Prior to its introduction, getting a taxi home on a Friday or Saturday night was a bit of a lottery. It never seemed to matter that you had been waiting for ages and that it was your turn – someone else always seemed to think that they had the right to leap in front of you, the minute a taxi drew up at the kerb.
But since the introduction of the ‘marshals’ – burly chaps who simply direct people in the queue to the next waiting taxi – I am not only guaranteed my place in the queue, but also I feel more secure while I am waiting. Many of the people queuing will have had a drink or two, and some are more boisterous than others. It can be more than a little intimidating if things start to get lively and there’s a bit of pushing and shoving going on.
The Weighbridge area has always been a bit of a mecca for people wanting one more for the road, not least because there are several night clubs within easy walking distance. So well done to those who have endeavoured to keep the marshal scheme going – and long may it continue.
Nevertheless, we are told that whereas at the start the scheme was paid for by the States, it will now be funded from advertising placed not only on the outside of taxis, but also inside, on a monitor at the back of the headrest.
I have no objection to the exterior advertising – they seem to do it everywhere else – but I’m not at all sure that I really want to be a captive audience while I’m being driven. My first experience of the new scheme this week confirms my misgivings – the screens are so close to the passenger’s eyes in the rear of the car that they are not only intrusive, but could also induce nausea and, if prone to visual disturbance, probably migraine as well.
On the subject of advertising, have you noticed how an increasing number of events are taking on the name of their sponsors? There’s the Jersey Marathon, which is called the (name of bank) marathon. And of course the Island Games has for years been the (name of bank) Island Games. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if the Battle of Flowers didn’t become the (name of sponsor) Battle of Flowers, and ditto the International Air Display.
It’s just one more way that companies use to get their branding into our already overloaded brains. It may be legal, but it is also an unwanted intrusion into our thought processes that I could certainly do without.
• Read more of Christine ‘s comment in Saturday’s Jersey Evening Post