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WILL NASH: Government and authorities can play a ‘considerable role’ to encourage taxi drivers back

Government and local authorities can play a ‘considerable role’ to help encourage more drivers back to the taxi industry, says the marketing director of taxi booking firm Taxi Butler.

If all goes well, Taxi Butler expect the taxi market to be back on track by Q2 2022, but more needs to be done to tackle driver shortages in the taxi and private hire market.

Ideas to help the sector expend on the current number of drivers included making licensing cheaper and cutting bureaucratic red-tape around licensing.

Taxi Butler supply devices for hotels and other popular leisure venues to digitally hail a taxi. After a difficult pandemic, optimism has returned to the sector whilst it waits for the remaining restrictions to be dropped.

Will Nash, Director of Marketing at Taxi Butler and Driver Bubble, said: “Our mission is to connect people and bring them closer to each other. It's the foundation of everything we do. That also includes getting our lives back to how they were whilst co-existing with the virus. With the taxi trade witnessing more substantial demand over the past few months, the shortage of drivers has impacted the industry. Among various other reasons, costly licensing, better work elsewhere, low wages, and backlogs in background checks for drivers have contributed to the shortage across the UK.

“To help the industry get back on track and encourage drivers to get back on the road, the Department for Transport and councils can play a considerable role by removing barriers to entry for drivers to join the trade - making licensing cheaper and reducing bureaucracy red tape. Fleets could also look into the wages and employment conditions of drivers."

Nash added: “Taxi fleets can also put better and safer working conditions for drivers to encourage drivers to return to the industry. We've seen hundreds of fleets now offering in-vehicle partition screens and antigen testing for their drivers to help them feel safer at work. IVR systems, like RedRoute, are implementing new features to support fleets during the shortage by increasing wait time transparency, consequently improving overall automation rates and phone bookings.

“Over the past 15 years contributing to the trade, we've seen the taxi industry continuously evolve in light of ever-changing passenger preferences and different socio-economic and administrative circumstances, witnessing a massive rise in the taxi market across the globe.

“The sector, including taxi companies owners, fleets and drivers, also showed their resilience and strength by combatting huge ridesharing companies. The COVID mandates are changing continuously. We advise all the fleets and drivers to function as ONE big family and support each other. Keep yourself informed on the current mandates while taking all the hygiene and safety advice to overcome the situation, and continue protecting yourself and your passengers.”


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