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‘ANYTHING LESS IS DISCRIMINATION’: Blind disability group urges City of London council to reopen Bank Junction to taxis

Image credit: NFBUK

The National Federation of the Blind UK (NFBUK), a key advocate for blind and partially sighted individuals, has issued a final pressing call for the City of London to reinstate black taxi access through Bank Junction adding that ‘anything less is discrimination’.

The plea marks a critical juncture in a longstanding debate over access to one of the city's most crucial transport hubs. After years of controversy and public discourse, there is renewed hope that publicly hired, wheelchair-accessible black cabs might soon regain full access to Bank Junction.

Local businesses, disability advocates, politicians, and taxi drivers have been vocal in their support for reopening the junction to licensed taxis. On Thursday 20 June, the City of London’s Court of Common Council is set to deliberate on whether to trial the reintroduction of taxis to this pivotal location.

Earlier this year, FREENOW, a European mobility operator, presented data highlighting significant disparities in taxi service availability between Bank Junction and Shaftesbury Avenue in the West End. The data indicated a 20% lower pickup rate at Bank Junction during peak hours, coupled with a higher cancellation rate and increased journey costs for passengers.

These figures underline the difficulties faced by both passengers and drivers in the area, raising questions about the current restrictions' impact on London's transport network. The Cabs Across Bank (CAB) campaign, led by James Thomson, Deputy Common Councilman for Walbrook and Chair of the City of London Police Authority Board, has been at the forefront of efforts to lift these restrictions to better serve the local community. The campaign advocates for unrestricted access for licensed Hackney Carriages to enhance accessibility, safety, and support for key sectors of the city's economy.

An NFBUK spokesperson said via social media: “It (Bank Junction) needs to open up as a matter of urgency please. Black Cabs need to be able to access all areas including Bank Junction. Anything less is discrimination.”


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