By Oisin Sweeney • 18 November 2020 • 13:56
London’s iconic black cabs are in a state of crisis, with their numbers down by over a fifth since the summer due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Licensed Taxi Driver’s Association’s General Secretary Steve McNamara said that most cabbies are working for just a quarter of their normal wages and that many had ‘fallen through the gaps’ of the government’s pandemic furlough scheme. He described their reliance on ‘starvation wages’ as a ‘complete and utter nightmare’ for drivers and called on the Treasury to provide a ‘specific package’ to save the industry.
Between June and November this year the number of cabs in the capital dramatically fell from roughly 18,900 to 15000. The LTDA says they estimate that only about 20% of drivers are still actively working, and many companies are being forced to store their fleets in farmers’ fields across the south-east.
Transport for London (TfL) said they were issuing drivers with advice during the current crisis and that the city’s black cabs remain an ‘integral part of the transport network’.
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Oisin is an Irish writer based in Seville, the sunny capital of Andalucia. After starting his working life as a bookseller, he moved into journalism and cut his teeth as a reporter at one of Ireland's biggest news websites. Since joining Euro Weekly News in November, he has enjoyed covering the latest stories from Seville, Spain and further afield - with special interests in crime, cybersecurity, and European politics. Anyone who can pronounce his name first try gets a free cerveza...
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