Updated: Apr 19
City of Wolverhampton Council (CWC) received nearly 15,000 private hire vehicle (PHV) driver applications in 2022, dwarfing the 4 applications received to drive a hackney carriage taxi.
Since demand for minicab services bounced back after the final coronavirus restrictions were lifted, the council had earlier revealed that they are on course to expand their pool of licensed drivers by an astonishing 10,000 in 2022-23.
According to the FOI report, 14,902 new applications were received by CWC in 2022. The number of new applications remained high during the coronavirus pandemic years with 4,667 applications submitted in 2020 and 5,773 received in 2021.
In comparison just 4 new taxi applications were received in 2022. In the year before the total was 3, whilst no applications were received in 2020.
Wolverhampton officials have blamed other local authorities for pushing out of area applicants their way due to higher licensing fees and slower processing times.
Greg Bickerdike, City of Wolverhampton Council Licensing Manager, said in a report released at the start of the year: “Because of the shortage of drivers, Wolverhampton has been inundated with applications from across the country, in part due to slow processing times and high fees in their home authority. This has created a backlog of applications.”