A number of past studies have provided information on the operation of taxis (hackney carriages) and private hire cars in London, However little is known about these forms of transport elsewhere. For this reason, in late 1980, the Transport and Road Research Laboratory carried out a survey of all District Councils in England and Wales (the regulating authorities for taxis and hire cars outside London), and analysed data held by the Home Office, to determine the existing state of the provincial industries. Comparisons were made with the situation in the capital using data supplied by the Public Carriage Office. The results of the work are given in this report and clearly indicate that the importance of taxis and hire cars in providing public transport has been increasing in recent years. Not only has their availability improved but the fares charged for them have fallen in real terms. Such trends contrast markedly with those observed in the conventional stage carriage bus industry. (A)

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