Blog

Are We Ready For Lockdown To End, What Shops Are Reopening And What Social Distancing Measures Can I Expect When Shopping

From 15th June all non essential shops were allowed to reopen

From June 15th all the non-essential shops opened for the first time since the Covid-19 lockdown took effect.  

It has been a challenging time for ABC Taxis and most independent businesses and high street retailers alike. But as part of the Government’s three-stage plan to ease lockdown measures, retailers are allowed to reopen, providing “they are meeting COVID-secure guidelines”.  

This plan is “contingent on progress in the fight against coronavirus” and will be sustained providing the government continues to meet the “five tests” that indicate the Corna-19 virus reproduction rate (the R rate) is falling

These tests include;

1. Making sure the NHS can cope. 

Boris Johnson previously stated, “We must be confident that we are able to provide sufficient critical care and specialist treatment right across the UK.”  Following the peak of the outbreak at the beginning of April, and thanks to the amazing NHS staff the data shows that this test is now being met.

The Government is now confident of the NHS’s ability to cope moving forward

2. Seeing a “sustained and consistent” fall in the daily death rate; 

This was the second test and on Thursday Mr Johnson announced that he is “confident” that the peak of the daily death rate has passed.   Official figures published by the government last week state that deaths related to Covid-19 have been the lowest that they’ve been in 9 weeks.  This consistent and sustained fall in the death rate means that the second test is being met.

We have seen a continuing fall in Covid-19 related deaths.

3. Reliable data from the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) to show that the rate of infection was decreasing to manageable levels across the board.

The Prime Minister has stated that in the second week of June there was an average of 2,312 cases, which is down from 5,066 in the first week of May. 

With the number of new cases of Coronavirus “decreasing to manageable levels across the board” the Government is satisfied that the third test is being met.

4. PPE and Testing Capacity

Ensuring the UK has the capacity to undertake testing, provide sufficient PPE and be capable of sustaining future demand for protective equipment are the factors that need to be achieved in order for the fourth test to be met.  

The Government has contracted over 100 suppliers from the UK and around the world to produce two billion PPE items for the UK. This means the stocks of PPE will start to rebuild and with ‘Public Health England’ having conducted over 115,000 tests compared to around 12,000 at the start of April, the Government is comfortable that the fourth test has been met.

5. Prevention Of A Second Wave

The final test poses the biggest challenge of all.  To avoid a second wave of Coronavirus the infamous R value must be kept below 1.  Meaning that every person who contracts the virus must infect fewer than one person.   

A “package” of measures has been set out by Chief Scientific Advisor Sir Patrick Vallance and Chief Medical Officer Professor Chrris Whitty to ease the social and financial effects of the lockdown.  

The package includes the phased reopening of public institutes such as schools as well as non-essential high street retail outlets.  Social distancing measures must be in place and guidelines adhered to.

The recent announcement that pubs, clubs, restaurants and hairdressers will be able to reopen from July 4th means that there is a light at the end of the tunnel.  Things are beginning to get back to normality and most non-essential retailers in Norwich have already reopened their doors. All of which have special measures in place to comply with social distancing regulations.  Some of these stores include;

John Lewis:

Richard Marks Partner and Head of John Lewis’ Norwich branch states on the website “I can’t tell you how much pleasure it gives me to welcome you back to John Lewis & Partners, Norwich. I want to reassure you that we aim to offer our usual high level of service in the safest possible way.”  

Debenhams:

Debenhams have reopened 50 of their stores with new safety steps in place. These steps include limiting the number of customers in-store at any one time and providing hand sanitiser for staff and customers as well as fitted perspex screens at checkouts and the contactless limit has been increased to £45.

House Of Fraser:

Following the Government’s announcement last week, House Of Fraser have “been working extremely hard behind the scenes to make sure that every one of our stores will be compliant with Government guidelines when we reopen.”

Currys:

Currys opened 19 of its stores on May 22 on a drive-through collection-only basis. Their stores are now open as a Tech Help Hub where you can come and talk to any member of their team for help & advice on your tech, plus help with returns and exchanges. Plus you can order online and collect your tech from the store as fast as the same day.

“Customers are simply asked to place their order online before driving and parking at one of the open outlets. Once they have confirmed through email their arrival, a staff member will then load the boot of the car with the purchased product. “

Ikea: 

Ikea collection point has been open since the 1st of June with new measures in place to adhere to Government guidelines.

Halfords;  

Having successfully implemented social distancing measures on its shop floors Halford reopened 53 of its outlets last month.

Greggs:

Greggs has reopened a small selection of shops to test out their new operational safety measures aimed to establish the best ways to serve their customers whilst keeping everyone safe.   The reopening of their stores will be staggered but they have started to reopen their shops and aim to open all shops with the new operational measures by July 1.

Boots:

Boots beauty counters have reopened although it’s pharmaceutical services have remained operational throughout the lockdown due to its status as an essential business.

Blog

The new Lockdown rules explained.

As the UK begins to lift the restrictions of lockdown and we make our first tentative steps towards regaining some aspect of normality in our lives.  There is general uncertainty and a lack in consensus over what we are actually allowed to do, and how certain locations and organisers are expected to adapt and operate in a post-lockdown environment.  Here is a breakdown of the government’s new rules and a bit of clarity as to what you can and can’t do.

Can I visit family and friends?

From the 1st of June meeting with friends is permitted providing social distancing is maintained.

The answer is Yes.  From the 1st of June people from different households are allowed to meet in small ‘social bubbles’ of up to six individuals.  

This means that families in the UK can begin to reunite in public open spaces, and private gardens as long as social distancing rules are maintained and people stay 2 metres apart.  However, it is important to note that technically, although we are allowed to travel unlimited miles to visit family and friends, we are not yet allowed to stay overnight. Entering another household is only allowed for the purposes of accessing a back garden or using the toilet and all surfaces should be wiped down thoroughly and hands washed frequently. 

Can I go shopping?

Norwich Marketplace opens with a one way system and limited stalls as the lockdown restrictions begin to be lifted.

From the 1st of June Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that car showrooms and outdoor retail spaces such as Norwich Market will all be allowed to reopen and operate.  Here is an up to date list of the retailers operating in the Marketplace including any restrictions or changes to their services.

Providing the number of new Coronavirus cases continues to drop, from the 15th June, other non-essential shops and public locations that have put social distancing measures in place, will be allowed to open.  This includes tourist attractions and heritage sites as well as museums, theatres and libraries.

But it appears we’re going to have to wait a bit longer before we can visit the hairdressers.  Also Restaurants, pubs and cafes are still not allowed to be open to the public but are permitted to serve takeaway food.

Can I go outside without getting in trouble?

The governments advice is to safely go outside and get some fresh air.

As much (or as little) as you like.  There are no restrictions on the amount of time you can spend enjoying the sunshine, jogging, exercising or most other outdoor activities.  

