Taxi strike blocks Tottenham Court Road in protest of Council’s new plan to make the road a bus-only zone
Commuters are facing days of chaos as strike continues
Tottenham Court Road has been blocked this evening by taxi drivers who disagree with Camden Council's plans to prohibit taxis, cars and lorries from accessing the street.
Commuters were blocked from driving down Tottenham Court Road by a group of 40 taxis which parked in the middle of the road preventing traffic from moving.
A number of buses got stuck behind the protest and passengers had to disembark and find alternative routs home.
The drivers are protesting Camden Council's decision to renovate Tottenham Court Road. The £35 million renovations will turn it into a road exclusively for bikes and buses, with larger pedestrian areas.
Traffic which previously used Tottenham Court Road will be diverted to Gower Street which will be made two way. The council believes that such measures will reduce air pollution and improve road safety.
The renovation is set to take place in 2020.
Adam Harrison, the cabinet member responsible for Camden’s environment told the Evening Standard: “Not having taxis in the daytime will lead to 25 per cent less traffic, with all the benefits for air quality and congestion that go along with it.”
The taxi industry disagree. Back in 2015 they went to the High Court to try to stop the draft of this plan, but lost their challenge. They have argued that this project will worse congestion and increase pollution in the surrounding streets.
The strike is the taxi industries latest action to try and get Camden Council to change the plans.
Taxi drivers plan to block the road every weekday from 4-7pm until the Council reverses its decision.