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WATCH: Lord Holmes calls for review of Black Cab restrictions through Bank Junction and Bishopsgate

In a recent address to the House of Lords, Lord Holmes of Richmond MBE criticised the current traffic restrictions at key London junctions that exclude black cabs, a crucial component of the city's public transport network.

He highlighted the particular issues at Bank Junction, Bishopsgate, and Tottenham Court Road, where black cabs are currently prohibited.

Lord Holmes appealed to the Government to intervene, suggesting that ministers write to the City Corporation, the leader of Camden, and the Mayor of London. He questioned how the exclusions align with public accessibility and equality duties, particularly under the public sector equality duty.

In a related development, James Thomson, Deputy Common Councilman for the Ward of Walbrook and Chair of the City of London Police Authority Board, confirmed that a review of the traffic rules at Bank Junction is scheduled for mid-May. Since 2017, the junction has been accessible only to buses and cyclists between 7am and 7pm on weekdays, excluding black cabs.

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The forthcoming review will consider granting 24/7 access to black cabs in a bid to improve accessibility for the mobility-impaired, enhance safety for women, and support local businesses and tourism. Thomson indicated a favourable outlook towards amending the restrictions, underscoring the iconic status of the black cab in London's civic imagery.

The findings of the review will be discussed by the Streets and Walkways Sub-Committee on 14 May, followed by the Planning and Transportation Committee on 16 May. A final decision is expected from the Court of Common Council on 20 June.

Lord Holmes of Richmond MBE addressed the House of Lords, saying: “Moving to taxis, an incredibly important part of our public transport network, we currently have the ludicrous situation in the City of London where Bank Junction is closed to Black Cabs, erroneously on safety grounds even though a black cab has never been involved in an accident at Bank Junction.

“Similar issues with cabs up Bishopsgate and indeed barred from Tottenham Court Road. Would the minister consider writing to the City Corporation in relation to Bank Junction and Bishopsgate? Writing to the leader of Camden and indeed the Mayor of London in relation to Tottenham Court Road to establish how these effective bans on our excellent black taxi fleet, how they deliver for accessibility, how they deliver for inclusion, and how those various authorities believe they are complying with their equality duties not least the public sector equality duty.”


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