Updated: Aug 27, 2020
The Mayor of London will “continue to consider” the different options available for taxi access in the capital as part of his Streetspace plans.
A new letter sent to London Assembly Member Caroline Pidgeon details the Mayor’s plans for licensed black cabs in the capital.
The Mayor, Sadiq Khan, continues to back his stance to relocate road space away from taxi drivers and other motorists. Khan wrote to Pidgeon AM saying: “As lockdown restrictions are eased, we need millions more journeys to be made on foot and by bike to enable safe social distancing on public transport. This is particularly true in central London where public transport services are typically under the most pressure. We are therefore having to reallocate some road space to enable safe walking and cycling options for Londoners who would have previously been using Tubes and buses.
“My ambitious Streetspace plan is a set of emergency measures to fast-track the transformation of streets across our city. By quickly and cheaply widening pavements, creating temporary cycle lanes and closing roads to through-traffic we will enable millions of journeys to be made in different ways. These steps will also support London’s economic regeneration by enabling more walking and cycling to local high streets and town centres.”
Khan also answered taxi trade specific questions raised by Pidgeon. Khan responded on the subject of taxi access to both Waterloo Bridge and London Bridge, saying: “No final decisions on these schemes have yet been made, but we will continue to consider different options for taxi access. In progressing with the designs, TfL will need to understand what level of traffic can be tolerated without undermining the benefits of the scheme. We must ensure our city’s recovery is green by continuing to tackle our toxic air, a vital step in ensuring we do not replace one public health crisis with another.
“London Bridge is currently closed in both directions to all traffic except buses, licensed taxis, motorcyclists and cyclists. This is because the City of London is carrying out essential maintenance works to London Bridge. We are working closely with the City to determine the layout of the bridge when it re-opens and what vehicles will be able to cross the bridge as part of my Streetspace plan. This work includes ensuring that we do not return to a situation where barriers were blocking the bus lane.”
Despite the threat of restricted road access on key routes, Khan agreed that more rapid chargers are needed to entice a greater number of cabbies and other motorists into Zero-Emission Capable (ZEC) vehicles.
Since 2018, London’s licensed taxis have invested nearly £200million into 3,500 zero-emission vehicles to clean up the capital’s poor air quality, as requested by the Mayor of London.
Khan said: “I agree that more rapid charging points are key to assist the take up of more electric vehicles. Data provided by Zap-Map indicates that in June 2020 there were over 5,114 public charge point devices in London, of which over 442 are rapid charge points. 249 of those were delivered with support from TfL, and this number will increase to 300 by the end of 2020. London currently has 28 per cent of total charging devices in the UK and 14 per cent of the rapid charge devices in the UK.“