The taxi drivers say ride-hailing companies are unfair competition. / francis silva

Half of Costa del Sol taxi drivers to strike this Thursday, 15 September, in protest at unfair competition

Only 50% of the normal number will be working in the morning, in protest at Junta de Andalucía regulations which will allow companies such as Uber, Cabify and Bolt to operate in towns and cities with some restrictions

FRANCISCO JIMÉNEZ Malaga

Taxi drivers on the Costa del Sol are taking part in a protest in Seville on Thursday morning because they are angry at regulations being drawn up by the Junta de Andalucía which will enable ride-hailing companies such as Uber, Cabify and Bolt to operate in towns and cities from 1 October.

The Junta is complying with a decree from the government in Madrid, which says that these companies must be regulated by the regional authorities or they will only be able to operate between towns. This would mean, for example, that a ride-hailing vehicle could pick a passenger up from Malaga airport and taken them to Torremolinos, but not to anywhere in Malaga city.

The taxi sector believes the regulations do not go far enough, and they say the companies, which they consider unfair competition anyway, will not comply with them.

About half the taxi drivers in the area will be in Seville to support the protest, while the others will work as usual. There will probably be about 800 available in Malaga city on Thursday morning, 150 in Marbella and 60 in Benalmádena, Torremolinos, Mijas and Fuengirola.

To try and minimise inconvenience to users, the Confederation of Taxis of the Costa del Sol (which brings together professionals from the 11 municipalities on the western coast of Malaga) has agreed that half of the fleet will continue to provide a service while the others will support the strike in order to be able to attend the demonstration in the Andalusian capital or as a sign of support.

It has been decided that the vehicles that will continue working are those with an odd licence number. In addition, all vehicles adapted for people with reduced mobility will also be available, as well as those whose turn it is at the airport.

The protest, called by the Andalusian Federation of Self-Employed Taxis (FAAT) - the majority organisation in the region - will take place between 9.30am and 1pm in front of the headquarters of the Junta's Ministry of Development, in Seville, where taxi drivers are expected to attend from all provinces in the region.