Wolverhampton Council issued nearly 12,000 private hire licences last year - but only 7% went to loc

Wolverhampton Council handed out nearly 12,000 taxi licences last year – but only a tiny amount of them were for drivers in the city

The council, which has previously come under heavy criticism for the amount of licences that it has granted in the past, has once again hit the spotlight after a Freedom of Information request revealed that it issued 11,811 private hire licences in 2018.

The figure puts Wolverhampton City Council at the top of the leaderboard for private hire licences issued, even breaking its own record from the previous year. However, possibly the most worrying figure is the amount of licences that were issued to drivers actually working in Wolverhampton.

According to the Freedom of Information request, just 852 of them (seven per cent) went to local drivers working in the city.

It came as criticisms of the authority’s “cheap and easy” licensing system were raised after it emerged that a driver convicted of a sex attack on a passenger in Winchester had been licensed in Wolverhampton.

As reported by the Express and Star, 45 per cent (5,376) of the licences handed out went to Birmingham drivers

Wolverhampton City Council has seemed to be the go-to destination for most who seek to obtain a private hire licence, with some believing it's one of the easiest authorities, whether financially or otherwise, to be issued a licence.

Other areas where drivers work with a Wolverhampton licence are Manchester, with drivers taking 1,443 licences, Oldham (423), Bury (185), Blackburn (153), and Stockport (148). Wolverhampton City Council also issued licences to drivers from Nottingham (364), Leicester (356) and Derby (334). Nearly 300 drivers from Shropshire came to the city for licences, including 190 from Telford and 100 from Shrewsbury.

The Government has launched a consultation following widespread calls for a change in the law to stop drivers from getting a licence in one part of the country and operating in another. Taxipoint recently reported on a case which saw a Wolverhampton licence private hire driver who was working in Winchester jailed for the sexual assault of a female passenger.

(Ferham Khan, 33)

Ferham Khan, 33, was jailed for 12 years for the sexual assault which took place in 2017.

He was found guilty of rape following a seven day trial at Southampton Crown Court where the jury made an unanimous decision.