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TAXI TRADE HAMMERED: 9,500 licensed taxis GONE across England since COVID broke according to DfT

The number of licensed taxi vehicles across England has dropped by a staggering 9,500 in the first twelve months since the coronavirus pandemic first broke according to latest data released.

The Department for Transport (DfT) have released annual statistics covering the taxi and private hire industry across England.

Within the stats it shows a sharp decrease in the number of licensed cabs in the 12 months starting from 31 March 2020.

In March 2020 the number of licensed taxis stood at 67,800, but has now dropped by 14% to just 58,300 vehicles in the 12 month period.

In London alone 59% of the 9,500 lost taxis were attributed to the capital.

Within those stats, and worryingly for those with mobility requirements, the number of licensed Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle (WAV) taxis dropped by 19% from 38,900 to 31,700 in just one year.

The licensed taxi industry wasn’t the only sector hit hard. It was a similar decrease experienced in the private hire industry too.

In March 2020 298,600 Private Hire Vehicles (PHV) were licensed with local licensing authorities across England. Fast forward a year and that figure has spiralled by 47,500 to 251,100. That figure represents a drop of 16% across England.

Just 4,700 of the 251,100 PHV are WAVs.

In June, the Chairman of LPHCA warned that a ‘catastrophic shortage of drivers’ risks the sustainability of the taxi and private hire industry.

Steve Wright, Chairman of the Licensed Private hIre Car Association (LPHCA), warned of the potential problems last summer when he contacted the Secretary of State for Transport, Grant Shapps.

Steve Wright said in the latest issue of Private Hire News: “Sadly, our prediction of the possibility of a catastrophic shortage of drivers is becoming a reality and the LPHCA will continue to make ministers aware of the difficulties.

“Last July we wrote to Rt. Hon. Grant Shapps MP Secretary of State for Transport to draw his attention to potential serious problems and the risks to the sustainability of the Taxi & Private Hire industry.”


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