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PostPosted: Tue Oct 12, 2021 3:10 am 
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Nothing particularly new here, but the Mirror is reporting on this from a more national angle as opposed to the local press :?


'Zombie apocalypse' on streets as night-time taxi driver shortage leads to anger

https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/z ... e-25190254

Special marshals are having to supervise three-hour long queues for taxis amid explosions of violence from revellers with many taxi drivers having left the industry in the pandemic

A shortage of night-time taxi drivers has left revellers facing queues of up to three hours for a cab home – sparking angry scenes.

Marshals are having to supervise long queues amid an explosion in violence from boozers, who cabbies say are more drunk and aggressive than ever as they return to pubs and clubs after lockdown.

The shortage comes after many drivers who lost fares during the pandemic switched to delivery work instead and are reluctant to return.

Cerys Edwards, 23, night shift manager for Coxon’s Cars in Grimsby, Lincs, said: “We‘ve had cars vandalised, I’ve had my window spat at, punched on.

Image
Image: Chris Frear Butterfield/The Mirror

“I’ve been called all the names under the sun just because we’re telling them how long the wait is going to be.

“We’ve got a lot of this since the shortage of drivers. And people are drinking harder. It’s like the zombie apocalypse – if they’re not staggering everywhere, they’re angry and violent.”

Dee Grant, 57, a director at C Cabs in Blackpool since 1995, said the violence is the worst she has ever known it. She added: “People are fighting and kicking cars. Nights are the worst.

"The council put marshals on but passengers are still throwing things at taxis, frustrated they can’t get in. One of our drivers got punched through his window.”

She said many night drivers got new jobs, adding: “They’d rather work for Amazon or DPD, where they meet people smiling at the door, instead of being punched.”

Cllr Jonathan Dulston of Darlington Borough Council in Co Durham said: “It has become a bit of an issue as people are returning to the town on a Friday and Saturday night. We are seeing extreme frustration from people at 1am and 2am stuck in a taxi queue for upwards of an hour.”

Some firms are offering cash incentives for night-time drivers, with one in Blackpool promising: “Get a £600 transfer fee when you switch.”

Image
Image: David Nelson/The Mirror

Dave Lawrie of The National Private Hire & Taxi Association blamed lack of Government support during lockdown. He said: “They found other jobs and haven’t come back.” He added: “The level of abuse against drivers has gone up astronomically. It’s a nightmare.”

Uber is on a hiring spree as demand increases. It said: “Many cities are now seeing demand 20-40% higher than before the pandemic.

“There are around 70,000 drivers on the app today in the UK, is similar to the number before the pandemic, but due to the high demand for our service we are also actively recruiting 20,000 more.”


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 12, 2021 11:23 am 
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For what it's worth, the Daily Mail has done a longer version of the Mirror's article, which includes some of the same quotes. But in the main it's a rehash of several of the recent articles on here, particularly the ones from Glasgow, and includes quotes from Glasgow Taxis, the night driver who took up HGV driving, and extended quotes from the female DJ who's been having difficulty getting home in the early hours.

So apart from a few tweets from random taxi users, there's nothing new below for any regulars on here who have been reading all the articles on the shortage.

But again it's maybe not so much the fine detail of the content here that's interesting rather than the fact that yesterday's Mirror article above and the one this morning from the Daily Mail demonstrate that this is becoming more of a national issue, and an increasingly high profile one, thus echoes of the HGV crisis.

Which from our perspective I'm not sure if it's a bad or good thing. It certainly seems a million miles away from what's happening in my area, so to that extent I'm not too happy if this all gives the impression that the scenario is being played out the length and breadth of the UK :?


THREE HOUR queues to get a taxi because of cabbie shortage: Angry revellers say they've been forced to walk home because they can't hail a cab as drivers who switched jobs during pandemic refuse to return

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/articl ... Covid.html

• Revellers have described their struggles to get a taxi home amid driver shortage
• Uber previously admitted that it was hoping to recruit 20,000 new cab drivers
• Now, taxi firms have described the abuse and vandalism that they are facing
• While passengers have described the difficulties in getting home after night out
• ***Have you struggled to get a taxi home recently? Let us know: danny.hussain@mailonline.co.uk


Drinkers are facing huge three hour queues to get a taxi home after a number of cabbies quit during the pandemic.

