back to article NOT APPY: Black cab drivers enraged by Hailo as taxi tech wars rage on

The London-based taxi app Hailo, which formerly worked only with black licensed cabs, has found itself at the eye of the storm after black cabbies launched a series of attacks against its vehicles and premises following its move to work with private hire minicabs. Hailo's vehicle office in Bermondsey was at the centre of an …

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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Showing their true colours

    Just goes to show what London Taxi Cab drivers are really like - a bunch of thugs who are prepared to resort to vandalism and violence to try to protect their monopoly - rather than trying to adapt and change and show the true benefits of using a registered black cab.

    I would much prefer to use a verified driver from something like Uber than one of these morons - maybe next time they won't like the fact you don't agree with their 'Daily Mail' point of view and they'll take you down the nearest hangout while their matse dish out some treatment.

    A bunch of dinosaurs.

    1. Anonymous Coward 101

      Re: Showing their true colours

      "Just goes to show what London Taxi Cab drivers are really like - a bunch of thugs who are prepared to resort to vandalism and violence to try to protect their monopoly"

      It's very well moaning about it, but it's a successful strategy.

    2. Guus Leeuw

      Re: Showing their true colours

      Excuse me, kind sir, but what violence did they resort to?

      The tense stand off violence?

      The no violence that the spokes person mentioned?

      Or the unbased violence that this joke of a reporter mentioned?

      Pick one, please!

      1. JDX Gold badge

        Re: Excuse me, kind sir, but what violence did they resort to?

        Turning up and a mob and screaming in your face and doing damage to your presence may not be the same as kneecapping but vandalism is violent and the rest is a clear threat of violence. If they refused to leave the business premises that is also violence of a sort.

        At least, the police thought so or they wouldn't have bothered coming out.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Showing their true colours

        "Excuse me, kind sir, but what violence did they resort to?"

        From the BBC news report

        "Steve McNamara, head of the London Taxi Drivers' Association said that 'feelings were running high'.

        Of the incident at the Hailo office he said: 'Things turned a little bit nasty, punches were thrown and the police were called.'"

        Things turning nasty, punches being thrown = violence in my opinion. Coming in to a premises and shouting, threatening, vandalising the place and intimidating other taxis who happen to have the Hailo logo = violence.

        "And you're just a tool, shouting "dinosaur" at everyone you don't agree with."

        Shouting? There were no strings of capital letters in that post. Shouting dinosaur at everyone? Where was there a single calling of 'dinosaur' at everyone, it was just this bunch? Someone is expressed as being a 'dinosaur' when they are stuck in the past, not moving and embracing change and the future. These bunch pretty much fit that description, whilst rather than just showing and voicing their disapproval - perfectly fine, they resort to vandalism, violence and intimidation.

        As for 'tool', I've not heard that damning insult for a good decade or more ...

    3. Johan Bastiaansen

      Re: Showing their true colours

      An "Uber verified driver"? What does that mean?

      Transporting people is a profession. The authorities have rules, some on safety, others on responsibility in case of an accident. Perhaps you don't agree with these rules, that's your right in a democracy. You can try to overturn these rules, but until you do, you are legally bound to follow them.

      An "Uber verified driver" is just a guy with a car and some free time, looking to make some extra cash, isn't he?

      And you're just a tool, shouting "dinosaur" at everyone you don't agree with.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Showing their true colours

      Intimidation. Works for the MAFIAA/RIAA.

      And they've even got the police working for them:

      http://torrentfreak.com/uk-prime-minister-asked-for-permanent-police-anti-piracy-unit-funding-140414/

      The dinosaurs may not be going quietly but they will eventually be extinct.

    5. Uffish

      Re: Showing their true colours

      Thugs ? - you don't know what thugs are. This is democracy.

  2. ukgnome

    sworn enemies

    I always though the mass transit systems were the sworn enemies of all taxi drivers.

    After all it's hard to tell if the driver of a tube or bus is, how to phrase it, a UKIP voter...

    1. Ommerson

      Re: sworn enemies

      Also: pedestrians and - particularly - cyclists. Or indeed anything else that gets between them and their next fare.

  3. xj25vm

    Monopoly

    Another monopoly which has lasted under various pretexts for far, far too long. Detailed knowledge of the London road layout? I'm not a big fan of GPS navigation myself, but even my nose can detect the 19th century aroma right there. C'mon, it is getting beyond ridiculous. Years worth of training? Really? I can't say I've ever been able to detect it in the manner they drive or in how they treat their customers.

