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Addison Lee still ‘experiencing challenges’ when it comes to finding private hire drivers

Addison Lee are still ‘experiencing challenges’ around the availability of private hire vehicle (PHV) drivers, said its CCO.

Like many other private hire operators around the UK, a shortage of minicab drivers remains a huge sticking point on the road to recovering as some demand from passengers remains unmet.

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.

Wesley Bishop, Addison Lee CCO, said via an April update: “Spring is in the air, and this always feels like a good time of the year to take stock. London is revived and when they aren’t dodging the odd April shower, people seem to be enjoying all the activities the capital has to offer.

“The business has bounced back since the restrictions were lifted and we are seeing huge demand for our services. Like many industries, we are experiencing challenges, particularly with the availability of licensed PHV drivers in London. We are working hard to meet this challenge and we are beginning to see a positive increase in drivers.”

Last month, rivals Uber told the Evening Standard that demand for trips was up by more than 10 per cent in London compared with pre-pandemic levels — and by far more at the weekends.

Uber said that their aim was to recruit 20,000 new drivers on their platform before the start of 2023.

The major private hire driver shortage continues to impact the UK as a study released in February 2022 showed almost 70% of regular cab users have struggled or completely failed in their attempt to book a cab since December 2021.

The research, commissioned by taxi technology company Autocab, revealed that almost three quarters of respondents missed or were late for an important event due to the lack of availability – this includes more than one quarter who were trying to attend a medical appointment.

The chronic shortage felt in some regions of the UK comes after thousands of drivers left the profession when job numbers plummeted during the pandemic.


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