FOR two years now I’ve been signing off this column with that message: “Stay safe.”

It all started, of course, because of the arrival of the pandemic, the unprecedented – remember that word! – lockdowns and the health fears we all faced as one.

From its first mention here on April 8, 2020 to its reference today, almost exactly two years to the date, it’s been the one consistent message on these pages.

I’ve mulled over when might be the right time to move on, to suggest we are in as normal times again as we are going to get, and to resign that sign-off to the past, perhaps finishing each column with some alternative wording.

On one hand that time feels like right now, as most of Glasgow and Scotland is at full pelt as much as it has been for two years, back working in offices, having nights out, taking holidays together.

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At the same time, we have case numbers still very high thanks to the latest variant, and hospitals remain very busy.

So we obviously still want people to stay safe. And that’s the thing. We ALWAYS do.

That this column was born within weeks of coronavirus striking these shores is merely a quirk of timing.

It has meant that quite often we have had to discuss some of the most serious aspects of modern life that we might not have liked to, instead of sharing taxi tales and jokes from Joe Public.

Yet the stay safe message doesn’t only apply to one scenario – life under Covid – and not the other, such as “normal” times.

Indeed, safety has long been at the core of the messaging of Glasgow Taxis as a brand and organisation regardless of external circumstances.

One quick look at our website and you’ll see us explain that every driver is PVG checked, all pass a knowledge test on the city, and that additional council courses in customer care and disability awareness must be passed by one and all behind the wheel.

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It’s why we ensure marshals are on city ranks at weekend peak times, it’s why we have a special Safe Taxi scheme for students, it’s why all our vehicles are wheelchair accessible.

So, just like any Glasgow Taxi journey, you know exactly where this column is heading …

We said it in 2020, we’re saying it now, and we’ll be saying it in 2023 and 2024 and beyond.

To all Glasgow Times readers …

Stay safe!