London Cabbies Sitting Out Olympics

Some 40% of drivers to strike over city rules
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted May 4, 2012 2:25 PM CDT
London Cabbies Sitting Out Olympics
Hundreds of London taxi drivers in their vehicles gather at Trafalgar Square in London in an earlier demonstration.   (AP Photo/Sang Tan)

London is planning travel restrictions for some 109 miles of its streets during the Olympics; a third of that distance will be reserved for athletes, members of the press, and officials. London cabbies aren't happy about it: Some 40% of the city's 23,200 black-cab drivers plan to strike during the games, Bloomberg reports. Included among them is the man recently crowned the city's "hardest," or toughest, cabbie. "The black cab is an icon of London and we’re not really a part of it," he complains.

Taxi drivers' union members have been protesting near the Olympic stadium, seeking freer rein throughout the city. Usually, cab drivers can rake in more than $300 per day during the summer—but many of the likely 320,000 Olympic visitors will be opting for public transport, which is quicker and free with an event ticket. "Passengers aren’t going to get in my cab if it’s going to take 10 minutes longer and cost another 10 pounds more," notes a driver. As another puts it: “It’s annoying because we have to take a back seat." The news raises the question of how to get to the world's biggest McDonald's. (More 2012 London Olympics stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.