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1981 DRIVER LEVELS: London's licensed taxi driver numbers plummet to four-decade low


London's iconic black cab industry has seen its number of licensed drivers plummet to levels now last observed in 1981, with only 17,568 drivers remaining as of February 2024.


This stark reduction marks a significant downturn from the peak in 2013 when over 25,000 taxi drivers were registered with Transport for London (TfL).

The decline reflects a steady decrease in licensed taxi operators over the past decade, highlighting the challenges facing the traditional taxi industry amid rising regulatory changes and economic pressures.


The downturn not only affects the livelihoods of thousands of drivers but also raises concerns about the future accessibility and availability of licensed taxis for London's residents and visitors.

As the Mayor of London, the London Assembly and industry stakeholders get together to review how they can best support the industry moving forwards, changes are likely needed to stop the trade falling further behind.


In contrast there are 106,660 private hire vehicle licensed drivers in the capital, according to TfL data.

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