Birmingham cabbies start two week protest in response to clean air zone fees

Will all cities eventually charge publicly hailed taxis?

Traffic ground to a halt in Birmingham city centre this morning as taxi drivers staged a go-slow protest in response to new clean air zone pricing forced upon them. Taxi drivers drivers, predominantly represented by the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union, demonstrated their anger as the council plans to introduce a fee for the most polluting taxis which could cost drivers £8 a day if they wanted to work in the city centre.

The protests will last two weeks between 8am and 10am causing havoc to rush hour traffic.

Negotiations between Birmingham City Council broke down last month as Licensing bosses withdrew a report to the council’s licensing committee on the clean air zone and taxi emissions policy to allow for meaningful negotiations with the RMT and other taxi trade representatives on the proposals. A month later the proposals have not changed and there continues to be no meaningful negotiations with the RMT according to the union. RMT General Secretary, Mick Cash said earlier this month: “RMT Taxi drivers will be protesting outside the council offices and calling for meaningful negotiations and alterations to the proposals that seek to address the issue of pollution in the city. “We want to see a fair deal for Taxi drivers whose livelihood would be affected by the proposals.” 

Image: Twitter @catreidtv

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