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800 IN A FORTNIGHT: PHV union describes explosion of newly licensed minicab drivers as ‘TERRIFYING’

Updated: Nov 7, 2022

A private hire vehicle (PHV) driver union described the explosion of newly licensed drivers in the capital as ‘terrifying’ after Transport for London (TfL) licensed hundreds more drivers this week.

According to TfL data, in the week ending Sunday 16 October an astonishing 431 new PHV drivers were licensed in the capital. In just a fortnight the capital’s roads have acquired over EIGHT HUNDRED new PHV drivers who are available to work on platforms like Uber, Bolt, Addison Lee and Free Now.

In London it costs £124 for a TfL PHV driver's licence, which equates to over £100,000 in revenue in just TWO WEEKS for the cash strapped regulators.

The income is ring fenced for spending on taxi and PHV enforcement officers and other sector related costs. TfL are still yet to publish the Taxi and PHV Financial Position for 2020/21 and 2021/2022 dispute reassurances from the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, that the figures were due to be released ‘in the next few weeks’ back in June.

Ride-hailing firm Uber have actively been pushing their latest recruitment drive over recent months which aims to see as many as 20,000 new drivers join the platform around the UK.

Addison Lee also reported seeing ‘some positive increases’ in driver recruitment.

In October 2021 Addison Lee, one of London’s largest ground transport providers, announced they were looking to recruit 1,000 new drivers to meet growing demand for its services in London as the capital recovered from the pandemic.

The App Drivers and Couriers Union called the rapid growth of the PHV drivers' sector ‘terrifying’. The higher number of drivers available is expected to saturate the market and reduced demand levels for current working drivers.


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