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Bridgnorth taxi drivers plan Valentine protest

Bridgnorth | News | Published:

Taxi drivers in Shropshire today revealed plans to surround a council building in the latest protest at a shake up of licensing laws in the county. Taxi drivers in Shropshire today revealed plans to surround a council building in the latest protest at a shake up of licensing laws in the county. Members of the Bridgnorth Drivers Action Group say they will stage the action outside Westgate Council Offices in Bridgnorth on Monday, which will see cars and tractors surrounding the building in protest at controversial plans to remove licensing zones throughout the county. They today claimed the move to remove the zones would destroy livelihoods and put people at risk. Action group bosses say dozens of vehicles will descend on the Shropshire Council building at 12.30pm and stay until mid-afternoon. The Valentine's Day blockade in Bridgnorth follows recent protests in Shrewsbury which saw about 100 angry drivers carry out a double loop of the town centre before honking horns outside the Shirehall.

Taxi drivers in Shropshire today revealed plans to surround a council building in the latest protest at a shake up of licensing laws in the county.

Members of the Bridgnorth Drivers Action Group say they will stage the action outside Westgate Council Offices in Bridgnorth on Monday, which will see cars and tractors surrounding the building in protest at controversial plans to remove licensing zones throughout the county.

They today claimed the move to remove the zones would destroy livelihoods and put people at risk.

Action group bosses say dozens of vehicles will descend on the Shropshire Council building at 12.30pm and stay until mid-afternoon.

The Valentine's Day blockade in Bridgnorth follows recent protests in Shrewsbury which saw about 100 angry drivers carry out a double loop of the town centre before honking horns outside the Shirehall.

Shropshire Council has previously said that when the shake-up to local government in the county took place in 2009 it led to "significantly inconsistent" approaches to taxi licensing, which needed to be made more consistent. No decision has yet been made.

Action group chairman Duncan Gordon-Wells claims the protests have the support of the local community and they would not stop until the unitary council reversed its policy.

He said: "We have the support of the local community and youth groups, who appreciate the specific service they receive from local drivers.

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"It is important that our young adults feel safe to go out at night knowing they will be taken safely home by the shortest route, at the end of the evening.

"Our area is 90 per cent rural and young women going home alone need to feel safe.

"Livelihoods are threatened by this de-zoning as are our children and we shall not rest until the council stop pursuing this aimless policy of de-zoning."

Currently the county is zoned into five areas - Bridgnorth, north Shropshire, Oswestry, Shrewsbury and Atcham and south Shropshire.

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Council bosses want to create one zone and set a single rate card.

Drivers claim fares in some areas could rocket by 300 per cent and some busy county streets would be overrun by hundreds of taxis.

By Peter Finch

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