It's not unfair to say that some carriage officers have recieved a fair amount of criticism over recent weeks surrounding their conduct and lack of knowledge of hackney carriage legislation, some of it justified and some of it unfounded. Carriage officers have an extremely difficult task in contolling the taxi and private hire industry and generally do a very good job, however there is always an exception to that rule. On Saturday September 16th at approximately 2pm, Simon Hogan a 41 year old taxi driver from London was heading Eastbound along Oxford Street, he was asked to stop outside Selfridges. There are 2 bus stops by Selfridges, one to the East of the world famous store and one to the West, with a taxi rank splitting the 2 bus stops. Simon attempted to allow his 2 elderly passengers to alight at the Western bus stop, which he is legally entitled to do, but was thwarted by a male carriage officer in his 50s who informed him that 'cabs can't set down or pick up on a bus lane". The carriage officer then held the nearside rear door shut with his body weight, thus not only creating a highly dangerous situation (the passengers may have decided to leave the vehicle and alight into a busy road rather than the pavement) but also potentially breaking the law by holding person or persons against their will.
After much discussion and to prevent the situation from exacerbating Simon moved off and allowed his passengers to alight further along Oxford Street, inconveniencing the 2 elderly passengers.
We have approached Transport for London for a comment and clarification on this situation and will publish their response in due course.