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Did you ever wonder what makes us passionate?

The taxi industry were proud to be apart of


Previous Years

In 2017 we upgraded our computer system meaning that real-time  location was available the APP was then evolved and card payments were available over the phone in the vehicles and via the App taking our company to an upgraded level and exercising all options available to the technology we were able to evolve with. 

In 2017 we opened a sister company offering flat bed, curtain side and long wheel based van logistics company which now consists of five vehicles and has a very competent drivers with a large knowledge of highways and extensive knowledge of transporting goods all over the UK.

In 2019 we began the introduction into Bury St. Edmunds with day and weekend staff readily available to provide more transport at a quicker time of arrival within neighbouring areas of the county and providing wheelchair service to another area that has a high demand for such vehicles, with this we have also begun to integrate with other drivers and companies to provide more of a service and to offer the same level of standards we wish to deliver.


Utilising all areas of your workforce

20/11/2020

Ulez area has expanded

Came into effect 25/10/2020

An information update from the taxi world

Published 18th November 2020


Private Hire Taxi Monthly

16/10/2020

Find all the latest taxi updates at the click of a button.


Covid Amendments

Within our operating system you will now find when booking your journey you shall receive two messages from us one confirming your booking and the other reminding everyone about the current laws in place regarding face coverings.

Card payments are still possible via airpay before you start your journey. Over the phone with our operating staff or in the vehicle at the end of your journey.

All bookings made via the app are prepaid via a card of your choice.

Created 28/09/2020

The outcome of the council meeting

Item for discussion:

Joining Hackney carriage zones A & B to make one zone covering west suffolk

Outcome:

Two zones shall remain so as not to encourage drivers to venture to certain areas at more lucrative times

This shall be reviewed in two years

Item for discussion:

Livery colours to change for zone B Hackney carriages to be in line with zone A

Outcome:

Livery colours have been erased and as such are no longer required across either zone

Item for discussion:

Livery colours for Private hire vehicles to change to make a visable difference between the two forms of car license

Outcome:

There will be no livery applied to private hire vehicles in West Suffolk borough

Item for discussion:

Change of fuel type vehicles use to make then environmentally friendly and reduce emissions

Outcome:

Environmentally friendly vehicles are requested but will be considered at an older age on each vehicle based upon evidence of the vehicle emissions

ALL DBS’s WILL BE REQUIRED TO BE ON THE UPDATE SERVICE

This has been brought in by government to protect the public and keep each licensing borough aware of any unlawful activity at time of event.


Sign Written at Last!

18/09/2020

That’s an Ouch moment for Uber

• Uber faces a crunch court case over its London licence this week.
• Eyes will be on Uber as it prepares to defend itself at Westminster magistrates’ court over allegations that it has placed passenger safety at risk.
• The mayor wants Uber, and its 45,000 drivers in the capital, off the roads.
• A court case last November stripped Uber of its licence in London after it was discovered that more than 14,000 trips had been completed by drivers who had faked their identities on the app.
• This is one of Uber’s last chances to appeal against that decision.
• Whether it can hold on to its biggest market in Europe will rest on how much it can prove it has changed its safety record.

The questions now being asked are?

Will Uber continue to operate in London on a different license?

Where will these 45,000 drivers go?

Can the economy survive with more people being made obsolete?

Will London offer these drivers badges on the pretense they hold formal licenses within London?

Will they disperse these drivers to other areas in England?


FORUM MEETING

The Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Conditions Policy, which was originally scheduled to be presented to Cabinet on 21 July 2020, will now be considered at 6pm on 22 September 2020.  This is a virtual meeting to which is open to you as a member of the public to attend and, if you wish, speak.

The agenda for the meeting has been published today, along with the attendance procedure and instructions.  I have incorporated the link to the Cabinet papers and guidance below.  Alternatively you can subscribe to updates in order to receive information via e-mail regarding arrangements for particular committee meetings .

Feel free to share this information with other members of the trade.


Welcome Aboard!

New starters are ready to begin a new career either behind the wheel or as a passenger assistant.

A huge welcome to Richard, Kerry, Karen, Mark, Petia, Daniela and Levi.

Please remember to be patient with our new starts as it can be very daunting starting a new job and trying to remember every road does not happen overnight.


School term has started

Welcome back to the start of the new academic year and for many a very different environment for all involved with school transport, both mainstream and SEND.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank again those that have supported us during lockdown and the limited return prior to the summer break.

As we start the new term it is important that operators ensure their staff are aware of what SETT have been working on, to ensure COVID 19 safe school transport.  The authority has followed the government guidance throughout, but as with any start of term there are always teething issues.  We would appreciate the continued support from operators and their staff  to ensure we start the term as smoothly as possible.

Please ensure that you have the following in place: –

1.     Route Risk assessments completed ( we may ask for this to be provided)

2.     Covid 19 Risk assessments completed ( we may ask for this to be provided)

3.     Processes for Vehicle cleaning after each run (especially high use touch points)

4.     Appropriate sanitiser and PPE available for drivers and PA (especially on Primary and SEND routes)

5.     Drivers and PA’s are aware of the guidance’s we have issued to all operators and sent to all mainstream students

Drivers must ensure that all secondary students age 11 or over wear appropriate face covering (unless the individual has a medical exemption. We are currently working on identifying those so that you can provide drivers with  a list).  This has not been fully resolved yet as we do need school assistance and they are only just returning back to many issues within their school to resolve.  Please ensure that the supply of additional coverings that SETT have provided are on each vehicle for those who may have forgotten to carry theirs.  Any issues with compliance, please record the pupils names and report to SETT immediately.

The complexity of reviewing and having to manipulate some transport routes and loadings due to Covid 19, has led to a significant delay in us being able to issue tickets to students. Although many have now been issued,  there is going to be significant number who may not have received tickets prior to the start of term. We therefore require drivers to allow travel for those students who may not have a pass for the first 2 weeks of term.  This concession is only when there is sufficient capacity on the vehicle.  

Drivers must ensure that they record any student names who haven’t received their passes and these must be fed back to SETT so that we can ensure the student is entitled/using correct bus.

Non-compliance or misbehaving on the route by students is being taken very seriously this year due to Covid implications and we will be working closely with schools to resolve behaviour or remove students from routes.

Please do report any issues you have as soon as possible, the team will endeavour to resolve these as quickly as possible.

We wish you a successful return to the school year and we will update as and when guidance changes.


Make face masks mandatory in taxis

Sign the petition to keep everyone safer


Uber and Lyft still trying to get out of paying employees

Uber & Lyft Get More Time as They Fight California Order
• Uber and Lyft will be able to continue conducting business as usual in California for now, after a state appeals court on Thursday paused a lower court ruling that required the companies to reclassify their drivers as employees.
• The reprieve means both companies can continue operating while they fight the legal battle with their home state.

 A ballot that will be put to vote in November, would grant Uber and Lyft an exemption from the law.

Unfortunately this does mean there is a loophole as normal this is called Proposition 22 details of this can be found here.

Overview

What would app-based drivers be classified as for employment?

Proposition 22 would consider app-based drivers to be independent contractors and not employees or agents. Therefore, the ballot measure would override Assembly Bill 5 (AB 5), signed in September 2019, on the question of whether app-based drivers are employees or independent contractors.[1]

The ballot initiative would define app-based drivers as workers who (a) provide delivery services on an on-demand basis through a business’s online-enabled application or platform or (b) use a personal vehicle to provide prearranged transportation services for compensation via a business’s online-enabled application or platform.[1] Examples of companies that hire app-based drivers include Uber, Lyft, and DoorDash. The ballot measure would not affect how AB 5 is applied to other types of workers.

Who is behind the ballot initiative?

