Hackney carriage

A hackney or hackney carriage (also called a cab, black cab, hack or London taxi) is a carriage or car for hire.[1] A hackney of a more expensive or high class was called a remise.[2]

In the United Kingdom, the name hackney carriage today refers to a taxicab licensed by the Public Carriage Office, local authority (non-metropolitan district councils, unitary authorities) or the Department of the Environment depending on region of the country.

In the United States, the police department of the city of Boston has a Hackney Carriage Unit, analogous to taxicab regulators in other cities, that issues Hackney Carriage medallions to its taxi operators.[3]

2005 LTI TXII Silver Automatic 2.4 Front
LTI TX2 cab
Austin FX4 at St Pauls cathedral
LTI FX4 cab
Beardmore 'London' Taxi from ca 1965
The Beardmore was an alternative taxi design used in London during the 1960s and 1970s
Until the late 1950s, vehicles licensed as London taxis were required to be provided with an open-access luggage platform in place of the front passenger seat found on other passenger cars (including taxis licensed for use in other British cities).


'Hackney' is derived from the village name Hackney (now part of London). Hackney supplied horses from its surrounding meadows.[4] The word was once thought to be an anglicized derivative of French haquenée — a horse of medium size recommended for lady riders.[5]

The place-name, through its fame for its horses and horse-drawn carriages, is also the root of the Spanish word jaca, a term used for a small breed of horse[6] and the Sardinian achetta horse. The first documented hackney coach—the name later extended to the newer and smaller carriages—operated in London in 1621.

The New York City colloquial terms "hack" (taxi or taxi-driver), hackstand (taxi stand), and hack license (taxi license) are probably derived from hackney carriage. Such cabs are now regulated by the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission.


"An Ordinance for the Regulation of Hackney-Coachmen in London and the places adjacent" was approved by Parliament in 1654, to remedy what it described as the "many Inconveniences [that] do daily arise by reason of the late increase and great irregularity of Hackney Coaches and Hackney Coachmen in London, Westminster and the places thereabouts".[7] The first hackney-carriage licences date from a 1662 Act of Parliament establishing the Commissioners of Scotland Yard to regulate them. Licences applied literally to horse-drawn carriages, later modernised as hansom cabs (1834), that operated as vehicles for hire. The 1662 act limited the licences to 400; when it expired in 1679, extra licences were created until a 1694 act imposed a limit of 700,[8] which was increased by later acts and abolished in 1832.[9]

There was a distinction between a general hackney carriage and a hackney coach, a hireable vehicle with specifically four wheels, two horses and six seats, and driven by a Jarvey (also spelled jarvie).

In 19th century London, private carriages were commonly sold off for use as hackney carriages, often displaying painted-over traces of the previous owner's coat of arms on the doors.

London growler circa 1900

The Clarence or growler was a type of four-wheel, enclosed carriage drawn by two horses[10] used as a hackney carriage, that is, as a vehicle for hire with a coachman. It is distinguished from a cab, hansom cab or cabriolet, in that those had only two wheels. It is distinguished from most coaches by being of slightly smaller size, nominally holding four passengers,[11] and being much less ostentatious.

A small, usually two-wheeled, one-horse hackney vehicle called a noddy once plied the roads in Ireland and Scotland. The French had a small hackney coach called a fiacre.


Electric hackney carriages appeared before the introduction of the internal combustion engine to vehicles for hire in 1901. In fact there was even London Electrical Cab Company: the cabs were informally called Berseys after the manager who designed them, Walter C. Bersey. Another nickname was Hummingbirds from the sound that they made.[12] In August 1897 25 were introduced, and by 1898 there were 50 more. During the 20th century, cars generally replaced horse-drawn models, and the last horse-drawn hackney carriage ceased service in London in 1947.

UK regulations define a hackney carriage as a taxicab allowed to ply the streets looking for passengers to pick up, as opposed to private hire vehicles (sometimes called minicabs), which may pick up only passengers who have previously booked or who visit the taxi operator's office. In 1999, the first of a series of fuel cell powered taxis were tried out in London. The "Millennium Cab" built by ZeTek gained television coverage and great interest when driven in the Sheraton Hotel ballroom in New York by Judd Hirsch, the star of the television series Taxi. ZeTek built three cabs but ceased activities in 2001.

Continuing horse-drawn cab services

Horse-drawn hackney services continue to operate in parts of the UK, for example in Cockington, Torquay.[13] The town of Windsor, Berkshire, is believed to be the last remaining town with a continuous lineage of horse-drawn hackney carriages, currently run by Orchard Poyle Carriages, the licence having been passed down from driver to driver since 1830.

The Royal Borough now licences the carriage for rides around Windsor Castle and the Great Park, however the original hackney licence is in place allowing for passenger travel under the same law that was originally passed in 1662. The city of Bath has an occasional horse-drawn Hackney, principally for tourists, but still carrying hackney plates.

