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Sunderland taxi driver applications plummet 19%, while PHV interest doubles


Sunderland City Council saw a 19% decrease in the number of taxi driver applications submitted in 2023, while minicab applications soar.


Sunderland City Council's annual performance review for 2023 provides a detailed look into the city's licensing operations, particularly focusing on hackney carriage and private hire sectors.

The report, comparing data from 2022, showcases a significant shift in the landscape of driver and vehicle licensing within the city. In 2023, the council considered a total of 54 applications for hackney carriage driver’s licences, a 19% decrease from 67 in the previous year. However, there was a notable surge in private hire driver’s licence applications, jumping from 82 in 2022 to 164 in 2023, highlighting a growing interest in the private hire sector.


By the end of 2023, the total number of licences issued presented a nuanced picture of the local transport services landscape. Hackney carriage driver’s licences saw a minor reduction, from 556 to 543, indicating a slight contraction in this segment. Conversely, private hire driver’s licences experienced a substantial increase, rising from 487 to 589, underscoring the sector's booming expansion.

Vehicle licensing figures further accentuated these trends, with hackney carriage vehicle licences slightly decreasing from 327 to 318. On the other hand, private hire vehicle licences rose from 363 to 421, reflecting the sector's robust growth. Private hire operator’s licences remained relatively stable, with a marginal decrease from 21 to 20 licences issued.


These statistics not only reflect the changing dynamics within Sunderland's transport services but also signal shifting preferences and operational scales between hackney carriage and private hire services that can be seen throughout many authorities nationwide.

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