On August 30, 2019, three companies—DoorDash, Lyft, and Uber—each placed $30 million into campaign accounts to fund a ballot initiative campaign should the legislature pass AB 5 without compromising with the companies. “We remain focused on reaching a deal, and are confident about bringing this issue to the voters if necessary,” said Lyft spokesperson Adrian Durbin.[10][11][12]Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) signed AB 5 on September 18 without an exemption for app-based drivers and employers. The ballot initiative was filed on October 29, 2019. Brandon Castillo, a spokesperson for the campaign supporting the initiative, stated, “We’re going to spend what it takes to win. It’s been widely reported that three of the companies already shifted $90 million, but we’re still in the early phases. The bottom line is: We’re committed to passing this.”[13] The companies Instacart (Maplebear, Inc.) and Postmates also joined the campaign, each contributing $10 million. Together, the five businesses have provided more than $110 million in support of the ballot initiative through June 30, 2020.[14]

What is Assembly Bill 5 (AB 5)?

AB 5 established a three-factor test to decide a worker’s status as an independent contractor. The three-factor test requires that (1) the worker is free from the hiring company’s control and direction in the performance of work; (2) the worker is doing work that is outside the company’s usual course of business; and (3) the worker is engaged in an established trade, occupation, or business of the same nature as the work performed.[2]

Responding to AB 5, Tony West, the chief legal officer for the ridesharing business Uber Technologies, stated, “Because we continue to believe drivers are properly classified as independent, and because we’ll continue to be responsive to what the vast majority of drivers tell us they want most—flexibility—drivers will not be automatically reclassified as employees. … We expect we will continue to respond to claims of misclassification in arbitration and in court as necessary, just as we do now.”[3] Likewise, John Zimmer, president of Lyft, said, “We are focused on operating as we are.”[4]

On August 10, 2020, the Superior Court of San Francisco ruled that Uber and Lyft violated AB 5 and misclassified their workers. Attorney General Xavier Becerra responded, “The court has weighed in and agreed: Uber and Lyft need to put a stop to unlawful misclassification of their drivers while our litigation continues.” Both Uber and Lyft stated that, unless the court’s ruling was postponed, their companies could suspend app-based operations within California.[5][6][7][8] On August 20, the California First District Court of Appeal stayed Superior Court Judge Schulman’s ruling from taking effect.[9]

Ballot title

The ballot title is as follows:[17]

Exempts App-Based Transportation and Delivery Companies from Providing Employee Benefits to Certain Drivers. Initiative Statute.[18]

Ballot summary

The ballot summary is as follows:[17]

Classifies drivers for app-based transportation (rideshare) and delivery companies as “independent contractors,” not “employees,” unless company: sets drivers’ hours, requires acceptance of specific ride and delivery requests, or restricts working for other companies.Independent contractors are not covered by various state employment laws—including minimum wage, overtime, unemployment insurance, and workers’ compensation.Instead, independent-contractor drivers would be entitled to other compensation—including minimum earnings, healthcare subsidies, and vehicle insurance.Restricts certain local regulation of app-based drivers.Criminalizes impersonation of drivers.[18]

Fiscal impact

The fiscal impact statement is as follows:[17]

Minor increases in state income taxes paid by risdeshare and delivery company drivers and investors.[18]

California Proposition 22, App-Based Drivers as Contractors and Labor Policies Initiative (2020)

California Proposition 22
Election date
November 3, 2020
Topic
Business regulation and Labor and unions
Status
On the ballot
Type
State statute
Origin
Citizens
List of California measuresCalifornia Proposition 13 (March)California Proposition 14California Proposition 15California Proposition 16California Proposition 17California Proposition 18California Proposition 19California Proposition 20California Proposition 21California Proposition 22California Proposition 23California Proposition 24California Proposition 25Submit

California Proposition 22, the App-Based Drivers as Contractors and Labor Policies Initiative, is on the ballot in California as an initiated state statute on November 3, 2020.

“yes” vote supports this ballot initiative to define app-based transportation (rideshare) and delivery drivers as independent contractors and adopt labor and wage policies specific to app-based drivers and companies.
“no” vote opposes this ballot initiative, meaning California Assembly Bill 5 (2019) could be used to decide whether app-based drivers are employees or independent contractors.

What else would the ballot measure change?

Since Proposition 22 would consider app-based drivers to be independent contractors and not employees, state employment-related labor laws would not cover app-based drivers. Proposition 22 would enact labor and wage policies that are specific to app-based drivers and companies, including:[1]

  • payments for the difference between a worker’s net earnings, excluding tips, and a net earnings floor based on 120% of the minimum wage applied to a driver’s engaged time and 30 cents, adjusted for inflation after 2021, per engaged mile;
  • limiting app-based drivers from working more than 12 hours during a 24-hour period, unless the driver has been logged off for an uninterrupted 6 hours;
  • for drivers who average at least 25 hours per week of engaged time during a calendar quarter, require companies to provide healthcare subsidies equal to 82% the average California Covered (CC) premium for each month;
  • for drivers who average between 15 and 25 hours per week of engaged time during a calendar quarter, require companies to provide healthcare subsidies equal to 41% the average CC premium for each month;
  • require companies to provide or make available occupational accident insurance to cover at least $1 million in medical expenses and lost income resulting from injuries suffered while a driver was online (defined as when the driver is using the app and can receive service requests) but not engaged in personal activities;
  • require the occupational accident insurance to provide disability payments of 66 percent of a driver’s average weekly earnings during the previous four weeks before the injuries suffered (while the driver was online but not engaged in personal activities) for upwards of 104 weeks (about 2 years);
  • require companies to provide or make available accidental death insurance for the benefit of a driver’s spouse, children, or other dependents when the driver dies while using the app;

Proposition 22 would define a driver’s engaged time as the time between accepting a service request and completing the request.[1]

Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said, “What Prop. 22 is about is starting to move into the best of two worlds: you’ve got flexibility, you’re your own boss, you’re your own CEO, but you do have protections.”[15] In Rigging the Gigresearchers with the Partnership for Working Families (PWF) and National Employment Law Project (NELP) wrote, “the benefits contained in the initiative pale in comparison to what workers are entitled to under state law.”[16]

Proposition 22 would also require the companies to: develop anti-discrimination and sexual harassment policies; develop training programs for drivers related to driving, traffic, accident avoidance, and recognizing and reporting sexual assault and misconduct; have zero-tolerance policies for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol; and require criminal background checks for drivers. The ballot initiative would criminalize false impersonation of an app-based driver as a misdemeanor.[1]

Amending Proposition 22 would require a seven-eights (87.5%) vote in each chamber of the California State Legislature and the governor’s signature, provided that the amendment is consistent with, and furthers the purpose of, Proposition 22. Changes that are not considered consistent with, and furthering the purpose of, Proposition 22 would need voter approval.[1]


Communication from suffolk county council regarding school transport

Validated 22/05/2020

Suffolk county council have very strict guidance in the way any transport for them should be carried out and have requested all drivers and if possible passengers should wear face coverings at all times whether the children and driver travel together throughout the course of the contract, this also stipulates that whether the driver continues normal duties of transporting the public or not a face covering will still be needed.

There is a guidance as to what is acceptable in the form of a face covering and it has information for the parents to ease the tension currently felt at present regarding the safety and welfare of the children being transported.

As Suffolk now prepares to remobilise school travel services, we are writing to you outlining how we can work together as the situation continues to change.

As you will undoubtedly be aware from the news, schools in England are preparing to take more children from 01 June 2020 for year groups of Reception, Year 1, Year 6 for primary schools and potentially for years 10 and 12 for high schools. For some Special Educational Schools, they will be having a proportion of all year groups.

Co-ordination with schools is underway to understand which students who have an entitlement to school travel, will be returning and when.  We are then reviewing the logistics of the students returning and how social distancing might be possible in vehicles.  We will need to engage with you on this as and when we have the information.