Black cabs

For hire
Illuminated for hire signage is a distinguishing feature of the hackney carriage
A TX4 Taxi at Heathrow Airport Terminal 5
A TX4 hackney carriage at Heathrow Airport Terminal 5

Motorised hackney cabs in the UK[14] were usually painted black in the past and are known as black cabs, although they are now produced in a variety of colours, sometimes in advertising brand liveries (see below). Fifty golden cabs were produced for the Queen's Golden Jubilee celebrations in 2002.[15]

Vehicle design

Historically four-door saloon cars have been highly popular as hackney carriages, but with disability regulations growing in strength and some councils offering free licensing for disabled-friendly vehicles, many operators are now opting for wheelchair-adapted taxis such as The London Taxi Company (LTI). Other models of specialist taxis include the Peugeot E7 and rivals from Fiat, Volkswagen, Metrocab and Mercedes-Benz. These vehicles normally allow six or seven passengers, although some models can accommodate eight. Some of these minibus taxis include a front passenger seat next to the driver, while others reserve this space solely for luggage.

London black cabs must have a turning circle not greater than 25 ft (8 m). One reason for this is the configuration of the famed Savoy Hotel: the hotel entrance's small roundabout meant that vehicles needed the small turning circle in order to navigate it. That requirement became the legally required turning circles for all London cabs, while the custom of a passenger's sitting on the right, behind the driver, provided a reason for the right-hand traffic in Savoy Court, allowing hotel patrons to board and alight from the driver's side.[16]

The design standards for London taxis are set out in the Conditions of Fitness, which are now published by Transport for London. The first edition was published in May 1906, by the Public Carriage Office, which was then part of the Metropolitan Police. These regulations set out the conditions under which a taxi may operate and include regulating the taximeter (not compulsory until 1907), the maximum age of the taxi (not more than 15 years), advertisements and the turning circle of 8.535 m (28 ft).[12][17]

As part of the Transported by Design programme of activities,[18] in 15 October 2015, after two months of public voting, the black cab was elected by Londoners as their favourite transport design icon.[19][20]

Driver qualification

In London, hackney-carriage drivers have to pass a test called The Knowledge to demonstrate that they have an intimate knowledge of the geography of London streets, important buildings, etc. Learning The Knowledge allows the driver to become a member of the Worshipful Company of Hackney Carriage Drivers. There are two types of badge, a yellow one for the suburban areas and a green one for all of London. The latter is considered far more difficult. Drivers who own their cabs as opposed to renting from a garage are known as "mushers" and those who have just passed the "knowledge" are known as "butter boys".[21] There are currently around 21,000 black cabs in London, licensed by the Public Carriage Office.[22]

Elsewhere, councils have their own regulations. Some merely require a driver to pass a DBS disclosure and have a reasonably clean driving licence, while others use their own local versions of London's The Knowledge test.

Notable drivers

  • Alfred Collins, who retired in 2007 at the age of 92, was the oldest cab driver and had been driving for 70 years.[23]
  • Fred Housego is a former London taxi driver who became a television and radio personality and presenter after winning the BBC television quiz Mastermind in 1980.[24][25]
  • Clive Efford MP for the London constituency of Eltham was a cab driver for 10 years before entering parliament in 1997.
  • John Worboys is a convicted serial rapist, known as the Black Cab Rapist because he drove a London cab. He was convicted in March 2009 for attacks on 12 women.[26]

Private users

Oil millionaire Nubar Gulbenkian drove about in a custom-built gold and black car, designed to look like a vintage London taxi and powered by a Rolls-Royce engine, because he had been told "it can turn on a sixpence."[27][28][29] Other celebrities are known to have used hackney carriages both for their anonymity and their ruggedness and manoeuvrability in London traffic. Users included Prince Philip, whose cab was converted to run on liquefied petroleum gas,[30] author and actor Stephen Fry,[31] and the Sheriffs of the City of London. A black cab was used in the band Oasis's video for the song "Don't Look Back in Anger." Black cabs were used as recording studios for indie band performances and other performances in the Black Cab Sessions internet project.

