Heathrow airport is located on the outskirts of London and is a taxi ride away from this capital city. Taxi Drivers in London must be fully licensed and are required to pass an exam covering extensive road and directions knowledge.
There are almost 30,000 licensed ‘hackney carriage’ cabs operating in London, and thousands of alternative taxi services. London Hackney Carriages are typically coloured black but can also found in a range of other colours. The traditional London Taxi can carry up to 5 passengers and their luggage.
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Getting to London Heathrow Airport
London Heathrow Airport is located near Hounslow, Middlesex in West London. London is England’s capital city and is Europe’s most populated city with over 8,000,000 inhabitants, double that of the next closest cities Berlin and Madrid respectively. It also has more than triple the population volumes of Rome or Paris.
Heathrow Airport was previously known as just ‘London Airport’ between the years of 1946 and until 1965. Heathrow is the busiest Airport in England and Europe, it is the third busiest in the world. The network of London Airports is the largest in the world followed by New York’s metropolitan airport network of; JFK, Newark and La Guardia Airports.
There are 5 terminals at Heathrow Airport, although Heathrow’s Terminal 2 has been closed since 2009. Terminal 2 ‘The Queen’s Terminal’ is scheduled to reopen on the 4th of July 2014, the changes mainly involved modernising and renovating the airport.
Taxi Costs in Heathrow
Here is an official breakdown of the taxi prices you can expect to be charged in London during the day:
|Minimum Taxi Cost||£2.40 (first 0.16 mile)|
|Fare above minimum||£2.50 per mile (until 5.92 miles)|
|Fare over 5.92 miles||£4.00 per mile|
|Waiting Costs||£26.27 per hour|
|Waiting Costs breakdown||£0.20 per 27.4 seconds.|
|Luggage Costs||£0.00 additional charges for usage of Taxi storage.|
|Night Timings||22:00 – 6:00|
|Night Booking Fee||£2.00|
|Night Minimum Cost||£2.40 (first 0.1 mile)|
|Night Costs above Min.||£3.90 per mile (until 5.7 miles)|
|Night Costs above 5.7 Miles||£4.00 per mile|
|Night Waiting Costs||£40.22 per hour|
|Peak Hour Timings||20:00 – 22:00|
|Peak Booking Fee||£2.00|
|Peak Min. Fare||£2.40 (first 0.12 mile)|
|Peak Fare Above Min.||£3.33 per mile (until 5.52 mile)|
|Peak Fare Over 5.52 Mile||£4 per mile (over 5.52 mile)|
|Peak Waiting Time Cost||£32.43 per hour.|
|Traffic Affect on Taxi Charges||5% increase for Moderate Traffic|
|Traffic Affect on Taxi Charges||10% increase for Heavy Traffic|
|Heathrow Extra Taxi Charge||£3.20 per vehicle.|
|Holiday Travel Extra Charges||£4.00 per Journey (During Christmas and NYE Period).|
|Telephone Booking Charge||£2.00 per booking.|
|Bank Card Charge (Highest)||£1.00 or 12.5% of metered fare|
|Soiling||Up to £40 (If taxi requires to be taken out of service)|
*These taxi price rates are effective for the city of London as of Saturday 6th April 2013.
Taxi drivers in London do accept tips but they aren’t always expected as with many other countries such as the United States. Tipping the driver is still accepted however, should you feel the driver has earned a tip and the amount is down the passenger. The most common form of tipping in London and the UK is when the passenger rounds the fare up to the nearest whole £1 GBP or multiple of £5 GBP.
What’s the difference between a London Black Taxi or Cab
A London Taxi, Black Taxi or Cab are all the same type of taxi, the official name for these taxis is the Hackney Carriage. The term Hackney Carriage just refers to a taxicab operating in Greater London and licensed by the Public Carriage Office.
Taxi Drivers in London are required to pass ‘London’s The Knowledge’ test which is designed to question the driver’s knowledge of London streets, important or popular buildings and a general geographical understanding of the city. Similar taxi driver legislations and tests are also run for various other cities and councils across the Country such as Manchester.
London Hackney Carriage Taxicabs can be hailed down from anywhere within the city of London’s Greater limits. The yellow ‘taxi’ light on the roof of the cab will be lit whenever the taxi is available to be hailed down for a fare. Hackney carriages are also licensed for any pre-booked journeys. Other Airport Transfer services, such as private hire vehicles cannot legally be hailed down and any trip must be booked in advance.
Travellers are advised to pre-book their taxi for safety and for the cheapest deal, passengers should also check the driver’s license and council plate.
The Iconic London Black Cab
The London Black Cab vehicles themselves are an iconic landmark for London. The vehicles used by officially licensed London Cabs were originally the Austin FX4, this was then succeeded by the LTI TXI, the TXII and the TX4. They all look similar with their dome shaped roof and more often than not the actual taxi will be mainly black coloured although there are other coloured London Cabs.
Staying Safe in a London Taxi
There has recently been many campaigns encouraging people, especially women, to pre-book their taxi or cab service. This is due to the rising number of offences being reported for crimes committed when travelling in an unlicensed cab in the city. It sounds very dark but by taking a little bit of care in your activities we can negate the risk of an incident.
Firstly, as previously mentioned, the first suggestion is to book your taxi in advance. This would create a permanent record of your journey being logged on the cab distributor network.
Pre-booking your cab won’t always be ideal but there are more steps to take to ensure the cab you hail or flag down is legitimate and trustworthy, even by scoping the condition of the vehicle’s exterior would give a clue to the quality. Other vital things to check would be whether the driver’s license is displayed (and the picture matches the actual driver!) and also that a fare card is displayed within the passenger’s compartment.
At the very least passengers are advised to inspect the driver’s license and council plate.
Famous London Cabs
There are a few celebrities who have chosen to modify versions of a London Black Cab for use in their own day-to-day lives. Although often unexplained, it’s believe that these are popular vehicles for celebs as they can easily blend into the city without attracting too much attention. Kate Moss and Prince Philip are amongst these famous London taxi owners.
Any London Taxi vehicle being used as a private mode of transport is not permitted to make use of the Bus or taxi lanes located throughout the city. However Stephen Fry, another well known London Black Cab owner, was once quoted as saying “I sometimes park it on taxi stands all day and no one notices” a unique method discovered for him to avoid receiving parking tickets.