Outdoor social pastimes such as tennis and golf can be enjoyed with people from your household and within your social bubble.  Maintain strict social distancing rules and you can spend time with up to 5 members of a different household.  But just be extra vigilant and aware of the surfaces you come into contact with and wash your hands regularly.

Many organised outdoor event and activities have been cancelled or are not yet able to open, but there are still lots of ways to enjoy the outdoors around Norfolk and maintain a safe 6 feet away from each other.

What about those who are in the high risk category?

Stay informed and make your own decision whether you are ready to start socialising with other people.

In England and Wales those who have previously been asked to shield themselves have been told that some “careful time outside in the fresh air is likely to make you feel better in yourself.”  Clinically extremely vulnerable individuals should of course continue to take extra precautions and may still choose to remain in their own home at all times if they don’t yet feel comfortable with any form of contact with others.  But as long as social distancing measures are maintained the general consensus is to get outside, breathe some fresh air and socialise with at least one other person.

Does this guidance apply to me? 

This guidance is for people of all ages who are at a greater risk of getting seriously ill from coronavirus (COVID-19).   Most people who fall into this category should have received a letter from their GP or hospital clinician outlining their higher vulnerability to the virus and suitable guidance. 

If you are unsure of how this guidance relates to you or any member of your family then check out the UK Government’s official guidelines for the clinically extremely vulnerable. 

What’s going on with schools?

Created with GIMP

Schools are to start partially re-opening for children under 6 years old.   This means Nurseries and receptions will begin to operate albeit with reduced class sizes and strict measures put in place to enforce social distancing.  

Schools will also implement staggered breaks and from the 15th of June the government proposes starting classes for older pupils in year 10 – 12.  

Check out the UK Gov website for further advice about what parents and carers need to know about schools and nurseries during the coronavirus outbreak

Can I go on a day trip?

Day trips out are permitted but be aware that many public facilities including toilets are still closed.

Providing social distancing is maintained most public outdoor spaces are open for visitors.  However staying overnight at another household is not permitted and hotels are still closed.  It is also stated that play areas must not be used and be aware that public toilets are still closed.

It should be noted that fines for rulebreakers have been increased with first offence penalties being £100 (£50 if paid within 2 weeks) and the fee is doubled for every subsequent rule any individual is found to have breached.

That being said, there is a light at the end of the tunnel and providing we all take care, life can begin to get back to normal.

Blog

8 Lockdown Fundraising Ideas

Here at ABC, we are always keen to do what we can for charities and community projects.  Our recent pay-it-forward campaign aimed at providing NHS staff with transport to and from work has raised £2,770 to date. , Covid-19 has had a huge effect on our lives and has affected families throughout Norfolk.  Our current campaign aims to support the wonderful work Nelson’s Journey does. A fantastic local charity working tirelessly to support children and young people up to their 18th birthday who have experienced the death of a significant person in their life.    

Taking on a fundraising challenge not only helps change the lives of others but it can also be beneficial to our own health and mental well-being.  Research conducted by Harvard University found that people who contributed their own time and money into fundraising and charitable activities were “42 per cent more likely to be happy”.   Similar research from Carnegie Mellon University suggests that volunteering can improve our cardiovascular health and reduce blood pressure.

ABC Taxis charity campaign for Nelsons Journey
ABC Taxis Pay It Forward campaign for NHS Staff

Check out these eight awesome ways you can help charities and fundraise from home.

1. Donating your savings

Donating your savings can make a big impact

Some people have been fortunate enough to maintain an income through these unprecedented times. In some cases, the lack of commuting, gym memberships and a change in eating habits means that people are actually saving money. There’s certainly less money being spent on cafes, childcare, petrol and haircuts.

Are you making a saving? Why not pledge to donate some of your savings to ABC Taxis chosen charity and try and encourage your friends and family to do the same.

2. Lockdown hair cut

One day the hairdressers will reopen

Now we are by no means recommending you follow any online tutorials. But if you are isolated with family or flatmates then why not take the opportunity to ask for sponsorship for your hair to be cut by one of them.

Make a video and take photo’s of the event to share online so that all your supporters can see the results. Or check out this hilarious list of lockdown haircut fails if you’d prefer to simply laugh at other peoples attempts.

3. Challenge yourself!

Home workouts can have their pro’s and con’s.

It’s vital to maintain our physical health and look after our mental well being during the lockdown and staying fit and following exercise regimes have been proven to help with both. Check out the Fitness Programme section in our recent Blog 10 Things To Do At Home During Lockdown for some ideas of how to remain active while the gyms are closed and freedom is still somewhat restricted.

So give yourself a daily exercise challenge and set daily targets like the number of steps or a target distance, and ask your friends and family to sponsor you.

4. Gaming Tournament

Fortnite is one of the worlds leading online multiplayer games

Online gaming has obviously spiked whilst everyone has been told to stay at home. Challenge your friends to a gaming tournament. There are loads of popular titles so choose the game you want to play and host it on twitch. Ask your friends and family to participate, follow and donate.

5. Online club

Organising an online club can be rewarding and insightful

You can join a virtual club of virtually any kind these days (pun intended). Whether your interests lie in art, books, films, music, theatre, television or any other subject imaginable, you will find like-minded individuals online. Organise your own virtual club and discuss your favourite books and films with your family, friends and colleagues. Let people join for a small entry fee and give the proceeds to charity.

6. Organise an Online quiz

Organise an online quiz

Why not host an online pub quiz, break down your subjects and ask some tough trivia questions about each. Or ask all participants to upload video tours of their homes and play ‘Whose house is this’. This is a fun intellectual challenge for your family and friends and you can ask for an entry fee to take part. If you’re stuck for inspiration then check out this list of great isolation quiz ideas.

7. Clear out you cupboards and Ebay the clutter

You can sell your unwanted stuff online

If you’re a hoarder like me then no doubt you have boxes upon boxes of unused clutter. My personal weakness is throwing away leads and adaptors. One day they will come in useful but years down the line of a lot of the things I’ve kept are now obsolete and are ready to be thrown out. However, hidden amongst all the trash there may be some gems that are too valuable to throw out, but which you have no need for. These items are perfect for sticking on eBay, Gumtree or any of your preferred marketplaces.

8. Hold a virtual Fancy Dress party.

Everyone can get involved in your online fancy dress party

You can create a theme for your virtual fancy dress party and the whole family can get involved. Invite people to dress up and organise some great online party games and have a prize for the best outfit. Charge a small entry fee for everyone invited.

Although most of the information provided relates to public events and not specifically virtual fundraising events hosted online during lockdown. The UK gov website provides some useful information and guidance about how to safely and responsibly organise fundraising events.