Ghosthunting With... featured a black cab owned by host of the show, Yvette Fielding. Bez of the Happy Mondays owns one, shown on the UK edition of Pimp My Ride. Noel Edmonds used a black cab to commute from his home to the Deal or No Deal studios in Bristol. He placed a fully dressed mannequin in the back so that he could use special bus/taxi lanes, and so that people would not attempt to hail his cab.[32]

The official car of the Governor of the Falkland Islands between 1976 and 2010 was a London taxi.[33]

In other countries

Wetzikon - Bahnhofstrasse - Wildbach 2010-07-01 12-24-20 ShiftN savagely cropped
A London taxi (TXII model) in Switzerland

Between 2003 and 1 August 2009 the London taxi model TXII could be purchased in the United States.[34] Today there are approximately 250 TXIIs in the US, operating as taxis in San Francisco, Dallas, Long Beach, Houston, New Orleans, Las Vegas, Newport, Rhode Island, Wilmington, North Carolina and Portland, Oregon. There are also a few operating in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. The largest London taxi rental fleet in North America is in Wilmington, owned by The British Taxi Company. There are London cabs in Saudi Arabia, Romania, South Africa, Lebanon, Egypt, Bahrain and Cyprus, and in Israel, where a Chinese-made version of LTI's model TX4 built by Geely Automobile is available. In February 2010, a number of TX4s started operating in Pristina, the capital of Kosovo, and are known as London Taxi.[35]

SHB786K - London Cab TX4 in Singapore, SMRT owned front view
A London taxi (TX4 model) in Singapore

Singapore has used London-style cabs since 1992; starting with the "Fairway". The flag-down fares for the London Taxis are the same as for other taxis. SMRT Corporation, the sole operator, had by March 2013 replaced its fleet of 15 ageing multi-coloured (gold, pink, etc.) taxis with new white ones. They are the only wheelchair-accessible taxis in Singapore, and were brought back following an outcry after the removal of the service.

By 2011 a thousand of a Chinese-made version of LTI's latest model, TX4, had been ordered by Baku Taxi Company. The plan is part of a program originally announced by Azerbaijan's Ministry of Transportation to introduce London cabs to the capital, Baku.[36][37] The move was part of a £16 million agreement between the London Taxi Company and Baku Taxi Company.[38][39]

Variety of models

There have been different makes and types of hackney cab through the years,[40] including:

Use in advertising

Hackney Carriage Black Cab Digital Advertising TaxiTop Eyetease

An example of an Eyetease digital screen on top of a hackney carriage


Primelocation livery


Vodafone livery


Vita Coco coconut water livery

The unique body of the London taxi is occasionally wrapped with all-over advertising, known as a "livery".[42]

In October 2011 the company Eyetease Ltd. introduced digital screens on the roofs of London taxis for dynamically changing location-specific advertising.[43]


On 14 December 2010 Mayor of London Boris Johnson released an air quality strategy paper encouraging phasing out of the oldest of the LT cabs, and proposing a £1m fund to encourage taxi owners to upgrade to low-emission, such as electric, vehicles. On the same day Secretary of State for Transport Philip Hammond unveiled the £5,000 electric car subsidy.

In the longer term, black cabs are predicted to be largely automated and driverless.[44]

Digital hailing

2011 saw the launch of many digital hailing applications for hackney carriages that operate through smartphones, including GetTaxi and Hailo. Many of these applications also facilitate payment and tracking of the taxicabs.

United Kingdom law

Laws about the definition, licensing and operation of hackney carriages have a long history.[45] The most significant pieces of legislation by region are:

  • In England and Wales: the Town Police Clauses Act 1847, and the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976. In Wales, responsibility for licensing is now devolved to the National Assembly for Wales. In September 2017, a consultation started about the future of such licensing.
  • In London: the Metropolitan Public Carriage Act 1869 and the London Cab Order 1934.
  • In Scotland: the Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982.
  • In Northern Ireland: the Taxis Act (Northern Ireland) 2008[45]

