There are the physical design elements that make London taxis the absolute best choice over other vehicles, from the myriad safety features to the high levels of accessibility. And, of course, the most important element of the best taxi service in the world is the professional, knowledgeable driver.
Did you know?
- It takes approximately 3 years for a London taxi driver to learn the London Knowledge.
- This rigorous, comprehensive qualification covers 25,000 streets in the capital and is the reason that London taxi drivers can navigate their way out of heavy traffic, without the use of a SatNav. Research has shown that this rigorous training, which has been likened to the challenge of achieving a medical or law degree, actually causes pathways within the brains of Knowledge Students to change - effectively remapping as neuroligical pathways.
- London taxi drivers must register with their local licensing authority, which means that they are clearly identifiable in two ways - their badge number and also the London taxi plate number.
- All London taxi drivers in London are CRB-checked by Transport for London.
- London taxi fare rates are dictated and regulated by their local licensing authority, which means that you know that the fare on the meter is not subject to 'surge pricing' during busy periods.
- London taxi drivers are known for their generosity. There are numerous charitable causes, supported purely by the taxi trade, across the UK. The most well-known is the annual Magical Taxi Tour, which involves more than 100 London Taxi drivers giving up their weekends to brighten the lives of life-limited children by taking them from Canary Wharf to Disneyland Paris.
- The Worshipful Company of Hackney Carriage Drivers (WCHCD) is the association of the trade, bringing together members of the taxi community from across the UK, in order to promote the trade, fundraise and celebrate this historic and very British institution.
- The WCHCD are the organisers of The Magical Taxi Tour and the trade association received the prestigious Royal Charter from HRH Prince Charles at St. Bartholomew The Great Church in West Smithfield in April 2014.