HC Deb 03 February 1960 vol 616 cc977-8
35. Dr. A. Glyn

asked the Minister of Transport what protests he has received from owner-drivers of taxis in the London area that their earnings have been reduced as a result of his ban on U-turning in the Pink Zone; what reply he has made to these protests: and if he will make a statement.

36. Mr. Lipton

asked the Minister of Transport what protests he has received against his prohibition of U-turns by London taxi-cabs in the Pink Zone.

Mr. Hay

On behalf of my right hon. Friend, I received on 23rd December a deputation representing taxi-cab owners and drivers, and further written representations about the experimental ban on U-turns in the Pink Zone area have since been made to me. I have replied that a sufficient period must be allowed before any reasonable judgment on the results of the experiment as a whole can be reached, and that all representations will then be taken fully into account. No protests have been received regarding loss of earnings resulting from the ban.

Dr. Glyn

Would not my hon. Friend agree that it would be perfectly possible, without any disruption of traffic, to exempt taxi drivers, since their vehicles are equipped with a special steering device which enables them to manœuvre?

Mr. Hay

We thought of that, but we wanted to see how this experiment would work, and to separate categories of vehicles such as taxis would present many problems and blur the whole picture. I think we had better see how this works and then decide if any special exemptions are needed.

Mr. Lipton

Why did the Minister impose this autocratic twenty-four hour ban without any prior consultations with the unions concerned, making it more difficult for taxi drivers to pick up and put down passengers and causing pedestrians—sometimes old and crippled—to cross the road in order to get a taxi? Why is it necessary to stop a taxi turning round in the middle of the road in Piccadilly, sometimes at three o'clock in the morning?

Mr. Hay

I want to emphasise that this ban is placed on all vehicles, not only taxis. It is important to remember that because some people seem to think that my right hon. Friend has it in mind to persecute the taxi driver, and that is not in fact true.

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