Taxis at Malaga Airport. / sur

Costa del Sol taxi drivers to strike for several hours, including at Malaga Airport this Thursday

No taxis will operate at the city's air and sea ports, or at bus or railway stations from 11am to 1pm, apart from essential services such as transporting the disabled, elderly or families with children

FRANCISCO JIMÉNEZ Malaga

There will be no taxis for two hours at Malaga airport, the city's sea port, or bus and railway stations this Thursday, 22 September, and only half the fleet will be operative in Malaga city and on the rest of the Costa del Sol from 10.30am to 2pm, while colleagues attend a demonstration in Seville.

Drivers have decided to put more pressure on the Junta de Andalucía over its plans to regulate the ride-hailing sector which would mean that companies such as Uber, Cabify and Bolt could operate within towns from 1 October.

Only essential services will be provided during the stoppage on Thursday, such as transporting disabled passengers, families with children and the elderly.

“We are sorry for the inconvenience, but we feel cheated by the Junta because it is working against the interests of the sector, which is the livelihood of thousands of families,” said the president of the Confederation of Taxis on the Costa del Sol, Miguel Ángel Martín.

The spokesman for Élite Taxi Costa del Sol, Guillermo Díaz, agreed. “We don’t want to stop anybody working, the ride-hailing companies should operate in their own way and we will operate in ours. But if they are going to let these firms work as if they are taxis it’s a problem, because they aren’t taxis,” he said.

Background to the conflict

The Spanish government has said that regional authorities will have to draw up regulations if ride-hailing companies are to operate within towns and cities from 1 October. The Junta de Andalucía is doing this but the taxi drivers are not happy with the plans because they say they don't go far enough. They consider these firms to be unfair competition for the sector and insist that they need to be more severely restricted.

Negotiations have been going on for weeks with no progress, and the regional government is due to approve the regulations on Tuesday.