The municipality of Zandvoort is dealing with a potential disruption during the upcoming Dutch Grand Prix as local taxi drivers threaten to stage a blockade protest. The taxi drivers are protesting against restrictions imposed on their services, which could hinder their access to the event due to limited ‘taxi pass’ authorisations for a designated zone outside the circuit.
According to Dutch website RacingNews365, around 150 taxi drivers are concerned about the restrictions, which could make it difficult for them to reach the circuit. The event is expected to attract more than 100,000 enthusiastic fans each day
Taxi drivers threaten blockade
In order to access the designated area outside the circuit, taxi drivers will need to be properly certified. However, a certain quota of ‘taxi-pass’ authorisations have been allocated and distributed, leading to the current situation.
These restrictions were prompted by a problem faced by the organisers of last year’s event, when some taxis illegally entered the restricted zone, causing disruption to the organisation. Walter Sans, a representative of the Zandvoort municipality, explained the situation:
“In the last two events they were not allowed to enter Zandvoort, but last year taxis illegally obtained a pass and entered the village on their own, where they offered their services. This caused a lot of inconvenience – problems within our mobility plan.”
The situation has escalated to the point where taxi drivers are considering a protest or even a blockade during the event. The municipality of Zandvoort is working with the local police to determine how to deal with potential disruptions during the upcoming Grand Prix.
Common ground being sought
A Zandvoort spokesman highlighted the ongoing discussions:
“Now they say: we’re going to block. What you get then is a situation just like with other demonstrations. You can do a protest in the Netherlands, you can demonstrate, so it goes like any other action,” said a Zandvoort spokesperson.
“There is consultation with the people who handle public order and security, such as the police. Then we look at how such a demonstration can be managed.
“We have further explained why we have the rules [of the admission tickets etc]. Last year’s evaluation report found that there has been too much nuisance due to illegal taxi pass-through certificates.
“So what we are doing now is entering into a conversation about the protests and demonstrations.”
The municipality is coordinating with the police and other relevant parties to ensure public order and safety. They are also in dialogue with taxi drivers to address their concerns and explain the reasons for the restrictions. The aim is to find a balanced solution that takes into account both the concerns of the taxi drivers and the overall smooth running of the Dutch Grand Prix event.
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