Sharp fall in London cabbies as Covid pandemic hits trade hard

Tap above to watch video report by Martin Stew

The number of famous Black Cabs on London's streets has dropped dramatically since the start of the pandemic.

New figures show the number of cabbies operating in the capital has fallen to its lowest level in almost 40 years. 

A quarter of London's licensed taxi drivers have quit since Covid restrictions were brought in and there are 5,000 fewer taxis on the road compared to this time last year.

Unused Black Cabs being stored in a field

"Job numbers haven't been there. People haven't been in London. And what's been really concerning is despite being one of the hardest hit sectors there has ben no support really from the Government or from the Mayor of London or local councils," said Paul Brennan, Chair of the Licensed Taxi Drivers Association.

The Government says drivers can apply for grants through the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme.

Black cab rental firms have been forced to hire fields and farmland dotted around the edge of London to store vehicles handed back by drivers.

Another rental firm, Sherbet London, has hired a car park to help store 400 unoccupied cabs, representing two-thirds of its fleet.

Chief executive Asher Moses said: “The whole trade has suffered. There must be 2,000 taxis on fields at the moment.”