Back off our black cabs mayor Khan

Here’s why

Mayor Khan is back at it again, with more plans to disrupt London’s economy. Unveiling his “pedestrian boulevard” plan for Oxford Street this morning leaves me with a sour taste in my mouth.

Just a few weeks ago he imposed a new T-Charge on vehicles in Central London, and now to attack London’s backbone (black taxis) with no thought to how it might impact the cab industry, or the wider the economy, by prohibiting access into Oxford Street is simply ludicrous.

Let’s be under no illusions here this is a betrayal of something that is quintessentially London, and the Mayor should be ashamed of himself.

By restricting black taxi access to London’s busiest shopping street will start a ripple effect and have unimagined, knock on, financial ramifications for businesses.

Wealthy shoppers will just take their bread and honey to other places that they have easier access to. Not everyone wants to battle to crowds on the tube, and I would suggest that many of those who will take their credit cards to other hunting grounds, are those with the most to spend.

I have always been a huge supporter of black taxis, especially with them making London accessible to all! Has Mayor Khan even thought about people who rely on the door-to-door service that black taxis can offer to the likes of wheelchair users and the elderly?

This plan is predicted to cost £60m, but I can think of many other uses of where that money can be put towards, like investing in our future generations by getting kids out of crime networks, off the streets, and into apprenticeships.

This is only phase one of Khan’s crazy plan, and the weak ‘promise’ of new taxi ranks close to Oxford Street for black cabs to pick up and drop off passengers is in no way, shape or form, going to be sufficient in subsidising the losses made from the “pedestrian boulevard”.

Richard Massett, chairman of the LTDA rightly said: “The loss of taxi access to this section of Oxford Street will cause considerable inconvenience to disabled passengers, many of whom rely upon London’s fully-accessible taxi fleet to get around safely and conveniently.

“The door-to-door service that taxis offer are also relied upon by the millions of tourists who visit Oxford Street every year. Their needs have clearly not been considered.”

Mayor, Sadiq Khan must be living in a fool’s paradise if he thinks it’s a good idea to restrict black taxis’ access to Oxford Street, where they’re the choice of travel by thousands of Londoners and tourists alike - from the store, to their door!

Fact is, all Mayor Khan is doing is pushing the traffic from London’s commercial hotspot through to the surrounding residential streets, and honestly this supposed solution to cutting pollution and congestion on Oxford Street is just a way displacing the traffic to nearby areas.

Another crazy plan from Mayor Khan, another hit taken by London’s economy; a synonymous pair.

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