PHV using cycle lane

Private Hire Vehicles in Bus Lanes

PHV using cycle lane
A PHV making creative use of cycle-only lights on Flathouse Road

Portsmouth City Council is considering allowing Private Hire Vehicles to use bus lanes. To use technical terminology, a Taxi is a Hackney Carriage, and a Minicab is a Private Hire Vehicle (PHV).  A Hackney Carriage licence allows the driver to pick up fares on the street, and a few other perks, for example, in Portsmouth, Taxis may use bus lanes, but PHVs ay not.  Recently it has been proposed that PHVs should be allowed to use Bus Lanes.  In addition to buses and taxis, bicycles are also permitted to use bus lanes.

You may know that Portsmouth has more cycling accidents per capita than most other cities, but it may surprise you to learn that (according to PCC figures) Taxis and PHVs are responsible for a disproportionately large number of cycling accidents.  Taxis and PHVs represent just under 0.9% of registered vehicles, but are involved in 8% of all reported cycle collisions: and whilst cyclists make up only 4.7% of traffic in Portsmouth, they account for 21% of Taxi/PHV related casualties.  Disturbingly, the most common contributory factor is the “driver failing to look properly”.

Allowing PHVs into cycle lanes would result in more occasions when cyclists and PHVs are in close proximity, and thus increase the likelihood of cyclist casualties in the one place where they currently have some protection from general traffic.  Portsmouth Cycle Forum therefore conclude that in its current form this proposal is a terrible idea.

You can read our full response here: PHVs in Bus Lanes – PCF Response.

One thought on “Private Hire Vehicles in Bus Lanes”

  1. In my experience many minicab drivers in Portsmouth are particularly ill disciplined and unlikely to follow the highway code. These include both deviations that are offences (parking on pavements, in cycle lines, crossing into cycle lanes that have a single white line, stopping and blocking the highway, parking on double yellow lines (nb: parking and waiting which is not legal-picking up on a double yellow line is legal), waiting on the restricted areas leading to pedestrian crossings etc., stopping in advanced stopping zones at TCLs, speeding), and poor driving practice (three point turns in the face of oncoming traffic, not following right of way, particularly in respect to cyclists and pedestrians, not looking at junctions, particularly in respect to cyclists and pedestrians, overtaking and then pulling up in front of the vehicle they have just overtaken), impolite and often dangerous but harder to define as specific offences. I have difficulty believing some of the PHV drivers have passed a driving test.

    Hackney Carriage drivers generally seem to have much better driving skills.

    In addition to the dangers to cyclists and pedestrians, allowing PHV’s into bus lanes will also slow buses, and not encourage the change from driving to public transport that is desperately needed in Portsmouth.

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