An angry mob surrounded a taxi driver in Cambridge after an 88-year-old woman was badly injured attempting to avoid the vehicle as it rode a pavement.
The dangers of city taxis flooding ranks and parking on double-yellow lines came into sharp focus after the incident involving Vera Mowat.
She was visiting the city from her home near Kettering with her daughter and grandson and was about to cross St Andrew’s Street when a taxi mounted a pavement to park on double-yellow lines.
The pensioner said: “He wasn’t going to stop and almost knocked me over. I tried to get out of his way and fell over and came clattering down.
“The street was heaving with people who saw what happened and this angry crowd surrounded the taxi. They were absolutely furious and were shouting at him and my grandson was very angry. He was lucky he got away without someone taking serious action against him.”
The pensioner was helped across the road to John Lewis and the ambulance service was called.
She said: “The doctors said they had never seen bruising like it. My whole leg is purple and the lower side of me is extensively bruised. I can hardly walk and the pain is terrible.
“I am just so angry. I didn’t call the police, which is something I really regret now. I know Cambridge has a problem with taxis parking on double yellow lines. Something has to be done about it.”
The incident happened just after 1pm last Friday.
Police targeted taxis in St Andrew’s Street amid concerns cars queuing beyond the end of the rank pose a hazard to pedestrians and cyclists issuing 50 fines from February to April for causing an unnecessary obstruction.
David Wratten, a director and chairman of Cambridge City Licensed Taxis, which represents the trade, was appalled by the incident.
He said: “We certainly would not condone mounting the pavement. That is a very busy area and although it is difficult to pick up and drop of passengers it is very dangerous to mount the pavement. We would discourage our members, or anyone, to do that.”
A police spokesman said: “We were not made aware of this incident however, we will continue to crackdown on any motorist who ignores parking restrictions, especially if their actions put pedestrians or other road users in danger.”
Source: Cambridge News on-line
The situation in Cambridge has come about by the Licensing Authorities deregulation of the Hackney carriage services.
Councillors and environmental campaigners, continually complain about emissions from Taxi exhausts, but authorities do not provide adequate ranking facilities. And it's even worse in London.
In London we see too many Taxis having to queue just to access ranks. Just a few decades ago, there was one rank space for every Taxi licensed. Today there is only one rank space per 65 Taxis.
Ranks Update notice:
Complaints have continued to be received about taxis over-ranking and queuing on the corner of Hans Road/Basil Street/near Walton Place. This is obstructing other vehicles and causing problems for local residents and businesses. If the taxi ranks serving Harrods are full then drivers must not queue in the road and should move on.