The UK government have been roundly criticised by representatives from the taxi and private hire industry, throughout the pandemic. Unclear guidance about drivers being essential workers and delays in masks being mandatory for customers in cabs have contributed to mistrust in the government. Combined with a second national lockdown, many in the industry have been left lost and without support.
The Scottish and North Irish governments have announced extensive financial support for the industry. Nicola Sturgeon outlined a £30 million discretionary fund to help local authorities manage the impact of the virus in their constituencies. Drivers in Northern Ireland will be able to apply for a £1500 grant based on the Taxi Driver (Coronavirus, Financial Assistance) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2020.
Many regional authorities are starting to follow suit and provide support packages to their drivers. Take a look below to see if your council makes the list:
Liverpool City Region
Last month, the Metro Mayor for the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority made a statement confirming a £1.5 million support package for local taxi drivers.
Welcomed by drivers and operators across the region, these funds have been allocated between the 6 regions in the combined authority, in line with the number of drivers in that area. The 6 Merseyside regions that benefit from this scheme are as follows:
This grant offers £210 to all drivers who live in one of these six regions who have a current and valid licence issued by Liverpool City Council. For more information about coronavirus support for any of these councils, click their name in the list above.
You cannot apply if you live outside the Liverpool City Region or appear on the GOV.UK bankruptcy and insolvency register.
Warrington Borough Council
In line with their neighbours in the Liverpool City Region, Warrington Borough Council are making a £210 grant available for any of the 700 drivers in the region who might be affected.
This grant is only available for drivers with a valid Warrington taxi or private hire licence who are also residents of the area. You can find out more here.
Sheffield Metropolitan Region
As of last week, all 4 of the councils in the Sheffield metropolitan area have set up grants for drivers. These councils are urging any drivers who are in a situation where they are struggling financially, to complete the application for the grants online. More information can be found for each council below:
These 4 councils are offering a flat payment of £500 per driver in efforts to support taxi drivers within the region who have suffered financially due to pandemic restrictions.
Hull City Council
If you are a driver licenced by Hull City Council, you may have recently received an email outlining the support available to you.
The council have extended the availability of their Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG) to those in the taxi and private hire industry. This means that you can now apply for a grant to help if your business has been affected by coronavirus restrictions. You can find more info on the scheme here.
Many of the unions representing the taxi and private hire industry are taking action to raise awareness and gain more support. It’s great to see that councils are stepping up to ensure the survival of their local economies during such tough times.
Unfortunately, for now, that is the extent of the councils in England and Wales that are directly offering support to the industry. If your council is offering support, but is not listed here, get in touch! We will happily update this list to reflect any other support that is out there.
For more information about TaxiPlus and how we can help with your taxi licensing process, drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org