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PostPosted: Mon Feb 10, 2020 9:07 am 
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New Preston city centre bus lane blasted by private hire cabbies

https://www.lep.co.uk/news/politics/new ... es-1379689

Private hire drivers in Preston say they are being penalised by the spread of bus lanes in the city – while their black cab counterparts can breeze through the restrictions.

They are speaking out after learning that a new ‘bus gate’ feature will be installed on Tithebarn Street when the road reopens in the coming weeks, having been shut since last May.

The new restriction comes just weeks after the installation of cameras to enforce a longstanding bus lane on a section of Fishergate between Glover’s Court and Canon Street.

But Stephen Parkinson, who regularly takes passengers to and from the city centre in his private hire vehicle, claims he is being put at a disadvantage – along with the people who use his services.

“The elderly rely on us and we’re a lifeline service for them – they don’t like the black cabs because of the big step to get in and out and they’re frightened of falling on the bus if it moves off before they’ve sat down.

“Private hire cabs are good enough for the county council’s school transport contracts – then we’re a taxi, it seems, but not otherwise,” Stephen said.

Preston’s controversial bus lanes have generated more than £2m in fines since 2017 – but private hire drivers say they are more concerned about the inconvenience and cost to fairpayers.

“People are paying out more for us to go all the way round just to get to a place that we used to be able to drive straight to,” said another private cabbie, who did not want to be identified.

“We’re having to pick up our regulars firm different places since the cameras came on along that 220-yard stretch of Fishergate by Boots – and our elderly regulars are confused,” he explained.

Peter Bell, regulation and enforcement manager for Lancashire County Council, told the Local Democracy Reporting Service that the new Tithebarn Street restriction will initially be a six-month experiment, during which the public can submit their thoughts on how it is operating.

But he defended making a distinction between private hire and Hackney cabs.

“Private hire cars and black cabs are covered under different government legislation, which affects how they can operate. For example, private hire car journeys have to be pre-booked.

“This gives drivers the opportunity to plan an appropriate route and can consider suitable drop-off locations in advance.

“As with all of our bus lanes, clearly there can be some inconvenience to people’s car journeys, but it’s important to remember that the aim of bus lanes is to help people to get around using public transport and reduce congestion.

“Any new bus lanes are advertised locally to make people aware of them. Any objections or comments can be submitted to the council for consideration as part of the Traffic Order process,” Mr. Bell added.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 10, 2020 9:09 am 
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Lancashire County Council wrote:
“Private hire cars and black cabs are covered under different government legislation, which affects how they can operate. For example, private hire car journeys have to be pre-booked.

“This gives drivers the opportunity to plan an appropriate route and can consider suitable drop-off locations in advance."

Pretty feeble argument here, in my opinion. He seems to be saying that HCDs can't "consider suitable drop-off locations in advance", which to me sounds like they're incapable of driving safely. Can't see how PHVs can plan a drop in advance to avoid bus lanes, yet an HCD can't?

Sounds less like the normal bus lane argument than the one about PHDs not requiring a knowledge test because they can pre-plan trips. Which is a rubbish argument as well, in my opinion, but this one's even worse #-o


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 11, 2020 9:40 pm 
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Joined: Wed Sep 03, 2003 6:30 pm
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Location: 1066 Country
Quote:
“This gives drivers the opportunity to plan an appropriate route and can consider suitable drop-off locations in advance.

I'm guessing in my time I must have done about 150,000 prebooked jobs ( :shock: ), and I can guarantee 100% that no one has ever booked me due to the fact that I can 'plan an appropriate route and can consider suitable drop-off locations in advance'.

What a load of old fanny.

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