Old Merc goes to auction

Old Merc goes to auction

One of the oldest surviving Mercedes-Benz cars in the world, the 1905 Simplex 28/32 HPs Phaeton was auctioned by Coys at their True Greats sale on December 3rd.

This Mercedes is one of the oldest surviving examples of the marquee in the world today that is still complete and roadworthy.

For many years it was in the famous Mercedes-Benz collection of Mr. Arturo Keller in Napa, California, in the United States. Chris Routledge, Managing Partner of Coys, said: “It’s an amazing car that is nearly 110 years old it’s so big, magnificent and powerful.

It has the most imposing presence and is such an important piece of early motoring history. Many cars of this period were glorified motorised tricycles, but this represents the ultimate in Edwardian super-technology”.

Old Merc goes to auction

Driving records to go online

Insurance premiums for most motorists could fall as driving records go online. Moving all driving records online could reduce the cost of car insurance for most people, say ministers.

The migration, which will be complete by mid-2015, will end the need for the “paper counterpart” document drivers have to keep with their licence. At the moment, insurers cannot check licence or traffic offence details when they sell policies, meaning they have to “price in” a risk factor.

The Association of British Insurers says premiums are pushed up by the fact that firms have to take account of the risk that drivers either do not tell the truth about speeding points to get a lower quote, or simply make a mistake. Most drivers would struggle to find the official document we are meant to keep with our driving licence. But from the middle of 2015 we will not need to. All the information on it – such as speeding points and endorsements – will be available online.

A system due to be launched by the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) will allow insurers to access the information using an individual’s licence number. The paper counterpart to the driving licence photo card is due to be phased out by 2015 while it was announced in December that paper car tax discs would also be scrapped.

For more Taxi news articles please visit: http://taxicabnews.co.uk/latestissue.html

left toys given to Salvation Army

Toys left on London Transport network given to charities

Over 500 unclaimed children’s toys left on London’s transport network has been donated to charity.

A mountain of new, unclaimed children’s toys which were handed in to Transport for London’s Lost Property Office this year have been given to The Salvation Army to donate to children in south London so they get a gift this Christmas.

Exactly a month before Christmas, TfL gave over 500 lost toys to the Deptford branch of The Salvation Army, for their Christmas Present Appeal. The Salvation Army is to work with Lewisham Council to distribute the toys to those who will appreciate them most and may otherwise have gone without this Christmas. This is the seventh year TfL’s Lost Property Office has donated new unclaimed children’s toys to The Salvation Army. All the brand new toys donated were left on the transport network and went unclaimed for over three months, they have all been provided in their packaging and will bring joy to children of all ages as they range from dolls and play sets to board games and electronic gadgets. Paul Cowan, Operations Performance Manager of the Lost Property Office, said: “Although it is a shame that these toys were not reclaimed by the original owners, the thought that they will now bring smiles to the faces of many children who might otherwise have gone without is heartwarming. The fact that so many brand new toys have been handed in is also a testament to the honesty of the travelling public in London.

The team at the Lost Property Office work extremely hard throughout the year to deal with hundreds of thousands of items of lost property and it is great to see their efforts highlighted once again through this donation to such a worthy cause.” Captain Kevin Stanbury, of The Salvation Army’s Deptford Community Church, said: “This donation from Transport for London is invaluable in allowing us to provide toys to children and families who would otherwise go without this Christmas.

The Salvation Army work closely with local council outreach workers to ensure that the toys go to those who are most in need. As a Church and charity we look to be there for people when they need us, not just at Christmas but all year round, by offering compassionate support and practical help which we hope our toy appeals are one example of. We hope families and children who were facing a bleak Christmas can now feel the joy and happiness that the season should bring.” It is estimated that the Lost Property Office has received over 15 million items since it was established in 1933.

Last year, over 246,000 items of property were found on the TfL network, ranging from bags, books and clothing to mobile phones, laptops, wallets and cameras. Over the years, many extraordinary items have been handed in to the Lost Property Office including false teeth and limbs, wedding dresses, stuffed animals, an urn of ashes and even a parachute. Close to one quarter of items found on the network are restored to their owner. Higher value items and those with unique identification, such as mobile phones and wallets have a better success rate with up to half being returned. Items not claimed after three months have personal data removed and securely destroyed before either being donated to charities including The Salvation Army and the British Red Cross, recycled, disposed of, or sold at auction. Any revenue generated from unclaimed items contributes towards the cost of running the Lost Property Office.

left toys given to Salvation Army


Ponytail Gives away Unlicenced Driver

A Manchester man who had operated a hackney carriage without a licence or insurance has been ordered to pay more than £900 and received eight penalty points in Court on November 6. He was stopped back in May and when questioned gave a false name and produced a fake licence that did not look like him. The driver, Mr Ali had a full head of hair but claimed the picture of an older man with a bald head was his; he said he had been using hair regrowth products and underwent a transplant using horse hair. He was fined £50 for being an unlicensed hackney carriage driver, £80 for driving without insurance and £165 for taking the vehicle without consent, as well as being ordered to pay £589 in costs and a victim surcharge of £20. Checks found that Ali had previously held a Hackney carriage licence but had been refused a new application in April 2012.


Children’s Magical Taxi Tour 2014

A convoy of cabs left the East Wintergarden, Canary Wharf early on the morning of 12th September, destination Disneyland Paris. The 21st annual Children’s Magical Taxi Tour had begun – with lots of excited children (and cab drivers) gathering for the Big Breakfast Send Off.

