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Final plea to City of London for black taxi access at Bank Junction to be heard tomorrow



Tomorrow marks a significant moment for the City of London, as James Thomson, Deputy Common Councilman for Walbrook and Chair of the City of London Police Authority Board, makes his last address to the City of London Council. Thomson will argue the critical need for black taxis to access Bank Junction, a move he believes is essential for both local businesses and the community.


In his speech, Thomson will clarify that his call to lift restrictions on black cabs is not about favouring the taxi trade itself, nor is it about supporting a single user group. Instead, it is about addressing the availability of black taxis in the Bank area, which he notes has been notably poor due to existing restrictions.

Thomson points to evidence suggesting that many taxi drivers avoid the Bank area altogether, leading to a scarcity of taxis. This avoidance is driven by the restrictions that have been in place during certain hours, dissuading drivers from even considering trips originating from or destined for this area.


He will highlight that the decision to lift these restrictions has broader implications than just traffic management. The current report from the Planning and Transport Committee, he notes, has not adequately considered the economic impacts of poor taxi availability. Thomson stresses that businesses in the City are experiencing significant frustration, as the limited access impacts their operations and reputation. He also mentions that there are specific concerns from vulnerable groups, such as disabled and elderly individuals, who find it challenging to access transportation at Bank Junction.


Thomson will also remind the council members that their responsibility goes beyond acting as a Highways Authority; they must also consider their role in supporting the City of London as a leading business hub. He points out that there is a strong sentiment among taxi users and drivers for lifting the restrictions, and this sentiment includes concerns about safety from women, mobility issues for disabled individuals, and the operational needs of businesses.

Significantly, Thomson highlights that a substantial number of responses, nearly 700, were in favour of a trial lifting of the restrictions. He points out that this support comes from various quarters, including multiple wards around the Bank area that have unanimously backed the call for change.


Thomson will call on the council to support a trial period for lifting the restrictions on black taxis. He asserts that the trial will provide real-world evidence to inform future decisions, contrasting with the current, more limited report which mainly addresses highway considerations. Thomson’s appeal is seen as the final push for a more inclusive and accessible City of London, balancing the needs of businesses and the community with those of a dynamic urban infrastructure.

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