This report was mainly concerned with investigating the private hire trade within the Greater London area. A database of minicab private hire and taxi operators was set up using addresses taken from the yellow pages and Thomson Local Directories for Greater London. This was used as a basic list of private hire operators. The study was conducted in three stages: a) a street survey in 16 locations in Greater London, where an exhaustive search was carried out to find how and where minicab operators advertised. This was to ascertain how comprehensive the intitial database was; b) a telephone survey to all identified minicab operators. This was designed to provide information on the size, distribution, and structure of the minicab trade. A census of all private hire operators was also attempted; and c) Fifty five qualitative in depth interviews with respondents contacted in the telephone survey. This was designed to provide information on the size, distribution and structure of the minicab trade in more detail, and to investigate the types of minicab users and their journeys, and to relate minicabs to public transport. Details about operators relationship with other companies in the same business, and their attitudes to possible further regulation were also recorded.

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