Taxi drivers feeling pressurised by irate passengers to drive new restricted road networks are being urged to stay calm and not do anything that risks them being fined.
The comments come as a member of the Licensed Taxi Drivers’ Association (LTDA) received news of a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) for being ‘bullied’ to drive through a restricted Islington School Zone.
A host of new changes to the capital’s road network has popped up since the coronavirus pandemic prompted restrictions back in March 2020.
Taxi drivers returning to the industry after a lengthy lay-off are now trying to get up to speed with the changes.
Lloyd Baldwin, LTDA Executive SO, wrote in TAXI Magazine: “I had a member call me last week about a PCN he received for driving through a school restricted street in Islington. On checking his membership, I realised he had only been out a few months, and he told me that this this was his first ticket. I checked the ticket on Islington’s website and unfortunately, they had a video of his cab going past the signs and ‘as we say’ he was, ‘bang to rights’.
“He went on to describe the circumstances that led to him going past the signs and he told me that he had a fare in the back who was late for an interview and how she dramatically told him that her life depended on getting there on time and that she could not be late. He admitted that she bullied him a little and threw in lines like “you’re supposed to be the best in the world” and that the cab could “go past the signs” if he was dropping off in that street. A discussion then ensued about this type of circumstance as it arises quite often.
“Members of the public are quite happy to put the onus on you and will tell you anything they have to in order to get their own way. I informed him to keep to the message that you should always try your best, but its them that are late and not the cabbie that’s driving the cab. I learnt very early in my cab driving career that you can be fed a load of old tosh which leads to you driving too fast and taking risks where the only person in line for a fine is you.”