NHS and care home staff working during the festive period will be able to claim two £10 trips to work and a £10 meal discount in recognition of their dedication during the Covid pandemic.
WalesOnline reports that anyone with an NHS or HSC email address will be able to claim the two £10 Uber rides to get to and from work, and a £10 meal over the festive season through Uber Eats.
Uber Medics is also returning, in partnership with Mastercard. The service offers all NHS staff and UK care home staff in England and Wales a 25 per cent discount on all rides until the end of 2020. If using a Mastercard, the discount will be upgraded to 50 per cent.
The holiday discount follows the 200,000 free rides and over 100,000 meals for NHS staff that Uber announced at the start of the pandemic.
Jamie Heywood, Uber’s regional general manager, said: “More than ever before, we owe the NHS a debt of gratitude. NHS and doctors, nurses and support staff deserve a helping hand this Christmas especially during times when travel may be difficult and services are reduced.”
The offer was welcomed by health secretary Matt Hancock. He added: “Everyone has a role to play in our national effort to help the NHS tackle coronavirus, so it’s great to see Uber is again offering meals and trips to work for our brilliant NHS staff, as well as discounted trips for care home staff.”
NHS and HSC staff need to ensure that an Uber account is linked to their NHS or HSC email address by December 20 to qualify. Users will be sent a promo code which they will need to add to their Uber account in order to claim the offer.
The Uber and Uber Eats codes can be redeemed for trips and orders throughout Christmas week, from December 23 - 27.
Ripon’s 25 taxi drivers have had a plea for grants to make their vehicles Covid-secure rejected by Harrogate Borough Council.
The Stray Ferret reports that the drivers approached the council for help towards measures such as installing screens and hand sanitiser units.
Richard Fieldman, a former chair of the Ripon Taxi Association, said: “Our business has been hammered by the coronavirus pandemic, but the council is unwilling to help us to make our vehicles Covid-secure.
“I am currently earning just 25 per cent of what I would make in a normal year and all drivers on the Ripon rank are in a similar situation. We believe we are a forgotten part of the economy and the council doesn’t want to know.
“For them, we are an afterthought, while other local authorities across the UK, including Middlesbrough, have helped their licensed taxi operators.”
The council has also refused to let drivers reduce their overhead costs while they were unable to operate during Covid by changing the category of insurance on their vehicles from business to private and leisure use.
Mr Fieldman said: “Other local authorities allowed their taxi drivers to do this, but Harrogate said we would lose our licence if we changed our insurance while our cars were parked up and earning us nothing.”
A spokesperson for Harrogate Borough Council said: “As a district authority we have limited funds available, but will always offer advice and support where we can to businesses.
“For those drivers who chose not to operate, and subsequently cancelled their business insurance, we temporarily suspended their licence. Once insured, we are more than happy to reinstate their licence.
“We have also allocated around £20,000 to the ring-fenced private hire vehicle and operator’s licence account. This meant that we will not raise licence fees at all next year.”
A raging lout punctured a taxi’s tyre after the driver told him there were too many passengers.
According to the Evening Telegraph, Steven Fleming, 24, saw red after being told he would have to leave because the taxi could only carry four passengers.
Prosecutor Marie Irvine said: “There were five people and they all tried to get in the taxi. The driver told them he could only take four of them. They got out the car.
“The accused went to the front passenger side, took the knife out and stabbed the tyre, puncturing it several times.
“The police arrived and traced the accused. He threw the knife under the police vehicle. Officers restrained him and the knife was recovered.”
Fleming then spat at PC Mark Heggie after being put in a police van.
He pleaded guilty to using the knife to puncture the tyre, possessing the knife and spitting at PC Heggie.
Sheriff Alastair Carmichael sentenced Fleming to 16 months in prison.
He said: “It’s just not acceptable going around with a knife in a public place. Spitting at a police officer is not acceptable at the best of times but during the coronavirus pandemic it’s even worse.”
Heartbroken relatives have paid tribute to a Birmingham taxi driver who they say suffered a fatal heart attack at the wheel - months before his wedding.
BirminghamLive reports that much-loved Arfan Sadiq, from Sparkhill, became engaged around eight weeks ago and was planning to tie the knot in February.
His family say the 46-year-old suffered a fatal heart attack at the wheel of his cab shortly after starting his shift on Friday20 November 20. The vehicle then crashed into a tree at the junction of Wake Green Road and Yardley Wood Road in Moseley.
Despite the best efforts of emergency services, the cabbie for A2B Taxis was pronounced dead at the scene.
Mr Sadiq, who had worked for the cab firm for almost 20 years, had just started his 5am shift when he called his brother complaining of chest pains. Minutes later, he is understood to have suffered the heart attack at the wheel.
His devastated family described him as a ‘charitable and hardworking' man.
Brothers Umran and Akhtar said in a statement: “Arfan was a dear friend and a brother who was always helping anyone he could. He was very popular amongst his family, friends and work colleagues.
“He enjoyed his job, was a dedicated driver who worked hard to keep up with his mortgage. He was very charitable and in the last two to three weeks, he was collecting to get a mosque built in the remote area of Jammu Kashmir.
“He will be dearly missed and always be in the hearts of everyone he knew.”
His friend of 20 years Aftab Hussain, who is also a taxi driver, said: “He was great company, a great friend and he was just like a brother. I used to work in a different base opposite each other and we would normally see each other on the road and chat.
“He was a genuine man who wanted to make a living and a life. It’s a massive shock to his family who are close-knit.”
PHTM offers condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of Mr Sadiq at this sad time.
A drunk threw a bin at a taxi and smashed its wing mirrors during a booze-fuelled rage when he was asked to pay the fare upfront.
Jordon Woods and a pal had got into the Blueline cab in Longbenton and were in the process of being driven to North Shields when the driver realised he'd picked up the wrong people.
According to ChronicleLive, the cabbie's head office told him to get the fare from the men before continuing the journey and Woods suggested he pulled over at a petrol station. But instead of paying, the 22-year-old bought booze then flew into a rage.
Magistrates were told that Woods, who has six past convictions for criminal damage, grabbed a nearby bin and threw it over the bonnet of the taxi before striking the wing mirror as the panicked driver tried to reverse away.
Both Woods, who has 36 offences on his record, and his friend made off but were later caught by police.
The taxi driver was left shaken and was "concerned about the damage to his vehicle and his safety" because he thought Woods was "capable of further damage or possible assault".
Now, the thug from Whitley Bay, has been given a 12-month community order and ordered to pay £300 compensation after he pleaded guilty to the seventh criminal damage offence of his lengthy criminal career.