Brighton & Hove Streamline Taxis 202020 was formed in 2009 as a result of the merger of Hove Streamline Taxis and Brighton Streamline Taxis. Both of these companies were established in 1936 in the two towns which were separate before the two become a city in 1997.
It is well known that both the Streamlines were amongst the first in the country to use a two-way radio system.
However in the beginning both the then Hove and Brighton Streamline hackney carriage taxis were originally black with cream bonnets
Hove Streamline Taxis and Brighton Streamline Taxis were built on the same principle of being non-profit making cooperatives for the benefit of the owner member drivers which is still the same today.
Hove Streamline was originally based in Western Road Hove and moved to Goldstone Villas Hove renting the ground floor office by Hove Station. Eventually the members bought the freehold of the building and consequently gained the basement garage.
Brighton Streamline purchased 5 Clifton Hill in 1945 and when the two Streamline's merged the Goldstone Villas office was sold and Clifton Hill became the newly merged companies single office and in 2013 5 Clifton Hill underwent an extensive refurbishment.
In 1976 a new Act of Parliament was introduced known as the ‘Local Government Miscellaneous Provisions Act 1976’ which saw private hire vehicle become legitimately licensed.
At the time both the then Hove Streamline and Brighton Streamline companies were strictly only hackney carriage fleets but eventually by the late 80’s early 90’s both allowed private hire vehicles on.
It was only the both Streamline companies that had hackney carriages with cream bonnets with other hackney carriages just being one single colour
However... in the early 90's Brighton Borough Council decided that all Brighton hackney carriage taxis should adopted a distinct livery of white with aqua boots and bonnets so the branding of Streamline hackney carriages was relinquished.
For a brief period Hove hackney carriage taxi adopted a single colour of white with burgundy door front door livery.
When Brighton & Hove became one city in 1997 there was a transition period where both the Licensing departments of Hove and Brighton were merged and there became a single Brighton & Hove hackney carriage vehicle licence.
Drivers who were originally licensed in their respective areas and having taken the corresponding knowledge test were grandfather rights and all became licensed for both areas without having to undergo and additional knowledge test. This also applied to the private hire trade.
Anyone who became newly licensed had to undertake the extensive Brighton & Hove knowledge test which covers from Portslade all the way through to Saltdean comprising of some 2000 roads and streets.
There was the odd situation where there was a new rule introduced whereby ex-Hove licensed hackney carriages could be hailed in the area of Brighton but could not used the Brighton taxi ranks. The same applied with the ex-Brighton hackney carriages where these could be hailed in Hove but not pick-up or sit on the Hove taxi ranks.In general this worked during the transition period of about twelve months but of course as human nature is.... it cannot be said that everyone stuck to those rules!
As there was now a single city this meant that all ex-Hove hackney carriages were required to change to the Brighton livery of white and aqua which has remained in force to this very day.
Over the last twenty years technology has rapidly changed the trade and the old fashion two-way radios and manual dispatching of jobs via an Operator has long gone with automated booking and dispatching with driver and customer apps is now the industry standard
One wonders how the old cab drivers from 1936 with their horse and carriages and bales of hay would think of where the taxi trade is today!
One thing for sure that hasn’t changed though... never ask a cab driver how his day has been because you will certianly hear all about it!
OVER 80 YEARS OF SERVING THE CITY
Eventually many years later different colours were introduced by both Streamline's.