May 26 2013 Latest news:
Friday, July 27, 2012
The Metropolitan Police have banned London taxi drivers from protesting over their ban from using Olympic traffic lanes.
Unhappy cabbies were due to stage their protest at Hyde Park corner at 5pm today, but they are now forbidden from protesting anywhere on the Olympic Route Network from 4pm until 3am tomorrow morning.
The taxi drivers argue they should have access to the lanes, which are available only to Olympics officials and athletes, and they have already held two demonstrations in the capital.
During the first they brought traffic to a standstill outside the Houses of Parliament in Westminster. Then they assembled on Tower Bridge, with one cabbie diving into the Thames in protest.
But according to a statement from Chris Allison, the Assistant Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, the protest has been restricted ‘to prevent serious disruption to the life of the community’.
Bob Crow, general secretary of the Rail Maritime and Transport union, said: “It remains extraordinary that the licensed taxi drivers who are a key part of London’s transport system are still banned from the VIP lanes on the eve of the Olympics.
“The iconic London black cab was a central part of the imagery that secured London the Games and, even at this late stage, Mayor Boris Johnson should step in and allow them to use the Olympics lanes to help keep the city moving.”