Transport for London has warned Black Cab drivers to keep to the rules on parking up and ranking.

It was reported that Black Cab drivers “have felt compelled to form longer ranks or new ranks in what they perceive to be busier areas” as easing of lockdown restrictions are lifted resulting in an uplift in the demand for taxis.

In response, Graham Robinson, General Manager of Taxi & Private Hire at TfL, issued a warning saying:

“We’ve been made aware of instances of over-ranking at taxi ranks, including at Oxford Street, London Bridge, Harrods and Kings Cross. Over-ranking causes congestion, road safety concerns and accessibility issues for wheelchair users and people with mobility impairments. Licensees are reminded that in some cases over-ranking can result in a Penalty Charge Notices.

Stopping and waiting

Transport for London, responsible for on street parking enforcement, states the following regarding stopping and waiting:

  • Taxis and private hire vehicles can only stop as long as is necessary for the customer to get in or out of the vehicle. This includes more time to assist wheelchair users and to make sure that the wheelchair is in the right position and safely secured
  • Picking up or dropping off is allowed on single and double yellow and red lines, in places where loading is not allowed (shown by markings on the kerb), in parking bays and in bus lanes
  • Drivers should not stop where they would cause an obstruction or a safety hazard. This includes stopping on zigzag lines (for example, by pedestrian crossings or on school crossings) or where there is a ‘No stopping’ sign
  • Private hire vehicles must never stop on taxi ranks, even when picking up or setting down customers
  • If there are waiting or parking restrictions, drivers cannot stop for longer than necessary for the customer to get in or out of the vehicle. The exception is that between 22:00 and 06:00 drivers can stop for up to five minutes on red routes to allow customers to use cash points
  • Where waiting or parking restrictions apply, there is no general exemption to leave the vehicle to assist a customer to or from a building. A driver who feels this assistance is essential should minimise any time spent away from the vehicle and, if possible, record details of the customer in case a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) is issued
  • When not picking up or dropping off, a driver waiting at a time and place where restrictions apply will be liable to receive a PCN. This applies even if the vehicle has arrived early for a booking or the customer is late, or where a customer asks a driver to stop and wait while they visit a shop or use a cashpoint
  • Taxi and private hire drivers should not leave their engines idling. Running the engine while your vehicle is stationary pollutes the environment and is illegal on a public road.

Taxi Rank Regulations

Regulations made under section 19 and 21 of the London Hackney Carriage Act 1853 places these additional requirements of

  • Drivers to be with taxis (Reg. 1): The drivers of the first two taxis on a standing or any portion thereof must be with their taxis and available for hiring immediately.
  • Drivers to be willing to be hired (Reg. 2): A taxi must not be left on a standing or portion thereof unless the driver is willing to be hired.
  • Drivers to move up (Reg. 3): Drivers must move up on ranks to fill vacancies as they occur and vacancies must not be filled in any other manner.
  • Disabled taxis (Reg. 4): Disabled taxis must not be left on a standing longer than reasonably necessary to effect removal unless such disablement is temporary and is remedied without delay.
  • Drivers not to cause annoyance, etc. (Reg. 5): Drivers must not obstruct the carriageway or footway to cause annoyance or disturbance to residents or persons in the vicinity.

A taxi driver found guilty of an offence relating to any of these Regulations can be prosecuted and find up to £200.

Disclaimer: This article is for guidance purposes only. Kings View Chambers accepts no responsibility or liability whatsoever for any action taken, or not taken, in relation to this article. You should seek the appropriate legal advice having regard to your own particular circumstances.

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