Don’t make Knowledge easier, say black cab drivers, we are the gold standard

London Assembly member Richard Tracey, supportive of the black cab trade has, according to CityAM, suggested making The Knowledge easier.  The response of black cabs may surprise you.blackcabs2Black cab driver @kp_hedges : @angelneptustar The knowledge test is a test of good character as much as a test of geography. There is no benefit in lowering standards.

Fighting talk from Steve McNamara, Gen. Sec. of LTDA, who weighed in in similar vein. Steve told City A.M. he questioned why “anybody, anywhere, would suggest lowering the gold standard that London taxis provide”, echoing the words of Boris Johnson, that black cabs are the gold standard of the cab trade.

“We would be happy to be part of a long-term review about how the knowledge is taught, conducted and tested, subject that there would be a proviso that there would not be any reduction in the standards,” he said.

Richard Tracey also suggests hiking private hire vehicle licence fees, amongst other measures.

Seven Tory Boy councillors suggest downgrading regs. for black cabs, while leaving Uber alone.

In a great article,  Taxileak said “These seven Tory Boy Councillors think London’s Gold Standard, Iconic Taxi Trade should be reduced to licensing drivers with dubious pasts, drive vehicles not suitable for disabled passengers, have no expensive hire and reward insurgence, do away with the Knowledge of London and pay themselves through foreign banks, so they don’t have to pay taxi and can claim benefits”. These councillors are blind to the importance of regs. for customer safety.

For Tory Boy, read Osbo’s pet poodles! 

When will Uber, and CityAM get the message that it is the regulation and the training involved in the Knowledge that make black cab drivers the best, most knowledgeable drivers on the road,  the safest option by far, and the most ethical trade in London?

8 responses to “Don’t make Knowledge easier, say black cab drivers, we are the gold standard

  1. Mr. Tracy’s eight point plan basically consists of dramatically lowering standards, along with taxi driver fares, but still expect them to buy and maintain the new ULEZ purpose built vehicle (still double the price of a Prius after subsidy)

    He also fails to say why scrapping the knowledge- given that there are 1000’s of Knowledge boys & girls who, rightly believe that it is still worth while, would make London taxis more competitive?

    Black Cabs are still the heavy hitter of the market despite Kalanik et al flooding the market on the back of an unrealistic promise, along with signing petitions; spending £100’s millions on PR, blackmailing the consumer, skirting the law, and slashing fares by cutting their own drivers income. All of this and more couldn’t didn’t achieve his ultimate goal, even though the taxi trade- 24,000 individuals, don’t benefit from the luxury of a marketing platform .
    I’m sure Mr. Tracy already understands The knowledge, along with the safegusrds that investing in the training brings, that is the real dynamic in keeping the trade competitive.

    The Conservatives st the GLA need to spend a day as a fly on the wall in a cab to know it is the single most valuable asset to those regularly take taxis.

    He would do well to think how he could incentive potential taxi drivers. He could start with scrapping the Knowledge appearance (examination) fees. It used to be funded from taxi drivers license fee money not from the state). If we could afford it then, we sure could afford it now.

  2. There’s one very obvious reason for making the Knowledge simpler: the fact that the internet and satnav technology have rendered much of it obsolete. The actual routing stuff is unnecessary these days. The knowledge of where specific buildings are (when the passenger doesn’t know the actual street address) are probably the most useful aspect of the traditional Knowledge training.

    • I’m sorry Steve, but once again, you are just showing your ignorance. Satnav has NOT rendered the Knowledge obsolete and I totally agree with Sean.

      Black cab drivers know London like the back of their hands, and their knowledge of this city is unparalleled. Greedy Uber has tried to drive them out, but has only spurred them on to higher standards of excellence. Satnav is proving totally inadequate to the complicated demands of this city, Uber drivers are getting lost time and again!

      Why aim for excellence in anything? Why have higher education? Why do PhDs! Why not just dumb everything down to the disgraceful third rate standard that with Uber passes for adequate?

      The idea that Uber should be “left alone” is an insult to the public! Have you already forgotten the Uber Slasher, in charge of a cab even with serious mental problems?

      Have you forgotten the Uber drivers doing time for rape? In India, Indian women are regularly assaulted by Uber drivers, it is an absolute scandal! And another Uber driver in London has just been convicted of rape on a female passenger.

      Anyone who is stupid enough to say Uber drivers should be “left alone” when public safety is so low as a priority with Uber bosses is completely and utterly irresponsible!

      • Malcolm Whitton

        Well said Angela! Uber cannot compete with our superiority in this field. We ARE the gold standard, constantly rated the best taxi service in the world and Uber think they can waltz in and take over London with a third rate service. Well I’ve got news for them, we’re not going anywhere anytime ever, so get used to it.
        I call on all relevant interested parties to gather together to defeat this substandard, so called ‘cheap’ minicab service and drive them out of town. I, and many of my colleagues refuse to let them ruin our city with shoddy, unregulated, under insured, traffic jam causing, disabled unfriendly, poxy service. At the end of the day they’re just another minicab company.
        Once again, well done Angela for highlighting the ‘other’ side of Uber that people conveniently ignore.

      • Thanks so much Malcolm. It’s so dangerous for the taxi trade that the bad side, in my view the main side, IS ignored. What could can come of letting such dangerous drivers, who are unregulated, push out black cabs? As soon as or if that ever happened, Uber would only whack up fares to astronomical heights, then we would have swapped the best, most professional taxi trade in the world for a third rate, dangerous, unregulated alternative, run by ruthless US sharks! The 7 Tory councillors could unwittingly ruin the taxi trade beyond redemption.

  3. UBER ARE LOSING THE MEDIA WAR. Uber such appalling drivers, are known to be unsafe. Black cabs have cornered the top end of the taxi trade, Uber attempts to get them to dumb down not working.

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