We will “take appropriate action” if London taxi road access is denied says taxi trade organisations

The London taxi industry “must be prepared to take appropriate action” if access to road space is denied, says all major taxi trade organisations.

The warning comes following plans to transform parts of central London into one of the largest car-free zones in any capital city under a new road network called Streetspace. The drastic measures proposed by the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, and TfL are said to be necessary to enable safe social distancing as lockdown restrictions are eased and also help aid an increase in people walking and cycling.

Whilst London’s transport regulator has indicated that they will work with the taxi industry during the “detailed design” of the new Streetspace network, if access is granted it is looking more likely to include access for just zero emission capable taxis.

There are currently 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.

In a joint statement made by three of the capital’s biggest taxi driver organisations, Licensed Taxi Drivers’ Association (LTDA), London Cab Drivers’ Club (LCDC) and the United Cabbies Group (UCG), it read:

“The implications of the possible ban on taxis using Waterloo and London Bridges, along with certain main routes, through and across the capital are extremely concerning. If implemented without allowing universal taxi access these schemes would have a disastrous impact on both our trade and our passengers who rightfully expect to be taken to their destination via the most direct route.

“Disabled and vulnerable passengers would be at a serious disadvantage and with the reduction in capacity on the tube and bus network many would be unable to travel.

“London Taxis are the only form of Public transport where social distancing is possible, have a partition separating the driver and passenger and are fully wheelchair accessible. To exclude them from any road scheme is counter productive and increases congestion and pollution.

“As yet we have been unable to obtain details of how the proposals will, or even if they will impact on our business.

“We, as a trade must be prepared to take appropriate action if necessary.”

A meeting is expected to take place with the Deputy Mayor for Transport, Heidi Alexander, next week to discuss the topic in more detail before final taxi access plans are revealed.

Image credit: Ross Campbell

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