December 23, 2015
London taxi drivers are renowned for their incredible knowledge of the streets in the UK’s largest city but things are set to change if London City Conservatives have their way in abolishing the world-famous ‘Knowledge’ test.
The London Taxi Green Badge
Presently, before you are issued with a hackney taxi license in London, you are required to study all 320 routes, 25,000 roads and 20,000 landmarks in the city and then pass a comprehensive test.
Once you’ve passed you’re given a ‘green badge’ to display in your cab to prove you have what it takes to be a London cabbie.
However, the latest from the Greater London Authority Conservative party is that the test is “archaic” and a “major barrier to recruitment”.
Author of the ‘Saving an Icon’ report, Richard Tracey blames the ever growing popularity of GPS systems.
He commented: “The examinations imposed are overly comprehensive in a time of GPS navigation and the cost of purchasing the designated Hackney Carriage is a barrier to entry in an industry which is also rapidly ageing”.
Hard News to Swallow
“It would be devastating, a huge backward step for the taxi trade.”
The news has hit hard on the taxi trade with cabbies shocked and disappointed with the suggestion. With many cabbies having spent two to four years studying in order to obtain a badge and the trade proud to have world-wide respect, it’s understandable that the news wouldn’t be taken lightly.
General Secretary of the LTDA, Steve McNamara, said: “I’m stunned and shocked that anybody would suggest doing anything that altered or lowered the standard of taxi driving.
“However, that doesn’t mean that we wouldn’t be prepared to review some issues… with the proviso that standards wouldn’t be dropped.”
London taxi driver, Nick, added: “It would be devastating, a huge backward step for the taxi trade. For a forward-thinking city, I can’t understand why you wouldn’t want a very high standard of taxis?”