Taxi drivers protest over proposed congestion charge brings Second City roads to a standstill

A taxi protest over proposed congestion charges resulted in severe delays for road users in Birmingham. City centre commuters faced hour-long delays as they headed in or out of Birmingham on Thursday evening.

According to bus service National Express, bus services were held back by 60 minutes due to the congestion caused by the protests. Witnesses have alleged that Smallbrook Queensway exits have been blocked as part of the protest over the proposed congestion charge.

As reported by the Birmingham Live, taxis allegedly parked up in the tunnel amid fears the black cab trade will be 'decimated' by the Clean Air Zone.

Under new proposals, taxi and minicab drivers are being ordered to switch to electric or low emission vehicles by 2020 or risk losing their licences.

But according to city council figures, only 72 of the 1,265 Hackney Carriages licensed to operate in the city will be compliant with the emission standards.

National Express said: "Due to the taxi protest currently taking place, there is heavy congestion in Birmingham City Centre. "Services are being delayed up to 60 minutes unfortunately." National Express West Midlands confirmed services have been disrupted.

(Protest image credit:Twitter @jasonmagictorch)
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