Tuesday, 26 June 2018

Wolverhampton Minicabi protest off after council bosses threaten legal action

The West Midlands Private Hire Drivers’ Association (WMPHDA) had organised the ‘go-slow’ protest for Thursday over Wolverhampton Council’s private hire licensing system, which they say makes to too easy for people to get a licence. 

It was due to take place on Thursday and could have seen the city centre grind to a standstill, with hundreds of drivers travelling from all over the country to take part. 

But the protest has now been called off after the authority threatened to invoke legislation designed to stop car cruisers, which forbids large numbers of vehicles driving in a convoy or causing an obstruction on a public highway, whether moving or stationary. 

Bosses at the WMPHDA say they plan to apply for a temporary suspension lifting the injunction, allowing them to run the protest at a later date. 

Spokesman Shaz Saleem said: “Due to the bullying tactics of Wolverhampton Council, Thursday’s protest has now been postponed. 

Shaz Saleem, Ebrahim Suleman and Raheel Shah have helped stage previous taxi protests in the city 

“This is not the end of the matter. We will be applying for the injunction to be lifted temporarily, and we are also looking at other protests such as a walking march through the city. 

"If the council wants to play games we will fight back.” 

The protest was to see private hire vehicles drive through the city at 20mph. 

It was widely publicised on social media and had attracted interest from drivers from all over the country. 

Council licensing manager Chris Howell, said the authority had not received official confirmation that the protest was off. 

He added: “The council are in discussions with the organisers, to ensure that the safety of the public is not unduly compromised, and will continue to seek an agreement through dialogue which will prevent drivers from carrying out a reckless and potentially illegal protest within our city.”

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