London Chauffeur Observations of a London Chauffeur

17Mar/11Off

Fuel Price Increases Affecting The UK Chauffeur Industry


Fuel prices are going through the roof this year, as if you hadn't noticed and it's on the cards that the government may up fuel duty to pile on the misery. There is much coverage of this throughout the media and much speculation as to what may or may not be done about it.

I was surprised this week to hear that Ed Balls put forward the idea of reducing VAT on fuel back down to 17.5% with the idea that this would boost the UK economy. Agreed, it would save the man in the street money, yes but as I see it, the most damaging aspect of  high UK fuel prices is the impact it has on commercial vehicles which in turn puts up the cost of moving freight and people around the country. As a London Chauffeur, I fall into the latter of these two categories.  This in turn drives up costs which are then passed down to the consumer. A large amount of businesses however can claim back VAT on fuel which would water down this proposal considerably. It's the ex VAT cost that is causing the problem to business not VAT.

This motion was in fact defeated in the commons yesterday and quite rightly so; partly due to some of the reasons above and possible legal problems with the EU as far as this is concerned.

As far as I'm concerned the main problem is the huge tax imposed on fuel by successive governments which is due to be increased in April 2011. Political unrest in the Middle East has sent the price of crude oil soaring but this can't be legislated for. Unfair government taxation can be though.

Fair Fuel UK are doing a sterling job on fighting the cause of the motorist and associated industries. I urge you to visit the Fair Fuel UK website to  learn more and lend your support and help stop the April fuel duty increase.

16Apr/107

Would removing the 70 mph speed limit increase lane discipline on UK roads?


Do you ever notice on our Motorways and other main roads that about 50% of the traffic is in the outside lane, 35% in the middle lane and only the remaining 15% (mostly only trucks) occupy the inside slow lane.
This leads to congestion and some rather precarious driving manoeuvres which can make our roads frustrating to drive on as well as extremely dangerous.
I have just come back from a week in Germany where I drove many miles on the autobahns which are mainly 2 lanes only but traffic flows far more smoothly than over here due to incredibly good lane discipline. Admittedly the volume of traffic is not so high but the attitude of drivers toward one another was markedly better than that shown in the UK.
The speed limit is mainly unrestricted on German autobahns and it occurred to me that this could be the key.
It's my opinion that the 70 mph limit breeds a kind of pig headed "I'm doing 70 and no one's going to go past me attitude" by drivers who quite often sit in the outside lane thinking they're doing 70 but due to the inaccuracy of their speedo are probably only doing 65 mph.
They sit in the outside lane almost daring other drivers to overtake them on the inside or show their frustration with them in other ways.
Hugging the middle lane is also a huge problem in the UK with drivers failing to keep an eye on their mirrors or maybe even deliberately causing an obstruction to vehicles approaching them at faster speeds i.e. other vehicles undergoing overtaking manoeuvres.
In Germany however, everyone has the right to go as fast as they like and consequently other drivers are happy to leave the fast lane clear for them to do so. I never once saw anyone being discourteous to other road users whilst in Germany.
Let's face it, who cares if someone else wants to go faster than you, they may have a very good reason, it's neither for us to judge nor hinder them.
So please, let's all have a little more consideration for other road users.
Does anyone know of a lobbying group for the abolition or raising of the 70 mph speed limit? If so please leave a comment.

22Feb/102

Major roadworks on London’s Thames Bridges


Who thinks these things up?????

Currently Albert Bridge is closed for long term roadworks, Hammersmith Bridge has weekend closures, Blackwall tunnel South is closed at night, Southwark bridge has a contraflow, Waterloo Bridge has lane closures and Borough High Street is closed southbound causing congestion to the south of London Bridge.

Who on earth plans this stuff? Come on Boris you really need to  get a grip of this nonsense. It doesn't matter how many bikes you introduce into London if most of the traffic stationary pumping out carbon.

Visit  BBC London for traffic updates

21Feb/102

New UK tax policies are creating a worrying trend for London Chauffeurs.


As a London Chauffeur, I neither purport to be a financial nor political expert but I do have some interesting conversations with the people I drive and have noticed a worrying trend of late i.e. foreign businesses and individuals (non-domiciliaries or non-doms) who are planning to exit the UK due to the recent hike in tax rates and the introduction of taxes on bonuses for financial institutions. Whilst researching I found this article at International Adviser backing up what I've been hearing along with this news item about drinks maker Diageo at the BBC.
One multinational client of mine is looking into moving it's European Headquarters from the UK to another more tax friendly European Country (I'm deliberately being vague from a confidentiality perspective here).
Another Russian businessman is considering moving away from the UK and basing in Dubai and another is leaving the UK after 11 years to work in Germany. All of these examples contribute substantially to the exchequer through various forms of taxation and subsequently the revenues of other UK businesses to which they patronise and I wonder if we can really afford to lose them.
Other countries are waiting for the with new tax incentives of their own as our foreign nationals begin looking for more tax friendly territories in which to reside.
All of this as a direct result of the government's recent tax changes.
London in particular has benefited hugely from the influx of money that the outgoing tax incentives have brought over the last few years but as I see it, the government has decided to go for short term revenues and to appease the less privileged voters without considering the bigger picture i.e. a decrease in private investment and the effect on Property Prices, high end retail sales, hotels, restaurants etc. and of course my own industry UK/London Chauffeur Services.
As a chauffeur service provider I'm concerned that many of our regular users will begin to disappear. After all, these three examples just come from me. There are many thousands of chauffeurs out there. What if they all had the same experiences as me?
Just for the record I have no interest in Party Politics, I would feel the same whoever introduced these tax changes.
Wow......... I never thought I would be so political in my first blog. I hope somebody reads it and even possibly sparks a debate.

Non-domiciliaries
16Feb/100

Introducing London Chauffeur


Well, I've been meaning to start a blog for sometime and decided that the time has now come to just get on with it and learn as I go along.
I wish to share my experiences out on the road which will hopefully give some help to some and maybe even spark some debate. I have a very mixed clientelle and have many interesting conversations along the way as well experiencing many different scenarios on a daily basis some frustrating, some tragic and some which are frankly hillarious.
If you would like to find out more about the services I provide as a London Chauffeur, please visit my website at www.no1-chauffeur.com.