In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act
“The London Hackney Carriage is history”
Sad but true the demise of the world renowned London Black Cab or Taxi is imminent since the deliberate allowance of the once completely unlicensed trade has been handed an open road to flourish. From the days of the horse drawn two seat Hansom to the modern day warm and cosy six seat vehicle the Hackney has served London and it’s visitors exceptionally well since around 1620.
By London black cab driver Brian Hall
But the end is nigh, ask any current London Cabbie where they think the Taxi Trade is going today and they will confess to the steep decline. Despite London’s cabbies embracing the modern technologies and the changes to their vehicles to accommodate all-comers they are being prized off the road by overwhelming and unrestricted competition from several different angles.
Coupled with the competition the reality is, like every business if it becomes unviable then the sharp decline ensues. The London cab trade is now unviable since the expenses that surround this business continue upwards - and it is a business to each and every driver - outweigh the returns to such an extent there remains little point in continuing. That time has come for the Taxi as we have come to know and rely on it. The cowboy you may say has overwhelmed the native Indian who will now be relegated into the history books in the not too distant future.
The writing was on the wall the day we had a vote to create a London wide Authority along with a Mayor. Since that fateful day, with the introduction of the TfL the planned demise of the entrepreneurial spirited self employed taxi driver has gathered pace to the point now where if a new driver were to try to write a viable “Business Plan” he/she could not do it. The figures would not stand up to the scrutiny of any bank manager, however most taxi businesses are initiated on a personal stake, a self reliance that is destined to fail.
The end of the Hackney should not be laid at the door of the London Cabbie as a self inflicted wound since they have taken on each and every challenge that has confronted them. Right up to today’s hi tech methods of hailing through smart phones, the London Cab to a large degree has embraced this. This trade has always kept pace with change, what it cannot cope with is lack of discipline and responsibility by the governing agencies that control the industry.
The Hackney flourished for many years under sensitive control. Once that control was taken from the Metropolitan Police, the resulting spiral of decline in earnings ensued.