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PostPosted: Thu Dec 19, 2019 10:00 am 

Joined: Wed May 16, 2012 6:33 am
Posts: 5662
Well I know it's a slow news period coming up, but this isn't particularly interesting. I could make my shift last night sound less boring, and it wasn't really anything out of the ordinary.

Managed to resist the temptation to visit Karen's Facebook blog, although there's a link in the article below, although oddly it links to her photo page, which is mainly kittens, rabbits and foxes :-s

Tales of Norwich taxi drivers who drive drunk commuters back to Essex ... ho-3629495

One group of businessmen all fell asleep and ended up confused in Norwich at 2am after a daytime bender

Image: Essex Live

For the people of Essex, a sleepy drunken mishap can land you in Norwich. That's an entire 110 miles from Shenfield and two long hours from where you may need to be.

Many tipsy Essex folk have clambered onto their train home to somewhere like Colchester and found themselves waking up and rubbing their eyes, confused.

So we spoke to some of the Norwich taxi drivers who have picked up their fair share of sheepish Essex people, trying to make their way back home.

"They had messed up quite spectacularly"

Karen Carley Smith, 47, has been a taxi driver for ABC Taxis for nearly seven years.

One of her most memorable pick-ups, was about three years ago around Christmas when a group of businessmen found themselves waking up in Norwich station - with no idea how they got there.

Karen got the call around 2am to go and pick up the group of men and take them to Colchester.

She said: "I think they had been out for a day of drinking which people usually do at Christmas time, I was working till 4am and you often get jobs at that time but you don't normally get a job to Colchester.

"I was really intrigued as to why they were in Norwich.

"When they got in the car, they were such a confused mess of a group. They looked quite well to do as well.

"They had messed up quite spectacularly."

As the men clambered into her car, Karen turned to ask them the burning question.

"It became clear quite soon what had happened. I said 'Colchester?' and they said they should have got off there.

"I said 'you didn't think to stay awake' and there was a lot of humming and arring and some sheepish looks.

"I was really tickled as soon as they said they should of got off. We have all been there.

"They had been having a great time in London and were too drunk to contemplate the consequences and forget they wouldn't fall asleep," Karen said.

"They looked a bit more responsible than you might expect, like a group of smart men who had been out in the city for the day...but just with the little drunk roughness."

"They were all snoring peacefully in the back"

Before they set off for their hour and half journey back to Essex, the men had to decide who was being dropped off and where.

"I asked where they needed to go, and they were trying to figure out who should first and where.

"It's that lovely drunk conversation where they are rambling on and you're sitting there thinking, come on now.

"They worked out who had to get up first because of their jobs they each had different commute times.

"The boss trumped everybody though, so he was first. Once we established that we set off."

The dozy men tried to chat politely with Karen but she knew they were all knackered.

She said: "They were making an effort for the benefit of me but they were all really tired.

"I said just get as much as sleep as you can and they were all snoring peacefully in the back.

What impressed me was they had been drinking for such a long part of the day - it was a full day and evening session."

Karen dropped the four men off around 3.30am, just a few hours before they would all have to get back up for work.

Image: Essex Live

The expense of the taxi was pricey, but the men were more than happy to pay it to get back home.

"I think normally it would be £70/£75 but because of the route they took going around all of Colchester for the drop offs, it was about £90/£95. I don't think they cared!"

Karen actually keeps a blog of all her weird and wonderful journeys in her taxi which you can read about here.

Where is the nearest Travelodge to Norwich train station?

For anyone who has made the mistake of falling asleep on the train and finding themselves in Norfolk with no way of getting home, may already be acquainted with the nearest Travellodge to the station.

But for anyone who hasn't - and may ever need it - the Travelodge Norwich Central Riverside, on Vedast Street will be your go-to.

But booking on the day will be a hit to your wallet, with prices of around £90, or £110 if you treat yourself to a needed Breakfast buffet and wifi access (to let everyone know how you have ended up in Norwich).

Norwich to Witham in one night

Another taxi driver who has driven many sleepy passengers back to their home towns after falling asleep is Gary Brexit, who has worked at Greenfrog for several years.

"I have worked in Norwich and for about twenty years and it happened regularly," he said.

"It happened on a regular occurrence, normally Diss, Ipswich and Colchester.

"It is normally a Thursday or a Friday they fall asleep and wake up in Norwich and come out looking about and they don't know where they are."

Gary has even driven someone all the way back to Witham, which can take two hours in the car.

"They normally just get in and ask to go. It happens all the time. I don't know how much it is but it's looking at £100 to £150."

Greater Anglia comment

A Greater Anglia spokesperson said: “If a passenger is likely to oversleep and miss their stop, we would encourage them to set an alarm on their phone, ask a friend to call them or ask other passengers to wake them up.

“Anyone who misses their stop should get off the train at the next station. We can assist passengers with any onward or return journeys wherever possible.

“We make announcements on trains when they are approaching the next station, however we would encourage passengers to take extra care to ensure they do not miss their stop while travelling over the festive period.”

PostPosted: Thu Dec 19, 2019 8:54 pm 
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Joined: Wed Sep 03, 2003 7:30 pm
Posts: 45019
Location: 1066 Country
The lads who work Brighton station have made a very good living taking sleepers home over the years.



PostPosted: Thu Dec 19, 2019 9:04 pm 

Joined: Wed May 16, 2012 6:33 am
Posts: 5662
Sussex wrote:
The lads who work Brighton station have made a very good living taking sleepers home over the years.


Indeed, suspect the vast majority of drivers working rail station ranks will have had a few over the years, particularly late-night drivers.

Or people who have missed last bus or train, or can't be bothered waiting an hour or two for the next one.

Which is why the article all seems unremarkable to people in the trade, although may be of more interest to the public, at whom the piece is aimed.

PostPosted: Thu Dec 19, 2019 9:35 pm 

Joined: Sun Oct 16, 2005 12:07 am
Posts: 2560
Location: Hampshire (HC)
Those at terminus stations probably do OK. Being a 'through' station, we don't get many. I do better off the late National Express coach that terminates here. I've only had two off that!

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