Taxi drivers to hold go-slow protest in West Bromwich and Cradley Heath today

Sandwell taxi drivers are set to protest today amid a row with the council over contract concerns.

Taxi drivers protesting outside Sandwell council on April 25. Copyright: Sandwell Private Hire Drivers Association
Taxi drivers protesting outside Sandwell council on April 25. Copyright: Sandwell Private Hire Drivers Association

The Sandwell Private Hire Drivers Association will hold a go-slow protest between 2pm and 6pm, starting in West Bromwich town centre and ending at Sandwell’s taxi licence office, in Cradley Heath.

Motorists have been warned of some disruption in the area and urged to find alternative routes or allow for extra journey time.

Follow live updates from the protest here.

It follows similar protests last year in August and over the Christmas holidays, where up to 200 taxi drivers gathered at the council house to raise their concerns about application processes and doubts about how fair taxi contracts are.

A Sandwell council spokesperson said: “We are making a number of improvements to our taxi licensing service in response to issues raised by the taxi trade, including the introduction of new licensing software to enable online applications and payments.

“We regularly meet with representatives of private hire drivers and are committed to making further changes to improve the licensing process and ensure consistent standards for taxi and private hire passengers.”

“A meeting between the leader of the council and private hire driver representatives was arranged for this month. However, we were advised that it would be prudent to postpone this until after the local elections given that one of the driver representatives confirmed that he is standing as a candidate in the forthcoming local elections.

“Arrangements will be made for the meeting to take place as soon as possible after the local elections.”

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