Category Archives: transport for london

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Will Young ‘Subjected To Homophobic Abuse’ By London Bus Driver

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Transport for London has apologised to Will Young after he was allegedly subjected to “homophobic abuse” by a bus driver. 

The Pop Idol winner claimed the driver called him a “poofter”, calling on Transport for London (TfL) and London Mayor Sadiq Khan to help find the man so “he doesn’t abuse others”.

The incident was reported to TfL ten minutes after it happened, but video footage of the exchange was not available, Young wrote on Twitter. 

“TfL [have] been great at reacting to my tweet,” he continued. 

“All I need is an apology – no witch hunt. To be called a poofter isn’t the nicest thing and it reminds me what a vile thing prejudicial language is to try and shame others.” 

The singer added: “I can take action, many young people can’t.” 

According to the BBC, the incident happened on December 12 while Young was driving his car in Fulham. 

TfL said it was investigating the incident, calling hate crime “completely unacceptable”. 

“We’re very sorry to hear of Will Young’s experience, and are looking into it urgently,” the network’s director of enforcement Steve Burton said. 

“Any form of hate crime is completely unacceptable and will not be tolerated.

“Everyone has the right to travel without fear of abuse or intimidation and if anyone witnesses or is victim to hate crime they should report it immediately.” 

He added: “We work closely with our police partners to eradicate hate crimes and fully investigate all reported incidents.” 

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Uber Drivers Forced To Work Exhausting Hours To Make Ends Meet Are A ‘Danger To Public Safety’, Claims GMB Union

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Uber is a danger to public safety because it forces drivers to work exhausting hours just to make ends meet, a union has told a court.

The GMB union has mounted legal efforts to become a participant in the taxi-hailing firm’s appeal against a decision not to renew its licence in London.

In September, Transport for London refused to renew Uber’s licence on the grounds of “public safety and security implications” in a shock ruling. 

During a hearing at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday, the union said the tech company forced drivers to work dangerously long shifts just to earn the living wage, the Press Association reported. 

Gerry Facenna, representing GMB, said it wanted to see a maximum hours cap introduced for drivers, along with a limit on how many drivers can operate in one area at the same time.

TfL has a number of concerns about Uber, including its approach to reporting serious criminal offences, how drivers’ medical certificates are obtained, how criminal record checks are carried out and its use of technology which allegedly helps it to evade law enforcement officials.

GMB claims it can provide evidence of further safety concerns.  

Facenna said: “From a public safety point of view, being driven around London by a driver who has worked a 15-hour shift is no better than being driven around by a driver who has not had background checks.

“We can submit evidence supporting these concerns, evidence from our Uber driver members.”

A full appeal hearing is expected to take place in either May or June next year, with a date yet to be set.

The app enables users to book cars using their smartphones and is available in more than 40 towns and cities across the UK.

Some 3.5 million passengers and 40,000 drivers use the service in London, according to Uber.

Concerns with Uber’s business model centre on the way it motivates drivers to work.

GMB said its workers are compelled to accept at least 80% of fare requests or face losing their account status.

Drivers are pitted against each other in small areas because Uber needs to provide a quick service, it is claimed. 

Facenna said the union had “large numbers” of drivers among its members, making it “well placed” to provide insight to appeal proceedings.

He told the court: “GMB is seriously concerned by the threat posed by Uber’s business model to public safety.”

This was because it “encourages drivers to work excessive hours”, he added.

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Uber Due In Court In Fight Over London Licence, Days After Sheffield Suspension Announced

Uber is due in court Monday to begin a fight to regain its licence to operate in London.

Lawyers for the ride-hailing app are due to appear for a preliminary hearing at Westminster Magistrates court to set out plans for a full case to be heard some time next year.

Speaking during Mayor’s Question Time last Thursday, Sadiq Khan warned that Uber’s appeal “could go on for a number of years”. Uber can continue to operate until the appeals process is complete. 

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The hearing comes after Sheffield City Council confirmed it had suspended Uber’s licence from December 18.

Uber last week expressed frustration over that decision, saying it had attempted to resolve an administrative matter concerning its licence before the council took action over it.  

The company had sought to change the name on “our licence as the named individual would soon be leaving the company”, something the council said it was unable to do.

Uber has submitted an application for a new Sheffield licence.  

The council suspended Uber’s licence after the licence holder failed to “respond to requests made by our licensing team, about the management of Uber”.

In September Uber lost its operating licence in London after Transport for London concluded it was not “fit” to operate in the capital.

Transport for London (TfL) announced its decision on Friday with a strong statement, saying: “TfL has concluded that Uber London Limited is not fit and proper to hold a private hire operator licence.”

Uber has not yet responded to a request for comment. 

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Transport For London To Slash Up To 1,400 Jobs ‘Due To Spending Cuts’, RMT Union Says

Up to 1,400 job losses are planned at Transport for London because of spending cuts, the RMT union has said.

The union said that the roles include engineering and jobs on the London Underground.

The union said that the figure emerged at a meeting between union leaders and TfL on Tuesday, with the RMT allegedly saying that spending will be cut by £5.5 billion by 2021.

More to follow.

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