Driver Returns £565,000 to Passengers

Sia Ka Khan is a 70 year old taxi driver in Singapore and he is now being dubbed a hero. This is because a Thai couple left around £565,000 in the back of his taxi and he returned it to the lost and found office.

The couple had left the money in a black bag on the back seat. Sia came across the money after he had already dropped them off at a shopping centre. It contained the equivalent of $1.1 million Singapore dollars.

As a result of his good deed and the money being returned safely back to the couple that was on holiday he got a reward from them, this was an undisclosed amount. He will also be given a reward from his company ComfortDelGro for providing a good service. This should definitely help when it comes to renewing his private hire insurance.

Mr Khan said, “When I saw the money, I though, trouble is here. I was sure there was at least $200,000 in the bag.” He took the bag straight to the lost and found office and his colleagues counted the contents and discovered the value was considerably more than he had first thought.

He continued, “The money is unimportant to me. It doesn’t belong to me, so how can I use it?”

After the couple discovered the money was missing, they went to the companies office and Sia was already there waiting for them.

A spokeswoman for the company, Tammy Tan said, “Finding one million dollars in cash is not an everyday affair and in fact, we wonder how many people would have possibly been tempted to pocket it.

“We are immensely proud of him and are glad that the passengers recovered their money.”

Solution found to Manganese Bronze Taxi steering fault

A solution has been found to the steering fault in Coventry-based taxi firm Manganese Bronze taxis that affected up to 400 vehicles manufactured by The London Taxi Company, say administrators.

Manganese Bronze, LTI’s parent company and manufacturer of the London Black Taxis, have suffered in recent times, calling in administrators in October and this recent fault also led to the suspension of sales of the vehicles.

Work is expected to begin immediately to fix the problem and expected to be completed in around a month with a “rapid replacement” of affected parts in all the vehicles that incurred a recall. New unregistered taxis are also due to be fitted with the new components and put on the market early next year which should have a knock-on effect to taxi insurance premiums which would’ve remained high if these problems persisted.

Matthew Hammond of administrators PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC) said, “The company’s employees will be part of a massive effort to begin fitting the new UK-supplied steering box to the recalled fleet within the next 48 hours.”

As reported in a previous article, significant jobs were lost at both the group’s head office and manufacturing site in Coventry when the firm went into administration last month, with close to 100 employees being made redundant.

Despite troubled times for the firm, Manganese Bronze has strong backing from the London Mayor Boris Johnson, Transport for London and the Licensed Taxi Drivers’ Association with the very fate of the iconic black cab in doubt.

Taxi Rank not to be moved to Shopping Centre

Earlier on in the year we spoke about the debate on whether there should be a taxi rank placed in the middle of Workington’s shopping centre, well a decision has been made and the new rank will not be located here.

They want to find a new location for a night time rank, although this idea faced opposition from shoppers and business owners. There are still three other options on the list and these will be discussed next week. These options are Jane Street, Murray Road and Udale Street.

The news that the rank won’t be relocated to the shopping centre is welcome news for those strongly against it as they feared they would be subject to drunken anti-social behaviour late in the evening and that there may also be traffic issues.

The rank needs to be moved because taxi drivers complained earlier on in the year as drivers were doing U turns and parking at the traffic lights and down Ramsay Brow. This was causing problems for the taxi drivers so they took their complaint to Allerdale Council and the Cumbria Police.

Inspector Craig Lory visited the current taxi rank and said that it had to be moved because it is “an accident waiting to happen.” If something were to happen it would mean the taxi drivers having to make a claim on their taxi insurance.

He went on to say, “Our preferred option would be Murray Road.

“It disperses people out of the town centre and only people who really want a taxi will go there – and I can dedicate a patrol to it.”

Liverpool Cab Fares to be Frozen

Liverpool TaxiAfter an increase of 20p and 30p last year, taxi fares are to be frozen in Liverpool after the city’s cabbies decided that they would not ask the council for an increase in the charges.

Taxi trade representative, Terry Stockton, said, “With Christmas coming, a lot of our customers are going to be feeling the pinch this year and we did not think it was right that we should be asking for a fare rise.