See also


  1. ^ "Definition of "hackney"". Onlinedictionary.datasegment.com. Archived from the original on 18 October 2015. Retrieved 20 November 2011.
  2. ^ "Definition of remise by the Free Online Dictionary, Thesaurus and Encyclopedia". Thefreedictionary.com. Retrieved 20 November 2011.
  3. ^ "Boston Police Hackney Carriage Unit". Cityofboston.gov. Retrieved 20 November 2011.
  4. ^ Oxford English Dictionary online pay site accessed 18 April 2018
  5. ^ "The history of the word "Hackney"". Worldwidewords.org. Retrieved 20 November 2011.
  7. ^ An Ordinance for the Regulation of Hackney-Coachmen in London and the places adjacent, June 1654, british-history.ac.uk; accessed 26 May 2017.
  8. ^ "William and Mary, 1694: An Act for the lycenseing and regulateing Hackney-Coaches and Stage-Coaches [Chapter XXII Rot. Parl. pt. 5. nu. 2.]". Statutes of the Realm: Volume 6, 1685-94. Great Britain Record Commission. 1819. pp. 502–505. Retrieved 21 August 2017.
  9. ^ "The Omnibuses of London". The Gentleman's Magazine. R. Newton: 663. December 1857.
  10. ^ Busch, Noel F. (1947) "Life's Reports: Restful Days in Dublin" " Life Magazine 15 September 1947 page 9, includes a photograph of a growler.
  11. ^ Knox, Thomas Wallace (1888) The pocket guide for Europe: hand-book for travellers on the Continent and the British Isles, and through Egypt, Palestine, and northern Africa G. Putnam, New York, page 34, OCLC 28649833
  12. ^ a b "Taxi History - London Vintage Taxi Association". lvta.co.uk. Retrieved 20 June 2015.
  13. ^ Cockington Carriages plan for the future
  14. ^ traditionally all black in London
  15. ^ Golden times for black cabs, bbc.co.uk, 13 March 2002
  16. ^ Why does traffic entering and leaving the Savoy Hotel in London drive on the right?, theguardian.com; accessed 26 May 2017.
  17. ^ "Construction and Licensing of Motor Taxis for Use in London: Conditions of Fitness, as updated 11 December 2017" (PDF). Transport for London: Public Carriage Office. 11 December 2017. Retrieved 25 February 2019.
  18. ^ Transported by Design Archived 2016-04-17 at the Wayback Machine
  19. ^ London’s transport ‘Design Icons’ announced, ltmuseum.co.uk; accessed 26 May 2017.
  20. ^ Transported By Design: Vote for your favourite part of London transport, timeout.com; accessed 26 May 2017.
  21. ^ The history of London's black cabs, theguardian.com, 9 December 2012.
  22. ^ About the Public Carriage Office, "Taxi and Private Hire Vehicle Statistics, England: 2018" (PDF). p. 2.
  23. ^ Longest serving cabbie honoured, bbc.co.uk; accessed 26 May 2017.
  24. ^ de Garis, Kirsty (9 February 2003). "What happened next?". The Observer. Retrieved 7 June 2014.
  25. ^ "Take our Mastermind quiz". BBC News. 7 July 2003. Retrieved 7 June 2014.
  26. ^ "Cab driver guilty of sex attacks". BBC News. 13 March 2009. Retrieved 14 March 2009.
  27. ^ The sixpence was the smallest coin in circulation, so the phrase was a hyperbole meaning that it had a tight turning radius.
  28. ^ Last of the big spenders, time.com, 24 January 1972.
  29. ^ Photo of Gulbenkian in special cab Photographer Bryan Wharton, 1964
  30. ^ "Prince Philip's taxi". Royal.gov.uk. Archived from the original on 16 October 2008. Retrieved 20 November 2011.
  31. ^ Stephen Fry in America, stephenfry.com, 10 October 2008.
  32. ^ "Noel Edmonds' black taxi mannequin gets a makeover from blonde to brunette". Daily Mirror. 21 April 2013.
  33. ^ "Rex Hunt, Governor of the Falkland Islands". Imperial War Museum. Archived from the original on 6 August 2011. Retrieved 20 November 2011.
  34. ^ http://www.london-fleet.com
  35. ^ Ben-Gedalyahu, Dubi (18 August 2009). "Eldan to sell Chinese 'London taxi'". Globes. Tel Aviv. Archived from the original on 24 February 2012. Retrieved 18 October 2009.
  36. ^ Meidment, Neil. "Manganese Bronze seals biggest London taxi order". Reuters. Retrieved 4 March 2011.
  37. ^ Jaglom, Ben. "Manganese takes black cab to Azerbaijan". Retrieved 4 March 2011.
  38. ^ "1,000 London taxis for Azerbaijan". Retrieved 4 March 2011.
  39. ^ "British firm wins £16m Azerbaijan order for its Chinese built taxis". Retrieved 4 March 2011.
  40. ^ "Taxicab Make And Model History". London-taxi.co.uk. Archived from the original on 20 April 2012.
  41. ^ "London Black-Cab Crisis Opens Road to Mercedes Minivans". Bloomberg. 3 December 2012.
  42. ^ Robert Hardman (3 December 2012). "End of the road for the Black Cab? They're a British icon—but now the factory that makes London taxis has run out of cash. And without a rescue, it's doomed". Daily Mail. Retrieved 10 August 2014.
  43. ^ Mark Prigg (11 October 2011). "The video screen coming to a cab near you". ThisIsLondon. London Evening Standard. Archived from the original on 31 December 2011. Retrieved 17 July 2015.
  44. ^ "Thinking of doing The Knowledge? You may want to think again". Onega.net. 15 November 2016.
  45. ^ a b Butcher, Louise (2018). "Taxi and private hire vehicle licensing in England. House of Commons Briefing Paper CBP 2005" (PDF). Parliament. Retrieved 19 May 2018.

External links

Amalgamated Association of Tramway and Vehicle Workers

The Amalgamated Association of Tramway and Vehicle Workers was a trade union representing workers on public transport in the United Kingdom.

