There’s a warning that the London black cab driver could become a thing of the past, as applications to pass “the Knowledge” have plummetted over the past ten years.
The Mail reports that figures show the number of new applications for black cab licences has dropped by almost 95% in a decade, from 3,484 in 2011/12 to just 221 last year.
It says the decline has sparked fears that the world-famous exam faces ‘extinction’ unless Transport For London, which runs the system, overhauls the industry.
“The Knowledge” is the requirement to remember streets and landmarks in a six-mile radius around Charing Cross.
Dean Warrington, founder of the Wizann Knowledge School, one of the largest in London, told the Mail: “Our learning school used to be 3,000 square feet — we’re now down to 300 square feet.
“At our peak we would have four to five hundred students a year, but now it’s somewhere between 50 and one hundred.”
It also quotes Perry Richardson, founder of TaxiPoint magazine as saying, applicants need “reassurance that taxis are a vital part of the transport network and if you are going to invest £70,000 into a wheelchair-accessible vehicle, you are going to have a viable job in ten, 15, 20 years’ time.”
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