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Cabbies meet Hackney mayor in campaign to end 'dirty vehicle ban' in Shoreditch and Old Street

PUBLISHED: 11:14 05 March 2019 | UPDATED: 11:38 05 March 2019

Plan to turn St Paul Street in Shoreditch into London's first 'electric' thoroughfare

Plan to turn St Paul Street in Shoreditch into London's first 'electric' thoroughfare

TFL

Cabbies have held talks with the mayor of Hackney over their campaign to reverse the ban on polluting vehicles around Shoreditch and Old Street, the Gazette can reveal.

Most cabbies cannot use some roads around Shoreditch and Old Street during peak hours. Picture: LTPRMost cabbies cannot use some roads around Shoreditch and Old Street during peak hours. Picture: LTPR

Since September, nine roads across two zones have, during peak hours, been restricted to walking, cycling and “ultra-low emission vehicles” (ULEV) – those that emit less than 75kg/km of CO2.

That has obviously affected trade for the capital’s 23,500 black cab drivers, as only 5 per cent are electric and therefore most can no longer pick up or drop off customers in the area.

Last month London Taxi PR (LTPR), which represents cabbies, met Phil Glanville, and went in armed with the support of Transport for All, an advocacy group championing disabled and elder people’s rights, and Inclusion London, which supports more than 70 deaf and disabled organisations.

They argue by allowing only ULEVs into the zones disabled passengers are at a disadvantage, and also that it is a restraint on the cabbies’ trade.

The LTPR said: “London Taxis have been able to move without restriction throughout London for 365 years, providing the only public transport door to door service. By restricting access to roads, they are effectively being forced into only being able to offer a 5 per cent service to customers.

“London Taxis are fully wheelchair accessible and many passengers with disabilities have come to depend and rely on them to allow them to be more independent and get around London, quickly and safely.”

The meeting was adjourned, and LTPR say “important views and facts had been put forward on behalf of the London taxi profession and its passengers”.

The scheme, funded through Sadiq Khan’s air quality fund and the government’s go ultra low city scheme, has been signed off by both Hackney and Islington councils.

Cllr Feryal Demirci, Hackney’s transport chief, said: “Our ultimate goal is to reclaim the streets from polluting motor vehicles. This ground-breaking scheme is the first step towards doing that.”

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