'All taxi companies will be out at peak times to cover the work when beer gardens empty' - Readers' Comments

City cabbies are warning of a huge hole in night shift driver cover as bars and clubs reopen. Here’s what readers think...

Monday, 26th April 2021, 7:00 am
Post-lockdown, how easy will it be to hail a cab after enjoying a few drinks?

Allan White: After 25 years night shift and a year off due to Covid, I like many other cabbies will be out serving the good people of Edinburgh day and night.

Colm Mac Suibhne: I know a lot of these lads and they have my upmost support, truly left high and dry during the pandemic. Let's not forget either the set-up costs involved compared with the likes of Uber. They have enough competition to deal with these days, I certainly would not begrudge them earning a few quid.

John Rae: When I was a teenager I couldn't afford a taxi and there were no night buses. I walked home.

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Jacob Ovington: I had to take my cat to the emergency vets in the middle of the night and finding a private hire/taxi was near impossible. I tried different numbers and apps. I know there has been near zero demand during the night with lockdown, so I was so grateful when I eventually found one.

Dave Ramage: I can assure you that all taxi companies in Edinburgh will be out at peak times to cover the work when beer gardens empty. Can’t wait to get a busy again

John Chalmers: All taxi drivers are self-employed, some rent a taxi and others own. The cost of a taxi is around £50K with around £1,500 for insurance,. Generally before Covid you had both day and night shift drivers sharing the cab but now with what's happened many night shift drivers have left the trade for other work, hence the shortfall. Once people start going out again guys will either come back to the trade or work later due to having extra work available. Like many businesses they've been hit badly with this virus. I drive a street taxi and the owner isn't putting it back on the road until things have picked up and he gets a full rental again. Most guys have been working throughout just to pay the £900 per month HP on their vehicles.

Louise Wilson: I'm not a regular taxi user, but needed to book one recently. Investigated black cabs and private hire, and eventually used Uber. Very much cheaper, spotless car, arrived on schedule, nice driver, and an informative and easy to use app. Couldn't ask for more, so I can understand why black cabs are struggling.

John Davis: Ubers are undercutting the private hire and black cabs because they are quite willingly working for sweeties. They are putting a whole trade out of business really, but they just can't compete.

KIm Dewar: Show some compassion. Other businesses have had government support. How would you cope with little or no income for a year whilst having to pay personal bills and also business overheads. Some of these taxi drivers won’t have been able to keep up with their taxi financing and may have lost their taxi – their job! They won’t be able to “make it up” when pubs open again. I feel very sorry for those people.

David Baird: As hospitality opens up drivers will return to the taxi trade and existing drivers will work longer to cover demand. I hope the public don’t resort to ride sharing apps like Uber and put themselves, friends or family at risk by doing so. The taxi trade has been here for well over 100 years and will be here when you need us to take you safely to your next destination.

Fraser Nickerson: Just the usual on a night out then? Walking half-way home before you even see a taxi.

Tam Bruce: Simple answer is it’s a one-man taxi job now. Taxi owners will just need to adjust their shifts. The days of a double shifted taxi are well gone.