A London Licensed Taxi Drivers Association (LTDA) representative has criticised a tweet that they say encouraged private hire drivers to 'swarm' the UK capital's busiest train station, Waterloo.
The tweet in question implied that private hire services had high demand at a certain location. Paul Brennan, a representative of the LTDA, stated that the tweet was ’wrong on so many levels’ and questioned how the author could possibly know about private hire demand.
Brennan went on to explain that taxi demand is much easier to identify, as the lack of available taxis and long queues at taxi ranks are clear indicators.
Brennan also questioned why the Mayor of London and transport officials weren't tweeting about the increasing numbers of passengers cycling to the same station.
Paul Brennan, Licensed Taxi Drivers Association (LTDA), said via TAXI Newspaper: “Some of you will have seen the tweet pictured below at the time it went out. It is wrong on so many levels, I don’t know where to start. Firstly, how did they supposedly know there was demand for private hire? Was someone going around the concourse looking at people looking at their phones and seeing if they had an app open? I mean it's easy to know there is taxi demand - no taxis and a queue at the rank tells you that.
“Instead of encouraging hundreds of minicabs to swarm to Waterloo and the likely fallout from that, perhaps someone should be questioning why at 2.26pm on a Friday afternoon there are no taxis at the capital’s busiest station? In all my years behind the wheel, if there was going to be a time that I would expect a queue of cabs going back through the tunnel and out to Addington Street, 2.26pm on a Friday afternoon is it. Especially as now those who work from home a couple of days a week, always do so on a Monday and Friday.
“It can’t be the road layout and rank facilities which are to blame (even though they are beyond pathetic), but if anything, they should have ensured that the chaos of cabs ranking went all the way back down York Road and beyond. It is however a fact that road closures like those on The Cut mean Waterloo is becoming unserviceable. It’s a bit like building brick walls in the Bakerloo and Northern line tube tunnels between Embankment and Waterloo and then wondering why no tube trains are arriving at the station.
“It makes you wonder why Will Norman and Mayor Khan are not tweeting about the thousands of cycles entering and leaving Waterloo Station, as passengers stick two fingers up to taxis and get on their bikes instead, I mean they keep telling us cycling is booming.
“Have you ever seen a tweet from them or TfL apologising for the lack of Santander bikes due to the demand from all the converts? No, me neither.”