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YELLOW BADGE: Just FOUR new London black cab drivers join the Suburban ranks so far this year

Updated: Jun 19

Just FOUR new black cab drivers have been licensed in the suburban districts of London so far this year.

Across the 9 ‘Yellow Badge’ sectors just 1,954 drivers hold Suburban licences with Transport for London (TfL). Only 22 new applications to become a Suburban black cabbie have been received by the regulator between the turn of the year to 25 May 2023.

The Suburban Knowledge of London taxi test, also known as the ‘Yellow Badge’ course, is a rigorous test that taxi drivers in London must pass before they are certified to drive a black cab in any one suburb. This test is specifically designed for drivers who intend to operate in suburban areas outside of central London.

The test includes routes through suburban areas such Bromley, Havering or Barnet. Drivers are expected to demonstrate that they can navigate through areas within these sectors and also know the points of interests located in them.

The time it takes to complete the Suburban London Knowledge Taxi Test varies based on the individual's preparation and skill level. On average, it takes approximately 18 months to two years to complete during intensive study.

A spokesperson from TfL said via a Freedom of Information request: “Transport for London (TfL) has received 22 applications for a London suburban taxi driver’s licence this year.

“It typically takes an applicant between 18 months to two years to complete the Knowledge for a suburban sector and therefore none of these applicants have been licensed to date.

“TfL has issued four London suburban taxi driver licences this year.”

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