Although it has been several years since we first heard about the most recent recession and the dreaded credit crunch, money is still tight across the nation. We have given up luxuries like week nights out, holidays abroad, designer labels and private hire transport in London. The majority of Britons simply don't have enough money spare to treat themselves to the lifestyle they want.
Living costs in major cities like London are so high; after you've paid an inflated rent or mortgage payment, council tax, bills and any extras, it is not uncommon to be scraping at the end of your overdraft. Outside the capital, it s almost essential to own a car, but in London it s a privilege that few can afford. On top of the cost of the vehicle, you have your road tax, MOT, insurance and evermore ludicrous petrol costs.
In the city, motorists can pay up to £12.00 per day for the congestion charge, just so that they can drive in the city centre. This is a step taken to decrease pollution and protect the environment, but it came as a real blow to those who cannot rely on public transport. Hailing a black cab is an option for those who have cash to burn and time to spare, but for so many Londoners that simply isn t the case.
The only consolation for the city s commuters is that private hire minicabs in London are steadily improving the service they offer, undercutting black cabs with their costs as well. A few years ago you had to find the number of a local cab office, sometimes struggle to understand the operator, find out if they had any cars available and wait for a driver to pick you up. It was neither the fastest nor the cheapest option.
Websites allow you to make a booking on your smart phone, on a computer or by the traditional method of calling. They will send their nearest minicab out to you, cutting down on costs and the time it takes the car to arrive. There s no chance of miscommunication, and you can even track the progress of your London minicab on an interactive map. With a simple process that only takes a minute, more and more people are opting to use websites to take a chance on local cab offices.
The impressive progress in London s private hire transport industry comes as a breath of fresh air in an economy where every penny counts. It s something that will benefit thousands of people and revolutionise the way we travel in the city. Owning a car is no longer necessary, and we don t need to chance it on unreliable public transport that seems to be undergoing never ending reworks.