Friday, April 14, 2006

Camera Overkill

Whilst out working I managed to get this picture. Talk about overkill! This is one little side street out of thousands that has 7 cameras. It's Spring Street in the Paddington district. The camera furthest away rotates and focuses on the taxi rank. During the day when the work is thin on the ground the taxis fight to get on the rank. Those that can't then over-rank or foul the rank and that camera takes a picture and sends them a nice letter with a fifty pound fine. The other six cameras mounted on the nearer lampost I think are for the congestion charge that will be extended into this area when all the debating has finished at City Hall. At present motorists have to pay £8 a day to enter the centre of town (Taxi's are exempt hehe!) and that area will be extended further west towards Kensington and Chelsea. There is fierce opposition but it will be introduced no matter what when the time comes.
It was another average night tonight. My main concern was that I went out with only a few £5 notes and no tenners. Everyone was giving me twenties to change and after stopping for the fourth time to buy a drink or something else to change a twenty I opted for a bag of Monkey Nuts and went and sat on South Kensington Rank to eat them. I amused myself by opening each nut and throwing the shells out of the drivers window and all you could hear was the crunching sound as the traffic drove over them.
I was driving down Gloucester Road and a couple flagged me down. The guy was rat-arsed drunk. I couldn't understand what the hell he was trying to say, I didn't even have the beginnings of a clue. He then started saying "you don't know?" over and over in a strong foreign accent. The woman leaned in and said "he's the Ecuadorian Consul". I said "oh yeah? Well I still can't understand what he's saying, can you?" She said she knew where they were going and that she would direct me. A couple of turns later we pulled up outside Cuba, a Latin Bar in Kensington High Street, which I would have known had he not been slurring his speech. What would the Ecuadorian government think of the impression one of their representatives was making on the streets of London. Tut!! tut!!
I had a bit of a wake up call earlier. I was driving along Marylebone Road which is a 3 lane dual carriageway. I had 2 people nattering away obliviously in the back. I was probably, no, definitely, going too fast when I suddenly noticed the lights had gone red. If I'd have slammed the brakes on at that moment the two in the back would have smashed into the partition as they never had their seat belts on, so the only thing I could do was drive through the red light causing the few pedestrians who were on the crossing to shit themselves and then wave their fists at me and give me a recognized insult gesture with thumb and forefinger. Point taken!
The change thing never got any better and forced me home in the end. I can't work like that and will make sure I have enough tomorrow night.


Turner Mitteron said...

It's funny how it's the same the world over. You have the same type of things happen to you that we have happen to us in country Australia.

Chris T Anderson said...

London Cabbies are great!!! I often travel to London from Hull on business and find the Big city Daunting, the cabbies always remind me that we are the same world over, never met a cabbie yet who doesnt ask if I am ok and how my day went, keep up the good work Guys,
Chris from Hull East yorkshire
see my blog..

STAG said...

What in the Sam Hill blazes is a "Box Junction"?

Hard enough to figure out what kind of horse a Zebra Cross-ing might be. Like, what is an Ing, and why would you cross it with a zebra anyways......

An well, here in Canada, we are getting cameras more and more. Even a great toll road (the 407 North of Toronto) snaps a pic of your tail plate, and mails you a bill. Really!

Love London. Wish I could spend some more time there. I'll just have to live it vicariously through this blog.


STAG said...

Oh, and did ya ever get shocks for your hack?

london_cabby said...

this should explain the box junction.
Shocks are worse than ever, I'm waiting for the annual overhaul in june.

Anonymous said...

A Zebra crossing is an area of road where motorists have to stop to let pedestrians cross, you can tell where a zebra crossing is because it has the black white stripes over the road like a zebra(They also have flashing orange lights). :)

STAG said...

I usually find shocks to be a pretty cheap repair, and worth it when the pothole spring thaw season comes around here. (about now actually...) Without 'em, I tend to bounce into oncoming traffic. Shocks, tires, oil changes and annual all fluid changes have helped me get 300,000 km out of all my cars. Not so much to you I suppose, but half that mileage is in Canadian winter weather conditions.
Thanks for the link. Don't have box intersections over here per se, but it is illegal to block an intersection. Rarely enforced except occasionally by cops trying to clear the downtown after a big event.

STAG said...

Oh, and somebody directed me to a site which showed a picture of the Abbey Road album. I can see now why you call 'em zebra crossings....even though there isn't a horse in site. Just wondering, why don'tcha call 'em "pedestrian crossings". Oh never mind, I'm sure its a cultural thing, like hot water taps on the right, light switches going down to be on, ready lights on appliances which signify "off", and left hand driving.
(Yeah, I'm sure I'm the guy they wrote the "look left" and "look right" signs for on the pedestrian crossings.) (oops, zebra crossings...)

wil said...

Recent article about NYC following in London's footsteps, RE: security cameras.

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