    1. ld0614

      Re: Monopoly

      Having some local knowledge is essential, the number of times I have turned up in an unknown city with simply an address and been asked for detailed instructions by the taxi driver far outweighs the times they've done it correctly. I've even had to get my phone out, bring up Google maps and then had that to the driver because he couldn't even use his phone well enough to do the same thing. I was also charged for the time it took to get lost.

      1. oddie

        Re: Monopoly

        "...I was also charged for the time it took to get lost."

        Then you must have been in a hackney surely? Privates only charge for distance, at least in my neck of the woods. lesson: don't ride in hackneys.

        1. Guus Leeuw

          Re: Monopoly

          While the poster got charged for the time it took to get lost, you, dear oddie, mention the fact privates only charge for distance. hmm... So while you're on route to somewhere and you get lost going there, does that not imply some form of detour? Surely the taxi meter in the private hires is running off the odometer in the car, or based on GPS, so there must be some sort of pay for getting lost based on mileage. Or? Not?

          Hmm... interesting point of view... Even you got upvotes... :D

          1. M Gale

            Re: Monopoly

            Or? Not?

            Actually not. You phone up, tell them where you are and where you're going, and ask for the cost.

            The price you are quoted will be the price you are charged, regardless of how many times the driver gets lost or what the numbers on the meter say. At least, that's been the case with every private hire I've been in.

            Of course, if you ask mid-trip for a ten minute wait at a shop or to nip around to a friend's house en route, then all bets are off.

          2. oddie

            Re: Monopoly

            I've upvoted you as I think your reply to my reply makes things a bit clearer :)

            1. I interpreted the post I responded to as a troll trying to make the point that he/she had a experience with a private hire, where they got lost and had to stop and look at a map to find out where they were/where they were going.. and that they got charged for this extra time of sitting still and looking at maps (at which point I thought; troll.. with a private that wouldn't happen, just with a hackney.. someone is obviously trying to create arguements out of thin air).

            2. You pointed out that he might have meant that he got charged for the time/distance it took to get lost in the first place. which is a fair point and could be what the original poster meant, in which case my comment is wrong as it assumed a different opinion/fact.. and the poster might not have been trolling, just upset that someone didn't know where they were going and that they charged them for the longer ride due to getting lost.

        2. Uffish

          Re: Monopoly

          Ever been outside London? Try Paris. Highly regulated, very expensive and bring your own map if you want to mitigate the ignorance of the driver. Same in a lot of countries in my experience. Nothing against the taxi drivers themselves, but they didn't have the knowledge. London black cabs, in my experience, are places to relax in while you go quickly* to the address you gave.

          *quickly for London.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Monopoly

            Most black cabs I get in don't know where my street is until I tell them a main road near it.

            Mini cabs are same (and I live in the city)

            BTW, have you not noticed most black cabs have their phone stuck on the windscreen and spend the first few minutes putting your destination in?

            try getting a black cab home from Dalston on a sunday morning, they don't patrol outside central London after 9pm, no money in it, mini cabs will come when you call

            Dial a cab.....as a disabled carer have you ever tried it? they get extra if they pick you up after you've waited 30 mins (classed as missed pickup) so will never come when you ask for it, happened several times trying to get home from Archway on a Saturday afternoon

            Last week I went from Whitechapel road to Wood St in a black taxi and he was txting someone most of the way whilst driving

      2. Voland's right hand Silver badge

        Re: Monopoly

        Well it is either the charge for the time to get lost or the charge for the scenic route.

        The last 5 times I have taken a black cab from LHR it has taken "the scenic route" every time, all the time.

        So I do not take them any more. Ever.

        Phone, call a private hire, fixed rate from A to B, straight from A to B.

        Done.

    2. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

      Re: Monopoly

      Years worth of training? Really? I can't say I've ever been able to detect it in the manner they drive or in how they treat their customers.

      Compared to Parisian taxis, London black cab drivers are practically saints.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Monopoly

        > Compared to Parisian taxis, London black cab drivers are practically saints.

        And compared to Brussels, the ones in Paris are fucking apostles.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Monopoly

          and, people, don't even try to compare those to the taxi drivers of Beirut and Baghdad. And Moscow.

    3. Velv
      Boffin

      Re: Monopoly

      Totally agree it's time to change and move with technology.

      And while not trying to defend the status of Cabbies and The Knowledge, The Knowledge is extremely large, being some 25,000 streets and 4,000 short routes joining waypoints, that each Cabbie (in theory) needs to memorise.

      But it is all just knowledge. Data and logic. Something technology is particularly adept at handling.

