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ASHER MOSES: The power of the black taxi as a cultural icon

Updated: Feb 20, 2023

Image credit: Sherbet

The sight of dozens of black taxis lining London’s Mall last September on the day Queen Elizabeth II died was a moving and striking tribute to her Majesty. The impromptu guard of honour made headlines around the world and embodied everything black taxis stand for – a true symbol of British national pride.

In London alone, there are around 20,000 and they need no advert to get noticed. All eyes will be on the capital and our black taxis when Brand Britain comes into the spotlight again at King Charles III’s coronation on 6 May.

The black taxi is a global icon and a UK tourist attraction and institution in itself, along with Big Ben, red telephone boxes and the Great British pub.

Everyone loves a British black taxi - even celebrities including Kate Moss, Stephen Fry, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Happy Mondays legend Bez love them so much they own their own for personal use. There are popular black taxi guided tour companies across the country too, from Belfast to Manchester to Edinburgh.

The black taxi is a British emblem and the London taxi market in particular is revered around the world, and rightly so, considering the quality and functionality of the vehicles and the professionalism and training of the drivers.

The black taxi is admired so much that when Azerbaijan hosted the Eurovision Song Contest a decade ago, British contestants and fans flocking to the capital Baku felt completely at home, as the government had just bought a fleet of more than 1,000 just ahead of the competition in a bid to help boost its transport infrastructure.

Image credit: Sherbet

The Azeri aren’t alone - the UK now sells London black taxis to 20 countries around the world, including Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Italy and France, and they could soon be bustling along the streets of Jerusalem if the upgrades for the UK’s Free Trade Agreement between Britain and Israel comes to pass this year as hoped, as the government there is keen to buy LEVC’s iconic electric black cabs.

It will only enhance and further emphasise just how great our British black taxis are in 2023 - we have a lot to look forward to!


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