Cab News (and for everyone)
Rickshaws are one of the banes of London life, not just for cab drivers but just about everyone other than the rickshaw barons who rent out these death traps. They first started to appear in the late 1980s and contrary to common belief they have never competed with us, any journey undertaken in a rickshaw is invariably only for a few hundred yards and is viewed more like a fairground type thrill than a serious travel option. Fast forward over 30 years and Nickie Aitken, MP for Westminster, brought a Private Members Bill to license rickshaws, the proposals would require DBS checks on riders, difficult for a temporary transient workforce; operator licensing for the rickshaw barons – difficult for many of them; a ban on sound systems and electrical assistance; specific safety standards; and most importantly set fares. Rickshaws do very few rides, paying £75 a day to rent a rickshaw necessitates them charging ludicrous prices to the few passengers they get, a fixed fare will stop the rip-offs and, to many, the only incentive. Now a Rickshaw Bill has been featured in the Queen’s Speech for this session of Parliament. About time, it’s only taken my entire working life as a cabbie to regulate this Third World look for London.
What I’m Listening
For anyone of a certain age, as am I, the moon landing was a seminal time of our life. The BBC World Service celebrated its 50th Anniversary with 13 Minutes To The Moon exploring Apollo 11’s mission and the stories of the people behind its success. The podcast features interviews with the pioneers who made Apollo 11 a success and became the UK’s number one podcast. A nostalgic feast.
What I’m Reading
My daughter took our grandson to the Transport Museum and bought me, from their excellent bookshop, Tube Trivia by Andrew Emmerson, filled with fascinating facts about the Underground, such as Embankment Station once had a gramophone with a compressed air amplifier instructing passengers to stand on the right.
What I’m watching
Or not watching. We have a bird box at the end of our garden, and every May we watch the blue tits tend to their brood and see them fledge at the end of the month.
27th May 2021
24th May 2020
May 2019 on holiday so didn’t see them go
26th May 2018
This year none.
We have hardly any breed of bird in our garden, sparrows once we had over 50, now 2 or 3. Is this a trend? Global warming or what?
John Ransley at eBook Versions has been patiently helping with my pedantic requirements, formatting and uploading my book to Amazon, both in ebook and printed versions. The whole process is too complicated for this humble cabbie.