      So perhaps the London Taxi license needs to change - protect the Cabbies right to pick up fares on the street, and require both Cabbie and Private Hire to have a "London SatNav" with the logic built in. (Consider this my patent application)

      1. David Cantrell

        Re: Monopoly

        There's no satnav system available that can cope with temporary road closures. A cabbie who keeps up to date with TfL's published closures and who knows all the roads intimately can just route around the problems.

        Also, a "London Satnav" would be just another way of increasing the cost - just like the special London taxis are.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    GPS is shite ....

    Because I can, I stick my Nokias GPS "here" drive app on, most journeys.

    It invariably chooses the "wrong" route. Yes, it may have calculated it as "quickest", but on the odd occasion I choose to follow it, I find it takes me the most obscure way possible, and has no knowledge of speed bumps, nasty right turns, or junctions where it's better to approach from a different direction to avoid right turns.

    If a taxi driver is following that, rather than knowing the proper route, it's *not* a substitute for the knowledge.

    1. TopOnePercent

      Re: GPS is shite ....

      GPS is shite ....

      Because I can, I stick my Nokias GPS "here" drive app on, most journeys.

      It invariably chooses the "wrong" route. Yes, it may have calculated it as "quickest", but on the odd occasion I choose to follow it, I find it takes me the most obscure way possible, and has no knowledge of speed bumps, nasty right turns, or junctions where it's better to approach from a different direction to avoid right turns.

      If a taxi driver is following that, rather than knowing the proper route, it's *not* a substitute for the knowledge.

      Fine. If enough people agree with you they have nothing to worry about as Hailo / Uber et al won't be sufficient competition.

      However, on the off chance most or even some people are willing to live with GPS guided cabs (who incidentally will learn the best routes the same way black cabs do - by driving them a lot) then why should some archaic monopoly be preserved to the financial cost of everyone else?

      Black cab drivers have been having a laugh for 20 years. Technology has largely made them obsolete, and with the advent of Google JohnnyCabs when they hit the road, totally obsolete. Industries come and industries go, being Luddite about it didn't help Ned.

      1. Conor Turton

        Re: GPS is shite ....

        Technology has largely made them obsolete

        Really it hasn't. I've been a truck driver for 20 years. You and I could both do a 200 mile run to somewhere, me in my truck and you following your Satnav and I'd arrive before you despite you having a 15MPH speed advantage because quite simply despite all the IQ routing and all that rubbish, it doesn't beat years of experience of the characteristics of the road network.

        I've been using Satnav for over a decade, first using Tomtom on a Nokia N70, and it is far from anywhere near capable of finding the truly quickest route given the time of day and day of week.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Go

          Re: GPS is shite ....

          "I've been using Satnav for over a decade, first using Tomtom on a Nokia N70, and it is far from anywhere near capable of finding the truly quickest route given the time of day and day of week."

          Make a test with Sygic and let us know how it went :-)

          1. Captain Queeg

            Re: GPS is shite ....

            You're dead right, GPS lacks local knowledge and experience. But...

            What GPS does do is give a consistent arrival time, maybe not quickest or easiest, but consistent.

            I guess it's the McDonalds model, the food will be bland and you can easily do better if you know the local area but a Big Mac will take your hunger away and the loos will be guaranteed to be clean...

            Also, FWIW, for medical reasons, I've started regularly using black cabs over the last 6 months and I've found the drivers generally OK. On the other hand, perhaps I'm just as bigoted as them? :-)

        2. Velv
          Boffin

          Re: GPS is shite ....

          @Conor Turton

          Depends on what you consider the true purpose of the "Satnav". Is it to pick the "shortest" or "quickest" route to a destination, or do you consider its purpose is simply to get you to the destination using a reasonable route.

          You've proven your own point - your 20 years of knowledge of routes will always beat someone with no knowledge no matter what map or tech you give them (for now). But we're not far from every vehicle constantly feeding its position and destination to a central control point that can then route vehicles across the available network. Works for planes today (well, mostly), so it is only a matter of time.

        3. Scroticus Canis
          Unhappy

          Re: @ Conor Turton - "quickest route given the time of day and day of week"

          I agree with you but since when did the time of day or day of week enter the equation? I've found them to be crap all the time.

          In Greater London traffic moving at 10 MPH on five lanes will always beat traffic directed down side streets and back doubles waiting at innumerable junctions.

          While in the countryside the pot holed one lane farm tracks GPS favours over major routes are blocked by women in Range Rovers stopping for a chat or flocks of sheep.

        4. JDX Gold badge

          Re: GPS is shite ....

