It was revealed yesterday that London's longest running taxi training school (Knowledge Point) was saved by the The London Taxi Company.
London’s longest-running taxi driver training school, Knowledge Point, which had been facing closure, will be able to remain in business thanks to an agreement with the London Taxi Company, the maker of London’s iconic black cabs. Knowledge Point has trained London’s black cab drivers for more than 30 years and will reopen at the London Taxi Company’s Islington dealership on 18 January (pictured above).
The Knowledge school was threatened with closure due to redevelopment at its premises in central London. Recognising the strategic importance of retaining London taxi driver’s largest training centre, the London Taxi Company will accommodate the Knowledge Point at its Brewery Road dealership, which is just yards from its original location.
It can take over three years to learn the 25,000 streets within the six-mile radius of Charing Cross. The Knowledge sets apart black cab drivers from mini cab drivers in London and breeds a culture of professionalism and integrity which customers value. The standard of training they receive enables high quality, flexible employment for 25,000 aspirational drivers in London and makes for a hugely interesting and rewarding career where no working day is the same as the next.
Knowledge of London graduates know the most direct route to any location without relying on a satellite navigation, which could potentially steer drivers in a poor direction in heavy traffic. Their training means they are fully equipped with the skills and expertise for the immediate hire market in a complex city like London and where passenger safety is the priority.
All drivers in the capital must complete the Knowledge before legally taking the wheel of a London taxi. With the London Taxi Company’s all new zero emissions capable TX5 on sale in 2017, licensed taxi drivers will be integral to improving the city’s air quality and carbon footprint, securing their position as the best taxi service in the world for years to come.
The London Taxi Company is keen to support good quality job creation in London and will be promoting new initiatives to help attract and train the London cabbies of the future in conjunction with Knowledge Point
Peter Johansen, Chief Executive of the London Taxi Company, and architect of the agreement with Knowledge Point said:
“We are extremely pleased to be able to help keep Knowledge Point open. The Knowledge is a proud tradition among London black cab drivers, and still as relevant today as ever before. This intensive training sets them apart from mini cab drivers, making them indispensable to London and the UK, and provides highly skilled professional jobs for 25,000 taxi drivers in London. London is a complex and increasingly congested place and for that we need qualified drivers the public can trust to operate safely and efficiently.”
Knowledge Point, which opened in 1983, has seen 9,000 black cab drivers graduate to London’s roads. Its new facility within the London Taxi Company’s dealership is open to trainee drivers with immediate effect.
Malcolm Linskey, Founder of the Knowledge Point, said: “We’re very grateful to the London Taxi Company for stepping in to rescue the centre following some uncertainty at the end of last year. We’re now we’re seeing some confidence return and so we’re looking forward to welcoming new and existing students back to Knowledge Point at its new home.”