Yarmouth taxi firm thanked for 800 mile Belgium trip

THE wife of a man who was hospitalised on holiday spoke of her relief after a taxi driver travelled hundreds of miles to bring them home.

James and Linda Hughes, of Gorleston, were returning on a coach from Luxembourg when Mr Hughes was taken ill and admitted to a hospital in Belgium.

But fears they would be stranded were put to rest after their daughters had made a call to a Great Yarmouth taxi firm and a driver was sent on the 18-hour, 800-mile round-trip to bring them home.

The estimated cost of a taxi from Yarmouth to Ghent in Belgium, is upwards of �500.

But the couple, who were unwilling to disclose the fare, said they had received a very reasonable price from the taxi firm, which brought them home on Thursday last week.

Mother of two Mrs Hughes, 64, said she wanted to say a huge thank you to the taxi firm which helped alleviate pressure during what was a stressful and traumatic time. She said: “It was very worrying for me because at one stage I did not know what was wrong with my husband.”

Husband James, also 64, was kept under observation at one hospital before being transferred to Ghent University Hospital, near Brussels.

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And once the couple knew when he was to be discharged their taxi plan was put into action.

Mrs Hughes added: “Andy Watson, the manager of Albies Taxis, had been so reassuring and told me not to worry because it was all being sorted out. That was all I needed to hear and it took a lot of the responsibility away.

“Our only other options would be to use the train or go by air, but my husband was only able to walk a few steps, so we could not do it.”

Albies had been willing to send driver David Harris straight away, but decided to wait to make sure he arrived at the same time Mr Hughes was discharged from hospital.

Mr Harris, who has worked for the taxi firm for four years, said the trip to fetch the couple was the farthest he had ever travelled on a job in his taxi.

Meanwhile, Andy, of Albies, said he would always help local people who he described as being the bread and butter of his business.

“We are happy to do journeys anywhere and we are happy to support local people as much as we can,” he said.