A Department for Transport report of taxi and private hire statistics has revealed that there has been a decline in taxi numbers across the UK, while private hire numbers have increased.
Although no specific reason has been given to indicate why taxi numbers have shrunk while private hire numbers have increased, there is no shortage of theories as to what may be responsible for the current figures.
As of this year, there are 70,600 licensed taxis in the UK, a 3% decrease in numbers from the previous year.
Private hire numbers fared much better, with a 4.4% increase taking their figures to 221,200.
The decrease in taxis in London was greater than those outside of London, with a decrease of 4.2% and 2.5% respectively. However, with the decommissioning scheme currently operating in London, the figures may be skewed.
PHV’s outside of London showed a huge increase of 7.4%, whilst in London there was a mere 0.2% increase.
Outside of London, regulatory bodies are legally allowed to cap taxi figures. PHV's have no capping system in place as yet.
In England in 2019, total licensed driver numbers have increased. However, London, the East Midlands and the North West all saw decreases.
The largest increase was seen in the West Midlands with a 15.8% swing, mainly as a result of a large increase in the number of PHV driver licences and PHVs in Wolverhampton.
All regions saw decreases in the numbers of taxi-only driver licences while, other than London and the East of England, regions saw increases in the numbers of PHV-only driver licences.
Dual driver licences increased in all regions except the North East. The total number of licensed drivers increased in 52% of licensing authorities or 251 out of 293.
The largest increases from the previous year in total licensed drivers were seen in South Gloucestershire, Lewes, Copeland, Ashfield and unsurprisingly Wolverhampton.
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