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BACK TO THE 80’s: The number of London taxi drivers has dropped to the lowest levels since 1986

Updated: Aug 9, 2022

The number of licensed taxi drivers in London has dropped to the lowest levels since 1986 according to new Government data.

The latest Taxi and Private Hire Vehicle Statistics were released last month by the Department for Transport (DfT) containing data up to year ending March 2022. The figures are updated every year through surveying each licensing authority in England and Wales.

Outside of London, the DfT confirmed a 6% DROP in taxi driver numbers across England and Wales for 2022, despite the reopening of the economy post-coronavirus and huge demand for services.

London followed suit and recorded a drop in cabbies licensed by just over 6% in the last 12-month period.

Between 1972 and 2015 the number of licensed taxi vehicles in London, and in England and Wales outside London, both followed an increasing trend, albeit at different rates.

Since 2015, the numbers have fallen, with a particularly sharp fall seen since 2020, which is likely to be at least in part due to the coronavirus pandemic. The number of taxis in 2022 was however substantially higher than in 1972.

The number of licensed taxis almost quadrupled in England and Wales outside of London (increasing from 12,400 to 47,700), while over the same period, the numbers in London increased by 44% (from 10,100 to 14,600).


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