The London black taxi came to Belfast in the 1970s and was used as a means of transport to serve the working class community in Belfast where the troubles had broke out.
The black taxis were used almost as a bus service on the Falls Road and the Shankill Road. The Falls Road is Catholic/ Irish and the Shankill Road is Protestant/ British meaning all the drivers on the Falls Road were Catholic and on the Shankill Road all the drivers were Protestant. They were used to bring people from the working class communities into the City Centre. People stood at the side of the road and held their hand out when the black taxi came up or down the road.
The black taxi cab would stop and once you got in, the number of people varied between 4 or 5 strangers in the same taxi cab and people felt safe with that number of people in the black taxis. Over the years people have decided with about 50 black taxis left on the Falls Road and none left on the Shankill Road. Today the main use of the black taxis in Belfast is for tourist transportation.
The tourists are picked up from the hotel they are staying in and brought around the Shankill and Falls Road where the wall murals are painted on the gable ends of the homes in the communities. The murals are of the history of what is known as the Troubles of Northern Ireland. The drivers bring the tourists into both communities where the wall art is explained to you in detail. The troubles ended in 1998 with the signing of the Good Friday Peace Agreement, and ever since the wall murals have become one of the most popular tourist attractions in Belfast. A must see if in Belfast.