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NO INCREASE IN CABS: Survey highlights a mixed bag for taxi demand in Barnsley



A recent taxi demand survey conducted in Barnsley has revealed mixed results which suggest maintaining the current limit on hackney carriage licences despite some changes in customer and driver behaviors since the last survey in 2017.


According to the survey, conducted in September 2023, there is a marginal increase in unmet taxi demand, particularly on Thursday and early Saturday evenings. This stands in contrast to the 2017 results where unmet demand was not as significant during these times. The survey indicates that late night and early morning hours at weekends are particularly problematic, with drivers reluctant to work due to safety concerns and difficult customer interactions.

Despite the increase in unmet demand, which now stands at 9% compared to 3.4% in 2017, 67% of respondents continue to support the vehicle number limit. This support comes from all hackney carriage drivers and nearly half of the private hire operators, who cite benefits such as reduced congestion, better vehicle standards, improved air quality, and overall customer satisfaction.


Safety remains a critical issue, with the implementation of taxi marshals seen as positive by both drivers and the public. The marshals are credited in the council report with maintaining order and safety at taxi ranks, especially during busy periods.

Furthermore, recent changes include the amalgamation of the town’s two largest private hire firms and the reopening of the Midland Street taxi rank, which has improved driver access and potentially increased the availability of taxis during peak times.


In light of these findings, council officials have proposed maintaining the current cap on taxi licences, coupled with remedial actions and another review in 12 months.

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