IT would be easy to fill this column with doom and gloom given the tough challenges facing everyone however the message I want to give from Glasgow Taxi drivers is: we are still here supporting you!

Another week has lapsed and the situation is only getting harder and harder for us all – a third week of lockdown, ongoing economic uncertainty and the whole thing dominating the news 24/7.

That’s even before we get to the grim statistics of cases, illness and tragic death with each day bringing these closer to home. It’s only natural that people should be worried, concerned, afraid.

There’s less Glasgow Taxis on the road than a week ago. That’s fact and completely understandable. More of my colleagues having chosen to park up over the past seven days.

I respect that.

Each of us has to risk assess at the start of each shift, as we always do, however the fact is that taxis remain the safest form of transport thanks to cleanliness, sanitation, partitions and contactless payment.

So those drivers, like me, who choose to continue to work do so because we can and because we want to help play our small part in this fight – we are here to help Glasgow.

What heartens me is all the many ways we are doing this, here’s just a few examples:

  •  Driver James Rafferty collected 57 powerbanks from his son’s company, Power A Life, in Polmont and dropped them at the Royal for free – as a gift to NHS staff to help them keep devices charged during long shifts.
  •  Customer Jim Hall, from Knightswood, not only paid my colleague Billy McGregor for his trip but added a £20 ‘tip’ to go towards the NHS Glasgow Taxi Fund.
  •  On the subject of the fund, more than £4000-worth of free journeys have now been provided to NHS staff in Glasgow – thanks to public donations which now near £6000.
  • This fund arrived after many drivers had voluntarily offered free travel to NHS staff, with driver Robert Malcolm the first of many.
  • Our chairman featured in Monday night’s Channel Four documentary “A Day In The Life Of Coronavirus Britain” which showed the trade and city’s willingness to help.
  • We also teamed up with Coia’s Café to deliver fish and chips to Glasgow Royal Infirmary staff.
  • And we’ve been available to help Partick Thistle in the work they do for supporters across their communities.

If that spirit of Glasgow doesn’t make you smile then nothing will. We’ve enjoyed tremendous support from the public and notably the media, from the Glasgow Times to aforementioned Channel 4 and even the Telegraph down south, thanks to Glasgow Chamber of Commerce.

So the circumstances may be as tough as they are ever likely to be but we remain a key transport workforce and have a determination to help.

We are still here supporting Glasgow. We are clearly the safest option.

Keep supporting us. Follow advice. And stay safe.