The number of London’s cabbies has fallen to the lowest level since the early 80s, as the Coronavirus pandemic and restrictions following it have had a huge effect on demand.
London financial paper City AM reports that over the last year there has been a 29% fall in demand with 13,884 in operation at the start of the month.
City AM quotes Steve McNamara, general secretary of the Licensed Taxi Drivers Association (LTDA), as saying, “Despite being one of the sectors hit hardest by the pandemic, the taxi trade has had no targeted support from Government and the majority of London licensed taxi drivers have been barred from accessing grants and other support from their local councils because they are licensed by Transport for London.”
“The pandemic has had a devastating impact on London’s black cab trade and self-employed taxi drivers. Passenger demand fell to unprecedented levels as a result of Coronavirus restrictions, forcing record numbers of drivers to leave the trade they love and nearly 5,000 taxis have been lost from the fleet. Meanwhile, sales of new cabs collapsed.
“We are clear that it will take time to get back to where we were and there is more than can be done by Government, the Mayor and London Boroughs to help the trade get back on its feet.”
(Picture – Yay Images)