Taxi drivers face crackdown over illegal manoeuvres

Chairman of the Oxford Pedestrians’ Association Sushila Dhall and Cyclox’s Richard Mann at the taxi rank. Picture: OX55187 Richard Cave

Chairman of the Oxford Pedestrians’ Association Sushila Dhall and Cyclox’s Richard Mann at the taxi rank. Picture: OX55187 Richard Cave Buy this photo

First published in News thisisoxfordshire: Photograph of the Author by

A CRACKDOWN has been launched against cab drivers making illegal turns at a “dangerous” Oxford junction.

Licensing bosses caught almost a third of Oxford’s black cabs making illegal turns at the Carfax junction during a special operation.

Oxford City Council officers spotted 33 of the city’s 107 Hackney carriages driving from High Street on to Carfax to access the Queen Street taxi rank across one weekend.

They are supposed to travel down St Aldate’s, along Speedwell Street and up Castle Street to rejoin Queen Street and queue at the rank.

Last night their illegal actions were described as dangerous. Council spokesman Christopher Lee said: “On 48 occasions over the weekend of October 12 and 13 our taxi marshals recorded black cabs that carried on directly from High Street on to Carfax to access the nearby taxi rank.

“To do this they crossed the road markings by the traffic lights that are in place to prevent vehicles from driving in this manner.

“Not only is this manoeuvre illegal, this action presents a danger to passing pedestrians and other motorists, and causes an obstruction to traffic following the black cabs as they wait to do this U-turn.”

Related links

The checks were carried out by marshals between 11pm and 4am on both nights.

Mr Lee added: “We became aware of the problem during our standard night time licensing enforcement operation and felt it needed further attention.”

Richard Mann, of cyclist group Cyclox, said sudden and unexpected manoeuvres were likely to cause an accident.

He said: “It’s clearly a dangerous thing to be doing, especially late at night when people are walking around after a drink or two.

“I support the council on this and I hope they can work with taxi drivers to work out a safer way of doing this. Maybe the rank needs to be moved slightly?”

Pedestrian campaigner Sushila Dhall said: “It’s highly dangerous for pedestrians because you don’t expect them to make the move. It’s not against the rules for no reason, and they should tighten up their behaviour.”

Mr Lee said the authority had referred the issue to the City of Oxford Licensed Taxicab Association (Colta) so they could advise their members.

He added: “If the problem continues and drivers are caught we will take our own enforcement action. This will be taken in line with our policy on the relevance of warnings, cautions and convictions. “It is a traffic offence and if witnessed by the police could lead to prosecution and fines.

“The drivers have a responsibility to uphold the conditions of their licence, and to represent their profession and city, in the best light.”

Oxfordshire County Council figures show there have been four accidents between vehicles and pedestrians which resulted in injury at the junction since January 2010.

But black cab driver and Oxford city councillor Saj Malik said he didn’t know it was against the rules to make the turn.

He said: “There is no sign up, and this has been a tradition for years and years.

“If they want to stop us doing U-turns into Carfax then the public will have to wait for longer and that will lead to drunken anti-social behaviour problems.”

No one representing Colta was available to comment last night.

Comments (19)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

9:42am Sat 27 Oct 12

Gunslinger says...

'Richard Mann, of cyclist group Cyclox, said sudden and unexpected manoeuvres were likely to cause an accident' - a case of the pot calling the kettle black here I suspect.

How about a bit more vocal criticism from Mr Mann of cyclists who do that very thing?
'Richard Mann, of cyclist group Cyclox, said sudden and unexpected manoeuvres were likely to cause an accident' - a case of the pot calling the kettle black here I suspect. How about a bit more vocal criticism from Mr Mann of cyclists who do that very thing? Gunslinger
  • Score: 0

10:03am Sat 27 Oct 12

Headington_angel says...

