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BANK JUNCTION: Councillor says taxi ban NEVER had full support of members, businesses and residents

Updated: Apr 18, 2022

The London taxi industry has ‘welcomed’ the motion to re-introduce Bank Junction access to black cabs after a councillor admitted the scheme never had the ‘full support of elected members, business, residents, or black cabs from the outset’.

The comments follow news of a motion to allow licensed taxis access through Bank Junction at all times which is set to be heard next week.

The motion put forward by Alderman Timothy Hailes, supported by 45 members of the Court of Common Council, will consider traffic orders situated in the Square Mile. The motion forms part of the Common Council Committee meeting on Thursday 21 April.

The motion is asking for the City of London’s Planning & Transport Committee to draw up and present a draft traffic order no later than the June which allows east to west and west to east access to Bank Junction for licensed Hackney Carriages at all times, seven days a week.

Benjamin Murphy, City of London Councillor for Bishopsgate, said: “Proud to support this motion before the Court of Common Council. There are likely to be many amendments, but taxis are a lifeline for those with accessibility needs in the City of London.

“More than 1/3 of licenses are now have zero emissions capability. It needs a review.”

James Thomson, City of London Councillor for Walbrook, said: “45 members of the Court of Common Council in the City of London including myself are supporting a motion to review traffic orders across the Square Mile

“Also seeking access for black cabs across Bank Junction at all times. This is supported by many businesses in the Ward of Walbrook which encompasses Bank Junction.

“The closure of Bank junction to taxis never had full support of elected members, business, residents, or black cabs from the outset.

“It is clear views of users have not been fully taken into account which is why we are bringing this motion to get this changed and quickly.”

In 2018 the City of London Corporation’s (COLC) most senior decision-making body voted to make a 16-month experimental safety scheme at the Bank junction, which excluded wheelchair accessible taxis, permanent.

Since then taxi drivers and passengers have complained of longer journey times and high priced fares, especially for disabled users who regularly rely on wheelchair accessible black cabs.

The motion has been welcomed and supported by London taxi industry representatives.

Taxi representatives, United Cabbies Group (UCG), said: “We welcome this motion and a review of the current exclusion of publicly hired licensed taxis, we have worked hard to educate boroughs on the implications of restricting our access. A review is overdue.”

The Licensed Taxi Drivers’ Association (LTDA) said: “Fantastic to see Tim Hailes bringing forward vital motion on taxi access to City of London and great to see many planning to support.

“We urgently need a West-East/East-West route through Bank Junction as a minimum, to keep the City accessible and open for business.”


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