Black cab firms in joint PA move

AS Biss & Co is preparing a promotional drive for a London black taxi-booking service to launch this spring.

The PA shop is bidding to shore up backing for the service among bodies such as Transport for London, the Greater London Authority and the Mayor’s Office.

All six of London’s ‘radio circuits’ – the radio-system operators for London’s black cabs – are participating in the scheme, which will enable Londoners to hail a cab from a combined fleet of 8,000 taxis by dialing one phone number.

The service’s launch, expected to be announced by Mayor Ken Livingstone in April, comes amid growing concern over the dangers of illegal minicabs.

Last year there were 155 recorded sexual offences involving illegal minicabs, of which 42 were rapes, in the capital. This was fewer than the 212 sexual offences (of which 54 were rapes) in 2002.

AS Biss consultant Henry Burkitt said: ‘We want ‘One Number’ as a safety product to be included as a priority for all candidates in June’s mayoral elections.’

Burkitt said: ‘This service is something the licensed taxi trade is eager to do in support of the Mayor’s “Safe Travel at Night” agenda.’

AS Biss represents all of London’s radio taxi circuits - Call-a-Cab, Computer Cab, DataCab, Dial-a-Cab, Radio Taxis and Xeta – that will operate the scheme.

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