Blog

7 Interesting Facts About Taxis That You May Not Know.

Being the driver of a taxi holds a great deal of responsibility, and the safety of all vehicle occupants is at the forefront of every driver’s mind throughout any journey.  While most of us are well acquainted with the highway code and the rules of the road, here are 7 interesting facts related to driving and riding a taxi that you may not be aware of.

1. Continuous CCTV recording.

It is becoming increasingly common to have CCTV systems installed in taxis and private hire vehicles.  Whilst most agree that the presence of CCTV in the vehicle adds an extra level of security for both drivers and passengers.  Many local authorities have deemed the installation of CCTV systems to be mandatory.  But the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has highlighted the continuous recording of the drivers is both intrusive and therefore should be subject to strict data protection rules and human rights law.

The ICO’s view is that continuous recording is unlawful and that generally, the use of CCTV should be necessary and proportionate. i.e when transporting passengers the CCTV should be recording and it should not be recording when the driver is off duty.

2. Child seats in taxi’s law.

In most cases children up to the age of 3 travelling in a vehicle must be in a child car seat.  However the rules are different in a taxi if the driver is unable to provide the correct child car seat

In this case children under the age of 3 can travel on their own rear seat without a seatbelt next to an adult.  This is believed to be safer than holding them in the event of an accident or emergency stop.   

It is important to remember to deactivate any front airbags before fitting a rear-facing baby seat in the front seat of a vehicle.  Also child car seats should not be fitted to side-facing seats.  More information and guidance on choosing the right car seat and general safety advice for travelling with children in the car can be found on the Child Car Seats website

3. Taxi drivers don’t have to wear their seatbelts.

OK, so to be clear, in most cases passengers of any vehicle must always wear their seatbelt when travelling, however, this does not apply to taxi drivers.  It is no secret that quite often drivers will carry some cash on them from passenger fares.  The reason for this law is to prevent the driver from being restrained by their seatbelt in the unfortunate event that they were to come under attack.  These days specially designed taxis now have built-in screens to isolate the passengers from the driver to help prevent this type of assault.

It also makes it much easier for the driver to move in and out of the vehicle in order to assist their passengers with luggage, or to aid their passenger’s entry into, and exit out of the vehicle.

4. Regulating taxi emissions.

Recently the UK Government has introduced the Air Quality Regulations legislation for taxis and private hire vehicles.  Clean Air Zones are being implemented in towns and cities across the UK and taxi firms are under pressure to respond.  At ABC Taxis we are proud to have over 150 eco-friendly vehicles making up the ABC fleet, a necessary step towards reducing pollution on the roads and improving the air quality in Norwich.    

5. Soiling a Taxi

We’ve all had a close call in the back of a cab on the way home from a night out in one of Norwich’s finest pubs or nightclubs.  Or maybe you decided to check out our 6 Great Breweries To Visit In Norfolk blog.   At times you are the responsible adult taking a friend back home because they’ve had one too many and in short, they don’t make it.  

A taxi driver has a legal responsibility to provide a clean and pleasant environment for their passengers, and a soiled vehicle must be taken off the road to be cleaned.  The drivers themselves are responsible for the cleanup operation.  This is why the taxi soiling charge exists and it is intended to cover the loss of earnings that is incurred from the driver having to take the car off the road.

6. Drinking in taxis

A taxi journey is intended to be a safe, calm environment where both the driver and passenger are respectful and polite.  Many drivers will not allow the consumption of food and drink in their vehicles to avoid the upholstery being soiled at their own discretion.  However, It is not illegal for an adult passenger to consume an alcoholic beverage whilst in the taxi.  That being said it is down to the individual driver’s discretion what they allow in their vehicle, as many are self-employed and by stepping into their cab, you are effectively in their shop. 

7. Smoking in taxis.

In the UK smoking has been banned in enclosed public places and in workplaces since 2007.  This includes taxis and private hire vehicles regardless of whether the driver is transporting a fare to their location or if the vehicle is empty of passengers.  This law also applies to e-cigarettes and drivers or passengers found to be breaking the law can face a fine of up to £200.

Blog

10 Things To Do At Home During Lockdown

It’s been well over a month since Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that the country is officially in lockdown. People have been told to only leave the house when it’s absolutely essential, due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. For most of us this has been the trigger for a new way of living, with the rise of working from home, social distancing, and increased home deliveries. Not to mention the lack of human interaction! 

So how do we keep ourselves occupied, healthy and engaged during these times of self-isolation?  It is vital for our well-being to sustain a routine and structure to our days. 

So as some of us suddenly find ourselves with a lot of free time on our hands we have compiled a list of things that can help alleviate some of the boredom. They may even help you adopt some healthy new practices and pastimes that you can take well into the future!

1. Take a virtual tour 

Take a virtual tour around Machu Picchu

Being stuck at home doesn’t mean you can’t discover some of the world’s most stunning art galleries and museums, and visit some of the most iconic locations around the globe.  With many world heritage sites providing HD virtual tours of the area it’s easy to find a truly immersive experience. 

Google arts and culture partnership provides a comprehensive list of museums and art galleries from around the world and for theme parks and aquariums check out the Good Housekeeping list of best virtual tours.

2. Learn some new Recipes.

Learn some new recipes

It’s been around 4 weeks since our favourite restaurants shut and the pasta shelves in the stores are still looking bare. Our fast-food cravings are at a peak and people have been getting very inventive with their food creations and sharing them online for everyone to try.  

One of the most gladly received is from Dan Fell (@TheKidLewis) the British man who claims that during lockdown he has perfected the recipe that recreates KFC chicken. Also, with being on lockdown it does mean that most people are on a strict budget and Jack Monroe provides great healthy recipes on budgets that are usually less than 50p per meal!   

3. Start a Fitness Programme

Try A Fitness Challenge

With most of us stuck inside it’s easy to become sedentary, and for those of you used to going to the gym or for regular runs and walks outside, remaining active poses somewhat of a challenge.  

Regular exercise helps lower cholesterol and blood pressure and promotes the release of endorphins that make us feel good and contribute to a healthy mental well being.  This is vital when faced with the psychological effects of being forced into isolation and ‘locked down’.  Cardiovascular exercise also contributes to maintaining a healthy immune system.  Increasing the circulation of white blood cells around the body and raising the body temperature helps fight infections in the body, and by getting out of breath we help flush out bacteria from the lungs and airways.

So even though we’re stuck at home, there is no reason you cannot continue your workout routine or even create a new one; Here are some routines that require minimal equipment and that you can easily do from home. 

  1. The Hundred Pushup Challenge
  2. The 30-Day Squat Challenge
  3. Bodyweight Exercise Challenge

4. Solve a mystery

Solve a mystery

Problem-solving is a trait that’s valued greatly within any workforce.  Regularly completing puzzles exercises our brain which subsequently improves our mental speed and thought processes.  However, for some people crosswords and jigsaw puzzles are simply not engaging enough so why not immerse yourself in an unsolved mystery whilst in lockdown.