In 1889, the Manchester and Salford Tramway Company began offering a reward to members of the public to inform on any acts of possible fraud committed by its staff. Workers on the tramways objected, fearing that the system would be abused, and founded a union to protect their interests, the Northern Counties Amalgamated Association of Tramway and Hackney Carriage Employees and Horsemen in General. While it initially had only 400 members, it immediately employed a full-time general secretary, George Jackson, who initially had to survive on only £1 4s a week.Under Jackson's leadership, the union grew rapidly. By 1892, it had 2,723 members and had spread as far as Nottingham and Sheffield. That year, it was renamed as the Tramway, Hackney Carriage Employees and Horsemen's Association. Several small unions merged in: the Belfast Carters' Union, Bolton Tramway Union, Edinburgh and District Tramway and Carmen's Union, Huddersfield Carters' Union, and the Manchester, Salford and District Lurrymen and Carters' Union. Membership continued to grow, reaching 10,000 in 1901, when it became the "Amalgamated Association of Tramway and Vehicle Workers".In 1903, the Edinburgh Tramway Company locked out workers in an effort to break the union's power, but the union proved successful. This inspired the London Tramway Employees' Union to amalgamate in 1904, and by 1910 membership had reached 17,076.The union badge was blue in colour, and given this and its reputation for being less militant than rival unions, it was nicknamed the "blue union".The union was a founder constituent of the National Transport Workers' Federation in 1916. Three years later, it merged with the London and Provincial Union of Licensed Vehicle Workers, forming the United Vehicle Workers union.

Austin FX3

The Austin FX3 is a taxicab that was sold in the United Kingdom by Austin from 1948 to 1958. It was designed to comply with the Metropolitan Police Conditions of Fitness for London taxicabs, but was used in other towns and cities in the UK. It was commissioned from Austin by taxi dealers Mann & Overton and built by Carbodies of Coventry on a chassis supplied by Austin.

Austin London Taxicab

The Austin London Taxicab used a modified Austin Heavy Twelve-Four chassis clothed with new bodies designed by London's largest taxicab retailer and dealer Mann & Overton, and made for them by London coachbuilders. From 1930 to 1934 this first Austin London taxicab was colloquially known as the High Lot or Upright Grand. On a new chassis and thereby much lowered its appearance was revised in 1934 and it was renamed by Austin the Low Loading taxi.Previously Austin had only provided hire car chassis not troubling to make major amendments to that chassis to comply with Metropolitan Police regulations for London taxicabs.

Cab-rank rule

In English law (and other countries which adopt the rule), the cab-rank rule is the obligation of a barrister to accept any work in a field in which they profess themselves competent to practise, at a court at which they normally appear, and at their usual rates. The rule derives its name from the tradition by which a Hackney carriage driver at the head of a queue of taxicabs is supposed to take the first passenger requesting a ride.

The cab rank rule is set out at rC29 of the Bar Standards Board Handbook. It states that if you receive instructions from a professional client and the instructions are appropriate taking into account your experience, seniority and/or field of practice, you must (subject to the

exceptions in rC30) accept those instructions irrespective of:

The identity of the client;

The nature of the case to which the instructions relate;

Whether the client is paying privately or is publicly funded; and

Any belief or opinion which you may have formed as to the character, reputation, cause, conduct, guilt or innocence of the client.Without the cab-rank rule, an unpopular person might not get legal representation; barristers who acted for them might be criticised for doing so.

Addressing the continued necessity for the rule in 2010, the Law Society of England and Wales, which represents solicitors, together with The Bar Council said:

The Society questions whether the cab-rank rule remains a necessary and proportionate rule for the Bar at a time when there is increasing competition for advocacy services.

Cabriolet (carriage)

A cabriolet is a light horse-drawn vehicle, with two wheels and a single horse. The carriage has a folding hood that can cover its two occupants, one of whom is the driver. It has a large rigid apron, upward-curving shafts, and usually a rear platform between the C springs for a groom. The design was developed in France in the eighteenth century and quickly replaced the heavier hackney carriage as the vehicle for hire of choice in Paris and London.

The cab of taxi-cab or "hansom cab" is a shortening of cabriolet.Other horse-drawn cabs include:

Araba or aroba: used in Turkey and neighboring countries

Araña: Mexican, two-wheeled

Bounder: four-wheeled

Gharry or gharri: used especially in India

Kalesa or calesa (sometimes called a karitela): used in the Philippines

Dorożka in eastern Europe

Minibus: light carriage, usually with a rear door and seats for four passengers; formerly used as a cab

Two-wheeler: two-wheeled cab or hansomOne who drives a horse-drawn cab for hire is a cabdriver.