          I really don't see the need for anyone to defend GPS as being as good as any human driver. That isn't the point. GPS exists to get you from A to B with confidence, not to send you through secret short-cuts which only work between 6.30am and 8.30am on weekdays.

          Specialist knowledge is often cheaper NOT automated but left in the hands of squishies.

        5. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: GPS is shite ....

          There is no way on this earth that you would get somewhere quicker on a 200 mile run in a truck, (unless it had a shortcut over a ford that you couldn't get through in a car, that knocked of 60 miles). The car would have about an hour's advantage over that distance to make the odd longer section.

          You're dreaming if you think it can. I used to drive about 70,000 miles a year all over the country and knew some great routes but still it would only mean, at best, a 15 or 20 minute advantage.

          A GPS with real time traffic - like Google Maps is so accurate for journey times and congestion that it can wipe the floor with a human navigator in certain circumstances, as a human normally has to wait for a trafffic update on the radio to know that the A9899 is jammed up due to an overturned rubber band truck. Google maps can tell you in about 30 seconds on popular routes.

          It will soon be possible for it to predict congestion on a route before it happens based on historical data, including knowing about school and bank holidays.

        6. TopOnePercent

          Re: GPS is shite ....

          I've been a truck driver for 20 years.

          A little less than I've been driving a car for, but I do see the value in that experience.

          You and I could both do a 200 mile run to somewhere, me in my truck and you following your Satnav and I'd arrive before you despite you having a 15MPH speed advantage because quite simply despite all the IQ routing and all that rubbish, it doesn't beat years of experience of the characteristics of the road network.

          Over 200 miles? No, sorry, you've got that very wrong. A 200 mile journey will involve about 150 miles of trunk roads, meaning I'll already be about 30 minutes ahead of you before any local knowledge comes to the fore. And you're assuming you don't get stuck behind a caravan, slower truck, or other dawdler that I could overtake which could increase our speed differential substantially.

          You've also fallen into the trap of assuming that my 20+ years knowledge would be wholly disregarded and I'd only follow the SatNav. Why would I do that when I know the roads well enough to know many of the same short cuts you know, but also can better access many in a car that aren't suitable for your truck.

          I've been using Satnav for over a decade, first using Tomtom on a Nokia N70, and it is far from anywhere near capable of finding the truly quickest route given the time of day and day of week.

          I agree, but that isn't its real purpose. Lets say I want to get from The Gherkin in the City to nappy valley in Clapham. I know the roads very well and would select a route as quick or quicker than the black cab (I used to live there which trumps the odd fare in that direction every few weeks) and definately faster than GPS. The Nav I only need if I'm going somewhere I don't know well or haven't been before. And that won't be the whole journey - I can drive as far as my knowledge takes me before falling back on the SatNav.

          Nobody here is proposing black cabs be banned from the road. You'll still be able to pay over the odds for them if you wish. All anyone is asking for is the rest of us have free choice to use something else other than the monopoly.

          "The Knowledge" doesn't substantially cut journey times over a little experience and a Sat Nav. Many minicab drivers have as much experience as black cab drivers and a similar understanding of the road layout. It just doesn't justify the fare premium, and the cabbies know it, which is why they're creating a fuss about it.

      2. Uffish

        Re: GPS is shite ....

        GPS, at the moment, is shite for an inner city real time navigation system. There is nothing stopping someone putting together an almost perfect satnav+ system except cost and the likelihood that not enough people would subscribe to make is viable.

        Problem is that it wouldn't take much more competition to drive black cabs off the road. Then you would have the worst of all situations, no decent taxi navigation infrastructure and no decent human based taxi navigation system.

        That is what Paris has at the moment (it's my closest example). Can you live with it - of course, but the much denser Metro/Underground system helps a lot. There is obviuosly a 21st century technological solution for taxis but it isn't here yet and pushing for a more is better solution is a delusion.

    2. phil dude
      Coat

      Re: GPS is shite ....

      works for me HERE in the US...

      P.

      1. Someone Else Silver badge
        Coat

        @ phil dude -- Re: GPS is shite ....

        Could be because the roads in the US actually go somewhere...

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: GPS is shite ....

      "Because I can, I stick my Nokias GPS "here" drive app on, most journeys. It invariably chooses the "wrong" route. "

      Your problem there is using a shit GPS, get an up to date Tom Tom (other proper GPS systems are available) and it will calculate the quickest route through London without issue or taking you on a magical mystery tour.

      Much better than sitting in the back of a stinking cab with a racist biggot up front telling you why you are wrong for having a "foreign" girlfriend.

      They should all be banned from driving, in my opinion they are dangerous, short sighted bigots and paint a poor image of our country if they are what tourists have to put up with.

