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Dagenham cab drivers plan blockage over parking fines

PUBLISHED: 16:42 10 October 2011

Elm Cars in Heathway, Dagenham

Elm Cars in Heathway, Dagenham

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Dagenham cab drivers plan blockage over parking fines

Crunch talks are being held in a bid to avert a blockade by 120 minicab drivers which could bring Dagenham to a standstill.

The drivers are planning to park their cars to stop traffic on four main roads unless Barking and Dagenham’s traffic department removes yellow lines outside their offices and gives them parking bays.

They say they have been parking on the yellow lines – in breach of the Highway Code – to pick up passengers without receiving fines for years, but are now being given CCTV parking tickets.

Mark Williams, 40, said: “There are 120 drivers. They are fuming and spitting blood.

“We pay so much money each year. Black cabs can drive in bus lanes, but we can’t. There is one rule for them and one rule for us. We all do the same job.

“We’re not asking for the world – we’re just asking for our rights.”

The roads affected by the blockade this month would be Heathway, Gale Street, Rainham Road South and possibly Lodge Avenue, Dagenham.

The drivers say the protest would jam most Dagenham streets, though the emergency services would be allowed through.

Drivers have been asked to pay up to £1,200 for each unpaid fine but are appealing around 15 parking tickets.

Mr Williams said minicab offices including Elm Cars in Heathway, have collected “pages of signatures” from customers backing their fight.

The blockade has been put on hold pending the outcome of a meeting with Barking and Dagenham Council and Jon Cruddas, MP for Dagenham and Rainham, on October 21.

A council spokesman said: “The council is always prepared to work with local businesses and listen to any concerns they have. The drivers’ concerns will be discussed in more detail at this meeting.”

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