In anticipation of schools returning, and in line with Government guidance on providing transport services safely during the COVID-19 pandemic on all modes of transport, could you all complete a business continuity plan on how you as our contractor, will operate the service and what additional steps you may need to take to remobilise your service to ensure your staff and passengers are protected.  The guidance you should follow is:-

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-safer-travel-guidance-for-passengers

Currently the guidance advises to wear face coverings (not face masks) and keep 2m distance where possible.  PPE will only be supplied based on Public Health England advice.

As part of your business continuity plan, you will need to think about the barriers and challenges you may face; some examples are listed below, and what mitigations you may need to take to address them:-

  • Vehicle capacity to maintain social distancing
  • face coverings
  • younger children and use of seat belts
  • increased daily cleaning regimes
  • take cards wherever possible and avoid using money
  • don’t handle travel cards (where used); the student should show you them as they board
  • get vehicles that have been off the road checked to ensure they are roadworthy and ready operationally
  • consideration of plastic screening to protect the driver
  • keep the same driver on the same route as this will help with Track and Trace (when operational) in the case of a positive test, where self-isolating would be required for 14 days.  Testing is available at Copdock and some other locations for any contractor, their staff and their families should they be symptomatic.  This information has been sent to you previously.

In addition there are 3 broad levels of transport we have to consider in line with this guidance for school travel

  1. Students on public service networks – how will social distancing be maintained for these students if members of the public are also boarding the vehicle?
  2. Students on closed contract coaches/buses – what will you do if too many board the vehicle?
  3. Students on mini-bus/taxis – mainly for students with special educational needs. For any operator who provides transport to specialist schools, drivers and PA’s will need to wear facemasks as this is part of the SEND schools risk assessment.  At this stage, this will need to be provided by the operator for their drivers and passenger assistants.

You can send a copy of your business continuity plan to this email transport.serviceops@suffolk.gov.uk

A general guide for vehicle seating capacity based on feedback we have received from the industry is:-

1 passenger per 4 seats (keep 2m distance where possible as per guidance)

4 passenger per 16 seats

7 passenger per 33 seats

10-13 passenger per 53 seats (depending on vehicle configuration)

15-18 passenger per 70 seats (depending on vehicle configuration)

As you will appreciate these have been and continue to be unprecedented and challenging times for all of us and we would like to thank you for the response we have had and for working in partnership in protecting Suffolk residents and businesses.


Uber tries it again

New York State to Pay Unemployment Benefits to Drivers
• Drivers for Uber and Lyft won a victory on Tuesday in their continuing effort to be treated like other workers when a federal judge in New York ruled that the state must promptly begin paying them unemployment benefits.
• Many drivers have waged a long legal and political battle with the companies over their employment status.
• Uber and Lyft have maintained that drivers are independent contractors who are not entitled to standard employment protections, such as a minimum wage, overtime pay and unemployment insurance.

The differences between the two

Self Employed

  • As much holiday time as you want
  • Negotiable rates of pay
  • Negotiable dates of pay
  • Paying for your own equipment
  • Paying for your training
  • Working as many or little hours as you want -within reason
  • Being able to work for or alongside other people or companies
  • Submitting your own tax returns
  • Contract of services purchased

Employed

  • Taking paid holiday up to 28 days per year
  • Training courses paid for
  • Travel expenses covered in some cases
  • Overtime paid for extra hours
  • Tax and National Insurance contributions paid
  • Set working hours every week
  • Work equipment supplied
  • Contract of employment

There will always be many variations depending on the company you work for so always get in writing the terms in which you work for a company or alongside a third party.


Uber won’t get the best of us!

Firstly, lets address why Uber would want to buy Autocab?

Taxi companies have beaten uber, who now cannot attract drivers. Now uber wants to contract that work to taxi companies, so they may get stronger in areas they couldn’t win so they can take out taxi companies. 

Lets also not forget that recently uber made nearly 6000 employees redundant, which is always nice to see where your money has gone.

There has still been the licensing issue in london which from what was seen last week they are still there?

Understandably auto cab had a lot of financial issues and it has been seen in the declining number of offices and staff across the globe, the business had been available for sale for a while and its presumed pressing times led to the sale.

The pressing issue will now be how will all autocab customers hit back from the one company they are up against which now controls there operating systems?

There is a reason why Autocab requires you to sign a 2-3-year contract whilst their competitors work on 30 day rolling. If you are in a contract with Autocab, I implore you to seek legal advice on yesterday’s announcement that may release you from that.
I think what everyone needs to ask themselves is how can someone be their competitor and their supplier at the same time.

Uber also has the belief they will sell you back the work you should rightly have by using your operating system against you – really a salt in the wound moment!


New Applications – We’re Ready!

In readiness for the start of a new academic year we are recruiting new drivers and passenger assistants within the Haverhill and Bury St. Edmunds area.

Please do not be under any illusion this is a process that will take up to a month in order to obtain a taxi license.

From these courses you gain a recognized qualification from west suffolk college.

Drivers will be required to work at least one weekend shift which will alternate each week and overtime is available to those with that work sparkle!

School contracts may be available depending on availability and driver reliability.

Passenger assistants will be required for 39 weeks per year on a PAYE basis.


Cambs Questionnaire

Cambridgeshire County Council and Peterborough City Council are seeking information from suppliers to help shape how we procure our Home to School transport services in the future. This is your opportunity to help us make our offer of services as attractive to the market as possible.
 
With this in mind we are asking that you complete this survey on your experiences and thoughts regarding working with both Authorities and how this can be improved.  We would specifically like your views and experiences on the use of the Dynamic Purchasing system and frameworks to tender for Transport routes in the Home to School and Social Care Transport sector.
 
The survey will take no more than 15-20 minutes to complete. You can choose whether to remain anonymous or give the name of your company within the survey.

Followed with an apology due these uncertain times

Air Pay is set to go live!

02/07/2020

Airpay is set to go live tomorrow this will mean faster card transactions with contactless payments. This will also ensure 2-D security in compliance with data protection and the fraud teams across the world. Along with voice ID this is a sure way to combat fraud so our drivers get the money they deserve for being key workers during this unprecedented time.


Air Pay is Live!

Lets see how the trial run for this gets on as for each customer when the driver is on route you will be prompted to either pay by card or cash which saves time on each journey which in turn will see more customers are able to be transported within a smaller time frame.


Its Back to Front Alright

I have never known a phone system so back to front which is proving to be a nightmare when it comes to office times etc. Two separate announcements they work fine but setting the hours there open and to which announcement is the problem as there back to front, let alone that only one person has been highly trained on them from the supplying company which seems to not be a lot as even they have got it wrong twice!


Card Payment Findings – Stripe

07/07/2020

We conducted a detailed review of the top 450 e-commerce websites across the UK, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, Italy, and Sweden and found that 58% of checkouts had at least three basic errors.

For example, we found that:

74% were not translated into local languages

42% did not auto-verify the card number as it was entered

45% did not confirm card type when the card number was entered

On their own, these issues may seem small. But, when combined, they add up to a needlessly difficult checkout experience for customers.

Our new report dives into the results of our analysis and details the most common checkout issues. You’ll learn why these checkout issues matter, how to prevent them from happening in your checkout flow, and how Stripe can help. We’ll also share additional opportunities for checkout optimisation throughout the guide, like supporting digital wallets and local payment methods in markets where they are widely used.

Introduction

Fifty-eight percent of European checkouts we analysed had at least three basic errors, adding unnecessary friction for customers.

E-commerce businesses spend time, money, and resources on building brand awareness, driving website traffic, and optimising their product pages—all with the goal of getting their target audience to make a purchase. However, a surprisingly large number of European businesses we analysed are neglecting one crucial step in the conversion journey: the checkout flow.

