Taxi drivers

Taxi drivers will hold a slow protest in West Bromwich and Cradley Heath today

Taxi drivers demonstrate outside Sandwell Town Council on April 25. Copyright: Sandwell Private Hire Drivers Association

The Sandwell Private Hire Drivers Association will hold a slow protest between 2 p.m. and 6 p.m., starting in West Bromwich town center and ending at the Sandwell Taxi Licensing Office, Cradley Heath.

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

Follow live updates from the event here.

This 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 concerns about the application processes and doubts on the fairness of taxi contracts.

A spokesman for Sandwell Council said: ‘We are making a number of improvements to our taxi licensing service in response to issues raised by the taxi industry, including the introduction of new licensing software for enable online applications and payments.

“We are meeting regularly with private hire driver representatives 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 head of the council and the representatives of the private drivers was organized this month. However, we have been advised that it would be prudent to postpone this until after the local elections as one of the drivers’ representatives has confirmed that he is standing as a candidate in the upcoming local elections.

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