Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Hackney Post : Lack of black cab access could disadvantage disabled passengers

Plans to restrict the operation of black cabs in London will severely impact disabled people’s access to services in Hackney, according to campaigners.

Activists have hit back at claims made by Feryal Clark, a Labour councillor for Hoxton East and Shoreditch, who said that unrestricted access to black cabs is “not a human right”.
The chair of Transport for All, an organisation dedicated to championing the rights of disabled people, said: “The idea that black cabs are ‘not a human right’ is deeply offensive.
“Of course, it’s a human right. Why should disabled people be restricted where the able-bodied aren’t?”

Jimmy Teleford, 53, a wheelchair user and disability rights advocate for local charity Choice in Hackney, said: “For disabled passengers, there is no other choice [but to use black taxis].
“Lots of our service users use the black taxi card scheme and they’ll be affected and I suspect many of them don’t know about it. They’ll find out when they come to the end of their journey.”
“Anything that restricts where disabled people can be dropped off is bad news. I’m sure there will be many disabled people against the idea because it will stop them from taking part in their community,” he added.

The cuts are part of the Mayor’s plan to build an “ultra-low emission zone” to tackle air pollution. Whilst Transport for London has included an exemption for wheelchair accessible taxis- some borough councils have opted to ban cabs in their ultra low emission streets.
Drivers have argued the manoeuvre could disadvantage disabled passengers trying to reach their destination within the restricted zones, with many of them relying on the Taxicard scheme to move around the city.

Cab drivers are to enter their ninth week of protests as they try to halt the proposal which will see parts of the capital restricted to walking, cycling and “ultra-low emission vehicles”.
Grant Davis, 55, head of London Cabs Drivers Club (LCDC), said: “Black cabs are the only way disabled people can get from door to door in London.

“In my taxi, I pick up everyone from mothers with children, to elderly and disabled people. If you ban taxis from roads what you’re doing is banning our passengers, fellow members of the public, from having access to all these roads.

“I thought it was transport for all, I thought the members of the public in a wheelchair have the same rights to someone able-bodied who can walk.”
Driver, Garry Batter, also said: “There are 3.5 million people commuting to London every day and a lot of those people need transport door-to-door. I picked up a wheelchair passenger that said taxis are his life-line.”

Alan Benson, a Transport for All activist, said the plans to improve air pollution and congestion are “also beneficial for the disabled” but the unintended consequences could negatively impact their contribution to society.
According to Hackney council’s plan Shoreditch will no longer be accessible by most cabs, with many drivers complaining about how this “premature decision” will affect not only their performance and income but also passenger rights.

However Lee Sheppard, 49, a black cab driver and director of LondonTaxiPR, said that the argument would only stand up if 51 per cent of taxis were electric.

“To discriminate against the 95 per cent when actually only 5 per cent of them are electric puts pressure on drivers and passengers so we can’t go about fulfilling our job,” he added.
The Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) will be in place in central London from 8 April 2019 in the same area as the Congestion Charge.


Anonymous said...

These characters couldn’t care less about the rights of access or vehicles capable of carrying disabled people. Also, their priorities are so warped, they would sooner spend enormous sums of money on crackpot schemes, than use it to assist those in the greatest need.
And hours & hours of time, will be spent mulling over cost cutting measures, associated to care services, that are already cut to the bone.
Then they’ll pat themselves on the back for saving relative pennies & not be concerned if the care provided is depreciating after every exercise. On the other hand there is a bottomless pit of money, for hare brained schemes, that are not required or needed by the majority.
However, they are not bothered, as long as it pleases & assists a very small vocal minority, who have moved lock, stock & barrel to cloud cuckoo land! How on earth has this once great city, descended into such a place of ridiculousness. And the people allowed these possessors of ever diminishing brain cells, to inflict their whims & ludicrous acts onto the general population/workforce of London?
These same imbeciles are meant to be the highly educated & elite, who are here to assist the poor uneducated masses, who don’t know what’s best for them. I can only assume that the places of education they attended & gained qualifications, invited access via presenting the tops off cornflake packets or a collection of beer mats! What a joke & p***hole this city has descended into!!!

Anonymous said...

I do not wish to make this a political rant before Mr CON posts, however this is LABOUR councils.

Anon 1.21 has hit the nail on the head, what has happended is the Liberal elite have moved in, the middle/educated working class have moved out and the rest will vote Labour regardless, therefore rich or poor and not a lot in between, all carved up lovely. Most of the nouveau rich despise cab drivers and the rest cannot afford it.

As technology moves forard more traditional city workers will work from home and London will be further filled as an urban 'hipster' playground.

Anonymous said...

10.52,hit it on the head there mate,what happened to "mr con" heard his brain exploded.

Anonymous said...

Heard mr CON is thinking of giving up the demos, as the troops seem to be infultrated with hat tippers and cannon fodder, we need generals ! Thats if some of the posters on here go to a demo, or are they secretly coining it , with the diary on the dash?