Who is killing the cab trade?

Hi there,as you see from the title of this piece I want to know who is killing the cab trade.

Whatever trade paper you pick up there is always someone telling us the trade is dying. The reasons given vary from Ken Livingston’s exhaust reforms through to LTI’s inability to make a decent cab and on to the mini scab trade taking our decent jobs from the city.

Well what I saw on Friday at Paddington finally showed me who it really killing the trade and that is us.

Let me explain: I was sitting 3rd on the rank at about 6.45 when a chap came to my cab and asked to go to Hendon so I told him that he had to go to the front cab as it was a queuing system and it was his job.

He then told me that he had already spoken to the driver on point and was told that he wouldn’t take him because he didn’t want to go that far  I said to the fella to go back and tell him he was first in the queue and as it is within 12  miles he had to take him or pull off the rank and let the next cab have the ride.While he went to speak to the driver  the cabbie in front of me came and asked if you could refuse a job whilst on a rank.

I explained to him that as I understood it you didn’t have to accept it if it was outside the 12 mile limit or if you thought there was a good reason not to do the ride ie the punter was drunk. I also said that when in the past I had seen this happen the cab on point would pull off and leave the rank.

So cabbie 2 goes to the front cab and asks him why he won’t take the ride,after all a ride to Hendon on a slow Friday has got to be worth £15 plus.

The next thing I know is the 2 cabbies are arguing and the first cabbie has threatened the second driver with violence.

As this was going on people started to come out of the station and watch the action.

after a minute or so cabbie 2 comes back to me and asks if I can back up and let him out so he can take the punter to Hendon,which I do.

I then get a job and the punter asks what was going on.

I followed the first cab up the ramp and tried to ask him what was wrong with taking the first job but he wouldn’t answer and just drove off.

We have all seen this sort of thing going on especially at the airport,which is the reason I don’t go up there anymore,but we need to think on.

We all believe that red Ken wants to dilute the knowledge and make it easier for the scabs to nick our work and by refusing jobs we are playing into his hands.

If you don’t want to go to certain parts of London don’t drive a cab get some other job.

I don’t like going south of the river but I never refuse a fare that takes me there, I just get back to civilization as soon as possible and moan about it to Lyn and you lot.There are drivers out there that don’t like going to north London but they do it as it is part of the job.

You can’t pick and choose that is the nature of this job,we all want to get the airports and long runs but they are fewer and fewer and will continue to be so when the cab trade starts to refuse to go where the punters want to on a daily basis.

Just think of it this way,if you took your cab to the garage to have a puncture changed and they said no its too small a job would you go back there for your overhaul? I think not, so why would a punter who has been refused a ride home on a cold Friday morning call a cab to take him and his family to Gatwick when he wants to go on holiday.

I have the plate number of the cab at Paddington on Friday and am considering calling the PCO to see what they have to say.

I worked hard to get my badge and am proud to be part of the BEST cab trade in the world. I dont want to be sitting on the rank at Paddington next to the mini scab trade but this could happen if we keep letting this sort of thing go on.

I am sorry that this has been a bit of a rant and I haven’t put the the occasional joke in but I do believe that we are in danger of killing the trade that most of us love.

Cheers Del Boy

3 Responses to “Who is killing the cab trade?”

  1. Errol says:

    What a lovely sight to greet a potential customer, a fellow cab driver threatening another with violence. Is it any wonder our trade is rapidly descending down the proverbial pan.
    There was a time when if you saw a cab with the bonnet up, you would stop to see if you could help, even if it was just to hold a torch. Not anymore. It’s everyone for himself, and sod the rest.
    If you look for the defintion of the word “camaraderie”, it defines it as “a feeling of friendliness towards people with whom you work or share an experience”
    Need I say more.

  2. The recession, the lack of tourists, the lack of businessmen who can put the fare on expenses, and in some cases a lack of cabbies. I know a couple of drivers who no longer enjoy the job. When they started, they would have conversations with passengers, now they jump in the back, pull out their phone and talk to someone else. It’s not the job it was.

  3. Cleo says:

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