On Friday 9th September 2011 the United Cabbies Group organised a demonstration outside the Grange St Pauls Hotel, Godliman Street, London in protest at the International Olympics Committee’s refusal to allow Licensed London Taxis to use the Olympic Route Network (ORN) before, during and after the 2012 Games.
At 4pm hundreds of Taxis started arriving to block the streets around the hotel where the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games (LOCOG) were staying, with many of them sounding their horns to show their displeasure at this decision.
The demonstration lasted for 1 hour and was organised instantly simply by sending out 1 text message using our new ‘Automated Texting Service’. It was also a great chance for drivers to catch up with each other for a chat and share some banter, but the overriding message was clear… “We are not going to stand for this!”
The IOC had better reconsider their decision unless they want the 2012 Games to make the headlines for the wrong reasons, because this is just the start of our action!
For 100 days the road network in London will be seriously disrupted with most streets on the ORN reduced to one lane. The IOC have said that the Olympic lanes are for the sole use of the ‘Olympics Family’, and that London’s world renowned and respected Taxis are not part of that family.
We at the United Cabbies Group find this totally unacceptable considering London’s iconic Taxis were used to help win London’s bid to stage this event by then London Mayor Ken Livingstone and London 2012 Chairman Sebastian Coe.
Lord Coe said: “These eye-catching taxis will look great on London’s streets.
“These ‘Back the Bid’ vehicles are all part of our major publicity drive to ensure visibility of London’s bid.
“It is hard to travel on public transport in London these days and not come across London 2012 branding.
Mr Livingstone added: “I believe London’s black cab drivers are a big asset for London’s bid.
“They have unrivalled knowledge of London’s streets and landmarks, greatly adding to the London experience, be they a tourist, a Londoner, or a potential spectator in 2012.
“These branded cabs will help spread worldwide the message that the UK would be proud to host the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games in 2012.”
And spread the message we certainly did, but now the bid is won the Authorities in typical fashion think they don’t need us anymore.
Don’t forget Boris, the Paralympic Games come straight after the main Games, and London’s Taxis are the ONLY 100% wheelchair accessible mode of transport in this city.
See you soon!
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