London taxi fares to rise by 5.5% to stop drivers quitting the capital

A queue of black cabs outside Victoria Station, London
A queue of black cabs outside Victoria Station, London

The cost of getting one of London's famous black cabs is going up by 5.5% to try to stop drivers quitting the capital.

The increase is has been approved by Transport for London and is the first time licensed fares have gone up for more than two years.

Black cab fares will increase from £3.20 to £3.80 between 5am and 10pm and the changes come into effect on 30 April.

"It’s important to recognise that taxi drivers’ costs have increased significantly since fares and tariffs were last changed," TfL said in a statement.

"We want to ensure that taxi drivers can cover their own operating costs and make a living.

"It’s important the review ensures that the role of the taxi driver remains a viable career," the statement added.

The number of drivers has fallen by 2,693 a decrease of 12% from March 2020 to last month.

Earlier this week it was revealed cabbies were queuing at ranks rather than driving in search of passengers because of spiralling diesel costs.

Steve McNamara, general secretary of the Licensed Taxi Drivers Association, said "extortionate" fuel prices are having a major impact on the drivers of the 10,000 diesel-powered black cabs on the capital’s roads.

Mr McNamara said the cost of diesel has increased by around 25% since 2020.