Upper Egypt-bound trains halt as bus drivers block railways

Railway movement in Upper Egypt came to a halt Monday after dozens of car and bus drivers blocked railroads in the Minya city of Maghagha and Beba in Beni Suef.

Private car drivers protested fuel shortages, and bus drivers demanded the government build a parking lot in Giza, where they would be able to wait for passengers going to Beni Suef.

The bus drivers set up barricades on the railroad and also blocked the countryside road for four hours, hindering traffic between Cairo and Aswan.

In Beba, 10 trains were stranded for at least four hours, one of which carried 59 multi-national tourists from Aswan to Cairo. Another was transporting army recruits. Security forces cordoned off the station to secure both trains.

The protesting drivers said they had been chased by police forces and thugs for parking in the streets, and that bullies forced them to pay levies in order to work. They also called for an immediate solution to the ongoing fuel shortage, which they said forces them to get the oil from black market dealers for higher rates.

Attiya Mazroa, Beni Suef’s security chief, said the drivers’ problems had no relation to thugs. He said the protesters left the tracks after Beni Suef’s governor, in coordination with Giza’s governor, began discussions about constructing a bus stop in Giza for them to use.

Translated from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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