CamdenNewJournal

The independent London newspaper

The taxi queue is so big you can see it from space

16 July, 2020

Cab drivers wait for fares outside King’s Cross [Simon Lamrock]

• YOUR report about black-taxi drivers arguing among themselves about queuing arrangements at King’s Cross needs to be put into context, (Cab drivers clash over queue-jumping in King’s Cross, July 9).

They’re arguing for the right to queue the full length of Pancras Road and beyond the Goods Way traffic lights.

They believe their special status as London icons entitles them to keep more than 40 vehicles on standby for picking up passengers outside King’s Cross station. (More than 40? I just counted them on Google Earth. The queue’s so big you can see it from space)!

Thankfully many of the taxis are now electric, but most of the diesel-engined vehicles reserve the right to keep their engines running, which has been illegal since 1986 except that taxi drivers use the bogus defence that they’re “plying for trade”.

During lockdown, that’s meant quite a long wait. These inconsiderate drivers are contributing to some of the worst air pollution in London.

Until recently another 15 or so taxis would wait up Camley Street as far as the Natural Park gates, but Camden Council has narrowed the road.

Camden has also widened the pavement at the Goods Way junction, to make it more difficult for cabs to loiter on the bend. It hasn’t worked.

It’s time that the council put a limit on the number of taxis that can wait at any time. Forty should be enough for even the busiest periods. And it’s also time for some enforcement.

ROGER HUGHES
Canal Reach, N1

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