London is over 1500 square kilometres in size and with tube services stopping after midnight in the week and bus services being slow and irregular at best, it’s often necessary to travel by taxi. Although it may cost more than public transport, travelling by taxi is often the best option. It is safe, speedy and gives you another way to see the city from the comfort of a car. If you’re in a rush then travelling by taxi is also a great idea, due to the fact that you are sure to get to your destination faster than on any other type of transport. It is also of great use when travelling to your hotel, not least London City Suite Barbican. Below you can find some tips on the sorts of taxi services available in London and what they’re benefits are so that if you are stuck without public transport, you can make a decision about who to go for with ease and swiftly.
London Black Cabs
Hackney Cabs refer to taxis which have been licensed by the Public Carriage Office or the local authorities. The London Hackney Cab first came into existence due to parliament approving a law in 1654 which weas in response to a lack of transport across the city meaning it took people too long to get across the city. This led to the licensing of coaches for hire, often horse drawn but later remedied to become the Hansom cabs. As the years passed London cabs went through many changes including being electric powered in the early 20th century before changing to petrol powered cars later.
Hackney cab drivers do not satellite navigation like many cars, and therefore need to have a wide spanning and often photographic knowledge of the roads of London. This means that they have to pass a test called “the knowledge”, which demonstrates a wide spanning understanding knowledge of the streets of London. There are two types of badge holder; the yellow badge holder for the suburban areas and a green badge for the whole of London. Gaining a green badge is no mean feat, often taking potential drivers years to acquire due to the almost encyclopaedic knowledge of London they need to have. Nowadays, there are over 21000 black cabs in London, roomy and spacious, making them perfect for a tourist pick up and a staple of the London tradition. If you really want to see London
Another way of finding private transport in London is through the Californian created app Uber. Uber is a taxi service controlled through peoples smart phones where you can order a taxi and pay via your Uber account. The Uber app operates in around 570 cities across the world and was first introduced in 2009. Uber drivers, unlike Hackney Cab drivers do use a satellite navigation system and use their own cars instead of buying a London cab. Ubers are often quick to get to your location, your app telling you where your closest driver is in relation to you via GPS whilst you can rate both customers and drivers, promoting a sense of politeness and etiquette amongst users. There is also an alternative and cheaper version of Uber, where you can share your car with other users going to a similar area so as to save petrol and time.
Airport Pick ups
There are various other private taxi hire services of varying prices who operate out of airports so that, if you are travelling to a hotel and are in a rush for your check in, you can take a private hire to your location.