Taxi drivers will not be legally compelled to complete journeys to areas with reduced COVID-19 distancing access says TfL.
Earlier this month, the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, and Transport for London (TfL) announced plans to transform parts of central London into one of the largest car-free zones in any capital city in the world. The drastic measures are thought to be necessary to enable safe social distancing as lockdown restrictions are eased and also help aid an increase in people walking and cycling.
As part of the Mayor’s Streetspace scheme, streets between London Bridge and Shoreditch, Euston and Waterloo and Old Street and Holborn may be limited to buses, pedestrians and cyclists to help boost safe and sustainable travel.
Waterloo Bridge and London Bridge are expected to be restricted to people walking, cycling and buses only, with pavements widened to enable people to safely travel between busy railway stations and their workplaces.
Whilst London’s transport regulator has indicated that they will work with the taxi industry during the “detailed design” of the new Streetspace network, it looks likely to include access for just zero emission capable taxis.
There are 3,400 zero emission cabs licensed in the capital and taxi representatives are vigorously stressing the importance for all 19,000 purpose built and partitioned taxis to be given the rights for access.
A TfL spokesperson told TaxiPoint: “Drivers are not compelled to take a fare if there is “reasonable excuse” and these potential traffic restrictions would fall under that definition.”