Has anyone noticed how much longer the lines of taxis are getting on taxi ranks at rail stations? Passing through Marylebone station on a daily basis as l do, l have noticed queues of black cabs waiting for passengers going around the block. It is the same picture at Paddington station where going around the block involves passing over a bridge at the back of the station, along the Harrow Road and even up to the Edgware Road. And that’s a very big block indeed!
While this is clearly a sign of the times, we don’t want the black cab trade shooting itself in the foot. But that may well be the case with the recent increase in taxi fares announced by the Public Carriage Office. This at a time when many corporate accounts have withdrawn from hiring black cabs to send their executives around town. It was for this reason that l tabled a question to the Mayor on black cab fare rises to which I received an answer indicating that Boris has not seen the evidence on the ground. This is clearly an aspect of London life that we need to keep an eye on during the downturn of the economy.