I’ve Got The Hump

Kwik Fit Fitters could be the sponsors for these carbuncles growing on virtually every street in The Capital.

Every regular driver in the City knows to their cost these humps inflect on the suspension.

Last week I encountered 127 road humps on a single shift, yes I know I’m an anorak but I derive a perverse pleasure compiling these statistics.

[P]utting in 50 standard humps on three or four connecting residential streets costs about £150,000 and some of the more upmarket ones are wonderful works of art, worthy of exhibiting in the Tate.

In the Borough of Islington they have even constructed humps on short cul-de-sacs, now it is proposed to remove them and impose a blanket 20 mph on all roads in their borough.

Some of my customers even ask me to make detours of up to a mile to avoid these obstructions in Islington and have you noticed the nouveau rich now buy 4x4s just so they can travel over these humps at 40mph, while the rest of us mere mortals, apart from white van man can only go at only half their speed?

Do emergency vehicle drivers have to wear gum protectors to spare their teeth when on a shout?

So here’s my suggestion, if we are to keep vehicle speeds down to a reasonable level, cameras loads of them. Okay I know we have more CCTV cameras in London than we can shake a stick at, and average speed cameras are useless as journey times across the Metropolis are down to Victorian averages. A set of eight average-speed cameras covering four residential streets cost £250,000.

Produce the cheaper normal speed cameras concealed in hanging baskets and stick them on every lamppost, a double whammy, beautiful streets and an income for The Burgers of London.

And you never know Rachel Thame might be tempted on Gardener’s World to extol the virtues of speed cameras in hanging baskets, or should she appear on Top Gear with Jeremy Clarkson.

Don’t get caught speeding, travel by Licensed Black Taxis for your comfort and security. Complementary opinions are available on current affairs, politics and football. Ask any driver for details!

Chinese Takeaways

rickshaws

[T]his blog tries very hard to avoid profanity and believe me sometimes it is tested to its very limits. But these f***ing rickshaws are now all over London. What started out as harmless fun pedalling the odd tourist around the pedestrianised confines of Covent Garden has turned into a nightmare. These rickshaws cause massive congestion as London’s traffic queues up behind them as they travel at little more than walking pace on major roads.

The Rickshaw riders charge exorbitant sums in order to recoup the high rental fees the operator’s charge for the bikes. Up to £12 a mile is normal, whilst £30 per mile is not unusual. If three people get into one of these contraptions they can expect to pay £12 to the driver and then have to negotiate the cost of the journey.

The safety of these vehicles is horrendous. The Transport Research Laboratory looked at the possible safety implications of allowing the continued use of these vehicles for hire and reward in London. Its scientists warned that ‘any impact with a motor vehicle’ was likely to result in ‘serious injury to both passengers and riders’. Transport Research Laboratory also warned that ‘The standard of braking for a Rickshaw fell well short of that expected of a car’.

I suspect members of Westminster Council and the Greater London Authority don’t go out at night and see this problem. If a major West End show should need to evacuate the theatre near to conclusion of a performance, 800 theatregoers would be confronted by a wall of these bloody contraptions. We have seen alas, what happens too many times before with people getting crushed and trampled on when an evacuation route is obstructed.

And if that is not bloody bad enough these crazy bastards ride down one-way streets in the opposite direction with young children in the back. It is only a matter of time before we have a tragic accident.

Whinge over, I feel a lot better now, can I get off the couch doctor?

Shaggy Dog Story

Shaggy Dog Story

“Sorry Squire, I’m not going South of The River”. I can now say that with impunity after a recent judgment by magistrates in Bolton. Last week they cleared taxi firm boss Mustak Bhuta, accused of discrimination against blind woman, Toni Forest. The court heard that Miss Forest accompanied by her guide dog, was told that the cab firm were not taking her because of hairs from her dog.

[B]ut the court accepted the taxi bosses’ version that two of his drivers on duty had problems in the past, one of which was the dog being unhygienic in licking the gear stick. The remaining available driver was scared of dogs.

So now I have a whole plethora of excuses for refusal; you’ll drop hairs, licking my gear stick (is that a euphuism?), and a phobia of South London.

Magic!!

Lost and Found

“You would lose your head if was not screwed on”, so I was told when young. The same could be said about cabbies’ passengers. A recent survey by Credant Technologies has found that over the last six months, 55,843 mobile phones and 6,193 other devices including laptops were forgotten by London black cab passengers. Thankfully, about 80 per cent of surveyed taxi drivers claimed that owners were reunited with their missing item once found, but having your hand-held device in someone else’s hands still poses a huge security threat for the owner. These devices are usually not owned by the people using them; either they are supplied on contract or owned by their employer, so maybe that’s their excuse for not being so careful.