Analysing checkouts across European e-commerce websites

We conducted a detailed review of the top 450 e-commerce websites across the UK, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, Italy, and Sweden and found that 58% of checkouts had at least three basic errors, adding unnecessary friction for customers and complicating the checkout process. Some of the most common issues include not automatically verifying the card number as it was entered, the absence of a numerical keypad for entering card numbers on mobile devices, and allowing transactions to be submitted with incorrect card numbers or expiry dates. On their own, these issues may seem small. But, when combined, they add up to a needlessly difficult checkout experience for customers.

With nine out of ten lost sales in Europe failing on the checkout page, fixing these basic errors  and reducing friction in the transaction process can result in significant increases in conversion and revenue. This report dives into the results of our analysis and details the most common checkout issues related to form design and mobile optimisation. We’ll cover why these checkout issues matter, how to prevent them

from happening in your checkout flow, and how Stripe can help. But just avoiding the basic errors isn’t enough. We’ll also share additional opportunities for checkout optimisation throughout the guide, like supporting digital wallets and local payment methods in markets where they are widely used.

Checkout form design

More than one-third of e-commerce companies added unnecessary friction to their checkout flow, preventing customers from checking out.

For many of the factors we assessed, checkouts in Italy and the Netherlands performed the worst. In Italy, 66% did not confirm card type when a card number was entered and 56% did not automatically verify the card number. In the Netherlands, 50% did not confirm card type and 56% let customers attempt to pay with an expired card date.

The number of checkouts that did not enable card numbers to be entered without spaces differed the most. 

Checkouts in the Netherlands performed the best, with all checkouts we analysed allowing the card number to be entered without spaces. Checkouts in the UK and Spain also performed well, with only 2% of UK checkouts and 12% of Spanish checkouts not accepting card numbers without spaces. Checkouts in France performed the worst, with 39% not accepting card numbers without spaces. Checkout flows in Sweden, Germany, and Italy were somewhere in the middle, at 26%, 26%, and 32%, respectively.

Why it matters

A poorly designed checkout form puts an unnecessary burden on customers. They want clicking “pay” to be the final step in the purchase journey and don’t want to have to go through your form twice to fix basic errors. They also want checkout forms that adapt to their preferences. For example, customers should be able to enter card numbers how they want (with or without spaces) and not encounter any errors. (It is recommended, however, to allow card numbers to be entered with spaces, or visually separated into groupings of four digits, for easier data validation.) Not only do examples like this add unnecessary friction, they can also lead to lost sales. A 2020 Baymard Institute survey found that 21% of respondents blamed a long and complicated checkout process as the reason for abandoning an order.

Checklist: How to design the best performing checkout forms

    Highlight payment information errors in real time, before customers click “checkout” or “pay.” UI patterns like a red exclamation point or a green checkmark can quickly communicate this at a glance.

    When there is a mistake in the form, use descriptive and specific error messaging. Clearly identify what the error is, whether it’s an invalid card number or an expiration date in  the past.

 Make sure your checkout form can accept and autofill information saved in a customer’s browser rather than asking them to re-enter their details.

    Automatically display an icon for the card brand (like Visa or Mastercard) after the card number is entered.

Mobile optimisation

Ninety-six percent of checkouts were designed to adapt to mobile screen sizes, but only 12% supported mobile wallets.

Checkouts in Sweden were the most likely to optimise for mobile, with every single checkout we analysed being both responsive as well as surfacing a numeric keypad to make entering card details easier on mobile.

Checkouts in the UK performed the best in terms of digital wallet support, with 22% offering Apple Pay or Google Pay (the highest percentage among all analysed countries). German checkouts performed the worst, with only 4% of checkouts supporting digital wallets (likely because these wallets were introduced more recently in Germany).

Spanish checkouts were the least likely to be localised for other European markets: none of the checkouts we analysed were translated into local languages when customers elsewhere in Europe attempted to make a purchase or offered local payment methods.

Checkouts in the Netherlands were the most likely to be translated into other languages, but lacked local payment methods. Almost half of checkouts, 55%, supported iDEAL as a payment method, one of the most popular payment methods in the Netherlands. This underscores the importance of iDEAL for Dutch businesses, allowing them to create the most relevant payment experiences for their Dutch customers. However, 86% of checkouts in the Netherlands still failed to surface other local payment methods like Bancontact, EPS, or P24.

Why it matters

Not translating your checkout to the language of your customers, or offering popular local payment methods, could cut off entire countries from your addressable market, leading to lost sales. For example, only 40% of European online payments are made using debit or credit cards— bank transfers are the most popular payment method in Germany and almost one-third of Italian customers prefer to pay with a digital wallet.

 We’ve seen the impact that local payment methods can have on checkout conversion. In a separate Stripe study, we analysed payment volume from three Hong Kong-based businesses that sell into the Netherlands.

 Checklist: How to localise your checkout experience

   Identify the top countries into which you want to sell and make sure you localise the checkout experience by translating the page.

Change the fields to capture the right information for each country. For example, if your form recognises a UK card, you should dynamically add a field for postcode. On the other hand, if your form recognises an American card, you should change that field to ZIP code.

Dynamically surface the right payment methods in your checkout depending on where your customers are located.

  • Designed to reduce friction: Stripe Checkout uses descriptive error messages to make it clear which information needs to be updated, allows customers to autofill card information they’ve stored in their browser, validates card numbers in real time, and prevents users from accidentally selecting expiration dates in the past.
  • Optimised for mobile: The checkout form is designed to be fully responsive and work across any device. It displays a numeric keypad to make it easier for customers to enter their card information and comes with Apple Pay and Google Pay built in, without any additional registration or domain validation required. And, Stripe Checkout will only surface mobile wallets when Stripe knows that they’ve been correctly set up by your customer.
  • Built for global: Stripe Checkout supports 15 languages so your customers around the world can see the checkout form that’s right for them. You can decide which local payment methods to surface or rely on Stripe to dynamically display the right payment methods based on IP, browser locale, cookies, and other signals. The checkout form is also able to trigger 3D Secure and can handle European SCA requirements by dynamically applying card authentication when required by the cardholder’s bank.

If you would like to build your own custom checkout form, you can use Stripe Elements, a set of rich, pre-built UI components. Like Stripe Checkout, Stripe Elements also offer mobile optimisation, real-time validation, autofill, localisation, and front-end formatting. Learn more about Stripe Elements.

Methodology

In conducting the analysis in this report, Stripe selected the top 50 e-commerce websites in the UK, France, Italy, the Netherlands, and Spain, and the top 100 websites in Sweden and Germany, based on the Alexa ranking for the specific country. Adult entertainment platforms or online gambling websites were not included in the analysis. After determining the relevant websites, each one was tested for pre-defined errors by placing a product in the shopping cart to simulate an online purchase and in some cases, using a VPN to complete the checkout process as customers based in different countries. Checkouts were tested for a total of 11 errors related to checkout form design and mobile optimisation. Checkouts were also evaluated on additional optimisation opportunities, like whether they supported digital wallets and local payment methods in markets where they are widely used, and whether they were translated into local languages when customers elsewhere in Europe attempted to make a purchase. Checkouts in the UK, France, Italy, Spain, and the Netherlands were tested for all errors and optimisation opportunities. Checkouts in Germany were tested for checkout form design, mobile optimisation, and whether they supported digital wallets. Checkouts in Sweden were tested for checkout form design and mobile optimisation.


100 days and counting

Day 100 into Covid-19 with over 12,000 job losses in two days its looking to continue as the furlough scheme starts to disperse. The economy is set to rise over the weekend as more shops are able to resume trading and some pubs have been granted permission to open this coming weekend but as yet we are still awaiting to see the table service to come into effect and whether people will venture to the venues/shops as the long awaited opening happens.

Lets get ready to tender!

30/06/2020

School tenders are starting to resume so all those needing school runs best be ready for September as all bids are being submitted in readiness for a prosperous start of the school year. Let the bidding commence!