Well said @ Gunslinger. I myself walked from Headington to the the city centre last Thursday. I had roughly 5 near misses with cyclists on the journey to and from Oxford. One on the path walking up to headington from the White Horse pub near Marston on the London Road, where I had a blind man walking towards me on the pavement waving his white stick, so I stepped into the cycle lane (no bikes around at that time) until I had passed him so he had more room. After I passed the gentleman, I went to step back onto the pedestrian side to nearly get mowed down by a cyclist trying to cycle around me!, total impatience!. And on Thursday also, I passed a man on Broad Street who was laying on the floor with people surrounding him after he had just be ran into by a cyclist. I hate Oxford these days, two of my pet hates about this city is the ignorance of tourists when trying to pass each other going opposite ways on the pavement and having to step in the road to pass, and cyclists!!.
Well said @ Gunslinger. I myself walked from Headington to the the city centre last Thursday. I had roughly 5 near misses with cyclists on the journey to and from Oxford. One on the path walking up to headington from the White Horse pub near Marston on the London Road, where I had a blind man walking towards me on the pavement waving his white stick, so I stepped into the cycle lane (no bikes around at that time) until I had passed him so he had more room. After I passed the gentleman, I went to step back onto the pedestrian side to nearly get mowed down by a cyclist trying to cycle around me!, total impatience!. And on Thursday also, I passed a man on Broad Street who was laying on the floor with people surrounding him after he had just be ran into by a cyclist. I hate Oxford these days, two of my pet hates about this city is the ignorance of tourists when trying to pass each other going opposite ways on the pavement and having to step in the road to pass, and cyclists!!. Headington_angel
  • Score: -5

11:39am Sat 27 Oct 12

ox-cabby says...

Hang on a minute. ILLEGAL MANOEUVRE??? Are we talking about a specific time here, a day or weather? Has everyone gone nuts!

Here's the scenario
Que of people at carfax at night, every single cabby comes up the High or st aldates to pick up. What's the issue?

We get flagged by customers on carfax who need to be picked up there and then. They could be disabled, have children or its pouring down with rain. Surely to be flagged on carfax is the same as being flagged on the street eg., flagged on opposite side of road, we do a U turn to pick up! Whats the difference???

Cyclox try and have a dig at the cabbies on every given opporunity. Untill i am not breaking the law, they can come and explain why they are so bothered about us.

I find sushila dhall's comment very provocative. She doesnt have a clue!

How about the X number of private hire drivers who pile in on carfax to pick up or drop and hence blocking off the road completely??? Why isn't their a mention of them. Absolutely ridiculous

On weekends we are guided in by marshals on carfax, we pick up and go. The aim is to clear the city of people lurking around. If you want us to stop what we're doing, then lets have the finger pointers come up with a different solution rather than criticising all of a sudden over NOTHING. However, there solution would be pedestrians giving piggy backs and cyclists giving lifts to people waiting. This breed just hate cars FULL STOP
Hang on a minute. ILLEGAL MANOEUVRE??? Are we talking about a specific time here, a day or weather? Has everyone gone nuts! Here's the scenario Que of people at carfax at night, every single cabby comes up the High or st aldates to pick up. What's the issue? We get flagged by customers on carfax who need to be picked up there and then. They could be disabled, have children or its pouring down with rain. Surely to be flagged on carfax is the same as being flagged on the street eg., flagged on opposite side of road, we do a U turn to pick up! Whats the difference??? Cyclox try and have a dig at the cabbies on every given opporunity. Untill i am not breaking the law, they can come and explain why they are so bothered about us. I find sushila dhall's comment very provocative. She doesnt have a clue! How about the X number of private hire drivers who pile in on carfax to pick up or drop and hence blocking off the road completely??? Why isn't their a mention of them. Absolutely ridiculous On weekends we are guided in by marshals on carfax, we pick up and go. The aim is to clear the city of people lurking around. If you want us to stop what we're doing, then lets have the finger pointers come up with a different solution rather than criticising all of a sudden over NOTHING. However, there solution would be pedestrians giving piggy backs and cyclists giving lifts to people waiting. This breed just hate cars FULL STOP ox-cabby
  • Score: 0

12:03pm Sat 27 Oct 12

truspirit says...

Are these the same marshalls who were actually encouraging
The black cab drivers to make the illegal turns when queues
Started building around carfax to the point that they couldn't
Control them??
Most of the cabs are flagged down before they get to carfax
As they make their way round the block to get there
Are these the same marshalls who were actually encouraging The black cab drivers to make the illegal turns when queues Started building around carfax to the point that they couldn't Control them?? Most of the cabs are flagged down before they get to carfax As they make their way round the block to get there truspirit
  • Score: -2

8:01pm Sat 27 Oct 12

King Joke says...

Simples - just move the rank after midnight to the first couple of bus stops on St Aldates Southbound. Then there would be no need to pull a Uey in at Carfax.

The night buses use stops further down so there would be no conflict, the last day buses leave by midnight.

