Taxi drivers stage three-hour protest

Thursday 18 March 2010 19.54
Dublin - Protest in cities and towns
Dublin - Protest in cities and towns

Taxi drivers have staged a three-hour protest at several locations around the country.

Drivers withdrew services at some airports, bus and train stations.

In Dublin city centre, dozens of taxis took part in a go-slow protest.

The drivers, members of the Irish Taxi Council, were also not taking passengers at the rank on O'Connell Street.

Drivers are calling for the full implementation of 11 recommendations contained in a report by the Oireachtas Committee for Transport last year.

Frank Byrne, a spokesman for the ITC, says the Council wants Transport Minister Noel Dempsey to introduce new legislation to put a three-year moratorium on the issuing of taxi licences.

It also wants extra rank spaces to be provided in the country's main cities, the practice of renting or leasing licences discontinued and wants insurance certificates to be checked in 'real time' to reduce the number of fraudulent ones.

The ITC says it has around 14,000 members across the country.

It gave notice of today's protest last week and it is planning an all-out stoppage on Monday.

Traffic disruption was expected in Cork between 2pm and 3pm when the drivers planned to drive from Cork Airport through the city centre.

Taxi services at Cork Airport, Kent Railway Station and in the city centre were also expected to be affected.

A spokesman for the Department of Transport said ‘this disruptive action is not the way forward’. He said progress on this can only be achieved through consultation and discussion.