      1. Kristian Walsh

        @AC Re: GPS is shite ....

        Couple of points:

        First, It's not the brand of GPS that's a problem; TomTom is as good/bad as Nokia. The reason the route is "wrong" is because it's based on partial knowledge. There are plenty of very good shortcuts in central London, but you've got to know WHEN they're shorter than taking the "long" way... (and that comes down to things like knowing what time of day/night the local hotels and get their laundry deliveried).

        Second, you can file a report against a cab driver if you think he's abusive, and the Public Carriage Office are only delighted to hear about bad drivers. Full contact details on this page http://www.londonblacktaxis.net/complaints.htm (The driver's licence is on the back of the car)

        My small experience with black cab drivers is that there's about 30% of them who are grumpy (fine, they're there to drive, not entertain), about 5% who have opinions I disagree with strongly and the remaining 65% who are courteous and efficient. Considering they spend their working life driving in the hellhole that is London traffic, it's amazing that there are any reasonable ones at all...

        1. JC_

          Re: @AC GPS is shite ....

          "Considering they spend their working life driving in the hellhole that is London traffic"

          Taxis are the hellish traffic in London.

          I'm a (saintly) cyclist in London and my defining encounter with a taxi driver was when one deliberately tried to left-hook me. More mini-cabs also means cleaner air, since they're not bound by the ridiculous turning circle regulation.

          There are 60,000 or so mini-cabs in London and 12,000 Hackney-cabs, so despite having the advantages of roadside pickup and use of bus-lanes the black cabs are already the unfavoured choice.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: GPS is shite ....

        ""Because I can, I stick my Nokias GPS "here" drive app on, most journeys. It invariably chooses the "wrong" route. ""

        Then YOU are doing something wrong or your software is screwed. The HERE navigation on my Nokia phone is excellent - and the maps and navigation are far superior to say Tom Tom or Google Maps.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Devil

      Re: GPS is shite ....

      "Because I can, I stick my Nokias GPS "here" drive app on, most journeys. It invariably chooses the "wrong" route."

      You can't badmouth Nokia HERE here...the software now runs on windows phone and its "perfect"...:-P

    5. Don Jefe

      Re: GPS is shite ....

      If you're navigating with a GPS, you're doing it wrong. If, however, you are using a navigation system with a GPS component then you're talking something different. If it's the latter then you may just need to buy a dedicated navigation system if you're not satisfied with the performance of the satnav in the $200 telephone/camera/video recorder/Internet browser/email client/text client/calculator/word processor/Satnav in your pocket.

      All the features of every smartphone are somewhat marginalized in an effort to deliver a broad range of decent functionality at an affordable price. You can look into the satnav performance of other smartphones to find the one that performs the best according to your criteria, but your unique situation or environment may simply require a more specialized piece of kit.

      If it makes you feel any better, our $12k per unit Trimble devices require you to wear a hat with a fucking antenna out the top all carried in a stupid looking backpack for good performance in extremely dense urban environments, under tree cover or severely shitty weather. At least your Nokia doesn't make you look like a complete ass. It could be a lot worse.

  5. I Am Spartacus
    Pint

    Thanks for the hint

    Just signed up with Hailo and Uber.

    Will report back when I have used them!

    1. Ralph B

      Re: Thanks for the hint

      Where I am in Europe, Uber doesn't seem to be any cheaper than a normal taxi for a couple of test routes I tried. Since I hear the Uber drivers are effectively uninsured (they are using private rather than commercial insurance) I wonder where the savings are going ... ?

      [Does some googling]

      OK, so Uber drivers might indeed have proper insurance.

      But they're still not cheaper than a normal taxi, so why would I want to use them?

  6. frank ly

    Did this crowd ......

    ... have torches and pitchforks, or were they brandishing buggy whips?

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge
      Coat

      Re: Did this crowd ......

      or were they brandishing buggy whips?

      No. The whips are on service pack 1. They work perfectly now...

  7. phil dude
    Pint

    used lyft...

    Was visiting a friend in San Fran and we used lyft a number of times. Pink moustaches not withstanding, they definitely put the average taxi cab to shame. If only because of the convenience of standing on a spot and knowing instantly (within 60 secs) what car will approach.

    One thing I did *not* get a sense of , was how much it costs. If it is within 20% of taxicabs, they are history...

    P.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Cabbies keep telling everyone they are faster, better value, safer etc. If that's the case, why are they worried about mini-cabs? If the service they provide is so great, people will use it. Unless of course, they are a 'closed shop' who dont want other people getting in on their racket....

