London Mayor apologises after incorrect details on the subject of taxi driver mental health released

The London Mayor has apologised after incorrect information on the subject of mental health issues faced by taxi drivers was released.

Last week the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, urged London’s cabbies to seek help with Transport for London (TfL) should they feel like they were mentally struggling with the extra pressures since the COVID-19 outbreak.

However, a week after the original statement was made in response to a written Mayor’s Question, Khan has issued an updated statement. Khan said: “Since this question was published, it has come to my attention that the information provided was incorrect. I apologise for this and have asked my team to look into it.”

In the updated response it moves away from the offer of access to TfL’s Occupational Health resources. Instead self-employed cabbies are now encouraged to visit the regulator’s Health and Wellbeing website page for more advice and help.

The written question, put forward by London Assembly Member David Kurten, comes following low work levels and plans to deny road access in key areas leaving the black cab industry frustrated and concerned for their immediate futures.

As part of the Streetspace programme, TfL announced last week changes to the way traffic is managed on Bishopsgate. These changes include introducing bus and cycle only access from Monday to Friday, between 7am to 7pm from mid-July.

Since 2018 the black taxi industry has invested nearly £200million into 3,500 zero-emission vehicles to clean up the capital’s poor air quality.

Responding for a second time on the topic of road access, the Mayor does however continue to acknowledge the importance of wheelchair accessible taxis for people with disabilities or mobility issues.

In the updated response, Khan added: “I recognise the important role taxis play in moving people around London. The accessible nature of taxis means they are particularly important to people with disabilities or mobility issues. 

“Taxis are already permitted to access the vast majority of roads in London including more than 90 per cent of bus lanes. Transport for London wrote to all London boroughs and the City of London earlier this year asking them to implement initiatives to support the taxi trade, including access to bus lanes, taxi ranks and rapid charging infrastructure.

“However, Transport for London only controls around five per cent of London’s roads. In addition, taxi access at any location would need to be considered on a case-by-case basis, taking into account a range of factors including safety, congestion, bus performance and environmental concerns.”

Image credit: LEVC

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