TAXI drivers - upset about losing a major airport contract - descended on Solihull town centre last Friday.
Scores of cabbies from the Birmingham and Solihull Taxi Association (BASTA) took part in a protest in Monkspath Hall Road car park, where they voiced concerns that the termination of the Birmingham Airport contract was going to affect trade – claiming there was a lack of taxi ranks in the Solihull area.
Irfaan Ahmed, chairman of the association, said: “This has taken away our livelihoods and forced us to work elsewhere. When we come to Solihull, there are not enough ranks for us to work from. This is why we are here to hand in our concerns today.”
Initially the crowds had planned a march to Solihull council house, but Gavin Morrice, licensing officer, came out to address the drivers.
He told the demonstrators that the council was aware of the situation and that a meeting would be organised to discuss the issues.
The BASTA’s contract with the airport was terminated at the start of the month and handed to Passenger Transport Solutions (PTS).
Birmingham International Airport has said that the contract was offered to the association on condition its drivers adhered to certain regulations. After several attempts to agree terms, the contract was instead awarded to PTS.
However there was finally some good news for Solihull drivers – the in-store contract at the new Chelmsley Wood Asda store has gone to Kingshurst-based firm T.C Cars.
An Asda spokesman said they were thrilled to keep the business local.