Pay a visit to London and a black mini cab will probably be one the the first things you will see. The London taxi drivers are almost as famous as the black cabs in which they drive, this is mainly due to their in-depth knowledge of London and ability in taking their occupants to their desired destination amid the congestion and the chaos that you often find when travelling through London’s streets.
London taxi drivers go through stringent training to obtain their licence, they need to pass The Knowledge, a test which is amongst the hardest to pass in the world, it has been described as like having an atlas of London implanted into the brain.
It was initiated in 1865, and has changed little since. It is claimed that the training involved ensures that London taxi drivers are experts on London, and have an intimate knowledge of the city.
It takes the average person between 2 and 4 years to learn the knowledge. An effort that requires you to memorise every possible route through the city as well as memorising landmarks and points of interest, museums, parks, police stations, churches, theatres and schools and not just the famous landmarks like Buckingham Palace and Nelsons Column.
To become an All-London taxi driver or Green badge holder you need to master no fewer than 320 basic routes, all of the 25,000 streets that are scattered within the basic routes and approximately 20,000 landmarks and places of public interest that are located within a six-mile radius of Charing Cross.
The hardest of all taxi driver tests in the world is how many have described The London Knowledge a reputation which very few would argue with.