Ready for the weekend!

30/06/2020

These are the old design of magnets that we had for about 20 years so we decided on an upgrade.

The Bury St. Edmunds number didn’t exist at this point but is for visual purposes.

These were the ones our designers came up with but it didn’t really look much different so we decided if you have a logo you best show it off as it should be!

So the new door signs are pictured right with the logo as it should be, together which is how we stand. United as one as were not just Pride were a family and we stand by each other.


Training Complete

29/06/2020

After a two and a half hour long session of training to set up our IVR (Integrated voice recognition) phone system we are happy to announce that the launch date will be 11am on Wednesday 01/07/2020. There will be a lot of changes with the new system including: Being able to call your driver direct without them accessing your phone number, land lines will receive call back with an automated message, four hour ring back to check whether you still require your booking, automated cancellations and so much more.

For all of those that are not technical you do have the option to opt out of the IVR (Integrated voice recognition) all together, this can be done by asking our control staff to make a note of your phone number and it shall be removed for you.

Please help us to make this service more efficient by commenting after using the service.


AAT Accounting

The company AAT Accounting Qualification is underway with myself undergoing the training firstly to then be able to approve others to enroll on the course and get people well underway to being qualified in some level of accountancy.

This may be a stepping stone for those that need the extra help to further themselves in a career of which all will be in the local area and have support available.


The New Car

The newest addition to our fleet has been through a lot the last couple of weeks.

Firstly she was sign written, which are reflective stickers on the vehicle.

Secondly she had her meter and top sign installed which took a grueling 11 hours to complete as they have changed the wiring loom on the newer year groups making them almost impossible to find.

Thirdly she had a fire extinguisher and a first aid kit bought to sit in the boot of the vehicle at all times.

Fourthly she then had a plate test which is similar to an MOT but has council terms added to it in relation to age and condition.


Something good comes of everything!

Pictured left is the new door panelling due to be installed within one of our vehicles.

The door cards that were previously in there had deteriorated and been picked apart by children over time (as we all know little fingers love to get up to mischief), with this in mind we decided to give it a nice new look and show what we are and what we do.

We have done the signs in representation of our new business card which shows our haverhill and bury st. edmunds phone numbers and encourages people to download the app to make faster bookings by card saving all the hassle of waiting on the phone.

Our New Phones Have Arrived

24/06/2020

The phones for our IVR (integrated voice recognition) have arrived – welcome the Polycoms of which you would assume would be a simple plug in and go unfortunately this is not the case we now need a grueling four hour training session on how to use and operate the phones in an efficient manner that works for us, so our date is set for the 29/06/2020 and then from there the phone numbers need to be ported over to the new phones and away we go (why is technology so complicated?).

These are an upgraded version of the phone system we currently run which is a Yealink, these are basic internet phones that capture caller ID, they also had the ability to block phone numbers, transfer phone calls and they all had a different connection number a lot like the larger companies of which the council would use that transfer your calls to everyone but the one person you wish to talk to.

From this we anticipate a higher running level of phone calls being answered all at the same time so keep watching for our overview of the new system and phones and the pros and cons to them.


Bury St. Edmunds

Well our Bury St. Edmunds site has finally been verified by google, this has been a long awaited process which is very satisfying to finally have complete.

This now means our listings will be more visible with people searching for transport in the local area.

Now the hard work begins with linking our Bury facebook page, our website and our instagram account and all of which then need linking with our statistics pages to get real time information of how our business in progressing.


Exciting new upgrades Currently being implemented

Upgrade purchased in June 2020

The APP

The upgrade will consist of:

  1. Food delivery options
  2. Prescription delivery options
  3. The option to transport animals
  4. Larger Vehicles
  5. Wheelchair vehicles

Phone System

The upgrade will consist of:

  1. Four more phone lines making our system hold up to eight phone calls at once
  2. IVR – Integrated voice recognition meaning you can book your taxi through an automated system and never have to be on hold
  3. Full automation for dispatching bookings making the work we distribute fair for the drivers

Card Payment Facilities

The upgrade will consist of:

  1. Being sent a text confirming whether you will be paying by cash or by card
  2. Payment being taken through a website portal so never a need to disclose your bank details again
  3. 2D verification so card fraud can be made a thing of the past
  4. Compatible with all major bank cards, apple pay, google pay and many more.

Staff Return To Work

During the first four weeks of solid lock down we went to skeleton staff to retain as many jobs as possible so we would like to say thank you to our control staff which are Lisa, Paulette and Bridie who have stayed through the hardships. Our drivers we would like to thank are Collin, Steve and Clifford who along with management stayed and pulled together to cover as much as they could. Our accounts manager Levi has been working endlessly to cover as many areas as possible with all the HMRC applications and furlough documents needed to keep us going of which we are all most appreciative of. There is also a large amount of thanks to show to our mechanics Keith and Brian of which have spent twelve weeks performing a major overhaul on all company vehicles to give them full services and any small indications of issues have been resolved making our return to business as usual a smoother transaction.

Coming out the other side we would like to welcome back Steve B, Kyle, Richard, Steve W, Peter, Tim, Robin, Angela, Linda, Oshesh, Thomas and John.

New members that have joined the team include Jose and Francesca of which we are glad to welcome and hopeful that the other members awaiting to join the team will be with us soon when business starts to return to normal.

In all we are grateful for all your efforts and hope you keep up the good work guys as you are a valued member in society no matter the job you do.


Were headed back to Bury St. Edmunds

Today 27/06/2020 Alex has returned to our Bury St. Edmunds site after a long period of helping to staff our Haverhill site, were hoping people in the Bury area will respect the face coverings we have asked for to not only protect them but the driver as well.

Alex was issued with an air purifier, washable face masks and hand sanitizer and asks that no persons attempt to sit in the front seats meaning his vehicles capacity is limited to six persons at any one time.

All drivers have been issued with face masks and hand sanitizer and company vehicles all have air purifiers to decrease the risk of infection in vehicles, this also accompanies the drivers being required to clean the vehicles doors and seat belts after each passenger or opening the doors for passengers where possible to stop cross contamination where people would normally touch.

Please also bare in mind that drivers are required where possible to leave the windows open so as to lessen the amount of circling air in the vehicle this does also include not using air conditioning in the vehicles and keep the heating at lower levels of power to keep the air as still as possible inside each vehicle.


The PHTM monthly newsletter

June Edition

Leeds council help fund partition screens!

Has your council implemented anything that has helped you survive in these troubling times?

Does your insurance cover goods deliveries?

Find all the insurance companies helping those change policies mid term to help the continuation of the taxi trade

Councils leave the decision to operators over safety!

Page 6

Work is on the rise!

Find the facts and figures through digital companies data

Page 12

Convictions over drivers being abused and threatened

Page 88

Can you stay on furlough?

All your questions answered in depth

Page 14

Find used taxis throughout

Different councils views on partition screens

Page 66, Page 58

undefinedFind it all in the link belowundefined


Alex Williams on BBC Radio Suffolk

26/06/2020

Alex Williams was on with James Hazell at 12:40 today. The topic today was regarding the ONS report against taxi and chauffeur drivers being those second most at risk during the virus following those in the security sector who are first at risk.

Details included were the issues of how Alex felt as one of those in the front line as a taxi driver as business continues and the hardships on the trade that still burden those trying to survive the crisis as well as the protocols put in place for protection.

The link to listen in shall be here soon


Bury Free Press Calling

26/06/2020

The first of a long string of adverts placed in the Bury free press has been printed and on the shelf today, with a quarter page advertisement placed on page 23 this week showing both businesses in all there glory.

We know were not page 3 material but you cant blame us for trying!


Haverhill Town centre to be closed for all traffic?

How does this affect the taxi rank in the high street?

