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MORE CHOICE? Online cabbie debate questions SCRAPPING taxi turning circle

The seemingly annual online debate around the scrapping of taxi turning circles has arrived early this year, as strong opinions within the industry surface from cabbies looking for more choice to enter the taxi market.

The feature, synonymous with the capital’s iconic black taxis, is regarded by some drivers as too expensive and restricts vehicle options.

Currently just one vehicle meets the strict criteria set by the regulators Transport for London (TfL); LEVC’s TX. As of January 2018, all new taxis in London must be zero-emission capable, wheelchair accessible and able to complete a tighter turning circle than standard cars.

Back in 2019 the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, rejected Assembly Member Caroline Pidgeon’s opportunity to support the scrapping of the turning circle requirement. Khan said: “The turning circle requirement ensures London taxis can manoeuvre in the tight spaces and narrow streets of the capital.

“The turning circle enables the taxi to complete a U-turn in one movement, for example when picking up a passenger hailing from the opposite side of the road, and consequently reduces congestion.”

Since 2019 the black cab fleet has shrunk in size significantly, prompting cabbies to think of ways to reduce costs and extend the choice of vehicles available to them.

Most cabbies argued to keep the turning circle. One cabbie said: "Getting rid of the turning circle will be the death of us. I’m not anti competition, although I love my TXE, and there should be another choice but not at the expense of the turning circle.”

Another said: “We need to keep as many things that distinguish us from PH (Private Hire) otherwise we will just all melt into one. As with the Nissan Dynamo, the turning circle can be achieved.”


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