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To not understand the point of black cabs now?

(307 Posts)
Userlavender Sun 24-Sep-17 13:03:31

Aside from all the uber controversy (i use addison lee and local minicabs) can someone please tell me - what is the point of black cabs in 2017?!

They are insanely expensive, surely the knowledge is irrelevant now that everyone has satnav and they love going the long way round to get extra £££? This has happened to me a few times. Cab to the airport using my local minicab which sends driver details and tracking is £18. With a black cab the estimate is 'about £80'. Surely they are no longer sustainable due to prices? Am I missing something? Who are all these people who pay black cabs their ridiculous prices?

MehMehAndMeh Sun 24-Sep-17 13:08:30

How many wheelchair users can get their chair in a minicab? Particularly if it's one they can't easily get in and out of due to equipment etc

ThroughThickAndThin01 Sun 24-Sep-17 13:11:30

Don't you need an account with über etc? With a black cab you just hop in.

Userlavender Sun 24-Sep-17 13:11:39

So are you saying all disabled users should pay for black cabs - often 4 times the price. For what? A ramp? People carrier cars often have acesss and i think minicab and addison lee should have a certain amount of disabled access cars but i don't think that justifies the black cab prices that are charged to everyone disabled or not.

Userlavender Sun 24-Sep-17 13:12:55

@throughthick i dont know ive never used uber. My aibu is why are black cabs so expensive and why do they do the knowledge when drivers can use satnav instead. I just think it's stupid? But clearly i am missing something

numbmum83 Sun 24-Sep-17 13:14:34

I agree . I went to our local taxi rank this week rather than ring coz I was in town and a black cab outside changed me £4.20 instead of the normal £3 which is advertised as it's less than a mile . I moaned and he said £4.
Exactly same company , outside the taxi rank . It was £2 before even moving off the rank and then it was shooting up . Most taxi companies here you can ask for a black cab for an extra £1 and that's not on meter.

Birdsgottafly Sun 24-Sep-17 13:14:59

As well as Wheelchair users, undoing a pram with a load of shopping is not worth saving a couple of quid.

The point is that you don't have to wait for them. Even on the Fridays in December, you wait less for a Black Cab, at the Supermarkets.

There has just been rape convictions of private taxi drivers and also a violent offence. The company didn't do the necessary checks. All of them had previous convictions.

There definitely isn't fair, fare charging going on in my city and this isn't going to be popular, but all those caught have been non UK Nationals, who aren't accepting of our laws and policies.

The same drivers couldn't have become Black taxi drivers because of the checks.

BicyclesInBejing Sun 24-Sep-17 13:15:40

I'm amazed anyone thinks like this tbh. If you can afford it black cabs are the best way to travel. I only use black cabs and will only get a minicab if there is no other option.

Black cabs knowledge is invaluable because they know exactly where they are going and know the quickest and best way. In a minicab, I've been massively delayed and lost when the driver (relying on satnav) lost internet contact and had no idea where we were or how to get there.

Black cab drivers are heavily regulated and tested as part of the knowledge for temprement - checking they aren't the type to lose their temper in a queue or when wound up.


Black cabs are safer - look at the Uber sexual assault/rape statistics AND consider that many are not reported.

Black cabs take wheel chairs as pp said.

I love Black Cabs and I fear that we maybe going to lose a marvellous excellent service because too many people think like the OP.

LottieDoubtie Sun 24-Sep-17 13:15:50

In my mind Black cabs are for when you're stood on the street at X point need to get to Y point within 30 mins are partially lost and haven't got a clue which bloody bus you were meant to catch. In those situations a black cab is a lifesaver.

I wouldn't use one for a situation I could anticipate (public transport and the occasional late night licensed mini cab)

Birdsgottafly Sun 24-Sep-17 13:16:42

"My aibu is why are black cabs so expensive and why do they do the knowledge when drivers can use satnav instead."

You can google anything so why do we need a lot of the qualifications that we do?

Userlavender Sun 24-Sep-17 13:17:47

@numbmum that sounds great. I have got minicab to my house from the station before - £5. Black cab is always £10. Without fail. @birds it's not a 'couple of quid' though - it's often double or triple. Do tfl do criminal record checks on licensed drivers? If not then fine. But if they don't they should - why should black cabs be allowed to fleece the general public?

Andrewofgg Sun 24-Sep-17 13:20:39

It is obviously wrong to let black cabs use the bus lanes and not private hire cars. The rule should be the same for both.

Userlavender Sun 24-Sep-17 13:20:46

@bicycles they do know the shortest way but they often go the longest way if they think a passenger doesn't know any better - to get extra money. This has happened to many people i know.

