Watford Cabbie’s Plans to use Bus Lanes Backed Up by Councillors

Watford High StreetCouncillors have backed up proposals from taxi drivers in Watford to use bus lanes.

Cabs with the Watford Borough Council crest on the side, could be allowed to drive down the bus lanes in the High Street, St Albans Road and Station Road, in the next few months.

The decision for these hackney carriages will be finalised next month, by the highway bosses at Hertfordshire County Council next month.

The cab drivers welcomed the plans, saying it could free up drivers to take on more jobs and also save money for customers by avoiding traffic queues.

Watford Borough Council’s cross-party Highways Joint Members Panel also backed the move.

The chairman of the Watford Hackney Carriage Drivers Association, Shafiq Ahmed, said that drivers are thankful that councillors supported their issue as they had been pushing for the move for two years.

He explained that it would make sense to let hackney carriages drive in the bus lanes in Watford, as they could already drive in bus lanes in London.

With the increased cost of fuel and other costs of running the cabs, like taxi insurance and MOT, the news of potentially being able to drive in bus lanes is welcomed, as there is a chance that they will be able to pick up more customers.

Ahmed said, “It is logical as it will make our service more efficient for the passengers and then drivers will be able to go on to their next job.”

If approved, the new rules will allow hackney carriage drivers to drive through the High Street which is currently for buses only, and also down the bus lane on Station Road between Watford Junction and St. Albans Road.

Jan Brown, Liberal Democrat said that hackney carriages needed to be able to use those bus lanes as passengers end up with huge fares as the drivers are stuck in traffic and complete gridlock.

Brown said, “I have been stuck there for 20 minutes before with a hackney carriage behind and seen people get out saying there’s been £6 on the clock while sat there and walk off.

“It’s desperately needed”

Liberal Democrat, Andy Wylie, said, “There is a high demand for taxis in Watford and we should be accommodating them as public transport.”

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