Conditions of Fitness

The Metropolitan Conditions of Fitness for Taxis set out the requirements for vehicles that may be used as licensed Hackney carriage taxi cabs in London. They are governed by Transport for London's Taxi and Private Hire office (formerly the Public Carriage office). They are what makes London's taxis unique in the world

Rules governing London's horse cabs had been in existence in one form or another since the 17th century, but the first Conditions of Fitness specifically written for motor cabs were introduced in May 1906 by the then licensing authority, the Public Carriage Office, which was part of the Metropolitan Police. They were written under the guidance of W. Worby Beaumont, who was recommended to the Public Carriage Office by Lord Montagu of Beaulieu. As well as laying down the 25 ft turning circle, they also demanded a 10-inch ground clearance. These regulations remained virtually unaltered until 1927, when they were reviewed, and the ground clearance relaxed to 7 inches. A demand for the turning circle to be relaxed to 35 ft was refused. The rules received minor changes to fit in with the changes in motor vehicle design, but a second major review was launched by the government after the turmoil surrounding the introduction of the minicab. The status quo was maintained, although the demand for a separate chassis was done away with.

In 2002, the Conditions of Fitness, or more specifically the turning circle was challenged by a group of people who were adapting existing commercial vehicles into wheelchair accessible taxis for the provincial market. They wanted to enter the London market and argued that, with modern power steering the turning circle, which was a barrier to their entry was no longer necessary. The review found once more in favour of the status quo, but this decision was challenged by judicial review. After a protracted study, the PCO again found that the turning circle was essential to maintain mobility. The current conditions have been applicable since 1 January 2007.The conditions require that all vehicles manufactured for use as licensed taxi cabs in London must be inspected for compliance with the standard before use. They regulate compliance with general UK and European vehicle standards and with specific design requirements including access to the vehicle, dimensions and layout, manoeuvrability, visibility and equipment.

Amongst the main requirements are the need for separate passenger and driver compartments, high internal headroom, a ramp for wheelchair user access and the ability to turn through 180° on either lock between two walls 8.535 m (28 ft) apart to minimise the impact of the many taxis operating in the city on other road users.Two production vehicle models comply with the current conditions: the London Taxi Company TX4 and a specially-modified taxi variant of the Mercedes-Benz Vito with steerable rear wheels.


Hackney may refer to

Hail and ride

In public transport in the United Kingdom and Australia, hail and ride is boarding or alighting a mode of public transport by signalling the driver or conductor that one wishes to board or alight, rather than the more conventional system of using a designated stop. Hail and ride is used primarily in bus transport. The act of requesting a hackney carriage to stop is also termed 'hailing'.

In bus transport, sections of a route may or may not have regular bus stops, but the bus can be requested to stop anywhere that it is safe to do so, whether there is a bus shelter or not. This is different from the transit bus practice employed in some areas, whereby although a stop may exist, it may be a request stop where the bus is not required to stop unless the passenger indicates they wish to catch the bus, for instance by holding out their arm at the stop, or indicates they wish to alight, for example by pressing a button to ring the 'stop' bell.

Hail and Ride is usually employed in rural areas, or in non-main roads such as housing estates. This usually involves routes using minibuses (this is, microbuses or midibuses) which can navigate these roads easily, although some commuter coach routes may also operate on a hail and ride basis at the residential end of their route.

As well as allowing the use of smaller roads less accessible to larger buses, a hail and ride scheme gives the advantage of not having to build bus stop infrastructure in order to introduce or vary a route. To take advantage of some housing estate road layouts, hail and ride may be used at the estate end of a route where the bus traverses the estate in a circular route and returning the other way, rather than ending at a specific terminus stop.

Sometimes a hail and ride section will be augmented with 'official stops', which are merely posts with a route flag and timetable box, to inform passengers of the existence of the service, rather than a purpose built shelter or lay-by.

The Hail and Ride concept has been extended and forms a part of demand responsive transport schemes.

It may be appropriate to retain ‘Hail & Ride’ operation:

on lightly used services;

on routes where passenger demand is very scattered; or

where local conditions make installation of bus stops difficult (i.e. narrow pavements).The hail and ride concept is adopted in Hong Kong by all minibus routes, although many minibus routes also have some sign posts along their routes, and a minority of operators do encourage their customers to get on and off at these stops.

Hansom cab

The hansom cab is a kind of horse-drawn carriage designed and patented in 1834 by Joseph Hansom, an architect from York. The vehicle was developed and tested by Hansom in Hinckley, Leicestershire, England. Originally called the Hansom safety cab, it was designed to combine speed with safety, with a low centre of gravity for safe cornering. Hansom's original design was modified by John Chapman and several others to improve its practicability, but retained Hansom's name.Cab is a shortening of cabriolet, reflecting the design of the carriage. It replaced the hackney carriage as a vehicle for hire; with the introduction of clockwork mechanical taximeters to measure fares, the name became taxicab.