It is believed that thousands of drivers have quit in the past 18 months, with many now working for takeaway delivery firms or services like Amazon or DPD.

Uber has previously admitted it is hoping to recruit 20,000 new drivers to tackle shortages and it appears that the lack of drivers is now starting to bite revellers.

One revealed how she was forced to walk home late at night while another said she was approached by several men as she waited in the street.

Taxi companies have also been affected, with one manager describing the situation as like 'the zombie apocalypse' with cars vandalised and workers abused.

Cerys Edwards, 23, night shift manager for Coxon's Cars in Grimsby, Lincolnshire, said: 'We've had cars vandalised, I've had my window spat at, punched on. We've got a lot of this since the shortage of drivers. And people are drinking harder. It's like the zombie apocalypse – if they're not staggering everywhere, they're angry and violent.'

Meanwhile, Glasgow Taxis revealed that it has had a third of its drivers leave following the pandemic, leaving riders feeling 'extremely scared' about getting home at night.

Nightclub DJ Rosie Shannon, 29, said: 'I am waiting for a taxi for up to two hours when I leave work at the club. It is freezing cold, sometimes it is raining. I am being approached by random men on the street. It is getting to the point I am having to walk home on unlit, dangerous streets. It is extremely scary.'

Rosie performs under the name AISHA and has DJ'd in nightclubs in Berlin as well as recently joining as a resident at Sub Club in Jamaica Street, Glasgow.

When she returned to work in September, she found she was unable to get a taxi at all.

She added: 'I finish at around 3am or 5am, depending on what time I'm playing at.

'When I was back in a club for the first time since restrictions lifted, I couldn't get a taxi at all. I had to walk back with my friend and I've never been so scared for our safety before.

'During that walk, men were coming up to us in the street and trying to talk to us.

'We were phoning taxis and telling them 'we're scared, we're in the street' and they told us we'd need to walk home. This was about 4am.

'Every time I've had to walk home since it has been the same story and this is what I am hearing from my friends too. It's a dangerous situation to be in.

'We would be on the other side of the street and men would come over and start speaking to us.

'To make the effort to come to girls who clearly don't want to have to say, 'We don't want to speak to you, can you go away?'

'It's just recognising that you don't just come up to people in a dark street at 4am.

'It was disconcerting, if it's friendly or not friendly, there's just a heightened sense of anxiety.

'There are some streets we know not to go down because they are not well-lit.'

One Twitter user, discussing the taxi situation in Scotland, said: 'This is a really serious issue. I tried to get a taxi to Queen St station at 9.30pm yesterday since it was already dark - 2 taxi companies didn't answer, 2 couldn't help, one had an hour's wait and four Uber's cancelled. At 9.30pm on a Wednesday.'

Another said: 'Is there a complete shortage of taxis in London? Trying to book for tomorrow morning and on third app with no success.'

While a third wrote: 'I'm having to wait 10 minutes on my own for a bus from central London to get me home because no taxis or ubers are available. As a woman this is terrifying because of the recent events. The tubes are closed so the only option I have is to wait alone.'

Another woman said: 'Last weekend I had to walk 20 minutes from the pub to my house, alone, at 1am down roads which mostly had no street lighting, because there were no ubers or taxis available. I'm guessing it would have been my fault if I was hurt, right?'

Dougie McPherson, Glasgow Taxis chairman, said: 'The taxi trade in Glasgow was already under serious pressure and facing mounting challenges prior to the pandemic, Covid has only been the catalyst to exacerbate these issues.

'From the average age of our drivers and the cost of owning or operating a taxi, to the growth of the gig economy and the prospect of Low Emissions Zones, it's a ticking time bomb.

'So for the last three years we have been warning Glasgow City Council of an impending shortage of drivers coming through, only made worse by Covid.

'From registering an interest in becoming a driver to fully qualifying and getting on the road, that process can take more than a year.

