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Taxi drivers cause "severe delays" in London with more Bank protests

Cabbies plan to protest every day this week

London’s black cab drivers again brought traffic to a standstill protesting plans to ban all traffic apart from bikes and buses from Bank junction. Monday’s demonstration, which followed a similar protest last week, caused ‘severe delays’ according to Transport for London with buses serving some areas delayed by up to 40 minutes. Further protests have taken place yesterday and today.

The Bank junction ban will apply between 7am and 7pm for an 18-month trial period from April. There were more than 100 collisions at the junction in the period 2010-14 and it was also there that the cyclist Ying Tao was killed in 2015.

City Police said that Monday’s protest, organised by the United Cabbies Group, was permitted for a maximum 30 minutes from 3pm. However, Time Out reports that it was only broken up after 5pm.

Trevor Meralls, general secretary of the organisation, told the London Evening Standard: “Cabs are the lifeblood of the City of London and have been for hundreds of years. Restricting access to Bank Junction for taxis is an ill-conceived response to the issue of safety and will make the area significantly less accessible to thousands.”

Cycling campaigners disagree.

Speaking after the first protest, Ashok Sinha, CEO of the London Cycling Campaign, said: “This is not about cars versus bicycles, or pedestrians versus taxis. It’s about stopping more terrible fatalities, celebrating the City’s iconic buildings and spaces, and making the area a hugely more attractive place to work, do business and visit. That’s good for everyone – including those taxi drivers misguidedly protesting today, whose journey times through the area are actually set to improve when these plans go ahead.”

Today’s action saw dozens of taxis descend on Millbank, while a rolling protest also passed through the City yesterday.

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