December 15, 2010
Drivers of taxi cabs in Cheltenham staged a peaceful ‘Go Slow’ through the town in protest against council plans to enforce strict new vehicle emissions regulations by the end of the year. The Euro IV directives are aimed at cutting vehicle emissions from taxi cabs.
However, the cab drivers fear that, under these directives, the council will force many of them to change their vehicles to newer, younger models. They claim that cabbies who cannot afford to change their taxi cabs by the time the regulations come into force will effectively be forced out of business, either to early retirement or to the dole queue.
Fairness for Taxi Cabs
The cabbies say they are fighting for fairness, claiming that the regulations are unreasonable and that the council has ignored their concerns. The council argues that the regulations have not been changed in over a decade and that they were legally obliged to bring them into line with current legislation.
The starting point for the protest was the world-famous Cheltenham Racecourse. The “Go Slow” set off at midday and saw the taxi cabs drive through the town to the steps of the council’s Municipal Offices. A petition from the cabbies was then presented to the chairman of the council’s licensing committee.