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Rogue limousines being driven off capital’s roads as customers are encouraged to plan ahead this festive season

12/12/2012

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A New wave of enforcement against unsafe, uninsured and unlicensed vehicles in the capital has seen rogue operators of unsafe limousines hit with 17 prohibition orders.

Operation Kansas, a joint initiative between TfL, the Vehicle and Operators Services Agency (VOSA) and the TfL funded Safer Transport Command (STC) from the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS), was launched in London at the beginning of March to step up enforcement against illegal luxury or novelty cars that feature prominently in the capital’s nightlife.

Roadside stop-checks on limousines and other vehicles were carried out on Victoria Embankment on Saturday night (8 December), as the city got into the full swing of Christmas party season.

On Saturday, 26 vehicles were stop-checked, with seven issued with immediate prohibition order preventing them from being used until remedial action had been taken. Of those seven, one was immediately impounded for having vehicle defects and no operating licence. Three were immobilised at the road side.

Five vehicles were issued with delayed prohibitions by VOSA inspectors, requiring them to make improvements to the vehicle within a set period of time. Those vehicles will also be required to undergo a new MOT inspection. Five further vehicles were issued with inspection notices.

Since concerted enforcement activity began in March, Operation Kansas has stopped and examined more than 300 vehicles.

Despite significant progress over recent years illegal limos, cabs and private hire vehicles remain a high priority for TfL as they are a danger to the public, especially as they operate around the capital’s night life.

TfL’s Commissioner, Peter Hendy CBE, said: “TfL and our partners have come down hard on rogue operators in recent months and we are now starting to see positive results on the road. These vehicles, which in many cases are unsafe and uninsured, are a danger to anyone who hires them and we will continue to bear down on dodgy operators to raise safety standards across the capital.”

VOSA’s Southern Regional Manager, Dell Evans, said: “Operation Kansas in London is an excellent example of a range of agencies working together with a common objective which has resulted in a very high number of unsafe and in some cases illegally operated and driven vehicles being removed from the road. VOSA, Tfl and the Metropolitan Police are confident that the hard work done by our staff has resulted in a safer and more legally compliant Limousine hire section of the transport industry. We are now working together with the good legal operators within this industry with the joint aim of improving compliance and public safety.”   

Chief Superintendent Sultan Taylor, MPS Safer Transport Command, said: "These vehicles are extremely popular in the Capital with Londoners booking them for parties and nights out especially in the run up to the festive period. They may seem like harmless fun but if the vehicle is unsafe it can have serious consequences. We will maintain these operations to these vehicles are safe and we are urging Londoners to ensure they book their novelty vehicle correctly to avoid being caught out.”

Customers encouraged to plan ahead this festive season

Transport for London and Diageo enter second year of sponsorship deal to get party goers home safely with free New Year’s Eve travel

Transport for London (TfL) has issued its annual Festive Travel Guide online to help Londoners and visitors travelling around the capital over Christmas and New Year.

The website, www.tfl.gov.uk/festive  contains details of Tube, buses, Docklands Light Railway (DLR), Tramlink, London Overground, Emirates Air Line, Riverboat services, Barclays Cycle Hire and the Congestion Charge throughout the festive period from Christmas Eve to New Year’s Day.

Free travel will be provided on New Year’s Eve so that festive revellers can get home safely. It is the second year of Diageo’s three year sponsorship of free travel. Free travel will be available between 23:45 on 31 December and 04:30 on 1 January on the Tube, buses, trams, DLR, and until last trains on London Overground.

Peter Hendy, Transport Commissioner, CBE said: “Our plans are that the transport networks will operate throughout the festive season with the exception of Christmas Day when all our services will be closed. The network will operate reduced services when appropriate and we will also take the opportunity of this quieter time to carry out engineering works as part of the continuing Tube upgrade programme. I urge everyone to plan their journeys in advance by visiting the festive travel website and looking out for posters across our network.

“I am pleased that we are able to continue providing free travel for travellers on New Year’s Eve through sponsorship with Diageo. For those wishing to brave the crowds to come into central London to celebrate, public transport is the only way to get around London on New Year’s Eve.”

Essential Tube, DLR and London Overground engineering works will be taking place over the festive period with some buses replacing rail services. Passengers are advised to check before they travel at www.tfl.gov.uk/festive.

A full list of TfL’s social media channels is available at www.tfl.gov.uk/socialmedia  which includes details of the Twitter feeds for each of the 11 different London Underground lines, the DLR, London Overground, Barclays Cycle Hire and live traffic news for updates during the festive period.

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