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SAVE OUR TAXIS: TfL data reveals only 185 new London taxi drivers entered the industry in 2023

Updated: Mar 21

The number of new Black Cab drivers entering the London taxi industry sat at just 185 new licensees in 2023.

Data released by Transport for London (TfL) shows a marked decrease in the number of new taxi driver licensed over the past nine years in the capital.

Starting in 2016, when over a thousand new licences were granted, there has been a consistent downward trajectory. The figures reached a peak of 1,010 licences, but plummeted to just 185 in 2023. This dramatic decline points to a transportation sector that must undergo profound changes, should it survive long-term.

The year 2017 saw a slight dip to 896 licences, but it was from 2018 onwards that the more significant drops were recorded. By 2019, the number had decreased to 442, and the following year, amid the global COVID-19 pandemic, the figures hit an all-time low with only 233 new licences issued. Although there was a slight uptick in 2021 and 2022, the numbers remained significantly lower than in previous years, highlighting a long-term trend rather than a temporary blip.

The year 2023 saw new licences being issued to just 185 individuals, consolidating the trend of decline. The current year's figures, while only covering a few months, suggest that the decrease is not only continuing but may be accelerating.

Before Christmas, Mayor of London Sadiq Khan acknowledged the challenges facing the black taxi industry and expressed his commitment to developing a 'new vision' for its future and exploring ways to reduce the high running costs associated with being a cabbie.

Since then the London Assembly Transport Committee has issued a comprehensive set of recommendations to the Mayor of London to help the industry.


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