Taxi driver protest to halt transport in Toulouse

Roads in and around the city of Toulouse were blocked on Monday morning as over 1,000 taxis protested against “unfair competition” from private minicab firms.

Taxi driver protest to halt transport in Toulouse
Taxi drivers block the airport in Toulouse. File photo: AFP

Travelling in and around the south western city looks set to be troublesome on Monday with taxi drivers having set up road blocks at strategic parts of the town.

The blockades were put in place at around 5.30am around bus depots and tram stops, as well as around the Toulouse-Blagnac international airport as the protest aimed to bring transport in the city to a halt.

Blockades were also set up around the Airbus airport and the city’s ring road. Monday will see various “go-slow” operations as taxi drivers’ unions promised the Ville Rose a “day of jams”.

“Today there will be no bus and no tram,” a union source told Le Figaro newspaper.

Protester numbers have been bolstered by taxi drivers descending on Toulouse from all over France and beyond.

“We haven’t even counted. The Parisians are there, drivers from Marseille and Brussels too. The Spanish and drivers from Lyon will come too,” said Stephane Abeilhou, a spokesperson for the Defense of Taxis association.

“We hope this protest is historic, because it’s the first one to only take place in a regional city,” he added.

The protest, the likes of which have been held right across France in recent months, is motivated by anger towards private cab firms and web platforms like Uber, whom traditional taxi firms see as benefiting from unfair competition.

Monday’s protesters want the status of minicab to be scrapped to level the playing field and for taxi firms to be allowed exclusive use of geo-localisation on web platforms.

Monday’s protest coincides with a meeting in Paris between French Transport Minister Alain Vidalies and representatives from both taxi firms and mini cab companies.

Taxi drivers have warned their protest could be extended into Tuesday if their demands are not met.



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New flights to south of France launched by Jet2

The low-cost British airline Jet2 has announced it will begin operating new services between the UK and southern France, starting in the summer of 2022.

New flights to south of France launched by Jet2
Flights will operate from May 1st 2022. Photo: AFP

When travelling is possible again, getting to Toulouse from the north-west of England is set to become much easier with the launch of new flights from Manchester Airport.

Jet2 already flies to Bergerac, La Rochelle and Nice. The company announced the new destination in response to demand for summer 2022 holidays.

Flights to the “Pink City” in south west France will operate from May 1st until October 16th 2022.

“Since putting our Summer 2022 programme on sale from Manchester Airport, we have added a significant number of flights and destinations in response to the demand from customers who want to get their all-important holidays booked in,” Steve Heapy, CEO of and Jet2holidays, said in a press release.

Since the British government announced a lockdown roadmap on Tuesday, with plans to end England restrictions by June 21st, the company has begun to see a surge in bookings.

READ ALSO: Will summer holidays in France be possible this year?

However the present rules on entry into France from the UK are the strictest they have ever been, with virtually no travel allowed between the two countries and no end-date to the current restrictions.

Jet2 plans to reopen its services in mid-May.

“Following the UK government announcement that international travel will not return until May 17th 2021 at the earliest, we have taken the decision to extend the suspension of flights and holidays up to and including 16th May 2021,” Jet2 said on Twitter.