‘Cabbies’ in central London have been slammed after wreaking havoc on the roads surrounding London Bridge on Monday night (November 26), as the ongoing war between licensed taxi drivers and Transport for London (TfL) raged on. Drivers are protesting their right to operate on a nearby street.
The first of five wide-scale protests lasted three hours, from 4-7PM, and took place across the entirety of London Bridge, causing huge traffic jams and long delays around the area; this comes from TfL’s proposal of banning any black cabs from entering the bus lanes in Tooley Street, which is situated near the Shard.
Ben Plowden, the director of strategy and network development for TfL, said in a statement to the London Evening Standard newspaper that the reasoning behind their pledge is that they want to improve conditions for the people ‘walking and cycling around the area’.
Five consecutive days of non-stop traffic jams on London Bridge is ‘extremely annoying’ for those who commute via the bridge, like sales assistant Megan Wingfield, who lives near Borough Station and uses the number 48 bus to get to her workplace in Liverpool Street. She said that it she can ‘understand the cab drivers frustration’ at feeling like their voices aren’t being heard, but it is ‘extremely childish that they aren’t considering the impact their daily protests are having on London’s emergency services’.
A final decision on Tooley Street’s taxi-ban is expected to be made in January. In the meantime, local bus routes will continue to avoid London Bridge during rush-hour until Friday (November 30), when the protests are expected to end. More information about this and travel updates can be found here.