Do you know of the three parking areas surrounding the town centre with disabled spaces?

High Street Road Closure

Starting tomorrow (17th June), between 10am and 4pm the High Street and Queen Street are closed to all traffic, seven days a week.Outside of these times ONLY blue badge and delivery drivers are permitted. Camps Road, by the Market Square, will be one way towards Burton End. No traffic northbound AT ALL TIMES.These measures are to ensure there is plenty of space in the town centre to enable social distancing and safe shopping. Please share this with those not on Social Media.

Does this apply to taxi drivers?

How will this affect passing trade?

Did you see any notices of the closure?


We have been accepted and approved!

Charter Guidelines

  1. Social Distancing guidelines will be followed by the driver.
  2. Drivers will have no physical contact with the passenger. (Unless in an emergency situation or if a passenger requests assistance)
  3. Hand sanitisers will be provided to all drivers and customers. Drivers will sanitise their hands regularly.
  4. Option to pay by card through the app, to avoid drivers and passengers using cash.
  5. Vehicles which have a shield installed will be regularly cleaned and sanitised.
  6. Drivers will wear clean clothes each day, be well-presented and maintain impeccable personal hygiene.
  7. Drivers will wear PPE in line with the latest government guidelines.
  8. The Passenger area of the vehicle will be wiped down and cleaned with sanitiser regularly.
  9. The Driver will conduct a weekly inspection and deep clean of their vehicle.
  10. Signage to be displayed (where available and where licensing permits) to convey safety and sanitation messages in and outside of the vehicle.

Step 1  Review the Charter Guidelines to determine those that can be best implemented where relevant and available, ensuring compliance with your local licensing permits.

Step 2 – Review the Welcome Pack to determine what can be used, again ensuring that you are in compliance with your local licensing regulations (for example in the case of in-car messaging or external adhesives).

Step 3 – Share the purpose of the Safe Taxi & Private Hire Charter and help your drivers to understand their role in creating and maintaining a safe environment.  Ensure everyone is committed to supporting it.

Step 4 – Prepare your fleet with any materials/services they may need, for example by providing access to PPE, driver shields etc.

Step 5 – Go Safe Go Taxi Campaign – Actively promote your pledge to the Safe Taxi & Private Hire Charter on all your marketing channels and by way of the Go Safe Go Taxi campaign, using materials provided in your Welcome Pack and your own assets, PR activities and clever ideas.


TAXI NEWS – JUNE 2020

Uber Job Cuts Confirmed in Limerick & Amsterdam
• According to the Irish press, Uber has issued redundancy notices to 137 members of its workforce in Limerick.  There are a 500 staff at its European “centre of excellence” in Limerick.
• Meanwhile, Dutch media outlets reported that  Uber is cutting 15% of jobs at its European headquarters in Amsterdam following the recent downturn in business.
• Reports claim some 1,500 work at the Amsterdam office, which would mean a reduction of 200. Uber decided not to appeal for Dutch government support to keep paying salaries.

Taxi Drivers Offered Regular Covid-19 Tests
• Last Friday it was announced that Taxi drivers, security guards and shop workers will all be subject to regular coronavirus tests under Government plans to get better at “hunting out” the virus. 
• People without symptoms who work in “high risk” professions will soon get checked as part of the NHS Test and Trace programme
• “High risk” is defined as any job where people spend extended periods of time in an enclosed space with a large number of customers or colleagues.

Dept. of Transport Advises on Face Coverings
• The Department of Transport issued advice saying that that you should wear a face covering when using taxis or private hire vehicles and that a taxi driver or private hire vehicle operator may be entitled to refuse to accept you if you do not wear a face covering (see here for details).

Our Take
• This is good news for the industry as it will reassure the public and drivers that their safety is paramount, and hopefully it will encourage the public to book cabs in larger numbers going forward.
• Also, on the issue of screens, our advice would be to check with your local authority before installing any, as there still appears to be conflicting information from local authorities regarding their proper installation.

Uber Makes Face Coverings Mandatory
• From last Monday Uber made face coverings mandatory for all passengers. It will also require drivers to wear face masks.
• In London, drivers will have to share a selfie showing they are wearing a face covering before they start a shift, a measure that the company is considering rolling out across the UK.
• Uber is using object recognition technology to determine whether drivers are wearing face coverings, those who aren’t will be unable to get online.
• Drivers will be able to cancel a trip without a penalty if a rider isn’t wearing a face covering, and vice versa.

STATISTICS – JUNE 2020

The r-rate of infection

We can see from the charts that the infection is slowing down and that the economy is starting to grow again but what will happen in the coming weeks as more businesses start to return to ‘normality’.

Places due to open in the coming weeks will include pubs with gardens, more school year groups, swimming pools and gyms, holiday parks and possibly being able to travel abroad on holiday.


Stats from Google business

These results are from April to June 2020

Series one shows a month period through google, Series two shows a quarter period through google
Over a quarter period the searches made on google for taxis

OVER A QUARTER PERIOD OUR PHOTOS RECEIVE 2.35K% MORE VIEWS THAN SIMILAR BUSINESSES


The updates we have made to our haulage website

PN14 In all her glory with all her light fittings present
New trailer lights custom made
Our long wheel based van with her sign writing finally visible
New front bull bars and lights
Showing the old with pictures of the fleet before there bling sessions
New Top light bars
Our New Addition
Want to take a gander at the fleet in all her glory click below

Those blooper moments you will never forget!!


Government Support and Advice

1. Bounce Back Loans

  • Businesses can borrow between £2,000 and up to 25% of their turnover. (Maximum loan is £50,000).
  • The Government guarantees 100% of the loan and there’s no fees or interest for the first 12 months.
  • After 12 months the interest rate will be 2.5% a year.
  • Loan is for 6 years but can be repaid early without charge.
  • No repayments will be due during the first 12 months.

5. Working Capital Support (from your own bank)

  • All banks can provide additional working capital support as part of the Government’s £330bn support.

2. Extended Furlough Scheme

  • The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will continue until the end of October.
  • Furloughed workers across the UK will continue to receive 80% of their current salary, up to £2,500.
  • New flexibility will be introduced from August to get employees back to work and boost the economy.

6. Business Rates Waived For One Year (this is automatically applied)

  • For all business premises with a rateable value of less than £51k.

3. Business Interruption Loan Scheme 

  • Government guaranteed loans of up to £5m to help pay all business costs.
  • The loans will be at attractive rates.
  • No interest to pay for the first 6 months.
  • Loans are for up to 3 years or up to 6 years dependent on the type of finance you apply for. 

7. HMRC Time to Pay (call 0300 4563565 for assistance)

  • Additional time to pay VAT, PAYE, and for individuals.

4. Cash Grants (speak to your local authorities as it is channelled through them)

  • No repayments whatsoever.
  • Grants up to £10k for small businesses.

8. Mortgage Payment Holidays

  • The initial three month payment break was extended by another three months as of 4th June.

Congestion charge is changing

Due to change on the 22/06/2020

£11.00

Current congestion charge

£15.00

The new congestion charge

£15.00

ULEZ Charge

These charges are designed to reduce traffic in central london. The increase in the congestion charge will then mean the £1 autopay and fleet discounts will then be removed meaning everyone will be paying more.

The hours of operation will be extended from 07:00 to 22:00 seven days a week only excluding christmas day.

If you are an autopay customer the charges will be adjusted automatically but don’t forget to add you ULEZ charge on top if your vehicle doesn’t comply to there standards.


Pridexpress taking to different levels


Suffolk County Council Strike back after operators refuse payments to drivers

Payments & Contracts

Many of you have been asking for clarification on future payments, following our previous communication.

I can confirm that current* school travel contracts will continue to be paid in full until the end of July 2020 in line with the current contract arrangements.

