London Cabbies Stage Protest Over London Olympics

Hundreds of London cabbies staged a protest today at a major intersection at Parliament Square.

According to Sports Illustrated, the cab drivers are upset that they won’t be allowed to use “game lanes” in London which are dedicated road lanes dedicated to Olympic traffic. One “game lane” has already opened near Heathrow Airport and the rest will open a few days before the 2012 London Olympics.

Jonathan Myers of the United Cabbies union said:

“There will be no access to these lanes for any traffic apart from the Olympics family. Taxis are excluded, which is unacceptable and wrong. This is a working city and we need to get around and do our job. We’ve come to Parliament so MPs can wake up and hear what we’re talking about.”

According to the Telegraph the “game lanes” cover 30 miles of road and are dedicated for Olympic competitors, officials, and sponsors. London cabbies can be fined up to $200 for traveling in one of the designated “game lanes.”

Bob Crow, general secretary of the RMT union, also said that excluding cab drivers from the “game lanes” was a bad idea. Crow said:

“It’s a scandal that a London taxi was used as an iconic London image to secure the games and yet those same cab drivers are now being kicked in the teeth by Olympics chiefs over the VIP lanes and the entire Olympics transport strategy.”

John Mason, director of London Taxi and Private Hire, however, said that the protest was “completely irresponsible.”

Mason said:

“We strongly urge taxi drivers to ignore calls to join these unnecessary protests and instead show why they are regularly voted the best in the world.”

What do you think about the London Cabbies’ protests?

This is the second negative story in the last week to come out about the transportation situation in London. Last week, several athletes got lost on their way from the airport on an Olympic Bus. I guess the driver couldn’t find the designated game lanes…