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Higher taxi demand post ‘Kipper Season’ could mean less coverage in LTN areas, says taxi rep

Busier streets and higher demand for taxis post ‘Kipper Season’ is likely to mean less cabs available to those living in Low Traffic Neighbourhoods (LTNs) once again, says taxi representatives.

Around four in five taxi drivers are said to be put off looking for passengers or accepting e-hail bookings in areas that have controversial Low Traffic Neighbourhood (LTN) restrictions.

In a short survey conducted online by TaxiPoint in November 2021, 82% of cabbies said they steered clear of LTN restrictions for fear of being fined, getting stuck in heavy traffic and a lack of knowledge circumnavigating the complex new networks.

In London, taxi drivers singled out LTNs in Islington, Hackney and the City of London as the areas they are most likely to give a wide berth. At a time when taxi customers are facing shortages of available black cabs in general, the number of taxis choosing not to service areas leaves the most vulnerable in the community with slim transport options.

A return to high-levels of demand is expected in the coming weeks which representatives from the Licensed Taxi Drivers’ Association (LTDA) say will help with ‘drivers' mental health’. However, it was highlighted that drivers choosing to not service LTN areas long-term would be detrimental to those who rely on taxis to get around the capital.

Paul Brennan, LTDA Chairman, said in TAXI Newspaper: “Of course, unlike the days of old when the only annoyance in our day was listening to ‘never a bad day,’ we will still have to deal with the Low Traffic Neighbourhoods and other ridiculous road schemes implemented by people who shouldn’t be allowed near a Scalextric set let alone this City’s Road network.

“With driver numbers currently low, if we do see work levels return to those seen before Christmas we could (and if the poll conducted by TaxiPoint is any indicator it will) see many drivers choosing to stay as far away from certain parts of London like the City, Islington, Camden and Covent Garden as they can.

“That will be good for drivers’ mental health as they will not need to deal with the multitude of problems these boroughs have inflicted, but it is not good for Londoner’s or our trade long term.”


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