On July 18-19 the annual Lovebox festival was held in Victoria Park Hackney. A popular date on the London festival calender attracting over 50,000 people over the two-days.
Despite its growing popularity the annual event has been poorly serviced by licensed taxi trade, falling within the All London working area. As the closest and with the largest volume of drivers, appeals to TFL to allow Sector Two suburban drivers the opportunity to work the event on an island rank basis had been denied in previous years. Only Sector one drivers holding the Hackney extension were permitted to work the rank.
This year after a third appeal and following a meeting with Tower Hamlets Mayor Mr Rahmann. An active group of suburban drivers successfully pressured TFL to reconsider its stance and to allow Sector two drivers service the event. No less than 22 hours before the start of LoveBox drivers of Newham were notified via social media, word of mouth and their relevant trade orgs. Under monitoring the trial marshaled rank appeared to provide cover not met in previous years.
Events of this magnitude create an awareness to the general public and in turn alters the mindset and attitudes towards the future use of taxis.