag! Well this month
itís Camden Borough Council, the council run by do-gooders -
women who run around in Dilly
Dream glasses, hair designed by using a pudding basin, hairy
tweedy skirts and open leather sandals with unkempt toe nails!
And thatís just the good looking ones! The men have mangy old
beards incorporating a few field mice, tweedy jacket, corduroy
trousers and brogue shoes.
These gentle folk have installed these new traffic cameras to catch
you doing over 20mph -cameras that even produce a photo of the
driver. They say this will do away with speed humps - if you
want to believe that. I wonder which of Tony Blairís friends
companies installed the speed humps; you will most probably find
them in the
House of Lords with a Knighthood. We all know that these cameras
are not to keep down the speed, they are just to generate money
for the council to waste on people who should not be in the
Do you think these cameras are going to stop toe rags that have
stolen your pride and joy and are doing handbrake turns up Fleet
Road and Downshire Hill with no insurance or tax? If you believe
that, come in and join the real world.
The best way to stop these people is put the Metropolitan Police
Traffic Division back on the road in force. Get them to work
alongside the council, using their tow-away trucks and holding
compounds for a fee. If the traffic division stop a person with
no tax, MOT or insurance, then tow them away to a compound until
all the documents are correct. If this is not done within 14
days, then scrap the car or bike.
It could also be used for drivers using a mobile phone, something
that seems to be on the increase. Another one of Blairís,
keep-the-people-happy laws that just do not work. If the police
catch someone using a mobile phone while driving, then get the
police to issue a £100 fixed penalty ticket with an added £25
pound for a council wheel clamp.
The car will then be clamped until the full price is paid either by
credit card or cash; if this is not done within 24 hours then
the car is removed to a car pound and incurs storage charges.
You will only stop these criminal acts if you hit the drivers
were it hurts - take the car away and make them walk.
They also say by keeping car speeds down, you will stop children
getting knocked down.
Sorry, am I missing something? If a child gets knocked down, where
is the parental control? Do not put all the blame onto the
driver. When I was a child, if I went too near the road, I got a
clip around the ear and I did not do it again.
And before anyone says that I advocate parents hitting children, I
do not unless it is a harmless deterrent . Before any hairy
skirted do-gooder starts shouting, I know which is better - a
clip around the ear for the child or as when I was an ambulance
driver having to tell the parent that their only child was dead,
as I was retrieving their mutilated body out from under a
vehicle. It might give you something to ponder over.
To all those drivers who are off with an illness or have been over
the past 2 months, I wish you well and hope to see you out
working again soon.
DaC Complaints Officer