Sunday, December 13, 2015

Is The Knowledge Of London-In Its Current Form-Taking Too Long ... by Mike Hughes

OK I'm probably going to get flack for this but here goes.


Before going further, and for those who don't already know my history, let me explain that I am in a unique position to see what has happened to the KOL over the past 39 years. I've done the knowledge twice. My first was in 1976 when the blue book had a pink cover with 468 (or was it 486 can never remember the exact order of the last 2 digits) when you signed on, were given a first appearance date 104 days later eventually progressing through 56, 28, 21 and 14 day Appearances until you got your Req. Suburbs took 6 weeks.

Second time I got my badge in 2004. But I was on the last of the 400 runs with a simple(r) map and written test. The talk on this was in November 2001 - I'd already started doing the runs. 

That's 2 systems I've personally done. However my COP for the second time around was one of the early students on the 320 run system. I've therefore seen all 3 systems in use.

There's been some exchanges on Twitter by people claiming that the 320 system must be simpler as there's less runs. The reverse is actually true. Let's look at some long distance races. The most well know is the marathon but there's also the 5000 and 10000 metre races. Using the argument about the numbers you could say that two 5000 metre races are twice as difficult as one 10000 metre race, yet when you look at the total distance run it is exactly the same. The same is true of the latest system of the KOL. When it was revised they removed the duplications, combined several runs together and in fact added in more rums to the outer areas of the 6 mile limit. (I interviewed Mr Howell, the examiner who put all this together, for Taxi Talk magazine so my source is, I believe, the best you can get).

But - and let's make that a big BUT - in addition to lengthening the runs they also added in a tougher map/written test. 


This all means that unlike the days of the pink covered blue book when you could get started in the process very quickly, the time it takes to get to the written test stage is considerable - taking a minimum of 6 months for the most determined students to well over 12 months for the average student. In fact by the time they are able to pass the map test they've probably done more than 80% of the work required to do the job competently.

It's only then that they start on Appearances. To be fair the marking system has been revised to show far more transparency than the totally dark system existing in the 70's. However the calibre of the examiners has also changed. In the 70's the examiners were nearly all retired police officers - drivers were making too much money to give their badge up to become an examiner in those days. 

This meant that by and large the examiners would go out for their trips around London looking for new points once a week, but would not be seeing things on a daily basis, This meant that they would often reuse certain points and the schools would put out these points as 'bankers' that you could learn to increase your chances of scoring. This doesn't take into account the 'super' examiners such as Mr Finlay, Mr Orme,etc who could always come up with new points - there was just no way you could get past them if you really didn't know it.

Today's examiners are often working taxi drivers. They are able to combine looking for new points with work and will be ready to ask these of the students. As a quick aside the Chief Examiner, Ms Danvers, was an Examiner in the early 2000's. She appears to have an almost photographic memory and her knowledge is amongst the best ever. Trouble is she expects everyone else to be able to do the same - allegedly!

So that explains why the KOL is now tougher than ever and why it takes so long, compared with the 70's and earlier.


Yet the trade needs an influx of drivers to keep pace with the increase in demand. I know some of you will cry that there's already too many drivers, but IMHO that's not true. There are too many people offering a 'taxi type' service. I mean of course the number of PH drivers. I won't go into the whole argument about them other than to say I think it's disgraceful that the entry standards are way too low (none) and the enforcement of the PH rules is, for all practical purposes, non existent. We need taxi drivers who are hungry, or dedicated enough to be there late at night, and at weekends when the public demand is at its greatest - and the law breaking by touts is also at its greatest. 

In my opinion the KOL should, for most students, take between 12 and 24 months with the average being around 18 months, the good will do it quicker while the less able will take 24 months or more.

How do we achieve this? That's an easier question to ask than answer, with no easy way to answer it without being accused of 'dumbing down' the knowledge. Incidentally most of the officers of the trade organisations who cry out 'no quickie knowledge' would have taken less than 2 years to get their badges. meaning that by today's standards their knowledge was a 'quickie'.

