The Mayor of London has reminded taxi drivers currently not working that they can ‘choose’ NOT to licence their black cabs for up to 24-months to reduce licensing costs during the pandemic.
Taxi drivers in the capital have faced a harsh dip in work since government travel restrictions and national lockdowns began last Spring.
According to a Transport for London (TfL) report the regulator received income from the taxi and private hire industry adding up to over £36million in the last financial year.
Of that figure £4.7million was attributed to taxi related income and £31.6million from private hire related income.
To help support cabbies during coronavirus it has been suggested that transport regulators TfL could defer licence fees for drivers.
Conservative London Assembly Member, Keith Prince, asked the London Mayor via a written question: “Due to severe financial challenges facing taxi drivers and proprietors, will the Mayor consider a deferral scheme of taxi drivers' vehicle licence fees?”
Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London, responded saying: “I do recognise the plight of the capital’s taxi and private hire industries and have written to the Chancellor of the the Exchequer to ask him to provide more support.
"I know Transport for London has taken a pragmatic approach, wherever possible, to help licensees throughout the coronavirus pandemic. This includes on two separate occasions introducing temporary arrangements that enabled a number of taxis and private hire vehicles to remain licensed for a 6-month period at no cost to the licensee.
“A vehicle owner can also choose not to license their vehicle for a period of up to 24 months if they are not working. In these circumstances, vehicle owners must be mindful of taxi and private hire vehicle licensing requirements when they seek to relicense their vehicle.”