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Follow that, cabbie

City taxi drivers get chance to win an 08 polo shirt as quizzes and DVDs are handed out in time for culture year

Published on November 15th 2007.


Follow that, cabbie

'Visitors to Liverpool can look forward to a cultural conversation next time they hail a cab in the city.'

That's the exciting news from the Liverpool Culture Company in announcing its new drive, with Merseytravel, to turn our cabbies' customer relations into an art form.

A team of 08 volunteers will swoop on Liverpool's city centre and airport taxi ranks over the next week, armed with special packs for cabbies containing a 2008 events calendar along with a DVD providing advice on how to make strangers feel welcome.

And there's no time to be idle while idling outside the Royal Liverpool Hospital, for the pack also includes a special quiz made up of 50 questions to test whether taxi drivers really do know it all - in this case about Liverpool's history, heritage and culture. The first 500 male and 100 female drivers to return the quiz for marking, with 40 or more correct answers, will win a Liverpool 08 polo shirt with a logo on the back.

Councillor Warren Bradley, leader of Liverpool city council, explained: 'Liverpool is expecting an extra 1.7 million visitors during 2008 and we want to ensure that each and every one of them receives the warmest of welcomes to our amazing city.'

To facilitate this, the pack will also contain a foreign language phrase book, but it is unclear whether such familiar phrases as 'I can't change that twenty', 'They should throw away the key', and 'Eh, is he about to throw up on there?' have been translated into 35 languages.

Everyone wants to be wanted: 'This scheme isn't just about improving customer service, it's also a way of making sure that taxi drivers feel involved and engaged in the Capital of Culture celebrations,' Councillor Bradley remarked.

It's great to see such attention being waved in the direction of our cabbies and it is understood that other plans to recognise their efforts in 2008 include the 'Davy Liver (Cool) Awards', hosted by the patron saint of the night collar, Pete Price.

Categories include:
  • The 'Guess-Who-I Had-In-The-Back-Of-My Cab-Last Week' award for the sexy networking cabbie of the year (sponsored by Sayers - Official Pasty of Capital of Culture).
  • Best Double Parking Outside Rapid Hardware (sponsored by The Big Dig).
  • Most Spectacular U-turn On A Dual Carriageway (sponsored by Merseyside Police).
  • Best Emergency Stop (sponsored by the Mathew Street Festival).
  • Highest Mileage Clocked On a Single Fare from Lime Street Station to the Adelphi (sponsored by the Liverpool Monopoly board).

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13 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

V.I.Lenin AirportNovember 13th 2007.

How about a category for short-changing elderly, bewildered, non-English-speaking foreign tourists and giving them an arbitrary amount of useless foreign currency? Or threatening to dump them in a Speke estate if they don't pay up more?I'm sure the Culture Compnay could sponsor that one!

London RoadNovember 13th 2007.

You could also have "Most ridiculous excuse for no change" sponsored by Liverpool City Council

AnonymousNovember 13th 2007.

Three times arriving in Liverpool from Manchester, I have told them to take me to Union Street and the taxi drivers have gone 'eh, ****in' ‘ell, never heard of that one mate' then took me on a taxi ride around the big dig. One went right, the other left and I got an £8 bill. The third I told that I was a journalist and he took me straight there at £4 or less. Cheeky ****ers.

Baltic TriangleNovember 13th 2007.

How about the "Best prime minister we ever had" award, sponsored by Margaret Thatcher

John Lennon AirportNovember 13th 2007.

How about the 3am Cloak of Invisibility Award (sponsored by Jason Harborow)

Manesty S. LaneNovember 13th 2007.

"Do we really need to throw a load of money at what already comes naturally to this city?" - Indeed, Mr. Street porter! If taxi drivers get any more money they'll be in Florida and/or the Bahamas all-year-round, rather than just the six holidays per year they take (and boast about at great length to passengers) at present.

AnonymousNovember 13th 2007.

Or the "I was in the Falklands, me" award

Phil McCrackenNovember 13th 2007.

How wonderful it is to be met by a Hackney carriageman to be quizzed on topics such as 'Youse don't work fer the tax do ya or nuthin like that'? 'Coz I'm tellinyer theres no money in this game. They just wonna bleed yer dry'. 'This government lad...' and so on.

Lord StreetNovember 13th 2007.

How about an award for completely failing the Liverpool taxi 'Knowledge' test? Sponsored by Kris Donaldson.

John Lennon AirportNovember 13th 2007.

But would they give you a special 08 polo shirt off their backs, Queenie?

A.E.ScousemanNovember 13th 2007.

There ought to be a category for 'Farthest Spit' or 'Most Obscene Oath' when asked by a tired shopper on Hanover Street laden down with heavy and bulky bags to convey them up the steep hill to Canning Street.

QueenieNovember 13th 2007.

Why do the council think that Liverpool's cabbies need a DVD about customer service. All the cabbies I ever come across are lovely, thoughtful and friendly scousers who would give you the shirt off their backs. They are wonderful ambassadors for this great city of ours already and we should be proud of them and give them all the freedom of the city and free season tickets for the football and free parking and everything.

Mathew Street PorterNovember 13th 2007.

Liverpool, all over the world, is noted for its welcoming attitude to visitors. It is its greatest asset and existed long before these people came riding into town. Do we really need to throw a load of money at what already comes naturally to this city?

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