Death of The Knowledge – Cabbies training school to shut doors as Uber gains ground

Knowledge isn’t power when smartphones run the show

Uber has claimed a major scalp in the continuing war between black taxis and minicabs. London’s largest dedicated training centre for black cab drivers to learn “the Knowledge” is to close its doors after 26 years.

Cabbies are required to learn over 25,000 London roads, the names of streets, and how to navigate between them in order to gain the green badge that allows them to carry fare-paying passengers.

But the boom in minicab services in London, which are allowed to depend on sat-nav to get around, has seen a major decline in the number of people enrolling to learn the Knowledge, a process which usually takes over three years.

Malcolm Linskey, the founder of the training school Knowledge Point, told the FT that the school will continue to provide trainee cab drivers with materials and would run courses at church halls and community centres.

“Demand has gone down since Uber arrived,” Linskey said. “Usually we have 350 students enrolling a year, last year it was 200.”

Linskey also blamed high property prices for the closure of the school. Derwent, the property company that owns the building Knowledge Point is based in, is planning to turn the premises into luxury flats.

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Readers' comments (1)

  • Its called technology, having to learn the 'knowledge' is just dumb in this day and age! Roll on the driverless taxi

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