Private hire drivers blockading London Bridge in fresh ULEZ charge protest

Josh Salisbury (04 February, 2019) Transport

The protest is the fourth called by the IWGB union over the ULEZ charge and will see London Bridge blockaded from 4-6pm

27738The scene from a previous blockade of London Bridge over the congestion charge row

Private hire drivers are blockading London Bridge this afternoon in an ongoing protest against the introduction of the Ultra-Low Emissions Zone in April.

The protest, which follows three previous demonstrations, will last from 4pm-7pm, according to the Independent Workers Union of Great Britain’s (IWGB) United Private Hire Drivers branch.

The union has slammed the move as a “tax on the poor”.

The Ultra-Low Emissions Zone will mean a £12.50 daily charge for most vehicle types driving into the zone, including many minicabs, which don’t meet low-emission standards.

Black cabs are exempt from the charge.

The union has said the charge is a tax on the poor – but TfL says it is necessary to clean up the capital’s air

Yaseen Aslam, Secretary of the IWGB’s UPHD branch, said the union had been left with no option but to escalate its protests.

“The Mayor has refused to engage with minicab drivers who will be pushed into greater poverty by this ruinous tax on the poor,” he said. “London is one of the most profitable cities in the world for operators like Uber, yet it is drivers and their families, not the company, that are being made to bear the costs of fixing up congestion.

“Until the Mayor comes to the table and listens to us we are left with no choice but to further escalate our protests.”

The union said it expected hundreds of minicab drivers to turn out to the blockade, and has vowed to keep the action going weekly.

However, TfL has insisted the move is necessary to clean up the capital’s dirty air.

“The private hire trade, along with all road users, have a central role in reducing the filthy fumes circulating in our city,” said Alex Williams, TfL’s Director of City Planning last month.

“The changes to the Congestion Charge will contribute to fewer vehicles driving where pollution is most concentrated while ensuring the cleanest minicabs or those that are wheelchair accessible continue to enter the zone without paying a charge.”

Damian Ribar says:

As a private hire taxi driver I fully support the ULEZ! We need to all make a change starting as a group or an individual. This needs to happen.
We all want clean air.

Fiz says:

Sign the ulez petition on

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