Taxi cab and rail strikes hit European cities
Transport in major European cities continues to be disrupted by strikes influencing taxis and rail services.
Taxi drivers blocked highways in Paris, Madrid, Greater london, Milan, Berlin and other towns in protest against the increase of services booked using smartphone apps.
They say there has been a lack of regulation concerning competitor mobile service Uber.
Holidaymakers in France were also hit by a rail strike which stopped two-thirds of teaches in some areas.
The biggest taxi associations in the Spanish funds asked their drivers to see a 24-hour stoppage until 06: 00 on Thurs. More than 15, 000 licensed vehicles operate in This town, Spanish media say.
Absolutely no taxis were visible in Barajas airport or Atocha station, reports said, in spite of Uber not yet being available in the capital. At one stage, a car suspected of being a private taxi came under attack through demonstrators.
The strike was also observed in Barcelona, in which the mobile app is in operation.
Drivers associated with London’s famous black taxi cabs demonstrated in Trafalgar Square, arguing that the Uber cellular app, which originated in the US, was tantamount to a taxi cab meter, which only dark cabs are legally allowed to use in London.
„We’re ruled by a set of rules and they don’t seem to apply to Uber, ” said Glenn Chapman, a driver parked within a long line of cabs outdoors Downing Street.
Uber argues it is complying with nearby regulations.
Transport for London estimated that about 4, 000 drivers had used part and roads had been gridlocked around Parliament Sq ., Whitehall and Trafalgar Square.
In Milan, in north Italy, a protest took place throughout Wednesday, although disruption was not on the same scale as elsewhere, with boycotts associated with key sites such as train stations and squares. Cab drivers also staged demos in Rome and Southwest florida.
Protests also took place in several German cities, including Berlin and Hamburg.
But the most severe of the disruption was in Paris, where train services were also badly affected by strike activity.
Hundreds of drivers blocked the actual French capital’s airports and staged a „go-slow” throughout the morning rush hour.
Only one in three trains had been running in the Paris area, although Eurostar services had been unaffected.
Unions are objecting to plans to combine the rail network operator with the train company SNCF. The company said some 28% of railway staff experienced walked out.
The strike is due to continue until Thursday evening, unless union associates and the transport minister achieve an agreement in talks late on Wednesday.