A few weeks ago I was talking to my mate Dave aka cabbydavid on Twitter about yellow badge holders coming into town and taking our work and what I would do I said I would have two colour plates one green and one yellow, it would be pretty distinctive to say the least. I told him that all fleet owners would have two plates one green and one yellow. then Dave asked me what would I do if he being a green badge holder wanted to rent his cab to a yellow badge holder and I told it wouldn’t be a problem, the guy renting his cab would have to apply to the carriage office for a plate and he would keep it for as long as he needed it and it would be his responsibility to change it over when needed, obviously the owner would have to make sure the right plate was on before driving himself.
I’m writing this on a Thursday the 7th and it was the Tuesday the 5th that I picked up a copy of the badge, a trade paper run by one of our trades called the London cab drivers club ( LCDC) and I was pleased to see that they are already in talks with the Public carriage office (PCO) they say that the PCO have raised their concerns to them regarding the rise in the number of badges being issued to yellow badge holders and the work declining in their own sectors and maybe the temptation to work out of their sectors is just to much. the LCDC goes on to say that the talk around the trades watering holes is that many knowledge boys and girls are just doing the suburban tests and then coming straight into central London with a sat-nav.
The LCDC go on to say that along with the PCO we now feel it is time to deal with this very emotive issue and they feel that the only way to sort it out once and for all and that is for sector recognising colour discs displayed inside the front and back windows of all taxis, which will display what sector you have the right to ply in, it will also show your badge number. Of which i’m not to sure of. they also go on to say that we could have a green or yellow plate fitted on the back. Again the same idea I told Dave a couple of weeks ago. They say that if you own a fleet of taxis you would have to own two plates and put the appropiate colour plate on the back of the cab which matches the drivers badge colour and discs.
They say that this is not just about yellow badge suburban drivers working up town but also the fact that this act totally undermines the knowledge that we have undertaken in central London, which takes from 3-5 years to complete. The LCDC go on to say that they think that the surburban drivers who wish to tout in town or work outside of their sectors are the same as minicab touts, as they deceive the public into believing that they are getting a driver who has undertaken the all London knowledge and this is selling us all short. They say that if you wish to ply for hire in the capital then do the all London Green badge knowledge.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank Grant Davis and his team at the LCDC for dealing with this issue and wish them gods speed. Because it is long over due.
Be lucky, Steve.