'We're asking the council to reduce that to a matter of months.

'Should that happen, alongside our own ongoing recruitment campaign, we hope to turn this situation around - but it won't happen overnight and we need help.'

A spokesman for Glasgow City Council said: 'The issues facing the taxi and private hire trade are found far beyond Glasgow and also the influence of the licensing system.

'However, we have met with representatives of the taxi trade on the issue of driver availability and we will work with the trade to identify whatever measures we can in an attempt to have more drivers operating in the city.'

Marshals are having to supervise queues for cabs, it has been claimed, as people wait to get home after a night out.

Dee Grant, 57, a director at C Cabs in Blackpool since 1995, said the violence is the worst she has ever known it.

She told the Mirror: 'The council put marshals on but passengers are still throwing things at taxis, frustrated they can't get in. One of our drivers got punched through his window.'

She added that drivers would 'rather work for Amazon or DPD, where they meet people smiling at the door, instead of being punched'.

Jim Buchanan, who worked as a taxi driver in Glasgow for 25 years, became a HGV driver during the pandemic when cab work dried up.

He told the BBC: 'I was looking for a bit more security compared to what I had before. Now the pay is a steady income every week. It has been good for my family.

'In my new job, I don't have to deal with drunks or anti-social behaviour. I don't get as stressed anymore.'

Uber previously said it is launching a recruitment campaign to up its numbers, as current drivers say many who left during last year's lockdowns are yet to return.

Meanwhile, drivers are said to be furious about changes to their pay deal with Uber, meaning they are now having to fork a larger chunk of their fare to the San Francisco-based tech firm.

Uber increased the service rate from 20 to 25 per cent for thousands of drivers after Supreme Court judges in the UK ruled the company must give its workers benefits such as holiday pay.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 12, 2021 11:23 am 
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So what's happening on the ground elsewhere?

On balance I'd say it's a bit quieter here than it would have been a couple of years ago at this time. Not a complete disaster, but certainly nothing like it's being portrayed in these articles.

But the number of cars working here certainly seems down, so to that extent I'd say demand is down on pre-pandemic levels, and the decreased demand and fewer cars working have to a large degree cancelled each other out.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 12, 2021 12:18 pm 
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We have only queues of Hacks at the ranks, no queues of passengers yet, still very quite.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 12, 2021 12:40 pm 
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So it's back to the Daily Record (Scotland's version of the Mirror), which focuses on Rosie the DJ and her extended quote. And also a bit more about a 'buddy system' to promote women's safety in Edinburgh in the wake of the Sarah Everard murder.

Again, the same quotes from Glasgow Taxis and Glasgow City Council, so not much new here at all.

But again it's interesting to see how the media frames these things, and an article about a photogenic DJ will appeal to precisely the kind of people who can't get a cab in the early hours. And, of course, there's the wider environment of women's safety in the wake of the Wayne Couzens thing, which makes the driver shortage more newsworthy :-|


Top female DJ left terrified walking home now fears for women's safety due to pandemic taxi shortage

https://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/scot ... y-25192886

Rosie Shannon, 29, who performs under the name AISHA found she was unable to get a taxi when she returned to work.

Image
Image: Daily Record

A DJ fears for women's safety due to a shortage of taxi drivers caused by the pandemic - after she was harassed walking home from work in the early hours of the morning.

Rosie Shannon, 29, performs under the name AISHA and has DJ'd in nightclubs in Berlin as well as recently joining as a resident at Sub Club in Jamaica Street, Glasgow.

When she returned to work in September, Rosie found she was unable to get a taxi at all and walked home with a pal - which she said was the scariest 40-minute journey of her life, or wait two hours for a cab.

She said she was repeatedly approached by men wanting to chat, and feels men should mediate their behaviour to make women less uncomfortable.

Rosie said: "I finish at around 3am or 5am, depending on what time I'm playing at.

"When I was back in a club for the first time since restrictions lifted, I couldn't get a taxi at all.

"I had to walk back with my friend and I've never been so scared for our safety before.

"During that walk, men were coming up to us in the street and trying to talk to us.

