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PREFERRED ROUTE? No matter how innocent the message, it's ‘illegal signage’ unless TfL approved

Updated: May 15, 2023

Taxi drivers in London have been warned about using ‘illegal signage’ in the back of their cabs no matter how innocent the message is.

Transport for London (TfL) considers any sign displayed in the back of a black taxi as unauthorised unless approved by them.

Many cab drivers have found it helpful to place signs in the back of their cars, allowing passengers to share preferred routes with drivers or to provide other pertinent information. Baldwin argues that signs like these, simplify rides and build better connections between drivers and passengers.

Lloyd Baldwin, LTDA Executive SO, said in TAXI Newspaper: “We have all probably at some point or other put a sign in the back of our cab giving passengers information. I personally have had one that asks if passengers have a preferred route, to let me know at the start of the journey.

“I feel it helps clear up any issues about a route I may take. I also believe that if a regular cab user does a journey regularly enough, they may have a better understanding of traffic levels at that time of the day. The problem is that Transport for London (TfL) see this as ‘illegal signage’.

“I remember a few years ago when the LTDA had a swipe at the American Mini Cab Company on the front of this newspaper and loads of cabbies stuck in their back window, with the headline on show for all to see. Suddenly, we started getting calls from members who had been given stop notices for illegal signage. I seem to remember TfL saying that it was because it could have been seen as ‘a political statement’.

“TfL insist that any signage placed in the back of the cab must be authorised by them. I heard a story recently where the cabbie was asked to remove his Union Jack headrest covers. Whatever next?”


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