There is a multitude of online communities dedicated to trying to solve cold cases and mysteries.  Notably Reddit’s Unresolved Mysteries channel where members try to solve cold case files by sharing information and theories.  What’s the weirdest unsolved mystery is a great Reddit feed that is an open discussion on many different unsolved cold cases and mysteries.

So if you feel like embracing the detective in you or becoming an online sleuth and finding out where Carol Baskins husband is, why not try solving a mystery?

5. Upskill yourself with a free online course.

Upskill yourself with a free online course.

Are you running out of things to do in quarantine? Have you exhausted the options on Netflix? Are you tired of the news and social media? Now is the time to learn a new skill, subject or language.  Whether it’s First Aid or playing an instrument, there are plenty of resources online that can help you advance yourself in any area. 


A great source of over 400 free and paid courses that are designed with Universities globally is Future Learn.  Many of the courses are short and course material is fed to students week on week.  They also regularly update their course offerings to include current and relevant topics such as ‘Collaborative Working in a Remote Team’.  But with around 15 different categories to choose from you’re sure to find something that inspires you to learn more.

Other notable websites that offer great educational resources include Open University – Open Learn, Alison and Reed.

6. Grow your own herbs, salad and veg.

Grow your own veg

Spring is here, the weather is beautiful (mostly) and yet we are being forced to stay at home.  It’s a great time to start cultivating your garden.  Spending time outside and with nature is a great way to relieve stress and anxiety which is hugely beneficial for our mental health.  Check out this list of hardy perennials and evergreens that are suitable for planting outside in May.

But what if you don’t have a garden.  Microgreens such as broccoli, amaranth and wheatgrass will happily grow on a wet kitchen roll lining a shallow tray.  Also, another great option is to thickly spread pea shoots or dried marrowfat peas over potting compost and cover with another light layer of compost.  Check out this definitive list of 9 vegetables that you can grow indoors.

7. Understand nutrition.

Understand Nutrition

The underlying threat of an invisible enemy that can make us ill is a scary thought.  It’s essential to maintain a strong and healthy immune system during the lockdown.  With the UK government under pressure to deliver a healthy eating campaign, it’s vital that we educate ourselves about how food can help boost our immune system and make sure our cupboards are stocked with the right foods.   

8. Volunteer 

help astronomers locate supermassive black holes and star-forming galaxies. 

Whilst Coronavirus has shut down much of the UK changing many of our lives, across the UK volunteers are helping the elderly and those more at risk. This is an important measure to help reduce social isolation and is a great way for people to stay connected whilst in lockdown.  Here is some great advice on how to stay safe whilst volunteering to help people who are unable to get out to shop for essential supplies.

For those unable to volunteer in the traditional sense there are plenty of opportunities to volunteer in other ways.  Maybe you’d like to help astronomers locate supermassive black holes and star forming galaxies.  Alternatively, you can help researchers track a multitude of animals from different locations in conservation efforts or help scientists fight the resistance bugs have to antibiotics.  

9. Guided Meditation

Guided meditation is a type of mediation that is led by a teacher, in person or via audio or video. 

Guided meditation is a type of mediation that is led by a teacher, in person or via audio or video.  The approach to guided meditation sees the narrator explain how your mind is likely to behave during the session.  You can then expect an overview of how to practice meditation and it usually concludes with an explanation of how to apply the techniques into everyday life.

For many of us, everyday life has changed dramatically and for some, this is a stressful time.  When we are stressed our bodies release increased levels of the hormone cortisol, the hormone responsible for the many of the harmful effects that stress can cause.  Studies have shown that meditation is a great way to reduce stress and consequently improve the symptoms of stress-related conditions.  

So find yourself a quiet comfortable space and enjoy this list of 10 awesome guided meditations.

10. Update your CV and professional accounts 

Update your CV and professional accounts 

This is probably something that’s normally not very high up on our list of priorities.   But why not take this opportunity to give your professional documents and profiles a complete revamp?

In the words of civil rights leader Howard Thurman. “Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”

Give yourself time to reflect on what it is you actually love.  What inspires and engages you and fuels your passion to make your mark on the world?  Now is a great time to improve your career prospects for when the lockdown is lifted.

Blog

A Thank You To The NHS

The date is the 5th July 1948, the location is the Park Hospital in Manchester.  A man named Aneurin Bevan often known as Nye Bevan launches the NHS. It’s the culmination of years of hard work, from a variety of figures, all working towards revolutionising what they believed to be an insufficient healthcare system.   Motivated to make healthcare accessible to the masses and not just exclusively to those who could afford it, the idea of a national Health service can be traced back to the early 1900’s. Socialist Beatrice Webb argued that to expect those in poverty to be entirely accountable for themselves was a narrow-minded approach from those in charge.

But it would take the cataclysmic effects of the second world war to really pave the way for a massive change to the healthcare system, and it was a momentous achievement.  The war had spurred massive innovations such as Ultrasound technology and a flood of new drugs from the pharmaceutical industry. Antibiotics and improved anaesthetics have been developed as well as medication for the treatment of schizophrenia and depression.  

However, for the first 10 years of its existence, the NHS struggled with a government inexperienced at running a healthcare system, let alone one expanding exponentially.  After the war there was a housing crisis, so homes and schools were prioritised and hospitals simply had less claim on building materials. The distribution of services was also localised to major cities or centres of population leaving rural areas with inadequate healthcare.  However, it was a glimpse into a better future.

The following years saw vaccines becoming available, treatments for certain cancers developed and a different outlook on mental health. Local practices were also established and ever since the NHS has become the stable institute that the UK is proud to have achieved and sustained in our times of need.  Never has the population been so unified in its appreciation of this establishment and never has the NHS been under so much pressure to deliver. The recent corona-virus (COVID-19) crisis has led to feats unimaginable. In just 9 days East London’s ExCel exhibition centre was converted into NHS Nightingale, a hospital providing 4000 intensive care beds over 87,328 square metres.  In total there are approximately 1.5 million people employed by the NHS across the UK, from nurses and physicians to hospital porters and maintenance staff. All right now are classed as key workers in the UK. All of whom are putting themselves on the frontline to help with the increasing numbers of people needing hospital care during these turbulent times.

Thank you NHS

Various campaigns and projects have been initiated over the past few weeks aimed at supporting and honoring our key workers, particularly those in the health and care sectors.  The most memorable being rainbows appearing in the windows of households up and down the country, all designed by individuals and families to help ease the anguish some may suffer whilst finding themselves in isolation.  Others included the UK’s #lightitblue campaign that was adopted globally and saw major landmarks lit up in a vibrant electric blue in honour of our essential workers.  

