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Private hire vehicles in bus lanes (London)

paulm74paulm74 Posts: 147
edited December 1969 in Campaign
I spotted the question below in a list of cycling-related questions to the Mayor in May, circulated by Wandsworth CC. I think this would be a disaster. These are the most inconsiderately, even dangerously, driven cars on the road in my experience, and will only be worse if they are swerving in and out of bus lanes around buses.

I also fail to see how their "important contribution to London's transport" is any differnet than that of a private car and they can be less green because they usually make the return journey without any passengers.


Use of Bus Lanes by Licensed Private Hire Vehicles

Question No: 932 / 2007

Jennette Arnold

Does the Mayor agree with me that it's high time that licensed private hire vehicles were allowed to use bus lanes, given their important contribution to London's transport? Would you advise us on progress with the previously reported review of this matter?

Response from the Mayor

In recent months TfL has been working to enable licensed private hire vehicles to set down and pick up passengers on red routes. It is anticipated that this exemption, previously only afforded to licensed taxis, will be extended to cover private hire vehicles later this year.

I have asked TfL to consider the issues around private hire vehicles using bus lanes, once this exemption to set down and pick up on red routes is up and running.



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Posts

  • RegulatorRegulator Posts: 417
    It's bad enough having black cabs using bus lanes (they're not public transport), never mind private hire vehicles.

    I shall have to have a word with my friends at City Hall and see if they can slap a bit of sense into Ken...

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  • spen666spen666 Posts: 17,709
    <blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by Regulator</i>

    It's bad enough having black cabs using bus lanes (they're not public transport), never mind private hire vehicles.

    I shall have to have a word with my friends at City Hall and see if they can slap a bit of sense into Ken...

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    <hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">

    I'll offer to slap him - not sure it will put any sense into him, but I'd enjoy it

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  • CrapaudCrapaud Posts: 2,666
    Er...how are black hacks and private hire cabs not public transport, they're both used by the public? It's not so different to paying a fare on a bus.
    <blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote">Originally posted by paulm74
    I also fail to see how their "important contribution to London's transport" is any different than that of a private car and <b>they can be less green because they usually make the return journey without any passengers.</b><hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">
    Any PHC that usually returns without a fare wouldn't be in business long. Where do you get this idea?
    Up here, black hacks and private hire are permitted to use bus lanes and it works OK.

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  • paulm74paulm74 Posts: 147
    <blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by Crapaud</i>
    Any PHC that usually returns without a fare wouldn't be in business long. Where do you get this idea?
    <hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">
    May well be wrong but I don't think private hire cars are allowed to pick up on the street: they must be booked in advance or passengers must go to their office. If so, it's highly unlikely that they'd be able to organise it so that every time they moved they would have a fare. Perhaps you can replace usually with often or sometimes!
    <blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote">

    <i>Originally posted by Crapaud</i>
    Up here, black hacks and private hire are permitted to use bus lanes and it works OK.
    <hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">

    Fair enough. I assume your minicab drivers are more considerate than those down here then! I still don't see why they should get such a concession though. Surely the only benefits (to the community as a whole of people using taxis instead of cars are to reduce parking congestion and to provide jobs for the drivers? If they want to enourage people to use bus, bike or foot, cabs of any sort should not be allowed in bus lanes.


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  • ArchcpArchcp Posts: 8,987
    <blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by Crapaud</i>

    Er...how are black hacks and private hire cabs not public transport, they're both used by the public? It's not so different to paying a fare on a bus.
    <hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">

    Except that one bus can hold many people, and take up far less space on the road than if all those people were in individual taxis...

    While they are not privately owned cars, taxis are for the duration of that journey hired for a private ride. They'd only be 'public' if they also stopped to pick up other fares until they were full.

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  • rgismergisme Posts: 1,598
    I don't really have much of a problem with this. The fact is that private cars can already use most bus lanes for most of the day, outside rush hours. So letting a few more licensed minicabs in them during the hours of operation isn't going to make a huge difference.

    I think you'll find the most vocal opposition to this will come from the black cab driver's association, who will see it as erosion of their privileges jeopardising their livelihood by giving people even less reason to use them at their higher level of fares.

    And taxis are certainly 'public transport' IMO. It doesn't matter if they are being used for door to door travel by fewer people than can fit in a bus, they are still there to be used by 'the public' as opposed to someone using their own personal car and to that extent no doubt they do keep some private cars off the road. It seems like some sort of reverse snobbism to say that only mass transportation systems, which depart from and pick up only at fixed points, are 'public' transport.
  • mjonesmjones Posts: 1,915
    <blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by rgisme</i>
    ...

    And taxis are certainly 'public transport' IMO. It doesn't matter if they are being used for door to door travel by fewer people than can fit in a bus, they are still there to be used by 'the public' as opposed to someone using their own personal car and to that extent no doubt they do keep some private cars off the road. It seems like some sort of reverse snobbism to say that only mass transportation systems, which depart from and pick up only at fixed points, are 'public' transport.
    <hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">
    I agree. An awful lot of public transport journeys include a taxi trip, not all of which could be made by another mode. Taxis are therefore part of the public transport system. They are also essential to those who don't own a car, filling in those journeys that can't be made on public transport. Taxis make it possible to live without owning a car; and (unsurprisingly) people who don't own cars make vastly fewer journeys by car (including taxi) than those who do.
  • CrapaudCrapaud Posts: 2,666
    <blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote">Originally posted by Arch:
    Except that one bus can hold many people, and take up far less space on the road than if all those people were in individual taxis... <hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">

    Granted, but that doesn't make taxis 'not public transport'. Buses and trains are not always the most suitable or convenient mode of transport for many people.

    <blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote">Originally posted by Arch:
    While they are not privately owned cars, taxis are for the duration of that journey hired for a private ride. They'd only be 'public' if they also stopped to pick up other fares until they were full.<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">

    Why? I don't understand your reasoning. Taxis are a mode of transport that's available to the public and can therefore, IMO, be classed as 'public'. It's just a different mode of transport, employed in a different way. The main differences that I can see, aside from the number of passengers, are that buses follow a set route, to a timetable, carrying passengers from one general location to another general location; taxis take the most convenient route from point to point and are, in theory anyway, available on demand.

    <blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote">Originally posted by paulm74:
    May well be wrong but I don't think private hire cars are allowed to pick up on the street: they must be booked in advance or passengers must go to their office. If so, it's highly unlikely that they'd be able to organise it so that every time they moved they would have a fare. Perhaps you can replace usually with often or sometimes!
    <hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">
    Some private hire cars are licensed to pick up off of the street, but not many. The way that it works up here is that the city is divided up into areas. The driver plots into the area that he's in to let the controller know where he is. When a job comes up in that area he shouldn't have too far to travel to the pick-up point. When the passenger is dropped off, he plots into the new area so that when a job comes up in that area he shouldn't have...etc.
    It's not in the driver's interest to have to move without a passenger; it's dead time where he earns nothing! It's better organised that you think, just not perfect.
    There's another system that uses GPS to send the work to the nearest taxi to the pick-up point.



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  • miffedcpmiffedcp Posts: 315
    thats not picking up off the streeet though, its how private hire taxis do business.

    Picking up off the street is seeing a taxi, hailing it and getting it. Private taxis arent aloud to that.

    j
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