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Birmingham taxi drivers announce a two week go-slow in protest at being steamrollered over Clean Air

Taxi drivers in Birmingham have announced a two week go-slow in protest at being steamrollered over the councils' imposition of the clean air zone in the city 

The RMT, which represents hundreds of taxi driver in the area, confirmed it will hold the first go-slow between 8am and 10am on Tuesday April 23 

According to Birmingham Live other go-slows' will then follow at the same times the following day before switching its' focus to the evening rush hours.

The Clean Air Zone will see drivers of high-polluting vehicles forced to pay an daily £8 charge, with the boundary being the A4540 ring road. Vehicles affected will be diesels older than EURO 6 (2015) and petrols older than EURO 4 (2006), with the charge coming into force in January 2020. The imposition of the charge will mean hundreds of black cab drivers will be forced into upgrading their vehicles.

Despite the RMT attempting to negotiate with the council over a new emissions policy, the authority did not meet all of the demands of the taxi industry, which included exemption from the charge and more funds directed towards LPG conversions or grants for buying a new compliant vehicle. Fury erupted recently when drivers were informed that they would not be allowed to speak at a meeting regarding the issue. As a result chaos ensued, which led to the meeting being suspended for several minutes until calm was restored.

President for the RMT Midlands regional council, Raja Amin said that there had been no meaningful discussions or negotiations and no real changes to the initial proposals." Birmingham City Councillor Barbara Dring, chair of the licensing committee, that the council had done the best they could for drivers 

A council spokesman has said: "drivers who book a retrofit before 1 January 2020 but cannot be accommodated by a retrofitting centre until after that date will be exempt from the Clean Air Zone charge until that work can be carried out.”

The times and dates of the protests are as follows: 

  • Tuesday, April 23 - 8am to 10am

  • Wednesday, April 24 - 8am to 10am

  • Thursday, April 25 - 3pm to 6pm

  • Friday, April 26 - 3pm to 6pm

  • Monday, April 29 - 8am to 10am

  • Tuesday, April 30 - 8am to 10am

  • Wednesday, May 1 - 3pm to 6pm

  • Thursday, May 2 - 3pm to 6pm

  • Friday, May 3 - 8am to 10am

Image Source: Flickr

Image Author: Elliott Brown

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