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WILL CATTRALL: Taxi Butler predicts taxi industry expansion by end of 2021


The coronavirus pandemic has left an indelible mark on our livelihoods. Hotel and travel industries, for example, may take several years to recover. Like any other primary sector, the taxi sector became a target of the pandemic over the globe. The elevated risk of crowded settings combined with social distancing guidelines has restricted taxi industry expansion as consumers' preferences have switched toward private cars.


However, with the relaxation of lockdown restrictions and new covid safety measures, taxi demand in the United Kingdom is resuming the market, and the internal reports by Taxi Butler already predict the Taxi Industry to expand by the end of 2021.

Impact of the Pandemic on the Taxi Industry in the United Kingdom:


  • The London Taxi Drivers' Association (LTDA) reported that around 1,000 cab drivers have quit their jobs as their driving income reduced to 20-25% of pre-pandemic standards.

  • Transport for London (TfL) data reveals that due to the lack of passengers during the lockdown, one in five Black Cabs were removed from London's roadways since June,

  • The prominent cab company, Sherbet London, has rented a parking lot to house 400 taxis, or two-thirds of its fleet.

  • No new drivers are joining the taxi industry. Most drivers are concerned about their health, and the potential drivers are waiting to pass driving tests. The driving tests have been postponed owing to the lockdown.

  • Due to travel restrictions, drivers must wait for hours to pick up a passenger. The long waiting has caused them to seek other employment and abandon the taxi industry.

The taxi industry looks hopeful as life gets back to normal?


With life coming back to normal, all businesses try to meet the latest safety standards to keep the wolf from the door. Covid safety measures by the United Kingdom Government are very assistive in taking life back to usual without impacting national productivity. Here are the few fundamental additions to the taxi services that have helped them pivot their way back to normal:

Risk Assessment


According to National Health Services, UK, self-employed drivers should do a risk assessment to determine how they can safeguard themselves and their passengers against the virus. Taxi drivers and owners are advised to install a vehicle partition screen in every taxi. The intention is to restrict the direct physical contact between the driver and the passenger without isolating them. Driver bubbles can help in following the social distancing norms. As drivers come into contact with passengers, they are recommending that they be tested regularly. The Rapid antigen tests are 99.9% accurate in studies. Thus drivers are advised to perform them twice a week. Getting vaccinated is the essential aspect of risk assessment as vaccines reduce the risk of getting seriously ill or dying due to covid-19. Every driver should be vaccinated while working. Downloading and using the NHS COVID-19 App is recommended for every driver.

Work Guidelines

The drivers are advised to inquire if the passenger had a positive COVID-19 test in recent days or has any symptoms before allowing customers inside their taxi. The driver should decline the service if the passenger has symptoms or has been tested positive. Assist disabled or old passengers in entering and exiting the cab. Also, continue to assist them with their bags and mobility devices. The driver should sanitise hands before and after coming in contact with the passengers and their luggage. During the journey, the passenger should wear a mask to reduce the spread of the virus.

Rather than using the vehicle's ventilation system, the driver should open the windows to let in fresh air before commencing the trip. Sanitizing the parts of the cab touched by the passenger is crucial during every journey.

Financial Aid to the Drivers


Under the Test and Trace Support Payment Scheme by NHS, if a driver is advised to isolate himself, he is eligible for a £500 payment by the local council. Self-Employment Income Support Scheme fifth grants vi help the self-isolated drivers in the United Kingdom. Under the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme, the Government provides aid to those who have lost their work or get less work because of the pandemic.

Everyone has the right to feel safe at work, but it is also our responsibility to keep our customers safe. Ensuring the safety of our community is paramount. While taxi companies are continuously extending efforts to provide safety solutions for all drivers and passengers, each individual must equally play an essential role in slowing down the spread of the virus. Vehicle partition screen, driver bubble, face masks, sanitisers, face-shield, and other covid safety measures assist in continuing taxi services after the lockdown. It is only when we work together and play our part by following the covid safety measures, we will come out of this challenging time more robust than ever and finally truly connect with each other.


Article by: Will Cattrall, Business Development Manager at Taxi Butler and Driver Bubble.

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