Dear Friends and Colleagues
It’s been over a year since the lockdown started and probably the worst year our trade has had to go through in living memory, with many drivers stepping back from the industry and more cabs being scrapped. But, together, we will come through this; though as a leaner trade, as keen as ever to serve the public. On 12 April the roadmap out of lockdown began and we can hopefully now get back to some sort of normality.
All of us at the Worshipful Company of Hackney Carriage Drivers have been inspired by the way so many of our colleagues in the trade, from drivers to all the various support industries, have stepped forward to volunteer in so many different ways, and shown the resilience to either re-model their businesses to adapt to the changing landscape, or find work in other sectors where their skill sets have been put to good use.
Over the past six months or so, our Past Masters and PR Committee have been in dialogue with the Corporation of London regarding street closures, cab ranks and electric charging points. Our engagement in this consultation has been received very positively and is helping to shape the Corporation’s view of our trade and its requirements. The group has also been in touch with other trade bodies including garages, insurance brokers, the LTDA, and we have added our support to London Taxi PR who, like us, are a non-political organisation, with the same aims of working to promote the taxi trade.
An online consultation is now open as the City of London has posted a survey seeking feedback on their implemented experimental schemes before they are made permanent. The survey closes on 10 May and we are urging all our members, supporters, and their families to respond before that date and make their voices heard.
The link to the survey is https://city-of-london.citizenlab.co/en/projects/all-change-at-bank
This could be a once in a generation opportunity to shape the future of our City’s landscape in the best interests of the Hackney Carriage Trade and is surely one we must grasp with both hands.
We have been proud to support the NHS Livery Kitchen Initiative, where livery halls were cooking meals Monday to Friday and taxi drivers were involved by bringing chefs back and forth, from their homes to the livery halls. There were around 3000 meals each day which were delivered to the Barts and NHS trust hospitals.
With the easing of restrictions on the horizon and the reopening of non-essential retail part of the next phase, we hope to see London begin its return to the bustling metropolis upon which our trade relies.
We would like to wish to each and every one of you a successful return to something that resembles normality in the months to come. It will no doubt be a slow, steady path, but one which we hope will lead us to a brighter future.