With a dramatic drop in public transport, our key workers have found it increasingly difficult to travel and have become more and more reliant on ABC Taxis. We are doing everything we can to help support our NHS heroes, and have also received many customer enquiries wanting to help. Our ‘gofundme’ initiative was set up to facilitate public donations that go toward providing our NHS heroes with a free journey.   The page has already raised over £2,500 from just over 70 donors which have subsequently provided over 250 lifts for NHS staff traveling to and from work in Norwich. Our thanks and gratitude goes to every individual who has made a donation so far and if you wish to support your local NHS workers during the pandemic, please visit our gofundme page and make your own donation however much or little, it all helps. Thank you from all of us here at ABC Taxis Norwich for your ongoing support and incredible generosity! 

Please refer to the government guidelines if you are unsure about what to do during the Covid-19 crisis; 

Clarification of the symptoms and further information from the NHS related to Covid-19 can be found on the NHS Advice for everyone page.

STAY HOME | SAVE LIVES | PROTECT THE NHS

Blog

7 Unique Wedding Venues In (And Near) Norfolk

It’s finally spring! Storms are subsiding, the sun is becoming less shy, and the clocks are going forward again at the end of the month. Butterflies are back and spring fever is in the air, and perhaps your wedding plans and dreams for the summer are suddenly springing to mind, putting a spring in your step, and making you want to spring into action. 

Of course, you want your wedding to be as special and perfect as can be, including the venue, the food, the guests, and the decoration. What better place to achieve that than the East of England, with its stretches of coastline, rolling countryside, history-packed towns and villages, and countless unique venues? 

If you have something a little different in mind, but you’re not quite sure what, check out these 10 stunningly unique wedding venues in and near Norfolk for inspiration! Just maybe, one will even stand out to you as a candidate…

Happy Valley, Grimston, PE32 1DN

long dining tables for barn wedding Happy Valley Peterborough
The so-called Dutch barn is boho-inspired, with panoramic views of the mystical lake and meadowland. 
(Via Happy Valley)

Happy Valley describes itself as a ‘magical woodland venue and glamping retreat’. The venue is situated in 9 acres of woodland, and features stripped-back barns with original features, a lake with its own island, glamping accommodation, a luxury lodge for a bridal suite, and beautiful landscapes. The venue is suited for around 150 guests, with various options available. Why not find out more by registering for their Wilderness Wedding Fair and Open Day on the 26th of April? 

toad hall happy valley bridal suite with hot tub norfolk
Toad Hall, the Luxury Lodge and Bridal Suite, comes with a private hot tub. 
(Via Airbnb)

The Keeper And The Dell, Ringland, NR8 6JW

The Devotion Den under the cabin can be used for a photo booth, an outdoor chill space, or a dance floor. 
(Via The Keeper and The Dell)

A truly relaxed and inviting atmosphere, The Keeper and the Dell is a fully licensed secluded venue which boasts its rustic barn, traditional canvas marquee, camp kitchen and saloon, fire pit, and ancient woodland setting. Surrounded by a medieval grove, it’s open from June to September, when the romantic country setting can be used by brides and grooms and their guests to marry, celebrate, and sleep under the stars. The owners of the venue take pride in offering their guests exclusive use of the venue over a weekend, as well as a lot of creative freedom and options to choose from.

rustic barn living area at The Keeper and The Dell Norfolk wedding venue
The rustic barn has a main area that is licensed for ceremonies, and a living room which is perfect for signing the wedding license or setting up a gift table with a guest book, for example. 
(Via The Keeper and the Dell)

The Boathouse, Ormesby Broad, NR29 3LP

wedding ceremony chairs on wooden deck at Ormesby Broad, Norfolk
The outdoor deck offers an unobstructed view of the broad, making it perfect for an alfresco reception in the summer. 
(Via The Boathouse)

Amidst 11 acres of scenic parkland on the banks of Ormesby Broad is The Boathouse – a country fayre pub and unique wedding venue. The Boathouse has it all, from fine dining to fully equipped luxury woodland lodges. It promises idyllic romance and enchanting views, and offers space for up to 120 people. There is a spacious outdoor terrace overlooking the water for alfresco receptions, as well as a private indoor bar with dance floor. The Boathouse is decorated in a contemporary, ‘New England’ style, designed to fit seamlessly into the nature around it. 

The Breakfast Room wedding reception dining area at The Boathouse, Ormesby
The Breakfast Room at The Boathouse can comfortably accommodate 120 people at round tables for a seated reception.
(Via The Boathouse)

Thursford Garden Pavilion, Fakenham, NR21 0AS

The enchanting carousel that takes pride of place within the ‘magical museum’ at Thursford.

Thursford Garden Pavilion is a uniquely versatile venue that prides itself on providing extraordinarily elegant and luxurious wedding experiences. You can choose from a selection of areas for your special day, including al fresco ceremony areas, a rustic barn, a posh pavilion, and, excitingly, their ‘magical museum’ with its gelato parlour, vintage fair rides, and other historical curiosities. On top of that, newlyweds can choose to stay at the Holly Lodge – an 18th century period property with some elements even dating back to the 13th century.  The lodge includes a bridal suite and a converted stable which can sleep 12 guests. It was once used as a stopover for pilgrims on their way to the shrines at Little Walsingham, giving it a sense of real historical magic. 

The lodge includes a bridal suite and a converted stable which can sleep 12 guests.

The Fire Pit Camp, Wendling, NR19 2LT

The outdoor bar and celebration area, and a vintage double-decker bus at The Fire Pit Camp, Wendling.

If you love glamping and festival-style weddings, consider booking the Fire Pit Camp for your special day. The venue is fully licensed in- and outdoors, and offers exclusive use of its campsite as well as the warehouse, vintage caravan, and retro bus for your wedding. The campground offers much to explore, including an intimate meadow for outdoor ceremonies, natural fields, glamping accommodation, a large fire pit, an industrial warehouse with covered alfresco dining area, an outdoor bar and celebration area, and a vintage double-decker bus. And the bridal suite is a handmade hazelwood dome! All the necessary amenities are available, including bathroom facilities, hot water, and electric/solar power. If you love festival vibes, being surrounded by nature, and being eco-conscious, make sure you find out more about the Fire Pit!

The campground offers much to explore, including an intimate meadow for outdoor ceremonies.

Cley Windmill, Holt, NR25 7RP

The windmill’s beautiful round dining room is fully licenced for ceremonies.

For more intimate ceremonies and/or receptions for up to 25 people, consider booking Cley Windmill for your unique wedding venue. The windmill’s beautiful round dining room is fully licenced for ceremonies. There are also a balcony and a garden, perfect for scenic wedding photographs! Cley Windmill offers b&b rooms which can accommodate 16 guests, or up to 20 if you also book the nearby self catering cottage – The Old Bakery. 

Cley Windmill offers b&b rooms which can accommodate 16 guests.

Felbrigg Lodge Hotel, Aylmerton, NR11 8RA

The Lodge is perfectly situated, close to the parkland walks in the National Trust’s Felbrigg Park.

