The number of minicab vehicles in London has dropped by over 1,000 in just ONE WEEK as lower work levels start to bite.
According to Transport for London (TfL) records, in April 2020 there were 94,712 registered private hire vehicles in Greater London. Since then the numbers have slowly declined, however this week marks a more steep fall in numbers with a decrease of 1,049 vehicles to the minicab fleet.
In the week ending 11 October, 245 new minicabs were registered with the capital’s transport regulators TfL, whilst a total of 1,294 vehicle owners chose not to renew their licence.
The decline has been accelerated due to the financial impact on the industry caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
The sharp drop now mirrors that experienced by the licensed taxi industry. In the same time period the number of black cabs dropped by 230 vehicles, pushing the number below the 16,000 vehicle mark for the first time in three decades.
Both taxi and private hire industries are calling for more to be done to assist drivers and fleets during the pandemic.
Currently most cab drivers are self-employed and may be eligible for government Self Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) grants which start in November.
The taxable grant will be provided to those who are continuing to actively trade but face reduced demand due to coronavirus.
However, this is only worth 20% of average monthly profits, up to a total of £1,875. This does not take into account operating costs which includes high vehicle and fuel costs.
The initial lump sum will cover three months’ worth of profits for the period from November to the end of January next year.
An additional second grant, which may be adjusted to respond to changing circumstances, will be available for self-employed individuals to cover the period from February 2021 to the end of April.