Thinking allowed — 26 September 2014

For some time London’s cabbies have felt that TfL has not had their best interests at heart. Rickshaws, unlicensed minicabs, Uber, all illegal and all proliferating.

Heathrow Airport understands the London cab’s iconic status and like British Airways has nailed its colours to the mast. In their transformed Terminal 2 London artist Benedict Radcliffe has created a piece of art inspired by the traditional design of the Black FX4 Taxi.

The ’London Taxi’ is a permanent central feature of the departure lounge at Terminal 2. It creates an opportunity for passengers to take one last glance at one of London’s most photographed sights.

It sits alongside other British cultural icons: Michelin-starred Heston Blumenthal offering his culinary classics including liquid nitrogen ice-cream; John Lewis selling British brands such as Barbour; and Fuller’s whose brewery is a mere 8.3 miles away with their London Pride tipple.

The ’London Taxi’ looks like a designer’s drawing before the engineers get to manufacture a prototype. With its red tubes one can look at the shape and through the vehicle giving it an almost ghostly appearance. The permanent installation will be seen by 20 million passengers a year as they pass through the terminal.

Created using cutting-edge computer programming technology at his Shoreditch studio, and inspired by the London Taxi and The Knowledge Benedict Radcliffe has etched upon its plinth step-by-step directions the journey from his workshop to Terminal 2 at Heathrow.

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(10) Readers Comments

  1. The Passport Office is to be returned to the Home Office. Penton St under the old regime could easily sort out London’s transport log jam if the Home Office make a move on the profitability of Taxi’s etc.

    • Thanks Jim for your comment. Ah yes! Those happy days when the Met was in charge. The last time I went to Penton Street (while under the current regime) some dopey woman at the desk asked me if my request to be directed to ‘cabs’ was private hire or black taxis.

  2. Since art should be subversive, maybe there’s room on the plinth to read “Prematurely withdrawn from London’s streets by TfL philistines who don’t understand London traditions”?

    • Could placing the artwork in the Departure Lounge be an allegory about the demise of the Black London Cab? Just asking!

      • Well, at least it’s hopefully Bye Bye BoJo. Put in by the taxi trade which was then sold down the river by him. Bring back Penton St under the Met.

        • I’m afraid we could be going the same way as the gas mantle packers – highly skilled but irrelevant in the modern world

          • Yet strange how the legal profession and Parliament haven’t been reformed. It’s all about social class and public perception of our great taxi trade.

            • You omitted the medical profession

  3. Shouldn’t it be at Arrivals?

    • It certainly should be, but we’ve been relegated to the departure lounge. Thanks for your comment though.

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