Situated within seven acres of woodland and gardens, Felbrigg Lodge Hotel is a beautiful wedding venue ideal for more intimate gatherings of up to 34 people. The wedding package gives you exclusive access to the hotel’s twelve beautiful rooms, including the honeymoon suite, and most importantly, the hotel’s very own heated indoor swimming pool, sauna, and hot tub. The Lodge is perfectly situated, close to the parkland walks in the National Trust’s Felbrigg Park, and only four miles away from the coast.

Felbrigg Lodges very own heated indoor swimming pool.

Whether you’re just looking for inspiration or ready to make decisions, we hope our list of extraordinarily unique wedding venues in the Norfolk area has given you some great ideas. As always, you can count on ABC Taxis for all your taxi needs, whether you’re viewing wedding venues or getting married. Enjoy the spring and enjoy the sunshine!

Blog

International Women’s Day 2020 In Norwich

International Women’s Day, which is celebrated every year on the 8th of March, is taking place this coming Sunday! You may already know that this holiday is about celebrating the achievements of women around the world, but why do we do this? And how?

In this week’s blog, we’ll tell you about the origins of the upcoming holiday, including how it started and why it is important. We have also put together some ideas for things to do if you feel like getting involved in the Women’s Day celebrations in Norwich this weekend!

The Origins of Women’s Day: A Timeline

So where did this holiday come from, and why? Maybe you have only started hearing about it more recently, but International Women’s Day (IWD) has been around for well over a century! 

28 February, 1909: National Woman’s Day is held in New York City, organised by the Socialist Party of America. Women lobby for fair working conditions and the right to vote (suffrage), which they won’t achieve until August 1920.

Women lobby for fair working conditions and the right to vote (suffrage)

1909 – 1910: Many activists are inspired by the idea, and attendees at the Second International (an organisation of socialist and labour parties) agree to adopt the holiday, finding it a good strategy to promote equal rights and suffrage for women. 

19 March, 1911: International Women’s Day is first celebrated in Austria-Hungary, Denmark, Germany, and Switzerland. In Austra-Hungary alone, more than 300 demonstrations take place to fight gender discrimination and secure women’s rights to study, work, and vote. Over one million women and men attend the rallies across the world. In the USA, it takes place in February. 

February 1913: Russian women observe their first International Women’s Day on the last Saturday of the month. 

8 March 1914: International Women’s Day is held in Germany and England, where women continue to fight for the right to vote. 

In Petrograd (now St. Petersburg), the capital of the Russian Empire, women textile workers demonstrate across the city,

8 March 1917: In Petrograd (now St. Petersburg), the capital of the Russian Empire, women textile workers demonstrate across the city, marking the beginning of the February Revolution, the first of two revolutions that eventually ended dynastic rule in Russia and brought about the USSR. The Soviets officially adopted the holiday when they came to power, although it was a working day until 1965, when it was declared a national non-working day.

After this series of events, Women’s Day was mainly celebrated by communist countries and movements. This includes commemoration in China starting in 1922, with an official holiday and half-day off for women proclaimed in 1949 after the founding of the People’s Republic. A women’s march was also led by communist leaders in Madrid in 1936, on the eve of the Spanish Civil War. 

Circa 1967: Second-wave feminists adopt the day as one of activism, and over the next decades women’s groups, leftists, and labor organisations continue to cooperate to call for equal pay, equal economic opportunity, equal legal rights, reproductive rights, subsidized child care, and the prevention of violence against women. 

Stamps issued in Germany (DDR) 1975, MiNr Zusammendruck 2019-2021

1975: The United Nations celebrates International Women’s Year, and names the decade to follow (‘76 to ‘85) the United Nations Decade for Women. As a result of the international focus on women’s rights in this year, a number of women-centred institutions were established, including the International Research and Training Institute for the Advancement of Women (INSTRAW) and the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM). These continue to lead in promoting women’s human rights worldwide. 

1996: the UN begins adopting an annual theme for International Women’s Day. The first one was “Celebrating the Past, Planning for the Future”. 

21st Century: As corporations begin to sponsor and promote IWD events and feel-good messages, especially in the West, social reforms fade into the background, and many organisations (including the International Committee of the Red Cross and the UN, among others) initiate campaigns to raise awareness of the disproportional hardships women continue to face globally.

IWD Around The World

Women’s Day is an official holiday in 27 countries, from Afghanistan to Zambia. It is also widely observed in many countries where it is not a public holiday, such as Cameroon, Romania, and Chile. The context and celebrations of the holiday vary significantly from one country to another. 

In some countries, such as Russia, the day has lost its political context over time and is now simply a day to honour women and feminine beauty. Men often give women little gifts and flowers on this day. In countries like Bulgaria and Romania, the day is also observed as an equivalent of Mother’s Day, where children traditionally give small gifts to their mothers and grandmothers. In Italy, on the other hand, men traditionally give women yellow mimosas on Women’s Day. 

International Women’s Day started as part of socialist and feminist political movements in the West in the early 1900s, but it is now truly international, with many cultures, countries, and people celebrating it in many different ways. 

Whether the origins of the holiday are significant to you, you think the holiday is a nice opportunity to appreciate the women in your life, or this is just like any other weekend to you, why not get out of the house and celebrate? Here are a handful of events taking place in Norwich over the weekend for International Women’s Day. 

Events In Norwich This Weekend

A Feast of True Stories: In Praise Of Great Women at the Bicycle Shop

The Bicycle Shop on St Benedict Street teams up with Norwich Arts Centre and The Sainsbury Laboratory for another edition of A Feast of True Stories. For Women’s Day, they’re arranging a three-course meal, welcome drink, and table service accompanied by talks surrounding the great achievements of ordinary women. Doors open at 18:30 and the event begins at 19:00. You can check out the full menu and book your place here!

Women’s Day at the Buddhist Centre

The Norwich Buddhist Centre at 14 Bank Street is celebrating IWD with a Women’s Dharma Workshop. The aim is to ‘reflect on progress made, to call for change and to celebrate acts of courage and determination’ by women. The day will include metta meditation, stories of courageous dharma practitioners, and a shared lunch. The event is open to all, and payment is by donation. 

Walking Women (first Tuesday of every month)

This one is not directly related to International Women’s Day, but it’s a monthly activity organised by women, for women. On the first day of every month, women meet for an approximately 1.5 hour walk through the spectacular Holkham Estate. If you love sociable walks, find out more here and join them sometime!

Whether or not you’re celebrating International Women’s Day, we hope our brief history lesson was informative, and we wish you a wonderful weekend! 

