Over one in five taxi and private hire drivers were working SEVEN DAYS A WEEK prior to the coronavirus pandemic according to new Government statistics for the industry.
The annual Taxi and Private Hire Vehicle Statistics report was released by the Department for Transport (DfT) last month and details the number of days drivers in the industry were working prior to and during the first weeks of the coronavirus pandemic.
DRIVER WORKING PATTERNS
According to the statistics, 22% of ‘taxi and cab drivers and chauffeurs’ in April to June 2019 usually worked seven days a week in England.
Using the same profile between February and April 2020, that figure dropped to 9% of the industry predominantly working seven days a week. The report suggests that the drop could be explained by the national lockdown in response to COVID-19.
Nearly half of drivers usually worked 5 days a week.
In the report, which includes data correct up to 31 March 2020, it also showed 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 DfT 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.