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London night tube will help Redbridge cabbies ‘capitalise on the night time economy’

PUBLISHED: 11:15 17 August 2016 | UPDATED: 11:15 17 August 2016

Taxi Driver and Chair of the Licensed Taxi Drivers Andy Kavanagh pictured with his cab in Ilford

Taxi Driver and Chair of the Licensed Taxi Drivers Andy Kavanagh pictured with his cab in Ilford

Archant

Black cab drivers are celebrating the arrival of the night tube which they say will be a welcome boost to their industry.

Andy Kavanagh sitting in his cab.Andy Kavanagh sitting in his cab.

Ranks have been created at Wanstead, South Woodford, Newbury Park and Fairlop stations, ready for 24-hour travel scheme which will start on Friday.

Neil Hutchinson, 53, of Chadwell Heath has been driving a black cab for eight years and said it will really help cabbies in the borough.

“The ones who work in central London might go a bit ‘urgh’ about it, but it will really help the boys round here,” he said.

“The business has really tailed off for the Yellow badges (drivers who have passed the knowledge for the local area) but instead of getting a cab or Uber all the way from central, people can get the night tube and then be picked up and taken home.”

Taxi Driver and Chair of the Licensed Taxi Drivers Andy Kavanagh pictured with his cab.Taxi Driver and Chair of the Licensed Taxi Drivers Andy Kavanagh pictured with his cab.

Mr Hutchinson explained that Yellow badges have a more in-depth knowledge of the surrounding area, unlike green badges who specialise in driving in the capital.

“I think it will be good for London, people will go out more and can be safe getting home as long as there is enough security on the tube at night,” he added.

Andy Kavanagh, chairman of the Licensed Taxi Drivers Association (LTDA) suburban section, represents thousands of cab drivers.

He previously spoke to the Recorder about working with Transport for London (TfL) interchange team to set up ranks in Redbridge.

“24-hour tubes will help cabbies capitalise on the night time economy rather than miss out on a slice of it,” he said.

“I think it will be one of the greatest things to happen and it has the potential to generate a lot more work.

“People will get off the tube and there waiting for them will be one of our little black cabs.”

A spokesman for Redbridge council said that additional taxi bays have been installed at Woodford, South Woodford and Hainault stations with more also planned for Gants Hill.


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