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Cost of new vehicles is forcing Sheffield's black taxi drivers into PHV's says former Labour Cllr

Updated: Jul 14, 2021

Image credit: LEVC/Pixabay remixed

According to Ibrar Hussain, a former Labour Councillor and former rep for the GMB Union, hackney carriage taxi drivers are having to switch to driving private hire vehicles (PHV) because the price of purchasing a new black cab has become unaffordable.

Hussain has said the number of hackney carriage driver licences held in Sheffield has dropped from 857 to 631, leaving the trade in a desperate state.

Hussain is calling on the council's licensing committee to consider allowing black taxi drivers the opportunity to drift between both sections of the trade to help maintain good working numbers and slow down the rate of drivers hanging up their black cab badges.

He said: “Black cab numbers are going down fast because drivers are moving over to private hire.

“Black cabs cost more than £58,000 and no one can afford them, especially under current financial circumstances as the pandemic has left the trade dead. “Another issue is every customer now wants to pay via card but the majority of cabs don’t have that facility.

“The trade has been asking licensing services at Sheffield Council to review the hackney carriage policy.

“We want them to allow a mixed fleet of vehicles with saloon cars otherwise the black cab trade will be decimated.”

The taxi and private hire industry has been hit hard since the outbreak of the pandemic, with people advised to work from home and minimise travel.

As we move closer to further lockdown restrictions being lifted, drivers around the UK will no doubt hope they will see an increase in travel, hospitality and night life, meaning more work and providing them with a chance to save an industry that goes back centuries.


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