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Taxi driver protests against changes to road access in London set to start again

A few hundred London taxi drivers are set to continue their protest against new road access restrictions being implemented in Wapping and Tottenham Court Road.

Social media ‘pressure group’, Independent Taxi Alliance (ITA), are calling for cabbies to resume their protest in 2020 as access restrictions go live in areas around the capital.

The protest will kick off again on Wednesday 15 January, starting at Parliament Square.

According to the organisers of the protest, whilst the demonstration is set to start in Parliament Square, it is likely to “move all over London” as the group claims “talks with the police may have broken down”.

Since Spring 2019 a few hundred London taxi drivers have maintained a weekly protest at Parliament Square, calling for the authorities to listen to concerns made by the group over road access in the capital. The ITA say that they aim to “raise awareness about policies that coerce, discriminate or do not reflect public opinion”.

The cabbies' concerns centre on the new Wapping Bus Gate, which has restricted access on weekdays from 5.30am to 10.30am and from 4pm to 7pm on Wapping High Street between the junctions of Sampson Street and Knighten Street.

The Bus Gate does not include exemptions for residents or taxis as it was determined that to do so would undermine the overall aims of the bus gate.

This is despite the majority of respondents voting to keep access open for residents and taxis in a Tower Hamlet’s Council led consultation.

Cab drivers are arguing that the restricted access is increasing journey times and pushing up prices for disabled and wheelchair users. London’s licensed taxis provide the only 100% wheelchair accessible service in the capital.

Central London’s busy Tottenham Court Road is set to block access to taxi drivers in Spring 2020. Some areas of the southbound lane on Tottenham Court Road will open to traffic and there will be sections of both the north and southbound lanes restricted to buses and cyclists only between 8am and 7pm Monday to Saturday.

Image credit: LCDC (Twitter)


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