The rogues giving our cabbies a bad name

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This last couple of weeks have been quieter than normal on the city’s streets.

The couple of weeks before December always have a reputation for a cab drivers income to dip, soon remedied by the run in to Christmas.

This is the one part of the year where you can make more money than normal. Every cab driver in the land will be salivating at the prospect of busier than normal ranks on both day and night.

It’s always a bit of a downer when you put the effort in to your job in terms of hours worked then at the end of a ten or eight hour day you have made less than the minimum wage.

It’s a real sickener. Unexpectedly the other day I noticed the amount of cabs waiting for work on the Tithebarn rank was a bit thin.

I thought to myself “brilliant”. When there are only five cabs on the rank the cabs tend to move off much quicker which means more business.

I didn’t have to be told why there was a glaring absence of cabs on the rank. My guess was proven correct when one of the drivers confirmed the Vehicle Operating Standards Agency was doing the rounds.

Rather than the local enforcement officers checking your cab, a policeman usually asks you to follow him to the nearest testing station. It is here, with the use of a magnifying glass and a fine tooth comb, your cab is checked from top to bottom for safety defects. Public safety is something us cabbies have to abide by. So why is it when a police traffic car sides up to the rank to select cabs for checking do the same drivers suddenly evaporate with their vehicles off the face of the planet? This action tells me everything I need to know about both driver and cab.

It happens time and again. And must really get the goat of the Preston Council and the police, that these clowns keep leading them a merry dance. If you have nothing to hide, why evade? If you have a defect you will have to pay for it in any event, be it straightaway or when your cab gets called in for checking.

If your cab is checked and defects are found by VOSA not only will you have to pay to get the defects fixed by a mechanic, you will also incur a bill from the testing station once they have given your vehicle an MOT to pass it off as safe for public hire.

So I would imagine it would be easier to pay for repairs as you go along ie little and often, rather than constantly evading the powers that be and getting caught in the snare.

It’s my belief that it is the same small pitiful band of drivers who keep letting our trade down. But the shame of it all is their selfish actions are having a wider impact on fellow cabbies. The city council run out of patience with the few and so all drivers will be tarred with the same brush.

The majority of us cabbies take a pride in our duties, it’s just a shame that some others don’t share that belief.