Size of taxi and private hire vehicle fleet reaches new record HIGH in England according to DfT data

The total number of licensed taxi and private hire vehicles and licensed drivers in England have officially reached record new high levels according to data released by the Government.

The annual Taxi and Private Hire Vehicle Statistics report was released by the Department for Transport (DfT) today. In the report, which includes data correct up to 31 March 2020, the total number of licensed vehicles in England increased by 2.3% (6,800 vehicles) since 2019, to 298,800. This figure represents the highest number since comparable records were first collected in 2005.

According to the report this was mainly caused by an increase in Private Hire Vehicles (PHVs), with just over three quarters (77%) of licensed vehicles registered as PHVs.

In 2005 there were just over 120,000 PHVs licensed in England. That number has shot up to nearly 231,000 in just fifteen years. Licensed taxis registered in the same period has increased slightly, by only 3,700 vehicles, from 64,200 to just under 68,000.

There were 364,900 driver licences in 2020, representing an increase of 0.6% (2,200 licences) compared to the previous year. Since the statistics started being recorded in 2005 the number of licences has risen by a huge 50.7%.

Due to the timing of the report, the release only covers the first few weeks of the coronavirus pandemic. The DfT report does suggest that it is ‘likely’ the pandemic has impacted trends since the release date of 31 March.

In London the number of black cabs has dropped below 15,000 according to data released by Transport for London (TfL).

TaxiPoint reported in November that there were only 14,984 taxis licensed in the capital, a total that represents a THIRD LESS taxis available to taxi drivers and passengers since Spring 2015.

Records show that in April 2015 there were 22,500 taxis registered in Greater London. Since then the number of taxi vehicles available to cabbies has alarmingly dropped. The decrease has been accelerated due to the financial impact on the industry of the coronavirus pandemic.

Figures at the time showed the number of black cabs in the fleet dropped by 280 vehicles in just one week. Due to the pandemic, only 9 new ZEC taxis were registered with the London authority in the same week ending Sunday 1 November.

Since June 2020, more than 3,500 licensed taxis have been lost from London alone.

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