Just before midnight last night, hundreds of London Taxi drivers arrived in St James Square for a pre Flash Mob Demo meet up. The word had been put out via twitter's @TaG_Hit_Squad and @Flash_Demo accounts over the past week, with the final destination of the hit kept a secret till the very last minute.
A forward command post was set up in Wardour Street, adjacent to the W Hotel. The target, the area around Wardour and Gerrard Street, normally infested and crawling with minicabs, a cesspit of illegal plying for hire and touting. As the barriers lowered into the Tarmac, with military precision, the signal was given and London's finest made their way to the location en masse.
This operation has been our most ambitious so far, with many believing it would be impossible to make much of a mark at this location.
It didn't take long for the area to grind to a halt. The knock on affect turned Regent Street and Piccadilly Circus into a virtual car park. Drivers stood outside their Taxis, engaging with the public, explaining why the action was taking place.
The format of the Twitter Action Group (TaG) Hit Squad has in the past proved highly effective and had substantial results. Drivers from every section of the trade stood together in true unity. No one caring which org, or what colour lanyard, no egotistic leaders bleating about the size of their membership. Just concerned drivers ready to stand up and be counted.
Places the trade through had been completely lost to the touts have been clawed back.
Successive hits on Swallow Street has seen a marked decline in the number if unbooked touts lining up in the Regent Street bus lane and has resulted in the placement of the Heddon Street rank and Marshals being present on Friday nights.
Other successes in Clapham a High Street (new marshalled rank) and Smiths in Charterhouse Street has won a great deal of our work back from the touts.
Most notable by their absence last night were the authorities. With minicab related serious sexual assaults running at an all time high, compliance from police and TfL is almost non-existent.
We must not rest on our laurels, we have to make the authorities sit up and take notice.
Please follow the;
@TaG_Hit_Squad and @Flash_Demo
for information of the next Flash Mob Hit.
Taxi Leaks would like to take this opportunity to thank Andy Simco for all the hard work put in to make last nights hit a success. His dedication to making London a safer place is inspirational.
And a special thanks to ever driver who put themselves out to attend.