"We were phoning taxis and telling them 'we're scared, we're in the street' and they told us we'd need to walk home.

"This was about 4am.

"Every time I've had to walk home since it has been the same story and this is what I am hearing from my friends too.

"It's a dangerous situation to be in.

"We would be on the other side of the street and men would come over and start speaking to us.

"To make the effort to come to girls who clearly don't want to have to say, 'We don't want to speak to you, can you go away?'

"It's just recognising that you don't just come up to people in a dark street at 4am.

"It was disconcerting, if it's friendly or not friendly, there's just a heightened sense of anxiety.

"There are some streets we know not to go down because they are not well-lit."

Image
Image: Daily Record

Police Scotland often appeal for information after women have been attacked inside lanes from the main streets in the city centre.

In Edinburgh, an organised 'buddy-system', Strut Safe, has been set up to arrange for a vetted volunteer to walk women home after a night out and a hotline is manned so people can call for help if they need it.

It was set up following the murder of Sarah Everard, 33, in March by Met Police officer Wayne Couzens who will die behind bars.

Rosie added: "Everyone involved is vetted beforehand so you know it's someone safe who will come and help to take you home.

"It is a shame these things have to come about but at times like this, it is needed."

Rosie suggested it should be easier, quicker and cheaper for potential taxi drivers - who must wait as long as a year to qualify - to be allowed into the industry.

She said: "It can take up to a year for taxi drivers to get a licence and it's more expensive than ever.

"It is having a look at those rules and seeing if they can make it easier, just like they're doing with HGV drivers.

"That can take a long time to implement and something does need to happen now.

"People are already being assaulted, bad things are already happening.

"It is only a matter of time before predators realise women are walking home now more than ever and taking advantage of that."

Dougie McPherson, Glasgow Taxis chairman, said: "The taxi trade in Glasgow was already under serious pressure and facing mounting challenges prior to the pandemic, Covid has only been the catalyst to exacerbate these issues.

"From the average age of our drivers and the cost of owning or operating a taxi, to the growth of the gig economy and the prospect of Low Emissions Zones, it's a ticking time bomb.

"So for the last three years we have been warning Glasgow City Council of an impending shortage of drivers coming through, only made worse by Covid.

"From registering an interest in becoming a driver to fully qualifying and getting on the road, that process can take more than a year.

"We're asking the council to reduce that to a matter of months.

"Should that happen, alongside our own ongoing recruitment campaign, we hope to turn this situation around - but it won't happen overnight and we need help."

A spokesman for Glasgow City Council said: "The issues facing the taxi and private hire trade are found far beyond Glasgow and also the influence of the licensing system.

"However, we have met with representatives of the taxi trade on the issue of driver availability and we will work with the trade to identify whatever measures we can in an attempt to have more drivers operating in the city."


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 12, 2021 2:49 pm 
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heathcote wrote:
We have only queues of Hacks at the ranks, no queues of passengers yet, still very quite.



ranks are busier at certain times of day or night even having no taxis on them which is unheard of but no queues !

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 12, 2021 4:19 pm 
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You only have to scan through the mirror article, and the myriad others on here to see that no driver in the right mind would want to work nights, with all the associated problems of abuse, assault and vehicle damage. I certainly wouldn’t work nights.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 12, 2021 8:03 pm 
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Dee Grant, 57, a director at C Cabs in Blackpool since 1995, said the violence is the worst she has ever known it. She added: “People are fighting and kicking cars. Nights are the worst.

"The council put marshals on but passengers are still throwing things at taxis, frustrated they can’t get in. One of our drivers got punched through his window.”

That's going to have drivers flocking back. #-o

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 12, 2021 8:08 pm 
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Which from our perspective I'm not sure if it's a bad or good thing. It certainly seems a million miles away from what's happening in my area, so to that extent I'm not too happy if this all gives the impression that the scenario is being played out the length and breadth of the UK :?

My view is that this is a UK-wide issue (not going to call it a problem as I don't think it is).

The difference between areas like mine and Glasgow, and yours, is that in mine it's gone from average to busy as f*** at nights because of the driver shortage, and in areas like yours it's gone from rubbish to ok.

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