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I've tried to use a black cab a few times, every time they've told me they don't accept debit cards and I've just got the tube or walked instead.

    I assume it's because they don't like paying tax, can't imagine any other reason.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      > I assume it's because they don't like paying tax, can't imagine any other reason.

      Then you don’t have much of an imagination.

      Perhaps the cabbies don't wish to carry all the paraphernalia associated with performing a live debit card transaction from a vehicle. The equipment isn't cheap and they would also have to pay a cut of the fare to the debit card company.

      Oh, and that meter thingy they have in the cab - it permanently records how much they have received in fares, how many times they have been hired, how far they have travelled etc - just in case the tax-man wants to know. See paragraph 25 of The Measuring Instruments (Taximeters) Regulations 2006.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        well, as the meter records all journeys etc in case that nice Mr HMRC wants to see records, you'd think they would be in favour of having meters in all hired carriages - LTDA or private hire - to get a level playing field.

        "Perhaps the cabbies don't wish to carry all the paraphernalia associated with performing a live debit card transaction from a vehicle." Perhaps they should be free to make that decision - oh look, they are - and perhaps others who do want to offer a service should be free to do so without antediluvian attitudes being given any serious consideration.

        "They started with the promise of bringing more work to the trade, but now they've gone and signed up our sworn enemies, the private hires," is far closer to the cab drivers I've used recently - 'sworn enemies' being a reasoned and respectful way to address those who are indulging in legal, fair, fare competition. It deserves a similarly measured and reasonable response: suspend all driving licences from LTDA members until the culprits are handed over - that would be the typical "round up the immigrants" response of many a black-cab driver, so let's do it to them.

        As for the previous comment about complaints about London black cab drivers being taken seriously, I'm afraid you are too early for Edinburgh.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Are you the original AC? If so you have gone from having no imagination to imagining I've made comments I simply haven't made.

          > well, as the meter records all journeys etc in case that nice Mr HMRC wants to see records, you'd think they would be in favour of having meters in all hired carriages - LTDA or private hire - to get a level playing field.

          I've made no comment as to whether all cabs should or should not have meters. I have merely pointed out that the meter records all journeys so taking cash rather than using a debit card does not evade tax.

          > Perhaps they should be free to make that decision - oh look, they are - and perhaps others who do want to offer a service should be free to do so without antediluvian attitudes being given any serious consideration.

          I never claimed they are not free to make that decision. I simply pointed out a reason, other than tax evasion, as to why they would not want to accept debit cards. Something your lack of imagination was unable to do.

          > "They started with the promise of brining ... [rest of unrelated rabid rant deleted]

          WTF does that have to do with this particular comment thread? You need to go back on your medication - your delusions are showing.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            @Condiment

            "re: Are you the original AC?"

            Unlikely. But feel free to claim things that aren't true based on guesswork.

            You really don't understand the AC system do you? One of the main points of it is to force people to focus on the message - rather than hurl personal insults at the messenger, usually the last (but often first) resort of those who have lost the argument, otherwise known as the Daily Fail method.

      2. Guus Leeuw

        "Perhaps the cabbies don't wish to carry all the paraphernalia" - the mobile phone, you mean?

        Have you been in a cab lately at all, or are you just making assumptions?

        hailo, taxi app, uber, they all have (on the driver function side) a debit card payment system. All of them. Any cab driver can use them at free will...

        1. Ommerson

          There is an alternative explanation that perhaps the cabbies don't want all of their payments going through (traceable) electronic channels?

          When fares are cash, it's pretty hard to prove one way or another that a driver is evading tax.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            > When fares are cash, it's pretty hard to prove one way or another that a driver is evading tax.

            Every meter records the total distance travelled by the taxi, The total distance travelled when hired, the total number of hirings, total money charged as fair and total money charged as supplement. All of this data is available to the tax man which makes it pretty easy to prove when a driver is evading tax.

            1. This post has been deleted by its author

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              "Every meter records the total distance travelled by the taxi, The total distance travelled when hired, the total number of hirings, total money charged as fair and total money charged as supplement."

              Where does the meter record their tips - that they angrily expect after every journey? Bit hard for the tax man to see those?

              But I'm sure the black cab driver diligently records those separately and pays his fair share come March 31st.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                > Where does the meter record their tips - that they angrily expect after every journey? Bit hard for the tax man to see those?

                Yet the tax man still manages it. The tax man assumes a set percentage of every fare is given in tips.

