London 2012: Olympic Route Network - Taxi fare hike concerns
Black taxi driver Russell Hall, founder of hailocab.com, fears taxi fares will increase four-fold because of the time spent in clogged traffic as a result of the Olympic Route Network.
"I've been a taxi driver for 27 years. As the son of a taxi driver, who's married to a taxi driver, taxi driver's blood runs through my veins.
The Olympics is the biggest event in the world - far bigger than the 1966 World Cup.
It's a massive event for London, and we'd like to help make it a success.
I can't see how transportation can happen without the assistance of the London taxi trade.
We're part of London and we need to be involved with what's going on. We need to be spoken to.
We played a big part in getting the Olympics to London with the Back the Bid campaign. In 2004 it was promised that we'd be involved and now it looks like we can't use the Games Lanes.
Park Lane nightmare
There are murmurings that there could be further demonstrations by taxi drivers. There isn't a London cab driver that wants to hold anyone to ransom. We just want the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and Lord Coe to meet us and talk through the issue.
Park Lane is a major thoroughfare, and due to the IOC and VIPs being based in the hotels there - from Marylebone Road and down into the city is going to be a complete nightmare.
Travelling to the Games from the West End, or main stations like St Pancras, Euston and Paddington will be difficult.
Cab fares will increase four-fold because of the time spent in clogged traffic as we won't be allowed to use the Games Lanes.
Customers will be sent on lengthy diversions and it doesn't have to be like that.
I don't see what the problem is with letting taxis use the lanes to get to the Olympic Park. If people want to get from central London, Heathrow or St Pancras to the Games I don't see why they shouldn't be allowed to use the Games Lanes.
I've suggested a taxi-share scheme that could involve all London cabs - four or five people in a cab from a station to the Olympic Park at a fixed price.
None of the drivers who are members of the black taxi company I've set up - which has 2,700 members and is growing every day - agree with the idea of putting up taxi fares during the Games. We won't be taking a three-week break during the Olympics either - we'll be here trying to earn a living.
Talk is cheap; money pays our wages."