Taxi companies across the UK call on the government for more support


Amongst the many industries that have taken a hit as a result of the ongoing coronavirus crisis, taxi drivers and companies have been some of the worst affected. With changing restrictions constantly shifting the workplace and rules they have to follow, many have found it hard to adapt.

As a result, taxi companies across a range of different cities and regions in the UK are calling on support from the government to help them get through the next few months until the country starts to up open again provisionally in June.

Four regions call out to the government

The latest news comes from a letter that has been sent to the Secretary of State for Transport, urging an immediate review of policies alongside monetary support to ensure that taxi companies and drivers can stay in business through the ongoing lockdowns. These calls have come from the taxi and private hire industries in Birmingham, Portsmouth, Sheffield, Bristol and Greater Manchester. Aside from a call to provide more financial support to companies that have had to downscale their operations, there are also concerns around a new regulation affecting these four major regions.

The regulations affecting taxi companies

Many taxi and private hire companies are finding that their difficulties related to the coronavirus crises are being exacerbated by the introduction of Clean Air Zones. Clear Air Zones (or CAZ) for short, are a regulation affecting the four above named regions, aimed at decreasing nitrogen dioxide levels on the roads. However, these regulations would, according to those in the industry, force many drivers off the road for even longer due to them driving vehicles that do not meet emissions standards.

Grants to help taxi drivers

The calls for greater financial aid come at a time when some local authorities are passing measures to help their taxi drivers and companies. For instance, Wolverhampton Council has just recently launched the Taxi and Private HIre Grant Scheme, part of their Additional Restriction Grant. This new grant offers eligible drivers a one-off payment of £2000, helping to provide in response to the significant impact that the recent lockdown has had on the industry.

Given that many taxi and private hire companies and drivers are in a similar condition in regions and cities across the nation, this has led to increased support for nation-wide measures to help those in the industry make it through the ongoing lockdown.

What can the government do?

Aside from the existing support from local authorities, the recent letters to the Secretary of State for transport, have asked for adequate funding to support the trade across the nation. There have also been calls to address and reconsider the recent Clean Air Zone policies, the costs of which are considered an added danger to drivers and companies.

Taxi companies and drivers are now waiting for a response from the Secretary of State for Transport, which may determine the future of industry over the coming months.

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