A very belated response to the LCDC re bishopsgate corridor - Please Have a Read
Mr Grant Davis Chairman
London Cab Drivers Club By email
A10 Bishopsgate corridor Streetspace scheme
Transport for London
197 Blackfriars Road
London SE1 8NJ firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you for your emails of 9th and 10th July. I apologise for the long delay in responding to you. I have also written to the LTDA in response to similar concerns being raised.
I hope that I can reassure you that we have taken the needs of the taxi drivers and disabled travellers into account in designing and implementing this project.
As always in highways projects there are necessary trade-offs, but we have borne in mind the needs of disabled people, and the taxi trade, throughout.
The Bishopsgate corridor forms part of the Central London corridors plan, part of TfL’s response to the coronavirus pandemic which seeks to respond to the current public health imperative and Government controls by helping to make space for walking, protect bus journey times, improve cycling conditions and which will enable people to maintain social distancing, particularly at busy times.
This is to ensure that the likelihood of danger to the public by the transmission of the coronavirus is minimised. and to provide a safe and viable options for people to walk, cycle and take the bus in order to avoid a car-based recovery.
This ensures that road space is left available for essential journeys by vehicle. We are expecting many more people to be walking and cycling given travel by bus and tube is still significantly down on usual trends whereas the numbers of people cycling in England have increased substantially and we know that many more bikes have been sold across the UK.
The Bishopsgate corridor is key for travel between London Bridge, Liverpool Street and other major rail stations and places of significant employment density.
The pressure on pedestrian space and on public transport use is intense, and the proposals aim to reduce that pressure by providing more road space for walking, cycling and efficient progression for buses as a temporary measure in response to the pandemic.
TfL considers that this is only possible through restriction of other traffic at key times of the day/week. In this case we consider that Monday to Friday 7am to 7pm would cover key pressure points. It is intended that we monitor the scheme.
The need to increase footway space resulted in reducing the capacity of the roadway and the need to consider the function of this road space.
With the scheme implemented, access to the Bishopsgate corridor, including some roads off the corridor, is through side streets.
This ensures that taxi passengers, including those with accessibility requirements, are able to travel to destinations within the scheme area.
There are two small exceptions to this; access is restricted between Middlesex Street and Liverpool Street between 7am and 7pm which is a distance of c.170m at the northern end of the corridor, and c.180m between Leadenhall Street and Fenchurch Street at the southern end. Taxis are able to access either end of these parts of the corridor, however, access to properties within these stretches would need to be made on foot.
For the stretches above, the maximum walking distance to the end destination would be 85 and 90 metres, respectively, when accessing the property from the closest side road.
The importance of taxis in London is recognised and we have ensured that alternative nearby corridors are available including retaining taxi ranks. The scheme is primarily driven by public safety considerations during the Covid-19 period. We will monitor it and keep it under review and are taking this approach with all Streetspace measures.
There has been recent correspondence on the ongoing issue of taxi access to bus lanes and we remain committed to ensuring that taxis can access the vast majority of bus lanes in London.
Since the Mayor’s Taxi and Private Hire Action Plan was published in 2016, we have opened up a further 20 bus lanes on our road network, meaning that taxis can now access 95 per cent of bus lane length on red routes and 93 per cent of all bus lane length across London. Additionally, the London Streetspace Plan is funding proposals to make over 75km of existing bus lanes operate 24 hours a day, which will be of benefit to Licensed Cabs.
The decision not to permit access in some locations, such as the two limited stretches of the A10 Bishopsgate between 7am and 7pm, is driven by clear safety or operational reasons, which apply in the case of the temporary bus gates on this route.
Both in the design choices and in the final decision on this scheme we have carefully weighed the objectives and benefits of the scheme balanced against any longer taxi journeys for accessibility purposes.
It is our view that whilst there will be some inconvenience, the need to reduce traffic on this stretch of highway to achieve the objectives of safer and better walking and cycling provision to help address the public safety issues presents a compelling justification for the scheme.
The project remains a temporary one and will be kept under review.
Head of Investment Delivery Planning – Healthy Streets and Highways
Transport for London
Not everyone in the city is this fit and active !
TAXI LEAKS EXTRA BIT :
Well as they say, you couldn’t make this up. It just show the type of inadequate planning that comes out of TfL.
These measure they say are to reduce traffic congestion, when in fact they are causing not only more congestion, but more toxic pollution.
The disabled who have no other choice than to travel in wheelchair accessible Taxis are being forced into more expensive journeys.
Cycle lanes barely used and the speeding up of bus services a myth as buses are also caught up in the excessive congestion on the periphery of the bus gates.
Click on link to hear what actress, broadcaster and disability activist Samatha Renke has to say about these ridiculous road closures.