Taxi drivers to hold 'protest parade' over Covid conditions

All Colchester cabs and taxis may be required to have CCTV installed in the future Picture: SARAH LU

A parade will be held in Bury St Edmunds on Monday - Credit: Archant

Taxi drivers in West Suffolk are upping their campaign to the district following concerns over their livelihoods during Covid.  

Drivers will be holding a 'protest parade' starting at 8am on August 23 from Olding Rd in Bury St Edmunds as they look to hand in a letter to the council outlining the lack of support and contact they have received during the pandemic.  

Earlier this month, drivers from across the district had been considering strike action outside the council offices until West Suffolk Council announced that it would be holding a review to look at the challenges faced by both taxi drivers and their customers.  

It follows concerns from taxi drivers over proposed changes including adjustments to vehicle testing, a 10-year age rule on cars, and a phasing out of ‘saloon’ cars from taxi ranks in favour of wheelchair accessible vehicles. 

Concerns have also been raised about the lack of communication between them and West Suffolk Council during the pandemic.  

"We are passionate about our jobs helping the public," said taxi driver Marc Barnes from Brandon. 

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"We get you home safe. We take granny to the shops or to hospital appointments. We get that call at four or five in the morning.

"But we want the council to realise we cannot afford all the costs."

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Mr Barnes said he hoped that the parade would open up face to face talks with the council.

He said that further action could be taken in the future by cab drivers if they felt it necessary. 

Proposed changes to Hackney carriage cab fares in Babergh have been delayed so that a fresh look can

Taxi drivers are concerned about a number of changes being made by West Suffolk Council - Credit: Archant

It's thought that upwards of 50 taxi drivers could be involved in Monday's action.

West Suffolk Council tweeted on Friday night warning motorists of the procession: "Motorists be aware, we've been advised that a taxi procession is to take place in Bury St Edmunds at around 8am, Monday, August 23. 

 "Please avoid the Western Way/Beetons Way area at this time if possible and be advised that there may be some traffic delays." 

Council portfolio holder for regulation at West Suffolk Council, Andy Drummond, said previously that the council was looking forward to working with taxi drivers to resolve concerns. 

He said: “The thoughts and views on all sides of this will be valuable." 

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