London taxi representatives urge cabbies NOT to protest whilst road closure legal action is lodged

London taxi representatives have urged cabbies to refrain from protesting against road access closures whilst legal action is lodged with the High Court.

Two taxi groups have joined together to submit legal papers to the High Court, challenging not only the new Bishopsgate Bus Gate scheme that excludes licensed black cabs during peak times, but also a review of the entire London Streetspace plans.

The Licensed Taxi Drivers’ Association (LTDA) and United Trade Action Group (UTAG) took the decision to challenge both the Mayor of London and Transport for London (TfL) two weeks ago, after concerns over the new Streetspace plans.

According to trade representatives, the legal team involved has requested the two cases are allowed to be heard together to “streamline the process” and “to ensure the hearings be heard without undue delay”.

Frustrated cabbies, many of whom are looking to head back to work for the first time since COVID-19 lockdown started in March, have called for the trade to undertake direct action against the closures. A planned protest starting at Bishopsgate on 1 September has been discussed amongst the taxi community on social media. 

Angela Clarkson and Trevor Merralls, both UTAG Directors, said in a statement shared on social media and sent to members: “We totally understand and share the frustration and anger of those who call for direct action but would ask that they hold fire whilst we and the LTDA have two legal challenges lodged at the High Court.

“Any demos would, in our and our legal teams’ opinion be counterproductive to our case for the following reason.

“We at UTAG know from experience that our opponents and their legal teams take a great interest in what UTAG in particular and the trade in general say or do. They look for any reasons they can find to weaken our legal arguments and cast doubt in the minds of the High Court Judges who preside over the hearings.”

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