Allow taxis to go, where buses go.

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Temporary cycling and walking measures are being put in place across the county during the Coronavirus crisis to help people get out and socially distance during this pandemic.

The Government has given authorities funding through the Combined Authority, to deliver pop-up cycle lanes, wider pavements, safer junctions and bus-only corridors. 

The priority is to get all of these schemes delivered as soon as possible. One of the first is Mill Road. The Bridge is closed to all vehicles except buses and cyclists.

By excluding taxis access on Mill Road Bridge will discriminate against the elderly, or people with disabilities who are totally reliant on a door-to-door service. 

These individuals are statistically more likely to not own a vehicle or cycle and have mobility problems. Furthermore, in these challenging times they may have significantly less disposable income with which to pay additional costs associated with travelling the much longer routes incurred as a direct result of the diversion, for instance doctors appointments or essential shopping trips.

Furthermore, when other modes of transport stop operating, taxis are the only form of public transport available for late night city-centre entertainment. Many will be intoxicated as they start their journeys home and social distancing may not be top priority. The more efficiently taxis can relieve the area of party goers and intoxicated individuals, the greater chance in reduction in anti-social behaviour or disorder. 

If key roads are cut off to taxis, some passengers will be left with no option other than to walk, or ask to be dropped of before the road closure. 'Before the bridge' was an option to some passengers when the bridge was closed in 2019. With Cambridge being heavily student dense - young women are particularly vulnerable when walking home alone, late at night. 

Historically, in Cambridge taxis have access to Bus lanes & Gate. If taxis were to be integrated in to the new way access restrictions, this will not compromise the new scheme to safe walk or cycle. County Council are able to make changes to the scheme at a week's notice. 

One can appreciate these measures need to be implemented as quickly as possible so they can make the greatest difference to people’s lives. But the taxi trade memebers feel it is our duty to make 'powers that be' aware of the associated risks attached to such scheme, and offer a practical solution; Allow taxis to go, where buses go, which would effectively reduce the financial and health risks to the travelling public, whilst having little to no negative impact on the aim of the scheme.

Thank you for taking the time to read our concerns and signing the petition.