Thursday, February 11, 2016

TfL's biggest Headache, A United Taxi Trade, Brings London To Gridlock ... By Jim Thomas

They came from every org, lanyards of every colour, from all over London.
Taxi drivers came from Farnborough, Basingstoke, Manchester and Liverpool...

They also came from France, Spain and Belgium. 

A truly United trade demonstration 
A United trade that TfL have always feared. 

              London ground to a halt. 

Speaking with one of the senior commanders, he informed me that the police had estimated around  9-10,000 Taxis actually turned out to protest.

It was amazing to see how many friends and family members of Taxi drivers came along to protest on foot.

Roads around Central London soon became gridlocked. Russel Square, Covent Garden, Victoria Embankment, Fleet Street, Aldwych, Strand, Piccadilly, The Mall, Pall Mall...nothing was moving. 

All around Victoria Street, Birdcage Walk, Milbank, just lines of stationery Taxis. 

Police insisted stationery cabs on Whitehall, switched off their engines. This had the knock on effect of reducing noise levels. 

Because so many Taxis turned up early, traffic cops decided to enforce a special Traffic Management Order restricting admission from Trafalgar Square into Whitehall and many Taxis were diverted along the Mall, where they were Kettled. 

The overflow of Taxis went along the Mall, past the QVM and along Constitution Hill, all the way to Hyde Park  Corner. 

Traffic officers on the Charles1st roundabout, were turning away Knowledge Students, when I questioned why, they became very aggressive, saying they had specific instructions to only allow taxis into Whitehall and were enforcing this to the letter. 

Towards the end of the Demo, I lodged a complaint with the gold commander that the Knowledge Students turned away, had equal rights to protest along the side of Taxi drivers. He said he would push our complaint up the chain of command and said a statement would be made, if and when we have subsequent protests. 

One Knowledge student was arrested by an over zealous traffic officer for wilful obstruction. 
But after protests were made to th Bronze commander and also the Superintendent in charge, the student was un-arrested. 

As the demo drew to conclusion, the UCG's campaign manager Trevor Merrells, told the assembled drivers:
"This is only the beginning....No retreat....No surrender".



Anonymous said...

Jim fantastic post and was proud to be a London cab driver yesterday this is all we need 1 Union to fight out corner the sooner we get rid on the conservative the better and if zack goldsmith gets in it will be game over this it just a yes man for Cameron to every cab driver and person who attended yesterday thank you

Anonymous said...

Great post, Jim.
All who attended were extremely proud to be Licensed London Taxi a Drivers, yesterday. May those who couldn't be bothered, hang their heads in shame.
Viva la Taxi Leaks!

Anonymous said...

In order to create change there must be leverage, which means more direct action. Otherwise the only thing that will be seized is fresh air!

Anonymous said...

BBC - didn't report it
ITV - 20 seconds
Evening Standard - UBER demo
Huffing ton Post - UBER demo

No PR machine - No impact

Damian said...

Well done all. made me proud to be a cabbie yesterday. Onwards to the next one.

Playitcooltrig said...

Couldn't drive in as I'm the night driver so came in by train with my cabbie neighbour Pete. Both of us have over 50 years experience driving black cabs around London. This was by far the greatest solidarity of our trade that we have seen. It mustn't be in vain. The corrupt powers that be need to take a long hard look at what they are allowing to happen to the BEST cab trade on this planet. 💪

Anonymous said...

After lunch entertainment for the fat cats.If we're serious about making them take notice, we need to be doing this at 7am and stop the workforce getting in. It's all about money and if we stop them making it they will have to take us seriously and give us what we want.
I can't see it happening because the so called leaders of the orgs are too weak and desperate for cushy jobs at tfl , to even remotely rock the boat.
We need to dispense with the flags and banners of puppet unions and their spineless leadership. We need to stand together at times that make an impact. This lunchtime subservient type of protest has no substance to change anything.

Anonymous said...

As much as I hate to say it these demos will not change a thing as one offs they need to be repeated 1 or 2 times a week until something happens one way or the other.nobody is bothered unless it starts to affect they're life and one protest every couple of months just annoys people for a few hours not that I'm bothered about the old baloney with losing more customers as the people that use us now are either sympathisers to the cab trade or are the £5 merchants that know we are cheaper that uber for these journeys so that can't be used as an excuse not to protest more often

Anonymous said...

cuould,nt agree with above poster more,no more mr nice guy we,ve got to up our action, and why not?lets block london up once or twice a week,the public who use uber now won,t like it when uber has a monopoly and charges what it likes,and what about wheelchair bound passengers uber dosen,t seem too keen on that segment of the market,doubtless if we do become extinct the public will harp on about the good old days of black cabs,i l had one punter who gleefully informed me he only used me because uber were "surge charging" then go,es on to whinge how his girlfriend got stalked by an uber driver you couldn,t make it up.