London taxi becomes a hotel for Olympic visitors
In preparation for the biggest sporting event to have hit London in many years, the city is getting inventive.
Bin men and road sweepers are being turned into tour guides, trained to provide customer service and to offer pocket-sized maps to visitors who have no idea where they are.
"Our street sweepers and bin men are some of the friendliest faces in town. So much so, that as well as keeping the city clean, they often become the unofficial tour guides for London," said councilor Ed Argar, cabinet member for city management and transport.
And one entrepreneurial cabbie is hoping to offset a loss in earnings due to Olympic-oriented traffic restrictions, by converting his taxi into a hotel.
David Weekes, a full-time cab driver has transformed his iconic black cab into a hotel for one, available to rent for £50 (US$78.50) a night.
The taxi comes with a "memory foam" mattress, pillow, duvet, a bedside lamp and a Paddington Bear teddy.
It also offers a solar-powered fridge, a radio, an iPad and camping chairs and a portable table on request.
But Weekes does have two rules: no smoking and no pets.
Weekes hopes to make "a few hundred pounds" from his initiative, and says it offers visitors a true local perspective on London.
"I'm offering the authentic London experience -- I know this city like the back of my hand so I can give you knowledge that you may not get from staying in a normal hotel room. It’s definitely different -- not many people can claim to have slept overnight in a black cab," he said.
Guests will be left alone in the evenings and will have to tidy up in the morning so Weekes can go to work.
The cab can be left anywhere the guest wishes, as long as it is a legally permissible area. Outside Weekes' house is also a possible option, where the bathroom would be easily accessible.
The cab-otel is available to book on accommodation site Wimdu -- click here for the listing.