Black cab protest: Police close Victoria Street, Buckingham Gate as United Cabbies Group rails against TfL's lack of support

 
Catherine Neilan
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The impact is not expected to be as great as last summer's Uber protest (Source: Getty)
Central London roads were gridlocked this afternoon as the black cab protest caused chaos around Parliament Square, Whitehall, Embankment and Lambeth Palace Road.
Campaigners are directing the protest, scheduled to take place between 2pm and 4pm today, against Transport for London, which they claim are not doing enough to keep on top of regulation for taxi services such as Uber and minicab operators.
Drivers are targeting the streets around TfL's headquarters so if you are driving on London roads today this is where you need to avoid.

Police have closed off Victoria Street between Parliament Square and Bressenden Place. Already traffic is backing up around that area.
Although TfL is apparently sceptical about the impact, which is not expected to compare with the one held against Uber last year, by 2pm plenty of taxi drivers arrived to take part in the protest, organised by splinter trade organisation United Cabbies Group.
Speaking with City A.M., organiser Len Martin said TfL did not do enough to protect London's black cabs.
https://twitter.com/taxidal/status/603105879848779776
A London Assembly report last year slammed TfL for its "woefully inadequate" cab regulation.
But TfL is fighting fire with... a press release, today publishing "early results" of Operation Neon, which was launched to clamp down on illegal minicab activity.
In the first five evenings of the high-visibility, multi-agency operation, 331 private hire drivers have been reported for failing to comply with regulations.
Among those reported are eight drivers for plying for hire offences; 30 for parking on taxi ranks and 73 for parking offences.
Around 600 vehicles have also been moved on from outside clubs and late-night venues.
As well as TfL, the Metropolitan Police and Westminster City Council parking attendants are contributing to Operation Neon.
Garrett Emmerson, TfL's chief operating officer for surface transport, said: `We are determined to protect the livelihoods of all legitimate taxi and private hire drivers through robust enforcement action.
"Following engagement with the main trade associations (The Licensed Taxi Drivers Association, the London Cab Drivers Club and Unite), we will continue to be relentless in enforcing the law through action such as Operation Neon to protect the legitimate trade, improve public safety, promote high levels of compliance and tackle illegality."

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