Weekly London taxi protests are set to continue despite the pressure group claiming never to communicate with the police again.
A few hundred cabbies led by the social media ‘pressure group’, Independent Taxi Alliance (ITA), took to the streets on Wednesday to continue their protest against new road access restrictions being implemented in Wapping and Tottenham Court Road.
The protest was marred with allegations that “the police had broken all agreements”. The group later said via Twitter: “The ITA will never communicate with the police again.”
Met Police sources told TaxiPoint that they aim to “balance the rights of demonstrators with those impacted by a given protest”.
During the protest, congestion mounted around the already busy Parliament Square, Victoria Street and Whitehall areas of SW1.
The Metropolitan Police told TaxiPoint: “A policing operation was put in place on Wednesday 15 January in central London to manage a protest by the Independent Taxi Association (ITA).
“The protest led to road closures and congestion around Parliament Square, Victoria Street and Whitehall, but was alleviated by opening one lane of traffic around the footprint after 1.5 hours.
“This followed periods of weekly protests during 2019 by the ITA that required a police operation and traffic plan to limit the congestion and disruption in the area.”
The police force spokesperson added: “As a police service, our aims are to balance the rights of demonstrators with those impacted by a given protest.
“In order to achieve these aims, we engage with demonstrators as much as possible before and during the event, using Police Liaison Teams and officers assigned to the event, to ensure that police comply with their duty under the Human Rights Act.”
TaxiPoint contacted the Independent Taxi Association to comment on the protest, but they have so far left these requests unanswered. The group plan to protest again on Wednesday.
In a series of tweets made by the ITA today they attacked “tyrant” councils for not listening to concerns. They also took a swipe at “feeble mushroom and plastic gangster” taxi drivers for not attending the protest.
There are currently 22,607 taxi drivers licensed in the capital.
Image credit: Tom Scullion