Earlier in the week results from the ‘Cabbie of the Year’ competition were revealed at the monthly PHTM event in Manchester, and taxi drivers were nominated for much more than just their taxi driving. The award endeavours to recognise cabbies for their dedication and commitment to the profession.
The competition, organised by Swinton Taxi Division, is now in its second year and aims to recognise taxi drivers for much more than what they are expected to do as part of their job. Nominations for the award are often based on how cabbies go the extra mile, including recognition of money raised for charity or for campaigning that they do to support other cabbies.
The winner of this year’s competition was 42 year-old Hartlepool taxi driver, Stephen Picton, who was nominated by his wife for his extensive charity fundraising which saw him raise more than £50,000 before his 40th birthday. But it was Stephen’s turn for a treat, as he walked away with a £1000 prize as well as a year’s free taxi insurance paid for by the company.
Coincidentally, last year’s winner was also from Hartlepool, and Stephen said he believed he would be out of the running simply because of the pairs’ close proximity, and so was doubly surprised to hear his name read out! John Osborne from Hartlepool was nominated and subsequently won the award in 2012 for his extreme dedication and compassion all year round, giving up his Christmas Day five years on the trot to drive people with family members in hospital to visit their loved ones free of charge. One of the journeys even involved an 80-mile round trip.
46 year-old Bradford taxi driver, Nadeem Amid, who cofounded co-founded the Independent Private Hire Association Bradford (IPHAB) was also one of the three finalists who was nominated for his work. Nadeem has 23 years’ experience and is keen to use the IPHAB, which represents 20 taxi firms, to help change perceptions of the people who work within the private hire sector. One of the issues that the association is keen is change is the contentious issue of private hire taxis in bus lanes, which public hire taxis are already able to utilise. Nadeem told Keighley News that he felt ‘honoured’ to have been nominated for his work.
Let’s hope the competition continues to recognise excellence within the sector!