            3. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Cabbies get enough perks that it really is not worth trying to duck recording their fares. For a start you can claim one hour of fuel for driving to and from work, effectively tax relief on your commute. Then there are no business rates, so despite earning your living off of London's road you make no specific payments to compensate the city for wear and tear on the roads, pollution etc.

              Once upon a time you might agree a cash fare when heading home to the suburbs, or claim a runner or two (passenger legs it at their destination) and pocket the cash. But it's very small beer compared with tradesmen ducking VAT etc.

      3. Frank Bough

        Re:

        Under UK law they are allowed to charge extra for CC transactions, and mobile data is hardly prohibitively priced these days. You can swipe a credit card on a smart phone for a few quid.

  10. jellypappa
    Pirate

    sounds like the same old shit that the motor dealers are dishing out in the US, against Tesla,

    " we dont want anyone else having a portion of our pie, we want it all"

  11. denzil
    Mushroom

    i stopped using black cabs years ago ,simply because a friend of mine was dating one and all we ever

    heard was about how much money he made and how little tax he paid .

    and lets face it , if i wanted to sit somewhere with a moronic ,racist , thieving sexist twats id would become a mp .

  12. Andrew Jones 2

    I can't wait for them to start their protest -

    they don't appear to have figured this out yet -

    the general public does not care about why people are protesting, they care about services being interrupted. If they all go through with this plan to cause major congestion - while not actually taking anyone anywhere - all that will happen is the general public will a) think they are like babies throwing their toys out of their prams and b) find an alternative method of transportation - and in this case - it is being extremely well publicised just what the alternative method of transportation is - and we aren't thick, if the cabbies are protesting it - it must be better than they are - or they wouldn't be so worried. So it will remain to be seen just how many new downloads occur to apps like Uber on this fateful June day.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Thing is, the hackneys have also declared that any member of "the enemy" is now fair game and will be subjects to hurling projectiles (eggs if you're lucky, stones if you're not). Then they'll use their connections to slip out of charges. IOW, they've identified the enemy and simultaneously declared war on it, meaning the alternate form of transport you mention is now "at your own risk." Kinda changes the picture, doesn't it?

      1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

        It's called the "french method". Beware.

  13. Jim Lewis

    Pot/Kettle?

    @ Anonymous.

    I'm pretty sure calling all black cab drivers bigots is a fairly bigotted position to take.

    But yes, they are dinosaurs. Maybe they should have joined forces with the:

    weavers, printers, steel workers, miners, etc etc.

    Technology destroys jobs after all...

    1. JDX Gold badge

      Re: Pot/Kettle?

      Technology is not (yet) removing the need for people to drive the taxis.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Pot/Kettle?

        Key word YET. You just watch. Johnnycabs coming soon.

    2. Steven Roper
      Trollface

      Re: Pot/Kettle?

      "I'm pretty sure calling all black cab drivers bigots is a fairly bigotted position to take."

      As soon as I saw words like "racist", "sexist" and "biggot"(sic) being used seriously in that AC's rants my first thought was, "Oh, it's one of those..." and moved on to the next post.

      There are many more interesting comments to read on El Reg without my wasting time poring over the inane dribblings of brainwashed hypocrites who probably majored only in gender studies and sociology, and whose politically-correct groupthink functions as a substitute for independent thought.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Rhyming Slang

    I was told that this bit of rhyming slang went :-

    Arse, rhymes with

    Bottle and glass, which becomes

    Bottle, which rhymes with

    Aristotle, who becomes

    'Arry Stottle, who becomes

    'Arry, who becomes

    Aitch

    Cor! Look at the aitch on that.

    Also on the question of taxis, I have heard it suggested that the word taxi comes from the name of the prince of Thurn & Taxis, who seemed to have got a monopoly of running the mail services in some parts of Central Europe and thus ran stagecoaches on which people could travel...

  15. Guus Leeuw

    Dear Sir,

    to be brutally frank, TfL could stop Hailo from associating itself / its app with private hires completely, and it would be fair to do so: The only type of car service that is hailable (is that a word? It is *now*) is in fact the black cab or the taxi as TfL calls them.

    I quote (http://www.tfl.gov.uk/cdn/static/cms/documents/large-print-taxi-and-private-hire-guide.pdf):

    "Taxis (black cabs) are the only vehicles that can be hailed on the street or at designated taxi ranks."

    "Private hire covers a wide range of services including minicabs, limousines, executive car services and chauffeur driven vehicles. All minicab and private hire journeys must be booked with a licensed private hire operator."

    Is hailo a licensed private hire operator? Then I'm afraid you can't use them to get a private hire... While hailo is getting bigger and badder, they should stop short of actually breaking the law / rules of their trade.

