History of the UK Taxi
People all over the UK rely on taxis each and every day to get them where they need to go. When we need to get back and forth to work and don’t want to drive or deal with the traffic, we call a taxi. If we need to get to the airport and don’t want to drive ourselves and put up with the hassle of parking and paying to leave your car at the airport for an extended period of time, we call for an airport taxi. Taxis are everywhere and they can take us anywhere we want to go, but does anyone really know that history of the taxi here in the UK?
The original form of a taxi first appeared in London back in the 17th century; it was a horse drawn coach known as a Hackney Carriage. This odd term came from the French word hacquenée meaning ‘ambling nag’. Granted, there weren’t as many taxis back then as there are today, less than 20 in 1625, but they were taxis nonetheless and they took people where they needed to go. A short time later in 1636, the first taxi company was officially established; it included uniformed drivers and a standardized fee for various parts of the city.
The term “Hackney Carriage” isn’t used much anymore and even the term “taxi” is giving way to a shortened version of the word cabriolet, cab. This also comes from France where lighter, more efficient vehicles from France called cabriolets were used in the early 19th century.
These early taxi and taxi drivers were far and away different than what we are used to today. Many of them didn’t even have any formal training and some didn’t know the city as well as you would often think. This made the need for a more formalized approach to taxi driver training to take place. In 1852, Sir Richard Mayne introduced the “Knowledge of London” which was a qualification of sorts that took up to four years to pass. Painstaking, of course, but still necessary if the taxi industry would survive well into the age of the automobile. This qualification testing provided the people of London and the surrounding areas with knowledgeable taxi drivers who could not only get you where you need to go quickly, but also to any special points of interest in the city that tourists might find interesting.
Although the taxi industry has seen many changes over the years, one thing remains true; providing customers with unexpected service and support is always the best way to do business. Leicester Premier Airport Taxis is always standing by to serve your needs and get you where you need to go.