Bank Junction black taxi accessibility is “not a luxury, but a necessity” for those with disabilities trying to get to appointments in the City, says Lord Holmes of Richmond.
The Conservative Lord highlighted the issue during yesterday's sitting at the House of Lords whilst discussing a new motion based around Public Service Vehicles Open Data Regulations.
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.
The COLC are now looking to impose further restrictions on a widespread section of roads across the Square Mile citing COVID-19 distancing requirements.
This comes despite the COLC calling for the return of international travellers into the Square Mile to aid financial recovery.
International business workers with luggage or travelling in a group will be expected to walk or cycle to meetings in the city, as taxi access looks set to become restricted in the financial business district.
The COLC are also exploring the reallocation of some street space to al fresco dining as part of its plan to safely reopen the Square Mile’s cafés and restaurants.
The UK Government continue to urge the public and travellers not to use public transport which includes buses, trains and the underground networks. Travellers arriving into Heathrow will be asked to take reduced train services to Paddington and then potentially finish their journey by either walking or cycling to their end destination over 4-miles away. Black taxis, the only form of public transport fully wheelchair accessible, are still available at Paddington and throughout London, however access to key areas across the City of London looks set to be lost.
Lord Holmes of Richmond asked the Minister Baroness Vere of Norbiton at the House of Lords: “Can the Minister tell us what is happening at Bank Junction in the City of London, where currently, only buses are allowed through?
“This is appropriate to a certain extent, but will she look into enabling London-licensed black taxis to go through the junction?
“They have never been involved in a crash. For some people, particularly those with accessibility needs, a black taxi is not a luxury but a necessity to get to appointments in that part of the City.”
Image credit: LEVC