As I said there's no easy answer but here's some possibilities: 

• 1. Reduce the intensity of the written test - provide a set of maps, etc that have to be learned but only with really major points such as Buckingham Palace on them

• 2. Increase the frequency of Appearances. If this means recruiting new Examiners then so be it.

• 3. Re-introduce the 14 day Appearances. This gives Examiners more time to see the progress students are making

• 4. No more red lining. The current situation means that students must get 12 points in 7 Appearances to progress or they get put back to the previous stage. Remove the 7 Appearances so that students can carry on until they get the 12 points - if they're not good enough they simply won't get the marks so there's nothing lost but for the student who has just missed out this will mean that they no longer suffer the devastating blow to their confidence a red line gives, and would make faster progress.

• 5. Return to a max 6 weeks for suburbs. The Examiners must realise that in today's world many drivers already use electronic aids when in the outer areas but they should still prove they know how to get to the area.

I leave other possibilities for you to decide.

To sum up. Making the knowledge quicker, Dumbing down? No, but making it a greater incentive for people to become fully qualified taxi drivers.

I now await the flack

 Don't forget KoL students can earn as they learn


37 comments:

Anonymous said...

No flack from me at all.

The best point is about removing the red lining as lots of people with good knowledge quit when they get red lined on 56s and go and work for private hire and we lose them forever. My old cop just on to 28s after spending nearly a year on 56s and he has very good knowledge but just lacks confidence in the chair and he nearly quit when he got red lined.

Also 56 days is way too long for people to wait to go in and I would certainly knock it down to 42 days as it takes an absolute age to come round.

Also TFL have to speed up their process once people get their req... Another one of my cops got his req back in October and he is still waiting for his finals date which TFL won't be until January now. He's sitting there ready and waiting to be a cab driver and they are just dragging their heels... It's a joke!

Anyway... I don't know why I'm sitting here writing this... I've got my 2nd 21 tomorrow I should be hitting the map right now!

Anonymous said...

As someone who has just completed the knowledge in a little over 2 years I see no reason for it to change. I left a well paid job with some savings behind me and dedicated myself to the task. The fact of the matter is if people want the badge they'll get the badge and the only way to guarantee that is by sheer hard work.
If you dumb down the knowledge you lose the unique selling point, that being highly trained drivers who KNOW WHERE THEY ARE GOING.
We shouldn't even entertain these ludicrous suggestions. I see it as a blatant Tory scheme to lower our standards and thus make it easier for our competition.
The only thing I would agree with is that more drivers should get out at weekends and nights when punters need us but that is a seperate issue.
In summary I am against any changes and don't see what possible benefits there could be.

@strollergbkol

Anonymous said...

I'm a yb of 10 years also ex mini cab driver for 20 years. I for one can't make a sacrifice of 3-4 years on the green as I have to scratch a living and spend a lot of time caring for my son who has special needs.Passing people out a lot quicker if there any good is a fantastic idea and not a shortcut. Sorry you dinosaurs but you got to change

Brian said...

I shall give you some mild flack.
There is no unmet demand for taxis at any time.
There is a surplus of taxis to people, the game, if not finished is very very ill.
Our ship is sinking and you wanna redecorate.......

Anonymous said...

Ridiculous! you put in the work, you pass, you don't, you carry on working hard. Dumbing it down would be a disaster.

Too many people want something for nothing these days.

Paul said...

No! The knowledge is a journey that when your on it you can't see the reasoning but once you have your badge it all makes sense!!
It's NOT just about knowing your way around its about YOU! It's getting YOU ready for being one of the best in the world!
It's a journey NOT a race!!
If you want quick be ph driver and be forever disappointed in yourself!!

Anonymous said...

