More than 15% of taxi and Private Hire Vehicle (PHV) drivers received no Government or Local Authority financial support throughout the pandemic new research has found.
It goes without saying that the coronavirus pandemic has had a striking impact on the taxi and PHV industry financially since restrictions were first brought in over 12 months ago in March 2020.
Taxi industry news has analysed the impact of COVID-19. Over 600 taxi and private hire drivers literally from all corners of the UK have helped paint the most comprehensive picture to date.
The aim of the UK wide survey was to ask taxi and private hire drivers to share their experiences of the coronavirus pandemic, including the level of support received, work patterns and plans for the future.
The full in-depth report is due to be released in soon, however the results based on the financial impact of COVID can be shared today.
Firstly, let’s take a look at the number of cabbies working during the pandemic. According to the data compiled, just 8.8% of the UK taxi fleet have continued to work the number of hours they were working pre-pandemic.
Of those who have reduced their hours throughout the pandemic, the main overwhelming reason to do so was unsurprisingly due to a lack of demand. 92.6% of cabbies working less hours sited that as one of the reasons. 30.2% of cabbies also said personal safety was a major reason to work less during the pandemic too.
According to the data only 36.8% of licensed drivers have tried to work consistently in the last six months. A huge 31.8% of cab service and PHV drivers are yet to work consistently in the industry for over 12 months.
On to the support offered to the sector, most of the drivers surveyed were registered as Self-Employed (96.4%). However, nearly one in five of those taxi and private drivers have failed to receive any Self-Employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS) grants throughout the pandemic.
Of those unable to access SEISS grant funding only 23.9% received Additional Restrictions Grants (ARG), Local Restrictions Support Grant (LRSG), Scottish Government Grant or any other funding.
According to the survey, 15.3% of taxi and PHV drivers received no Government or Local Authority support throughout the pandemic.
Cabbies in Northern Ireland marginally received the least amount of financial support across the UK with 16.7% of cabbies unable to access any funds. Scottish drivers were marginally the most supported with 13.3% of cabbies lacking any type of funding.
Were taxi and PHV drivers happy with the level of support offered to them by both national Governments and Local Authorities? Overall, including those who were eligible for SEISS grant funding, just 15% of taxi and PHV drivers considered the support they received from their Local Authorities to be adequate or better.
In England only 15.2% of taxi and PHV drivers thought the support offered by their local authority was adequate or better. In Scotland, the figure was 11.7% and in Northern Ireland the figure falls down further to just 8.3%.
There were however more satisfied cabbies in Wales with 57.1% of drivers rating the support from Local Authorities as adequate or better.
Looking even more locally at some of the larger licensing authorities, London (Transport for London), Glasgow and Edinburgh scored particularly low when it came to satisfaction around the support offered throughout the pandemic.
Just 5.3% of London drivers rated the support offered as adequate or better, whilst in Scotland only 4.4% of Edinburgh cabbies and just 3.4% of Glasgow drivers thought similar.
xOn a government level, the support received was perceived as more adequate when compared to that of Local Authorities in England. According to the data, 54% of taxi and PHV drivers thought the support offered was adequate or better.
Most pleased with their government’s support was Welsh cabbies. Over 71% of cabbies thought their devolved government provided them with adequate or good support.
On the flip side, cabbies in Scotland were less pleased with the support they received from the Scottish Government. Just 21.7% of drivers thought they were correctly supported throughout the pandemic. However, in Northern Ireland the satisfaction drops even lower to just 4.2% satisfied or happy with the support offering.