Theresa Villiers Conservative, Chipping Barnet :
Does the hon. Lady agree that a number of the changes that have been made have had a really negative impact on the taxi trade? The licensed taxi is one of the most accessible forms of transport.
If we block it out of key routes such as Bishopsgate, we make it more difficult for people with mobility issues and disabilities to get to the places they need to get to.
Rupa Huq Labour, Ealing Central and Acton:
The right hon. Lady makes a really good point. We have relied on cabbies—remember that taxi exam, the knowledge?
That is completely invalidated by these changes. She makes a really powerful point. I think people feel discombobulated because these changes are so radical and dramatic, and they appear to have come out of nowhere.
I think that policies work best when policy makers take the public with them and act for them, rather than doing stuff to them, which I think many feel has happened. In our borough there are 37 different schemes, with over £1 million of funding.
The most controversial is LTN 21—they all have these rather Stalinist names. Oh, sorry—I will be in trouble. Across three wards, nigh on every side street has been blocked; it has turned the area into a convoluted maze of planters at odd angles.
The right hon. Lady referred to commercial vehicles. Delivery vans have become more and more prevalent in the pandemic; they are completely outfoxed by these measures.
When news of this debate broke on a local forum, hundreds of replies—they were going up by the minute—came in with things that I should raise, so I will try to give voice to some of those.
See the whole debate here