Cambridge taxi drivers get a bad rep sometimes, as they do in most cities I think. Its to be expected, I mean, think about it - they're on the streets all the time, trying to get enough trade such that they don't have to work every single hour of the day. They'll cut corners, they'll go too quick, they'll do whatever they need to in the hope of getting home to their families a few minutes earlier with enough money to pay the bills.
And they're doing this on the roads - controlling powerful machines at high speed among other people acting just as daft. So they get angry, they get annoyed, and both individually and collectively they can end up getting a rotten reputation.
So Cambridge taxi drivers have come up with a plan. Its not a bad plan either they're going to have a code of practice to convince us they are not 'greedy, lying thugs'. They're going to have a code of conduct - and its going to to be all sweetness and light with them being 'professional' and 'courteous to my fellow drivers'a lot of other stuff. Okay...
Trouble isn't whats in the code, its whats not. It transpires that about half of Cambridges population cycle sometimes - and something in the region of a fifth of trips are by bike. So where's the bullet point about overtaking cylists such that if the cyclist falls off the taxi driver wouldn't run him or her over? Or the one saying you won't block cycle lanes? Perhaps you might have a statement that you will not over-run ALS's or that you'll not break the speed limit? No?
In fact in the city that has the highest proportion of cyclists in the entire country our taxi drivers have managed to come up with a code of conduct that conspicuously fails to mention us. And I promise you, its not like they don't talk about us - or, I should say, complain. Incessantly, boringly, and pointlessly.
So how have they avoided making any pledges to treat cyclists well, or with respect, or even obey the law where cycling facilities are concerned? Well there's only one possibility really.
There's nothing in it about cyclists because they don't really respect us enough to promise to treat us well. Its really that simple - there are no pledges to treat cyclists well because there is no intention to do so. This is an intentional snub, there will be no charter badge that requires treating cyclists well because there is no desire to treat us well.
Hostilities as normal from Cambridge taxi drivers then. Or... I dunno. Go on Cambridge Cabbies, prove me wrong. Change the charter - change 'fellow motorists' to 'fellow road users'. Promise to respect cyclists like you've promised to respect motorists. Will you do that for us, or do you genuinely, collectively have no respect for us?