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PostPosted: Sun Oct 11, 2020 6:23 pm 
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TaxiPoint article https://www.taxi-point.co.uk/post/londo ... eek-period

London black taxi fleet alarmingly tumbles by nearly 1,000 vehicles in SIX WEEK period

Taxi vehicle numbers in the capital are continuing to drop at an alarming rate, according to latest data released by Transport for London (TfL).

According to TfL records, in April 2015 there were 22,500 taxis registered in Greater London. Since then there has been a decline in the number of taxis available to cabbies. The decline has been accelerated due the financial impact on the industry caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

London’s licensed taxis have invested nearly £200million into 3,652 ZEC vehicles to clean up the capital’s poor air quality as requested by the Mayor of London.

However due to the higher initial cost of electric vehicles, continued restrictions placed on taxi road access and now a downturn in work levels caused by coronavirus, some cabbies are reluctant to invest.

As a result there are now only 16,202 taxis licensed in the capital, a total that represents a 28% drop of all taxis since Spring 2015.

In just one week, ending Sunday 4 October, the number of black cabs in the fleet dropped by a huge 344 vehicles. Due to the pandemic, only 38 new ZEC taxis were registered with the London authority in the same week.

In the last six week period the number of wheelchair accessible black cabs have plummeted by 924 vehicles.

In August, the Disabled Persons Transport Advisory Committee (DPTAC) published its position on the accessibility of taxis and private hire vehicles (PHVs), highlighting the importance of taxis for disabled people both in urban and rural communities.

The committee shared concerns regarding the falling number of Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles (WAV) available to passengers. 58% of taxis are licensed as WAVs, whilst only 2% of PHVs are able to carry wheelchairs. Due to the rise of ride-hailing platforms like Uber, the DPTAC highlighted that the number of WAVs are falling in the capital.

The report states: “There should be a mixed fleet of WAVs and conventional cars for both taxis and PHVs in all licensing areas. Although the boundary between taxis and PHVs has become blurred in recent years, for as long as the two forms of licenses exist, DPTAC wants both fleets to meet the needs of disabled people. It’s certainly the case that some disabled people will want to pre-book their vehicle by phone or on an app, while others will require a rank or hailed service.

“At present, 58% of taxis are WAVs but only 2% of PHVs. However, they are far from evenly distributed. All 20,000 taxis in London are WAVs, and the remainder are concentrated in the major urban areas (82% of WAVs are in metropolitan areas). In many urban areas of the country, fewer than 5% of the licensed fleet are WAV.

“Concerningly, the situation seems to be deteriorating. The launch of Uber and other app-based systems for booking PHVs has resulted in an increase of over 4% in the number of licensed vehicles. But they are nearly all PHVs and, in London, there has been a reduction in the number of licensed taxis which has resulted in an overall fall in the number of WAVs on the road."

Last month the Transport Secretary stated he will “say more in the not too distant future” about new support for taxi and private hire drivers during the pandemic which may help stem the rapid decline in licensed taxi numbers across the UK.

The announcement came following a transport debate at the House of Commons in September. The Secretary was asked directly about the impact of COVID-19 on the taxi industry and what his plans were for the future.

The Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps MP, also defended claims that new Statutory Taxi and Private Hire Vehicle Standards released this summer were “weak”.

Danial Zeichner, Labour MP for Cambridge, asked the Transport Secretary: “There are over 360,000 licensed taxi and private hire drivers in England, and the sector has been very hard hit. What assessment has the Secretary of State made of the impact on the sector, and will he tell us how he plans to measure the impact of his rather disappointingly weak statutory guidance issued back in July?”

Grant Shapps, responded: “The hon. Gentleman is absolutely right about the impact, and the same is true of many other forms of transport. I pay tribute to the work of taxi drivers and private hire vehicle drivers, who have been incredible during this crisis and have often provided the only form of transport available for people in certain areas.

“The statutory taxi and private hire vehicle standards have considerable teeth, because for the first time ever we will have national databases, and we will put enormous work into ensuring that all local authorities and hackney carriage authorities sign up to those and use them.

