Londoners, Brace For A Congestion Increase

London’s congestion charge is set to rise by at least 15% as the transport authority looks to raise revenues and maintain tariff’s deterrent effect on motorists.

The proposed changes would see the standard daily charge rise from £10 to £11.50, or from £9 to £10.50 for drivers who pay automatically. The increase is the first since 2011.

Transport for London said the changes would bring the congestion charge back in line with increased costs of other forms of transport in the capital over the last three years.

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The All New London Routemaster bus runs out of fuel on M1

The new prNew TfL bus in Londonototype London Routemaster bus ran out of fuel on a motorway, just days after being formally unveiled.

The New Bus for London had to pull over on Monday after warning lights came on.

The bus, which runs on a hybrid diesel-electric motor, was not refuelled before being driven from London to Millbrook Testing Ground, Bedfordshire.

Transport for London (TfL) said the bus recharged its battery using energy from its brakes, but on long journeys had to run on diesel.

The prototype bus was unveiled by London Mayor Boris Johnson on Friday and is undergoing testing in the capital.

It had been displayed in London over the weekend after the Trafalgar Square unveiling. More

Everyone Is Striking Over Pay, Weymouth Bus Drivers Are Too!

First Weymouth bus drivers claim they are the worst paid drivers in the region and have rejected a two-year pay deal.

Threats of strike action come after First Bus Group was announced as an official Games transport provider.

Final talks about pay will be held between unions and management on December 14.

The company said it is confident there will be no strike action and that talks would continue with the unions.

But one Weymouth driver, who didn’t wish to be named, said: “We are looking at industrial action and we’re thinking about striking during the Olympics if we don’t achieve this pay deal.

“There are about 100 drivers who are prepared to walk out.

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Bus Drivers: Hope this will cheer you up :-)

A PARKWOOD bus driver has been recognised for his driving skills at the Safe Driving Awards last week.

After 10 years behind the wheel, Peter Turner has not been involved in an accident or driving incident earning him, along with seven other drivers, a safe driving award.

Mr Turner said his current role allowed him to pass on safe driving skills to trainee drivers.

“I am now an on-road trainer, so I teach the new drivers,” he said.

“It is getting harder and harder to stay safe on the roads as it is getting busier, but drivers do have to remain vigilant.”

Veolia Transport managing director Terry Scott presented bus drivers Mr Turner, Gary Payne (Warnbro), Berin Karaselimovic (Spearwood), Garry Gesche (Mandurah), Thomas Mears (Madora Bay), Stephen Hickman (Mandurah), Geoff Elliss (Success) and Kevin Sutton (Kelmscott) awards for excellence for transporting local people safely on Southern Coast Transit buses on the Transperth network.

“Bus driving is a very important profession with operators facing road congestion, relentless road works and traffic conditions and Veolia operators take their roles very seriously, knowing they are the daily link to connect people with work, school and the community,” Mr Scott said.

I picked up this story the In My Community  website.

Taxi protest to gridlock London on Wednesday

Central London will be gridlocked this Wednesday if a planned drive-in demonstration of thousands of taxi drivers goes ahead, says the taxi union, United Cabbies Group.

Members of the UCG, which represents almost 2,000 licenced London taxi drivers, have agreed to stage a mass drive-in at Trafalgar Square from 4pm.

The union is demonstrating against Transport for London and the licencing body, Taxi and Private Hire (formerly the Public Carriage Office), for what it believes are unfair and unsafe rules governing private car hire licensing.

“We feel this action, as unanimously voted for by our members is necessary to stop Transport for London destroying the licensed London taxi trade and endangering the safety of the travelling public,” says the union on its website.

UCG spokesperson Jonathan Myers told LondonlovesBusiness.com he expected the protest to be “frighteningly big”, before adding, “If you block Trafalgar Square you block London”.

According to the union, TfL’s recent consultation into private hire and the subsequent Safer Travel at Night programme fails to adequately address the issue of sexual assaults committed in licensed and unlicensed minicabs.

The current system of licencing mini-cab drivers is insufficient says the union, who is calling for more stringent procedures to be put in place.

According to the UCG website, London saw a 54 per cent increase in sexual assaults last year, bringing the total number of assaults in the last three years to over 350.

TfL’s Safer Travel at Night programme is “grossly flawed” it says.

David Davis, who works closely with the union, told LondonlovesBusienss.com: “The bottom line is that they’re calling for a public inquiry into the improper and unlawful decision that TfL continue to make.

“It seems nobody is holding TfL and the mayor of London to account for their decisions.”

In September last year, the UCG organised a similar protest over the same issues in Aldwych and around 4,000 taxis drivers attended, says Myers.

This time the union plans to bring central London to a complete gridlock and is calling this demonstration the “Big One”.