Incidentally is it really illegal to turn right at the top of the High St if you're on a bike? I've never seen a 'no right turn'. I do it often, although obviously I dismount to go down Queen St or Cornmarket.
Simples - just move the rank after midnight to the first couple of bus stops on St Aldates Southbound. Then there would be no need to pull a Uey in at Carfax. The night buses use stops further down so there would be no conflict, the last day buses leave by midnight. Incidentally is it really illegal to turn right at the top of the High St if you're on a bike? I've never seen a 'no right turn'. I do it often, although obviously I dismount to go down Queen St or Cornmarket. King Joke
  • Score: 1

10:15pm Sat 27 Oct 12

Arnold.Brewer says...

In all the years I was involved working as a licensed taxi driver in oxford I cannot recall one incident at this location and I really do not see that the alleged traffic offences are the remit of oxford city council. If there is a problem I fee sure Thames valley police traffic department can deal with it, and as they are silent I have to assume there is no problem and the council have it all wrong yet again
In all the years I was involved working as a licensed taxi driver in oxford I cannot recall one incident at this location and I really do not see that the alleged traffic offences are the remit of oxford city council. If there is a problem I fee sure Thames valley police traffic department can deal with it, and as they are silent I have to assume there is no problem and the council have it all wrong yet again Arnold.Brewer
  • Score: 1

2:12am Sun 28 Oct 12

Carfax Cabby says...

I have just finished a long shift and I cannot believe what I am reading. First of all IT IS NOT ILLEGAL, if it was then all traffic permitted to use Cornmarket and all cyclists turning right at Carfax would be breaking the law, Ms Dhall and Mr Mann should really read the highway code before making such statements that only show their ignorance of the law and their unabashed bigotry against the Licenced Hackney Carriage trade. Secondly Ms Dhall and Mr Mann if this LEGAL manoeuvre is so dangerous how come in the last 30 years to my knowledge the 100,000 or so of these manoeuvres has not caused death and destruction? Thirdly, Licensing said "They are supposed to travel down St Aldate’s, along Speedwell Street and up Castle Street to rejoin Queen Street and queue at the rank". WRONG, when people are waiting at Carfax rank and flag you down, you pick them up, that is what TAXIS DO, pick up customers, if there are no customers on the rank, then one drives around the block to access the rank. (sorry to be pedantic but I have to show up the ignorance of taxi licensing, how does one get from Speedwell Street to Castle Street? FLY?) As I said in an earlier post, employing University Graduates instead of qualified people will get you these problems because they have as much idea about the Taxi trade as I have about Quantum Physics. I wish that I had read this before starting my shift tonight as I would have made a point of picking up off of Carfax in the LEGAL manner from The High. But there is always tomorrow night, and as a plus I will make a point of using Queen Street as a through route as the road sign says that it is LEGAL for me to do so after 6pm. Taxi licensing if you want to lose more of the tax payers money (ala Rod Rose and the bus debacle £400K and the money you will lose on The Lodge appeal) then nick us for our LEGAL action, we will see you in court. P.S. You might have Khalid in your pocket, but he represents none of us anymore.
I have just finished a long shift and I cannot believe what I am reading. First of all IT IS NOT ILLEGAL, if it was then all traffic permitted to use Cornmarket and all cyclists turning right at Carfax would be breaking the law, Ms Dhall and Mr Mann should really read the highway code before making such statements that only show their ignorance of the law and their unabashed bigotry against the Licenced Hackney Carriage trade. Secondly Ms Dhall and Mr Mann if this LEGAL manoeuvre is so dangerous how come in the last 30 years to my knowledge the 100,000 or so of these manoeuvres has not caused death and destruction? Thirdly, Licensing said "They are supposed to travel down St Aldate’s, along Speedwell Street and up Castle Street to rejoin Queen Street and queue at the rank". WRONG, when people are waiting at Carfax rank and flag you down, you pick them up, that is what TAXIS DO, pick up customers, if there are no customers on the rank, then one drives around the block to access the rank. (sorry to be pedantic but I have to show up the ignorance of taxi licensing, how does one get from Speedwell Street to Castle Street? FLY?) As I said in an earlier post, employing University Graduates instead of qualified people will get you these problems because they have as much idea about the Taxi trade as I have about Quantum Physics. I wish that I had read this before starting my shift tonight as I would have made a point of picking up off of Carfax in the LEGAL manner from The High. But there is always tomorrow night, and as a plus I will make a point of using Queen Street as a through route as the road sign says that it is LEGAL for me to do so after 6pm. Taxi licensing if you want to lose more of the tax payers money (ala Rod Rose and the bus debacle £400K and the money you will lose on The Lodge appeal) then nick us for our LEGAL action, we will see you in court. P.S. You might have Khalid in your pocket, but he represents none of us anymore. Carfax Cabby
  • Score: -112

2:44am Sun 28 Oct 12

Carfax Cabby says...

