Angry scenes as police intervene in Birmingham taxi protest

There were angry scenes today as police intervened to try to try and break up a go-slow by Birmingham taxi drivers.

West Midlands Police sent in officers in an attempt to try and control the go-slow, which is now into its' second day.

Gridlock ensued on Monday due to the protest caused by the cabbies protesting, however an angry confrontation took place between protest organiser, Raja Amin and a police officer in the middle of the road.

Cabbies are staging a two week protest against what they see as unfair treatment by Birmingham City Council and have stated that direct action seems to be the only route left to them in getting the council to sit round the table with them to negotiate terms.

The imminent introduction of Birmingham City's Clean Air Zone is top of the agenda for the beleagured cabbies, with worried taxi drivers being told that they will have to spend in excess of £60,000 for a compliant vehicle or face being charged to drive into the zone.

They are also furious at the way company's such as Uber, as well as drivers from other private hire companies, specifically those licensed in Wolverhampton, are being allowed to cross-border hire, potentially putting the public at risk, as well as being uncheckable due to those drivers being licensed outside of Birminghams City Councils' jurisdiction. 

In a series of tweets, West Midlands Police have issued a warning to taxi drivers, saying: “We’re aware of today’s demo by taxi drivers in Birmingham . If motorists are deliberately causing an obstruction, for example by getting out of their vehicles in the middle of the road or remaining in their vehicles while stationary, officers will take appropriate action.”

They then added: “We’ve got officers in the city centre to assist with the free flow of traffic, and drivers who deliberately cause obstructions will be dealt with appropriately.” According to  Birmingham Live the protests, which have been organised by the RMT, will last two weeks, with eight more go-slows taking place. 

Image Source:Twitter

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