A report published in the Birmingham Live, has highlighted the astonishing growth of private hire licenses that have been issued across England especially in Wolverhampton.
New government data has shown that the number of PHV licenses issued by Wolverhampton City Council rocketed by nearly 4,000 in a single year.
Figures released show that in March 2017 there were 4,989 private hire drivers licensed by the council — a year later that figure has reached 8,799.
Neighbouring city Birmingham has seen a slight drop in private hire and Hackney carriage licenses issued. Private hire licenses dropped by 263, with hackney carriage licenses falling by just a small number of 39.
Since the Deregulation ACT 2015, which effectively gave private hire drivers to ability to operate across the whole of England, many drivers have opted to obtain licences by licensing authorities that are considered “more lenient” in the application process.
The rapid growth of ride-hailing app Uber has contributed to the rise of private hire drivers across the UK, with it now holding operating licenses in cities such as London, Birmingham, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds, Leicester, Manchester and Sheffield, to name but a few.
According to the report, the amount of PHV licenses across the whole of England is currently at 223,323, up from 217,205 a year ago.
Figures for hackney carriage licenses have dropped from 69,568(last year) down to 59,994 as of March this year.
The figures confirm that there are now four private hire licenses to every one hackney carriage licence which seems to show no signs of closing any time soon.