|Protest outside Alfaz Town Hall yesterday lunchtime|
Benidorm has already opted out of the scheme which leaves 17 other towns within the Marina Baixa area that would form part of the local zone. Of these 17, Alfaz del Pi and Finestrat taxi drivers are both against the proposal.
The idea behind the zone is that taxi drivers would be able to pick up passengers from outside of their area - at present they are not allowed to. An example would be an Alfaz or Albir taxi driver takes a fare to the La Marina shopping centre - which officially comes under Finestrat. That taxi driver would not be allowed to pick up a return passenger but would have to drive all the way back to Alfaz before he can collect another one - what a waste of petrol. That must certainly make a difference to the fare as the driver has to factor in that he will be driving back empty ... surely if they were allowed to pick up passengers then the fares would come down ?
The protest ended up at the doors of the Town Hall where 16 of the 18 taxi drivers were very vocal about the proposal and demanded to see the Councillor.They said that if the proposal goes ahead then the families of the taxi drivers will sit out on the street in protest - with children in tow. Both the local police and Guardia Civil were on hand to oversee that things did not get out of hand.
|Taxi drivers with placards getting rather heated|
Opponents and supporters now have a further four weeks to discuss the scheme and provide a consensus on where they stand. Opponents say this is "not the time to pool " as there are already days when there is very little work and this will dilute that even further. One driver said there are days when he works a twelve hour shift to bring home ten euros.
Times are certainly hard for everyone and it is not the exclusive domain of taxi drivers ... people are cutting back on what they deem as luxuries and for most people a taxi falls into that category.
Opposition by Benidorm taxi drivers to new working practices
Will your taxi be there?