Updated: Sep 24
Licensed Taxi Driver's Association (LTDA) columnist, Sam Houston, has voiced strong concerns over the increasing number of Penalty Charge Notices (PCNs) received by taxi drivers attempting to access the Brompton Road rank.
In an article published in the TAXI Newspaper, Houston highlighted the variety of explanations given by drivers, while emphasising the financial burden imposed by the fines.
Houston expressed amazement at the frequency of PCNs issued to drivers attempting to join the rank at Brompton Road. Drivers have reportedly used various justifications, including traffic congestion or passengers quickly entering or exiting the taxi before the driver had a chance to act. While accepting that these explanations may be valid in some cases, Houston pointed out that being stuck behind other drivers also seeking access to the rank is not the same as being stuck in traffic.
Houston added: “Like any other working driver, I come past this rank almost every day, it's a great rank for sure.
“It ticks over all day, even when the store is closed. But what I don't understand is that, it's fairly clear when you get there whether there's space on the rank or not, and definitely drivers don't move up that quick, as they're often loading, and that can take a while. It is what it is, everyone must know there's a camera there by now. In fact, the operator must be in line for some sort of bonus or performance award from TfL, perhaps a medal?
“As well as this, you get another chance as there's Hans Road and Basil Street, or if you're feeling adventurous you could get on Montpelier Street, which is easier to leave in my opinion. Yes, I know it's a rest rank, but you're still allowed to take a job and there's a lot of passing foot traffic there, so a good chance of getting hired.
“I know some drivers like to work certain familiar ranks, fair enough, but if you stop in that little spot by Hans Crescent without picking up or setting down, you're just giving away money to TfL - and we all do enough of that already.”