I can't see how increasing supply with such a lack of demand is going to help its just crazy people take alternatives because it is cheaper we need less of a fleet to be able to earn enough to cover our costs and to make cabbies hungry ? I think most are pretty hard working as it is we seem to be trying to make excuses for how bad things have got as for the case for doing the so called peak periods most customers don't wait for a couple of mins and then say I'll have to get uber coz there are no black cabs they just instantly get uber coz it's cheap then the next day the same people at non peak times with hundreds of black cabs for hire still use uber beacause they're cheap,sorry to say it but we need to be able to cut our costs and compete with them and try to keep the knowledge as I believe people would prefere to use us if we were competitive but how we do that I don't know

Anonymous said...

Anon 11.20, using your own situation because you were fortunate to be able to do the kol full time is not the norm..fewer than 1℅ of applicants can afford to sacrifice 2 years wages to do the kol. The average is 4/5 years sometimes longer with most doing it part time, that's the whole point of the proposals, making it more accessible.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the red lining of students point you made as that is really harsh but as for there not being enough taxis on the road that is totally wrong. Before uber we were all moaning about there being to many taxis on the road and there still is now because demand in work has fallen too. Maybe the fact the knowledge isn't free anymore is to why so many don't sign up but in reality all that's done is stopped all the ones that were not truly dedicated to becoming an all London taxi driver.

Anonymous said...

The only thing the Knolwedge need is this red lining removed and getting knocked for being hesitate We are only human you call a run and all of a sudden you for get the next road you can see the run but you just get stuck then you get 3 or 4 points knocked of I've been there and it's not that I don't know where I'm going it's a case of brain freeze I'm now passed out and love it yes it's hard sometimes but there are a lot of drivers who just don't move forward that remember the good old days cash only TFL need to up there enforcement big time and have a zero tolarenc approach it will not happen over night but it will happen trust me

Anonymous said...

Ken Livingstone, Love him or Loathe him, said we should have 30-35000 licensed taxi driver on the road by the time the olympics came round, he was in fact right, but TfL decided to do it another way, we are now faced with 93500 private hire drivers, a 5-700 weekly increase. You have to remember that TfL are a profit making company with no duty of care to either trade. A recipe for disaster.
The knowledge was the hardest thing I've ever done, I've been a soldier and I think the discipline that the army have me was the only reason I got through it. I didn't have any Mr Ormes or anyone nasty, but I did the knowledge in 2yrs & 2weeks. My call over partner did it in less than 2yrs. We've been out 13yrs, I have friends on the knowledge now, and I can't believe the hops they have to jump, I believe the system as it is today is redicilous the Knowledge students must be so dismayed. When I got to appearances I knew more or less how long it would take to get through the drive and the suburbs, how can it take 4-5months from getting your req to sittings the finals. It's absolute madness. I agree wholeheartedly with the main comment above. More taxi drivers create more work it's simple economics, that's how PH win.
Oh yeah while I'm hear, can I just say uber will come and uber will go, but TfL will always be the enemy. Mike Tinnion.

Dave hart said...

The knowledge took me 3and half years to do and I got my badge in 2005..... I was on my own with 2 kids after losing my wife 18 months before...... If I can work hard and do it while bringing up to kids single handed then so can anyone else... Also how can flooding London with drivers be any good for the trade.... It's hard enough now with the current amount on the road ..... I just can't see the logic in these new proposals.... Dave hart green 66920

Anonymous said...

To the yellow badge.we all know a lot of yellow badges took the easy route and yellow and worked the green area and i can see your mentality has not changed.
I could not afford to not work when i did the kol. I was up.at 3am in the morning and did runs etc before work and school in evinings and out all weekend,after nearly dieing on the moped and 2 1/2 years of hard graft,I gave up my job when half way through 28's and risked loosing our house to pay mortgage while finishing knowledge.i did in 9 months and the only people to let me down was TFL in the time it took to then give me my badge 5 months of not working after all that hard work.
But when i got my badge i was the proudest person ever.i was proud for the next year untill all this crap with uber happened and our regulator let us down.
But to say water down the kol is a disgrace and belittles all the sacrifices me and thousands of men and women did to become the proffesionals we are.to anyone who thinks they cannot do the knowledge or moan it is to hard,dont do it and go for a different job as to be a london cabbie you need to be intellegent and proud.
Enough said and well done to anyone who did what i did and passed the great KOL😉

Anonymous said...

