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THE CAR-LED RECOVERY: TfL dishes out over 2,500 minicab vehicle licences in just ONE WEEK

Transport for London (TfL) have INCREASED the number of private hire vehicles (PHV) available to work on the capital's roads by an astonishing 2,505 in just ONE WEEK.

The Mayor of London has long argued against a ‘car-led recovery’ since coronavirus restrictions were dropped. Minicabs are however SWAMPING the capital with over 3,500 cars licensed in the last fortnight alone.

If the newly licensed minicabs were all lined up together in three lanes of road space, it would span a jaw-dropping FIVE KILOMETRES in length. That’s the equivalent to vehicles stretching nose-to-nose between Paddington and Kings Cross Stations.

In comparison, just 79 new black cabs were licensed for the first time in the last two weeks.

Ride-hailing firm Uber continue to actively push their latest recruitment drive which aims to see as many as 20,000 new drivers join the platform around the UK.

Addison Lee also reported seeing ‘some positive increases’ in driver recruitment.

In October 2021 Addison Lee, one of London’s largest ground transport providers, announced they were looking to recruit 1,000 new drivers to meet growing demand for its services in London as the capital recovered from the pandemic.

While the number of minicab drivers booms, the number of black cab drivers continues to drop on a weekly basis.

TfL and the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan have long stressed their wish to avoid a ‘car-led recovery’ from the pandemic. However, since April 2021 the regulator has licensed over 10,000 extra minicabs to be used on the capital’s road network.

Currently, if an applicant meets the statutory eligibility criteria, TfL are legally obliged to issue a licence. At the beginning of the Mayor’s tenure there was a call for Government to provide further legislative powers, so it can cap the total number of PHVs in London. Little in the way of public lobbying has since been seen.

TaxiPoint has approached TfL and the Mayor of London for comment asking how this fits in with current transport strategies and whether the current rate of licensing is good for London.

Recently, TfL have been forced to automatically extend taxi and minicab vehicle licences by FOUR MONTHS due to the huge surge in vehicle testing appointments this December.

TfL issued a notice on the arrangements for yearly testing which will affect vehicle owners with licences due for renewal from 12 December onwards.

Due to unprecedented demand for testing, the NSL centres have fallen behind. To prevent further delays which are negatively impacting drivers, TfL have decided to extend the licensing period by four months if drivers undergo an MOT inspection before the expiry date of the licence.

The extension is only available to licensed vehicles whose plates expire in December. Those expiring in January will need to book an NSL appointment in the normal way.

This means that if your licence expires on Monday 12 December, it will now be extended until 12 April 2023.

It is believed that the demand for NSL testing has peaked this month ahead of new Zero Emission Capable (ZEC) minicab rules arriving on 1 January 2023.


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