opens IMAGE file What is more iconic of England than a London Taxi? These vehicles have a rich history, having been built to specifications from the British government and enforced by the London Public Carriage Office. In the early days, these included separate passenger and driver compartments, a 25-foot turning radius to be able to perform U-turns in the narrow streets of London, and sufficient interior height to allow a gentleman to ride without having to remove his top hat. Over the years, other requirements have been added, including wheelchair access, placement of grab handles at door entrances to assist the elderly and disabled, and floor lighting for each passenger door, actuated by the opening of the door.
Although the vehicles clearly evolved with time, the exterior remained mostly the same until the late 1990s. At that time, they were modernized while still paying homage to the traditional look of the classic London Taxi. This modernization has continued, and the only new vehicles being manufactured today are entirely electric.