Taxis plan go-slow at Paris airports

Traffic delays expected next Thursday around Orly and Charles de Gaulle airports as taxi drivers stage convoy protest

TAXI drivers in Paris are planning to hold up traffic around Orly and Charles de Gaulle airports and parts of the city centre next Thursday.

They are staging a go-slow protest after a group of MPs drafted a law in parliament that would see them lose their monopoly on picking up passengers at Charles de Gaulle.

A convoy of taxi cabs will set off from the capital's two key airports sometime between 9.00 and 10.00 on February 25. They will drive slowly along the motorway towards Paris, on to the périphérique and into the city centre.

UMP and Socialist MPs yesterday voted in favour of the airport taxi law at committee stage and it will now get a full hearing in the National Assembly.

The law would allow taxi drivers working for firms outside Paris to pick up passengers at the Charles de Gaulle taxi rank. The airport is based in the Val d'Oise, but taxi firms from that department are only allowed to drive people to the airport - not pick them up.

Val d'Oise MP Yanick Paternotte told France Soir: "Parisian taxis wait for hours at the airport. Some drivers sleep in their cars with the motors on to keep warm."

One driver told the paper: "If they take away the monopoly, they should give us the right to pick up fares from Beauvais or the Château de Versailles."

A similar monopoly at Orly airport has already been scrapped.

Michael Stumpf -