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Growth of women-only taxi firmsBack

Have you ever felt uneasy when travelling in a taxi alone? You are not the only woman out there who has, which is why there has been an increase in the start up of women-only taxi firms.

More and more cab firms are opening up across the UK to cater for the needs of women who would simply prefer to see another female behind the wheel. Even in a licensed cab, some women still feel very vulnerable, questioning whether they will get home in one piece.

Whilst the vast majority of taxi firms are very safe, some women still feel safer with a woman driver, and this type of firm has also become popular with men. In fact, Maggie Hennessy, who runs the women-only taxi firm London Lady Chauffeurs, says: “A lot of our business comes from husbands who want to make sure their wives are OK, especially in the evenings.”

London Lady Chauffeurs is a Richmond-based company which was started two and a half years ago and only employs female drivers. The women employed wear smart suits and drive ‘immaculate’ cars, and all of the journeys made are pre-booked and strictly for female passengers only.

The service has also proved very popular with parents who are keen to have their children in the safest possible hands whilst on the school run. Parents can actually track the taxis and check that their children have arrived safely at school providing added peace of mind.

Another successful lady’s cab service is the Warrington-based Pink Ladies, a members-only club for female passengers. It has around 7,000 registered members already and was co-founded by Tina Dutton, a working mother of two.

Tina said: “There was a story about a young woman who’d been raped and murdered in Manchester and it got me thinking about how you couldn’t even get into a taxi safely. My daughter was also getting to the age where she was going out in town and it just hit home. I got the idea for starting Pink Ladies.”

The Pink Ladies is a not-for-profit organisation which does far more than simply operate as a taxi service, it also runs a through-the-door policy, ensuring passengers are safely inside their home before leaving, and it can also help women with shopping, pushchairs and wheelchairs. There is an annual membership fee of £10, which ensures that no money changes hands in vehicles, and it works in a similar way to a bus service as a car share, so cars will pick up other women who are heading in the same direction. Tina plans to start selling the Pink Ladies franchise nationwide as she is aware that similar services are not widely available throughout the rest of the UK.

If you are a woman travelling alone, it is well worth taking note of a few safety tips in order to stay safe. Always make sure the taxi is legal and licensed and do not use it if the vehicle appears to be old or run down. As an extra precaution, or if you are worried, make a note of the number plate and driver’s licence number and text it to someone trustworthy. Always sit in the back of the taxi and carry your phone in your hand so that it can be accessed easily if necessary.




Posted by Leana Kell on 16/10/2012