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NO ACCESS, NO TAXIS: Huge queues form again at Liverpool Street Station leaving public disgruntled

Updated: Oct 12, 2022

Image credit: Kerri Champion

Taxi access issues have meant HUGE queues of people were again seen waiting at the busy Liverpool Street Station taxi rank on Friday.

Kerri Champion, a member of the popular Save our Black Taxis social media group, shared a photo of the huge queue of commuters and families waiting at an empty taxi rank.

It isn’t the first time the public and taxi drivers have noticed adverse availability at the rank either, with most cabbies pointing the blame squarely at the controversial Bishopsgate Bus Gate restrictions.

Many of London’s taxi drivers no longer work in the area situated in the City’s Square Mile due to the road restrictions during the day. Access to one of the capital’s busiest train stations, Liverpool Street, is blocked when entering from the north and restricted by a second bus gate further south on Gracechurch Street.

Desperate requests from the public for a taxi in the area using digital hailing apps are often ignored leaving those in the queue relying on taxis dropping off on Liverpool Street. However, there is usually heavy congestion on the roads that remain accessible, meaning many passengers bail out at the top of Old Broad Street or on Eldon Street.

The day before, and just a few hundred yards from the taxi rank, three bystanders were stabbed in broad daylight following an attempted robbery on Bishopsgate.

Why is Bishopsgate so controversial and why was it brought in?

In August 2020, Transport for London (TfL) introduced a series of temporary changes along Bishopsgate A10 as a response to the pandemic, which were designed to make it safer and easier for people to walk, cycle and use public transport. The changes implemented included new restrictions on vehicles at peak travel times on weekdays between 7am and 7pm.

Wider footways were also constructed along the corridor to ensure social distancing and a number of banned turns were introduced along the road.

The changes were heavily opposed by the licensed taxi industry as access through Bishopsgate at peak times diminished. It was argued that wheelchair users and other disabled passengers were now forced to take longer and more expensive routes around the Bishopsgate bus gates. The action resulted in a Judicial Review of the plans.

Despite initially winning the case, the Court of Appeal overturned the decision ruling in TfL’s favour in the summer 2021.

Since the Bishopsgate scheme was introduced the number of people travelling in central London has dropped due to coronavirus lockdowns and the advice to work from home.

Earlier this year TfL said their data during this period shows that the performance of buses on the Bishopsgate corridor has significantly IMPROVED since the changes were introduced. Northbound bus journey times along Bishopsgate are 38 percent lower now than they were before the pandemic, with southbound journey times 26 percent lower.


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