Data reveals over 75,000 different London minicabs pay Congestion Charge since exemption dropped

Updated: Jan 25

Data has revealed over 75,000 different minicabs have paid the capital’s Congestion Charge in an eight month period.

On average there are over 40,000 different private hire vehicles (PHV) working in the capital’s city centre each month during operational hours.

In comparison, licensed taxis averaged around 9,000 each month.

Transport for London (TfL) monitors the number of unique PHVs seen in the Congestion Charging zone during operational hours. The total number of unique PHVs seen in the zone between 1 April and 30 November 2019 was 75,175.

There are currently 97,020 TfL licensed private hire vehicles available to the 109,598 minicab drivers.

May 2019 saw the number of minicab drivers working in the city centre peak at 42,920 during the daytime hours. 38,223 worked the city centre during the summer school holiday period of August 2019.

The average number of taxis seen in the zone during charging hours between the eight month period is shown in the table below:

Approximately 280 vehicles would cover a mile long area of road surface traffic at any given time. 40,000 individual PHVs cover a whopping 133 miles of Central London road space each month.

The data was requested by Florence Eshalomi, Labour’s London Assembly Member, and provided by the London Mayor Sadiq Khan.

In July 2019 the High Court ruled that London minicab drivers must continue to pay the capital’s Congestion Charge after a legal challenge was made.

Minicab driver representatives from the Independent Workers Union (IWGB) said in court that the charging for minicabs in London does "serious harm" to black and ethnic minority (BAME) drivers.

However, judgment from Mr Justice Lewis dismissed the IWGB’s claim. This meant PHV drivers in London have to pay the £11.50 daily charge after the exemption was removed in April 2019.

Mr Justice Lewis said the decision to remove the exemption for minicab drivers was “a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim, namely the reduction of traffic and congestion within the congestion charge zone without reducing the number of designated wheelchair-accessible vehicles”.

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