How to Become a Taxi Driver
How to Become a Taxi Driver – London Black Cab drivers need to acquire ‘the Knowlege’. As taxis can be hailed in the street and asked to go anywhere, London taxi drivers must have a thorough knowledge of the capital. This is why taxi drivers have to learn and pass the world-famous ‘Knowledge’. Drivers would also need to pass the DVSA Taxi Driving Test.
Transport for London put out a DVD entitled ‘Go Your Own Way’ and they include a few clips from it on their website. The ‘Go Your Own Way’ DVD they produce to explain how you can learn the knowledge.
It takes real grit and determination to become a London cab driver but at the end of the process drivers get to become their own boss and work the hours they choose.'
Introduction – can you hack it?
It often takes a minimum of two years to acquire the ‘Knowledge’. Many people gain that knowledge on a moped or scooter. They are an economical and nippy option but of course the time put in navigating those streets in unpaid, you still have to pay for the fuel yourself and unless you are going to take many years to get there, you must go out in all weathers! It takes real grit and determination to become a London cab driver but at the end of the process drivers get to become their own boss and work the hours they choose.
This first clip gives a great flavour of the life of a London Taxi Driver – Those considering how to become a taxi driver are encouraged to consider what is involved! The London Taxi service has been deemed the best in the world but in order to become part of this select group, a London Hackney Carriage driver must pass the most difficult of tests, the ‘Knowledge’ covering the 320 runs contained in the taxi drivers ‘Blue Book’ that becomes the central reference of all knowlege students. The Blue Book is provided with the DVD from TfL.
Learning the Knowledge
The second clip discusses the practicality of aqcuiring suburban knowledge and getting the suburban badge which consists of fewer runs. It is obviously a lot easier to do the Yellow Badge than the Green! The knowlege required for a London suburban area is less arduous to attain than the green one!
For the Green Badge, drivers get an overview of the 320 runs. At the end of each run taxi drivers are asked to have a 1/4 mile radius of knowledge so that actually adds up to 640 individual patches that the driver needs to retain. Not for the feint hearted or the forgetful! Drivers can gain a certain ammount from maps, but in the end there is no substitute for experience. Using nothing smaller than a 3 inch to the mile map, a superb detailed knowlege is expected. How to find fastest route between two points required superb retention of routes and awareness of particular road conditions at various times of day. ‘Knowlege schools’ provide help to get through the stage 2 written test. These schools are set up to understand the learning styles of each student and help them gain that knowlege in a way that they can process and retain.
The final two clips cover the last two stages of aqcuiring the knowlege and using it in practice. To become a taxi driver, students need to get from A-B in a confident way and pass any questions that might be thrown at them.
Keeping up appearances
Countdown to success
Defending your Taxi License
Having gone to all that effort, looked into how to become a Taxi Driver, and gained ‘The Knowledge’ you need to defend your taxi licence. If someone makes black cab complaints against you to the PCO, you may quickly find yourself needing to mount a taxi licence revoked appeal. Decisions of TfL (Transport for London) and the PCO (Public Carriage Office) to refuse or revoke a licence, whether it be on the basis of criminal convictions, failure to notify or issues of medical fitness can mean the loss of livelihood for taxi drivers. Due to the complexities of hackney carriage laws, it is vital that taxi drivers dealing with Public Carriage Office complaints seek professional help.
We are here to help!
Taxi Driver Defence Barristers are an expert team who specialise in taxi licence refusal and revocation appeals. Our taxi barristers have had significant success in challenging the decisions of TfL and the PCO. Our taxi barristers don’t underestimate importance of guiding clients through the complexities of taxi laws. We make sure our clients understand at each stage what is happening and why.
Please contact us to discuss your taxi license refusal or revocation.