Black Cab protest is already snarling up roads in central London including Whitehall as drivers demonstrate over TfL and private hire vehicles including Uber

 
Catherine Neilan
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London's Black Cabs Protest Against Transport For London
This isn't the first time London has been ground to a halt (Source: Getty)

If you're planning on travelling through central London this afternoon, you might want to avoid roads - Black Cab drivers went out on protest earlier today and it's taking a while to clear.

The protest was due to start at 2:30pm, but pictures and videos on social media showed that many cabbies had convened on Whitehall ahead of time.

It lasted until 4pm - although travel advice suggests it might take a while after that to clear.

The main roads expected affected are between Trafalgar Square and Transport for London's home on Victoria Street, however the sheer numbers of cars on the road meant much of central London was gridlocked this afternoon.

Read more: Why taxis are protesting TfL's private hire review today

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Campaigners told City A.M. they expected around 8,000 drivers to take part in the demonstration, which is directed against TfL and its review of private hire vehicles (PHV) such as Uber.

They claim the current proposals do not go far enough in regulating the service. TfL rowed back on its original suggestion to introduce a five-minute wait time last month.

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This is not the first time London has been brought to a halt by protesting cabbies - and not everyone was feeling sympathetic towards their argument.

https://twitter.com/simon3862/status/697422674893611009

Read more: Black cabs and Uber can co-exist in London

Uber has also weighed in.

Tom Elvidge, general manager of Uber in London, said: "This protest was sparked when Transport for London dropped plans for bureaucratic new rules on licensed private hire drivers, such as five minute minimum waiting times. But Londoners made clear they didn't want to be slowed down with more than 200,000 opposing those proposals.

"We believe black cabs and services like Uber can coexist in the capital. That's why earlier this week we announced that black cab drivers can use our app to get extra custom with zero service fee paid to Uber for a year. By making the most of new technology we can all improve services for passengers and keep London moving."

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