Shortage of taxi drivers due to devastation of lockdowns causing hour-long delays and scuffles at ranks

Attractive salaries of up to 50,000 pounds a year do not lure job seekers into the taxi business.

The lack of licensed drivers is causing long delays for customers in taxi companies across north Lincolnshire.

Fon-A-Car’s Cleethorpes manager Gary Handy said coronavirus lockdowns have decimated the number of taxi drivers in North East Lincolnshire.

Customers who previously only had to wait five minutes for a lift would now have to wait between one and one and a half hours at peak times. This has led to scuffles at taxi stands and tempers regularly flare up because of delays.

Gary said many drivers gave up IDs during the lockdown to look for work elsewhere.

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Manager of Fon-A-Car, Gary Handy in Cleethorpes Market Place

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His company has lost 80 percent of its orders due to the lockdowns since March last year.

From 35 taxis before the restrictions, the company has been reduced to just four taxis.

But now the number of customers has escalated as more and more people return to bars and restaurants wanting an elevator home.

“We’re back to the number of customers since the lockdown, but with only half the drivers we used to have and they’re making more money than ever,” said Gary.

The mood at the taxi stands flared up due to delays due to a lack of drivers

The mood at the taxi stands flared up due to delays due to a lack of drivers

“If someone was thinking of getting into the taxi business, now is the time. We’ll help them through the process. Ideally, you need to be human, open-minded and happy to work the hours.”

He said the number of licensed drivers in the community was 70 percent from previous years.

“Customers who have not booked and just drop by have to wait up to an hour and a half. You’re not used to it and some people get offensive. It’s new to everyone so we ask people to book in advance and be patient. It’s just like that. With all the vacationers back at Thorpe Park and other places, it’s really busy. Cleethorpes is flooded. We can take people across the country if they need it. “

He added: “We are urgently looking for drivers. It’s a really good job. You can be self-sufficient and flexible to suit drivers. They can all make a very good living could earn anywhere from £ 40,000 to £ 50,000 a year.

All taxi drivers in North Lincolnshire are ready to strike

“We’re going to help people get their GNVQ, which is pretty easy. There is police control and we help people through the process. “

A taxi driver, who did not want to be named, said, “This is a real problem. Many retired last year or looked for other jobs. Some have let their IDs expire all of the jobs. I’ve been doing this for 35 years and have never seen anything like it. All taxi companies have the same problem. “

“When someone thinks about starting up, it means they have to get the qualifications, which can be £ 100 each. Then there is the driver’s license, which costs £ 300 and you need a vehicle that is less than five years old. “

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He said the average salary for a driver could be anywhere from £ 25,000 to £ 30,000, but those willing to work longer hours have higher incomes.

Grimsby man Gregory Ford, 29, was stranded in Cleethorpes around 11:30 p.m. last Saturday night.

“We tried every company and tried the apps. But they said we had nothing and could have waited 40 minutes. So we decided to go back to Grimsby instead,” he said.

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