This breakfast was attended by sponsors and dignitaries alongside the VIP guests – the children – with The Lord Mayor Locum Tenens of the City of London Alderman Sir David Howard cutting the ribbon at 07:40 sharp signalling the beginning of the trip.


Office workers at the venue were surprised at the sight which greeted them and stood to watch in amazement as the convoy set off, horns blaring to bid farewell, each cab with the sponsors names emblazoned on the side.

More than 400 people set off on this year’s trip, taking children with life limiting illnesses on such a magical journey. As well as the children, the Magical Taxi Tour was supported by medical teams, ambulances, breakdown services and carers. The trip, organised by The Worshipful Company of Hackney Carriage Drivers, was escorted by police officers from the City of London Police, UK and also fellow officers from over the channel, the Gendarmerie Nationale. The Big Breakfast Send Off saw the Royal British Legion Band from Romford entertain everybody and the charity is grateful for the support from the Marriot Hotel Canary Wharf for the provision of packed lunches, the London Taxi Company for the spending money for the children and Ampersand for the breakfast itself.
Each year the tour reaches another milestone; more than 4800 children have been on this trip over the course of its 21 year history. It is thanks to the generosity of sponsors and the taxi drivers who give their time freely that the trip has grown and gone from strength to strength, together with support of the Livery Companies and the corporate sector. Some of the taxi drivers have actually taken part in every single trip since the first one in 1994, an amazing commitment.


They are used to the cries of “Are we nearly there yet” that begin as the convoy lands in Calais following crossing the channel on a P&O ferry. The ferry trips are also donated kindly by P&O. The car deck full of London taxis is quite a surprising sight to fellow travellers, as is the hotel car park full of cabs over the weekend. This year the convoy enjoyed a lovely sunny day for the journey down to Disneyland and many were on the outside decks of the ferry.

A refuelling stop at the Aire De Repos Assevillers Ouest services saw quite a sight to greet the convoy. Giant characters were waving, a room had been set aside especially for the guests of the convoy where the children found snacks, sweets and drinks waiting for them. Face painters were also on hand and it was somewhat hard to persuade the children to get back to their cabs when it was time to leave as they were enjoying a good time. Then it was onwards to our final destination. Although we were a bit delayed by traffic queues, we arrived at the Disneyland resort in daylight, giving the children their first glimpse of the enchanted kingdom in the distance. As the taxis arrived at the Cheyenne hotel – cowboy themed and decorated – some of the Disney characters were waiting to greet the children and this was greeted by lots of happy faces. Having checked in to the hotel, dinner was in the Chuck Wagon. Drivers took the chance to relax and enjoy the evening before the visit to the theme park the next day. Bright and early on Saturday, everyone headed into the Park itself. With so many rides and things to experience in the park this is a fun packed day which this year was enjoyed in beautiful sunshine.


Behind the scenes, the team from the charity are always working to ensure the children have a great time. As the children and drivers enjoyed their time in the park, others were preparing packed lunches for the return journey, with sandwiches donated by M&S.


This fun packed day is followed by a Gala Dinner, which is also attended by the Disney characters who sign autographs and pose for photos with the children – truly magical. During the evening the party atmosphere continued with a disco. All too soon the evening was over and it was time for bed before the journey homewards. First thing on Sunday as drivers packed the cabs with their guests’ luggage, the police – both English and French – were showing the children their cars and motorbikes and the hotel car park became a very noisy place to be with sirens blaring and blue lights flashing. The convoy then departed for Calais. A quick refuel stop, then onto another P&O ferry for the return to the UK.


Fund raising in today’s economic climate is more difficult than it has been in the past and without the continuing support of the drivers, City Liveries and the Magical Taxi Tour sponsors this event could not carry on. New sponsors come on board each year as they learn more about the trip and how much pleasure it brings. Fund raising events are held, such as the Dinner Dance held each December and those involved in the charity this year have done some different things to raise funds, including the Three Peaks Challenge and some ice bucket challenges. The Disney Organising Committee is confident it will be able to carry on bringing smiles to the faces of the children and the supporting team who travel. The Committee is extremely grateful to everyone involved in making this year’s trip so successful; every bit of help and support counts in making this the trip of a lifetime for the children. Each year the preparation for the trip sees goodie bags filled, the cabs liveried with their sponsors names, meetings with P&O, lots of telephone calls, vehicles lent to the trip as support, food ordered, a briefing meeting, to name but a few. It is this preparation which results in a trip which looks seamless and shows the generosity of the cab trade, as with so many of our trade charities. Long may it continue.
Next year’s trip will take place on 18th September and fund raising has already begun…….

Sandie Goodwin



Hailo Pulls out of North America

Hailo Network Ltd. Have made the decision to pull out of North America citing intense competition from companies such as Uber Technologies Inc. Lyft Inc and Get Taxis Inc.
Uber have made significant gains in the worldwide app hailing technology market and have met significant resistance from Taxi Drivers and regulators.

In London Black Taxi drivers held several protests, they felt TFL were not regulating Uber correctly, as well as several other Licencing issues in London.

App Hailing technology has seen £1 billion in venture Capital invested intp this sector.
Hailo initially took a different approach working with traditional Taxi drivers in both London and New York but they recently opened up their services to Private Hire and this angered many of the London Black Taxi drivers, many of whom moved to Get Taxi.

Chief Executive Tom Barr said that they would concentrate on the expansion in Europe and Asia rather than compete with the astronomical marketing costs required to compete in North America.