Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, Sheffield taxi fares, BBC Three return and Chinese New Year - Week Ahead

The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, councillors’ call on taxi fares, a return to air for BBC Three and Chinese New Year. John Blow takes a look at the week ahead.

Platinum Jubilee

Celebrations for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee – the first of its kind in the country’s royal history – will take place later in the week.

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The nation will mark the 70th anniversary of the monarch’s reign on Sunday after Elizabeth II’s accession to on February 6, 1952.

Queen Elizabeth II celebrates her Platinum Jubilee next Sunday. Photo by Arthur Edwards - WPA Pool/Getty Images.

Events are taking place throughout the year, however, culminating in a four-day UK bank holiday weekend from June 2 to 5.

Fare decision?

Councillors in Sheffield could decide today whether to allow an increase in Hackney taxi fares ahead of introducing daily charges to drive in the city centre following a delay.

It was reported last week that key figures of the South Yorkshire city’s taxi trade requested various increases in the price of Hackney carriage journeys amid concerns that the Clean Air Zone will damage business.

Lanterns used to celebrate Chinese New Year. Photo: Kelvin Stuttard

One of the drivers, Ray Chappell, asked for a £5 increase in fares, saying that it will cost in the region of £60,000 to upgrade vehicles to be compliant with the new charge and that many drivers were already giving up their licences because it is not viable.

He previously said: “Licensing authorities throughout the country are pressing us to go electric but with the fares as they are there is little incentive.”

Uber “surge” their prices when it gets busy and other companies have raised their prices during events, he said. “In Sheffield Hackney carriages are left behind with very old fares despite increases in expenses,” said Mr Chappell.

The council was due to make a decision on the issue at a meeting last year but it was postponed due to Covid-19.

The Clean Air Zone, which will cover the city centre, means that drivers of taxis, lorries, buses, coaches and vans will have to pay a daily charge to drive if their vehicle does not meet certain emissions standard. Taxis and vans would be charged £10 a day and coaches, buses and lorries £50 a day.

Broadcast return

BBC Three will return as a youth-focused broadcast channel tomorrow after being off the air for six years.

It was scrapped in 2016 and made an online streaming channel amid budget cuts but shows associated with the it, such as Fleabag and Normal People, have since become major hits.

After Ofcom published its decision to approve the channel, it will be available to viewers on Freeview, Sky, Virgin and Freesat from 7pm every night.

In November last year, Fiona Campbell, Controller at BBC Three said: “This is a big moment, with the new channel providing a destination for young audiences to discover more content on the BBC. We will work hand in hand with iPlayer to provide a broad offering that is representative of the whole of the UK and we will continue to back new talent and bold ideas.”

The channel will begin its comeback with RuPaul’s Drag Race UK Versus The World, in which drag queens compete against international counterparts.

Chinese New Year

The Year of the Tiger begins as Chinese New Year is celebrated tomorrow.

Although the date falls on February 1 this year, celebrations will typically last 16 days, starting from January 31 until February 15.

Each year on the Chinese calendar is linked to one of 12 zodiac animals, each with their own specific characteristics.

The twelve animals are: Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog and Pig.

The final day of the celebrations is marked by the Lantern Festival.

Many people celebrate by letting paper lanterns off into the sky.