Ps did not see bit about special needs child,but without disrespecting your situation a lot of us have younge families and my point is it is hard for all of us in many ways.you did the yellow and a year more effort you would have been a green.
All the best with your future and child.

Greg said...

Leave it as it is but just get rid of the suburb runs, they're pointless. I got redlined on 56s and 28s it's all part of the process. If you quite and can't hack it then you don't deserve the greenbadge

Anonymous said...

It takes as long as it takes to reach the required standard , nobody said it was going to be easy , there's a reason for that !!

Anonymous said...

its no good being the best in the world if no one uses us with new technology you have to change or you die .the knowledge was great before smart phones but people can sit in the back of our taxi on there phone tracking the way we go so in there eyes any one can do our job know. so we need to swamp the market with taxis so punters just come out and a taxi is there like in new York.therefore the knowledge has to change or more drivers will join uber and they win by flooding the market with more drivers than us witch is all ready happening sorry to say this people dont care about the knowledge any more they just want cheap taxis and straight away with london's population growth going up every year we need more taxis about 50 k on the streets .
ps why do a 4 year test if some one from Manchester can work the streets of london the day he joins uber
it has to become easier sorry to say it

Anonymous said...

3 years plus absolute joke. Points that no one goes to. This game has to modernise

Anonymous said...

As I've said before most of us can't afford to do the kol full time and support a family at the same time. We are not lazy but just need speed it up. But you still have to be good enough. Gb's seem to think we are cheating but they just want it for themselves and nobody else

Anonymous said...

No disrespect , but how can a 72 year old man like Richard Tracy try to tell us that our trade is to old! How would he react if it was announced that they was lowering the standards to become a mp or a banker(who are mostly over 50) to encourage a new generation! He would choke on his caviar! He is delusional to say that the knowledge can be completed in a year and a half on a computer! It's impossible! There's nothing like the the minds eye! We all know that's the only way it sinks in! This clearly isn't the mindset of a 72 year old man! Richard Tracy has been told to do this by the conservatives donators ! Saying he's only trying to help? Come on! If he wanted to help he could sort the problem tomorrow ! If you want to help support the cabapp and try and encourage one app! That's helping! It's simple if you want to take the quick route you become a private hire driver, if you want to be the elite you've got to earn it like any other profession

Anonymous said...

As I've said before most of us can't afford to do the kol full time and support a family at the same time. We are not lazy but just need speed it up. But you still have to be good enough. Gb's seem to think we are cheating but they just want it for themselves and nobody else

Anonymous said...

Ok Mike, but whats your pointless ?

The London Cab Trade is dying from an epidemic called UBER. A usurper tax dodging USA minicab company - fully endorsed by the incumbent UK government that is duty bound to protect the interests of UK citizens.

I am totally amazed Cab Drivers are falling for the old Tory "Red Herring"... " The knowledge needs to be scrapped, or watered down!" Oh, how the thick are easily led by the spin doctors !

Boris Johnson and his Conservative buddies are desperate to draw attention away from the corruption - ie, The corruption behind The Taxi Age Limit, and the escalating deaths due to failed traffic management systems that killing tens of thousands of Londoners every year.

Distraction, distraction, distraction... Are you listening Lewis ?

Mike, is somebody paying to write this tripe when Cab Drivers have already done the knowledge are struggling to pay their bills.

Ps, the knowledge has already been watered down - the majority of seven badges out there at night are not at the standard REQ, FACT !

Now let somebody give me the flack!

Anonymous said...

