Cabbies call for a relaxing of Leeds bus lane restrictions

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MINI cab drivers in Leeds are demanding they be allowed to operate in bus lanes - in line with their Hackney Carriage colleagues and with drivers in other cities.

A petition with more than 1,000 names has been handed in to council bosses by campaigners.

They say the current legislation is “not sensible” and is “unfair”.

They claim private hire drivers have to travel much longer distances to pick up and drop off clientele, resulting in delays and congestion.

They are also questioning why bus lanes are in operation 24 hours a day, when buses do not operate round the clock.

The petition states: “This is not sensible from a transportation, environmental and customer perspective.

“In addition it is unfair that one mode of small vehicle people-transporting service (Hackney Carriage) can use the bus lanes but another doing exactly the same work (private hire) cannot.”

The petition also points out that other large cities, like Liverpool, already allow private hire cars to use their bus lanes.

A spokeswoman for Leeds City Council said: “Bus priority measures provide valuable time savings and service reliability across the city.

“The possibility of allowing private hire vehicles to use bus lanes has been previously investigated by the council.

“It was considered however, that to take such a decision with over 4,000 private hire vehicles registered in Leeds would have a significant detrimental impact on bus reliability and make the bus lanes more intimidating for cyclists.”