Taxi drivers in city centre ‘sit in’ protest over Covid support

Protestors say the trade requires 'urgent support' over Covid restrictions.

Taxi drivers in city centre ‘sit in’ protest over Covid support iStock
Taxi: Drivers protesting in Glasgow.

Taxi and private hire drivers have been protesting in Glasgow city centre over the industry’s “total exclusion” from Covid-related business support.

The ‘sit in’ blocked George Square and surrounding streets from around 10am on Wednesday in what drivers say is an attempt to get their message across to the Scottish Government as stricter restrictions are brought back to curb the rise of Omicron cases.

Protesters say the trade requires “urgent support” with union leaders claiming they are being ignored and left behind by both the Scottish and UK Governments.

Eddie Grice, the Glasgow chair of App Drivers and Couriers Union, said: “We are demanding to be heard. We put our request across and they have been ignored. 

“Our trade and drivers are suffering again. 

“This protest is about making sure we are listened to and engaged with and about securing support for hard working drivers who are at risk of losing their livelihoods yet again.

“Some business support is coming down for certain sectors, but we have been totally excluded again. Our trade relies on hospitality and people moving around. 

“With restrictions coming back we will see many drivers going bust or simply abandoning the trade.

“We are requesting that Rishi Sunak reintroduce the support scheme for the self-employed and that the Scottish Government provide industry specific support to private hire and taxi drivers. 

“We cannot be left out in the cold and we cannot be left in a sink or swim scenario.”

A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “Scottish Government officials met taxi and private hire sector representatives last week to begin to explore their case for further funding.”