Massive Turnout At Aldwych Demo, Despite TfLs Attempt To Scupper.
The announcement yesterday of the conclusion of the Private Hire consultation (which, instead of being acted upon has been put back out again as another consultation) was carefully orchestrated to try to upstage the proposed taxi demo at the Aldwych.
With the help of the media, the recommendations from the consultation were all over the TV news, radio news and carried by almost every London paper. TfL spin doctors pulled out all the stops to upstage the demo. But their plan fell at the first hurdle. The recent PH consultation is basically about the illegal operation of Uber…..whereas the proposed demonstration, was solely about TfL’s inadequate, bias and unfair enforcement (or lack of it) in regards to their administration of the Private Hire Act 1998.
TfL thought they’d done enough to scupper the demo. But Taxis came….and they kept coming.
The police shot themselves in the foot when acting under orders to disrupt our legal right to protest, tried to divert thousands of taxis away from the Aldwych, along Fleet Street and away. But as room became available around Aldwych, it was soon filled by even more Taxis arriving from The Strand, Waterloo Bridge, Kingsway, Catherine Street, Temple Place and up through Arundel Street.
So many vehicles turned up, the police didn’t know what to do next. At one point, Taxis were being diverted along the Strand side of Aldwych against the normal flow of traffic. But it had nowhere to go and just added to the complete chaos.
Finally, a police inspector admitted they had made the mistake of misjudging the situation.
In order not to affect the theatre goes enjoyment, on the stroke of 6 o/c as promised, the cones and tapes were removed and the Taxis disperse in all directions. One WPC commented it was unbelievable how quick the cabs dissolved back into the evening through traffic.
@UCGcampaigns next date for your diary is Monday 5th October, 2,00pm at Windsor House
With all the negativity coming from the leadership of other Taxi orgs and Unions, it was expected the demo would be a disappointment. But as is normal with other orgs, they failed to ballot the mood of their membership. Fed up meaningless talk, coupled with their own orgs inaction, drivers from all orgs turned out in their thousands.
The representative org leaders should now take notice that each demo is getting bigger, and it’s their members who are swelling the ranks. Be part of the solution….not part of the problem. If you can’t do what’s best for your members, then stand aside and let someone else take the reins.