Nice to see that you still take an interest Arnold, I hope that you are enjoying your retirement, nobby still comes to see us on the station on his "one man taxi" now and again.
Nice to see that you still take an interest Arnold, I hope that you are enjoying your retirement, nobby still comes to see us on the station on his "one man taxi" now and again. Carfax Cabby
  • Score: -64

6:06am Sun 28 Oct 12

Arnold.Brewer says...

Hi carfax cabby ,
Thanks for your message, always interested in the hackney trade and aware that those in their ivory towers at oxford city council still have next to no idea how to run this lovely city of ours!
Hi carfax cabby , Thanks for your message, always interested in the hackney trade and aware that those in their ivory towers at oxford city council still have next to no idea how to run this lovely city of ours! Arnold.Brewer
  • Score: 0

6:29pm Sun 28 Oct 12

Carfax Cabby says...

Just starting my shift and I will be making the legal manoeuvres mentioned above. Let us see if Taxi Licensing will pull me over. But it is Sunday and it is raining, they will all be nice and warm in their homes, watching Corrie or whatever is on Sunday night.
Just starting my shift and I will be making the legal manoeuvres mentioned above. Let us see if Taxi Licensing will pull me over. But it is Sunday and it is raining, they will all be nice and warm in their homes, watching Corrie or whatever is on Sunday night. Carfax Cabby
  • Score: -56

8:36am Mon 29 Oct 12

Rentajock says...

Whilst you're campaiging about taxi drivers, what about them smoking in their cabs? I've seen at least 2 taxi drivers in Oxford smoking in their taxis, including one middle-aged Asian guy in a black cab smoking on the forecourt at the BP garage on Oxford Road, Cowley. He wasn't actually at the pumps but between the pumps and parking bays with his driver's window down. My understanding is that it's against the law (the Health Act 2006?) to smoke in any vehicle being used for business purposes. I see drivers in vans smoking every day but, surely, if this legislation's going to be policed/enforced anywhere, it should be for vehicles carrying fare-paying passengers?
Whilst you're campaiging about taxi drivers, what about them smoking in their cabs? I've seen at least 2 taxi drivers in Oxford smoking in their taxis, including one middle-aged Asian guy in a black cab smoking on the forecourt at the BP garage on Oxford Road, Cowley. He wasn't actually at the pumps but between the pumps and parking bays with his driver's window down. My understanding is that it's against the law (the Health Act 2006?) to smoke in any vehicle being used for business purposes. I see drivers in vans smoking every day but, surely, if this legislation's going to be policed/enforced anywhere, it should be for vehicles carrying fare-paying passengers? Rentajock
  • Score: 1

3:31pm Mon 29 Oct 12

Carfax Cabby says...

Rentajock, live and let live, that is the way for a happy life, being a busybody only brings you into conflict, shows you up to be a narrowminded individual, and does nothing to increase the pleasure of your own life. But exactly what does your comment have to do with the story above about Taxi Drivers being persecuted for going about their lawful trade.
Rentajock, live and let live, that is the way for a happy life, being a busybody only brings you into conflict, shows you up to be a narrowminded individual, and does nothing to increase the pleasure of your own life. But exactly what does your comment have to do with the story above about Taxi Drivers being persecuted for going about their lawful trade. Carfax Cabby
  • Score: -49

9:18am Wed 31 Oct 12

Rentajock says...

Carfax Cabbie, 'Lawful' being the operative word. I wouldn't want to pay to ride in a taxi that stank of fags because the driver had been smoking in it but, whent it's against the law, that's just taking the p!ss. I'm sure the majority of people would feel the same, not just a few busybodies or aging pedants. You can't seriously think it's ok for a professional driver to light up on a petrol station forecourt, can you? Personally, I'd be more concerned about that than a few dodgy traffic manoeuvres. Anyway, it's reassuring to know that, with your live-and-let-live sunny disposition, if I occasionally stop in a taxi rank, you won't get the hump, give me an earful, or expect a traffic warden to issue a parking fine.
Carfax Cabbie, 'Lawful' being the operative word. I wouldn't want to pay to ride in a taxi that stank of fags because the driver had been smoking in it but, whent it's against the law, that's just taking the p!ss. I'm sure the majority of people would feel the same, not just a few busybodies or aging pedants. You can't seriously think it's ok for a professional driver to light up on a petrol station forecourt, can you? Personally, I'd be more concerned about that than a few dodgy traffic manoeuvres. Anyway, it's reassuring to know that, with your live-and-let-live sunny disposition, if I occasionally stop in a taxi rank, you won't get the hump, give me an earful, or expect a traffic warden to issue a parking fine. Rentajock
  • Score: 1

12:24pm Wed 31 Oct 12

Mark L says...

