I always thought the earlier cab design with the cargo space at curb side was a good idea - the cab pulls up, load your gear into the cargo space, than get in the back, no dragging your luggage inside.
About to start watching it. When I lived in the UK, a lot of black cabs had Ford or Nissan diesel powerplants, I don't think I've ever come across a gas powered one, but much like NYC cabs, the majority of them did mostly city driving, minus a trip here and there to the airport.
While I don't exactly know the laws governing taxi cabs in Britain, a lot of them are in service for a very long time. I've seen quite a few with E (1987), F (1988) and H (1990) license plates still in service back in 2008 - that's at least 18 years of service!
Petro-Canada Duron HP 15W-40 CK-4/SN 99 Explorer: H17W02 00 Pajero: XG9688 01 Grand Marquis: XG2 05 Envoy: XG9837
It would've been interesting to be a mechanic where they serviced these things - one car to work on all day, getting so familiar with it, how the jobs would've been refined to get them out again, parts kept in stock, or not in stock. I once worked on a large fleet of Bedford trucks, more than one model, but we got very familiar with them, knew all the tricks.
We had one London Taxi on an island where I spent 10 years, I did some work on it, and a story that would get this thread locked.