The taxi trade could be set to demonstrate as London regulators announce plans to restrict taxis access along the busy south east London area around Tooley Street.
TfL are proposing to change the layout of Tooley Street. According to the regulators the changes will reduce road danger, improve air quality, and provide better facilities to enable people to walk, cycle and use public transport, supporting the objectives of the Mayor’s Transport Strategy (MTS).
The proposals include:
Introducing a 20mph speed limit along entire length of Duke Street Hill/Tooley Street (between Borough High Street and Tower Bridge Road)
Introducing a 2 metre wide mandatory cycle lane westbound, on Duke Street Hill/Tooley Street, running between Borough High Street and Bermondsey Street junctions, separated from traffic with wands on the Duke Street Hill section
Introducing a protected right turn ‘pocket’ for cyclists waiting to turn right into Bermondsey Street from Tooley Street
Making Duke Street Hill no entry, apart from cyclists and buses, from the junction with A3 Borough High Street. This will mean that eastbound traffic along Duke Street Hill and Tooley Street as far as the junction with Bermondsey Street is restricted to buses and cycles only.
There will also be restricted access from side roads onto Tooley Street to westbound travel only. Any motorized vehicle turning onto Tooley Street from the following roads will not be able to turn onto and travel eastbound towards Bermondsey Street:
Tooley Street onto Duke Hill Street
Bridge Yard onto Tooley Street
Cottons Lane onto Tooley Street
Hay’s Lane onto Tooley Street
Battlebridge Lane onto Tooley Street
Westbound traffic will continue to be able to travel along this section of highway as it does at present (i.e. accessing via Bermondsey Street or from roads further east) which lead onto Tooley Street.
A spokesperson from the LTDA said via Twitter: “The consultation on the proposed scheme in Tooley Street is in direct contravention of the MTS. We have written to Heidi Alexander and Transport Commissioner pointing this out and asking for public comment.“
Taxi card payment providers Cabvision also said via Twitter: “Drivers enter in to a covenant with TFL when you agree to complete the Knowledge and receive a license that states 'licensed to ply for hire'. License doesn't have exemptions, TfL have broken that covenant by restricting taxis on streets they own.”
The LCDC said: “Transport for London now want to ban us from Tooley St. WE ARE PUBLIC TRANSPORT.... What next?
“Members calling for mass ply for hire on London Bridge - Tooley St - Tower Bridge”
The UCG have also shown their dismay by saying: “The United Cabbies Group see the possible banning of Taxis from Tooley Street as a restriction of trade. We are fully wheelchair accessible and being forced to buy a £63k electric taxi. With this in mind we are not ruling out any demos.”