The all London knowledge

A few weeks ago I was talking to my mate Dave aka cabbydavid on Twitter about yellow badge holders coming into town and taking our work and what I would do I said I would have two colour plates one green and one yellow, it would be pretty distinctive to say the least. I told him that all fleet owners would have two plates one green and one yellow. then Dave asked me what would I do if he being a green badge holder wanted to rent his cab to a yellow badge holder and I told it wouldn’t be a problem, the guy renting his cab would have to apply to the carriage office for a plate and he would keep it for as long as he needed it and it would be his responsibility to change it over when needed, obviously the owner would have to make sure the right plate was on before driving himself.

I’m writing this on a Thursday the 7th and it was the Tuesday the 5th that I picked up a copy of the badge, a trade paper run by one of our trades called the London cab drivers club ( LCDC) and I was pleased to see that they are already in talks with the Public carriage office (PCO) they say that the PCO have raised their concerns to them regarding the rise in the number of badges being issued to yellow badge holders and the work declining in their own sectors and maybe the temptation to work out of their sectors is just to much. the LCDC  goes on to say that the talk around the trades watering holes is that many knowledge boys and girls are just doing the suburban tests and then coming straight into central London with a sat-nav.

The LCDC go on to say that along with the PCO we now feel it is time to deal with this very emotive issue and they feel that the only way to sort it out once and for all and that is for sector recognising colour discs displayed inside the front and back windows of all taxis, which will display what sector you have the right to ply in, it will also show your badge number. Of which i’m not to sure of. they also go on to say that we could have a green or yellow plate fitted on the back. Again the same idea I told Dave a couple of weeks ago. They say that if you own a fleet of taxis you would have to own two plates and put the appropiate colour plate on the back of the cab which matches the drivers badge colour and discs.

They say that this is not just about yellow badge suburban drivers working up town but also the fact that this act totally undermines the knowledge that we have undertaken in central London, which takes from 3-5 years to complete. The LCDC go on to say that they think that the surburban drivers who wish to tout in town or work outside of their sectors are the same as minicab touts, as they deceive the public into believing that they are getting a driver who has undertaken the all London knowledge and this is selling us all short. They say that if you wish to ply for hire in the capital then do the all London Green badge knowledge.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank Grant Davis and his team at the LCDC  for dealing with this issue and wish them gods speed. Because it is long over due.

Be lucky, Steve.

14 Responses to “The all London knowledge”

  1. Darren says:

    Hello Steve, I have a look at your site now and again, I’m undertaking the K, all London, and look at a K ’students’ website (wizann.co.uk) where we bat ideas around to help us in our quest to be sitting where you sit for several hours a day, I hope you like potential butterboys…..!. The point you have raised has been a cause of discussion over the last few weeks, and someone posted the following on the site today. This is clearly a issue that needs to be addressed rapidly. I see loads of yellow badges swaning round London looking, and getting, work on the street. Thought you might like the following post. Good luck to you fella and I like your site.

    * I have only been out 3 months but got pulled over by the police on sunday in pall mall wanting to check my badge and bill as apparently yellow badges working in central london is rife.copper reckons they have caught 8 yellows since jan 1st and are treating the matter seriously….now i know in these hard times work is hard to come by but its getting bloody harder if the yellows are coming in as well.if they want to work centrally there is a simple solution….do ur green badge cause they r doing is cheating all those who have and r working hard for the all london badge out of work…2 incidents spring to mind i was stopped at lights when a young fellah in a cab asked me if i knew where the savoy theatre was! another asked a pal of mine if he knew where the ice bar was .now if you have done the all london u really should know these points…ok we all drop points i know but the savoy theatre?sorry the rant was long but this is all our livihoods im talking about .its bad enough minicabs stealing our work with our so called own doing it!be lucky keep up the good work all u trainee green badges it ll be worth it in the end

  2. steve says:

    Hi Darren it’s nice to know that the butter boys and girls down the knowledge schools are up to date concerning trade issues. I’ve been thinking about green and yellow badges and what we should do for a while now and when I picked up a copy of The Badge and saw that they were already dealing with it I thought it would be good to show some support.
    I was at a RMT ,meeting Monday night and this problem was mentioned and the RMT will be showing their support towards the LCDC in the near future.

    I don’t dislike potential butterboys and girls we need them because one day old boys like Derek and myself will need replacing but don’t think for one moment it’s going to be an easy ride because if john Mason decides to change our license plate to make it easy to recognize green and yellow badges then think seriously about doing the Suburban knowledge.

  3. CSP says:

    Darren, i’ve had my GREEN badge for over 8 years and i dont know where the ICE BAR is mate!

    You are correct in saying there is a problem with canaries slipping into town and illegally working & needs to be addressed ASAP.

  4. Duncan Smith says:

    Most Surburban Drivers Do Work their own area . This is about their being a lack of work in central london . The Solution is to check Cabs in London . A better answer would be for the PCO to issue different sequence of plate numbers to yellow badge drivers . Or for the Vehicle to Display next to plate number in Cab area you are Licensed For . My Beleif is all this will do is Fragment the Industry even more . When Radio Circuits have given work to private hire vehicles . When Private Hire drivers tout on the street in all areas outside pubs , arenas , outside sporting events . Yellow Badges working outside their area should be stopped . But the Majority play by the Rules . The problems this Industry has is We look for an Excuse . Private Hire Vehicles are getting more and more work . Changing plates might make some people feel better , but then what , whats the next idea , or the next reason for lack of income .

