9k licensed Taxis Disappear Across England Since COVID Broke According to Department for Transport
The number of licensed taxi vehicles thoughout England has dropped by a staggering 9,000 in the first 12 months since Coronavirus first broke according to latest data released.
The Department for Transport (DfT) have published annual statistics covering the taxi industry across England.
Within these stats it indicates a sharp fall in the number of licensed cabs in the twelve months starting from 31st March 2020.
In March 2020 the number of licensed taxis stood at almost 70k, but has now dropped by 14% to just over 58k vehicles in the twelve month period.
In London alone almost 60% of the 9,000 lost taxis were from the capital.
Within the stats, and more worryingly for those with specific mobility requirements, the number of licensed WAV (Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle) taxis dropped by 19% from 38,800 to 31,600 in just 1 year.
The licensed taxi industry Isn’t the only industry to be hit hard. It was a very similar decrease experienced by the private hire sector too.
In March 2020 297k PHV (Private Hire Vehicles) were licensed with local licensing authorities throughout England. Fast forward 12 months and that figure has spiralled by 47,400 to 251,000. That figure shows a drop of 15% across England.
Just 4,710 of the 251,000 Private Hire Vehicles are Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles.
In June, the Chair of LPHCA gave warning that a ‘catastrophic shortage of drivers’ puts the overall sustainability of the taxi and private hire industry at risk.
Steve Right, Chair of the LPHCA (Licensed Private hire Car Association), warned of the further potential problems last summer when he spoke to the Secretary of State for Transport, Gary Schapps.
Steve Right said in the last issue of PHN: “Regrettably, our predicted outcome of the possibility of an epidemic shortage of drivers is fast becoming a stark reality and the LPHCA will carry on trying to make ministers aware of these difficulties.
“Last July we wrote to Gary Schapps, MP Secretary of State for Transport to bring his attention to potential serious issues and the risks to the overall sustainability of the Taxi & Private Hire industry.”