London taxis voted best in world

World travellers have voted London's taxis the best but also the most expensive.

The traditional London black cab was streets ahead of its nearest rival - the New York yellow taxi - in a survey of nearly 5,000 travellers from 23 countries by

London was placed top in five of the seven categories voted on, being first in its class for safety, friendliness, cleanliness, quality of driving, and knowledge of the area.

Hong Kong cabs were in third place overall, with Tokyo fourth and Singapore fifth. Dublin cabs were ninth.

Those polled considered New York taxis to be the most available but also reckoned the Big Apple cabbies had the worst knowledge of their area.

Bangkok's taxis offered the best value for money but their drivers were voted the worst in the world.

The poll also found:

:: Britons reported losing a number of items in cabs, ranging from a hamster to a flute, while one Korean traveller lost a dried cuttlefish;

:: Argentinians were the worst tippers, with Hong Kong residents the most generous;

:: Italians were the only nationals who put cleanliness ahead of safety in choice of cabs;

:: Koreans were the least appreciative of the famous London cabbie, with 37% admitting to hating "chatty drivers". communications director Alison Couper said: "It's great to hear that London has won the best taxi accolade for the fourth year running."