London limo crackdown success for authorities
Apr02

London limo crackdown success for authorities

The latest crackdown on unsafe, uninsured and unlicensed vehicles in the capital has seen over 70 penalties dished out to rogue operators and drivers of unsafe limousines and novelty vehicles. Half of these were issued to drivers of unroadworthy vehicles. 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) and City of London Police, launched at the beginning of March to step up enforcement against illegal luxury or novelty cars that have increasingly become part of the capital’s nightlife. In the first month of operation there were penalties and prohibitions issued for a range of offences including using the vehicle for hire or reward without an appropriate licence, operating with defects that deemed the vehicle not roadworthy and for overloading the vehicle. Seventy limousines were checked by enforcement officers in central London over the three weekends of operation, with eight drivers penalised for not having the correct insurance or licence. There were also four limousines confiscated and impounded for unauthorised use of a vehicle (no operator’s licence). TfL’s Commissioner, Peter Hendy CBE, said: “These vehicles present danger to anyone who uses them, and we are determined to deal with anyone who puts Londoners safety at risk. In many case they are unsafe and uninsured.” The dedicated joint team conducting the operation are part of a sustained crackdown by TfL and its policing partners, who continuously carry out enforcement operations such as roadside stop-checks on sub-standard vehicles which put passengers and other road users at risk. These operations are all part of TfL’s efforts to ensure the safety and security of the travelling public, especially with the London 2012 Games fast approaching. The importance of these operations in the run-up to Games time was highlighted and championed by Sarah Bell, Traffic Commissioner for Western England and lead Commissioner for the Olympic and Paralympic Games: “The Traffic Commissioners for Great Britain have expressed their disquiet over the existence of unlicensed limousines and novelty vehicles for many years. Unlicensed vehicles are highly likely to be unsafe such that they pose a real danger to the safety of passengers as well as other road users. We welcome this high profile, targeted operation in advance of the Games, not only to remove these rogue operators and drivers from the road but also in raising the awareness of unsuspecting members of the public who book them. Members of the public are strongly advised to insist on seeing the operator’s licence or local authority licence before proceeding with any booking “ Despite significant progress over recent years illegal...

Read More
Channel 4 to air limo documentary
Mar05

Channel 4 to air limo documentary

The UK’s limousine industry is to be highlighted in a Channel 4 documentary which is to be aired this evening (5th March 2012). Staff at Lytham-based Jet Set Limousines are set to be the stars of ‘Out on a Limo’ Channel Four programme after appearing in smaller roles in other television shows. The firm’s drivers have recently appeared in Sky One’s Ladies Who Lunch, Channel Four’s popular Four in a Bed, and have just completed a pilot show for Channel Five based on celebrity wedding planners. Jet Set owner Kevin Hinds said: “Our chauffeurs are appearing in so many TV shows at the moment that I’m thinking of becoming their agent and asking for a cut of any spin-off appearance money.’ The industry is hoping the programme will portray it in a better light than the previous show (Limo Fever), which was aired by Sky One in...

Read More

Popular limousine forum taken offline

The UK’s limousine industry was left in limbo today as the popular ‘Limo Chat’ forum was taken offline. Members of the industry have been contacting TheChauffeur.com to say their membership had been cancelled or they were unable to get access to the popular website. The National Limousine and Chauffeur Association which purchased the domain some years ago, has pulled the plug following ‘continuous abuse’ towards the association by non-members. More than 20,000 posts from hundreds of limousine owners were on the forum which allowed conversations on licensing, repairs and general business discussion. Both members and non-members of the NLCA were allowed to join and post in an attempt to encourage free speech amongst the industry and to promote the associations work and efforts. Chairman of the NLCA, Peter Wright told TheChauffeur.com; “We have spent time, money and lots of effort to maintain this forum at our own expense. It was invented to bring the industry together, but it has encouraged a number of members to spend their own time continually posting derogatory comments about us, and these are people who cannot be otherwise convinced and will never join to make the industry better.” He added; “Members of the NLCA all voted at the recent AGM that the forum should be closed, which will allow us to put the efforts into something else which would hopefully benefit our members further.” The NLCA purchased the ‘free forum’ from an operator for £1,500 when it was approved by the members and committee at the time – what the NLCA was actually buying is unclear as ‘JustDiscussions’ is an entirely free forum service open to anyone. Since the closure, industry members have contacted TheChauffeur.com requesting it starts a similar forum. Today, the online magazine has announced it is to launch a similar strictly moderated forum for both the chauffeur and limousine sector within the next few weeks by popular demand. Editor, Paul Gibson commented; “This is meant to be a professional industry – it’s saddening that the NLCA were forced to make this decision due to the actions of a handful of people. We’re happy to launch a brand new forum, but members must be warned that to be taken seriously by the government agencies and authorities, they need to be seen as professional business people, which is paramount on an open...

