NEW ROAD LAYOUT AHEAD: LTDA’s Anthony Street runs through restrictions impacting London taxi drivers
In the past year, so many businesses around the world have been faced with the agonising uncertainty of not knowing when, or if, normality will ever return. The hospitality and entertainment industries have been hit particularly hard, not knowing when they could re-open, what restrictions would be imposed and when they could start their long road to recovery.
The cab trade which relies on these industries has been hit just as hard, as passengers all but disappeared from our streets.
Now, as things start opening and people gradually start to return to the capital, we face another challenge – road closures and restrictions.
If we are going to get our economy firing on all cylinders again, Government at every level needs to be focused on encouraging Londoners back to work and getting London moving. But, with congestion growing every day, as more and more vehicles return to the roads to find greatly reduced road space available to them, I find myself asking is London open for business or not?
The changes that have been made to the road network without serious consideration or consultation with the trade, are having a severe impact on the world-renowned service London’s iconic black cabs provide. Drivers are being forced to constantly explain to passengers why their journeys now take double the amount of time and cost them more, and then must apologise for the inconvenience.
Those in authority must recognise the detrimental impact that denying taxis access to many key parts of the road network is having on local residents, the business community, disabled people, and taxi drivers. However, sadly, in my opinion, it seems that the bureaucrats making these decisions are totally oblivious as to what an important form of public transport licensed taxis are and don’t understand how they are damaging the trade and the gold standard service we provide.
To help drivers getting back to work in the coming weeks (many of whom have not been working since the start of the Pandemic in early 2020), I have been working with a colleague, Tony Podoski to compile a list of some of the most significant changes that have been made to our roads since some drivers were last out and I have highlighted these here.
No left turn into the Cut from Blackfriars Road heading North.
One-way from the junction of Union Street / Blackfriars Road.
Great Suffolk Street now one-way in two directions.
One-way from the junction of Union Street turning right only heading South East.
One-way from the junction of Union Street turning left into Great Suffolk Street.
No left turn from Lavington Street, however no street signs.
America Street is closed to traffic, cycles only.
No left turn from Blackfriars Road into The Cut.
The Cut has been pedestrianised so can no longer be used as a route to Waterloo Station.
Old Compton Street
Various obstacles at the side of the road including temporary gates, a red sign says this is for Covid restrictions. However, at midday there were no closures and there is no signage informing you of what time of the day restrictions are operational.
Two-way system operating at High Holborn at the junction of Museum Street, East
bound traffic forced left.
No right turn into Charterhouse Street from Farringdon Street
No left turn into Tudor Street from Newbridge Street, instead take Bridgewell Place to gain entry.
If you try to access from Exeter Street you will find Burleigh Street restricted to Tavistock Street.
Permanently shut at St Martin's Street with bollards.
Closed at the junction of Long Acre due to roadworks, not sure if this is permanent access via Endell Street/Betterton Street
Restricted access to Tavistock Street via Wellington Street, access only from 11am to 11pm.
Appears to be open at Shelton Street crossing Seven Dials for access to Shaftesbury Avenue.
Maiden Lane is shut from 11am to 11pm.
No left turn from 11am to 11pm from Garrick Street into St Martins Lane.
No entry to Monmouth Street via Shaftsbury Avenue from 10am to 6pm.
No access to Endell Street via Bloomsbury/Street Shaftsbury Avenue as the road outside Shaftsbury Theatre is now pedestrianised and you can no longer go straight ahead into Endell Street.
Tottenham Court Road
There is no drop off/pick up space for customers at hotels such as the Morgan, this is restricted by the new cycle lane and it’s a potentially dangerous situation.
Heading north up Gower Street there are no entries due to one-way restrictions including Store Street, Chenies Street and University Street.
Left turn available at Torrington Place, turning right into Tottenham Court Road and then immediately left into Howland Street permitted.
Please Note: I was aware of traffic proceeding up Tottenham Court road at this junction, as the signage is not clear.
Following Gower Street to the top you are then forced left into Grafton Way, traffic was turning right at the top of Tottenham Court Road making it look like we had access to the Grafton Hotel and Warren Street tube.
No left turn from Vernon Place into Southampton Road.
Gower Street shut, no access Eastbound or Westbound from Euston Road or Marylebone Road.
If heading Eastbound one lane only available, large queues being forced left on to Hampstead Road or forward onto Euston Road.
Segregated bus lane on the right-hand side making it only possible for buses to use this.
Access to Euston Road is down to one lane causing huge tail backs on the Marylebone Road.
No signage saying that you cannot turn left from New Oxford Street heading East onto Gower Street.
Phoenix Place shut, cycles only.
Red Lion Street now blocked by planters
forcing left into Sandland Street.
Can still use Brownlow Street for High
Holborn and Jockey's Field for Theobalds Road.
No access to Chancery Lane forced left into Cary Street from 7am to 7pm Monday to Friday.
Old Street roundabout
As you are probably aware Old Street roundabout does not exist anymore. Heading North East along Old Street towards Great Eastern Street continuation of Old Street traffic very heavy, but we now have the use of the bus lane. There are still roadworks so I would suggest you go and have a look to see what movements you can and can’t currently do.