With regards to current* ACS adult transport contracts it has been agreed that, unless an operator whose current contract has been reutilised in capacity for providing school travel, these ACS contracts will be paid at 80%.  Further information will be sent to operators who specifically operate ACS contract routes regarding this.

*if you have a contract due to expire or no longer required between now and end of July we will contact you.  If you give notice during this period on any current contract, payment will cease in line with standard terms and conditions.

In previous communications, it was detailed that suppliers should agree to act on an open book basis and make cost data available to the contracting authority.  In return for this continued payment (whether it be in full or at 80%) we are now requesting that you provide us with a summary of the last six months of your business accounts.  These can be sent to transport.serviceops@suffolk.gov.uk.  Audits of accounts will be randomly selected and should any surpluses be identified during any audit, they will be recouped.

PPE/face coverings on school transport

The government has asked transport operators in England to make wearing face coverings a requirement of using public transport from 15 June to coincide with the next stage of carefully easing COVID-19 restrictions. This applies for a driver and any member of the public including any school students. If a student is travelling to school on a public service bus they must wear a face covering from 15 June. This can be a cloth covering such as a scarf or bandana that ties behind the head. Advice is available on  how to make a face covering and use it properly. A face covering is not the same as a surgical mask or respirator used by healthcare and other workers as part of personal protective equipment. These should continue to be reserved for those who need them to protect against risks in their workplace.

This does not apply to children who are travelling on a Suffolk County Council closed contract vehicle that is only carrying school children. It is up to the parent/carer to decide if their child will wear a face covering.  Operators may decide if their drivers will wear face coverings but this will be a decision made by the operator. For any operator who provides transport to specialist schools, drivers and Passenger Assistants (PA’s) will need to wear facemasks as this is part of the SEND schools risk assessments. 

If any operator is having difficulty in accessing face masks for staff, please contact our PPE department at ppe@suffolk.gov.uk who may be able to either provide you with a list of suppliers or potentially add your order onto ours, and then we will invoice you for this.

Specialist Transport

For any operator who provides transport to a specialist school for children with SEND,  we suggest that wherever possible, you keep the same driver and PA (where applicable) on the same route as this will help with Track and Trace.  However, if there are any unavoidable changes to a route with a different driver or PA being allocated, please ensure prompt communication is made with the school and the family. Good effective communication is imperative during this time to ensure families are kept informed in a timely way to ensure that disruption and any anxiety is kept to a minimum at any time. 

English National Concessionary Transport Scheme (ENCTS)

Further information will be provided directly to operators who are involved with this scheme.

HAVE YOU BEEN AFFECTED BY THESE ISSUES?

FOR FURTHER HELP WITH THESE ISSUES SUBSCRIBE TO GET HELPFUL UPDATES THROUGH YOUR TAXI CAREER


Nothing wrong with a mini me!

Communication from Cambridgeshire council regarding school transport

validated 12/06/2020

Please find pictured to the right confirmation from cambridgeshire county council regarding school contract routes.

This information specifies that face coverings are not essential if the driver and children are the only persons entering the vehicle at all times and that the driver remains the same at all times.

Should the driver be continuing to work with the general public then they would request him/her to wear a covering and have attached information on how to make adequate coverings as a precaution at this time.

Jonathan Lewis, Service Director – Education, Cambridgeshire County Council / Peterborough City Council has communicated the following information to all schools in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough:

Face covering for pupils travelling to schools

Through our networks, we have received confirmation that face coverings will not be a requirement for home to school transport on vehicles hired as a whole.  In the updated guidance on covid-19 for parents, it outlines the following –

·        school transport is unlike public transport, in that it generally carries the same group of children to and from the same destination each day – this may help reduce the risk of cross infection

·        children and staff won’t be expected to wear face coverings in school

·        it is important that those using face coverings are able to do so properly – guidance on how to wear and make a cloth face covering

I hope this clarifies the current situation for all.  If you have any queries, please email me.

DBS Guidance currently in practice by Cambridgeshire County Council

Currently in Practice as of 12/06/2020

Please read the statement below for the information of having your DBS processed by cambridgeshire council in order to access school transport contracts managed by them.

The way we check your identification for DBS Checks is changing due to the continuing COVID-19 Outbreak. Please see guidance below if you are required to attend a check
1 – We will not be able to make appointments over the phone at this current
time.
2 – For the foreseeable future, All DBS ID Checks will now be conducted outside at the following locations
 Huntingdon, Stanton Depot, Stanton Way, PE29 6XL
 Wisbech, Awdry House (Loading Bays), Ramnoth Road, PE13 2JD
 Cambridge, Shire Hall (Loading Bays), Castle Street, CB3 0AP
3 – Council staff will be wearing high viz vests. Please identify yourself to a member of the team whilst maintaining Social Distancing (2M). Further instructions will be provided to you.
4 – We ask that you follow the instructions of staff on site, who will approach you and advise you where to park and what to do. If you are found not to be adhering to these guidelines, you
will be asked to leave the site and your application will be withdrawn.
5 – During the check you will be asked by a member of staff to place all of your documents and money into a plastic tray ready for the ID Verification. Please ensure you have the correct
documents and correct money, we will not be able to issue change. DBS Staff will be wearing PPE whilst handling your documents. If you do not wish to handle your documents when they
are returned you may provide a bag or container to DBS staff and they will put/drop the documents inside.
6 – We will be operating, a No Appointment, No Check. Anyone without an appointment will be turned away.
7 – Risk Assessments – If an applicant has traces on their certificate they must make contact with Martin Kemp, SETT Quality Manager. Martin is currently requesting that the DBS
Certificates are scanned through, with a contact number for the applicant. Martin will then call the applicant and conduct the risk assessment over the phone.
If you have been in contact with a suspected case of COVID-19 or you have symptoms yourself. Under no circumstances should you attend this appointment.

Should you need to access these facilities please contact us for further information.


Hackney Carriage Dockets?

It seems many councils are now asking hackney carriage drivers to record all passengers they carry including a name and a phone number so that if the driver or passenger test positive they can then trace all those they have come into contact with.

This could also be a way of tracking the earnings of those still working so that they could reject self employment grants due to come out in August.

Would you be happy for these details to be recorded as a driver or a customer?

All information send is confidential!


Bury Gets a Female Driver

Mrs Foxy herself made the jump!

As of 11/07/2020 Mrs Foxy has made the move to join the pride family, she will be available weekend evenings to provide women a safer journey home. You will also be able to find her on the taxi rank in Bury St. Edmunds town square where she is able to take anyone home or alternatively you can specify you would like a female driver in either Haverhill or Bury St. Edmunds over the phone and we shall adhere to your request to the best of our ability.


Cabinet proposals on the handbook changes

The meeting will be facilitated via microsoft teams on 21/07/2020

How the meeting will be facilitated

This Cabinet meeting will be facilitated by the Microsoft Teamslive virtual meetings platform.   The meeting will be accessible by the press and public via a live stream; the link to which will be published on the Council’s website alongside guidance on how to join and the agenda papers – this information is now available via the link below.

There is an overall time limit of 15 minutes for public speaking, which may be extended at the Chairman’s discretion’.

How to get your questions over

If a member of the public cannot attend the meeting remotely, they may submit a written question or statement to Democratic Services by midday at the very latest on the day of the meeting and this will be read out on their behalf during the meeting.

This can be done by sending the request to democratic.services@westsuffolk.gov.uk

Have your say in person

As the meeting is taking place virtually, a person who wishes to speak must register by 9am on Monday 20 July 2020 to ensure that there is time to brief them on how they can speak at the meeting.  This can be done by sending the request to democratic.services@westsuffolk.gov.uk or by telephoning one of the numbers provided on the Public Information Sheet at the start of the published agenda.  Members of the public will be provided with a telephone number they can call when prompted to do so during the meeting to enable them to participate.

