No assessment made on impact of train companies charging taxi drivers rank permit fees says Minister


There has been no assessment made on the effect of train companies charging taxi drivers rank permit fees during the pandemic, says Transport Minister.


The taxi industry has been heavily hit financially due to the impact of coronavirus. Government lockdowns and travel restrictions have pushed footfall and work-levels down in the trade since the outbreak started.

Daniel Zeichner MP asked the Secretary of State for Transport, Grant Shapps, what discussions he has had with, and advice he has issued to, train companies on reducing station taxi rank fees for taxi and private hire vehicles during the COVID-19 outbreak.


Chris Heaton-Harris, DfT Minister of State, responded saying: “The Department has received correspondence from a number of train operating companies on reducing station taxi rank fees for taxi and private hire vehicles during the COVID-19 outbreak. As the majority of drivers are self-employed, they are already largely eligible for the Government’s Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (equivalent to the furlough scheme for salaried employees), as well as other Government sources of funding potentially, such as the deferral of VAT.”

According to latest DfT figures 83% of cabbies in England are classed as self-employed. Many have relied on the Government’s Self-Employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS) which provides funds based solely on profit and does not take into account high business costs.


With high vehicle expenses and licensing and permit payments, cab drivers have struggled to cover both business and living costs from the support handed to them by Government.


In a further question Zeichner asked what assessment the DfT has made of the effect of train companies maintaining taxi rank fees at stations during the COVID-19 outbreak on the income of taxi and private hire vehicle drivers.


Heaton-Harris replied: “The Department has made no assessment of the effect of train companies maintaining taxi rank fees at stations during the COVID-19 outbreak on the income of taxi and private hire vehicle drivers.”

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