Onward Ripoff

I’m a frequent user of Edinburgh Airport and over the years I’ve got used to the fact that getting a taxi to Queensferry from the airport’s taxi rank costs a good £5 or £6 more than getting one from Queensferry to the airport with a local company.  Friendly though the local companies are, it’s difficult to book a taxi to pick you up when you don’t know if your flight will be delayed. Over the years, the airport taxis have become more and more bureaucratic. You have to queue in a cardboard shelter, tell a guy behind a desk where you’re going, get a paper slip from him and give it, a minute later, to the taxi driver. It reminds me of the notorious paper-stamping clerks of government offices in Egypt, in the days when every graduate was promised a job, even if that job consisted of stamping a form and passing it along to someone else to stamp. Now the covered walkway to the cardboard office has a lady who stands outside it to, well I guess, say hello. That’s all she does. Like the Disney shop but mankier. This is what they call ‘Onward Travel’

Tonight I get in the car and the driver tells me they’re no longer allowed to use the meter and it’s £24 – twenty —-ing four quid! – to Queensferry! He says they’re losing customers like water and I hope the trend continues. They’ve certainly lost me with this cynical insult. And they give you a piece of paper boasting of their fixed price journeys to to places like Silverknowes (£12) and Ocean Terminal (£15). But of course that’s not outside Edinburgh City boundaries. But wait a minute – isn’t Queensferry part of Edinburgh City? Don’t we pay Edinburgh’s council tax? Don’t we have an EH postcode? And doesn’t it take half the time to get there from the airport that it would to Ocean Terminal? Someone at ‘Edinburgh Airport’s Premier Taxi Service’ ought to be told.

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