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‘THIS CAN’T CONTINUE’: Over SIXTEEN PHV drivers for every street in Wolverhampton says GMB rep

Updated: Oct 1, 2023


Image credit: @bexleytaxi (Twitter)

In a recent statement on social media, Steve Garelick, GMB Regional Officer, raised ongoing concerns about the overlicensing of private hire vehicles (PHVs) in Wolverhampton.


With a staggering 35,524 licensed drivers and only 2,181 streets in the West Midlands city, Garelick highlighted the alarming ratio of 16.28 drivers per street, asserting that this situation cannot continue.

Unlike any other licensing authority, City of Wolverhampton Council has long welcomed licensing drivers living in all corners of England, Scotland and Wales. The issue of excessive licensing, causes drivers to work beyond the city limits and operate in neighbouring jurisdictions where the licensing authority has no control over that driver. This practice is known as cross border hiring and has been a source of big controversy within the sector.

The City of Wolverhampton Council, like any other regional authority, permits PHV drivers to work outside their licensed area under cross border hiring regulations. While this may initially seem like a practical approach to cater to the transportation needs of customers across the region, it has raised concerns among industry representatives like Garelick.

Excessive licensing and cross border hiring can create unfair competition among drivers, leading to a decline in incomes and compromising safety standards. For example, it is not mandatory to have CCTV in Wolverhampton licensed PHVs. However in some regions it is mandatory and drivers must front up costs of more than £500. Other differences around emissions and vehicle age limits can also put locally licensed drivers on a financial back foot. This has created long running concerns regarding the welfare of drivers and passengers alike.


Steve Garelick, GMB Regional Officer, said on 12 September via social media: “As of today Wolverhampton have 35,524 Licensed drivers and 2,181 Streets.

“That's an insane 16.28 per street.


“The reality is that these drivers are flooding other jurisdictions and are NOT working anywhere near Wolverhampton. This can't continue.

“Why is Wolverhampton overlicensing?”


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