Cabbies' protest ends as demands met

April 30, 2008 news.com.au

A PROTEST by cab drivers which has caused mayhem in Melbourne's CBD appears to have ended with cabbies having their demands for safer conditions met.

Driver representative Mohammed Jama and Victorian Taxi Directorate general manager Peter Corcoran said safety screens would be made compulsory in taxis and introduced by Christmas.

Pre-paid fares will be compulsory between 10pm and 5am each night, and the State Government will cover all medical costs for a driver stabbed and left for dead this week.

Mr Jama said he was happy with the result and drivers could remove the screens if they did not want them.

The taxi drivers, who had blockaded the city centre for almost 22 hours, cheered as they were told the Government had agreed to their demands to improve safety.

The State Government has agreed to foot half the bill for the taxi shields, with owners expected to pay the rest.

The agreement followed a meeting with Public Transport Minister Lynne Kosky this afternoon.

Earlier, at least 250 other drivers said they would continue to blockade the intersection of Swanston and Flinders Streets unless they were satisfied with the Minister's response.

Ms Kosky said she had also agreed to meet taxi representatives again to help resolve other problems in the industry.

- With the Herald Sun

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