Ironically, on international women’s day, I was very proud to meet and greet the first ever woman president elected by the RMT Union, Michelle Rodgers. We met in Parliament Square, appropriately under the statue of Millicent Fawcett.
Michelle was in London, heard about the Taxi protests and as the RMT have a London Taxi branch, she came along to show support for the branch members.
A massive big thank you to all the drivers who put themselves out, to make Friday’s protest the biggest and best attended so far.
Police made a massive gaff by opening a lane along Parliament Street...to ease traffic which then had to turn left along Bridge Street and over Westminster Bridge. But as the phasing of the lights at the junction of Westminster Bridge is so poor, this resulted in major congestion.
An ambulance attending an emergency on the bridge was caught up in the mess and eventually had to be driven part way along the segregated bike lane on the opposite carriage way.
Over the past 5 weeks in Parliament Square, protesting Cabbies have always left a lane clear for emergency vehicles, but the arrogant action of the inspector directing the policing, actually put lives at risk to facilitate TfL, who have been on at the Met to do something about the peripheral congestion caused by the Where Buses Go, Taxis Go protests.
The police had decided earlier to open the whole Square to through traffic, but changed their minds for fear of the Taxis driving off and implementing a plan B.
That would have resulted in a game of cat and mouse (if we’d split up and hit multiple targets) they would be chasing shadows for the rest of the afternoon. We've done it before and we can easily do it again.
It was another successful days protest, as numbers have expanded again, with both sides of Whitehall had to be used to accommodate all the Taxis.
With the many peers and MPs onside, supporting our call for access to all roads and bus lanes (where buses go, Taxis go), we feel that victory is now in sight. These Protests are making waves, and we must carry on.
Same time, same place on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, next week.