See there is a couple of uber drivers comments here and probably a couple of yellow badges.
We dont want it all guys but the knowledge should not be dumbed down for the dummer dummies in our society. We have gett,hailo etc etc.
I cant count anymore how many punters have asked me to go the way of their sat nav against my advice and it has cost them.
What happens when a sat nav fails tell your customer to get out or drive around in circles. You techno phobs are boring and ignorant of why the knowledge makes a proffessional driver and TFL need to advertise black cabs and our differences from idiot mini cab drivers (10%) maybe have a clue.and the serious dangers of un trained drivers

We are the cream, bc drivers, and the cream always rises to the top.
To the ones who are not the cream you can only be sour. Onwards and upwards.

Will said...

The way I see it, black taxi drivers generally being older is a good thing. You're less likely to put your foot down and speed and take silly chances than when you're in your early 20s (well, that's me talking from my own experience anyway), and you're less likely to get fiery with passengers / other people on the road who give you hassle as you get older and mellow out too.
The knowledge isn't only about learning London, is it?

Anonymous said...

Disappointed Jim

Editorial said...

Anon 4:25.
No not at all.
25 comments from drivers who don't feel the need to use extreme profanity, is very good going 👏🏻

dave said...

Personally i agree with Mike red lining is wrong there must have been hundreds if not thousands of potentially really great cabbies that have been red lined on 56's etc just because they couldn't remember so obscure blue plaque or a Greek music shop in Haringey I was asked that one by Wilkins and when i got it he nearly fell out of his chair he was so shocked. I think the biggest problems we have is lack of drivers willing to work nights , by this i don't mean 'til midnight then clear off home , i mean friday and saturday /sunday morning when we are really needed. When the olympics was here i managed to do some work with LOCOG via radio taxis and was thrown in with a group of cab drivers than i didn't know i was amazed to find them amount of them that didn't realise that after about 12.30on sat night/sunday morning that people were running down the street at us in desperation to get home,some tried a couple of hours and couldn't believe how busy it was. Can anyone blame the punters for using ph to get home when there are times when we are unavailable? Problem is they then use them again when we are because they get used to them and also they can pay by account/card. Imho i think alot of the problems the trade has have been brought upon us by ourselves not me and probabley not most of us who take the time to look at site like this and twitter etc but the one's that broom (ok if the're falling down drunk or hailing you by holding aloft there xxl doner that that's understandable) cab driver that have filthy not dirty, but filthy cabs ,me and my mate hailed one at liverpool street last year and it was disgusting he said he'd just picked it up as a renter for a couple of weeks ,i thought why not spend a tenner and get it washed ffs, cash only =ridiculous the amount of drivers at the airport that don't take'm is shocking , "Hello sir welcome to london the finest city in the world "do you take card ? No mate but we can drive around in circles looking for one in the peeing down rain while i find one,then of course there's us football shirts,vests ,football shorts, sandals with white socks, jogging bottoms it all adds up really, i do agree with mike totally on the comments he made and i know he did the kol twice as i remember him from wizzann not personally but i just knew of him i also think rate 3 puts em off and would only keep it after midnight on friday and saturdays , but that's another argument.

Alan M said...

Again we see the cliches coming out, there's not enough drivers after midnight, rate 3 too expensive.

The reason many drivers go home at weekends is purely the lack of enforcement and the inability to get near the work. Irs also only in certain areas were passengers leave venues in drunken drugged up state. Most would be more suited to a ride in an ambulance rather than a taxi.

And how quickly you forget the drivers who had their windscreens smash with bottles at Fabrics, the fights with customers picked up at Crazy Larrys. The Coke heads coming out of city clubs trying to smash the safety screen with their feet. All stories well documented in the past.

Reduce the fare, never!
If you reduce rate 3 Sunday thru Thursday, you will have the same problems on these days with drivers unwilling to work unsocial hours.

Please engage your brain before making silly comments, next we will be hearing it's cause we don't go south!

The only thing I agree with in your post is the state of dress of some of the drivers. I was at a branch meeting once at my Union the RMT, and the ranks and highways officer-Bob crows cousin- came straight from work, dressed as a West Ham player, full kit. Looks really good on a pensioner ha ha.