Blog

6 Great Breweries To Visit In Norfolk

East Anglia is known for being home to of some of the best breweries in Europe. Brewers here have long maintained the tradition amidst fields upon fields of the world’s best malting barley. These days, with the help of refined technology and the rising popularity of craft beer, the independent brewing scene is thriving. Beer is not only a beverage, but a whole field which is simultaneously an artistic endeavour, a culinary speciality, and a branch of science. 

Breweries are a point of pride for Norfolk, so if you have an interest in the art of brewing or you just like to drink beer, don’t miss the opportunity to visit some of the best local breweries. We have compiled a list of some of our favourites for your next birthday, office party, or family day out. Of course, you can always rely on ABC Taxis to get you there and back. 

Redwell Brewery

The Arches, Norwich, NR1 2EF

redwell brewery taproom bar
The opening of the taproom bar at Redwell Brewery, via Norwich Evening News

Founded in 2013, Redwell is one of the first craft breweries in the UK to offer an entirely vegan and gluten-free range. Situated just outside of Norwich city centre near Whitlingham Country Park, the brewery boasts one of Norwich’s biggest beer gardens, making it an especially perfect destination in warmer months. 

A summertime shot of the beer garden at Redwell Brewery, via Twitter

Redwell is all about the vibes, and they organise monthly brewery tours that you can join, as well as numerous other beer, music, and craft events. They also offer tours and tasting sessions with their head brewer, which can be booked for private groups. 

As for their beer, their popular range includes a crisp pilsner, a fruity extra pale ale, and a super-hopped west coast PA, but they also experiment with hybrid brews such as their Steam lager and White IPA. 

Woodforde’s Brewery

Slad Lane, Woodbastwick, NR13 6SW

woodforde's brewery pub the fur and feather
Woodforde’s Brewery Tap, the Fur and Feather, via TripAdvisor

If you have been to the pub in Norfolk, you will undoubtedly have heard of Woodforde’s Brewery. The company was born back in the 60’s, when a pair of good friends with a passion for homebrewing and authentic flavours began handcrafting their own beers. In 1990, the brewery won CAMRA’s ‘New Breweries Champion Beer of Britain’ award with its Wherry – a beer it is still famous for today. Since then, the brewery has won over 130 awards for its delicious creations. 

The brewery in Woodbastwick (about 20 minutes from Norwich by cab) welcomes visitors to book a brewery tour online for just £15. Of course, you can also pop in for a pint or book a table at their very own country pub, which is called Fur and Feather. 

The Wolf Brewery

Norwich Road, Besthorpe, NR17 2LA

 the wolf brewery attleborough sainsburys contract
The Wolf Brewery team upon securing a contract with Sainsbury’s in 2012, via Diss Mercury

The Wolf Brewery is another well-established Norfolk brewery. Founder Wolfe Witham was well known in Norwich during the 1980s as the man behind the Reindeer brewpub, which was very popular at the time. The brewery first opened in 1995 on the former Gaymers Cider site in Attleborough, but outgrew those premises and invested in a new brew plant in 2006. They have now also installed their own bottling plant so that their prize-winning ales can be enjoyed further afield. 

The Wolf Brewery is a member of the East Anglian Brewers’ Co-Operative, which is working with local farmers towards ‘full traceability’ – meaning the beers they brew can be traced all the way from grain to glass. Among the brewery’s prize-winning beers are Straw Dog (wheat beer), Coyote (‘a well balanced hoppy ale’), and Golden Jackal (‘a hoppy thirst-quenching golden session bitter’).

You need to contact the brewery in order to book a tour, but it also has a shop where you can buy their beers as well as other bits and pieces. (You can also order beer from the Wolf online!) 

Lacons Brewery – The Honingham Buck

The Street, Honingham, Norwich, Norfolk, NR9 5BL

Located in Great Yarmouth, Lacons is a well-established Norfolk brewery that has been around since the mid-18th century, and moved into its current premises in 2013. But Lacons does more than just beer, distributing over 2,000 product lines including beer, wine, spirits, and soft drinks. 

Lacons Brewery is well-known for Lacons Encore, an award-winning amber ale, as well as the rest of its multi-award winning core range. This is complemented by their seasonal beers, including small batches of heritage ales and keg beers which include Quell, a cult favourite, and the hoppy Steam Craft Lager. 

Honingham Buck Outdoor
The Lacons Brewery public house – the Honingham Buck, via The Honingham Buck website

Unfortunately, the brewery does not advertise tours. However, since 2015, Lacons has operated a public house in the village of Honingham. There, they showcase their multi-award-winning ales complemented by a locally-sourced contemporary menu. The public house also has 8 luxury en-suite rooms available, making it the perfect place for a weekend getaway. 

Humpty Dumpty Brewery

Church Road, Reedham, NR13 3TZ

humpty dumpty brewery reedham
Humpty Dumpty Brewery, via Broads National Park

Humpty Dumpty Brewery is known for creating delicious real ales since 1998. Based in Reedham at the heart of the Norfolk broads, the 18-barrel microbrewery’s playful name comes from a type of steam locomotive which operated on the Norwich-Lowestoft line in the early 20th century. These were-front heavy, and looked as though they might fall off the line, which led to the nickname Humpty Dumpty.

Humpty Dumpty Brewery is great to visit for its on-site shop (open daily from Easter to November), which sells a full range of their bottled beer and branded merch as well as other local produce including cider, wine, and soap among others. You can also arrange a brewery tour and tasting which can include a fish and chip supper. Do note that there is a minimum number of guests, and availability depends on working schedules. 

Chalk Hill Brewery

Rosary Road, Norwich, NR1 4DA

Chalk Hill Brewery is the longest-running independent brewery in Norwich. The custom-built, 15 barrel brew plant was developed simultaneously with the Coach and Horses next door, starting in 1993. The founders were Bill Thomas, Tiny Little, and David Blake, a group of friends with mutual interests in sailing and beer. When the pub opened in July ‘93, it served some of Chalk Hill’s first real ales, including Chalk Hill Best. This bitter has been refined over the years into the brewery’s best, and remains a favourite for many. 

They now brew a range of seven real ales, which they continue to supply the Coach and Horses, as well as the Alexandra Tavern on Stafford Street. They were first featured in CAMRA’s Good Beer Guide in 2018. The brewery offers free tours on request. These are led by head brewer Robbie, and last about 45 minutes, finishing with a tasting session. 

Blog

An In-Depth Look At Our Eco Fleet

At ABC Taxis, we prioritise efficiency as well as the comfort of our drivers and passengers alike. As a company, we are conscious of the effects of road transportation on the environment. That is why our eco fleet of taxis consists entirely of top-of-the-range hybrid cars and efficient minivans. Curious about our eco vehicles? Join us on an in-depth tour of their key specifications and highlights to find out what makes them comfortable, efficient, and environmentally friendly. 

(Please note that all of the below vehicles are available with a variety of options, and we have selected particular ones to give you an idea of their specifications. The below specifications do not apply to all of our cars.)

