Feeds

London battles fire-breathing black cabs

TX4 uprising contained - for now

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

RoTM Transport for London last week announced the temporary withdrawal of 500 black cabs following eight spontaneous combustion events in three months - the first incendiary transportation incidents in the capital since Red Ken Livingstone's removal from office apparently contained the fire-breathing vehicle menace.

Sadly not. TfL was moved to act on Wednesday hours after the last taxi bonfire claimed another TX4-type cab with a 56 registration. It ordered all similar Hackney carriages to "undergo safety checks" at manufacturer LTI in Coventry.

A TfL spokesman told the BBC: "This is not a step we take lightly, but we cannot take any chances with the lives of London's taxi drivers or their passengers. Licences will only be reinstated once LTI have certified that individual vehicles have received a safety check."

Bob Oddy, general secretary of the Licensed Taxi Drivers' Association, told the Beeb: "The drivers I've spoken to, who were personally involved, haven't had any passengers in their cabs. They had plenty of time to get out of their cabs before the vehicles flared up. Some of the reports have implied that they're flaring up very quickly. That's not really the case."

Those who you who might be thinking at this point that we at the neoLuddite Resistance Army have taken our eyes off the ball on this one, think again.

Two weeks ago, we were contacted by someone claiming to be a black cabbie with first-hand knowledge of a planned uprising by the TX4. Naturally, we were sceptical, but his answer to our challenge "What's the best way to take two American tourists from Trafalgar Square to The Strand?" - to which he replied: "Via Tower Hill, Bow, Romford, Dartford River Crossing, Greenwich", etc, etc - proved that he was indeed a master of The Knowledge and we awaited further information with bated breath.

None was forthcoming, as our informant then went silent. Fear, or an unscheduled ride in a satanic Renault? You decide.

Whatever the case, TfL has clearly moved with lightning speed to contain the threat. We'd like to believe that mayor Boris Johnson played no small part in this, since until now we had no evidence the Tory blond bombshell was a Lizard Alliance puppet controlled by an exploding cranial implant from the offworld mothership.

However, the BBC notes that, in the light of the TX4 terror, the London Assembly's Labour Group insists he should "now reconsider his proposals to reduce taxi inspections from twice to once a year". Ahem. NRA London cadres are hereby placed on Defcon Laguna* and asked to closely monitor Johnson for further "liberalisation" of vehicle safety regulations. ®

* Those Defcons in full

The Rise of the Machines™

South African survives exploding fridge attack (11 July 2008)
Tumble dryer bites woman in Weston-super-Mare (19 June 2008)
Dutch fire up petrol-pumping robot (5 February 2008)
Aliens responsible for Italian machine uprising (29 October 2007)
NASA to unleash 'mind meld' intelligent machines (22 June 2007)
EU slaps 'Davros tax' on mobility scooters (12 June 2007)
Carnivore ATM bites Florida kiddie (16 March 2007)
Hybrid vehicle attacks petrol station (12 March 2007)
Humans taste of bacon, says gourmet robot (10 November 2006)
Satnav orders German into toilet (24 October 2006)
Lizard Alliance targets Turkish PM (19 October 2006)
Washing machine attacks Icelander (9 October 2006)
Volkswagen unleashes 150mph self-driving car (4 July 2006)
Police arrest satanic BMW victim (20 June 2006)
Iraq grunts mourn loss of robot comrade (25 May 2006)
Bendy bus attacks Leeds cake shop (25 April 2006)
Captain Cyborg acquires Dalek capability (20 April 2006)
Man survives satanic BMW crash-and-burn (13 March 2006)
Second Freeview box signals alien invasion fleet (15 February 2006)
Lizard Army fuses woman with black helicopter (4 November 2005)
NRA probes Japanese sex android (26 August 2005)
Androids launch minicab firm (15 July 2005)
Beware the breast-examining hand of death (13 July 2005)
Lizard Army Neo-Mech menaces eBay (13 July 2005)
Vampire robonurses hunt in packs (6 June 2005)
Cornell Uni develops apocalypse cube (13 May 2005)
Sex android begats Armageddon machine (22 April 2005)
Man executes Chrysler (21 April 2005)
Rise of the man-eating cyberloo (24 March 2005)
Sobbing Frenchman recounts Renault Laguna terror ordeal (18 March 2005)
Fire-breathing bus attacks South London (14 March 2005)
Dyson unleashes self-replicating hoover (11 March 2005)
Battling teen crushes roboarm menace (8 March 2005)
French join motorised Lizard Alliance (22 February 2005)
Lizard Army develops copulating robot (11 February 2005)
We are Zogg: The Cuddly Menace (9 February 2005)
Lizard Army invades Alaska (27 January 2005)
London menaced by flaming DVD players (12 January 2005)
Killer hoover attacks Scotsman (24 December 2004)
Car self-destructs in assassination bid (17 December 2004)
The rise of the rat-brain controlled android (16 December 2004)
Boffins unleash robotic cockroach (15 November 2004)
Ukrainian teen fights the Rise of the Machines™ (13 October 2004)
Man in satanic Renault terror ordeal (7 October 2004)
Killer cyberappliances: Satan implicated (28 June 2004)
US develops motorised robobollard (29 April 2004)
Killer cyberloo kidnaps kiddie (22 April 2004)
Fire-breathing buses threaten London (24 March 2004)
Cyberappliances attack Italian village (11 February 2004)
Cyberloo blast rocks Stoke-on-Trent (10 February 2004)
Cyberkiosk assaults Spanish teenager (8 December 2003)
Hi-tech toilet caught on camera (19 April 2001)
Hi-tech toilet swallows woman (17 April 2001)

Eight steps to building an HP BladeSystem

More from The Register

next story
Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 claimed lives of HIV/AIDS cure scientists
Researchers, advocates, health workers among those on shot-down plane
Forty-five years ago: FOOTPRINTS FOUND ON MOON
NASA won't be back any time soon, sadly
Mwa-ha-ha-ha! Eccentric billionaire Musk gets his PRIVATE SPACEPORT
In the Lone Star State, perhaps appropriately enough
MARS NEEDS OCEANS to support life - and so do exoplanets
Just being in the Goldilocks zone doesn't mean there'll be anyone to eat the porridge
The Sun took a day off last week and made NO sunspots
Someone needs to get that lazy star cooking again before things get cold around here
Diary note: Pluto's close-up is a year from … now!
New Horizons is less than a year from the dwarf planet
Boffins discuss AI space program at hush-hush IARPA confab
IBM, MIT, plenty of others invited to fill Uncle Sam's spy toolchest, but where's Google?
prev story

Whitepapers

Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.