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PostPosted: Mon Nov 16, 2020 4:14 pm 
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‘Our only hope is the vaccine’: London taxi driver struggling in lockdown with no customers for 5 hours

https://www.mylondon.news/news/zone-1-n ... n-19288030

He had only made enough money to cover his petrol

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Image: MyLondon

The second lockdown is no doubt dragging for most of us. But it's probably not going as slowly as it is for London's taxi drivers.

Black cab driver Kennedy Steele-Dadzie, 57, had been in the queue at London Euston station for three hours when we spoke to him.

He had already watched two films in the time he had been waiting, and still wasn't anywhere near the front.

While waiting four to five hours for a customer is something Kennedy may have not experienced before in his 18 year career, it is certainly not unusual in lockdown, according to the taxi driver.

He said: “In the first lockdown, I think I broke a record. I waited hours to get to the front of the queue, only for the customer to ask me to take them to the Hilton London Euston hotel across the road.

“The only reason we still come is because sometimes you get a good job which will cost around £70. We hope for one good journey each day.”

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Image: MyLondon

Kennedy said while the first lockdown was more quiet, less taxi drivers were working, and it was therefore easier to get business. The second lockdown is actually proving harder for black cab drivers in the city.

In the lockdown earlier this year, Kennedy said there were “around 10 or 15 of us in the queue.” On a Saturday (November 14) afternoon in the nation's second lockdown, there are at least 25 taxi cabs waiting, with little sign of movement.

Are you struggling in lockdown? We want to hear your story. Let us know in the comments here.

A few vehicles in front of Kennedy’s, a group of other drivers stand in a circle chatting, with many vehicles also abandoned towards the end of the queue.

Kennedy had been working since 10am, and at 4pm on a Saturday in the centre of the capital, he had only made enough money to cover his petrol.

“I would leave, he said, "but I’m stuck here [in the middle of the queue] and I can’t really go anywhere. I would have gone home by now."

Image
Image: MyLondon

The taxi driver isn't wrong when he describes Central London as a "ghost town", something which he hopes will change with recent medical developments.

“Our only hope is the vaccine," he said, "from March and April there will hopefully be a new flood of tourists coming into London.

“We’re hoping that when the lockdown is lifted people will go out Christmas shopping.”

With weeks still to go until lockdown is scheduled to end, it's hard to imagine how long that time will feel for London's taxi drivers.

But thinking positively, business should improve from then. After the first lockdown, London black taxis got at least 2.5 times the number of jobs in the third week of June than in the third week of May, a London black taxi payment processing company found.

Whether it's Christmas shopping, returning to work, or festive gatherings ( Covid-19 tier-dependant), London's taxi drivers will be hoping for any increase in business from December 2.

Kennedy said: “We will see what happens.”


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 16, 2020 6:56 pm 
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Location: Stamford Britains prettiest town till SKDC ruined it
first lock down only about 6 worked locally because they were all scared of the virus but this one almost all out with not a great deal more work about than first. Local drivers rely mostly on phone work because there are just too many drivers working locally for rank work only to be viable.

I would imagine the big cities are hardest hit of all because people are now avoiding them and the anecdotal evidence is that they are starting to depopulate.

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 16, 2020 10:32 pm 
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I would say there are about 4-5 times the amount of taxi/PH out this lockdown compare to the previous one.

In terms of work, I would say it's down on lockdown one by about 20/30%.

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