I was almost run off the road by a minicab yesterday after cycling into a sidestreet off Charlton Road. All of which brings the question to mind… which cab company will you be using over Christmas?
Now, I’m usually a tightwad who gets the bus instead, but at this time of year, there can be occasions when only your own set of hired four wheels will do. So what options are there in and around Charlton?
The one that usually comes out on top is Arena Cars (020 8858 8070) once known as Station Cars until a) they moved away from Charlton station and b) they started serving the O2. They’re usually quick, on time, and often cheaper than the competition. “No ‘it’ll be 5 mins, love’ and never turn up,” as one satisfied customer put it.
Or you could try the south-east London giant which is Data Cars (020 8850 0000), which has spent the past 10 years gobbling up rivals to create a cab conglomerate. No double bubble this Christmas, they say – just a £5 surcharge for festive trips. They have an iPhone app, too.
There’s also Greenwich Express Cars (020 8858 6661), and loads more. Oh yes, and Charlton Valley Cars (020 8858 3939) – but since it was one of their cars (EJ51WJV) that almost ran me off Courthurst Road at 3.45pm on Wednesday, perhaps not, although their owner was very apologetic when I rang to complain.
Of course, there’s always your friendly local black cab – sometimes cheaper than minicabs at this time of year, and it’s guaranteed the drivers know where they’re going – and Twitter users can tweetalondoncab.
But obviously, with all minicabs now licensed and showing big badges to prove it, there’s no excuse to get into some geezer’s car when he pulls up to you muttering “cab?”
So who’ll be getting your ride this Christmas?