June 15, 2012
Hundreds of Manchester taxi drivers are took part in a protest at being barred from bus lanes.
Currently, Manchester Council allows black LTI taxis to use bus lanes but not private-hire cars. Transport bosses say this is because private-hire vehicles are not always clearly marked, making enforcement challenging. They also say any change would cause more congestion.
Private hire operators staged a last month, driving from Manchester City’s Etihad Stadium to Manchester town hall in a convoy.
Level Playing Field
Derek Brocklehurst, secretary of the Manchester Private Hire Association, said: “What we are trying to do is get a level playing field. We find it difficult to drop off customers to health appointments because we’re stuck in traffic when bus lanes are empty. This is a great disadvantage to us”.
Across the UK, 59 councils allow private-hire cars in bus lanes. However, Michael Renshaw, Transport for Greater Manchester’s bus and rail director, is against joining them.
Mr. Renshaw commented: “Opening up the bus lanes to private-hire vehicles as well as the licensed black cabs would increase bus lane congestion and could potentially have an impact on the reliability and punctuality of bus services”.