Dozens fewer taxi and private hire vehicles in Doncaster due to lack of Government support during pandemic

Doncaster residents have dozens fewer taxi and private hire vehicles to choose from than they did before the pandemic, figures suggest.

Thursday, 12th August 2021, 2:46 pm

The National Private Hire and Taxi Association said the huge drop in the number of licensed vehicles across England was because of the "sheer absence" of any financial support from Government for the industry.

Department for Transport figures show 698 vehicles were licensed to operate in Doncaster at the end of March.

Of those, 164 were traditional taxis which can be hailed from the street, while 534 were private hire vehicles, such as those available through Uber, which need to be pre-booked.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

The National Private Hire and Taxi Association said the huge drop in the number of licensed vehicles across England was because of the "sheer absence" of any financial support

The figure was down from 733 the year before, when there were 186 taxis and 547 vehicles for private hire.

Across England, the number of licensed vehicles decreased from 298,800 to 251,100 over the year – a fall of 16 per cent.

Read More

Read More
Doncaster Chamber welcomes ambitious plans for businesses to innovate

During both periods, taxis made up around a quarter of all vehicles.

The NPHTA said many of its members have left the industry in the last year, with a lot of them moving to delivery driving.

David Lawrie, director of the NPHTA, added: "Due to the sheer absence of any financial support for the taxi and private hire industry, many have had to go on to benefits, many have had to find alternative work in order to keep a roof over their heads and feed their families.

"They have felt abandoned, unappreciated, unsupported, kicked into the long grass, and forgotten about completely."

He called on the Government to offer more targeted financial support while the trade is "clutching at straws" to keep going.

The DfT figures show there were 4.5 taxis and private hire vehicles for every 1,000 people in England at the end of March – which had fallen from 5.3 in 2020.

At 2.2 per 1,000 people, Doncaster has a rate much lower than the national average.

GMB, the union for taxi and private hire drivers, said the pandemic has had a "huge effect" on driver numbers.

Mick Rix, GMB national officer, said: "Many drivers struggled to find work during 2020.

'It will take some time for the local markets to get back to the levels of use by customers prior to the pandemic.

"Many drivers have given up and have handed their vehicles and licences in."

In these confusing and worrying times, local journalism is more vital than ever. Thanks to everyone who helps us ask the questions that matter by taking out a subscription or buying a paper. We stand together. Liam Hoden, editor.