The same can’t be said for the high profile security breaches by losing data devices left in public areas, to be conveniently reported by the media. Am I being just a touch cynical when I think some of these lapses are helping to destroy the Government’s reassurance that they are safe with our personal data for ID cards?

Apart from the mountain of iPods, drivers have also found a sawn-off shotgun, 12 dead pheasants, two dogs, toilet seats, a casket of funeral ashes and £2,700 in cash in the back of their cabs. If all these were found on the same cab run, I wouldn’t be going south of the River again.

Leaving the Monopoly board

Having shut Grosvenor Square to vehicular traffic for the best part of four months, while installing the most elaborate anti-terrorist devices this side of Iraq, the United States Embassy have now announced it’s moving to Wandsworth.

Did we pay for these elaborate rising bollards, traffic lights, anti car bomb devices, and if so will we get any compensation?

But at least the local residents won’t mourn the passing of the Americans; they cannot get anti terrorist insurance cover for their valuable art collections.

But it won’t look so romantic for the great unwashed to demonstrate in Wandsworth, home of the Arndale Shopping Centre.

All together now:

What Do We Want? America Out!

When Do We Want It? Now

Masters of the Universe

I’ve lost count of the number of times “how’s business” has been said to me recently. Who do they think I am Warren Buffet? Well for all of you who have not had the advantage of travelling in my cab. Supporters of these Master of the Universe in banking say that their international telephone number salaries are to attract the Brightest and the Best, well if what has happened this year is from the Brightest and Best, give me Useless and Stupid any day.

[M]argaret Thatcher once proclaimed “you cannot buck the markets” and a light touch regulation was all that was required.

In reality, the governments on both sides of the Atlantic have now had no alternative but to bail out these banks run by the Masters of the Universe, because in an ironic twist of the Keynesian maxim that if you owe the bank £10,000 you’re in trouble, but if you owe them £10 million they’re in trouble. So if these banks are not supported the likely outcome will be not a recession but a full blown depression not seen since the 1930s.

The ramifications of this financial meltdown will be felt by every person in this country for generations. In bailing out these morons the immediate effect is that the government will have to look for savings elsewhere, that that means fewer schools, hospitals, roads, and a cut in real terms in benefits. With large scale redundancies in banking we cabbies will soon feel the pinch.

CabbieBlog takes the view that the government should not succumb to a knee-jerks reaction, maybe a few banks should have been allowed to go to the wall. A full investigation should be launched and radical changes made to the financial sector, the most important being that it should never again be allowed to self-regulate. What the City and hedge fund managers have been doing is the equivalent of going down the bookies and putting £1 to win using our pensions for the stake money and giving themselves enormous bonuses in return. Lehman Brothers for example owed $35 for every $1 it made. You don’t have to be a financial genius to realise that sooner or later the game would be up, even your average Cabbie would have told them, if only they had asked, but they never do.

Whinge for 25 years

This is whinge of the week or should it be called whinge of the next 25 years?

Listened on the radio today and they said there are now over 580 different scheduled road works in London, that’s not including any emergency works that crop up. Thames Water when asked for a date of completion of their much vaulted ‘Replacing London’s Victorian Water Mains’ have said it will be finished in 2035 yes!, you read right, 2035.

[T]he Victorians built the water system quicker than Thames Water are fixing it by inserting plastic sleeves into the existing pipe work. Just one example Cromwell Road the major route out west was started on 10 July and will take 18 weeks.

And do you know, I think these holes are dig by leprechauns, because I never see anyone working on them.

Why don’t they just converge on an area and work three shifts all day and night until the job is done? They say night work is not possible because it disturbs the residents, I would have thought traffic jams day and night outside your bedroom window might be a little irritating.

Are they really trying to stop London’s traffic, the bendy buses on diversion around the Oxford Street hole have jammed up half of the West End?

While apparently the traffic flow in London is now back to pre congestion charge levels. So anyone paying the congestion charge is hardly getting value for money, are they?

Some of these holes are untouched for weeks, is it beyond the wisdom of Thames Water to complete one excavation before they start another?

They can’t even get the signs right; a roadwork’s sign in Hyde Park reads ‘delayes suspected’. Is this a case for Inspector Morse? Should not the Education Secretary, the appropriately named, Ed Balls, be complemented on the rising exam result passes?

Taxi talk without tipping

%d bloggers like this: