Updated: Aug 13, 2022
The number of private hire vehicles (PHV) detected working in the capital each month continues to FALL despite operator recruitment campaigns and high levels of demand.
According to data obtained via a TfL FOI request, the number of PHVs that were detected entering London’s Congestion Charge boundaries in May 2022 reached 35,467. In January 2022 that figure was 37,167 and in February 2022 38,827.
Most astonishingly the daily number of minicabs entering central London sat at just 9,520 vehicles in May 2022. Four years previous in April 2018, when numbers were regarded at their peak, that figure stood at a whopping 17,271 minicab vehicles. That represents a 45% DECREASE in the average number of PHVs available to hire.
PHVs must pay the daily £15 Congestion Charge zone fee if they drive within the charging zone between 7am-6pm on weekdays or 12pm-6pm on a weekend or Bank Holiday. There is no charge on Christmas Day and New Year's Day.
Driver shortages in the PHV sector has driven availability and coverage of services offered by minicab operators down. PHV drivers left the industry during the pandemic to pursue different careers in similar paid logistic and delivery jobs.
Operators in the capital have been furiously trying to recruit drivers back into the sector to meet the unmet demand. Addison Lee had been looking to add 1,000 new drivers to its platform and ride-hailing firms Uber and Bolt have also tried to heavily recruit drivers.