It seems that taxi driver's oop north in Carlisle have found a novel way of maximizing income by carrying extra passengers in the boot of their cabs!
"Matthew Champney, 41, was stopped by police and later convicted of overloading his Skoda taxi. Now he could be out of a job if Carlisle City Council’s regulatory panel revokes his taxi licence as punishment.
A report to councillors says: “A white Skoda taxi was seen in Collier Lane, Carlisle, and it appeared two people were getting into the boot. “Police officers attended and found the driver to be Mr Champney.
“When questioned he stated that he had finished work for the night and the two men in the boot were friends and just ‘larking about’. “There was no complaint from the two men.
“However, the officer reported Mr Champney for overloading his vehicle and he appeared before Carlisle Magistrates on April 13 when he pleaded guilty.” Mr Champney, of Whitberry Court, Roadhead, later told council officers that the two men were drunk.
He had, helped by two other friends who were already in his taxi, put them in the boot as a “light-hearted prank”. The incident took place in the early hours of the morning .
When the regulatory panel meets, councilors have a range of options from taking no action to suspending or revoking Mr Champney’s licence. He could also be ordered to re-sit his taxi-driving test."
Some folk might find that a bit extreme, but I am told by drivers who work the town centre ranks in the early hours that they would love to be able to carry local drunks like this. Some even go so far to suggest that some of the more subhuman drunks should be carted home in dumper trucks and unceremoniously tipped at their front doors. I think this is a bit extreme, maybe cattle trucks would be kinder, but even then I think they should give them a small discount on the fare.