Taxi for Bob

Jo and Rhys Williams competing in a nighttime navigational competition in East Hampshire

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With the price of a bus ticket on the rise the cost of a taxi these days is not as prohibitive as it once was. Indeed for three or four people hiring a cab from door to door is an ideal and cheap way to travel about the city. Indeed Portsmouth must have some of the cheapest taxi fares in the country.

At one time there were numerous taxi firms engaged in business around the city.

With a large naval presence they must have all done good business especially taking sailors back to far-flung bases such as HMS Mercury and HMS Dryad.

Nowadays there are just two main private hire firms in the city along with the Hackney drivers. There are also three private hire firms in the Havant area.

Back in 1962 there were more than 30 taxi firms located in all parts of the city, Swift Cars perhaps being the most well-known.

Abbetax, Ajax Cars, Bartax Taxis, Guildhall Taxis, Jill’s Cars, Porters Cars and Unicorn Taxis are just a few you might remember.

Bob’s Taxis were located at 421, Commercial Road and apart from hiring a car and driver he ran a self-drive business as well.

One odd thing about taxis. You can go to any country anywhere in the world and be unable to speak the language, but ask anyone for a taxi and everyone will know what you mean. A universal word.