London taxi trade reps will be ‘thinking very carefully’ about listening to City Hall claims about how much they value the taxi trade, when ‘all their actions clearly show otherwise’.
Frustration and disappointment have gripped the London taxi trade as Transport for London (TfL) announced the permanent implementation of its controversial A10 Bishopsgate scheme. The decision comes despite strong opposition from the city's taxi industry, further straining an already tense relationship with City Hall.
The A10 Bishopsgate scheme was initially introduced in August 2020 as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic, aiming to enhance social distancing and safety for pedestrians, cyclists, and public transport users. The scheme included measures such as restrictions on vehicles and publicly hired black taxis on the road during weekdays between 7 am and 7 pm, wider footways to facilitate social distancing, and banned turns along the corridor.
TfL argues that their data shows improved bus journey times and safer cycling experiences on this route. However, the LTDA expressed disappointment with TfL's decision. In a statement, the Association acknowledged engaging in discussions with the Deputy Mayor for Transport and the new TfL Commissioner regarding the scheme. They asserted that while understanding the necessity of the pandemic response, licensed taxi access could have been reinstated without compromising the scheme's effectiveness.
Steve McNamara, General Secretary of the Licensed Taxi Drivers’ Association (LTDA), said in TAXI Newspaper: “Unfortunately, at the moment, dealing with this Mayoral team and their biased views and single-minded agenda (two wheels good, four wheels bad), we can’t win. Shouting about it won’t change anything – believe me we’ve tried. This doesn’t mean we will let it go, but I can tell you that I will be thinking very carefully before wasting my time going to yet another meeting and listening to them tell me and other trade reps how much they value the taxi trade and how important we are, when all their actions clearly show otherwise.
“With the election coming up we have an opportunity to really hold these people to account and to make some noise about the support we want and need from a future Mayor of London.”