Cabs hog city bike lanes

MILLIONS have been spent on bike lanes through the Perth CBD to help cyclists get around but long stretches of them are often being hogged by taxis waiting for a fare.

Often parked in the Barrack Street bike lane they put cyclists at risk to lycra-clad limb as they are forced to veer onto the road.

Perth councillor Reece Harley raised the issue at this week’s finance and admin committee saying it’s a constant “bugbear” of his and one he had raised numerous times.

“There are lots of people breaking the law right there in plain daylight,” he says. It’s most often taxis but regular drivers have been spotted setting down in them too.

CEO Martin Mileham said the city had written twice to the taxi board but had been ignored.

Cr Harley said parking officers needed to crack down and start handing out fines.

Director Rebecca Moore who’s in charge of parking said the city was in a difficult situation, as parking officers needed solid evidence including photos taken from various angles showing the offence in order to have their ducks all lined up in a row when they go to court.

“[But] taxis just drive off when parking officers approach,” she says.

Unlike police they don’t have the power to order them to stop.

“It’s not a very satisfactory response,” Cr Harley said. “I don’t want to raise it again, it’s been maybe 10 times now.”

Mr Mileham said the city would meet personally with the taxi board rather than any more written missives – and would bring the issue to the attention of police.

The city had seen an epidemic of drivers running red lights in recent times and Mr Mileham said he’s looking into installing red light cameras.

by DAVID BELL

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