Monday, February 08, 2016

Letter To Editor : The Demise Of London's Icons

You're probably thinking "Here we go: cabbies moaning again. Bunch of Luddites"...

But it's not as simple as that.
London has a serious problem at the moment. It's rapidly losing its independent businesses, historical buildings, its communities.
With those go its traditions, history, creativity and quirkiness.
Who is to blame? 
Big business and corporations. Everything is becoming more expensive, more homogenised, more bland.

Soho's diversity and character is under threat from developers who want to build expensive apartments.

     Here are some examples:

 It's already lost Madame Jo Jo's and Kettners, establishments which were part of the fabric of the area. Other clubs and music venues here and elsewhere have closed.

Places with incredible history are under threat. Parts of old Spitalfields have been demolished. Local residents are desperately trying to save more buildings. 

Denmark Street, central to the history of British music, is under threat. Rents are rising pushing out independent shops. Allens, a famous butchers in Mayfair recently closed. 
The demand was there, but the rent was too high.

Communities with independent shops further out are struggling as rents rocket. Currently Half Moon Lane in Herne Hill, and Lordship Lane in Dulwich are facing real challenges.

So where do London cab drivers fit in? 
Well, each one of us is an independent individual. We are a quirky lot united by the Knowledge of London which tests our character and resolve to the limits.  And our trade and iconic cabs are steeped in history and tradition too.

And Uber? They are just another big corporation: a powerful moneyed juggernaut, based thousands of miles away in a city that has a fraction of London's history. Last year they paid the same amount of tax as fewer than half a dozen taxi drivers. 

They want a piece of the London pie and will stop at nothing to make London more bland, more faceless and, some would argue, less safe. Some might claim that they aren't expensive. But in their race to the bottom we'll ultimately lose more than we gain: we'll lose another chunk of the soul of London.

Don't dismiss us cabbies. Think about all of this. Think about how London is changing. Think about why you choose to live here.

What sort of London do you want?

Article by Green Badge  Driver, Alice. 


Brenda Webster said...

Nice letter Alice Well done
Taxi Leaks should have a regular Women's section
There are many of us out there who have much to add

Anonymous said...

London has already changed,its a complete shit hole.

Editorial said...

To anon who started with Unity my arse.

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