Sheffield taxi drivers thanked for years on the road

Taxi presentation- Ali Shaullat, Vickie Priestley, Keith Wright, Hussain Basharat

Taxi presentation- Ali Shaullat, Vickie Priestley, Keith Wright, Hussain Basharat

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Long serving taxi drivers who have ferried passengers around the streets of Sheffield for over 40 years have been recognised for their efforts.

Three taxi drivers were presented with long service awards by the Lord Mayor of Sheffield, Coun Vickie Priestley, at the Town Hall.

Among them was 66-year-old Keith Wright from Norton Lees.

Speaking about his time on the roads Keith, who has just retired from being a cab driver, admitted it was sometimes a dangerous job.

He said: “I once had a gun pulled on me, and some of my friends have been stabbed or slashed by customers with knives.

“You just take it as part of the job.”

His most famous customer was comedian Les Dawson, who he drove to Peter Stringfellow’s Fiesta club.

But as well as celebrity passengers Keith said he’d had to deal with drunks being sick in his vehicle and others running off without paying their fares.

“I’ve had people being ill in my taxi a couple of times, but if someone was falling down drunk then I wouldn’t pick them up,” he said.

“I’ve had a lot of people running off without paying too.”

The drivers were presented with certificates and congratulated on their long service by the Lord Mayor.

“It was nice to be recognised,” Keith told The Star.

“It’s getting very hard to make a living out of it these days.

“The insurance is so expensive and I feel sorry for the younger ones who are just starting out.

“The thing I will miss about it most is the people you get to meet.”

Also recognised at the ceremony for their hard work were Basharat Hussain and Shaukat Ali.

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