Toyota Auris Estate

toyota auris estate
The Toyota Auris Estate, via Auto Trader

The Toyota Auris Touring Sports (aka estate) hybrid is well-known as a reliable and competent vehicle. The more recent revival of the Corolla in hybrid form (which also features in our fleet), has largely replaced the Auris as Toyota’s go-to hybrid car. However, the Auris still has many admirable features, including its unfussy, functional design and spacious interior. 

The Auris hybrid is often complimented for how relaxing it is to drive thanks to its supple suspension and minimal noise both inside and out. It also has a spacious boot which makes it perfect for taking passengers to the airport or train station. 

Specifications (1.8L VVT-i Hybrid):

Power 134bhp / 100 kW
Battery capacity6.5 Ah
Top Speed112 mph
0-60 mph11 secs
CO293 g/km 
Emissions standardEuro 5
Fuel consumption70 mpg
Luggage Capacity507 L

Because the Auris has been around since 2009, it is not the most efficient of the hybrid vehicles available today. However, Toyota is a trailblazer in the world of electric cars, having released the first hybrid Prius in 1997. The Japanese manufacturer has proven time and time again that they are committed to constant innovation, and this can be seen in the newer hybrid Corollas. 

Toyota Corolla Estate 

toyota corolla estate landscape
The Toyota Corolla Hybrid, via Carbuyer

Named Car of the Year 2020: Hybrid Winner by WhatCar?, the Toyota Corolla Estate Hybrid is an undeniable industry leader. The especially efficient and smooth-driving new models have taken the Hyundai Ioniq’s place at the top of the ranks. Unsurprisingly, the car has excellent reviews, with frequently mentioned pros including its efficiency, super smooth handling, seamless transitions between electric petrol and electric power, spacious interior, and roomy boot. 

Specifications (1.8L VVT-i Hybrid):

Power 120 bhp
Battery capacity3.6 Ah
Top Speed111 mph
0-60 mph8.5 secs
CO276 to 83 g/km 
Emissions standardEuro 6 AM
Fuel consumption55.4 to 65.9 mpg 
Luggage Capacity598 L

Hyundai Ioniq

Many of our cabs at ABC taxis are Hyundai IONIQ Hybrids

The Hyundai Ioniq is also a leader in its field and a muti-award-winning one at that. The best thing about this hybrid vehicle is its ability to drive on electric power only, and therefore to travel decent distances (up to 39 miles for the Plug-In Hybrid) with zero emissions. In many ways, it is similar to the Kia Niro – both cars are sold in three electrified forms: a hybrid model (petrol engine + electric motor), a plug-in hybrid (with a bigger battery that can be charged externally for more range), and a pure electric vehicle (EV). 

Unlike many hybrids, which are fitted with CVT, single-speed gearboxes, both versions of the Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid have a six-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox, making it much smoother and quieter than the average CVT. The interior design of the Ioniq furthers the car’s exceptional efficiency, with lightweight materials selected specially to reduce the vehicle’s weight and fuel consumption. The car also has great aerodynamics, with a class-leading drag coefficient of only 0.24. 

Specifications (Hybrid 1.6 GDI):

Power 141 bhp
Battery capacity1.56 kWh
Top Speed115 mph
0-60 mph10.8 secs
CO284 g/km 
Emissions standardEuro 6d-Temp
Fuel consumption78.5 mpg 
Luggage Capacity443 L

Toyota Prius

A Prius+ hybrid car, via Toyota

As we have already mentioned, the hybrid Prius has been around for over 20 years, and it has evolved significantly over that time. Named Green Car of the Year 2016 by Auto Express, the Prius can drive at up to 36mph on electricity alone when sufficiently charged (if you’re gentle on the accelerator), meaning it is exceptionally quiet and relaxed for driving in the city. 

At motorway speeds, the petrol engine kicks in for additional power, but drivers say this is unobtrusive and still relatively quiet, emitting little more than a faint drone during steady driving. If you floor the accelerator, however, the CVT gearbox will send the revs shooting up and cause some engine boom. The Prius Hybrid is popular for its low servicing costs and excellent fuel economy, even when set to four-wheel drive. The Prius is also the most efficient non-plug-in hybrid. 

Specifications (1.8L Petrol Hybrid Automatic):

Power 122 bhp
Battery capacity7.2 Ah
Top Speed112 mph
0-62 mph10.8 secs
CO275 – 84 g/km 
Emissions standardEuro 6DG
Fuel consumption59.6 – 67.3mpg 
Luggage Capacity502 L

Mercedes-Benz Vito 

The Mercedes Vito Panel Van, via Motor1

The Mercedes Vito is a popular minivan among taxi firms, as it is designed to be ideal for urban operations and frequent recurring trips in terms of its efficiency. There are many options to choose from in the Mercedes Vito range, including diesel engines, the fully electric eVito, panel, crew, and tourer vans, and even the black cab edition. 

The Vito Tourer van offers comfortable seating for up to 9 people, as well as plenty of room for luggage. It’s available in various options, including three vehicle lengths and two trim lines, meaning the van is customisable and versatile. Many of these models include BlueEFFICIENCY packages as standard, meaning they come with smart eco features such as ECO start/stop which turns of the engine when stationary, a smart alternator which recharges the battery when coasting or braking, and rolling-resistance optimised tyres.  

Specifications (114 Tourer Pro L2 Auto):

Power 102 bhp
Battery capacity N/A
Top Speed120 mph
0-60 mph11.8 secs
CO2171 g/km 
Emissions standardEuro E6
Fuel consumption44 mpg 
Luggage Capacity550 L

KIA Niro 

Kia Niro

When talking about efficient cars and especially top-of-the-range hybrids, the KIA Niro is another one that is sure to be mentioned. Thanks to its SUV-like design, the Niro has a comfortable, spacious interior that allows for a natural seating position in the front and the back, as well as an excellent view of the road. 

The Niro Plug-In Hybrid, like most EVs, is practically silent in electric mode, and even its fuel engine is very quiet, making it very pleasant to drive. The regular hybrid, too, is often praised for the seamless (and nearly imperceptible) way the petrol engine and electric motor work together via its six-speed automatic gearbox. Like most hybrids, it also has a regenerative braking system to recover energy. 

Specifications (1.6 GTI Hybrid 3):

Power 139 bhp
Battery capacity8.9 to 15.6 kWh
Top Speed101 mph
0-60 mph11.1 secs
CO2100 g/km 
Emissions standardEuro 6
Fuel consumption65.7 mpg 
Luggage Capacity382 L

Summary

By riding with ABC Taxis, you can rest assured that the utmost care has been taken to ensure efficiency and comfort. We care not only about customer satisfaction, but we are also committed to doing our part to reduce non-renewable energy consumption, harmful emissions, and even noise pollution thanks to our expertly selected fleet of eco-cars.

>