London cabbies are refusing to carry passengers arriving at London’s Heathrow Airport who want to use a credit card for payment.
We arrived at 11.35am on Sunday at terminal 3 via Emirates flight EK001 and headed for the taxi rank where we asked the attendant for a cab that accepted cards. He went from cab to cab – eight in all before finding a driver would take us – but as he was at the back of the rank we had to wait until the front cabs had either picked up pax or moved.
Our driver later explained that all of the cabs would have card facilities but as we were only heading for the Royal Garden Hotel in South Kensington, our 70 pound sterling trip was not profitable enough.
It is a tough business these days, particularly since the introduction of Uber, he said. “I live a fair distance outside London and I used to sleep a couple of nights in the cab to get my hours up and still have a reasonable amount of time with my wife and two children.
“These days I have to sleep five nights a week in the cab to make the same money.”
Bitter about the lack of Government control of Uber, he said there had been a frightening increase in reports of sexual assaults and accidents involving hire cars. “We spend four years learning the streets of London and now a foreigner used to driving on the other side of the road can get a license to drive for Uber in a couple of weeks after they arrive here.
“We don’t think it is right – but the politicians from the PM down seem to have deserted us.”
Written by Ian McIntosh