Damian said...

Poober ruen up and sidestep all regulation then a couple of years later it's all the fault of the KOL because it's too hard!! C'mon! Smoke and mirrors, divide and conquer, we are making it easy for them!

dave said...

Funny really i've never had a bottle thrown at me or had any trouble really and i may be a cliche or may not never heard that word before , one thing i do know is at 3/4 in the morning at weekends there are people in shoreditch, camden , etc and not enough cabs to take them , it's actually quite shocking ,ask yor passengers why do you use uber, they'll say availabiluty and price. I've had my badge for 12 1/2 years and always worked weekends in all areas 2 bilkers and about 5 pukers in all that time.As i said if someone is out of it don't take'm.Maybe the fact
You called me a cliche shows your inability to listen to a different opinion

Anonymous said...

Yellow badge - redlined on 56's - devastated. Disabled wife and kid. Been on it 4 years. Examiners take the wee wee to slow it all down. Stop the red lining. Change the licence issue. For the first six years night time only licence. This will put the semi retired off joining the over subscribed day shift. Trade doesn't need any more of this work shy lot. After 6 years you get the full licence. Then we would see some proper taxi drivers recruited into the trade .

Anonymous said...

I'm on 56's, after getting Red Lined and losing 9 points, yeah it's a shitter but you either take it on the chin and up your game or never pass out. After my red line I've scored every appearance since.
I do agree with some comments above, I use black cabs and I've hailed cabs with piss bottles in the luggage space, cabs that were filthy and cabs driven by drivers who looked liked the jumped out of bed and straight into there cab... and have a plastic bag over the card reader. This cohort let the side down. The thing is people only focus on the bad points, the majority of cabs who are the best in the world are tarred with that brush.

As for Uber, works Crimbo party last Friday, I work with Doctors in a major London hospital, I hail a cab from Czmden high street to New Bond Street, driver, cab and route bang on. £12 just after 10pm. Others got an Uber, 4up and cost them £8 same time....
The four doctors I work and rode with and know I'm on the knowledge all sang Uber praises.... This was until the end of the night and they got UBERED -New Bond Street- St Johns Wood £45 and they paid it......
TfL needs to be stripped of powers over taxis and KOL, rather then the KOL made easy.

Alex W said...

As someone that took 6 years to pass the knowledge and now a driver, I see that all the blood sweat and tears were worth it, I was prepared to throw in the towel the day before my REQ appearance the pressure was that much, but here I am today with a badge. What I can say is that 6 years prepared me for the job, my confidence on the road is great, I love the customers, don't really mind the traffic that much unless it is complete gridlock (and that happens frequently), my 24 appearances taught me a lot about myself and set me up perfectly for the job.

I don't think the knowledge should be dumbed down at all, what I do believe is that the scoring system should be changed so rather than the 3-3 being a cliffhanger (did that both on 28's and 21's) it should be scored like tennis so you either go two up or two down to get your drop/req or redline, this gives the examiners the chance to hold someone on a level without either giving them there drop or redlining them so 5-3 down would be a redline or 5-3 up would be getting your drop to the next level or 28's.

The current system has not flex in it, you either progress or your redlined, sometimes people are good at their current level but not ready for the next level, I went 3-0 on 28's only to get 3 D's after, one question in each appearance was very tough and meant I did not score, of course that is my fault not the examiners if I knew the answer to that 4th question then I would have been dropped to 21's.

56's is too long between appearances IMHO, you take your foot off the peddle somewhat straight after your appearance, with the last 3-4 weeks grafting for the next one, 28 days feels right in terms of space between appearances, 21's were hard especially when they were down to 16 days for two of them, this is ok for the full timers but the part timers will struggle with this.

I think the point is getting missed somewhat about the process, ok we are to learn London in intricate detail, but appearances are there also for the examiners to see how we tick, most have had the appearance where you feel robbed, I had two of them, your reaction to getting a D when you seriously thought you were on for a B is something they are taking into account for sure. By making it simpler we will get more bad apples in the trade, lowering the bar will certainly do this.

