About Us :: History and values
Radio Taxis was originally formed as an owner driver co-operative in 1953 as Radio Taxicabs (Southern) Ltd by a dedicated group of independent licensed taxi owner drivers.
By the 1960s the circuit had some 300 owner drivers and was providing service to Londoners from its HQ in the basement of the famous art deco block of flats, Highpoint in North Hill Highgate. The technology was PMR (Private Mobile ) in the taxi was a valve radio which took up the boot. The most prominent customers were the BBC, British Rail and the general public. The company motto was – Be safe be sure always use a licensed taxi.
By the 1970s the company moved to 157 Stroud Green Road, and its name had become Radio Taxicabs (London) Ltd, the business continued to grow. The famous Golden Rail, holiday station transfers, were a major piece of business and the circuit increased to 500 taxis.
In the 1980’s London’s boom was Radio Taxis boom, amongst account clients was high profile ad agency Collett Dickinson and Pearce (nursery for Alan Parker, Frank Lowe, David Puttnam, John Hegarty, Indra Sinha, Neil Godfrey, Charles Saatchi, Ridley Scott, Hugh Hudson & Colin Millward.) Among other clients were, Merchant Bank, S.G. Warburg & Co and private account holders such as the late Yehudi Menuhin and Dame Margot Fonteyn. The circuit was now 1,000 taxis.
To cope with the growth and increase in volume, in the late 1980’s (voice despatching had reached the peak of its capability) the best course of action was to join the Information Technology revolution with a computer in every cab and the ability to quickly despatch infinite amounts of business, making Radio Taxis the most efficient player in the London market. The company moved in 1990 to current impressive HQ premises Mountview House (formerly Fonthill Mews) which houses call centre and management offices.
By the end of the 1990s the zonal computerized data despatch technology which had improved efficiency, given Radio Taxis a great reputation and projected the company forwards at an astonishing rate, itself became dated.
The decision was made to move to satellite technology, GPS (Global Positioning System). High speed automated “Closest cab despatch” systems would give clients the best service possible, it also increased efficiency and cut down dead mileage as a consequence reducing the company’s carbon output. The fleet by now was around 3000 taxi drivers.
In 2004 the company demutualised and took on minority investment from the USA, (Brian McBride) becoming Radio Taxis Group Limited. The management, staff and drivers were now shareholders and we created the “first internal, exclusive share trading exchange in the UK.” This meant that we had to sign up to the “City code” because we have so many shareholders and we have to behave, like a public company.
We are faithful to our core business values and recognise that success depends on commitment, capabilities and diversity of employees, drivers, suppliers and clients.
We work to understand customers changing needs to deliver a good value competitive service which is safe, professional, and efficient. Our unique years of experience give us the expertise to respond innovatively with solutions to transport needs.
We continue to manage our business for long-term sustainable growth, responsive to our clients requirements. Our "can do" mind-set encourages collaboration, celebrates success, and builds and nurtures long-standing mutually beneficial relationships.
We are accountable for our actions and have made a conscious effort to be a good corporate "citizen" in the community. Central to our approach is Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and we undertake to be the type of company people and businesses feel good about working for, and with. We are currently giving back to the communities we both serve and depend upon for revenues, with a programme that goes beyond regulatory requirements.
Radio Taxis is a CarbonNeutral® transport company embarking on a comprehensive programme to measure and reduce our Carbon Dioxide (CO2) emissions. To offset the remaining unavoidable CO2 emissions, we are involved with energy projects in Sri Lanka, Bulgaria and sustainable forestry projects in the UK and Germany.
On a worldwide basis our contribution to global warming is small, but this is true of millions of businesses, and if we ALL did something positive the impact would be very substantial. Read more about our CSR policy here.
Read about the "History of the London Taxi"