Approximately 200 drivers protest against the Taxi Plan in Brussels
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    Approximately 200 drivers protest against the Taxi Plan in Brussels

    Approximately 200 taxis, according to the organisers, gathered at 09:00 on the boulevard Albert II on Tuesday and the North station of Brussels. A delegation was received at the headquarters of the Brussels taxi service, within the regional administration, Brussels Mobilité (administration responsible for equipment, infrastructure and mobility issues), on the rue du Progrès street. It then went to the office of the Brussels Minister for Mobility, Pascal Smet, at 11:00. According to Audrey Dereymaeker, police spokesperson for the Brussels-North zone, more than 100 taxis were eventually counted in the district. The traffic was disrupted, but the taxis arranged to let cars pass. Taxis headed for Minister Rudi Vervoort’s cabinet shortly before 2pm, causing traffic problems on the small belt.

    A flyer explaining the Taxi Plan was sent on Monday by Brussels Mobilité to the various drivers, explaining the organisation of the demonstration. The management of the Brussels taxi service undertook during the meeting to send back to the drivers a letter specifying that the Taxi Plan is still only a project. “We have the impression that those responsible are trying to get a project through without consultation”, said Khalid Ed-Denguir, President of the Belgian Taxi Federation. “There is an advisory committee where the taxi plan can be discussed.”

    Pascal Smet assured that he was open to consultation, which he called to be held as quickly as possible. The draft reform was presented to the Advisory Committee on 19 April. The second meeting scheduled for May 3 was postponed to May 13 at the request of the sector, which must submit a list of questions and inquiries. The delegation waited from 11:00 to 14:00 in front of its office to obtain a commitment that a letter would be sent to the drivers to ensure that the Taxi Plan is still being discussed for the time being.

    Maria Novak
    The Brussels Times