Taxi drivers will hold up traffic in the city centre today (Wednesday, September 1) in a protest which is set to cause major disruption in the city centre.
The Bristol Blue Licensed Taxi Association and Bristol Hackney drivers will stage a slow-moving blockade protest between 7.30am and 10am, starting in Brunswick Square and ending at the Hippodrome.
The drivers, who will also go through Bond Street, the Haymarket and Rupert Street, have been angered by Bristol City Council’s decision to close the taxi rank outside the Hippodrome.
Cab drivers say that the Hippodrome rank accounts for two thirds of all hackney carriage work in the city.
A similar protest also took place in April, and the strike action is intended to be repeated in subsequent weeks ahead, and potentially intensified, if the council do not listen to their demands.
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A spokesperson for the council said: “We have worked with representatives of the taxi trade to install an evening/late night rank with a shelter and improved signage 50 metres away from the Hippodrome.
“A larger rank with shelter and signage opposite the Cenotaph has also been installed. However, we have been clear that the concerns for public safety and congestion issues outside the Hippodrome make it an unsafe location for a taxi rank.”
“Other than buses, there should be no vehicles parked in the area in front of the Hippodrome, which is a bus stop.
“Enforcement action to issue penalty charge notices here began last year. Where a driver feels a notice has been issued incorrectly, they can appeal via the methods indicated on the notice.”
Follow updates from the protest in the live blog below.