I walk up to St Aldates from Cornmarket daily and always have to dodge a taxi swinging around in the bit in front of the barrier!
I walk up to St Aldates from Cornmarket daily and always have to dodge a taxi swinging around in the bit in front of the barrier! Mark L
  • Score: 0

8:29pm Wed 31 Oct 12

the wizard says...

I must say this made me laugh,

“If they want to stop us doing U-turns into Carfax then the public will have to wait for longer and that will lead to drunken anti-social behaviour problems.”


Excuse me, but , drunken anti-social behaviour problems, start in the pub or club when the drinker is served too much, not because he is waiting for a cab. That issue should be addressed by the Police, but of course, they are always on-route to St.Elsewhere, answering a call.

As goes the cabs, the law is the law and if it is being broken then the Police need to sort it out, surely the council have enough issues in dirty Oxford to sort without digressing to cabs. If this is a priority where have all the issues around housing, childcare, homeless and so on disappeared to.
I must say this made me laugh, “If they want to stop us doing U-turns into Carfax then the public will have to wait for longer and that will lead to drunken anti-social behaviour problems.” Excuse me, but , drunken anti-social behaviour problems, start in the pub or club when the drinker is served too much, not because he is waiting for a cab. That issue should be addressed by the Police, but of course, they are always on-route to St.Elsewhere, answering a call. As goes the cabs, the law is the law and if it is being broken then the Police need to sort it out, surely the council have enough issues in dirty Oxford to sort without digressing to cabs. If this is a priority where have all the issues around housing, childcare, homeless and so on disappeared to. the wizard
  • Score: -11

2:15am Thu 1 Nov 12

OZZY123 says...

the taxi driver (not phv driver) ask for the marshals, now there doing them,
the taxi driver (not phv driver) ask for the marshals, now there doing them, OZZY123
  • Score: 0

2:41pm Thu 1 Nov 12

Carfax Cabby says...

When I am back home rentajock i am regularly in cabs where the driver is smoking whilst his cab is being filled up, I havent heard of a petrol station blowing up yet, but we have very vigerous health and safety here, some for the good and some just plain silly, I have never had a passenger complain about smoking since the law, but I have many complain about driving too slowly for a hospital appointment as the route from gloucester green to the churchill is 20mph all the way, maybe the customer knows when to spot a stupid law when they see one.
When I am back home rentajock i am regularly in cabs where the driver is smoking whilst his cab is being filled up, I havent heard of a petrol station blowing up yet, but we have very vigerous health and safety here, some for the good and some just plain silly, I have never had a passenger complain about smoking since the law, but I have many complain about driving too slowly for a hospital appointment as the route from gloucester green to the churchill is 20mph all the way, maybe the customer knows when to spot a stupid law when they see one. Carfax Cabby
  • Score: -57

10:49am Fri 2 Nov 12

alu355 says...

Can they also stop all the U-turns by cabs on Cowley Road and St Clements please. Hindrance is often caused to other traffic when a cab spots a passenger on the other side of the road and then has to wait for a space to open up in the traffic.

Another related issue is parking on double yellow lines on the high street and outside Sainsburys at St Celements
Can they also stop all the U-turns by cabs on Cowley Road and St Clements please. Hindrance is often caused to other traffic when a cab spots a passenger on the other side of the road and then has to wait for a space to open up in the traffic. Another related issue is parking on double yellow lines on the high street and outside Sainsburys at St Celements alu355
  • Score: 0

6:14pm Mon 5 Nov 12

Carfax Cabby says...

ALU, who do you want to stop all these u turns that bring the city to a standstill, I think you mean the council, ha ha, the laws of the road are laid down in the highway code, so go and see your mp and get him to raise it in parliament. I can see it now, "Can Mr Cameron and his government ban u turns in Cowley road please" Nice one ALU, by the way the reason Taxis have a 25ft turning circle is for that precise reason.
ALU, who do you want to stop all these u turns that bring the city to a standstill, I think you mean the council, ha ha, the laws of the road are laid down in the highway code, so go and see your mp and get him to raise it in parliament. I can see it now, "Can Mr Cameron and his government ban u turns in Cowley road please" Nice one ALU, by the way the reason Taxis have a 25ft turning circle is for that precise reason. Carfax Cabby
  • Score: 0

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree