After all the furore last month about the postponement of night tube services, passengers could face further travel issues once a new start date is announced.
According to Transport for London (TfL) data, 72 of the 144 stations on the night tube network don’t currently have a taxi rank within 250m of the station. While this might not be as much of an issue in central London, once you start getting out into end of the line territory, it does become more problematic. No-one wants to be standing at a deserted station in Essex waiting for a minicab which might or might not turn up. Something which London Assembly Labour transport spokesperson Val Shawcross is also keen to point out:
“It’s great that TfL has committed to increasing taxi rank numbers but 2020 is far too late. The Mayor should have planned ahead and made sure that all 144 Night Tube stations have taxi ranks in place before the Night Tube starts.
“This is particularly an issue for people in outer London areas where it can be quite a distance between the station and home. Whilst pre-booked minicabs are an option, most people would be much more comfortable jumping in cab from the taxi rank than standing outside a secluded station at two or three in the morning waiting for mini-cab to arrive.”
In February, TfL announced it would provide 26 new taxi ranks at night tube stations as part of a campaign to boost numbers of taxi services across the capital. But given the distinct lack of planning ahead over night tube services (like agreeing a deal with the unions before announcing a start date, for example), it’s not that surprising that taxi ranks in outer boroughs wasn’t top of the priority list.
In July, TfL’s chief operating officer for surface transport, Garrett Emmerson, reckoned that 14 of those 26 would be in place before the ill-fated 12 September launch, but the remaining 12 wouldn’t be ready. Here’s the full list of stations with or without taxi ranks within 250m.
This is probably a good time for a reminder about taxi safety. No matter how late it is, getting into an unlicenced minicab is never a good idea. Text CAB to 60835 to get the three numbers for local minicabs via TfL’s Cabwise service, or a minicab app.