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Mayor of London to look at how to help ease financial burden felt by London’s taxi drivers

Updated: Dec 23, 2023

The Mayor of London will look at new ways to help financially ease the burden felt by taxi drivers in the capital.

In a significant announcement during Mayor’s Question Time at the London Assembly, Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London, committed to exploring new strategies to alleviate the financial pressures faced by the city's taxi drivers.

The Mayor's remarks come amid ongoing discussions about the future of London's iconic black taxi industry. Recognising the unique challenges the sector faces, Khan outlined his plans to forge a new vision for the industry. A key aspect of this vision involves tackling the financial hurdles that taxi drivers currently endure.

Khan said: “As part of the work around the new vision we are going to create for the taxi industry we are looking at what more we can do.

“You mention the fact that only one manufacturer makes the new taxis, there used to be three, I understand the reasons that the number of vehicles sold are limited, you can understand why no new manufacturer would invest. It’s the same challenge we have with double decker buses. It’s a limited market so it’s difficult to get new people in there.

“We are looking at what we can do to reduce costs. You mention the consequence of finance. Even if you’re saving on fuel bills, that is a big monthly outgoing in relation to your payments. So the Commissioner and Deputy Mayor have seen this and are working with industry representatives to see what they can do, and by the way manufacturers, and that includes those who retrofit as well.”

Caroline Pidgeon, Liberal Democrat London Assembly Member and Transport Spokesperson, called on the Mayor to urgently revise the outdated 2016 Taxi and Private Hire Action Plan to ensure the industry's viability.

Despite more than half of the black taxis now being zero-emission capable, the prohibitive costs of these environmentally friendly models, which stand at over £70,000, were brought to the Mayor's attention. When factoring in the staggering 9% interest rate on finance, the real cost balloons to nearly £100,000. This financial burden is set to intensify as the “plug-in vehicle grant” from the Government, currently offering £7,500 towards new taxis, is due to end next year.


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