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REPRIEVE NEEDED: There’s no taxis to rent and no second hand cabs to buy, says taxi representative

Updated: Nov 1, 2021

London’s taxi drivers need a ‘temporary reprieve’ as lowering of black cab age limits means no cabs to rent and few second hand taxis for sale, says representative.

Demand for licensed taxi services has shot up recently since coronavirus pandemic restrictions were eased. However a current shortage of taxis is being squeezed further by new age limit regulations brought in by Transport for London (TfL). Older black cabs in the capital can now only be licensed for a total of twelve years instead of fifteen. It is estimated that the fleet will lose another 1,500 vehicles based on the age of vehicles over the next 12 months.

Since the coronavirus pandemic started the capital’s taxi fleet has plummeted by 25% to around 14,000 available vehicles. In April 2020 there were 18,504 black cabs licensed by London’s regulator.

Cabbies returning to the industry are now finding it hard to rent or buy a second hand vehicle to ply their trade in.

Steve McNamara, General Secretary of Licensed Taxi Drivers’ Association (LTDA), said: “As more drivers return to work and London rapidly returns to normal many of the fleets have no cabs to rent and second hand taxis are in short supply. Much of this is being caused by the lowering of the age limit and its a bit of a no brainer that we need a temporary reprieve if we are to continue supplying our first class service.

“I have written to the Mayor highlighting the problems asking that he allows a one year extension to all taxis due to come off the road.

“We are also still pushing for TfL to approve the Euro V to VI conversion that will then give converted cabs a 15 year age limit. This has been a long convoluted process not made any easier by TfL's approval processes which are extremely detailed. A Vito is being inspected shortly and will then begin a 10,000 mile road testing process which will hopefully result in the conversion being approved for fitting. A TX4 is due to follow on shortly.”


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