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‘EMBARRASSING’: 93-year-old man struggles to taxi due to restricted taxi access on Bishopsgate

Image credit: @GavinHay23 (Twitter)

A London taxi driver called it ‘embarrassing’ that a 93-year-old man struggling to walk had to stagger to the waiting taxi due to access restrictions imposed by the Mayor of London and transport regulators.

Gavin Hay, a taxi driver and firefighter, posted the short video showing the elderly man struggling to walk to the waiting taxi at the junction of Bishopsgate and Liverpool Street.

According to the cabbie, the 93-year-old man had to be helped to the taxi which was waiting outside Liverpool Street Station on Bishopsgate. Wheelchair accessible taxis no longer have access to that stretch and have been banned from turning left out of Liverpool Street where the train station taxi rank is located.

Hay said via social media: “Whilst on point at Liverpool Street I was asked by this lady if I could turn left onto Bishopsgate and collect her 93-year-old Dad.

“I explained that taxis are no longer allowed to turn left/access the bus gate.

“Embarrassing that they had to walk to me.”

The video relates heavily to last month’s appeal against a High Court judgment led by the capital’s taxi industry over street access on the Bishopsgate stretch of road.

Transport for London (TfL) appealed against a decision relating to a High Court judgment on 21 January which challenged the Mayor and TfL’s Plan, associated Guidance issued to London Boroughs and the Order concerning a specific Streetspace scheme, the A10 Bishopsgate Corridor in the City of London, removing taxi access to a key arterial route.

The Court originally ordered that the Streetspace Plan, Interim Guidance to Boroughs and the A10 Bishopsgate Traffic Order be quashed, however TfL were handed the right to appeal the decision, which they won last month.

Upon winning the appeal last month the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “This decision from the Court of Appeal on the Bishopsgate scheme is a vindication of our policies. Our world-leading Streetspace schemes are helping protect the health of Londoners, and this decision reinforces my determination to make it safer and easier for Londoners to walk and cycle, and to help ensure a green and sustainable recovery from the pandemic.”

The video showing the elderly man has been viewed more than 100,000 times since first shared on 9 July.

People commenting on the video said: “London is becoming less and less inclusive for elderly and disabled people. The closure of roads for taxis, chairs and tables that block the path for wheelchairs and allowing people to use e-scooters, that are incredibly dangerous for people who have a sight, mobility impairment.”

Another said: “Didn't know taxis couldn't come off that rank & turn left, absolutely mad . Does that force you all right & right again on London Wall if you get a fare going north?”


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