Members of the public participation

‘Members of the public who live or work in the District are invited to put one question or statement of not more than three minutes duration relating to items to be discussed in Part 1 of the agenda only. If a question is asked and answered within three minutes, the person who asked the question may ask a supplementary question that arises from the reply.

Appendix A contains the draft policy of the drivers handbook

Appendix B contains the consultation survey summary

Appendix C contains the reasons behind changing a vehicles age

Appendix D contains the questionnaire sent out in January 2020


So much for sticking together!

There have been so many drivers across the west suffolk area that have opposed the 10 year age ruling on a vehicle but yet not one stood to voice a question or statement to cabinet tonight to aid the industry to survive apart from myself which is very disappointing to have seen.

I have aided the taxi industry by getting cabinet to implement no first age grant on a private hire vehicle with it being either a Hybrid, LPG or fully electric vehicle which is a huge help to all those that have to purchase vehicles themselves. This however will not be the case of Hackney carriages to keep the number of vehicles on the rank at a smaller amount due to spacing issues.

Further to awaiting the implementations set to be debated in item 10 of the agenda it has been postponed due to government legislation regarding private hire and hackney carriage vehicles which has been passed today. So this item will be brought back to cabinet after reviewing government ruling on our industry.


The forums First meeting since the councils merged – Really?

As many of you may already know in April 2019 Suffolk Council and Forest Heath Councils merged as a money saving excise which has left half the amount of council staff than the previously before the merge took place.

We currently have three members of council staff that are dedicated to licensing and the head of the unit which is an environmental officer.

Since the merge happened last year there have been change upon change to nearly every part of the hand book these include:

  1. The minimum age to plate a vehicle
  2. Dropping the minimum engine size to accommodate hybrid vehicles
  3. Hackney carriage plates have been changed to the aging of first plate on saloons and wheelchair accessible vehicles
  4. Making an MOT and Plate test at six monthly intervals

The first meeting due to happen Tuesday 28th July 2020 was to discuss the new policies that had been decided upon by councillors that had met monday 20th July 2020 unfortunately this was postponed due to new legislation being brought out by government that very same day.

Any drivers that still wish to register interest in being apart of the drivers forum can do so by emailing licensing@westsuffolk.gov.uk

Any drivers that have anything to which they feel needs to brought to council may contact either Laura Williams or Alex Williams or any other member to take to the meeting.



We are pleased to let you know that the handbook consultation has been closed, collated and analysed by the Council. Of 95 complete responses, the largest group of respondents were members of the public (46.8 per cent). 44.7 per cent responded to the survey as representatives of the taxi and private hire car industry. Of this number, the highest proportion identified as drivers from zone A (former FHDC area) (11.7 per cent) and zone B (former SEBC area) (17 per cent).

The proposals set out were:

  • Proposal 1 – Single hackney carriage licensing area for West Suffolk
  • Proposal 2 – Hackney carriage livery
  • Proposal 3 – Private hire vehicle livery
  • Proposal 4 – Age of vehicle, including a 10-year maximum age of vehicle limit
  • Proposal 5 – Engine capacity requirements for private hire and hackney carriages (alternatively fueled vehicles)
  • Proposal 6 – Vehicle tests and inspections
  • Proposal 7 – Convictions policy
  • Proposal 8 – Other minor changes

We need more information

In order to make informed decisions that will enable us to work in partnership with you. Whilst we are considering the feedback and developing recommendations for decision, there is one area we require some more feedback on which is Proposal 4. We would like to know your opinion on some potential implementation options in the table below.

Proposal 4 to be implemented upon renewal of taxi licence from:Please rank these options in order of preference (1-2)
1 January 2023   
1 January 2025   

Please return your responses by 15 June 2020 to taxipolicyhandbook@westsuffolk.gov.uk

THE COUNCIL OVERRIDE OUR OPINIONS

June 2020.

Further to the poll put out by the council regarding many issues they wished to address following the merge we have received confirmation that the council will go ahead with the plans they wanted regardless of the cost to drivers and operators alike.

The letter shows the percentages of the collated information the council received on completed questionnaires which were a total of 95.

This is the letter that has been sent out during covid 19 and stipulates that they are now only considering when a start date should apply.

We as a company have requested the information that wasn’t completed to be input into the data and for the information as to how the survey was put to the public and possibly that the survey should be either extended or that it should be retaken due the circumstances surrounding peoples priorities during these pressing times.

We were made aware that many persons had trouble completing the form online due to technical issues on the council website and due to the layout of the questionnaire not being plausible on other devices other than a a computer.

There were also further issues where the text corresponding to points raised were unable to be viewed at the same time, which meant that many opinions could be unreliable in the survey as on some points they may not have been able to retain the question at the same time as reading the facts already in place by the council and those they wish to implement.

If you were one of those that either didn’t complete or were unable to complete the questionnaire and wish to have your opinion once more then please contact us using the form below stating where you had difficulties in completing the form.


One of the many thank you letters from our finishing contracts

DRAWING TO THE END OF A TERM

MAY 2020

Drawing closer to the end of another term we start to have students reach the end of there time with us and would like to say congratulations to all of the team that help make this possible throughout the years of transport they provide. Drivers can be those that help make a difference to persons that need our support through communication and support to children and adults alike.We wish all those leaving in the coming weeks a fulfilling time in new schools and look forward to seeing all those still with us in the new term. Well done team keep up the good work!


Many may have seen similar notices near to any school

23RD APRIL 2020

Our country came to a halt with all school transport being suspended and the country going into complete lock-down.

During this period we were in unknown territory with drivers having to stay home due to medical conditions the council being unaware of how long we were due to stay in lock-down and whether transport for schools would resume before September and how we would all survive with no form of monies coming in.

Two weeks into lock-down we received confirmation from the councils that all monies that would have been received for transport would continue to be paid, this would be for a period of three months.

Upon receipt of this there was a clause as to the terms of payment:

All operators that were in receipt of monies were liable to pay the drivers that would complete the transport and that none of the monies was able to be retained for self gain further to this any operators that were caught not giving monies to those that were contracted to specific journeys would be invoiced for the monies received for said journeys and may be stripped of entitlement to be able to apply for any further journeys from said council.

Many have been affected by operators not giving the monies rightfully due to those that complete these journeys before lock-down came into place and have been advised to report this to the council.

This information can be supplied upon request to those that are licensed for Suffolk county council and Cambridge city council.


TUESDAY 17TH MARCH 2020

Our operator Laura Williams shall be discussing the impact that the corona virus is causing to everyone and how as a country we should act in an appropriate manner to ascertain that no person or company looses any assets and finances should be be frozen while the situation progresses.

Perhaps we should draft in the army?

Should all assets be frozen so as not to send companies or persons bankrupt?

Would care packages to all homes stop the spread?

HAVE YOUR SAY ON OUR FACEBOOK PAGE SO WE CAN VOICE YOUR VIEWS

Click the link (Radio 5 live) to listen to our opinions on the current situation.


Laura Williams on BBC Radio Suffolk

Did you know our Director Laura Williams was on the Mark Murphy BBC Radio Suffolk Breakfast Wednesday 11th at 8am?

Discussing local issues within the Private hire industry

Click the link to listen here – https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p083221f 

Join the discussion! on Facebook  

Join the conversation fb.me/pridecarstaxis

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Alex Williams pictured left in the Bury free press

This was an article published in the bury free press regarding changes to taxi policies in the old St. Edmundsbury borough district now known as West Suffolk Council when it merged with Forest Heath.
A large amount of the policy change has been based on the forest heath policies meaning the changing of hackney carriage vehicles to black and yellow .
Those that sexually assaulted before were still able to obtain a taxi license 10 years after sentence.
The licensing area would be open allowing any taxi to operate anywhere within the district.
This would then incur a price rise on licenses and fares to accommodate the changes.
The article from the Bury free press


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