Hansom cabs enjoyed immense popularity as they were fast, light enough to be pulled by a single horse (making the journey cheaper than travelling in a larger four-wheel coach) and were agile enough to steer around horse-drawn vehicles in the notorious traffic jams of nineteenth-century London. There were up to 7500 hansom cabs in use at the height of their popularity and they quickly spread to other cities (such as Dublin) in the United Kingdom, as well as continental European cities, particularly Paris, Berlin, and St Petersburg. The cab was introduced to other British Empire cities and to the United States during the late 19th century, being most commonly used in New York City.

Kid hack

A kid hack was a horse-drawn vehicle used for transporting children to school in the late 19th and early 20th century in the United States. The word hack, meaning a horse-drawn cab, is short for hackney carriage. The vehicle was actually powered by both horses and mules, and usually loaded at the rear to avoid frightening the animals. In those days, most elementary children in rural areas attended one-room schools. A typical kid hack would serve all the farms in the area of the school, and usually transport under 20 children.

The horse-drawn kid hack is considered to be the precursor to the modern yellow school bus. As early as 1914, versions of kid hacks were attached to early motor vehicles by the Wayne Works in Richmond, Indiana. As motorized trucks became more commonplace in rural locations, detachable wooden kid hack bodies were made which could be removed when the truck was in other use. Around 1927, much heavier all-steel bodies were introduced for this purpose by Wayne Works and other companies. Permanently mounted on the truck chassis, the combined vehicle became known as a school bus.

The Wayne County Historical Museum in Richmond, Indiana has a restored horse-drawn "kid hack" on display.

King Palmer

Cedric King Palmer (13 February 1913 – 13 July 1999) was an English composer, conductor, author and teacher, best known for his popular educational books on music and as a prolific composer of orchestral library music.


The LEVC TX (previously known as the TX5) is a purpose-built hackney carriage manufactured by the London EV Company (LEVC), a subsidiary of the Chinese auto-maker Geely. It is the latest in a succession of purpose-built hackney carriages produced by LEVC and various predecessor entities. The LEVC TX is a plug-in hybrid range-extender electric vehicle. Like its competitor, the Ecotive Metrocab, the vehicle is designed to comply with Transport for London’s Taxi Private Hire regulations, which from 1 January 2018, banned new diesel-powered taxis and requires zero-emissions capability.

Livery company

The livery companies of the City of London, currently 110 in number, comprise London's ancient and modern trade associations and guilds, almost all of which are styled the 'Worshipful Company of...' their respective craft, trade or profession. London's livery companies play a significant part in City life, not least by providing charitable-giving and networking opportunities. Liverymen retain voting rights for the senior civic offices, such as the Lord Mayor, Sheriffs and City of London Corporation, its ancient municipal authority with extensive local government powers.The term livery originated in the specific form of dress worn by retainers of a nobleman and then by extension to special dress to denote status of belonging to a trade. Livery companies evolved from London's medieval guilds, becoming corporations under Royal Charter responsible for training in their respective trades, as well as for the regulation of aspects such as wage control, labour conditions and industry standards. Early guilds often grew out of parish fraternal organizations, where large groups of members of the same trade lived in close proximity and gathered at the same church. Like most organisations during the Middle Ages, these livery companies had close ties with the Catholic Church (before the Protestant Reformation), endowing religious establishments such as chantry chapels and churches, observing religious festivals with hosting ceremonies and well-known mystery plays. Most livery companies retain their historical religious associations, although nowadays members are free to follow any faith or none. Companies often established a guild or meeting hall, and though they faced destruction in the Great London Fire of 1666 and during World War II, thirty-nine companies maintain their sometimes elaborate and historic halls.Most livery companies still maintain contacts with their original trade, craft or professional roles. Some still exercise powers of regulation, inspection and enforcement, while others are awarding bodies for professional qualifications. The Scriveners' Company admits senior members of legal and associated professions, the Apothecaries' Company awards post-graduate qualifications in some medical specialties, and the Hackney Carriage Drivers' Company comprises licensed taxi drivers who have passed the "Knowledge of London" test. Several companies restrict membership only to those holding relevant professional qualifications, eg. the City of London Solicitors' Company and the Worshipful Company of Engineers. Other companies, whose trade died out long ago, such as the Longbow Makers' Company, have evolved into being primarily charitable foundations.After the Carmen received City livery status in 1746 no new companies were established in London for 180 years until the Master Mariners in 1926 (granted livery in 1932). Post-1926 creations are known as modern livery companies. The Worshipful Company of Arts Scholars, the newest, was granted livery status on 11 February 2014, making it the 110th City livery company in order of precedence. The Honourable Company of Air Pilots is exceptional among London's livery companies in having active overseas committees in Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, New Zealand and North America.