“I will say more in the not too distant future about our support for taxis and private hire vehicles through the pandemic.”

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 11, 2020 6:25 pm 
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As a result there are now only 16,202 taxis licensed in the capital, a total that represents a 28% drop of all taxis since Spring 2015.

In just one week, ending Sunday 4 October, the number of black cabs in the fleet dropped by a huge 344 vehicles. Due to the pandemic, only 38 new ZEC taxis were registered with the London authority in the same week.

In the last six week period the number of wheelchair accessible black cabs have plummeted by 924 vehicles.

Would be interesting to know how many London cabbies have left the trade since March 2020.

I suspect a lot more than 10%.

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 11, 2020 9:37 pm 
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Grant Shapps, responded: “The hon. Gentleman is absolutely right about the impact, and the same is true of many other forms of transport. ”

Yes, but we haven’t had a £3.5 Billion bailout like the railways!!!


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 12, 2020 11:44 pm 
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x-ray wrote:
Quote:
Grant Shapps, responded: “The hon. Gentleman is absolutely right about the impact, and the same is true of many other forms of transport. ”

Yes, but we haven’t had a £3.5 Billion bailout like the railways!!!



The fleet in our neck of the woods has reduced by 25% and we have a limit on.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 13, 2020 6:19 am 
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Location: Stamford Britains prettiest town till SKDC ruined it
None have given up round here even 1 firm managed to recruit a new driver to shove in 1 of their company vehicles but my drivers aren't making a living and 3 are actively looking for another job as they can't survive the 6 to 18 months it will take for this to end and get an opportunity to rebuild trade!

Until then not much chance town is quiet the rank is pretty slow and the phones aren't ringing much as most of the grannies have stopped using taxis.Not many going to doctors other than flu jabs and very little to or from railway stations and as for airports forget it!

In fact I would not be surprised if 2 or 3 smaller airports don't close in the next 6 months

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 13, 2020 12:39 pm 
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Location: Hampshire (HC)
We had a drive round a major corporate business park yesterday. A large number of multi-nationals have their UK HQs there. The roads and car parks are normally solid to capacity + in normal times. Yesterday, hardly any parking on the roads and the car parks were half empty; it was like a ghost town.

A very large volume of journeys to the local airport, hub airports and major rail stations used to go from there, min £20 a time. Now there is nothing. I can't remember the last time that I went to the airport and the usual 10-15 jobs booked in early Monday mornings are now non-existent.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 13, 2020 4:45 pm 
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Lots of different factors to consider in analysing the numbers.

Obviously in London the EV thing is a huge deterrent to new vehicle purchase, and I'm not sure precisely which factors mean an older taxi can't be used any more.

Likewise, there's no vehicle quota in London, so it's maybe feasible to delay renewing a plate until things improve, particulary if a renewal would mean plating an EV, therefore depressed numbers in the short term could increase again in the longer term.

And I suspect that the EV hurdle may mean more London HCs will be 'doubled'. Seems most have been singled, historically, so the drop in vehicle numbers may not precisely reflect the number of drivers working.

Aren't plates in London one-year only? Again, that would exaggerate the figures compared to an area with three-year plates. If it's one-year plates only, half of them would have come up for renewal since lockdown, while in an area with three-year plates only rougly 1 in 6 would need to have been renewed since lockdown.

We've got one-year and three-year plate options here - I'm guessing most plates will be granted for three-years.

So even if some don't intend renewing, this might not show in the figures for a couple of years.

On the other hand, we don't have any particular hurdle for replacement vehicles other than a not particularly stringent age rule, so to that degree there's no deterrent to renewal.

So although numbers *working* here are well down, whether that equates to less vehicles plated isn't clear, and won't be for a couple of years yet.

Again, the quota is also a factor here in Fife, and would mean people less likely to give up plates. But if ours were worth £5k pre-lockdown, I suspect more likely to be handed back here than in a place where plates worth £50k pre-lockdown.

It's all uncharted territory, obviously. But potentially misleading to simply look at crude numbers of *licensed* vehicles at any particular point in time [-(


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