So, we have the fiefdom of the Corporation of London decreeing that "none shall pass" through Bank Junction with the exception of Buses and Cycles due to safety concerns. This is an interesting insight into the fastest growing industry in London.....stupidity. In the last few months there have been a multitude of serious accidents across the capital involving buses, a multitude involving cycles, a multitude involving lorries and a multitude involving PHVs.....but very few involving Taxis. Let's be honest, in some quarters we are as welcome as a rattlesnake in a lucky dip so the best way to discredit the Taxi industry is to keep the accident and criminal activity rate lumped in with the PHV industry. If we were seperated from the PHV industry it would prove beyond ANY doubt that the Taxi industry is the safest form of transport in London......but that isn't politically expedient so therefore we are tarred unfairly with the same brush as PHV. As a result of this the Corporation of London and Transport for London have seized on this like a starving poodle on a lambshank and it is because of this utter Bunkum we are now excluded from Bank junction. If this is allowed to stand then you can bet your left nipple that this will spread wider than the legs of a Kings Cross hooker. But who is REALLY responsible and how do you solve the problems that London and Londoners face every day?
The keys to this are the pedestrian and education. The pedestrian invariably is also a cyclist and a car user, depending on their mode of transport their behaviour changes. A pedestrian will think nothing of walking around, staring at their life support system A.K.A their mobile phone, stepping off of Kerb without so much as a glance up or across and on occasion walk straight into moving traffic this creating chaos. Then we have the cyclist, a group of individuals who clearly have some road sense but sadly on occasion choose not to use it, whether it be cycling with headphones on, staring at their phone, attempting to qualify for the Tour de France etc etc. Then we have cars, PHVs, taxis, lorries, buses and vans to name but half a dozen. Lack of concentration costs lives, misjudgement costs lives, lack of awareness costs lives.....in fact every and any mistake can cost a life. I could amplify on all of these points but unfortunately the average man's lifespan is around 78 years old and nobody would be able to complete reading an expansion before they expire.
What are the answers, if any? PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY......taking control of one's own actions, The vehicle driver is a very easy scapegoat but pedestrians and cyclist must now take responsibility for their own actions and safety. We can't keep turning London into a sterilised entity catering only for the lowest common denominator....that being those who wilfully disregard their own safety as well as others. The way to deal with this is to teach roadcraft from a young age, teach children how to be pedestrians, cyclists and drivers.....from the age of 5. When doing driver awareness courses you will sometimes see driving simulators, there should be a number of driving simulators in every school that are adapted for foot, cycle and vehicle to teach children what to look for hazardwise as well as giving different oerspectives from different transportation modes......this should be continued right through to the end of a child's education.
I would wager this would be of no interest to the government as it may cost money in a time of austerity.....but what price a life.
In the meantime the Taxi industry is going to have to suffer the stupidity of rash and ill-informed decision-makers whose remit seems to be nothing more than creating and exacerbating problems rather than engaging in sensible dialogue to find solutions acceptable to all parties.
Let's be careful out there and keep those doors locked.