Camden have contacted me with an update on St Pancras.
The guy I met in early May has asked if drivers could show a little bit more patience as the design team are finalising their reports and have a couple more things to get signed off. We have a revised completion date of approx 4 weeks. I know this is frustrating but having met the guy personally he comes across as genuine and eager to get this resolved.
I would like to issue an apology on behalf of MM to Peter Rose and the LCDC for the strongly worded tweets they recieved last week. The tweets were in reaction to the article in Cab Trade News which we feel misinterpreted parking legislation, however this was no excuse to tweet in the manner in which we did especially as we are a multi org group.
Airport Style Drop Off
Myself and Walkbar along with a traffic consultant had looked into the plans for this during the consultation and were all of the opinion that the chances of getting it through to planning stages were very slim. We did not voice our opinions at the time and fully supported the plan as although the solution was flawed on several counts it was better than the status quo at the time.
Once this plan was rejected the chances of a solution looked bleak. This was where the DDD stepped in. Their brilliant action along with drivers from every org got Camden talking which led to a solution. Without this action and pressure from the RMT we would be looking at a solution around Christmas or beyond and not in approx 4 weeks.
I have seen on twitter people saying that the double yellow lines are a cop out. I have experience in Highways Planning and along with Walkbar assessed that double yellows was the most immediately practical solution we could find. This was also backed up by a Traffic Consultant we liased with. The 2 guys I met at Camden were also very knowledgeable in highways and parking laws.
Once the 'airport' style plan was rejected they had come to the same conclusion as ourselves. To anyone in doubt I can 100% say that Camden have not copped out on this issue.
Once the yellow lines are in place vehicles are no longer entitled to 10 minutes grace and are only entitled to drop of or set down. Camden will have marshalls present as much as they can and there will be help from TFL and the police to enforce the law. Whilst there will be occasions where the problem may creep back drivers are asked to call 101 and report it to the police.
We would also ask TFL and the current UTG to fully support this solution for a period of 5 months to see if this solution works.
As this is all being done on an experimental order if the lines do not work other solutions can be looked at. We would advise that if it is decided to go for the airport style solution again that major changes are made to avoid a repeat of last time and the MM are prepared to offer advice if needed.
No changes will be made outside M&S. There are only limited parking spaces here so in theory if these were full vehicles will be forced to move on. However this section should have no bearing on our ability to drop customers safely at the front end which was the problem for the Taxi trade. Camden are obliged to provide an area for pre booked Taxis and PHV but will have to deal with any abuse of this obligation.
Newgate Street is to be closed to westbound traffic until 30th September. That should help TfLs plan to get London Moving.
A couple of weeks ago I reported to TfLTPH, the Taxi rank sign outside "Sketch" had been taken away. They said they would report it to licensing as stolen and get a replacement put back.
Last night, I stopped on the rank behind a parked minicab. I approached the driver and ask him (politely) to move but he pointed to the new sign that says (in massive font) "Taxi rank suspended".
It was only when I checked out the sign to find why the rank was in suspension, I noticed in minute red font at the bottom,
the rank is actually still in operation to serve Sketch from 6:30pm until 7am. Again typical mismanagement from TfLTPH.
So if your passing and there's space on the rank, don't be put off by this misleading sign. Put on and give Sketch a few minutes grace from the world's Gold Standard Taxi service.