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Minicabs make up nearly a THIRD of all night-time traffic in London according to Mayor’s data

Updated: Apr 3, 2022

Sadiq Khan image credit: Greater London Authority

Private Hire Vehicles (PHV) make up nearly a THIRD of all London’s centrally located night-time traffic according to new data released by the Mayor of London.

PHVs account for 29% of vehicles using the capital’s street ‘overnight’. Black cabs register just 9% of vehicles driving late at night and privately owned cars account for 16%.

During the morning and evening peak-time traffic between 13-18% of vehicles are PHVs. Black cabs account for 9-15%, while Light Goods vehicles sky rocket during this period registering between 23-44% of road traffic.

Table credit:

There are currently over 100,000 PHV drivers licensed by Transport for London (TfL). The Mayor of London has long called for the capping of PHV vehicles to reduce congestion on London roads.

Currently, if an applicant meets the statutory eligibility criteria, TfL are legally obliged to issue a licence.

The Mayor has called on the Government to provide further legislative powers for TfL, so it can cap the total number of PHVs in London.

TfL have altered the structure of licence fees paid by operators of different sizes to reflect the costs of compliance and enforcement activity. This aims to provide further financial incentive for operators to maximise the efficiency of their operations and minimise the number of vehicles they use across London as a whole.

Nicholas Rogers, a Conservative London Assembly Member, asked the Mayor whether he could give an estimate of the proportion of London’s traffic that is made up of ride-share vehicles such as Uber.

Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London, replied: “Broad estimates are available from numberplate recognition cameras around London. Data from these are processed in a way that is fully compliant with Data Protection requirements.

“The table attached shows latest available estimates (for 2019) of the percentage composition of traffic, by time period across the day. Ride sharing vehicles would generally be represented by Private Hire Vehicles (PHVs). No data are available about the specific composition of this group.

“The coverage of cameras outside of the Congestion Charging Zone is substantially less than in inner/central areas, meaning that these estimates have a wider range of uncertainty. Data are provided separately for the Congestion Charging Zone, and for the rest of Greater London outside the zone.”


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