As a sign of London’s diminishing cab trade, Radio Taxis, for whom I have been writing these past six years, decided we part company. I predict there will be a lot of detrimental changes for cabbies in the next 5 years.
I wrote these rather prophetic words in March 2017.
Little did I realise then how popular for Londoners would be an alternative to Radio Taxis. The new kid on the block used their ‘offshore’ status to avoid paying most UK taxes, and had a close association with the then prime minister.
It dispensed with the cumbersome criteria of having experienced driving in England at some point; abandoned comprehensive criminal record checks; used drivers with a lack of understanding the geography of London’s labyrinthine roads; and who had limited ability in understanding the capital’s native tongue, flooding London’s streets with thousands of rented vehicles purporting to be ‘cabs’.
Not everyone was so gullible. From these seemingly diverse cities spot the odd one out: Barcelona, Spain; Buffalo, New York State; Buenos Aires, Argentina; Vancouver, Canada; Frankfurt, Germany; Anchorage, Alaska; Austin, Texas; Oslo, Norway; Reykjavik, Iceland; London, England. Yes, you guessed it – London. The city voted many times as having the best cabbies, and with the most stringent taxi licensing regulations in the world allowed Uber to operate with predictable consequences.
Now they have gone but so has much of London’s Black Cab trade, so does anyone want to syndicate these missives?