Thursday, March 10, 2016

Taxi Trade Protest Outside The Beeb, Then On To Downing Street And TfL, Over Falling Standards In PH Regulations

The Taxi trade has again staged a mass protest outside the gates of Downing Street over the non enforcement of private hire regulations by TfL.

But this time, it was slightly different than in the past. After unfair harassment from the Met Police -who had been dishing out Public Order Section 12/16s like sweets- it was decided to leave the vehicles at home. In the past, Taxi demos have been treated worst than some terrorist groups, simply because of the disruption they've  caused to TfL's bus network.

Yesterday saw the emergence of a completely new group of protesters -#DadsDefendingDaughters- who held up placards condemning TfL and the BBC over an alleged cover up of escalating minicab related serious sexual assaults including rapes. 

The group started their protest outside Broadcasting House, marched along Regent Street to joined the main body of the protest in Trafalgar Square, where they were met by a massive cheer and found of spontaneous applause. 

The combined groups then embarked on a two-hour demonstration finally arriving at TfL head offices Windsor House in Victoria Street. 

The Taxi trade made it clear, they were protesting over the dropping of standards in regulations which govern Private Hire drivers and operators. The Taxi drivers claim, safety standards have dropped to a level where most women are no longer safe in a minicab.

The main protest, organised by the United Cabbies Group (UCG), supported by the London Cab Drivers Club (LCDC), SupportBlackTaxis group (SBT)  and the RMT, was in protest to the Government's interference in the industry's regulatory affairs, while actively supporting a tax avoiding multinational corporation.

A few Taxis lined Whitehall while a mass of drivers on foot, holding banners marched to Downing Street. The group were seen wielding placards claiming PM David Cameron told Mayor Boris to leave Uber alone. Another massive banner  accused TfL and Boris Johnson of Totally failing London. 

A group of female drivers, from the #SaveBlackTaxis group, had two banners one reading TfL, Totally failing Ladies and the other pointing to TfL's failures regarding PH drivers CRB checks, Hire and Reward insurance and poor safety standards.

The on foot protest, was the latest in a number of demonstrations organised by the United Cabbies Groups calling on Transport for London and the Government to impose tougher restrictions on minicab drivers and operators.

The next protest will be held on the 23rd of March, where again drivers will be back with their Taxis to cause as much disruption as possible (details will be posted nearer the day). Earlier this week Steve Headley of the RMT Union, called for London to be bought to a stand still in a massive 48 hour Taxi strike. 



Dizzy Disgruntled said...

Where were the LTDA?

Letting their members down AGAIN!!!

Gerald Coba said...

LTDA stabbed the trade in the back yesterday by not supporting and choosing the doctors over cabbies.
RMT, after slagging off the UCG on Monday turned up with their banner and said on their Twitter account, demo was on behalf of the RMT and LCDC

How can you possibly work with these idiots. The damage the RMT have done to trade unity is unforgivable.
Best hing about yesterday was the emergence of the dads defending daughters, who showed the tactic of multiple starting points, which culminate in a coming together is a great idea. Taken, I believe, from a tactic first used effectively by Napoleon (Corp d'Army)

Lenny Etheridge said...

Another great post, Jim.
You described that day perfectly.
#DadsDefendingDaughters were in informal discussion, via my friend George Vyce, with the RMT. The RMT didn't want to be associated with us. They did however, promise to supply us with horns to make noise, which they couldn't be arsed to follow up on.
Then the RMT tried to jump on our bandwagon, when we turned up at Trafalgar Square.
We had to keep what we were doing secret, so as not to be met by the police at the BBC. The RMT were never in the 'know'.
We caught the BBC on the hop. It was great, they didn't know what hit them and panicked big time. The BBC erected barriers, the following day.
We headed down Regent Street, and through Leicester Square, stopped outside LBC, to show our support for them, then ... the rest is history.
A big thanks to the UCG and the LCDC for organising the main Demo. Two organisations I greatly admire.
As for the LTDA - what a dispicable ploy, to call a day of lobbying, the morning before. This infighting has to stop.
The RMT and especially Peter Rose of Unite, lobby constantly on behalf of the Taxi trade. The LTDA were showboating, to save members defecting to the UCG or LCDC.
What the LTDA did was to undermine a legitimit protest by real cab drivers.