Furious taxi drivers took to blockading London Bridge yesterday after becoming increasingly frustrated at what is seen as Transport for London's seemingly, discriminatory road policies against the licensed London taxi industry.
Taxi pressure group, the Independent Taxi Alliance (ITA), called the action in response to TfL plans to exlude taxis and cars from an Eastbound section of Tooley Street between Duke Street Hill/ London Bridge and Bermondsey Street, the exclusion will not apply to buses and cycles It is believed that this exclusion will restrict direct access to the London Bridge Hospital, and potentially create high levels of congestion and pollution on the surrounding roads, repeating the traffic chaos which occured when the same restriction was in place during the uprating of London Bridge Station. Yesterdays protest was deemed a success, and further action is planned throughout the week, as the taxi industry vents its frustration. London Mayor, Sadiq Khan, shortly after taking office, proclaimed the London taxi industry as an integral part of London's public transport system, however, TfL, as well as some borough councils, have now taken to blocking taxis from some of London's roads, thus restricting access to that same said section of public transport, ultimately inconveniencing passengers. Yesterdays protest started at 4pm, and went on for three hours, with cabbies dispersing at arpund 7pm. Unbelievably, the City of London authority lifted the Bank Junction restriction so as to relieve some of the pressure which had built up due to non-moving traffic. This in itself amplified a point as taxis are also excluded from that junction too. There was some support from the general public with Mr Delta Hotel tweeting: "Why are The Mayor and TfHell so hateful of and discriminatory towards our London Black cabs." Cheechio said on Twitter: "Big taxi protest in London Bridge, anti TfL good." Criticism came from Nicky Turner on twitter who said: "I respect taxi drivers right to protest until it takes me more than 90 minutes to get home, how about a petition next time." The protests will be continuing throughout this week as pressure mounts on TfL to engage with the industry to find a workable solution