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  • Lewis Taxi Midlands Ltd

The Evolution Of The Taxi in the UK

Updated: Apr 22

A group of taxis driving through the city of London

When most people think of taxis, they think of the iconic yellow New York City cabs. However, taxi culture is vastly different in other parts of the world.

This blog post will look at the evolution of the taxi in the United Kingdom. We'll explore how British taxis have changed over time and discuss some unique features that make them stand out from other types of taxis. So, if you're curious about British taxis, keep reading!


The First Taxi

The first taxi was introduced in London in 1829, and since then, the taxi industry has undergone several changes.

In the early days, taxis were horse-drawn carriages that could only be hired by contacting a stable directly. This began to change in the late 19th century when the first 'taxi stands' were introduced. These allowed customers to hail a taxi from the street and led to the 'hackney carriage' rise.

However, it wasn't until 1907 that the first motorised taxi appeared on the streets of London. The automobile's arrival revolutionised the taxi industry, leading to a rapid expansion of services. The service quickly proved popular; by the end of the 19th century, over 10,000 taxis were operating in the city. Today, over 25,000 taxis are operating in the UK, and they play an essential role in helping people to get around.

The advent of the automobile soon began to impact the taxi industry. In 1897, the first gasoline-powered taxis were introduced in London, and by 1912 there were just over 1,000 licensed taxis in the city. However, the number of taxis declined throughout the 20th century as private car ownership became increasingly common.

Today, there are around 21,000 licensed taxis in the UK, with most concentrated in London and other major cities. While the industry has significantly changed over the past two centuries, taxis continue to play an essential role in providing transportation for millions of people every year.


The First "Black Cabs"

The first "black cabs" were introduced in the United Kingdom in the 1960s. Before that, the most common type of taxi was the "garden cab," a horse-drawn carriage.

Garden cabs were expensive to operate and maintain, and they were also slow. As a result, they were not well suited to the needs of a modern city. However, the black cab was a significant improvement over the garden cab. It was faster, more comfortable, and more reliable. In addition, it was less expensive to operate. As a result, it quickly became the preferred choice for taxi services in London and other major cities. Today, black cabs are an essential part of the transportation network in the United Kingdom. They are widely recognised as one of the safest and most efficient ways to get around London.


Taxis Equipped With Metres

The metres were introduced in the 1970s. Since then, there have been many other changes, such as introducing disability-accessible taxis and 'green' taxis that run on alternative fuels.


The Introduction Of Apps In The Taxi Industry

The taxi industry in the United Kingdom has come a long way since the days of hailing a carriage on the street.

The introduction of booking apps like Lewis Taxi has made it easier than ever to get a taxi. In addition, new technologies like electric cars are beginning to make their way into the taxi market, providing a more sustainable and environmentally-friendly option for passengers.

With all of these changes, it's clear that the taxi industry is evolving to meet the needs of modern passengers. And with any luck, these changes will help to make hailing a taxi a hassle-free experience for everyone involved.


In Conclusion

Despite these changes, one thing remains constant: the taxi is an essential part of British life, and it is here to stay.

For a taxi service you can count on, get in touch with Lewis Taxis here today.

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1 Comment

han gu
han gu
Jun 21

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