Wolverhampton rush-hour traffic held up as taxi drivers stage go-slow protest
Hundreds of Wolverhampton private hire taxi drivers have staged a go-slow protest, holding up rush-hour traffic throughout the city centre.
Wolverhampton Private Hire Drivers are protesting against what they call a lack of dialogue between Wolverhampton City Council and Wolverhampton Private Hire Drivers Association.
Around 300 cabbies gathered at Coxwell Avenue, near Wolverhampton Science Park, before heading off towards the city centre at 4pm.
The taxis, who planned on driving for two hours, encountered a barrage of horns as they merged into rush-hour traffic at speeds of less than 5mph.
The cars meandered their way up the Stafford Road, to Stafford Street, before entering Waterloo Road, Darlington Street and Queen Street before dawdling along Wolverhampton's busy Ring Road.
However, Wolverhampton council insisted the protest had little impact on drivers' commutes.
Chairman of the Wolverhampton Private Hire Drivers Association, Raheel Shah, said: "Drivers are seeing their earning potential being progressively eroded.
"Drivers aim, through negotiation, not only to improve their living standards, as many of them earn less than half the minimum wage on a self-employed basis, but also to raise standards, raise the profile of the trade and improve community confidence in the service they offer to the public."
Following a meeting on Tuesday, the WPHDA, which claims to have 600 members, formally notified the council of its intention to carry out the action.
Councillor Alan Bolshaw, chairman of the city council's licensing committee said: "We believe the way to resolve these issues is through constructive dialogue and not through action which penalises the public who the trade are supposed to serve."
He said they had tried to talk and were disappointed.