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  1. ITV Report

Number of mini cabs in London rises by over a quarter in the past two years

The number of mini cabs in London has risen by over a quarter in the past two years, according to official figures.

Credit: PA

While private hire vehicles increased by 26% to 62,800, taxis went up by only 1% to 22,500.

Data from the Department for Transport shows that over the past decade private hire vehicles have increased by 57% while black cabs are up just 8%.

Steve McNamara from the Licensed Taxi Drivers Association, claims the rise in mini cabs is 'not good news' for anyone in the capital.

Credit: PA

The downside of this massive expansion is it's having a detrimental effect on London's traffic.

They are clogging up the streets. Buses are not moving. The vast majority of people use public transport and this rise is having a massive detrimental effect on traffic. People could get a mini cab pretty easy before (the rise). It's not good news for anyone.

– Steve McNamara

Uber issued a statement in response to the figures which claimed their car service is helping people in areas where transport links are not as strong as elsewhere.

The rise in the number of private hire licences really highlights the consumer demand for a convenient, cost effective way to get about town.

Uber operates all over London and is seeing growth in areas that are traditionally under-served by taxi and public transport options.

Uber partner-drivers make up less than 20% of the private hire market.

– Uber statement

Steve McNamara believes one explanation for the rise in mini cabs is that firms such as Uber are recruiting drivers with 'unachievable' income potentials.

The reason there has been such a massive expansion in private hire vehicles is because certain apps are selling a lifestyle expectation that simply cannot be achieved. They are selling an income potential to drivers that is unachievable.

Our numbers go up when the economy is booming and when it's not our numbers go down. At the moment the economy is bobbing along.

– Steve McNamara