LTI TX1 is a Hackney carriage (London "Black cab") introduced by London Taxis International in 1997 and designed to replace the ageing Austin FX4. It was designed by British product designer Kenneth Grange.Most are powered by a diesel engine from Nissan, a relationship which began in late FX4s. In 2002 it was replaced by the TXII, which used the Ford Duratorq engine as found in the Ford Transit, Mondeo, and Land Rover Defender.

Unlike modernistic van-shaped experimental cabs, the body was designed to recall several distinctive styling cues of the FX4. Upon completion, it was submitted to cab drivers for their approval and won their acceptance as sufficiently maintaining the spirit of the London cab.

The improved interior has allowed certain after-market additions to be made to vehicles such as the Cabvision technology.


The TX4 is a purpose-built taxicab (hackney carriage) manufactured since 2013 by The London Taxi Company, a subsidiary of Geely Automobile of China. From 2007 until their liquidation in 2013 it was manufactured by LTI. It is the latest in a long line of purpose-built taxis produced by The London Taxi Company and various predecessor entities. The design has evolved via several mutations from the Austin FX3 of the 1950s. TX4's immediate predecessor is the TXII.


The LTI TXII is a hackney carriage (London hail taxi) manufactured by LTI. It is the second model following the modernisation and re-design of the London taxi that began with the TX1.

The vehicle has a handful of differences from its predecessor including a change of engine from Nissan to the intercooled Ford Duratorq, which, according to the manufacturer increases torque by 21%. The remaining modifications are largely cosmetic or are minor improvements to the design and equipment on the TX1. It was available with a five-speed manual or a four-speed automatic.It was succeeded by the TX4.

Worshipful Company of Hackney Carriage Drivers

The Worshipful Company of Hackney Carriage Drivers is one of the 110 Livery Companies of the City of London. Its members are professional hackney carriage drivers, including London black taxicab drivers who have learnt the knowledge of London.

The Fellowship of Hackney Carriage Drivers was recognised by the City of London Corporation in 1990 and was granted livery in February 2004, becoming the Worshipful Company. The process started with an instruction from Oliver Cromwell to the City's Court of Aldermen in 1654 on regulating drivers. Legislation created the Fellowship of Master Hackney Coachmen, the first such society for taxi drivers.

The Company's charity supports any deserving members and their immediate family. It has run an annual taxi tour to Disneyland Paris for children with life-threatening illnesses each year since 1994. Its education programme teaches taxi drivers about the history of London and it seeks to promote public awareness about the high standards of the hackney carriage trade. The Company also takes part in the annual Lord Mayor's Show.

The Hackney Carriage Drivers' Company ranks 104th in the order of precedence of City Livery Companies.

Worshipful Company of Security Professionals

The Worshipful Company of Security Professionals is the 108th Livery Company of the City of London. It is a non profit making organisation providing education and health services to members of the security profession.Formed in 1999 when Steve Neville, OBE, and John Purnell, GM, QPM, DL, registered the Guild of Security Professionals with the City of London Chamberlain's Office. On 18 November 1999, 12 principal founder members met to plan the creation of a working guild. The first meeting with 62 founder members took place on 27 March 2000, with Sir Neil Macfarlane being elected Founder Master and with Sir David Brewer, KG, CMG, CVO, JP, and Deputy Philip Willoughby as Sponsors. Progression to a Company without Livery occurred on 6 January 2004 when the petition for recognition as a City Company without Livery was recognised by the Court of Aldermen. On 15 January 2008 the Court of Alderman was petitioned and it declared that the Company became the 108th Livery Company from 19 February 2008. The ranking is by order of precedence, under which guidelines the Company is also classified as a Modern Livery Company.

In 2009 the Security Professionals' Company petitioned the privy council for a royal charter and Queen Elizabeth II approved an Order instructing the Lord Chancellor to affix the great seal to the Worshipful Company's charter, which was granted on 15 February 2010.

More recent developments include the development of an Apprentices scheme which now has around 30 Apprentices and has already had Apprentices successfully graduate and become Freemen of the Company and then Freeman of the City of London. The launch of a Young Members section, with special Membership rates for Members below the ages of 41 and 31,to encourage younger Security Professionals to join a London Livery Company. Such has been the success of the development of the Young Members Group that it progressed to become a full standing committee of the Court at the May 2019 Court meeting and is now the Young Members Committee.

Membership of the Company is drawn from the security industry in its widest sense and includes leading security professionals from the industrial and retail sectors, serving and retired members of the police and armed services, security consultants, academics, heads of security for corporate businesses, investigators, and electronic surveillance companies.

Some of the activities the Company is involved in are listed below. It supports the Worshipful Company of Hackney Carriage Drivers' 'Magical Taxi Run' to Disneyland Paris each year for children with life-threatening illnesses.

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