Private hire drivers on Teeside are backing one driver’s calls for a cap on the amount of licences issued. As reported in Taxipoint recently, one private hire driver stressed that the industry is in need of a major overhaul as he now has to work a 40 hour week just to break even - And now a number of other drivers have stepped forward to back him.
Drivers told the Teeside Live that the stress of the job is making many of them unwell. Long working hours accompanied by abusive passengers and even some who refuse to pay and run off has led to a call of action to help improve working conditions.
One driver said that he now has to work 70 hours a week which spans across a seven day period. He said that it costs him £370 a week just to keep his vehicle on the road, but with two little kids to look after and a house to run, he said he just has to get on with things. Another man, an ex private hire driver, said that it turned into a dreadful job and even got to the point where the firm he worked for told him to pick up “flagdowns” which is against the law - Only hackney carriage licensed drivers are allowed to pick up flagging passengers. He went on to say that some days he would clear as little as £10 after expenses a shift and there was no minimum wage protection because the firms would simply say they were self employed drivers. Many drivers feel that the industry is now flooded with too many drivers all desperate for enough work to earn a living. The taxi and private hire industry seems to currently be suffering from a major case of over supply of services.