Taxi protest to gridlock London on Wednesday

Central London will be gridlocked this Wednesday if a planned drive-in demonstration of thousands of taxi drivers goes ahead, says the taxi union, United Cabbies Group.

Members of the UCG, which represents almost 2,000 licenced London taxi drivers, have agreed to stage a mass drive-in at Trafalgar Square from 4pm.

The union is demonstrating against Transport for London and the licencing body, Taxi and Private Hire (formerly the Public Carriage Office), for what it believes are unfair and unsafe rules governing private car hire licensing.

 “We feel this action, as unanimously voted for by our members is necessary to stop Transport for London destroying the licensed London taxi trade and endangering the safety of the travelling public,” says the union on its website.

UCG spokesperson Jonathan Myers told he expected the protest to be “frighteningly big”, before adding, “If you block Trafalgar Square you block London”.  

According to the union, TfL’s recent consultation into private hire and the subsequent Safer Travel at Night programme fails to adequately address the issue of sexual assaults committed in licensed and unlicensed minicabs.

The current system of licencing mini-cab drivers is insufficient says the union, who is calling for more stringent procedures to be put in place.

According to the UCG website, London saw a 54 per cent increase in sexual assaults last year, bringing the total number of assaults in the last three years to over 350.

TfL’s Safer Travel at Night programme is “grossly flawed” it says.

David Davis, who works closely with the union, told “The bottom line is that they’re calling for a public inquiry into the improper and unlawful decision that TfL continue to make.

“It seems nobody is holding TfL and the mayor of London to account for their decisions.”

In September last year, the UCG organised a similar protest over the same issues in Aldwych and around 4,000 taxis drivers attended, says Myers.

This time the union plans to bring central London to a complete gridlock and is calling this demonstration the “Big One”.

Readers' comments (6)

  • I would suggest to anyone who really wants to see what the UCG stands for to go onto the web forum they manage (LTDF) London Taxi Drivers Forum, there you will discover the real face of the inner core. The UCG claims to have an ever increasing membership, however as it is a free membership it is difficult to see whether their membership is anything more than a fake. Its easy to get people to sign up for free stuff. If the UCG membership was so great why have they been calling on all the other cab unions members to attend their demonstration, the reason so a larger number turn up and they can claim a greater following than they really have. I hope to god TFL never engage with this so called real voice of the cab trade, I am not a racist as the inner core of the UCG are. Just look at their online forum and you will discover a small band of right wing paranoid individuals that will do more harm to the cab trade than any failure by the LTDA ever could.

    As for their demonstration, well lets see how many UCG members turn up. As they say the proof is in the pudding.

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  • Anonymous

    The UCG and the LTDF are two different organisations and are not connected.
    There are drivers who are members of both but then the UCG has members from other trade bodies as well, as does the LTDF. In fact there are more LTDA members of the LTDF than any other trade body.
    Can I suggest that the above poster Googles Godwins Law before he labels anyone else a racist

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  • Anonymous

    oh dear how they are worried
    you need to be very careful about using people's names when you accuse there are laws that you may fall foul of

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  • Anonymous

    How does the saying go 'people in glass houses should't throw stones'

    Wasn't it the LTDA's advert that was banned from LBC for being racist.

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  • can someone be kind enough to explain to me in simple words what is the story/problem all about>

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  • Anonymous

    Oh what a what a wicked web we weave.

    I would say playing the race card is the last desperate act of some very guilty or twisted individuals. TfL and the recognised trade organisations took a massive body blow yesterday and the racist comment smacks of sour grapes; very low hanging fruit indeed !

    The UCG ask cab drivers for nothing except support. Whereas the recognised trade organisations; the LTDA, LCDC and Unite the union LE230Branch take in the region of 2.8 million a year in subscriptions fees from paying members. They are grossly under representing their collective memberships, print propaganda in their newspapers and sit at TfL’s negotiating table with their legs under it, and no brains above. The only thing they are delivering to the London Taxi trade is a smoke and mirror act !

    Where is all the money going ?

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