Monday, December 16, 2019

Tottenham Court Road... Taxis To Be Banned From March. Drivers Who Showed Apathy Towards Protest, Have No One To Blame But Themselves... by Jim Thomas

Camden Council has almost bought the area around Fitzrovia to a complete standstill. The lunatics have taken over the asylum. 

In three months time, cars, lorries and taxis will be banned from accessing this major rout north up Tottenham Court Road. 
Camden say that this is to improve safety and air quality under a TfL financed £35million revamp. But both TfL and Camden Council have completely disregarded consultations that have expressed support for Taxis to be included in the scheme.

Only buses and bikes will be allowed between 8am and 7pm, Monday through to Saturday from March. The road has already been converted from one-way to two-way traffic, and has since been in virtual gridlock for most of the day and night, causing major congestion and added pollution to the surrounding area. 

Drivers who breach the restrictions will face a £130 fine, Camden council say, (follow the money). 

Six bus routes will use Tottenham Court Road during the day, meaning up to 114 buses an hour at peak times. Most of these buses are presently empty and the hope is... if other traffic is banned, more people will choose the bus or the tube (follow the money....)

The taxi industry has been proved right over the last year, by restricting road use area, congestion has escalated and there has been a massive increase in pollution in the surrounding streets even though other traffic hasn’t been banned yet!

Tottenham Court Road‘s pavement has also being widened narrowing actual road area and a piazza has been created between the Tube station and Centre Point, ahead of the delayed Crossrail opening. The piazza has been causing massive congestion in Charing across Road and has also seen a number of collisions between cars, cycles and buses.

These current plans are mainly funded by Transport for London.
Controversial  cycling nut Adam Harrison, cabinet member for Camden council, recently showed his aggressive bias against the Taxi trade by stating: "Not having taxis in the daytime will lead to 25 per cent less traffic, with all the benefits for air quality and congestion that go along with it."
In your dreams Adam, the surrounding area will be gridlocked and pollution levels will be through the roof. 
Many drivers are now calling for an independent investigation into the financial conflicts of interests of certain past and present Camden Councillors, in regards to Cycling hire and cargo bike businesses.
(Follow the money)

The move is the latest example of taxis being banned from key routes. 
This is also total discrimination against disabled passengers, yet the disabled lobby group, Transport for All have failed to support the Taxi drivers protests 

Camden’s previous schemes around St Pancras are a disgrace....the first view of London that many tourists and business travellers see, arriving at Europe’s busiest rail terminal.

The extra mileage in the diversions Taxis have to take are causing more pollution and higher fares. TfL have remained silent on the issues as it pushes more travellers to use the tube system.

Steve McNamara, general secretary of the Taxi trades largest representative org (Licensed Taxi Driver's Association), said Tottenham Court Road was an ‘ill thought-out scheme‘. 

The LTDA has called on TfL commissioner Mike 'on side ' Brown to intervene.
Mr McNamara went on to say: ‘The major arteries of London are just that — they are the main method of London‘s lifeblood moving around.‘

Action speaks louder than words...but apathy reigns throughout the trade.

February this year saw the independent Taxi Alliance (ITA) hold 28 weeks of protest in Tottenham Court Road, The Aldwych, and Parliament Square. Unfortunately although a militant band on 500 brothers turned up week after week, the protests were generally poorly attended by less than 5% of the trade.

Drivers were advised by the LTDA to wait and see...with McNamara referring to the protesting drivers as  'Loonies'.

If 50-60% of the trade had regularly turned out, the protest would have been over in a few weeks, the outcome resulting in Taxis being included in the scheme.

So it’s no good drivers now complaining about the ban as the vast majority chose to see no further than the next pound note, closing their minds to the future.

I recently spoke to Steve McNamara in regards to the ITA protests and he agreed the trade had lost its militancy.... saying that even the LTDA, with its 10,000 members would have trouble getting 500 drivers to turn out.


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