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Worshipful Company of Hackney Carriage Drivers, Vintners’ Hall

The Company are also generous in support for members of the armed services and during the evening winners from each of the sections supported by the Company were presented with their prizes.

The Company trace their origins back to an Act of Parliament in 1654 but they are a modern Livery Company, being 104th in the order of precedence.  They received their Grant of Livery in February 2004 and Royal Charter in October 2013 and have about 200 members.  Their objectives include “raising public awareness of the high standards of the London Hackney Carriage trade and industry and working to ensure continuous improvement in the health of the industry through managed growth and development, ensuring that the London cab trade remains attractive to those passengers who live or work in London and preserving the elements of the industry that are considered irreplaceable – such as ‘the Knowledge of London’”.

I learnt much about the design and operation of our modern, increasingly electric, taxis and the challenges the drivers face.  Taxis are being used more and more as a cost-effective means of transport.  For example, transferring patients to and from hospital, facilitated by their accessibility and manoeuvrability compared with conventional cars and ambulances.

There are over 15,000 licenced taxi drivers in the metropolitan area, of whom 400 are women.  The Master and Wardens are committed to increasing the diversity in the sector.  While not lobbying they are also challenging transport and access issues.

I also had several interesting discussions about the issues that Livery Companies are currently facing especially with communications.

It was a most enjoyable evening, congratulations to the Hackney Carriage Drivers Company and the Magical Taxis are a very deserving cause.

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