The war of words in Coventry's ongoing taxi row has rumbled on, with organisers of a protest slammed by a West Midlands council.
Black cab drivers from Coventry travelled to Wolverhampton on Thursday, June 28 to protest the Black Country council's decision to licence Uber drivers, who have gone on to pick up fares in Coventry.
But despite uncertainty over the protest, it ultimately went off without a hitch - but bosses at City of Wolverhampton Council branded its organisers "irresponsible".
A number of black cab drivers drove up the M6 from Coventry to Wolverhampton where they staged a "go-slow" protest.
It comes as Coventry's cabbies argue that their livelihoods are being threatened by the number of Uber drivers operating in the city - none of whom have a licence to operate in Coventry.
The problem lies in the fact that Uber drivers are being licensed in neighbouring cities, and are then operating elsewhere.
And with Wolverhampton Council having previously admitted to licensing some 241 private hire drivers who have Coventry addresses, Coventry's cabbies have once again expressed their anger by protesting in Wolverhampton.
Council bosses in Wolverhampton however, believe that the taxi drivers are directing their anger in the wrong place.
Ahead of the protest, Councillor Alan Bolshaw, chairman of City of Wolverhampton Council’s licensing committee, said: “It would appear that the taxi trade is riddled with competing factions saying different things which paint a confusing, uncoordinated picture.
"One minute we read that the protest is off and the next minute it is back on.
"As far as we can tell, it appears that black cab drivers from Coventry, joined by opportunist local Coventry politicians will now be coming over to Wolverhampton to yet again protest about something we are powerless to change.
"They are angry about changes to national legislation, through the Deregulation Act, which threatens the closed shop that is the traditional taxi industry and the cosy relationship which many people believe exists between the black cab trade and Coventry City Council.
"It is the streets of Westminster rather than Wolverhampton where the taxi trade should take their protest.
"It is not fair to treat the people of Wolverhampton as piggy in the middle.
"Not only this, but staging a go-slow protest with the intention of causing disruption in the midday sun on a baking hot day threatens public safety.
"It is irresponsible and potentially dangerous and the organisers should rethink their strategy if they want to get people on-side.
"Our officers will be out giving bottles of water to members of the public who might be stuck in their vehicles in sweltering conditions.”
Last week, we put out a poll , asking our readers, once and for all, if they would like to see Uber licensed in Coventry.
The results are in, and they are pretty close.
We had nearly 1,000 votes, and 55 percent of you said that yes, Uber should be licensed in Coventry.
These are the totals:
Would you like to see Uber licensed in Coventry?
Yes - 513 votes: 55 percent
No - 413 votes: 45 percent
Along with their votes, many readers also had their say on our Facebook page:
AY Jay said: "No point in protesting, cabbies need to listen to public and make changes so they can compete in market just like other business.
"If they think they can protest and will get things there way , they are living on a cockoo land.
"Your campaigning against a giant that is growing enormous and will dominate the market.
"There’s an old saying “if you can’t beat them, join them.
Gren Smith said: "Council reduce black cab charges.
"People of Coventry support LOCAL drivers who will at least spend most of their money in the city.
"Uber May be cheaper but the amount the driver gets from the charge is less than that received by black cab driver, this means they have to work longer hours to make a living wage and we all know that tired drivers have more accidents.
"Get behind our local drivers if / when the council allows for lower charges."
Callum Keohane said: "Protest all you like, it's basic supply and demand.
"People are fed up with being ripped off by cab fare prices so go with a cheaper alternative.
"Maybe it's right that you're safer and more covered in a cab, but Uber certainly aren't going to start spending their own money to add regulation to themselves unless they have to, so cab firms will have to start getting competitive if they want to survive."
Andy Tasker said: "It’s called competition, prices are what is expected of a taxi fare not a ripoff, Coventry council need to address their pricing policy otherwise Uber will continue to grow."
A petition calling for Erewash cabbies to be allowed to have fully-tinted windows in their taxis has been rejected over fears that vehicles could be used to enable the abuse of vulnerable children and adults.