Plans are rumbling underground to run the Tube an hour later, until 2am, on Fridays and Saturdays. Good news for those smug b******s who haven’t left their Oyster card in their jacket pocket back at the bar, but bad news for our mini-cab drivers, especially the less-than-official ones.
Those lucrative post-Tube hours on the weekend must have attained the level of frenzied myth in dodgy mini-cab land. On the one hand, easy pickings and high fares; on the other, mind-numbing ‘banter’ with drunks and the likelihood of unwanted fluids left on the back seat. No wonder Travis Bickle out of Taxi Driver lost it, but at least he had the status of official cabbiedom.
Some of these unofficial drivers live Friday and Saturday nights in the shadows, park their cars up gloomy alleys, whisper fares and nod destinations as they land a desperate punter. Their glory days now look numbered.
Still, London Underground boss Mike Brown has a heart. He admits that the hour-later scheme is “not imminent and we still have much work to do”. That’s as good as telling the bootleg cabbies to fill their boots while they may. How much?!!! Er, yeah, ok, I suppose… Can I just move the kebab box and… hey, this is my Oyster card!