England

Black cab trio set longest taxi journey world record

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionPaul Archer, Johno Ellison and Leigh Purnell began their journey 15 months ago

Three friends have set a world record for completing the longest ever journey by taxi.

The trio arrived in Covent Garden, London, earlier after driving 43,319.5 miles (69,716.12km) in their 20-year-old black cab Hannah.

Paul Archer, 23, from Gloucestershire, Johno Ellison, 27, from Leeds, and Leigh Purnell, 23, from Staffordshire, began their journey 15 months ago.

They have driven across four continents and 50 countries.

Image caption The three men said despite spending 24 hours a day in the car every day they have stayed good friends

The three university friends have also set a record for the highest altitude reached by taxi, having reached 5,225.4 metres (17,143ft) in Qinghai Province, China in the cab.

A Guinness World Records spokeswoman said the fare they clocked up on the meter totalled £79,006.80.

Mr Purnell said: "We thought it would be difficult getting on - being in a metal box 24 hours a day, but we've got on really well and stayed really good friends."

Suspected spy

During their circumnavigation of the globe, they were arrested in Moscow and detained by the Iranian Secret Police. Mr Archer was deported from Iran as a suspected spy.

He said: "The most challenging part was the central Asian area - going through Iran, Pakistan and India, and then up through the Himalayas.

"We couldn't get into Pakistan and I got deported from Iran.

Image caption The trio passed Mount Everest when travelling through the Himalayas

"It's really, really dangerous around there and the roads are just terrible through India."

They became stuck on the border of Moldova with the wrong visas but eventually managed to enter the country because one of their friends' mothers knew the president.

The friends have raised £20,000 for the British Red Cross by undertaking the trip, which was originally intended as a London to Sydney expedition.

They said they plan to write a book about their experience.

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites