By Peter J Rose @peterjrose1
You may have noticed some social media noise regrading taxi access to London’s bus lanes? With much claiming of who did what and when.
Although entertaining, sometimes this sort of posturing, with it’s fasted Twitter finger first mentality can distract from the hard work reality behind the social media grab. For the record, Unite the union’s position regarding bus lanes is simply this…
Taxis are not cars or minicabs, nor are they part of London’s traffic problem. They are fully accessible public hire vehicles, an important part of London’s transport infrastructure and as such should have – alongside buses and coaches – automatic access to London’s bus lanes.
Unite said so in it’s submission to Labour’s London transport and infrastructure manifesto consultation prior to this years Mayoral elections, saying:
Bus lanes are a vital part of public transport in London. They allow for the travelling public to choose a speedy and reliable form of surface transport that helps the environment supports business & encourages tourists in London to use a convenient & popular alternative to the private car. Without bus lanes congestion & pollution would increase. Access to bus lanes should for bus, taxi and coaches. TfL & local councils should continue to expand bus lane availability, where appropriate between 7am to 7pm. Access should be available to buses, taxis & coaches on all existing and new bus lanes. New road schemes should allow for access for all three transport modes mentioned above. The Mayor will oppose any attempts to reduce bus lane coverage or exclude any of the three modes mentioned above.
It is this position Unite Cab Section constantly leads with when meeting TfL management the Mayor or the Mayor’s representatives.
New Mayor ⋅ New Rules
Unite supported and campaigned for a Sadiq Khan led Labour administration in the London Mayoral elections earlier this year, both physically and financially. In so doing committing itself to real policy changes in the taxi and private hire world following on from eight years of Boris and Dave’s unfettered Über deregulation agenda. Unite was the only taxi driver grouping to do this.
It is because of this commitment that the London taxi trade is now seeing real change going forward, with many of the union’s recommendations being implemented, including: Greater access to bus lanes, improved private hire regulations and more taxi ranks.