Cabbies vow major Olympic protest
Taxi drivers were Saturday planning demonstrations they warn will "bring London to a standstill" amid an ongoing fight over Olympic traffic.
Cabbies are angry that Games Lanes — road lanes set aside for the exclusive use of Olympic officials, athletes, sponsors and media — will be closed to public transport during the city's 2012 Games.
Jonathan Myers, of lobby organization the United Cabbies Group, told Sky News, "I think they've got to allow taxis into these lanes.
"If you think about when the Tube [subway] goes down, suddenly taxis become really, really important. That's going to be a daily occurrence for 100 days."
Warning that the subway system was likely to be overcrowded and not cope, he added, "I'm not just talking about getting [people] to the Olympic Games. I'm talking about getting people around London."
The Olympic Route Network of roads stretches 109 miles (175km), a third of which will be set aside for the exclusive use of the so-called Olympic family. United Cabbies Group has already staged a number of flash demonstrations, and is planning to escalate its action in the run-up to the Games.
"We don't plan to bring London to a standstill," said Myers. "But we think that the anger out here is that so many people are going to protest, that it is going to bring London to a standstill."
Transport has consistently been the biggest headache for the organizers of the 2012 Games and has also been the most major cause for concern among the International Olympic Committee, despite reassurances from London authorities the system will be ready.