Drivers blocked all roads around the Hilton, till the organisers agreed to remove the vehicle. Later a representative from the hotel apologised to organisers of the flash mob demonstration.
Last week, we saw a similar suspension of a working rank in New Bond Street in favour of another commercial promotion and now it definitely looks like history is repeating itself.
Just like a recurring nightmare from last summers Olympics, this weekend will see the suspension of the whole of the Licensed Taxi rank in Portman Square, outside the Churchill Hotel. The suspension will run from 8am till 10 PM on Friday and Saturday. Unconfirmed reports from our man on Westminster Council say the rank will be authorised for exclusive use by a Private Company. Cars from this company will be using the rank's 6 spaces as part of a rolling rank, to ferry dignitaries, officials and their guests (in London for the Champions League finals at Wembley), whenever and wherever they wish to go.
*What will happen if the cars refused to leave the rank at 10 pm and carry on ranking?
*Are they fair game to block in?
*Will wardens descend and give our PCNs code 45?
Hundreds of these Ford Tourneo Minibuses, carrying "Official Vehicle " livery, can currently be seen parked up in a special holding area beside Wembly Arena.
Again, there has been no provision made for a temporary rank at the Churchill Hotel.
Again the Taxi trade, the best Taxi trade in the world, is to be sidelined as one of our working ranks is given over to a commercial private hire company.
It seems this type of revocation and suspension is happening at an alarming rate. The self appointed, unelected quango known as the joint ranks committee are again seen to by powerless in stopping this type of attack on our rights to ply for hire.
Seems funny that in the recent ranks and highways update email, sent out to inform interested parties of rank suspensions and up and coming events, LTPH felt it necessary to leave this one off the list.
In a precursor to this special event, Tuesday night saw Addison Lee drivers chancing their arm by using the rank into the early hours of Wednesday morning.