A study of the role of taxis and private hire cars in and around the provincial town of Basingstoke is reported. For a period of a week towards the end of 1981 the drivers of 29 taxis and 31 private hire cars (almost 90 per cent of the total number operating in the town) helped to carry out a survey which provided information on the number, age and sex of users, the frequencies with which they travelled by various forms of public transport, and the timing, purpose, means of booking origin and destination of their journeys. Details of approximately 5,000 taxi hirings and 2,000 private hire car hirings were obtained. The data have been used to investigate the operating methods and markets of the taxi and hire car industries, to compare the role of the taxi trade in Basingstoke with that in Northampton (which has been the subject of an earlier TRRL study), and to consider the importance of taxis and private hire cars in the overall context of public transport provision.(A)

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