THIS WEEK IN 1998: Meeting interrupted by cavalcade of cabs

Taxis gathered to turn Guildhall Square into a parking lot during the days protest
Taxis gathered to turn Guildhall Square into a parking lot during the days protest
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Portsmouth’s roads boss Peter King was just settling into a high-powered management meeting when it was interrupted.

Not by the arrival of morning coffee, but the racket of more than 100 honking horns outside his civic office window.

Mr King apologised and left to be confronted outside in Guildhall Square by a cavalcade of cabs and more than 120 irate taxi drivers.

Hackney cab drivers from across Portsmouth had stopped work for a couple of hours in protest at council plans to ban traffic from a Southsea street.

They demanded the council should let them use a short stretch of Osborne Road which would be closed to all traffic except buses in the summer.

Mr King said: ‘I will listen to what they have to say, but there are no plans to allow anything but buses to use the bus lanes.

‘If I let Hackney cabs through Osborne Road I will have to allow private hire cabs as well. That will then open it up to all motorists.

‘I am considering opening up the road to taxis after 7pm, but I’m not promising.’