Above is the image used in an the article published on line by MyLondon.news.
It’s alleged to be a pop up rank that has caused hold ups not only to road users but also emergency services.
The photo they used was actually a line of Taxis, waiting at the traffic lights on the corner of Praed Street and London Street. (See second photo below)
However, there is a pop up rank in the vicinity, but it’s actually in the other side of the road, outside the Hilton hotel. But the difference is, the pop up rank, isn’t causing an obstruction. This observation has been confirmed by the ambulance service who say they have no problem with the Taxis when accessing St Mary’s Hospital
Fake news reports in an online propaganda site ‘MyLondon.News’ say that Black Cabs are blocking Praed Street causing a problem with ambulances accessing St Mary’s Hospital. But funny enough when contacted for a statement...the ambulance service say they have reported no such problem.
The London Ambulance Service who we approached for a comment said no “significant issues” with congestion on Praed Street caused by Taxis ranking existed.
Has this online publication been fed these obvious lies by TfL in their ongoing anti Black Cab campaign?
The online article said: Two black cab drivers approached by the BBC Local Democracy Reporting Service on Tuesday (April 30) refused to comment on the issue.
Westminster Council's cabinet member for environment, Tim Mitchell, said: “Vehicles illegally blocking this section of Praed Street is unacceptable– that’s why we’ve stepped up the presence of our traffic marshals (follow the money) in the area to prevent parking offences including idling. We’re continuing to monitor the situation, and working with TfL and others to find a permanent solution. Well the best solution is for an authorised rank to meet the obvious demand from train passengers leaving the station.
There is no blocking of Praed Street this is a blatant lie from Westminster Council.
The article went on to say:
“As part of our ongoing Don’t Be Idle campaign, we’re educating all drivers on the effect of idling on air quality, (educating by way of a cash cow in tickets issued) but need Government to give councils greater powers to enforce against idling.“....
Will Westminster’s marshal be insisting that buses along Praed Street switch their engines off while picking up at various bus stops?
Will the buses be sudjected to penalty notices if found stationary with their diesel engines running?
Will Westminster City Council be insisting that all buses stopped in both Eastbourne and Westbourne Terrace switch their engines off, as they can often be found idling. (Yet funny enough, not a peep from residents or the council).
LTDA chairman Richard Massett said: “The LTDA does not condone drivers parking unsafely and causing congestion in Praed Street.
So why hasn’t Massett who is Chair if the Joint Ranks committee has a Taxi rank put outside the Hilton. There’s plenty of room and by the fact that cabs are using this pop up rank, there’s a definite need for a rank. Perhaps he is just going to initiate the alleged LTDA policy of wait and see if someone else solves the problem and then claim the kudos.
Before drivers formed the pop-up rank, there were lines of Private Hire touts, which can presently be seen actually blocking London Street... which is the actual access point for many ambulances.
The current situation highlights the inadequate design of taxi facilities at the station.
The policy of the LTDA working with TfL and Westminster City Council should be to establish a rank to serve both the hotel and Station south had years to sort out a solution, so far our regulator and representative orgs have failed.
The current thinking of all parties involved (including rank and file working Taxi drivers), is that any future authorised ranking facility, would best be sited in Praed Street at the site of the current pop up rank.
Below, is the real pop up rank. As you can see there is no obstruction. If there was no real call for this rank, with no passengers leaving by the south exit, then obviously, drivers wouldn’t wait there for a job !
Also, surely it’s better to have Taxis on a rank with engines switched off, than driving round aimlessly looking for passengers. After all, isn't that what the mayor and local councils clean air policies are sell about???