If you’re a tourist in London there are many famous things that one wants to see! For instance – Big Ben, The Big Red Bus, London Eye and last but not least the famous Black Cab (TAXI)…
If you go into Central London to enjoy the nightlife, theatres etc then you mustn’t forget that the last tube is at 12am! If you know that you are going to have a few glasses of wine, then you can’t drive! So the next thing that pops into ones mind is… “I’ll just grab a cab”.
Traditionally black cabs have always been black – hence the name! But nowadays you can get them in all different colours – such as red. The funny thing is people still call cabs – black cabs regardless of colour! You don’t hear anyone calling for a red cab for instance!! ☺
As a wheelchair user it is always good to know that we can count on black cabs, as they are wheelchair friendly! They can fit both power chairs and day chairs! If you hail for a cab, the driver must stop, they cannot drive off just because you’re in a wheelchair! And should this ever happen then you can take their number plate down and turn them in by getting in contact with Transport For London!
Of course your always going to need a little bit of help getting into the cab… the taxi has a specially designed ramp, which is cleverly disguised, as the floor of the taxi. The taxi driver will lift the ramp so that it is level to the floor, so that you are able to push yourself up on the taxi. There are handles by the door, which you can use to help you. The ramp is a little steep so you will probably need a little help to get up. You will also need to put your seat belt on – so that your journey is safe! Don’t forget to put your brakes on! ☺
London Taxis are very famous for their designs – they are designed for 5 people but can also take wheelchair users. The driver is protected by a bulletproof glass and contact between you and the driver is limited. There is a small opening where you can pass through money for payment. (Although most cabs now accept credit/debit cards there are few which don’t — so it is always a good idea to check with the driver first!) You can also turn on/off the privacy setting in the cab, which means that the driver is unable to hear your conversations! (You know if you have any secrets, you can be sure that they will be safe in the black cabs! ☺)
Taxis are not cheap, but the traditional black cabs are a little more expensive! Therefore it is always a good idea to plan your journey! For example if I am travelling to Oxford Circus by tube the closest accessible station is Westminster. You can always go by bus, but sometimes it is difficult to know which bus stop/direction you need to go to, so sometimes it is easier just to grab a cab. Why do this? In order to save a little money on the cab fare! Instead of getting a cab from home to Oxford Circus I was able to go as far as Westminster and catch a cab from there to Oxford Circus instead. You can go onto http://www.worldtaximeter.com/london to check out roughly how much your trip will cost you!
You must remember that not all tube stations are wheelchair accessible, so taking a cab is a good option! Feel free to take a look at www.tfl.co.uk to help you plan your journey! I find this really useful!
I hope this helps, if you’re planning a trip into London!
Love Sam x
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