LONDON TAXISThere are more than 22,000 licensed drivers operating more than 17,000 taxicabs in London these days, taking millions of passengers to thousands of destinations across the city and into the suburbs 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
As most London residents or workers will tell you it is far easier, and cheaper, to get a cab around London than to drive, as the expensive parking, congestion charges, and the congestion itself can make for a rather unpleasant driving experience.
But you don’t need to worry about the taxi driver getting lost or not knowing where you’re going because all London taxi drivers must take the Knowledge test, which requires the equivalent of one or two years’ full-time work.
Drivers who have passed the test for the whole of London are issued with a green metal badge, and can work anywhere and everywhere in the Metropolitan Police District. Drivers wearing a yellow metal badge have passed the test covering a smaller part of London (the suburbs) and can only work in that part of London, and specifically not within a six-mile radius of Charing Cross or at Heathrow Airport.
London’s black cabs can be hailed in the anywhere at any time when the yellow ‘For Hire’ sign is illuminated. These taxis also wait at designated taxi ranks around the city of London, including all the train stations and Victoria coach station, as well as popular tourist and shopping spots such as Oxford Road and Knightsbridge.
Black cabs can also be found at London’s airports, or can be booked in advance by calling +44 (0) 207 272 0272.
Also operating in London now is the new taxi motorbike service, which enables passengers to get to their destination faster as the motorbike can avoid the congestion and traffic jams that are commonplace in the city.
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