It’s my Opinion

MUCH to my surprise I seem to be availing myself more and more of the services of taxis than I ever did as young man, but then that’s perhaps not so surprising, given my advancing years.

I should, however, say that my use of local taxis is restricted. It is only when I find myself in the bigger urban sprawls that the need to get myself from A to B is best served by hailing a taxi.

I have in fact become quite fond of my cabbie contacts, a far cry from I thinking they were cynical, biased people.

In fact they quite often turn out to be well informed individuals with a balanced view of life as seen through glass - well most of the time.

They come in all shapes and sizes, but in the main, at least in the cities are males, generally over 50, married and almost always born in the city in which they are taxiing.

Of the four main cities in Scotland I have come to appreciate the canny Dundonians who are by far and away the most sociable, followed closely by their Glaswegian counterparts.

Edinburgh cabbies come a poor third with a more reserved view of the domain round which they hawk their trade.

Sadly, right at the bottom of my league table of the four major cities are the taxi drivers of Aberdeen who are, at least in my opinion, the rudest, the most ignorant and wait for it, yes you have guessed it, the most expensive.

So why then should this be the case, as the tariffs are set by the local councils who surely should be singing from the same hymn sheet?

Fat chance, but then perhaps they are following the trend set by the other commercial organisations who seem to think they can charge just exactly what they like, regardless of what their counterparts in Dundee, Edinburgh and Glasgow are charging.

Aberdeen stands in my book as a greedy, demanding city, making no friends among the tourists who find their way there, only to be hit for six by profiteers who will one day get their cum uppance.

But back to my cabbie friends who are usually good barometers of local opinion, especially if you want to hear of how they view local government services.

In fact, dare I suggest, it would do no harm, even a lot of good were councillors from the aforesaid cities to cram into the taxis available to them and take a tour while listening to their own performance indicators being fed to them by my driver friends.

The councillors might be interested to know of the real depth of feeing existing in the ranks of cabbies, which can range from trams in Edinburgh to Union Terrace in Aberdeen.

But if you think I have an unreasonable downer on Aberdeen cabbies, you should hear my view on the most contemptible species of the lot, the London taxi driver, but I’ll spare you.

As for the service I get in East Gordon, it’s just ace. I won’t have a word against them.

Well, what else did you expect me to say?