VIDEO: Taxi operators withdrew service from Spanish Town
Taxi operators in Spanish Town remained off the job in Wednesday.
Private operators of public passenger vehicles (PPV) in major parts of Spanish Town, St Catherine pulled their service on Wednesday to protest the terms under which their road licences had been granted.
With the move, the Spanish Town cabbies joined other PPV operators across sections of the island in protest over their alleged ill-treatment by Government.
They argued that they are being slapped with unreasonable fines for operating in contravention of their road licences if they make deviations from their route, a practice which threatens their financial livelihood.
Several school-children had to hitch-hike or walk home after the taxi-operators pulled their services in the morning. They vowed to pull their services the whole day to drive home their point.
Operators in the St John's Road, Old Harbour Road, Gordon Pen, Brunswick Avenue and Angel's Estate areas congregated at the sides of the road along Brunswick Avenue and the Gordon Pen main road.
"The police dem a give we ticket that we operating contrary to their road licence. Our road licence say we have to drive on Cumberland Road but that is a market road often blocked with traffic so most times, we divert to other roads to escape the traffic but the police dem no waan we do that," taxi operator Roger Shand told Loop Jamaica reporter Claude Mills.
"We caan go nowhere else fi avoid the traffic, if we go Hanover Street, White Church street, Nugent Street, Railway Lane, dem give we $15,000 ticket plus we ah get a $18,000 wrecker fee. We ask them to change the licence, but it come back same way as Cumberland Road route. If we don't operate like this, how Buck Town people ah go home?"
Since Monday, taxi operators in the Corporate Area have protested aspects of the new Road Traffic Act which they feel unfairly targets them, with some using debris to block main roads.
The protests have spread to other parishes including Manchester and St Mary.