HC Deb 11 April 1957 vol 568 cc1288-9
31. Mr. E. Johnson

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will instruct the Metropolitan Police to take action against the drivers of taxicabs who stand their cabs in the middle of the street and beside private cars parked on spaces provided as taxi ranks even when there is ample empty space on other parts of the rank.

Mr. R. A. Butler

I am informed by the Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis that few instances of "double-banking" of the kind referred to in the Question come to police notice. Where it does happen, the case would be dealt with by way of advice or verbal warning. It is contrary to the general interest that private cars should occupy space on authorised cab ranks and, as far as their resources permit, the police check any such practice.

32. Mr. E. Johnson

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will arrange for the reduction in the length of the taxi rank on the south side of Piccadilly which extends westwards from opposite No. 119 as this space is never fully used.

Mr. R. A. Butler

The responsibility for fixing stands for cabs in London rests by Statute with the Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis. Having regard to the heavy demand for the use of cabs at certain times, the Commissioner does not consider that the reduction of the length of this rank would be justified.

Mr. Johnson

Is my right hon. Friend aware that it is highly improbable that the rank has been fully occupied by cabs within living memory? There are always vast empty spaces in which car owners put their cars, with the result to which I have drawn attention owing to the dog-in-the-manger attitude of the taxicab people. The rank is far too long.

Mr. Butler

I have had a look at the rank. It is fully used at certain times, especially when there is a function at a nearby hotel.

Mr. P. Wells

Is the Home Secretary aware that private cars are often at fault here? Will he make it perfectly plain that even M.P.s are precluded from parking on taxi ranks?

Mr. Butler

I think that M.P.s know everything.