Black Cabs have become synonymous with London. They’re a far cry from the yellow taxis in New York, and are disproportionately huge in comparison to most vehicles. Perhaps it’s their distinctive style that has made them so apparent in portrayals of London. On top of that, with a rigid glass frame in-between the driver and passenger, they offer an unprecedented level of safety and comfort, for not much more than the price of a mini cab. And they’re reliable too, and populate the central area of London fervently. Here, we’ll take a look at the history of the London Taxi’s and explain why they often go under appreciated.
With London city break packages you get to embrace the best of London. Getting to everywhere you want to get to is easy. The first cab in London was the Hackney Carriage – from the 17th century. The name hasn’t been lost, and funnily enough, many continue to call a modern black cab a Hackney carriage. In the 18th century, the hansom cab was introduced – which was a two wheeled horse-drawn cart, replacing the four wheels Hackney Carriage.
Later in 1897, the first motorised black cabs were invented. They were nicknamed Humming birds due to the signature noise they made – and were electrically powered. Interestingly, taximeters were originally found on the outside edge of taxis, above the driver’s wheel. But they were soon relocated so it would be more practical for the passenger to clearly see the fare they would need to pay. And along with this change, they became electronic rather than mechanical. As such, the familiar ticking noise that passengers use to abide with on their journeys on taxis was removed.
In 1903, the first petrol based Taxi was launched. In 1929, a much more cost effective version of the model was released – and it immediately became popular. Since then, each model has been an improvement of the 1929 model. But the basic shape and fundamental principles behind the design have not changed massively. Today, the models have become more economical than their previous counterparts. Zero Emission cabs today are slowly creeping into the market. They run on a Hydrogen Fuel system, can refill their tanks in five minutes, and are capable of achieving 250 miles on a full tank of hydrogen.
Taxis offer unrivalled reliability, and with Taximeters, you know exactly how much you’re going to be charged at every step of your journey. The future of London Taxis has been touted as being driverless and navigated by satellite. Google has already been working on Driverless cars, so the idea is more than possible – depending on how well the technology works and continues to develop.