Black cab drivers oppose private hire operators calls for access to Manchester's bus lanes

Taxi Protest Over Manchester Bus Lanes


15/06/2012

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”.

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