Category Archives: A window on My World

Preaching Heresy

As you read this they are already stacking the kindling wood for me in Smithfield, but I feel it has to be discussed. London is experiencing the worst decline in its core business for a generation and cabbies not renowned for being stoical never stop complaining about the loss of business. With so many cabs available companies have in some cases stopped pre-booking them, telling their employees to hail from the street.

[W]e now have the opportunity to become the first city in the world to have a completely integrated transport system (excluding rickshaws).

By allowing cabs to accept Oyster Cards while at the same time drivers should offer an appropriate discounted rate for the journey (say 20 per cent) for using the card.

At the same time TfL runs a promotional campaign spearheaded by Boris Johnson and offering tokens in the Evening Standard, I believe could be of mutual benefit to all participants.

By promoting the fact that we are helping London’s struggling businesses by keeping down their costs might even help raising London cabbies’ profile, possibly changing the view held by many that we are greedy and self serving.

Sponsorship from a body like the London Chamber of Commerce, could offer prizes for the cabbie who gave the most discounted rides and the most frequent passenger who availed themselves of the service. Corporate sponsorship of the scheme could be extended to a tie in with the London Olympics.

Another idea suggested by the Chairman of the London Taxi Driver’s Association is that with London’s transport bursting at the seams in the morning and evening rush hour, TfL could introduce an online system to marry up empty cabs travelling to and from London with commuters. With again a discounted fare balancing what the passenger would normally pay on the train with the convenience of being picked up locally and having a seat for their entire journey.

While Tweet a London Cab the fledgling (sorry about that) no booking fee service, who allow people to book a cab via Twitter should also have wider coverage, possibly incorporating that morning and evening commute suggestion.

As a footnote; TfL pay some of their staff over £100,000 a year to think up these incentives, and I offer them gratis, so you see we cabbies can be altruistic.

Now boys, do you still want to tie me to a stake and roast me?

Press 1 if you want to report a fault

cartoon from www.weblogcartoons.com

[I] am thinking of reporting a persistent fault to mobile phone manufacturers. It would appear that over use causes the device to adhere to the user’s ear.

Cabbies are getting increasing annoyed by our punters complete inability to communicate in the normal way. They hail you and mumble their destination while continuing a conversation on their mobiles. If you have the temerity to ask for clarification, Mobile Man, as yes dear reader it’s always the male of the financial services species, shoots you an annoyed glance designed to imply that you are a complete idiot.

They continue earnestly talking on their phone for the duration of the journey; I swear if I got a job from London to Manchester (if only) Mobile Man would not stop talking. Ladies reading this might like to reflect on the accusation that women rarely stop talking.

Now comes the clever part. After being told “why have you gone past my house” or “why did you take that route” Mobile Man alights. He then performs a feat worthily of Billy Smart’s Circus; phone in left hand, trying to retrieve money from one’s pocket with right hand and shutting the cab door with his foot, he juggles with commendable dexterity to pay you. Then and this is his piece de resistance, he asks for a receipt without breaking the flow of conversation on the phone.

He then wanders off, still talking; I suppose to find someone to help him prise the phone from his left ear.

Cartoon by Dave Walker. Find more you can freely re-use on your blog at We Blog Cartoons.

Nailing my colours to the mast

uk-royal-standard When American tourists get into my cab they will ask me questions about the Royal Family, never do they want to know about Gordon Brown or Tony Blair for that matter.

But once again the cost of keeping our Royals is up for debate.

[U]nable to criticise the Queen whose frugality is legendary, these Republicans (including the BBC) seize on the petty extravagance of minor members of the Royal Family, whose only job is to provide us with much entertainment.

At 69p per person in this country, the cost of having our Royal Family is miniscule compared to the extravagance of politicians; their international travel to ‘summits’, chauffeured cars, and don’t get me on the expenses scandal, which has laid bare the greed at the heart of The Palace of Westminster.

When will we in this country learn to stop spitting on our good luck and to keep the precious possessions our wiser parents fought for and handed to us on a plate?

The question that should be asked is not what do the Royal Family get, but what powers do they stop others from receiving.

Blogger Bonding

quill This blog is six months old today and your humble scribe has been amazed by the number of hits this site has received from you all out there in Cyber Space. Total hits to date wordpress com stats

This list is by way of a thank you to everybody who has commented on my posts, in praise or otherwise, and those linking their site to CabbieBlog. Just think of it as a spot of mutual back scratching.

The Cabbies Capital; Silver Tiger; The Londonist; Crafty People; I Am London; Cabbie Blog; Diamond Geezer; Evening Standard; Channel 4; Europe a la carte; House Price Crash; London Leben; Warm Tea and Sympathy; London Bobby; The Robinsons Music; Jazamatazz; Shenelles Blog; Mellor; Rachel-Catherine; Patrick Hamilton; Dave

If I have omitted any of you out there and you want including please post your site address on the comment button above. Or maybe you’d like to click on a few of these links to see what you’re missing.

Sponsor A Pothole

Now here’s a question for you, and no conferring. How many potholes are there on Britain’s roads? The answer is to be found at the bottom of this post. Oxford City Council has proposed a plan to ‘Sponsor A Pothole’ because it does not have enough funding to cover the cost of maintaining the streets. A spokesman said the scheme would ‘reward’ businesses and local people who paid for pothole repairs with roadside signs ‘in honour’ of their contribution.

[L]ondon’s worst offender has to be The City of London its roads are so bad they have better roads in Iraq. As a cabbie, my arms ache with the vibration travelling up the steering column, when traversing the City’s streets.

It’s amazing isn’t it? One of the wealthiest square miles in the world and the streets that Dick Whittington imagined were paved with gold, now need a 4×4 to negotiate.

So instead of discarded McDonald’s packaging left in the gutter, soon we might have signs proclaiming in no parking yellow ‘I’m Lovin’ It’ stencilled across the tarmac.

Need more information click this link for everything you wanted to know about potholes, but to get you started there are estimated to be more than 1.5 million potholes on Britain’s roads.