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Changes made to the world's TOUGHEST TAXI TEST; The Knowledge of London

Updated: Feb 23, 2022

Changes have been made to the 'world's toughest taxi test', the Knowledge of London, which prepares the capital's iconic black taxi drivers to ferry passengers around and navigate one of the most complex cities on earth.

Although no major changes are being made there will be slight alterations, as Transport for London look to encourage more people to sign up to the course, which is described as being on par with a university degree.

The changes are as follows and are to be implemented immediately:

Red Line update

The red line policy will be retained, however if a candidate accumulates 4 ‘D’ grades, they will revert back to the beginning of the same stage, as opposed to the start of the previous stage.

New time limits are to be set for each stage too:

  • Stage 3 – 3 years

  • Stage 4 – 2 years

  • Stage 5 – 1 Year.

At the end of the time limit candidates will be required to attend a meeting with the Knowledge of London manager to discuss their progress.

Changes to restriction runs asked on appearances

‘No traffic light runs’ – are to be scrapped and no longer asked on appearances.

Obstacle runs (Multiple drops / road closures / LOL (leave on left) or LOR only) – to be limited to Stage 5 (21’s) only and can only be asked on a maximum of 1 run in each appearance.

Re-test update

Minor changes are being made to make the process fairer and more transparent.

A previously licensed taxi driver has to undertake a re-test if they have two years or more of not being licensed.

Currently, they are sent guidelines in the post and have a pass or fail re-test. If they pass they are licensed; if they fail they go back to appearances.

This means someone can have a ‘bad day’ and will have to go back onto appearances.

The new process will involve the guidelines being sent, but the person will then be invited to attend a talk with a Knowledge of London examiner to discuss the re-test process and what standard of topographical knowledge will be expected from them.

The person will have a re-test and if they fail – they can come back for a second re-test.

Knowledge of London examiners will use a list of agreed ‘set standard’ questions to ensure consistency and the questions are overseen by the Knowledge of London Manager.


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