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Just 1% of licensed minicabs in the capital remain wheelchair accessible reveals DfT report

Updated: Aug 23, 2021


Just 1% of private hire vehicles licensed in London are wheelchair accessible compared to 9% in more rural areas outside of the capital.


Accessibility in the taxi and private hire industry was put under the spotlight in the latest statistics released by Department of Transport (DfT) this summer.

According to the latest data in England, 15% of all licensed vehicles were wheelchair accessible. 54% of all taxis were wheelchair accessible in 2021 while 2% of PHVs were wheelchair accessible. This is said to be similar to the proportions recorded in 2020.


In England, outside London 15% of all licensed vehicles were wheelchair accessible. However all 13,400 London taxis were wheelchair accessible as required by Transport for London’s ‘Conditions for Fitness’ taxi licensing policy.

In other Metropolitan areas in England outside London, 14% of all licensed vehicles were wheelchair accessible. However this varies by area and vehicle type: 81% of taxis in metropolitan areas were wheelchair accessible areas. When looking at PHVs, only 1% of licensed vehicles in London were wheelchair accessible, but this increased to 9% in rural areas.


In terms of wheelchair policies, 66% of authorities require all or part of the taxi fleet to be wheelchair accessible, a small increase from 65% in 2019. However, only 5% of authorities require all or part of the PHV fleet to be wheelchair accessible.


79% of authorities maintain a list of wheelchair accessible taxis in accordance with section 167 of the Equality Act 2010 (an increase from 72% in 2019), while 70% maintain a list of wheelchair accessible PHVs (an increase from 63% in 2019).


The headline data within the DfT report showed a sharp decrease in the number of licensed cabs in the 12 months starting from 31 March 2020.


In March 2020 the number of licensed taxis stood at 67,800, but has now dropped by 14% to just 58,300 vehicles in the 12 month period.

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