Labour Councillors have written to Westminster City Council, the Metropolitan Police and the Deputy Mayor for Transport about the continuing problems caused by an illegal ‘taxi rank’ on Praed Street outside Paddington Station.
Councillor Paul Dimoldenberg, Labour’s Environment & City Management spokesperson, says in his letter:
“Dear Stuart (Love), Helen (Harper) and Heidi (Alexander)
Praed Street Illegal ‘Taxi Rank’
As you know from the very many letters and emails from residents and Councillors, the illegal ‘taxi rank’ in Praed Street outside the Great Western Hotel continues to operate.
As you can see from the attached picture, taxis continue to park on double yellow lines and block Ambulances. It is not uncommon to see taxis blocking the road from Praed Street, down Craven Road and even across Westbourne Terrace into the lower section of Craven Road. Engines are invariably idling.
British Transport police are damning in their condemnation of the drivers, the Council and TfL for not finding a solution as the taxis endanger the station. However, BTP are powerless to act as BTP powers end at the station boundary. British Transport police want to see this problem addressed as it is creating a dangerous situation at the station.
The problem is compounded by Uber drivers who regularly drop off here, too. The hotel concierge encourages guests to use this illegal taxi rank.
Why is no action being taken? According to TfL regulations, a cab can only stop as long as is necessary for a passenger to get in or out https://tfl.gov.uk/info-for/taxis-and-private-hire/parking-information
Also, “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.”
Furthermore, “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.”
Finally, “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.”
Please can you instruct your officers to immediately start to issue PCNs to taxi and Uber drivers who continue to stop on the double yellow lines on Praed Street outside the Great Western Hotel. If this is a problem, please tell me why taxi and Uber drivers have licence to break the law.
I look forward to hearing from you”