BLACK CAB drivers brought gridlock to the Bank Junction in the City of London and the surrounding streets earlier this month in protest at a decision by the City of London Corporation to ban all vehicular traffic, except buses and bicycles, from the centre of the Square Mile.
Taxis blocked the junction in a series of rolling protests over a number of days after hackney carriage representatives failed to persuade the Corporation to include them in the 18 month trial which starts in April.
General secretary of the United Cabbies Group, Trevor Merralls, said:
By no means do taxis cause the build-up of traffic at the junction. They are the lifeblood of the City of London and have been for hundreds of years. Restricting access to the Bank Junction for black cabs is an ill-conceived response to the issue of safety and will make the area significantly less accessible to thousands.
This will affect city workers and tourists to the area, severely impacting on their travel routes. The London taxi trade is 100 per cent wheelchair complaint and this will definitely inconvenience disabled City workers.
Donnachadh McCarthey, co-founder of the Stop Killing Cyclists campaign group said: “Taxis are one of the biggest causes of London congestion and their protests are misguided. The reason that the Bank Junction is being changed is because a person, Ying Tao, died there as she cycled through.
“Our figures show that 63 per cent of congestion in Central London is caused by taxis so the problem is clearly not people who walk or cycle. So, by doing this, they are protesting about their right to poison Londoners.”
City of London Corporation planning and transportation chairman Chris Hayward said: “”This hasn’t been an easy decision to make and is one that has been taken after careful consideration and in close discussion with the local community, businesses and residents.
“Our reason for this ultimately comes down to improving safety at the junction. Our data forecasts a reduction in casualties of between 50-60 per cent and this will mean around a dozen fewer casualties a year.
“Currently, 75 per cent of collisions at Bank occur between 7am and 7pm and many just want to get through the junction as quickly as possible, rather than taking the time to stop and enjoy.
“That is why, at the end of last year, the City of London Corporation approved an experimental safety scheme, limiting vehicle journeys through the junction between the hours of 7am and 7pm during the week. The initial trial will start in April and last up to 18 months.”
MrVibrating – “Good on the Licensed Taxi Drivers Association, making a stand for all Londoners against this insidious destruction of our capital’s essential road network.”
The abusive taxi lobby, once again doing its best to lose hearts and minds. Best get a dog if you want someone to listen to all your moaning.
Paul – “Transport for London need to support taxis, as they already impose huge restrictions on the sort of vehicle they must drive and be fully disabled accessible, which puts up fares (which TfL set) and makes them unviable in the current market.
“TfL should bulk buy taxis and lease them to drivers. The Government should also scrap VAT on 100 per cent accessible taxis. That way, fares can be lowered and everybody wins.
“Because, unlike Tube / train / bus etc that receive government subsidies (and have zero competition) taxis are hamstrung by regulations for providing access.
“So, the least that Transport for London can do is allow access to the capital’s road network. Or just scrap disabled access taxis and let the world lose its only fully accessible taxi fleet!”
FutureSoundOfLondon – “LTDA = losers, tossers, d*ckheads and a**holes!” UCG = Usual Cabbie Gridlock!”