Home London News Fun facts about London’s iconic black cabs

Fun facts about London’s iconic black cabs

2nd Mar 17 2:43 pm

Do you know any of these?

The first Hackney carriage cab license was issued in 1639 to the corporation of coachmen. These first horse-drawn carriages had their licences issued in 1662 and in 1834, they were later known as hansom cabs, by 1860 there were 4,600 operating in London.

In 1908 the very first motorised cabs came into force and by 1945 we had the primary London black cab that we know today. Cabs don’t have to be black either and are a great source of advertising for companies across London.

You wouldn’t believe these facts on the statute books still existed for London’s famous black cabs. For instance, it is against the law to shout out for a black cab and if you do, the cabbie should drive straight past you. It’s best to raise your arm if your looking to jump into a taxi.

Old black cab

Source: ©Photoshot

The black cab is famously known in the city, but do you know these fun facts?

  • The taxi trade originally began in the 1600s as a horse-drawn carriage with the first taxi rank being situated in The Strand.
  • A black cab has to be tall enough to accommodate an individual wearing a bowler hat.
  • A taxi is not by law legally obliged to give you change.
  • A black cab driver is expected to know over 25,000 roads, 20,000 landmarks and memorise 320 routes within a six mile radius of Charing cross. All of London’s black cab taxis must pass the test called “The Knowledge”.
  • Black cabs are the only taxi’s that you can hail to stop for a ride. Minicabs, Uber cabs or any other cabs are will not stop, If they do it is illegal. Your cab may be unlicensed and you may not be insured.
  • The black cab turns on a two pence with a turning circle of 25ft.
  • With 25,000 black cabbies in London most are all owner drivers. You’re technically stepping into their shop!
  • London’s iconic black cab industry is ranked No.1 in the world.
  • The cabbie’s first ‘Green Huts’ opened in 1875. They are dotted all over London with only 13 now remaining. They are a great place to eat, providing proper home cooked food.

Person hailing cab

Source: ©Photoshot


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