A Blackpool taxi driver has caused great controversy over comments he has made on Twitter censuring a passenger who paid £10 for cab rides to and from a food bank that was a 10 minute walk from his house – passing an Aldi on the way.
Kev McCartney’s story of his journey to the food-bank has been reported by Mail On-Line. It tells how whilst was on shift last week he received a call to drop off a regular customer at a food bank. Ten minutes later he picked up a job on the radio to go back and collect him and take him home.
‘I picked a bloke up in my taxi, he paid me £5 to take him to the food bank,’ he said in his social media post. ‘He paid another taxi £5 to take him back again. He passed Aldi both ways. ‘If he spent ten minutes walking he probably could have got twice from Aldi and better quality.’
Mail On-Line has reported that his comments have since gone viral with thousands responding and liking his message, and pushing several taxi drivers to share their similar experiences.
However, others have either angrily criticised the driver or defended the customer.
Former cabbie Mark Tuffrey said: ‘When I was a taxi driver we had a regular fare, pick him up from his house and take him to the cafe opposite the taxi rank…£5. He’d have breakfast then get a cab from the rank back home, stopping at the Salvation Army to pick up his food parcel. Used to drive us absolutely mad.’
However, a former food bank volunteer defended the users and pointed out that the ‘whole system is flawed’, as some individuals receive vouchers for banks 15-20 miles away, with many having to get taxis as there wasn’t public transport.
Another commentator pointed out, ‘He may have been disabled and had no other money other than the required travel money. No doubts you will let us know how he jogged up to your taxi lifting weights, but there you go.’
However, Blackpool taxi driver Kev said he was not surprised by the reaction to his Tweet and adding in defence that he had even watched some food bank users attempting to flog their donations at taxi ranks.