Private hire drivers from Luton held a peaceful protest outside Luton Town Hall this lunchtime.
Organised by Luton Borough Drivers Union, the protest is a last resort after “years of suffering” and “lack of positive response” from Luton Borough Council.
The drivers want to be allowed to use bus lanes, they want independent MOT stations and they would like pick up and drop off points in Luton town centre, among other things.
Mushtaq Ahmed, chairman of LBD union said: “The reason for this protest is because for many years Luton Private Hire trade has been suffering a lot. We have been doing dialogue with Luton Borough Council for many years. Unfortunately, we have had no positive response from them, hence why we reluctantly have to take this course of action.
“This peaceful protest is to let the council and public know that the Luton Private Hire drivers are united and they need resolution to these issues.”
A council spokesman said that the peaceful protest was aimed at providing information and demosntrating solidarity, and they are pleased that the trade is taking these matters seriously.
The spokesman said: “National and local private hire licensing regulations exist to ensure that both the general public and drivers can travel safely at all times and this is a priority for the council in Luton.
“The council has met the Luton Borough Drivers Union on a number of occasions and will continue working with its representatives to address the issues raised where appropriate.”
A request to use the bus lane in Church Street is alreayd being looked in to and thecouncil will consider reviewing private hire vehicle MOT test requirements after publication of the Law Commission’s draft report and bill in April. Information about permitted picking up and dropping off of passengers in the town centre has been clarified for drivers.