A protest by London’s black taxi drivers brought central London to a standstill this afternoon. This protest marks the latest in a series by London’s black taxi drivers upset with Transport for London’s (TFL) regulation of private hire drivers. The black taxi drivers argue that regulation of private hire cabs is weak and unenforced and that Uber in particular represents unfair competition.
Hundreds of black cabs converged on Victoria at 2pm, aiming to reach TFL’s offices, where they blocked the roads until 3.30pm. Traffic around iconic landmarks such as Parliament Square and Westminster Abbey ground to a halt stranding many of the City’s open topped tourist buses filled with families on half-term holidays.
The black taxi drivers allege that criminal background checks on drivers applying for minicab licences are too lax which endangers customers and that minicabs – private hire cars legally restricted to taking pre-booked passengers – flout the rules against touting for work by picking up passengers off the street.
Executive Director of Conservative Way Forward Paul Osborn told Breitbart London: “This is an example of a monopoly provider defending its position. They have to realise that technology has moved on as does the regulator.”
On previous occasions the number of Uber subscribers has risen following the protests.