    I love hailo. They're grand, especially here in Dublin.

    Just my €tuppence. hehe

    Regards,

    Guus

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "TfL could stop Hailo from associating itself / its app with private hires completely, and it would be fair to do so: The only type of car service that is hailable (is that a word? It is *now*) is in fact the black cab or the taxi as TfL calls them.<snip>

      Is hailo a licensed private hire operator? Then I'm afraid you can't use them to get a private hire... While hailo is getting bigger and badder, they should stop short of actually breaking the law / rules of their trade."

      Uh... no. Hailo do not yet have a private hire licence, and private hire drivers cannot use the service yet. What's brought on the tantrum by the black cab drivers is Hailo's decision to apply for private hire licenced status. So assuming they do get their licence:

      To Hail in this context would mean to call out to a taxi, or attract its attention by visual means. Clearly not how Hailo works, despite the name.

      Booking on the other hand, means to accept a reservation from a passenger in advance of a journey, which is what you're doing when you use Hailo to book a private hire vehicle. In what way is that different from calling a number or filling in a web reservation form, and why do you believe it somehow breaks rules?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @Andre Fernie

        Re: definitions of "hail" and "booking".

        Stop letting facts gets in the way of the argument ;)

        The rule that is being boken is that they think they have a right to an income. They don't. They, like everyone else, only has the right to the opportunity to earn an income (regardless of whether they agree with this or whether they've bought lawmakers to act in their interests).

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: @Andre Fernie

          I apologise and will disable my logic chip, forthwith.

  16. Glostermeteor

    Black cabs are extortionate

    The cost of black cabs are absolutely extortionate, the more competition the better. If black cabs lowered their prices so that ordinary people could use them they wouldnt have to worry about private hire firms. Bring on the technology revolution!

    1. Nifty Silver badge

      Re: Black cabs are extortionate

      Actually this may what the London authorities subconsciously want. If cab prices were more affordable the number of vehicle miles in London would increase and the road speed drop from 7 to 4.5 mph.

  17. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
    Paris Hilton

    Harsh training on the misty mountaintops of Central England

    generally requiring several years' training to pass

    Do you actually get a black taxi belt at the end of that kind of ordeal?

  18. Chris G Silver badge

    Nice idea may go down the pan

    The Hailo trust was approached by three London cabbies with this idea:

    "Heather Wood, Chief Executive of Rainbow Trust added, “We’re delighted that Hailo has chosen to support Rainbow Trust in this brilliant initiative. £10,000 worth of taxi transport will make a huge difference to our families, as important hospital appointments can be stressful enough, without the added difficulty of taking public transport with a seriously ill child. We urge every London cab user to help support these families by making every taxi they get between 1 – 10 October a Hailo one.”

    These families need your help and it’s really simple to do your bit so please act today; if you have already downloaded the Hailo app simply hail more cabs and if not please:

    1) Download the Hailo app 2) Register your details 3) Insert the £2 off promotional code: RAINBOW

    Next time you need a cab use your Hailo app and get £2 off whilst helping Rainbow Trust. For further details on the Hailo app please visit www.hailocab.com/london

    It’s that simple, but it will make a huge difference to a family going through an already difficult time."

    I am guessing but with minicabs on board too the charity could have benefited more.

    Still, not taking kids to hospital is fair if it means black cabs can have the monopoly they want.

  19. DrTeeth

    I like 'em

    I like black cab drivers. Plus, at least they speak English.

  20. Grubby

    Putting the customer first

    Their reaction to an advancement which enables the industry to move forward, create competition and ultimately lead to a better quality and better priced service is to try to very publicly show their disapproval and act like thugs. Having lived in London, that's how business is done, if it's not over priced; run by miserable people who hate their job, life and everyone around them, then it's not going to work.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    rhyming slang

    Judas Priest - Artiste!

  22. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Coat

    "String 'em up, it's the only language they understand."

    Mine's the one with the black bomber jacket and a copy of Private Eye in the side pocket.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "We thought Hailo was going to help us"

    I am somewhat surprised that mature individuals running their own business got convinced that another business was going to help them. Isn't it it "every man for himself" and "fuck you old buddy, meet my new buddy" in this brave new, cool-kids-coding Britania? Nothing personal, mind you, "it's just business".

  24. fangster

    Several years ago, in my previous neck of the woods, the local paper had short bios of local council candidates. The 3 BNP candidates (I guess they would be UKIP now) were all described as "black cab drivers". They wrote into the paper next week to make it clear that they drove "black cabs" not that they were cab drivers who were black!

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