Taxi drivers to STRIKE in West Yorkshire today in protest of new industry rules
Taxi drivers in West Yorkshire will strike today as they stage a protest in Wakefield over new industry rules.
A group of drivers will stay at home between 6am and 6pm, in a dispute with Wakefield Council.
The drivers also plan to strike every day between February 10 and February 17.
The action is being led by local driver Wajid Ali, who claims around 500 cabbies – around a third of the Wakefield District's entire fleet – are planning to take part.
Mr Ali said several drivers were aggrieved with a number of new policies introduced by Wakefield Council, which some have suggested will make trading harder.
Among the new policies is the introduction of stickers on licensed vehicles and a move designed to encourage taxi drivers to buy expensive electric cars.
Mr Ali said: “What we’re going to do will cause disruption to the travelling public. We don’t want that to happen, but feel we have no choice.
“We’re going to stay home and we won’t be taking calls. We’re deadly serious.
“As much as the council might like to think they’ve got everything in place, they’re not listening.”
The Wakefield and District Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Association (WDPHHA) which represents a large number of drivers and of which Mr Ali is no longer part, is understood to have distanced themselves from the strike.
And the council has defended the way it legislates the industry, saying it has taken action in the name of public safety.
Glynn Humphries, Wakefield Council’s Service Director for Environment and Streetscene, said: “We are committed to working with drivers and championing passenger safety on behalf of residents.
“We regularly meet with the Wakefield and District Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Association, who represent the majority of drivers in the district, and understand that they have no plans to strike.
“We are aware that a new group is proposing strike action and we will continue to work with the Association to help mitigate any impact this may have.”