Cabbies to stage go-slow protest through Sheffield - JOIN THE DEBATE

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TAXI drivers are to stage a drive-slow through Sheffield tomorrow in protest at cab firms’ pricing policies.

Up to 50 taxis will converge in Woodbourn Road, Attercliffe, at 11am, before driving slowly through the city centre and then back again.

Mohammed Yasin, chairman of the Sheffield Private Hire Drivers’ Association, said 1,400 self-employed cabbies in the city are being caught in rival firms’ price wars.

“Fuel prices have rocketed sky-high,” he told The Star.

“But we are not allowed to change our prices.

“We are all self-employed and pay companies a weekly fee for them to take bookings.

“They set the prices we charge - and the prices have not changed since 2009.”

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Unlike Hackney cab drivers, private hire drivers cannot carry passengers that have not pre-booked.

They rely on firms such as Sheffield City Taxis, Mercury and Abbey for their bookings.

Mr Yasin said: “There is a price war going on in Sheffield and it is being fought at the drivers’ expense.

“We are getting stuck between the different companies and we are the ones who are losing out.

“Diesel is up to more than £1.40 now and unleaded is not far behind.

“With the unrest in the Middle East this is only going to get worse.

“We need to be able to change our prices.”

He insisted his protest was not aimed at inconveniencing Sheffield residents.

“We have timed the drive-through so that it is finished before rush hour,” he said.

“We don’t want to inconvenience people.

“We are just trying to bring attention to the issue,” he said.