Updated: Aug 25
The Mayor of London has put the future sustainability of the black taxi industry in the hands of Deputy Seb Dance.
The details emerged after a response to a written question posed by Caroline Pidgeon, a London Assembly Member, regarding the city's efforts to support the taxi trade.
The Mayor stated that Transport for London (TfL) serves as the licensing authority and regulator for both taxi and private hire vehicle (PHV) services. With this responsibility, Deputy Mayor Seb Dance will play a pivotal role in shaping and implementing the necessary policies to ensure the continued viability of the black cab trade.
One of the key areas of focus highlighted by Mayor Sadiq Khan is the rejuvenation of the Knowledge of London process, a rigorous exam that all aspiring black cab drivers must undertake to demonstrate their extensive knowledge of the city's streets and landmarks. The Mayor expressed his commitment to modernising the exam and making it more appealing to potential applicants.
In a previous response, Mayor Khan noted a positive trend in the number of individuals expressing interest in becoming black cab drivers. He revealed that 125 applications were submitted within the first two months of this year, surpassing the total for the entirety of 2020 and 2021, which were significantly impacted by the pandemic.
Black cabs have long been an iconic symbol of London's transport system, valued for their reliability, knowledge and design.
Sadiq Khan said: “My Deputy Mayor for Transport, Seb Dance, oversees my transport policies in London, including taxi and private hire vehicle (PHV) services.
“Transport for London is the licensing authority and regulator for both taxi and PHV services.
“In my response to a previous Mayor’s Question, I set out the work that is being undertaken, in close consultation with the taxi trade, to review and modernise the Knowledge of London process and to make it more attractive to applicants. I am also heartened that the number of people applying to become taxi drivers has returned to pre-pandemic levels in the last two years.”