  5. Tariq Hussein says:

    The Idea is Madness . The PCO have a enforcement team who can stop Cabs any time of Day and Check Drivers Details . Sounds like a Union Based Idea , no doubt the same Union that want to restrict drivers hours . Then it will be a computer based knowledge test . Then perhaps a Motor Car with a sign on the Top .
    What about the 70,000 plus private hire vehicles . What about Mobile phones people use now to call a private hire vehicle .
    Its Quit Simple Enforce the Rules . But let the system that has worked for many decades carry on . How about drivers according to their badge should wear a yellow hat and yellow slippers . And only be allowed to have cheese and tomato sandwhiches on a monday to wednesday , Worry about the Whole Trade . Competing on Fares .

  6. Baffled says:

    There is a grey area with the plating idea and the disc idea, which I would be grateful and back 100% if someone could find a solution for.

    Firstly I am a yellow badge driver with no intention of breaking the law or risking my licence!

    I work sector 9 (Merton&Sutton) which has an extension area available which covers Tooting Broadway, Balham, and Clapham Common Stations and a restricted area around them. Drivers are required to attend the public carraige office for appearances to obtain this extension which is added to their suburban licence but is clearly in the all London area.
    The radio laws also dictate that a driver can legally accept any job given to him/her via a radio system, if they are within their licenced area when they receive it. Sector 9 drivers are also permitted to legally ply for hire on the island rank outside the southside (nee arnedale) centre in Wandsworth. I frequently pick up and accept jobs from this rank and clapham common rank which have a pick up north of the river. I always wear my badge because I have nothing to hide and frequently get filthy looks and sarcastic comments from green badges and this I take as part of the confusion caused by these licensing laws.

    I will not turn down work I am legally entitled to take and would welcome a solution that prevented me from having to defend myself before irrate green badges whilst I am doing the job I am licensed for and doing legally but now you have seen the full dilemma you may
    appreciate how the measures you suggest will do nothing to identify the legal and illegal yellow badge drivers working within the all London area.

    Put your thinking caps on and be lucky!!

  7. ScareyCanary says:

    I agree with baffled!!

    The key problem with green badges is they are so busy thinking they know it all that they don’t bother checking the facts!

    I was working Putney High street outside the station and was actually reported by a Green Badge For Ranking up outside the station!

    Being a Sector 8 driver I am equally entitled to use this rank as any green badge and is am entiteled to work without threat and harassment!

    Next time you report a yellow badge for working out of their area CHECK YOUR FACTS because you may just find your not as clever as you think you are!!

  8. Stunt says:

    Yellow badges swanning around? How do you know they’re yellow badge drivers then? The disc hadn’t been issued yet??

  9. Stunt says:

    And a pre booked job is a pre booked job regardless of which sector you’re in otherwise yellows would not be able to do taxicards in the “border” areas as encouraged by com cab. How about radio jobs outside of the met area? Ascot etc.? Do you green badge drivers refuse them as they’re out of your area? No, of course you don’t. Before the recession, you lot mostly cherry picked your work. That’s why yellow badge drivers were used to cover taxicards etc. Or any “wrongun” you chose to back. I worked as a marshal at heathrow before I did the yellow and have seen the way the passengers are treated if they aren’t going to a plum destination. Most yellow badge drivers don’t break the rules, but there are as many green that give the trade a bad name as there are yellow!

  10. ScareyCanary says:

    I think you may have dozed off in the com cab meeting stunt, or they have mis informed you.
    Any driver has to be within their licensed area when they accept a radio job. The job can have a pick up point which is outside your sector, but by law you can only ply for hire on the street or airwaves and accept any work whilst inside your licenced boundary. Everybody states this as the rules of compliance, PCO and radio circuits alike.
    Now if you don’t mind setting your radio to maximum running distance and running six or seven miles for a job and then six or seven miles back to your sector to accept the next one, you could work the west end quite legally, but more realistically if you are at the inner extreme of your sector and it throws you one over the border, you are entitled to take it- and this is what com cab encourage since most green badges want to head straight back central when they drop off. They do not encourage you to float the Borders (or anywhere you are not licensed for green or yellow) on radio only and take jobs illegally on the premise that you are not plying for street work so it’s okay, or legal!!
    I get really fed up with green badges who spot drivers who arent wearing a badge and assume that they are yellow badges touting, rather that green badges who are avoiding anyone noteing there number, but any yellows working in the way you describe provokes these attitudes( and I hate to have to admit in these cases it’s justified!!) which have stirred up mistrust to the point that the whole trade are after each others throats and the touts and pedicabs are laughing all the way to the bank whilst we tie up compliance in a way they couldn’t have dreamed possible or achieved!!
    Well done everyone!!

  11. the yellow badges are the least of your worries in 5 years time they will have london u no who im on about i work nighs take a look around u at night and see wats going on the speed private hires going u havent got a chance yellow badge pree booked are the least of the problem

  12. RICH says:

    This is madness not allowing suburb drivers to pick up taxi card work
    that GREEN BADGE drivers dont want

    10 per cent is in the hands of private hire now and the local authorities want more .

    What an own goal by the trade

    you sad bunch , you should have targeted illegal mini cabs , and pedi cabs instead of your own people


  13. shortcut says:

    Hey listen I have a friend that never wore his badge. I wondered to myself why not but never asked.

    With these identifiers now come about I have come to learn he is a suburb driver that has been working London for over 15 years.

    All the guys and girls that have gone through the inconvenience of the All London Knowledge, have had this friend of mine working alongside them and somehow he only did 3 appearances to get his bill, yet all this time he has been earning similar money to A London driver.

    What do you make of that, all you lot that think the identifiers are a bad idea?

    Is he clever or is he a cheating fraudulent deceiving imposter?

  14. Melba says:

    I’m impressed, I have to admit. Rarely do I come across a blog that’s both educative
    and interesting, and without a doubt, you have hit the nail on the head.

    The problem is something too few folks are speaking
    intelligently about. Now i’m very happy that I came across this in my hunt for something relating to this.

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