With his permission, this is John Farrell’s resignation letter to the Corp of London:
Following the decision of the Corporation of London to permanently ban taxis from Bank Junction between the hours of 7am and 7pm, I hereby return my Freedom of the City of London certificate.
I do so with a heavy heart but you leave me no other option. London taxis, in one form or another, having been serving the City of London since 1600 and now it appears we are being kicked in the teeth. Since the implementation of the ban there has been a marked drop-off in journeys within the City of London. After all, who wants to pay for sitting in a queue of traffic, especially one artificially created. Several London boroughs have refused to implement cycle schemes etc through their streets because of the chaos that would ensue.
Not content with witnessing the daily queue of traffic on Upper and Lower Thames streets, successive Lord Mayors have kowtowed to successive Mayors of London. It seems the upstarts of twenty-odd years have tossed the 800 plus years of the Lord Mayor onto the scrap heap.
I have no doubt that the decision to ban taxis will be reversed in the future but by then it may be too late.
Already there has been a sudden decrease in the number of people on the Knowledge. Why spend years learning to be one of the best taxi drivers in the world only to find that you are excluded from streets that you had to learn. Without exaggeration I put it to you that traffic management decisions implemented by the Corporation of the City of London and TfL are killing the trade.
When I was “on the Knowledge” back in the 1980’s I fell in love with the City. Before then I knew nothing of its rich history but reading all the various plaques I became so enraptured that I later went to University and studied history - a subject I had hated at school. This new-found love of history also led myself and another cab driver to start up the Fellowship of Hackney Carriage Drivers in 1990 where I was the founding Clerk.
The Fellowship went on to receive Livery status and is now a Worshipful Company. But what of their future. I hold no position at all within the present-day Company and so it is up to their Master, Wardens and Court to decide on that. This is just as well. Were I still Clerk I don’t think I could sit idly by and watch as we become the laughing stock of the trade.
Proud London taxi driver and ex-freeman of the City of London.
TAXI LEAKS EXTRA BIT :
It seems the custodians of the Cabmen’s Shelter Group on Facebook have been offended by a post showing Sean taking down and ripping up his freeman of the city certificate.
They have removed the post for two reasons;
A) There are no Cabmen’s Shelters in the CoL
B) Sean was not a regular Shelter user ???
They have completely missed the fact that this was a selfless act in support of his fellow Taxi drivers.
As the group is mainly frequented by members of the WCHCD, we can probably assume that this elitist group, won’t be supporting the trade or its drivers, come the Lord Mayor’s Show.
Meanwhile, the trades largest org is waiting and seeing !!!
TAXI LEAKS EXTRA COMMENT :
As a founder member of the FHCD I fully support John's protest re the COL attitude towards the Taxi trade.
Even when I was the Master of the FHCD and asked a question at a meeting of the COL re the use of Arthur Street we were laughed at in a very derided way.
I hope others support John and do not participate in the Lord Mayors Show. They have no respect for us so why should we support them.