@birdagottafly you can't google how to do a job but working out directions on a map isn't rocket science - it's unbelievably thick to learn something off by heart when it's already saved electronically for you. That's what i think anyway

Birdsgottafly Sun 24-Sep-17 13:21:00

"So are you saying all disabled users should pay for black cabs - often 4 times the price. "

If they are four times the price then you should take that up with your license issuing Council.

Not everyone can get out of a wheelchair.

I use a mix, I have a good local firm, but like the convenience of walking with my full shopping trolley and getting in an easy access, clean Cab.

Userlavender Sun 24-Sep-17 13:21:37

And learning a map off by heart isn't a skill - anyone could do that if they took about 3 years to do it.

Gingernaut Sun 24-Sep-17 13:22:06

Hackney cabs have to meet certain standards and are built to a certain specification.

They are 😱 expensive at about £29,000 for a new one.

They have to be maintained to a certain standard, are checked on a regular basis and even having scratched paintwork is a reason to put it off the road.

Illegally touting minicab drivers have been known to key hackney carriages to reduce competition.

The cabbies have to reach certain standards both criminal and practical and are regularly tested.

I definitely prefer a driver who knows where he's going rather then watch some gobdaw helplessly following a satnav into every traffic jam and roadworks or, better yet, following a fucking bus because "I don't know where you taking me". angry

Userlavender Sun 24-Sep-17 13:23:41

@gingernaut agree they are 'nicer' but are you willing to pay triple cash price for that? WHat about people who cannot afford this? Shouldn't there be a safe AFFORDABLE service?

BicyclesInBejing Sun 24-Sep-17 13:24:38

You are not being fleeced you are paying for a service provided by a vetted, regulated and highly trained professional who is driving you in a vehicle specifically designed with commercial transport in mind.

A professional who can provide the service if he loses internet connect to his satnav.
A professional who is properly regulated so you have some avenue to complain if you get a poor service and a cab number/driver number so you can identify them. A professional who will do things like drive back to a drop off location to return a wallet or a phone left in the back of the cab.

Yes it is more expensive than having any old punter drive you but you are paying for something - not just the professional driving you but a vehicle that costs over £60,000 and is secure and safe. Ever had someone grab your car door and open it when in traffic lights, it's terrifying. Not in a black cab becuase of auto lock. Do you want a

BarbaraofSevillle Sun 24-Sep-17 13:24:54

You can google anything so why do we need a lot of the qualifications that we do

If you properly know about something, you will realise that a lot of information on the internet is complete hogwash. The same goes for routes suggested by sat navs. OK, it will find the place you want in the end, assuming that it is programmed correctly* and doesn't lose the signal, which they do a lot in cities like London, but it often doesn't suggest the quickest route. I use a sat nav to find the final destination, but will often ignore what it says until a mile or two away because I know when it is sending me a stupid route.


CantChoose Sun 24-Sep-17 13:25:30

I find black cabs have their place for short journeys with the center of town.
However, they will not drop me home from central, often just rudely driving off rather than even bothering to say it’s too far for them (zone four...) and charge a flipping fortune for it.
I also find them far more likely to try and engage me in racist discussion hmm some of them are lovely though and I hope that they and uber can find a way to work together. I use uber for journeys i wouldn’t / couldn’t use a black cab for anyway so there’s no competition between them as far as I’m concerned but that may not be typical.

BicyclesInBejing Sun 24-Sep-17 13:25:31

*uber driver or someone you don't know who the hell they are to lock you in the vehicle as you drive along? Didn't think so.

Birdsgottafly Sun 24-Sep-17 13:25:50

""@birdagottafly you can't google how to do a job but working out directions on a map isn't rocket science - it's unbelievably thick to learn something off by heart when it's already saved electronically for you. ""

I'm off work because of a disability and I've done all sorts thanks to YouTube instructional videos, you can learn anything.

Say Navs aren't the best way of getting to a destination, in the shortest time, if you want a cash machine etc in the way.

I'm in Liverpool, but have used Taxis in every city, accept for London.

The accessible cars, tend to be too high for me to comfortably get in and out of.

Userlavender Sun 24-Sep-17 13:27:31

@bicycles still too expensive. Why can't they vet minicab drivers as well? If they don't? I want to get from a to b at a reasonable cost. Same way people use the tube to get to work - would rather a seat and a nice view but at least i can afford it

Birdsgottafly Sun 24-Sep-17 13:28:33

Or perhaps they have no place in London, meanwhile leave us to our using them (after all we aren't doing anyone any harm).

Dsmummy Sun 24-Sep-17 13:29:11

My uncle is a black cab driver. He works very hard and worked very hard to gain the knowledge. Satnav is great until detours etc turn up. He also lets a lot of people off of full fare and once accepted lucky heather lol. There’s good and bad to both sides probably

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