London

London taxi protest near Westminster

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Media captionLondon taxi drivers staged a protest over a number of issues

Taxi drivers have staged a protest bringing traffic chaos to some parts of central London.

The cabbies were demonstrating over issues including regulation, rickshaws, the cycling super highway and smartphone apps - all of which they say threaten their livelihoods.

Police closed Westminster Bridge Road southbound to Parliament Square while some bus routes were diverted.

Transport for London said the protest was "regrettable".

'Unnecessary disruption'

More than 1,000 cab drivers were expected at the demonstration from 14:00 BST, which lasted until about 16:00 BST and caused traffic disruption around Trafalgar Square and Westminster.

Police closed Westminster Bridge Road southbound to Parliament Square while some bus routes were diverted.

Peter Kavanagh, of the Unite union, criticised London mayor Boris Johnson.

"From failing to tackle the increasingly hazardous rickshaw brigade, to shrugging his shoulders and allowing the Uber app, which doesn't take bookings or even pay tax in this country.... the mayor has shown his true colours," he said.

Leon Daniels, Transport for London's managing director for surface transport, urged the taxi trade to communicate their concerns directly.

He said: "It is regrettable that a number of taxi drivers - whose job it is to help keep this city moving - plan to cause unnecessary disruption to other road users."

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