Read More
Royale Limo reviews U.S Show highlights
Feb22

Royale Limo reviews U.S Show highlights

One of the largest limousine coachbuilders in the U.S is hailing the recent Las Vegas industry show as a success. Royale Limo based in Haverhill, Massachusetts revealed its prototype of the 2013 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid stretch to visitors at the LCT Show which was held on 13-15 February 2012. Large limousine operator, Dennis Adams from Celebrity Limousines (pictured) is the first lucky owner, following the signing of a deal for five MKZ’s when it goes into production. The company also showed its version of the MKT Limousine which boasts an all-wheel-drive 300hp, V6 3.7 litre engine. The specially engineered heavy-duty limousine chassis can be stretched by up to 120 inches while retaining the standard all-wheel drive capability to ensure a new MKT limousine satisfies operators in all weathers. Steve Edelmann from Royale Limos gives TheChauffeur.com a breakdown of the other exciting launches and vehicles on show during the event. It seems the resistance to the MKT is softening and it’s gaining acceptance within the industry. Visitors seem to love the technology including navigation, reverse camera, blind side sensors, bluetooth, SYNC, AWD and much more. The MKT is expected by coachbuilders in mid March 2012 and can be stretched 44”, 70″, 80″ and 120″ by QVM Builders. The Cadillac XTS is beautiful with more space than expected in the boot, but somewhat lacking in the width and headroom. The XTS is expected at the end of August and can be stretched up to 70″ by Cadillac Master Coachbuilders. Chrysler’s newly redesigned 300 had attendees flocking to their booth to admire it’s stylish grill and front end, along with great boot space, 30mpg and a $32,000. USD price tag. Chrysler is also offering a 3yr/150,000 warranty to the Livery Industry in the US. BMW had attendees extremely excited with their 535i Gran Turismo loaded with options (including 4yr/50,000 maintenance) for $49,850 USD. The Mercedes Sprinter was also very popular due to its fuel economy, uni-body construction, computerised braking system and extremely desirable emblem. Overall, it was a great event for the whole industry, and Royale enjoyed meeting our current customers as well as new ones.” Steve Edelmann – Royale...

Read More
Council issues limo warning to residents
Feb17

Council issues limo warning to residents

A local authority is warning residents to check with the authorities before hiring a limousine during the school prom season. Licensing officers from Milton Keynes Council has issued the warning with the aim of driving illegal firms out of business during the busy season. A spokesperson told Milton Keynes News; “Many of the rogue companies will offer a huge reduction in costs and normally work cash only. But don’t put yourself in danger, please check that the stretch limo company is a genuine, professional licensed operation.” The council is advising potential users of stretch limousines to check with the licensing team or VOSA to confirm whether the company, drivers and vehicles are legally...

Read More
Limo hire firm fined for operating without licence
Feb07

Limo hire firm fined for operating without licence

A limousine business owner has been prosecuted for running an illegal firm following a number of complaints and an undercover operation. Sooty Edwards from Haddenham, Buckinghamshire has apparently been operating ‘Skooters’ without a private hire licence and was fined £2,700 and ordered to pay £3,493 of costs recently. The company was caught following a successful operation involving officers from the local authority, Cambridgeshire Police and the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA). Elizabeth Bailey, Principal Environmental Health Officer said: “The last thing anyone wants to do when they are arranging an event or a special day out is worry about the safety of the driver or vehicle. In our recent case against the company Skooters,  the vehicle, driver and company were all unlicensed, and despite repeated requests to become licensed, the owner failed to act on our advice, and carried on operating.” She added; “We hope this recent case is a warning to any operator who thinks they can cut corners and not licence themselves and their vehicles, and reminds local residents to ask the right questions of their private hire company.” Cambridge News has reported that in January 2010, Edwards and his son Kristian, who was 21 at the time, were handed suspended prison sentences after they set themselves up as cigarette smugglers. The father-and-son duo had claimed they brought in 500,000 contraband cigarettes to raise funds to buy a bigger stake in Cambridge United FC for supporters, but they were convicted of evading £87,000 in duty. Sooty was given a six-month sentence, suspended for 18 months, and ordered to carry out 300 hours of unpaid work – the maximum amount that can be imposed. Kristian was given three months’ imprisonment, suspended for 12 months, and was ordered to do 150 hours of work in the...

Read More