Plans to provide drivers with more training in Aberdeen have been put on hold by councillors.
In a meeting of the council’s licensing committee held yesterday, a decision to introduce a mandatory course for city cab drivers – which would have focused on helping disabled people, improving on customer service and using sat nav systems – was rejected.
Despite concerns being raised that this might result in poorer customer service in the city, the licensing committee decided that standards could “be maintained by other methods.”
As reported by the Press and Journal last week, it was recommended that the licensing board did not proceed with implementing any “formal” training programme as there are no local providers that could cover the training and that further expenses would “not be viewed favourably by the trade”.
In addition, councillors at yesterday’s committee meeting also decided against creating brand new taxi ranks at Upperkirkgate and Guild Street in Aberdeen, a decision backed by police.
The proposal to implement the new ranks was due to falling usage at ranks at St Andrew’s Street and Dee Street.
It was decided that plans would not go ahead at the two new locations, for one due to the fact that a proposed new location at Upperkirkgate is currently designated for disabled parking for people accessing Marischal Square.
Police also stated they were not in favour of Guild Street becoming an official rank due to the potential for congestion.
The report also advised that additional signs could be put in place to encourage more people to use the ranks at St Andrew’s Street and Dee Street.
The world’s cosiest taxi has been unveiled in London featuring velvet seats, sheepskin rugs – and a roaring FIREPLACE.
To help Brits get to work on a chilly February day, the one-of-a kind taxi has been decked out to resemble a country log cabin.
From the inside, it’s almost unrecognisable as a London black cab, with blue velvet curtains hanging on the windows and screen divider.
And an imitation fireplace has been mounted to the passenger door – accompanied by a stack of logs to complete the effect.
The mobile log cabin is currently being trialled, will be taking Londoners to work for free, picking up lucky cab-hailers from all across the city.
Sian Lewis, marketing manager for UK boiler manufacturer Baxi, said: “This winter has seen some really chilly mornings, and even as we head towards March it doesn’t seem to be improving.
“Our taxi will help people have a cosy experience on the way to work, making them feel as warm as they were wrapped up in their duvet that morning.”
Other decorative touches in the cab include a stag’s head mounted on the centre head rest to create a real ‘country cabin’ feel.
Wooden lanterns give soft light from the floor and the cab’s walls, and sumptuous cushions cover the seats and floor, along with luxurious wool throws.
To complete the experience, passengers in the cab will even be given a pair of sheepskin slippers to give their feet the best possible start to the day.
Following its London debut, the cab will be travelling up and down the country offering free lifts in cities across the UK including Birmingham, Manchester and Nottingham.
Ahead of its launch, some lucky passersby were given the chance to try the Baxi Taxi out.
Linda Joubert, 33, said: “'It was so nice. They had slippers! I've never taken my shoes off in a taxi before.
“The fire made me feel warm. It's the cosiest cab I've ever stepped into. A brilliant ride.”
And 55-year-old Clive Woods added: “I was completely shocked. I wondered what was different when it pulled up and then I got inside.”
To book a free ride, passengers need to Tweet @Baxi_Taxi with their postcode and preferred pick up time.
Sian Lewis from Baxi, added: “Getting a cab rather than walking or taking public transport can often feel like an unnecessary luxury.
“But because ours won’t cost a penny, it means commuters can ride in absolute comfort, totally guilt-free.
“We’ve used all of our boiler and heating know-how to make a small space feel as warm and inviting as possible – with fantastic results.”
The Baxi Taxi will be appearing in towns and cities across the UK from Monday 25 February.
Bookings will be available between 10am and 2pm and will be offered on a first-come-first-serve basis.
A cab customer is calling for new protections to stop taxi drivers from being able to access passengers' private contact details after a driver left her feeling "violated" by messaging her after he dropped her off at work.
The Crown Cabs employee's conduct is now the subject of an investigation by the industry watchdog, with five other women also claiming they had similar experiences with the same driver.
Natasha, 31, said she made two cab bookings on February 4 and 10, and the same driver picked her up from her home both times.
She said she was "unsettled" when he asked her personal questions about her rental property but it wasn't until Tuesday, February 12, that she said his behaviour became "really creepy".
ESSEX Police want to speak to this man about an assault on a taxi driver in Harlow.
The 33-year-old driver had taken a passenger to Red Lion Lane and stopped outside the Red Lion pub at about 5.10pm on Thursday 14 February.
The man was reported to have left the taxi without paying and punched the driver when he challenged him.
Anyone who recognises the man pictured, or anybody who witnessed the incident, is asked to call PC Emily Larkin in the Harlow local policing team on 101 quoting reference 42/24629/19.
You can also report online at www.essex.police.uk/do-it-online
Alternatively, contact the Crimestoppers charity 100% anonymously on 0800 555 111 or use the anonymous online form at Crimestoppers-uk.org
A taxi driver terrorised by racist passengers has spoken out in a bid to reduce hate crime.
Muhammad Saqib was working in Glasgow when a group of men got in the back of his cab after a night out.
They began making racist comments – but the cabbie did not report the incident as he believed it wasn’t serious enough to merit a police investigation.
Now, police have launched a campaign to highlight hate crime, especially among workers in the night-time economy.
They want the message to go out that racist abuse will not be tolerated – including during drunken nights out.
Muhammad, 49, told the Record: “My first experience of hate crime was really scary.
“It was in the middle of the night and they started threatening me, asking me how long I’d been here and where I came from. It almost got physical. There are no barriers in my car. I was driving around in the dark and I felt unsafe.”
Muhammad thinks more needs to be done to encourage hate crime victims to come forward.
He added: “After that incident I didn’t say anything.
“I just thought you only reported ‘big crimes’ like being shot, stabbed or punched. People now need to realise that any crime must be reported.
“Education is a big thing too. The next generation coming up need to know this behaviour won’t be tolerated.”
Running from today for three weeks, the campaign aims to get more hate crime victims to come forward.
The initiative is focusing on workers in night-time industries such as fast-food outlets, convenience stores, taxi driving and door security as they are said to be most at risk of experiencing hate crime.
More than 6700 hate crimes were recorded in Scotland in 2017-18 and two-thirds of them involved people being targeted because of their race.
Chief Superintendent John McKenzie, head of Safer Communities, told the Record: “Those who work in the night-time economy include taxi drivers, shopkeepers, people working in pubs and bars, basically anyone offering a service to the public at night.
“It can have a devastating impact upon victims, their families and wider communities. It can leave victims feeling isolated and fearful of what might happen next. It’s important people know they can report it and how to report it.”
Muhammad is a member of the Scottish Ethnic Private Hire Welfare Association. It was established in 2008 and is one of Police Scotland’s third-party reporting centres.
It gives ethnic people a voice, raises awareness of hate crime and is a bridge between ethnic private hire drivers and the police.
McKenzie: “If you don’t want to go to a police station, go to a third-party reporting centre. You have to report any crime, especially hate crime.
“Don’t just accept it.”
If you have been a victim of a hate crime, contact Police Scotland on 101 or speak to an officer.
A petition calling for Erewash cabbies to be allowed to have fully-tinted windows in their taxis has been rejected over fears that vehicles could be used to enable the abuse of vulnerable children and adults.