Peterborough cabbie’s anger at number of roadwork schemes in city

The boss of a Peterborough cab firm has spoken of the frustration caused by the number of roadworks taking place in the city.

Friday, 26th November 2021, 6:01 am
Roadworks on the Paston Parkway near the Copeland walk bridge. EMN-211211-162608009

Peterborough City Council have come under fire from drivers for allowing so many different schemes to take place at the same time - including projects taking place on Town Bridge, on the A1139, on the A47 and on Lincoln Road.

Today Sunny Singh, director of Peterborough Cars, said the disruption caused by the works was causing major problems for drivers.

He said: “The issue for taxi drivers is that they are now sitting longer in traffic in between jobs or on jobs.

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“If a driver gets pushed back 20 minutes sitting in traffic it has a knock on effect to the next passenger. In the evenings the drivers log off before the 5pm rush because they do not see the point in completing one job in an hour at below minimum wage.

“We took a job from our base in Fengate to Sugar Way, which took over an hour and 10 minutes to complete. The driver wasn’t too best pleased for a £5 fare.

“With already a shortage of taxi drivers in Peterborough since the reopening of lockdown passengers and drivers were already showing the cracks in the industry as a whole in Peterborough.

“There are less drivers on the road which has already increased our average wait time from 4 minutes to 9 minutes. Coupled with the road works this hasn’t helped.

“When there is traffic there is no way for us to show how efficient we can be as a service.”

The Peterborough Telegraph contacted Cambridgeshire Police, Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service and the East of England Ambulance Service about any impact the works were having.

A spokesperson for the police said: “Thankfully disruption for us is minimal. Inevitably any congestion is going to have some impact on our response time, whether it’s caused by roadworks or simply rush hour commuting. However, all of our response drivers are highly trained and skilled in the use of their legal exemptions to make best speed to incidents. Any delay caused by congestion is almost always going to be minimal.”

However, the police spokesperson did send a reminder to drivers about what to do when approached by emergency vehicles.

The Highway Code says: “You should look and listen for ambulances, fire engines, police, doctors or other emergency vehicles using flashing blue, red or green lights and sirens or flashing headlights, or traffic officer and incident support vehicles using flashing amber lights. When one approaches do not panic. Consider the route of such a vehicle and take appropriate action to let it pass, while complying with all traffic signs. If necessary, pull to the side of the road and stop, but try to avoid stopping before the brow of a hill, a bend or narrow section of road. Do not endanger yourself, other road users or pedestrians and avoid mounting the kerb. Do not brake harshly on approach to a junction or roundabout, as a following vehicle may not have the same view as you.

A Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service said; “We work closely with our partners to ensure we are aware of any roadworks that could have an impact on us responding to emergencies in advance.

“Our Combined Fire Control will input any works into their system to take this into account when sending fire engines to incidents. They also use a dynamic mobilising system, which ensures they know the closest fire engine to an incident and send that one, taking into account extra time for roadworks.

“We certainly don’t want other motorists to put themselves in a dangerous position if they see one of our fire engines on their way to an incident. Our drivers are well trained to deal with all kinds of situations and ensure they drive safely to emergencies. If it is safe to pull over to let a vehicle pass, then do so, but never put yourself in danger.”

The East of England Ambulance Service had not responded to questions at the time of going to press.