Does your morning commute take you over the Bolte Bridge? Or are you travelling to or from the airport on Monday morning? If so, prepare for major delays as taxi drivers are planning a protest on the Bolte between 8.30am and 9am this coming Monday.
The protest is being organised by Victorian Taxi and Hire Car Families, a lobby group that opposes government deregulation of the taxi industry.
The group’s president, Sandy Spanos, told Broadsheet the “go-slow protest” is to raise awareness of the impact new reforms will have on the livelihood of drivers. (A ‘go-slow’ involves driving below the regular speed limit, which would lead to gridlock on one of the city’s major thoroughfares, especially during peak hour.)
Reforms proposed by the Andrews Labor Government last year will remove existing taxi licences, for which drivers have paid hundreds of thousands of dollars.
“It’s had a horrendous effect on us,” Spanos says. “We’re not going to take this lying down.”
After the Bolte Bridge protest, drivers and other members of the group will meet at Parliament House, where Lou Bougias – “Lou The Hero Cabbie” who helped multiple victims of the Bourke Street car attack – will speak at a rally.
"Victoria Police is aware of the planned blockade of the Bolte Bridge. We are currently in discussions with the organisers and other stakeholder organisations," a police spokesperson told Broadsheet.
More information is available at the Victorian Taxi and Hire Car Families Facebook page.