My 2 scorecards reads as follows:-

56's CDDDD CCDCC
28's CCCDDDC
21's CDCDDCC

Using tools to improve the process and make it quicker is one way forward.

Sean Day said...

In fairness, before we plunge into the testing system with several different views on how it should be done differently, it's worth remembering who submitted this proposal. Before we throw our own hat into the ring that we built, lets foucs our energies on the disingenuous Tory 'chattering' set that would rather see us annihilated than assist us in any way. Make no bones about it, they'd wallow in their own slops at the thought that they were the ones that brought the institution to its undue death. Westminster, since time immemorial, have internally frothed with rage that they were excluded from the taxi pie.

That said, all of us will have opinions on how the knowledge should be tightened- if at all. And most of those opinions will be drawn from our own experience. Red lining (the equivalent to 84 days) was about students upping their game, those that didn't/ don't fall by the way side. It's not good enough to say, just because a student set down Ronnie Scotts on the L instead of the R and got redlined. We weren't in the room, and every Knowledge student I've ever met who was D'd off was done so because the examiner was a sadist who had made his mind up before the persecuted knowledge student had sat down.

Certainly, the original 'single' map rest was introduced because students were applying for appearances prematurely and was wasting examiners time, red lining too. TfL's weird benevolent guidance testing hasn't helped, which is indicative of how they mess things up, But in response to the lad who just completed studying, fifteen years ago, at a time when the knowledge was averaging three years 10 months, I completed in two years two months. I was fortunate to be able to commit myself full-time. And that's the point. Dick Tracey and his gang are basing their consensus of opinion on the lowest common demominator, when it should be based on the achievement of the aforementioned lad, his time being the one to beat. That's the only way the knowledge can turn out its weight in Gold.

I also ran the new blue book for KPM Knowledge School (as was), it is more comprehensively laid out, but ultimately, as we all know, the real hard work srarts AFTER completing the runs, and everyone has the know the same topographical area in the end, whether it was the old book or the new one.

As for the earlier comment made by the mini cab driver. In life, you don't get what you want, you get what you are. Those that complete the knowledge had stuff in life going on as well. The significant difference is, they also had the desire to further themselves. Consider this, if you didn't spend all your energy complaining like a miserable little clot that's been dumped on the earth, and is still under the illusion that the whole universe owes you a favour, you too might achieve something in your life. By comparison, if we're dinosaurs, you are barely bacteria.

Endeavour over Privilege Every Time!

Don't give the Tories credence!

Anonymous said...

Firstly, the taxi trade is finished. Earnings just aren't there anymore even if you work nights and work the shoreditch triangle. I am averaging £130-£150 on a weekend night. Take out your diesel, tax and cab money and it's not worth it to ferry drunks around. The traffic is mental, the standard of driving on the road is disgraceful and uber is only getting more drivers. Why people would choose to start the five year process, and let's be honest a that's how long it takes, to get into this industry is beyond me. The KOL has to reform but it's too late now. Examiners and managers need to take some redonsibilty for the demise of the cab trade. Give it ten years and it will be a relic of the past.

Anonymous said...

The KOL is ridiculous and must change as soon there will be no one doing it. I would not recommend anyone to start the KOL. It is like mental torture and so not worth the 5-6 years investment of time to get that little piece of green tin. Keeping students on the KOL in the 21st century helps no one. 99% of cab drivers won't want it changed because they went through the old archaic system. The longer you stay on the KOL the less you know. The end of this industry is very close as overheads are too high and earnings are too low. Throw in no holiday pay, bank holidays, cost of cab, gridlock traffic, more road closures and the immense stress it is not a job I would want my kids to do.

Chris james said...

I think not red lining is a great idea. I spent 6 years on the knowledge and my COP 4 years and we both gave it up Dec 2016. The numbers on the K have crashed and like it or not when it goes so does the Black Cab trade.