T’is the week before christmas and all over town,
Jersey taxi drivers are bringing the Christmas cheer down…
If you were trying to get into town to Christmas shop then chances are you were in a traffic jam in the rain surrounded by po-faced men; the beaming lights on top of their cars glowing in the rain as they wasted their petrol and made town visitor’s lives miserable to point out how hard their lives would be under proposed new regulation to our island taxi services.
We all know how hard the life of a Jersey taxi driver is. If you’ve ever got a taxi from the airport to town you’ll no doubt have been told. It’s often the subject of taxi driver banter, along with personal monologues on how terrible Jersey is. Honestly, it’s they’re employed by Guernsey tourism.
Their beef today was to highlight their plight; how proposed regulation that included imposing maximum fares and making alternative methods of payment a compulsory option would, although making the service better for users, would be a pain for the downtrodden, put-upon quick-to-strike taxi drivers.
The Transport and Technical Services Minister Deputy Eddie Noel has unveiled plans which, by 2019, will see all taxis and cabs have to charge the same maximum prices, electronic payments in vehicles and better access for disabled islanders. Sure, making every cab disabled access is ridiculous and about as sensible as building control laws of a similar nature but preventing christmas shopping for something proposed for action by 2019 probably wasn’t the answer.
Under the new proposals, taxi firms will also be able to charge booking fees for pre-booked journeys. You’d think they’d actually like that bit, right? No, it was just one the things that meant they felt the need to strike with no notice and cause today’s debacle.
No-one likes to be dictated to, so we do empathise with the drivers that feel persecuted by regulation but this today’s action was just annoying for taxi users. Holidaymakers were left at the airport without being able to pay an above average taxi fare to get to town. It’s a good job there’s always the bus.