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New FREENOW data reveals taxi drivers TWICE as likely to cancel around Bank Junction compared to West End

Newly released data from the taxi app and European Mobility operator FREENOW has highlighted a significant disparity in driver cancellation rates between the Bank Junction area and a busy West End location.

The data requested by TaxiPoint and generated by FREENOW, sheds light on the challenges faced by passengers and drivers in different parts of London. It also continues to highlight a lack of black cab coverage in the heavily restricted Bank Junction area.

Other key findings of the research include:

  • At Bank Junction, passengers face a 20% lower pick- up rate compared to the bustling West End during peak hours (7am-7pm).

  • Routes approaching and within Bank Junction tend to be longer in distance, both during peak and non- peak hours.

  • Notably, the driver cancellation rate for rides destined for Bank Junction is twice as high as that for Shaftesbury Avenue in peak hours.

  • Additionally, the average tour value for journeys either starting or ending at Bank Junction is £3-£5 higher than other areas.

  • Rides to Bank Junction typically cover longer distances, and passengers experience approximately one minute longer wait times, irrespective of peak hours.

The comparison point in the West End, Shaftesbury Avenue, was chosen due to its similarly heavy traffic and complex one-way road systems. This choice provides a more representative contrast than other areas of the West End.

This data release coincides with the ongoing momentum of the Cabs Across Bank (CAB) campaign, led by Councillor James Thomson. The campaign advocates for the restoration of taxi access to Bank Junction and calls for the removal of restrictions on licensed Hackney Carriages in the City of London. CAB is gathering fresh evidence to support its cause, emphasising the essential role of black cabs in London's public transport network.

CAB's agenda also includes lifting similar restrictions in other parts of the capital. The campaign underlines various benefits of this action, such as improved accessibility for individuals with mobility challenges, enhanced safety for women and vulnerable passengers, and support for the tourism, hospitality, and business sectors. The unrestricted operation of black cabs, known for their reliability and trustworthiness, is seen as a critical factor in these areas.

As CAB's efforts gain traction into 2024, the debate continues on balancing the needs of public transport, traffic management, and urban accessibility in one of the world's most dynamic cities.

James Thomson, Deputy Common Councilman for the Ward of Walbrook and Chair of City of London Police Authority Board, said: “The lack of availability of Black Cabs in and around the Bank area and other parts of the City of London including Bishopsgate is not just down to lower numbers of Black Cabs after Covid.

“The data from FREENOW demonstrates that it is harder to book or hail a cab in the Bank area compared to a similarly busy area in the West End.

“Unfilled bookings and cancellations are higher in the City of London. Further, the restrictions in the City are taking longer and costing more as a result of the restrictions. The City of London is the financial business district for London and having an efficient public transport network, that includes Black Cabs, is critical for a competitive and connected City.

“It is also important for women's safety, especially at night, as part of a safe nighttime economy, to which the City aspires and vital for the mobility challenged such as the elderly or the disabled.

“Without Black Cabs, the City risks excluding these important groups and this in itself raises questions of equality. I welcome many of the improvements to road safety and public space in the Square Mile, but this cannot be, and does not need to be, at the expense of a City that is competitive on a world scale or that puts women in fear of being able to get home safely after working late or a night out or that discriminates against the mobility challenged.

“The solution is simple, in fact common sense, and that is to remove restrictions on Black Cabs in the City of London and allow cabs to go where buses go. Cabs are the safest form of vehicle on our roads and have not contributed to any fatal collisions around Bank Junction in recent years.”


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