“Like every other business we have faced increased costs but we have decided not to pass them on to our customers – we know this would cause real difficulties for those who rely on Hackney cabs. It’s our early present to those people who support the taxi trade.”

Taxi drivers are under financial pressures themselves with the increase of fuel, UK taxi insurance and high maintenance costs, however this is a welcome to people who use taxis on a daily basis.
The present rate for Hackney cabs during the day is £2.20 for the first 330 years then 20p for each of the following 232 yards up to 11,002 years. After that for each 330 years it costs 30p.

The costs for the night between 11pm and 6am, the equivalent rate is £2.75 and 25p.

The Mayor of Liverpool, Joe Anderson, welcomed the fare freeze and said, “The drivers are to be congratulated on not trying to increase the burden on people in these difficult economic times.
“Despite being under financial pressures themselves they have clearly recognised that a lot of people are struggling to make ends meet and this gesture will be appreciated.”

Ghost Hitchhiker confuses Taxi Drivers

So we are a little late when it comes to spooky stories as Halloween has been and gone but we felt this was a story that just had to be shared.
According to a taxi driver, he had picked his passenger up from Corbridge and was on his way to Newcastle – upon –Tyne. He says the weather was ok and the sky was clear although it was dark. He said after a few minutes of driving he ended up on a road that had, bushes, trees and shrubbery either side.

In the distance he said he could see some localised mist. “It was odd; it was about 5ft or 6ft in height and just hung there. I’d never seen anything like it,” he said.

He continued driving towards it but he said as he approached the mist changed into a rough human shape. His instincts kicked in and he swerved to avoid it then carried on speeding forwards. His passenger had also seen the strange transformation.

It has also been reported that the same thing had happened previously to another driver in the same spot, although he was not as lucky and ended up in a ditch. Mist can be a dangerous weather condition causing many problems for taxi drivers. This is why making sure your private hire insuranceis valid and up to date.

There have also been reports of a phantom hitchhiker a bit further up the road. It has been reported to be a woman dressed in a raincoat standing as if she was waiting for someone. There was a driver who offered her a lift but as he pulled up, she disappeared.

There have been many stories like this reported by taxi drivers. This could be due to the fact that they work long hours and will often see many things within one night.

China cracks down on open taxi windows

Taxi drivers earning a living in Beijing have never had it easy. In addition to standard concerns for drivers the world over like taxi insurance and fuel costs they also have to contend with horrifying amounts of traffic and suffocating pollution.

But this month working behind the wheel in China’s second largest city will become even tougher.

The 18th Party Congress is about to get underway in Beijing, the Chinese Communist Party’s boldest and most high-stakes gathering in ten years, naming the leaders who will run the world’s most populous country for the next decade.

This year has seen many riots taking place across China, with inequality rising and demand for change growing so rarely have party officials been so anxious as ahead of the start of Thursday’s week-long event.

As a means of guarding against protest Beijing is tightening it’s security, as it often does during high-profile events, but many of Beijing’s latest rules seem extraordinary, with taxi drivers in the front line of this huge, sometimes outlandish security crackdown.

With stricter controls on everything from model planes to pigeons, cab drivers have been told to avoid sensitive parts of the city and not to open their windows or doors if they pass the more “important venues”. It doesn’t just stop there though. Cabbies have been ordered to remove the handles of their car windows in case passengers wind them down to throw out hostile leaflets or ping-pong balls with slogans critical of the party. These rules apply to all taxi companies in the city.

One destination particularly sensitive for Beijing’s cabbies is Tiananmen Square, the site of a number of political events and student protests over the years including the student massacre in 1989. Passengers wanting to go near the square will have to sign a “travelling agreement” promising they will not cause any disruption.

“I’ve been driving 10 years and have never had a problem,” said one driver when asked about the new rules. In any case, “anyone who is thinking of causing trouble is already being watched,” he said. Another said: “No one will want to open the windows then anyway—it’s too cold.” And he plans to avoid possible trouble by not driving inside the second ring road of Beijing during the congress, steering clear of the heart of the city where both Tiananmen Square and the Zhongnanhai leadership residence compounds are located.