City of Wolverhampton Council has reduced fees for black cab and private hire taxis to support the trade which has been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic.

The council has agreed to reduce fees after members of the authority’s licensing committee were told of the severe impact lockdown has had on drivers’ income as the number of passenger journeys fell to record lows.

With immediate effect, changes to renewal fees, which could benefit 18,000 drivers licenced by the council, have been implemented:

  • Hackney carriage/private hire 1-year driver renewal fee reduced from £59 to £40
  • Hackney carriage/private hire 2-year driver renewal fee reduced from £110 to £75
  • Hackney carriage/private hire 3-year driver renewal fee reduced from £140 to £100

Also with immediate effect, it has been agreed to reduce the annual cost to licence a vehicle (which must be less than 10 years old) from £185 to £135.

Councillor Alan Bolshaw, chairman of the council’s licencing committee, said: “The fees for taxi and private hire licence renewals have been slashed by the Licensing Committee.

“Fees have been reduced on average by around 30%. A driver renewing a badge will now only pay £40, with the associated vehicle fee being reduced to £135.

“We know that many drivers and their families have experienced great hardship during the lockdown. Nevertheless, they have endeavoured to provide a vital service for key workers.

“We will continue to do everything we can to help the drivers during this difficult period, within the rules allowed by legislation.”