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MIXED FORTUNES FOR TAXI DRIVERS in 2023: London thrives, but regional disparities arise

Updated: Dec 6, 2023

The year 2023 has been a tale of two halves for taxi drivers across the United Kingdom, as work levels display stark contrasts between the bustling capital and the regions.

While some cabbies have enjoyed prosperous times, others are facing challenging conditions. When TaxiPoint asked readers to rate work levels in their respective regions, feedback revealed a diverse range of experiences.

In London, taxi drivers expressed overall satisfaction, with one driver stating, "mostly very good, can't complain". Undoubtedly, demand for taxi services in the capital has remained consistently high throughout the year.

However, outside of London, the story takes a different turn. Umair Ch, a taxi driver in Manchester, highlighted the challenges faced by regional cabbies, stating: "In Manchester, Wolverhampton drivers made a mess. I'm 50% down."

A cabbie from Eastbourne echoed this sentiment, describing the situation as "awful", despite the supposed shortage of drivers in the area. Tracy Vann from South Lancashire shared a similar sentiment, reporting that work levels during the week were "awful", with a notable decline in shopper footfall.

Preston was also highlighted as an area with "bad" work levels. Doncaster's Gary Franks, with two decades of experience behind the wheel, described the current conditions as "the worst ever". These testimonials shed light on the challenging reality faced by taxi drivers, particularly those operating in regional areas.

One factor contributing to the difficulties is the presence of ridesharing service Uber. Paul Pearson, a cabbie from Guildford, expressed frustration, stating: "Would be a lot better in Guildford if Uber weren't allowed to operate here. Far too many of them about leaving locally licensed taxis sitting around on ranks for ages doing nothing. Now we have more drivers than before Covid." This sentiment underscores the impact of saturation in a market blurred between ridesharing services and traditional taxi drivers.

As the year comes to a close, the divergent experiences of London and regional taxi drivers highlights the need for a comprehensive assessment of the industry. While London continues to thrive, for now, work levels in other regions have declined significantly, leading to financial hardship for many drivers. Addressing these regional disparities and the challenges posed by unlimited cross-border offerings, will be crucial in ensuring a sustainable and equitable future for the taxi industry across the UK.


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