Festive taxis on charitable journey

Wigan taxi drivers, Nigel Walker, left, and Tracy Hibbert

Wigan taxi drivers, Nigel Walker, left, and Tracy Hibbert

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TWO taxi drivers are turning their cars into wheeled winter wonderlands for the festive season to raise money for charity.

Hackney cab drivers Nigel Walker and Tracy Hibbert have had their Ford Mondeos covered in Christmas designs including images of Santa’s sleigh, reindeers and snowflakes.

Passengers booking a cab over the festive period could also find themselves being ferried around in a grotto-like interior decked out in lights, Christmas hats on the seat headrests and tinsel.

Self-employed Whelley driver Tracy will be raising money for Marie Curie Cancer Support while Nigel, from Leigh, who also drives a minicab but is based with Bluestar, will be fund-raising in aid of Wigan and Leigh Hospice.

The drivers say they both have personal reasons for going the extra mile to support their chosen charities.

Tracy, 45, said: “I decorate my car interior every year but this year we lost a long-time taxi driver called Mick and he had his car branded every year, so I’ve had the outside done too for his sake. I also chose Marie Curie because quite a few of my regulars are battling cancer, so I thought it would be good to do something for them as they’ve booked taxis with me all year. A lot of people know me and they kept asking me when I was going to decorate the car this year. They seem to love the design, little kids are going mad when they see it.”

Nigel, 49, said: “My mother-in-law Sylvia Somers died at the hospice and they made her last few days really comfortable and welcomed us at all hours of the day and night. They even let one family member stay overnight. I’ve never had chance to give anything back properly so this is my big opportunity. They do such a thankless job and it is such a good charity. The work that has gone into branding the car is so intense and it looks brilliant. If I can exceed £500 I will be elated.”