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Edinburgh’s iconic summer Taxi Outing has been cancelled for second year running due to the pandemic

Image credit: Sparky Forsyth (Creative Sparks Photography)

Edinburgh’s iconic Taxi Outing has been cancelled for a second year running due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Edinburgh Taxi Trade Children’s Outing, which has been running for over 70 years, helps local children with special needs take a tour in highly decorated taxis. The taxi tour passes through Musselburgh before making its way to the sea front.

Due to several factors linking back to the COVID-19 pandemic, the organisers of the event said the cancellation of this summer’s Outing would be ‘devastating’ for some involved.

A spokesperson from the Edinburgh Taxi Outing said in a social media statement: “As we embark on 2021, many of us had hoped that this year would be better than 2020. I’m hopeful that it will be with the rollout of the vaccine, but unfortunately this won’t happen quickly enough to allow this year’s Outing to go ahead.

“Having different families sharing a taxi and then having 300+ people mingling at Archerfield just won’t be feasible, or safe, especially as many of our children have additional medical conditions.

“The other factor to consider is the devastating year it's been for the taxi trade. Many drivers working long hours and making very little, and now that we’re back in lockdown until at least February (although I fear it will be even longer) the pressure on taxi drivers will be even greater, so I couldn’t in all conscience then ask drivers to give up their time and taxis for this year’s Outing . I know that many would still try and volunteer themselves because they believe in the Outing and want to support it, but it wouldn’t be right to have them do this at a time when many are struggling just to put food on the table.

“I know some of you may be thinking that it’s six months away and the vaccine is being rolled out, but the planning would be starting now, and we need a few months to put everything in place, and with many companies who support us as well suffering, realistically the Committee feels that it’s better to make a firm decision now rather than leave until the last minute.

“I know that this will be a devastating decision for all, but especially to those for whom this would have been their last year. The Committee is acutely aware of this and WHEN the Outing goes ahead in 2022, we will certainly work with the schools to see if there is a way we can include those whose last Outings were due in 2020 and 2021 in someway or other.

“So finally can I thank everyone, on behalf of the Committee, for their support of the Outing over the years and for their support going forward. We know that this is not what we’d hoped for for the Outing this year, but it is the right thing to do.

“Stay safe and we’ll see you all on the 74th Edinburgh Taxi Trade Children’s Outing on 14th June 2022.”

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