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Taxi firms draft in extra staff as they prepare for “very busy night” in Norwich this Black Friday

PUBLISHED: 13:32 21 December 2018

Prince of Wales Road

Prince of Wales Road

Archant

It is expected to be one of the busiest nights of the year for police and emergency service workers, but there will also be no rest for taxi drivers on Black Friday.

Paul Walker, ABC taxis. Picture: ANTONY KELLYPaul Walker, ABC taxis. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Revellers and pub and club goers from across the county will descend on Norwich tonight (Friday, December 21) as the Christmas festivities get into full swing on what has been dubbed Black Friday, because of its connection with Christmas parties and late nights.

But what is already expected to be one of the busiest of nights will become a bumper shift for taxi drivers with wind and rain expected to be a key feature of that heady pre-Christmas mix.

Paul Walker, co-owner of ABC Taxis in Norwich, said: “We’re expecting to have a busy night.

“A lot of people finish work (today) and will be going out on the lash straight from work for pre-Christmas drinks and all that.

Mark Streeter of Courtesy Taxis. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYMark Streeter of Courtesy Taxis. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

“Tonight is going to be one of the busiest nights of the year.”

Mr Walker said tonight could help take the firm over the 1 million customer mark for the year following a hugely successful 2018 which has been boosted by innovations like the firm’s mobile app which is helping customers like never before.

He said 31,000 people used the app, where customers can pay or track their taxi, in November alone which comes in a year when they have had an extra 130,000 passengers compared to the same time last year.

Mr Walker, who wished all customers a happy Christmas, said: “Tonight could be a great night for us.”

Mark Streeter, managing director of Courtesy Taxis, based on Prince of Wales Road in Norwich, said he had extra staff working the phones and doors of the office with “40 cars ready for it”.

He said: “It will be a very busy night and we’re well prepared for it.”

Those heading out to pubs, clubs and bars in the city – and across the county have been urged to have a good time but have also been warned to behave themselves - and look after others - by police.

Chief Superintendent Dave Marshall, who acknowledged Christmas was a time to celebrate, but said: “Our message is – have a good night out, but stay with friends and colleagues, look out for each other and make sure you all get home safely.”

•Watch out for in-depth coverage from Black Friday in Norwich on our website and in our newspaper.

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